Wednesday, June 17, 2015

23 Things I've Learned in 23 Years

Sorry that I've been MIA for the last 2 weeks.
Things have just been super stressful and I've felt like I haven't had a lot of time to put effort into my postings, nor did I have anything to say.

I still don't really, but I wanted to apologize.
I really want to write, but I sometimes feel like my life isn't really that interesting y'know?

Anyway, yesterday I turned 23.
It was pretty uneventful. I worked and I was sicker than a dog thanks to my allergies.
But, I've decided I should share some of the knowledge that I feel I've gotten in the last 23 years.
(Even if I'm still working on following some of the advice)



1. You are your own worst critic. 
I've spent YEARS telling myself I'm not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, etc. when all that time I had others telling me how fantastic I am, how brilliant I am, how beautiful I am, and how good I look. But I refused to listen because that voice in my head was telling me otherwise. I still struggle with this, but at least now I realize that I really have been my own worst critic. And I'd guess you are too. Nobody else is going to notice that tiny zit you have next to your ear unless you point it out to them. You gain 2 pounds? You really can't tell just by looking. Seriously, relax. (Yes, I need to work on this too.)

2. 

If you're proud of something, be proud of it. Don't let somebody else tell you that it's not good enough or that they've done better. So what if they got an A but you're proud of your B? You OWN that! Don't let someone else put you down. 

3. Family before all.
Growing up I can't say I had a bad relationship with my family, but it wasn't near what it is now. Now my family members are my biggest supporters. They've been there for me through it all, good times and bad. My immediate family members are my best friends. And I would put them before anything else on this earth. 

4. Jesus saves.
I'm not here to convert anyone. I'm not trying to put pressure, but for me I've learned that Jesus saves. He loved me when I was at my darkest and saved me from ending my life prematurely. I don't know where I'd be, or if I'd even be here, if I hadn't heard Him that night in November.

5. Never give up on your dreams.
Things will get hard. One of my favorite quotes is that "If your dream doesn't scare you, you're not dreaming big enough." I fully believe that. It's not worth working towards if it's easy. You need to WANT it and you need to WORK for it.

6. Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.
Seriously, working with kids 10 hours a day, every day, has made me realize how smart they are. They have a completely different outlook on the world than we do because they haven't been tainted by all the bad experiences we have. We could learn a thing or two from them.

7.  Read as much as you can.
I (obviously) cannot get enough of books. I read all the time. It's my favorite escape. It's the best way to pass time. And I learn so much. I don't like reading non-fiction but you can learn from fiction as well. Seriously, I wish I could write a story so others will like to read like I do.

8. One bad choice does not define who you are.
I've made plenty of bad choices in my life. But am I a bad person? I don't think so. I know that those were just stupid choices I made when I was younger. I'm not the same person I was then and I never will be that person again.

9. There is beauty in everything.
It doesn't matter how ugly you think something is, if you look at it with different eyes and an open mind, it's beautiful. All it takes is a little deep thinking.

10. Never EVER read the internet comments.
Unless you like being angry, reading internet comments on a news article or opinion piece is a bad idea. You will never find a situation where everyone agrees and everyone on the internet always thinks they are the one who is right. So it ends up a giant cluster that nobody wants to read. Seriously, just avoid it.

11. It's okay for someone to have different opinions than you do.
On that same note, there's nothing you'll ever think that everyone will agree with you on. Somebody is always going to think differently than you do. That doesn't mean you're wrong. It doesn't mean THEY'RE wrong. It just means you're different. Don't let that shut you down. So what if you are pro-Miley Cyrus and your friend thinks she's a disgrace? Is that really what you're going to end a friendship over? One of my BEST friends is much more conservative than I am, yet we made it through an entire election season without letting it affect us. It gave us some great talking/debate points, but we did it lovingly. We DEBATED. We didn't ARGUE. There is a difference. We were both able to walk away with "You make a good point, but I'm still not convinced." and then we moved on with our lives thinking our own thoughts.

12. Love doesn't have an age limit.
I found my soul mate when I was 13. I was engaged at 18. I was married at barely 22. But that doesn't mean my love is any less than someone who meets their partner at 30. It also doesn't make it any better, just because it's been almost 10 years for us. Everyone finds love at their own time and it's just as beautiful. There's someone out there for everyone. So if you haven't found them yet, even though all your friends have, that's fine!

13. Love is HARD.
People throw around "I love you" so easily. But the thing is, it's not easy. It's definitely hard work. I'm not saying it's not worth it though. But true love isn't just a feeling. It's a CHOICE. You wake up every morning choosing to love that person, despite their many flaws. Despite the arguments and the times they may have hurt you, you choose to keep loving them. Sure, it starts off as just an emotion and an attraction. But if it's real love, it'll grow into so much more.

14. You can't stay home sick for a cold.
This sounds ridiculous, but seriously. In high school/college it was like "Oops. I don't feel the best. I should stay home and get some more sleep." Then, you wake up 2 hours later totally fine. But once you hit the real world, people depend on you to show up to work on time and ready to do your job. That's not to say you can't take a break every once in a while. It's okay to call in for a mental health day. But other than that be responsible.

15. It's all about who you know.
Sad, but true. I have 3 jobs and all of them came from knowing someone. My teaching job - I student taught here and struck up a great friendship with my mentor teacher (and the other teachers), so when I applied for the opening, I was an automatic choice. They knew me. They liked me. It was perfect. My daycare? A good friend of mine through school worked there and mentioned my name when they needed someone new. She was a good worker, so she was trusted and I was hired. My grocery store job? I've worked there since I was 15. People who knew me worked there and gave me good recommendations. It's truly about who you know and who can write you the recommendation.

16. Every day has 24 hours.
Some days, it feels like you have all the time in the world. Other days, you feel like you're rushing and have nothing to do. But really, every day has 24 hours. If you don't have time, maybe you're taking on too much. You have the same amount of time as every other day. Make use of it. 

17. It is possible to work too much.
I work 3 jobs and it's EXHAUSTING. I know I work too much, but right now I don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter if I want to pay my bills. I do need to learn to take a day off every now and then though. Still something I'm working on. But I can tell you, it's definitely possible to work too much. And eventually, your body shuts down and you end up really sick from it. Story of my life people. Trust me.

18. Education is important.
Now, I'm not necessarily saying formal education is important. To me, it is. But maybe not to everyone else. But some sort of education is extremely important. Learning is one of the greatest things. Some people learn from books. Others learn from experience. The best is to have both worlds, though I know that's not always possible. Either way, do what you can to learn. Books, school, tv, museums, talking to people....

19. Drink lots of water
I've just recently been doing this. I'm told you're supposed to take your body weight, divide it in half, and drink that many ounces of water every day. I've been doing that and it's really made me feel a little better. I haven't been drinking all kinds of crap anymore. I'm more conscious about what goes into my body and it feels good. Just cutting out a lot of other stuff (not completely - just enough to get in the water) made me lose 7 pounds right away. It was fantastic.

20. "Some people come into your life as blessings, others come as lessons.
You WILL lose touch with those friends from high school who you promised to be "BFF"s with. You will meet someone new, whether a friend or a lover, who is going to tear your heart into a million pieces. And that's okay. Some people aren't meant to be a huge blessing in your life. Sometimes they're meant to be lessons. They'll help you learn how to stand on your own two feet. They'll help you figure out how to make your way in the world. And then you'll let them go.

21. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take.
How many times have you decided not to take a risk and then later on found yourself wondering "What if?" That's the worst! Sure, there's many things in my past that I'm ashamed of and hate that they happened, but at the same time, I don't regret them. They helped shape me. They taught me not to do them again. They made me a better person and who I am today.

22. Remember, it's just a bad day, not a bad life.
Many people (myself included) will have a bad day and take out our frustrations with a "Ugh! I hate life!". But one day is not your whole life. You'll live THOUSANDS of days. Later on, you may not even remember this one.

23. Dreams don't work unless you do.
You need to work towards your goals. Continue working, even when things get tough. When you reach your dream, come up with another dream. Keep going. 


Monday, June 1, 2015

Birthday Month!

It's my birthday month!

Haha.
I was so busy this weekend that I didn't get to write a goal re-cap. 
So, this shall be a re-cap and a June goals post all in one.

Let's see how I did.

mental health// No Weigh May
Pass/Fail - I weighed myself a few times, but it wasn't obsessive like it's been in the past. I did it after realizing that I thought I looked a little smaller.

physical health & weight// Physical exercise for 30+ minutes, 3 times a week.

Baha. No. But I have started exercising.

relationships// Undecided - Brothers' birthday
I got them a card. And I took off work to go see them. Not exactly what I wanted, but it's not like I forgot.

faith// Catch up on reading the Bible
Pass.


money// Figure out all the specifics for how my June money will work out.
Pass.

project pinterest// TBD

I made salsa chicken
savings goal// I don't know....$136?
Haha. No. No money was put in. Because I have extra rent this month.


So, not great. 
Hopefully this month will be better.
Let's see....

mental health// Take at least 30-60 minutes a day to quietly read a book that I enjoy reading.

physical health & weight// I'm doing a 14 day challenge that involves eating clean, working out, and drinking lots of water. It's going to be difficult, but I'm going to try. I'm also going to try to continue logging all of my meals on MFP.

relationships// Daniel & I's anniversary is this month too. So I'm hoping to do something sweet for him. 

faith// Finish reading Promises & Prayers for Teachers. I bought this book, but I haven't read much of it. 

money// Have some? Not live paycheck to paycheck forever?

project pinterest// Maybe an anniversary thing. Or something with our moving.

savings goal// Anything. Haha. I just need to put something in there.

Friday, May 29, 2015

May-End Bookshelf pt. 2

I had to split this into two posts because I finished THIRTEEN books these past couple weeks.
Look back one to see the first 7. :)

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelter

This is the 2nd book in Dave Pelzer's series about his life growing up in an abusive household. While A Child Called It focused on his early childhood in his mother's house, The Lost Boy deals on his middle years, while he's living in foster care.

It tells about his bouncing around from foster family to foster family. It talks about the trial against his mother and how he felt during it. It explains the fact that he still felt some sort of loyalty to his mother, even though he hated her for everything she did to him.

Another heartbreaking story, but it makes me want to read the next one (and his brother's books).

5 out of 5 stars.

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This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl
Okay, I have so many feelings about this book. And I know I probably have the "unpopular opinion" about some of it.

1. I don't get why it was published. Did I learn anything new about cancer? No. I learned about the Harry Potter Alliance, an internet group called Catitude, John Green, and nerdfighteria. I didn't learn anything about cancer aside from the fact that the kind Esther had was not normal for children.

2. John Green flat out says in the beginning that Esther is NOT the inspiration behind The Fault In Our Stars and he already had started that book before meeting Esther. So why is her cancer story any more important than some other kid? Yes, she met John Green. Yes, they became friends. But it almost seems like her parents used that fact to get their kid's journal published.

3. About 75% of the book is just other people saying how kind, caring, and compassionate Esther is. While I don't doubt that, I don't see why it needs said 1,000 times in one book. I get it.

4. Everyone also says that they were shocked Esther was so young. When they chatted with her online, they thought she was older. Sure, she may have loved like someone wiser beyond her years, but one look at her writing style and I knew she was a middle schooler. You're not fooling anyone and if you honestly thought she was 20 something then wow....

5. Okay, so the Harry Potter Alliance won $25,000 "with Esther", but riddle me this. Your favorite author meets a child who is sick with *insert disease here* and this kid happens to be a part of this organization which is trying to win money to *insert good cause here*, so your author writes a blog post/posts a YouTube video/etc. about this and the organization wins. Did that sick kid win the money? No. No offense to Esther, because I'm sure her story did inspire some people.... but I also guarantee there were people who watched John Green's video, thought it was awesome that he wanted the Harry Potter Alliance to win and voted for them that way, with no significance to Esther.

It was a decent book. I'll give it that. But there were just so many things that also really bugged me about it. I don't see how this book was able to win a Goodreads award. I don't know why it was published in the first place, aside from the fact that Esther was friends with John Green.

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My Story by Elizabeth Smart
This book was nuts. 

Since I was only around 8 years old when this happened, I have no memory of ever hearing about it, especially details. But wow, it was shocking.

This is Elizabeth Smart's story of the time she was kidnapped from her Mormon, Utah home by a religious fanatic. She spent 9 months tied up, living in the mountains, being raped by a man who claimed his name was Immanuel and he was "sent by God".

This book seriously gave me the creeps because I know that it truly happened and that this guy is not the only one out there who has done this stuff to young girls, and who continue to do things to young girls. 

I applaud Elizabeth for her bravery for publishing this book and having the courage to tell all of the horrible things that happened to her. 

4.5 out of 5 stars.


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The Giver by Lois Lowry

This was another re-read because my 7th graders needed to read it.

The Giver is a story of a different type of society, which promotes the idea of "sameness". Everyone is the same. They follow the same, strict rules. The community is run very precisely. Partners are chosen for you, instead of you getting to marry for love. Birthmothers give birth to children, who are raised in nurturing centers for the first year, before being placed in a household. Children get their bikes at a certain age, etc. 

At 12 years old, things start to change. At this point, children are assigned jobs in their community. They may work at the house of the Old, the fish hatchery, etc. 

Jonas is selected to be the next "Receiver of Memory". With this position, Jonas receives the truth about life "before" (how it is now). 

This is my 2nd time reading this book and I liked it even more than the 1st. I may have to re-read the rest of the series. 

4 out of 5 stars.

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
by Harriet Jacobs
This book was written by Harriet Jacobs, a slave. She tells about her life living as a slave in the 1800s. It's interesting in the fact that it was a book by a slave (which was unheard of) but also by a woman.

This tells about her struggles with her master, running away, trying to find freedom for her children, etc.

I believe this is the shorter version of a longer book. I re-read it with my 8th graders. It was a good book to give a look at slavery, but overall I can't say there was anything unusually wonderful about it.

3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Didn't like it. Which is unfortunate. It was definitely written for younger kids, but usually that doesn't bother me.

Bad, Badder, Baddest by Cynthia Voigt
The entire book is about Mikey and Margalo, who are trying to stop one of their parents from getting divorced. Literally, the whole book. 80% of it is them discussing it, trying to figure out what to do. Then they actually try one thing to make it stop.There's also a girl who is "badder" than the rest of them, but everything she does sounds made up.I like Cynthia Voigt as an author, I really do. But this book seems forced.
2 out of 5 stars. Barely.
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Summer Book Challenge Update
5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules. - My Story by Elizabeth Smart (308 pages)
10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before. - She Sins At Midnight by Whitney Dineen (314 pages)
10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. - Not Afraid of Life by Bristol Palin (272 pages)
10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014. - This Star Won't Go Out (431 pages)
15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you. - Suicide City by Julie Frayn (272 pages)
15 points: 
Read a book by an author you have read before. - Match Point by Erynn Mangnum (367 pages)
15 points: Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title. (Or "lightness" or "darkness.")
20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title. - Princesses of Iowa by Molly M. Backes (464 pages)
20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.
25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books. -- The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer (331 pages)
25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long. --
30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. -- Bad, Badder, Baddest by Cynthia Voigt (266 pages)

Total: 140 points

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May-End Bookshelf

Well, if you're looking for book recommendations, apparently I'm the place to be.
Since my Mid-May Bookshelf update on May 12th, I've finished 12 books.
TWELVE.
Plus I forgot to write about one in Mid-May.
So here's thirteen reviews for May-End, as well as an update on the Semi-Charmed Summer 2015 Book Challenge
(Upon further thought, I'm splitting this into two posts to save your brain. So here's 7.)

Match Point by Erynn Mangum

Match Point is the final book in the Lauren Holbrook series, which I loved from start to finish.

Lauren has always had a gift for matchmaking. But finally, the tables have been turned as her friends try to set her up with the boy she's been "dating" for a while. Will Lauren give in to the pressure to get married or will her and Ryan's plan to fake breaking up actually tear them apart?

Cute, easy to read story, with underlying Christian tones. I'd definitely recommend this series.

4 out of 5 stars.

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Rough Rowdy Reckless by Kimball Lee

This book was a short kindle book (only 67 pages) and it's about three girls who are going on a road trip together. They plan to get rough, rowdy, and reckless on their trip. They want to hook up with someone, no regrets.

Well, they each meet someone sexy and things go from there.

Definitely a bit more of an adult read.

Overall, it wasn't bad. But it was really short. I'd like to see more about each character. You only had about a chapter to hear their whole story.

2 out of 5 stars.

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Not Afraid of Life by Bristol Palin

Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far was written by Bristol Palin herself (with help) and it's all about her experience as a young, unwed mother while in the middle of her mother's political career.

Now, while this was going on, I wasn't exactly into politics, so I didn't really know a lot of this. Sure, I knew that Bristol got pregnant, but I didn't know about all the nasty rumors, the on-again, off-again relationship with Tripp's father, any of that. So that was interesting to read from this perspective. I didn't now all these things were happening!!

Overall, the book gave a nice perspective. You can tell it was written by somebody younger, as she kind of jumps around a lot instead of telling the story chronologically, which would have helped me a lot. 

3 out of 5 stars.

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The God We Can Know by Rob Fuquay

This was a book that Daniel and I read for church. We were supposed to do a small group study with it but that kind of fell apart.

This book explores the "I am" sayings of Jesus. For example, "I am the good shepherd.", "I am the light.", "I am the way.", "I am the living water.", etc. What does Jesus mean by all of these?

I really liked this book because it made you think about the things that you read in the Bible on a deeper level. Each chapter had questions to go along with it to discuss with your small group (or just your husband!) We always had really good discussions out of these and I think we both learned something every time.

3 out of 5 stars.

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Live Original by Sadie Robertson

Live Original: How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps it Real and Stays True to her Values was another book that was clearly written by someone younger. You can just tell in the way it was written. Not that this is a bad thing, but it did take away a little bit.

I also believe this book was aimed towards someone younger than I am. It would be a great book when aimed towards pre-teen and teenage girls, but at 22 I didn't get as much out of it as I think I could have.

However, I did get some out of it. And it was good. It really did make me think about what is important to me and how I can change the world.

3 out of 5 stars. Great book, wrong age group for me.

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She Sins at Midnight by Whitney Dineen
Oh my goodness, I loved this book!

Lila works in Hollywood as an assistant. She's a hard worker, a great friend, and a lady. But, she has another side of her. She's also Jasmine Sheath, author of a new bestselling erotica novel.

She's terrified of someone finding out her secret, so when she goes home for her high school reunion, she does her best to keep quiet about it. 

However, a dramatic Hollywood starlet is trying to ruin Lila's life. She's spreading rumors and trying to get her fired.

While Lila is back in her hometown, all kinds of crazy things happen. She falls in love with the guy who inspired her novel, tries to keep her novel a secret, and tries to keep herself out of the tabloids.

This book was seriously hilarious. I loved it and I haven't laughed this hard in a while. 

4 out of 5 stars.


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Phineas L. MacGuire...Gets Slimed!
by Frances O'Roark Dowell
This was a cute little book that my 4th graders were reading. It's about Phineas (called Mac) and his quest to become the best 4th grade scientist ever.

Mac LOVES mold. He wants to make a mold museum in the school to teach everyone else how cool it is.

Meanwhile, his friend Ben wants to run for class president.

It's a bunch of crazy antics of 4th graders. Super simple read (because it's definitely meant for younger kids). I'd recommend it for someone in that age range.

4 out of 5 stars.

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Summer Book Challenge Update
5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules. - My Story by Elizabeth Smart (308 pages)
10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before. - She Sins At Midnight by Whitney Dineen (314 pages)
10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. - Not Afraid of Life by Bristol Palin (272 pages)
10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014. - This Star Won't Go Out (431 pages)
15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you. - Suicide City by Julie Frayn (272 pages)
15 points: 
Read a book by an author you have read before. - Match Point by Erynn Mangnum (367 pages)
15 points: Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title. (Or "lightness" or "darkness.")
20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title.
20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.
25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books. -- The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer (331 pages)
25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long. --
30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. -- Bad, Badder, Baddest by Cynthia Voigt (266 pages)

Total: 120 points

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Live Original pt. VII

Chapter 13 - Do Something

1. What change do you want to see in the world?
I want to see everyone have opportunity to have an education. That's one of the things that saddened me the most when I went abroad. Families had to pay crazy amounts of money that they didn't have in order to send their kid to high school. Meanwhile, I'm forced to go to high school. That doesn't seem fair. And then some countries actually pay YOU to go to college, but we have to shell out thousands of dollars a year to better our lives here? I think education needs to be affordable to everyone.

2. What specific thing can you do to be the change you want to see?
Advocate for it I guess. Teach others in any way that I can.

3. Have you ever done something really nice for someone who could not do it for himself or herself? How did that make you feel?
I can't really think of anything specific right now, though I'm sure I've done something. I know it's a great feeling.

4. How can you help people in your own neighborhood, city, or state?
Just by being a good person. Honestly. Smile at everyone you meet. You don't know what their struggles are. That smile might make their day.

Chapter 14 - Live Original

1. How can you keep from falling into the trap of comparing yourself with others, so you can maximize your strong points and be okay with what you're not so good at?
I feel like comparing yourself with others is a natural thing and really hard to shy away from. It's important to remember that even if you're not great at something, you're probably pretty great at something else. I need to really train my brain for that one.

2. Do you try to see the best in other people and help them see what's good about themselves? How can you help someone around you learn to live original?
I really do try to see the best in people. Just encouraging people to be themselves and use their talents will help them to learn to live original.

3. What are some ways you can start living original right now? What things do you want to change about yourself: the way you look, the ways you spend your time, your values, or something else to better express who you really are?
Well, I'm working a lot on my body and mind right now. I want to turn my body back into the temple God made, take care of it. And my mind goes along with it. I also want to spend more of my time at school working with students or working on things for students.

4. Based on what we've talked about in this book, what do you think God is calling you to do and be?
I think God is calling me to continue the path I'm going, but with more heart and soul. I strongly feel He wants me to be a teacher and he wants me to advocate for the students who don't have as much as I had growing up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Project Pinterest - May

I only have time for a quick Project Pinterest update for May.

This month was kind of a last minute thing.
It was Monday night and I decided to look up "healthy chicken breast crock pot recipes" to see if anything looked good.

I found one where you just put the chicken in the crockpot with some salsa, so I tried that.

It was good!
The only thing I wish was that I'd either flattened the chicken or cut it in half so it wasn't so thick.
There was good flavor on the outside, but the inside was plain ole chicken.

Overall though, it was good.
I'm proud of myself for even cooking it.
Plus, it was healthy and kept me under my calorie goal for day 2 of my new weight loss journey. So yay!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Shonda Swap feat. Meghan Anna

Hey everyone!
So, my friend Meghan (You've all heard of Meghan) and I decided to do something a little more fun on our blogs this week.

The both of us are super big Shonda fans and since once a week we swap our real lives for a life in Shondaland, we decided we would swap blogs to discuss her fantastic #TGIT shows - Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and this season's premiere How To Get Away With Murder.

I hope you love Meghan as much as I do.
If you're looking for my thoughts on the matter, head on over to my post on her page.
And check out some of her other writing while you're there!

Hi everyone! I'm Meghan, one of Jayme's best friends and the brains behind Meghan Anna. I've been a Shonda fan since the first time I've watched Grey's Anatomy. I recently realized that she also had a part in making Britney's movie Crossroads! 

I will be talking about the entire series of Scandal as well as the latest seasons of Grey's and How to Get Away with Murder. There will be spoilers!! 



Jayme and I are constantly talking TV, books and everything else along with tagging each other in things, so I wasn't surprised when last summer, she tagged me in a video previewing a new Shonda show called How to Get Away with Murder. I thought it looked really good and then I promptly forgot about it until fall rolled around. We watched it at the same time and texted through out it. There was a lot of what the hell? & do you have any idea what's going? texts flying throughout the whole season, but especially those first few episodes. It's definitely a show that I at least had to give my full attention too otherwise I was completely lost! 

Scandal has been a show I've wanted to binge watch since I first heard about it, It took me until the end of February/early March to start it on Netflix, and within five minutes, I was hooked. It took me less than a month to be all caught up & I can't say enough good things about this show. #FOLITZ. Also I'm pretty sure I was more scarred by James dying then I was by Derek dying. Hashtag priorties people



& last but certainly not least, Grey's Anatomy, I know many people are either a) ready for this show to ride off into the sunset or b) never watching again because Derek was killed off. I fall into the slightly less popular third category of I still enjoy watching the show, and will watch it until it goes off the air, but miss the days of Little Grey, Mark Sloan & company.  The only complaint I have about Derek dying is how he died, he's survived a gunshot wound, an airplane crash & a bunch of minor other things & you're going to kill him off in a car accident? One that could have been easily avoided if he was paying attention to the road as he should have been?! End rant, for now.  

I don't know about you guys, but I'm about 50 shades of done with hearing about Meredith and Ellis' damn carousel. 

& one last thing and then I'll move on. Can I just say that if I was in Meredith's shoes, I would be calling Cristina so fast her head would spin. I thought she was your person?! If it were me and Jayme, you best believe we would be calling each other and we'd be there for the other. Yes, I understand Sandra Oh isn't on the show anymore, but you could at least show Mer calling her! 

We also came up with a number of different categories and chose who we thought best fit each one. 
Favorite leading lady is going to go to Olivia Pope, I want to be one of her gladiators! & um, she's in love with a pretty good looking man. I'm just saying! Honorable Mention going to Anneliese Keating. 

Saddest death for me is April & Jackson's baby. That broke my heart into a million little pieces. Honorable mention is going to the life that Meredith and Derek were about to get back when he was killed off, not Derek himself, but the life they were getting back to. As well as James' death on Scandal, those flashbacks about did me in, 

Least favorite character is going to Scandal's Leo Bergen. He just gives me the creeps. Honorable mention goes to Mama & Papa Pope.

Character you hate to love is Cyrus Beene, he is so two-faced and a backstabber. I never knew what he was going to do and I don't like that. But there was something about him that made me love him too. Honorable mention goes to Huck because he didn't seem to have a problem killing people, but again he had a lovable side to him that didn't make me hate him outright. 

Character you love to hate definitely Mama Pope. I feel at least with Olivia's dad, after the last four seasons, you kind of knew what he was capable of. He'll still get honorable mention though. 

Favorite quote:


Honorable mention for this one: You own me, you control me, I belong to YOU! - Fitz to Olivia.
Biggest plot twist: Pretty sure the whole show of HTGAWM was one big plot twist! Honorable mention on this goes to Mama Pope not being dead. 

Hottest male character: Fitzgerald Grant the 3rd. Hands down. Honorable Mention goes to Jake Ballard. As well as Alex Karev. 

Character you relate to best: Abby. In the first few seasons, she was probably the least talked about gladiator, totally being okay being in the background and then all of a sudden BAM! She came out of her cocoon, I've loved Abby in her role as press secretary, and I completely understand the metamorphosis her character has undergone.

Scariest bad guy hands down goes to Papa Pope. The tone in which he talks when he wants to get Olivia's attention makes my skin crawl!

Shonda show you're most looking forward to this fall: All three. I can't wait to see how Scandal deals with Fitz throwing Mellie out and him and Olivia being together FINALLY! Grey's because I want to see how they keep it fresh, and HTGAWM because although it completely made my brain hurt after every episode, I still absolutely loved it! 

Let us know in the comments what your thoughts are & who you'd choose for one or any of the above categories! Thank you Jayme for having me & make sure you check out her thoughts on all things Shonda over on my blog! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Live Original pt. VI

Chapter 11 - Five Seconds of Awkward

1. What's the most awkward moment you've ever had?
Well, Sadie would most definitely not approve of my most awkward moment. But it involves my then-boyfriend (and now-husband) and I in a very compromising position....

2. In your most awkward moment, did you make a good decision or a bad one? (If you made a bad choice, even though it may have long-term consequences, you can be forgiven and redeemed. You'll always have another chance to make good decisions!)
I feel like I made both. On the not great side, we continued to be active even though we were so young (which at the time I thought was okay but now that I've met Jesus....) but on the good side, we came clean to our parents about it and therefore was able to get better protection against unwanted circumstances.

3. When it comes to boyfriend/girlfriend stuff, what kinds of situations are most awkward for you?
Family things are always awkward for me. I have anxiety and being around people I don't know well is really intimidating. Even now, as a married person. But back when it was just boyfriend/girlfriend it was worse because you really want them to like you in case you do work out long term.

4. Think about your answer to question 3. Now think about how you believe you should deal with those things. Based on what you believe, come up with a plan to help yourself say no when you need to say no or stand up for your convictions. Even if you have to write yourself a script and practice what you will say in certain situations or if you have to promise a friend or parent you will call them if you need them, do it! If you know ahead of time what you will and will not do, you won't have to make a last-minute decision you might later regret.
Honestly, I just need to get over it and be myself. *shrug*


Chapter 12 - Stress Causes a Mess

1. Have you ever let your mind run away with worry and then had everything turn out okay in the end? How did that make you feel?
All the time. #anxiety

2. Why is it important to get all the facts before you jump to a conclusion about something and get worried or upset about it?
I am the QUEEN of overthinking and overreacting. So yeah, you should definitely get facts because chances are you're wrong and you end up hurting when you shouldn't.

3. Jeremiah 29:11 says God has good plans for your future. Next time you worry about what's ahead, how can this verse help you not stress?
Just knowing God has a plan and I don't have to know what it is...but it'll work out. That's so comforting.

4. Of the Bible verses listed in this chapter to help you overcome worry, which one will you choose to memorize so it can help you stay calm and peaceful?
"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you, He will neither fail you nor abandon you." - Deuteronomy 31:6

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blogger Friend Diaries

It might be cheating that I'm using a friend who is also a blogger, but she's one of my besties, so that's gotta be okay, right?!

Obviously, the girl I'm working with for this is Meghan. You can go visit her at Meghan Anna! :)
Here are the answers she had for me this month.

1 | Give us your back story. How did you and your blogger meet?
We actually met on a now defunct journaling site. Another writer was being passive agressive towards Jayme & I refused to stand by and not say anything, We got to meet for the first time in August of 2013 & I also went down to see her in October of 2014. We're impatiently waiting til August when I'll be down for another long weekend :)

2 | Share your favorite picture of the two of you.



3 | What keeps your friendship going?
Lots and lots of text messages, tweets & Buzzfeed articles!

4 | Describe your blogger in one word.
Loyal. She's never once made me question that she's got my back. 

5 | Describe your friendship in a song
Either Find out who you friends are by Tracy Lawrence or Smalltown Throwdown by BG :) 


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mid-May Bookshelf

I'm Still Here by Kathryn R. Biel
I'm Still Here is a novel I got for free through one of my daily e-mail newsletters (Man, I love those things!). It's about a woman named Esther, who gets into a pretty bad car accident at the beginning of the book.

After her accident, she thinks she hears the voice of her twin sister, who had died by suicide seven years previously. Esther is trying to fight through her recovery from her injuries, while trying to decide whether she's going crazy.

Throughout the story, Esther is building a new relationship, while ignoring the fact that her family doesn't want her. As Goodreads says: "Through humor and heartbreak, Esther learns that blood does not mean family, that absence does not make the heart grow fonder and that silence can speak volumes."

The ending to this story is not at all what I thought it would be. This book kept me interested and I always wanted to know what was going to happen next.

4.5/5 stars

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Suicide City by Julie Frayn
I have nothing but fantastic things to say about Suicide City. Wow, I got through this book so quickly, but I wish I could just keep going and reading more.

This book is about a girl named August, from a small farm in Iowa. She's tired of spending every day doing farm chores. She hates all the rules her parents have for her - chores all the time, no dating boys even though she's 16, hand me down clothes, etc. She wants to get out. She dreams of the lifestyle of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

She runs away and ends up in Charlesworth, but she finds out that city life isn't what she thought. She meets a boy named Reese and has an instant connection. He helps take care of her while they're living on the street and their attraction for each other just continues to grow.

Reese has been on the streets for years. Although he's clean now, he used to be addicted to heroin and he deals with the urges to cut himself. You would not believe the things Reese and his friends have to do to stay alive.

This book really touched on the ideas of homeless youth and it was horrifying to read some of the things that happened - although I know they happen in real life.

5 out of 5 stars. One of my new favorite books.

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A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer
I've read A Child Called "It" once or twice before. It's an autobiography by Dave Pelzer, reflecting back on his childhood as a horribly abused little boy.

Dave spent most of his childhood not knowing when he would be allowed to eat his next meal, being beaten by his alcoholic mother, and not being able to lead a normal childhood.

He tells the story so vividly that as a reader, you are afraid of his mother. This story makes me cry every time I read it. This time, I plan to continue the series.

I've heard there's talk that this might not actually be a true story. I'm not sure whether it is or isn't, but either way it opened my eyes to child abuse which I know happens all the time behind closed doors.

4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Live Original pt. V

Chapter 9 - A Friend's a Friend Forever

1. Who are your best friends?
Meghan, Lauren, Hannah, Nicole, Shelbie

2. Think of three of the best friends you have and write down their best qualities or three reasons you are friends with them.
Meghan - She's so compassionate and caring. She never judges me. She's just like me!
Lauren - She's respectful and kind. She's easy to talk to. She's fun to be around.
Hannah - She's hilarious. She likes to have a good time. She's easy to talk to.

3. In your own words, why are jealousy, pride, and selfishness dangerous to a friendship?
Jealousy can destroy friendships because it's never fun to feel like you have to compete with a friend. It's better when you're on the same level. Pride is the same deal. You shouldn't feel like you're "better" than your friend. Friendships are equal partnerships. Selfishness...well who wants to be friends with someone who only wants to do what they want to do?

4. What are one or two things about yourself that you can work on if you want to be a better friend?
Jealousy and selfishness. I get jealous really easily and it's something I need to work on in general. Selfishness because I have a hard time listening to people. I want to be there for them but I always end up chiming in with how I feel or something.

Chapter 10 - Respect Relationships

1. Do you stand up for your brothers and sisters? Next time someone starts hating on one of your siblings, what can you do to support them and protect them?
I do what I can, but my brothers are both over 6'5" so they don't really get a lot of hate. ;)

2. Are you a person who keeps your commitments? How do you need to improve?
Not always. :/ I let my anxiety get the best of me sometimes and cancel on people. I should probably just go hang out with them. It's never as bad as I think.

3. Do you respect authority? In your own words, why is it important to do so?
Yes, definitely. I think to get respect, you need to give respect, and that goes even if you're talking to authority. They will not treat you right if you don't respect them, and they don't need to.

4. What is one thing you can do today to have a better relationship with yourself?
I really need to work on the negative self talk. I'm always down on myself when I should be loving myself how God loves me. <3

Sunday, May 10, 2015

If You're Reading This

Live Original pt. V will be posted tomorrow, but tonight I needed to focus on something God laid on my heart this evening.

Recently, I've found myself at sort of a standstill in my recovery. Not a relapse necessarily, but I don't feel like I'm moving forward as much as I would like. I've been reminded of the Twelve Steps and about how one of them is to make amends to people. But, with my depression still in the background, I haven't been able to do that with many people yet. But I had to get this out...Maybe they'll see it somehow, maybe it'll have to wait until I can do it myself. Who knows? That's the glory of blogging.
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If you're reading this, you probably don't know why you're here.
You probably haven't figured out this is about you.
You probably don't know why I care.
Hell, you probably don't care.

If you're reading this, I'm confused.
I'm confused how everything we had could end so abruptly.
I'm confused because I thought our friendship went beyond any attraction. I thought it was real.
I'm confused why you even came around on my wedding day. Was it just to say goodbye?

If you're reading this, I want you to know I never meant to hurt you.
I want you to know I never once judged you for any secrets you told me (and you're one of only two people in this entire world I can say that about).
I want you to know I never lied to you about how I felt.
I want you to know I appreciate that you were always there for me.

I want you to know I'm glad I didn't pick you that Christmas, because that would have ended our friendship sooner.
I want you to know that that doesn't mean I'm proud of my decision. That decision will haunt me for the rest of my life. It is one of my biggest regrets, second only to the year before. (And I still get physically sick when I remember)

If you're reading this, I wonder....
I wonder how you are.
I wonder if you ever think of me in one way or another.
I wonder if I ever meant as much to you as I thought.
I wonder if you ever make up your mind to text me, then delete the message. (I know I do.)

If you're reading this, I'm hurt.
I'm hurt that our friendship didn't mean as much to you as it did to me.
I'm hurt that you haven't so much as messaged me once in almost a year.
I'm hurt that you knew me when I was at my worst, but haven't gotten to know me now.
I'm hurt because I'm not sure you even WANT to know me now.

If you're reading this, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry if you ever felt that I lied to you or led you on.
I'm sorry I couldn't love you in the way you once loved me.
I'm sorry things are so awkward between us now.
I'm sorry I can't tell you all of this in person, but I'm not sure you want to hear it and last time I was in town I had an anxiety attack just being back there.

If you're reading this, I still care.
I still think about you.
I still remember all the fun we had.
And I'll always be glad you were my friend.

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