Exciting Life Update!

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If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember when my spouse and I decided to sell our school bus.

Since doing that, we have made plans to move up north to Ohio for a few years, and in the process begin building a tiny house as well.

Well, yesterday we signed a lease for an adorable little three bedroom house in Ohio. It has been a stressful, long process finding a place that would allow us to bring our big dogs in and has all the features we needed.

So May will be our last month in Virginia, and we could not be more excited.

I apologize for such a short blog post this Sunday, but due to all the travel, work, and family time, it has been a crazy week!

Once we are moved in and settled I will share some pictures of our new little home.

Thanks for reading!

An American Marriage / Book Review

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“But home isn’t where you land; home is where you launch. You can’t pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get five cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: family and native land.” 

I finally got around to finishing this book last week, and wanted to talk to you all about it. To be honest, I liked this infinitely more than I thought I would, and I have been feeling that way about a lot of books that have come out in 2018.

The story follows a young married couple, Roy and Celestial. They are young and happily married for about a year and a half before their world is completely turned around. Roy is arrested for a crime he did not commit, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Over time, things change, and people move on. The rest of the novel tells the story of two people who are lost and how they deal with how their lives are going.

The book is told in three different perspectives- Roy, Celestial, and a close friend-Andre. This was my favorite part of the book. You get to see every point made from every possible perspective. It made the story much more detailed and rich, and allowed you to go into every situation with more perspective. There are points in the story where it is easy to ‘choose sides,’ and the different viewpoints made it easier to realize how important each one was.

This book was well-written, heartbreaking, and incredibly thought-provoking. It gave incredible insights to the intricacies of being married, racial profiling and being a person of color in America, the legal system, and the lengths you will go for someone you love.

There wasn’t one single aspect in this book that left me unsatisfied. I was very nervous towards the end of the story because I wasn’t quite sure what the final pages would hold, but it turned out in such a perfect and somewhat unexpected way.

Does it turn out in the perfect, ‘traditional’ way? No, it doesn’t. But for me it felt like the only way for the story to end.

This was a book that will have me contemplating it for the considerable future. I would highly recommend it for any fiction fans.

 If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

Rewarding Yourself

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This week isn’t really going to be a lengthy post, I just wanted to give you guys a brief life update and some thoughts on being nice to yourself.

Over the past week I got a full time writing job.

In case you don’t know me personally, this is pretty much all I want out of life. I love to write, and getting paid for it is the dream.

Something I struggle with and strive to be better at is patting myself on the back when something good happens. It’s SO easy to punish myself when I mess up, or something goes wrong in my life, but not when I succeed.

Why is that so hard?

Part of me feels that I just don’t deserve it. Another part of me thinks that if something decent happens, it has to be dumb luck. While I know in my part that neither of those things are true, it’s a hard mental block to pass over. This year is about love, acceptance, and forgiveness of myself, so it’s something I am determined to overcome.

Any advice that any of you have is welcome for this.

I worked hard, I went through a lot to get this job, and I got it. Yay! As part of my resolution to love myself better this year, I am finding a way  to celebrate.

Not quite sure how yet, but positive recognition is important and it’s something I will be giving myself.

How do you reward yourself when something good happens? Is it difficult for you as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The No Disclaimers Book Tag

It’s me, just complaining about stuff in books. The original questions that I am answering are listed below!

1). Which trope (or tropes) in books, annoy you the most?

2). Which writer or writers do you feel are overrated/overhyped?

3). What are your least favorite books you’ve read, since joining BookTube?

4). A terrible ending, that ruined an otherwise quality book?

5). Which Fictional Character(s) do you wish were not killed off?

6). What are some of your bookish pet peeves?

7). What are some books you feel should have more recognition?

8). What are your thoughts on censorship, and banning books?

9). Who do you tag?

If you agree or disagree with my answers or want to answer the questions yourselves, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Why I Love Reading

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I have no favorites for this week, yet again. There are several books that I am in the middle of that I LOVE, but nothing I have finished. Between moving, travelling, new jobs, etc. I just haven’t had the time I normally do.

So instead, I am going to share some benefits of reading for you all from my perspective. Now I’m not here to preach to you or act superior if you DON’T like to read, I’m just sharing what I have experienced and why I love it so damn much.

Every since I learned how, reading has been my absolute favorite hobby. It runs in my family, and anytime I am at a reunion we are usually talking about whatever books we’re into at the time. When I was in elementary school I read everything I could get my hands on. Some of my favorites included E.B. White’s books, Harriet the Spy, and Harry Potter, and while my taste has advanced somewhat, my love for it has never gone away. Here are some of the reasons I have always loved spending my time with book!

1. You Always Have Something To Do

If your phone dies, the power goes out, you’re stuck in a waiting room, etc, having a book or magazine can save you from monumental boredom. Whenever I leave the house I have two things to read with me at all times- you never know when you might need them. This has helped me in so many situations, I am always amazed at how much extra waiting time I have when I go out.

To be safe I normally bring whatever physical book I am currently reading as well as my Kindle. That way I can’t run out of things to read.

If you aren’t sure how much free time you will have, bring something short! It doesn’t have to be a 1300 page Russian novel to be a decent way to spend your time. Find some short stories that you like, or a magazine article that piqued your interest.

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2. Your Vocabulary/Learning

One of my absolute favorite things about reading is learning new words. No matter if it’s a book for a younger audience (for example, A Series of Unfortunate Events has helped my vocabulary immensely), or a classic work of literature (The Count of Monte Cristo is a good one for vocabulary expansion)- there are new things and words to learn.

I am no longer in school and I miss it horribly, so I often read solely to learn new things, and improving my vocabulary is a definite advantage to that as well.

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3. Escaping/Stress Relief

My main reason for loving reading as passionately as I do is the freedom from everyday life. Nothing is more of a stress relief than entering a fictional world for a few hours and letting responsibilities melt away.

No matter what you are interested in, there is a book out there for you. I’ve yet to find a subject that doesn’t have at least one wonderful book written about it.

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What are your main reasons for reading?

A Letter to Girls That are Younger Than Me

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I recently wrote a letter to women that were older than me. It was a fun, almost therapeutic experience for me, and I wanted to continue the idea with a letter to girls that were younger than me.

To Girls and Woman That are Younger Than Me: 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know there are millions of things flying through your mind at any given moment, so I appreciate the time. 

To those of you under the age of ten, how are you feeling? Life is probably still relatively simple at this point. You wear sundresses, spend your afternoons playing outside with the frogs and the flowers, and eat whatever you want. Don’t forget these habits later in life. There will come a time where you will feel that you need to watch your eating habits and stop playing outside so much. 

Don’t mind those scuffed knees and rosy cheeks. They are signs of bliss. Spend as much time outdoors as you can. Try to show kindness in any form you can to those around you, and avoid those that don’t do the same. 

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You will probably be told by adults that a boy who is mean to you actually likes you. Avoid those boys like the plague. A young man who thinks that showing affection with abuse is not worth your time, even at your young age. 

Don’t be afraid to speak loudly, take up space, and to say no. You have those options. You will need this later in life as well. If something doesn’t feel right, question it and tell a trusted adult. You deserve to feel comfortable – just because you are a child doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be listened to when something is wrong.

To those of you between the ages of ten and twenty, I am sorry. This is most likely not the best time for you. You are dealing with everything from periods and pimples to dating and trying to figure out the rest of your life. 

Don’t forget the advice for the younger girls a few paragraphs ago. It applies to you too. Boys that are mean to get your attention are not worth a second of your time. Find a boy who looks at you like he’s just hit a home run or he’s seeing the ocean for the first time, not one who teases you and pulls your hair. 

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Your body is changing a lot, and constantly. Your weight will fluctuate, your skin and hair will probably be oily, and you’ll grow upright like a weed. I know it’s an impossible task, but try to love yourself through these changes. Keep eating all of your meals, make sure to get enough carbs/calories/vitamins. Wash your face often, use deodorant, and spend time exercising outside. The sunshine and activity will do wonders for your mental and physical health. Try and focus on how you feel, and not so much on how you look. 

You will probably start dating and come across some awful, awful people. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t listen, appreciate, and respect you. No one has the right to make you feel inferior, or to make you do something you don’t want to do. There’s nothing wrong with waiting for something better. I wish I had. 

Drinking or drugs may seem really cool, but they aren’t. You will feel like awful the next day and get into trouble with your parents or the police. There will be plenty of mornings to wake up hungover as an adult, why do it now? But if you do, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted adult to pick you up and get you out of the situation. They may still be angry but they will appreciate that you didn’t get in the car and drive drunk. 

One more piece of advice that cannot be overstated- school is not overrated. Do your best. Whether you go to college or not, you will thank yourself later.

Most importantly, don’t grow up too fast. You are going to be an adult for the rest of your life, and you’ll only be the age that you are once. Try and savor things like your family members, free time, and not having to pay bills yet. This time will go by so fast, you’ll wonder why you were in such a hurry. 

Thank you for reading, it means so much to me! Happy Sunday.