I’m still here…

I’m still here ya’ll, I promise! So much is going on that I can’t seem to keep it all straight and get into a solid routine, but it’s getting better. Some highlights on my life since my last blog.

  1. My little boy is 6m old! OMG, right? He is the most amazing little human being I could have ever wished for, and believe me, I wished HARD for him. It’s been quite a ride and lots of learning, learning about him, about having a baby, and about what I’m capable of handling.
  2. My passion for being healthy. Now I don’t eat the best, not all the time, but I don’t eat a ton of food to begin with. I’m a very picky eater so really far from being a foodie. But just because I’m not overweight (still have some baby weight to get rid of) it doesn’t mean I couldn’t be healthier. So I’ve joined a company called Plexus. It has an amazing opportunity to better my finances and give me time freedom to enjoy my son.
  3. Getting my house organized. Boy this one is a challenge. Trying to find time between a baby and Plexus can be rough but I’m slowing getting through it. My craft room is the worse and I’ll tackle that last. Lots of donating things or throwing things out lately. Plus the baby things take up a lot of space so I’m minimizing my material items.
  4. On the healthy path, I’ll be growing my own vegetables on my deck this year. Yippie! Well we’ll see how that goes. I’m not good with keeping plants alive on my deck because of how hot it gets. But I will give it a try.
  5. My deck project this summer is about to begin. I got three quotes from contractors and they all want roughly around 6-7k. Most of that is the labor. So I did research (because that’s what I do) and watched some videos on how to remove the floor boards myself. My deck’s structure is still good, but the boards are terrible, and with a soon to be crawling/walking baby, I need to make that safe. So my plan is to do it myself. Remove the old boards and put down new ones! I’ll post about it once it’s done.
  6. Writing a book! So many people hear my motherhood journey story and say I should write a book. So I’m going to do just that. If I can inspire and help others, then that’s what I want to do. I’m an open book and don’t mind sharing it with everyone.
  7. Back to reading. I’m reading The Walking Dead comics to catch up and pass what the show is doing. And I’ve bought some books on marketing business on social media and baby led weaning, so I have them on my list as well.
  8. Establishing an exercise routine. I’ve tried the gym and I’ve tried classes, but now with my son, I need something a bit more convenient and close to home. So I’m doing kettlebell routines, Zumba, and other weight training. I want a better body than I had before I got pregnant. Plus, soon I’ll need the body and energy to keep up with this little boy.

I want to write a childrens book…

bigstock_story_2226743But have no idea where to start. I don’t have kids (yet) so I have no clue what topics need to be written. But I think it would be such a wonderful accomplishment to write a book and actually have people want to buy it. My ultimate goal is to write a novel but that is far in the future for me. Baby steps!

 

Rebound by Bob Krech

Snap_2013.04.04 15.39.35_003Summary from Amazon:

It looked like every black kid in the school was going out for the team. And then me. Pale skin, long nose, sandy brown hair, and a cowlick that won’t stay down. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t being the only white guy.

Black kids play basketball. White kids wrestle. That’s the way it is at Franklin High School and especially in Ray Wisniewski’s neighborhood, the tight knit Polish-American town of Greenville, New Jersey. But Ray’s got a passion for basketball, even after the varsity coach cuts him two years in a row. When a new coach comes on the scene, Ray’s luck rebounds, but now he has to deal with Robert, the team’s high scorer, a kid who hates Ray simply because he’s white.

As Ray fights to make his way onto the Franklin High Varsity, he finds that things are not as simple as he once thought—that a kind friend can be full of hate. A beautiful girl can be ugly inside. A well-intentioned coach can cause more harm than good. And prejudice can be defined in many ways in a world that isn’t black-and-white.

I like basketball so I wanted to read something other than mystery, suspense, romance, and thriller books that I normally find myself reading. This book intrigued me because it was about a white boy trying out for a sport that typically is played by black boys. So to me it was a different side of what we normally hear or read about. We always hear prejudice towards black people, but we next to never hear them about white people. This book shares some of those prejudices from a different point of view.

The overall book was written well, however reading about basketball was rather boring for me. I like watching it, but now I know I don’t like reading a book about it. About 70% of it was about this white boy trying out for his basketball team in his school. It was great reading about the relationships he was building with these black guys and how girls he dated even reacted to them. He wouldn’t even share everything with his parents since they had the same stereotype against the black kids as others did. But this guy makes the team and ends up making some great decisions at the end which result in some great unlikely friendships.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

safehavenbookI loved this book. I love it so much that I couldn’t wait to get to bed so I could continue reading. That doesn’t happen often for me. Some people can read any kind of book, but I can’t. The book has to hold my attention, otherwise I will simply fall asleep.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks is by far one of my favorites of his. But who doesn’t like Nicolas Sparks, right? He has a way with romance and this book has just that.

Katie is new to town. The book goes over, in great detail, her life at work and her life at home. Everything is new. The people are new. The air is new. The thing is, small towns tend to be friendlier than cities and she wasn’t used to that. In fact, she didn’t want to talk to anyone or get close to anyone. She would either not answer or change the topic if anyone were to ask about her life.

A life she left behind. A life that she wants to forget and fears that it will catch up to her. Alex, a shop owner notices her and tries to have conversations with her. But she was distant. He respected her space and never pushed. His old life told him that there was more to her than she lets on. He notices how she acts and her responses to certain things. From his experience, he knows exactly what she is running from; hiding from. He cares for her each day he sees her. She becomes close with his two kids, which ultimately brings her closer to him.

She makes one friend, her next door neighbor, Jo. She is the closest friend she has had in many years. They hang out and have wine, talk on the front porch and have great conversations with each other.

The life that Katie left behind does in fact seem to find her. Her husband is a detective and a very good one. Eventually he pieces everything together and tracks her to this small town. He watches her. He plots his revenge.

_________________

I couldn’t put this book down. My only disappointment (unconfirmed) is that the movie trailer looks like it has a different ending. Same in theory but how it plays out might be different. Of course I will give the movie a shot. Even if they are different, I’m sure they are both great. The best part of this book is that there is a twist that I did not see coming. I think my jaw even dropped! I was shocked and stunned and couldn’t believe that happened. But in that same moment of shock, I had goose bumps for what it meant. The meaning behind this book is so profound that you can’t help but love it.

Faint Echoes of Laughter by Stacey Danson

61UiC2LRA4LFaint Echoes of Laughter…. the shocking and spirited sequel to the much-praised ‘Empty Chairs’. Life on the streets of Sydney was preferable to the nightmare Stacey Danson had survived in the hell that was home. She hit the streets running at the age of eleven, and armed with a flick-knife and a fierce determination to live a different life, she began the journey from the 1960s to today. For those that came to know ‘Sassy girl’ in ‘Empty Chairs’, and for those caring people that asked how her life worked out from there, ‘Faint Echoes of Laughter’ continues the story. For those that haven’t met her yet, this book stands alone as a tribute to the kindness of strangers, the loyalty of true friendships and the way things really are on the streets of any town …. anytime.

That blurb came from amazon.com. My thoughts on this book started out very good. I was so excited to see how her life was going and how determined she was to change her future and leave her past.

Both books are hard to read.

As I continued reading toward the end of the book, I become sad, knowing it was going to end but also seeing that this girl, who survived the worst things imaginable as a child and then also while she lived on the streets, didn’t ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

The only way I can sum up her adult life is – content.

I’m so sorry Stacey, that you had to suffer by the hands of the one person who was supposed to protect you. I’m sorry that the past was always following you around even into your adult life. I’m sorry that things didn’t turn out the way they should have for someone as brave and amazing as you are. I’m so sorry.

If you see someone living on the streets, think about all the things they “may” have gone through to survive. Imagine that they might have come from a bad past, or are fighting war demons, or have lost everyone who loved them. Imagine what’s it’s like to always wonder where you will sleep each night, knowing you can’t ever have a regular place to call home. Imagine the pain in their belly as they ask for food money because they haven’t eaten in four days. Imagine how hard it is to walk around in our society, dirty, smelling, and think about how sad that must make them as they see how all of us look at them. Imagine the next time you are sitting comfortably on your sofa during a thunderstorm or snow showers, while others may be laying under a bench, shivering. Just try to imagine. This book has changed how I look at homeless people.

We don’t know their stories, so who are we to judge. Sure, there may be some who choose to be homeless, or have just been on the streets for so long, they don’t know how to change that so they claim to be happy with their situation.

Stacey met some great people who helped change her life. The kindness of people can go a long way so next time you see someone, think if there is anything you can do to help them. Most people just look the other way. But if you have something to offer, then offer the help. If you don’t, that is fine, but at least give them a respectful smile and well wishes.

These two books will forever be with me. Stacey’s real life story has touch my hear, my soul, and my life, in ways that I never thought would. Bless her for sharing this horrific story with the world.

Go and read them, you may or may not feel the same way, and that’s fine. But you should still read them.

Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson

emptychairsbookcoverEmpty Chairs is an autobiography of Stacey Danson. She wrote this book in such a way that you get so involved in her story that you feel like you are there, living it, along with her memories.

It’s well written. It’s detailed enough. It’s horrific. It’s sad. It’s inspiring. It’s shocking. It’s scary. It’s read.

Once you get past the beginning of her story of child abuse at such a terribly young age that you almost can’t believe that something like this would happen. But it did.

She provides a wonderful visual of what life on the streets can be like. You feel what she felt. It makes you look at people who live on the streets…differently.

She is an amazing person, to be able to live through everything she has and has the outlook on life that she does. This would crush many if they had to bare these same memories. She was, most of the time, very smart and used great judgement on how she selected where to sleep each night. She walked around while learning all about the world that she never knew about when she was young.

I recommend this book to everyone.

I was shocked to see how the book ended, leaving you not knowing what happened. I learned that many felt the same way so she wrote a second book to continue her story – Faint Echoes of Laughter

I can’t wait to continue reading tonight!

The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders

unwantedwifeThe Unwanted Wife, when first found on my Kindle, I was hesitant. I read the storyline and it seemed a bit dull and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to finish it. But since I could borrow it for free I thought I’d give it a read. Plus I tend to read reviews for everything and it got some really good reviews.

In a nutshell, this story is about a fairly new husband and wife, and the only thing the husband wants from his wife is a son. After awhile he realized he wasn’t going to get what he wanted and in the process treated his wife very badly. Cold even. His wife became fed up with how her husband was not who she thought she married and she realized that she wanted a divorce. Now that she is set on getting out of this horrible marriage, she discovers that she is pregnant. When her husband realizes that he wife wants a divorce and that she’s pregnant, he can’t fight his feelings for her anymore and now is scared to death that he will lose his wife and his child.

In the beginning of this book the writer was wonderful at making you really hate the husband. As you unravel the reasons he was cold towards his wife, and that he does have feeling for her, your feelings towards him begin to change. He fights to regain his wife’s love and trust and by the end I couldn’t help falling in love with him myself.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and really had a hard time putting it down. It was an easy read and the way it was written made it even easier.

Check it out!