Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Accidental Radio Silence…

…well I certainly didn’t intend to go dark for quite as long as I did. We spent the first week of July in Florida on a family vacation. When we got back it was straight back to work and I was absolutely covered up. Throw in a night up to St. Louis for the Hootie & the Blowfish concert and two days home with a sick child, and nearly two weeks has gone by. Oops.

The good news is that I’ve got 4 book reviews coming up. And I’ve acquired entirely too many new and new-to-me books that I still need to share with everyone. So I’ve got some good content coming up, stay tuned!

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Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Reading Slumps Stink…

Here I was all excited for the new year and the fresh start of a new reading year … and I’ve hit a reading slump. Just, ugh! These things are supposed to hit in March … or October … or any other month at all … NOT in January 😥 But here we are.

I thought at first it was because I had to finish my way through Clive Cussler’s Treasure since I was silly to pick up a 500+ page book at the end of 2018, but the last couple hundred pages went quite well and I was done by the 2nd, so I figured a few days into the New Year wouldn’t really matter all that much. Then I hopped right into Harry’s Trees for the MMD book club selection and I was pumped at first only to have to wade through at the end.

Then I picked up a James Patterson book because James Patterson always puts me right back into reading, but this one (The President is Missing) doesn’t have the same feel as a “usual” Patterson and I’ve spent the last 3 days on it and I’m only 49 pages in. I think I’m going to have to have my first DNF of the year and that saddens me. I don’t really know where to go from here. I mean, if James Patterson can’t pick me up (my go-to slump author) … what will?! This is awful.

I know a lot of it has to do with some stuff going on in my personal life. Not wanting to go into too much detail (you know, because it’s personal and not necessarily my story to tell, but I am involved in it). .. I have a family member going through a divorce. And I’m feeling the effects of if in a major way because I lost not only a family member, but someone who I considered a very close friend. I was lied to multiple times over the course of at least the last 6-8 months and that hurts. The betrayal. I don’t make friends easily, and the ones that I do make I tend to hold onto for dear life. So the fact that not only am I losing a friend but I’m losing one because of such a big betrayal … it’s really hurt me in ways I can’t describe. The whole family feels betrayed, not just the member involved in the divorce. It’s just been a cluster and I’m having a very hard time processing everything.

We will all heal with time … but for now, my reading is really taking a hit. I find myself just aimlessly surfing the internet more often than not and when I do pick up a book, I can’t tell you anything about the previous 5 pages I just read.

So all that rambling … what is YOUR go-to slump breaker? Have you read anything AMAZING lately that you’d like to share in the comments? Please drop me a note with your recommendations!

In the meantime … happy reading 🙂

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

An Unexpected Break…

Oops.. I certainly did not intend to go so quiet here lately. Sorry about that! We had a family member have his world turned upside down, and so we’ve been having him over more than usual, so I haven’t had as much time to sit down at the computer lately.

I’m now 4 book reviews behind, so be on the lookout for some new content in the next few weeks.

I’m also already thinking about next year’s reading goals, so I hope to get a post up about that too. And I’ve also acquired more new-to-me books that I need to update you on ::eyeroll::.

Hopefully I can get my act into gear and get some new stuff posted soon 🙂 Be on the lookout … until then, happy reading!

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Monday Updates….

Well, for the first time in a few weeks I haven’t had any books come in. And trust me …. with 500+ books on my shelves, this is a very good thing! I’m acquiring faster than I will ever read!

Last week was absolutely nuts in my little corner of the world. On Wednesday, our local water supplier suffered a huge water main break at their plant. This is the plant that provides the water to the local towns, affecting about 175,000 people. We were put on alert to conserve as much water as possible because the original “quick fix” didn’t work. Relatively early on Thursday, our little town of Carterville ran completely out of water. Completely. Schools closed, restaurants closed, bars closed, beauty shops closed. Just about everything shut down. You can imagine what our Wal-Mart/Kroger/Target/gas stations looked like in order to get bottled water…. because there was ultimately no time-line on the fix. The water plant had to have a huge part brought down from Chicago (about 6 hours away) …. and I think it had to be made before it was shipped. Thankfully, my parents were not affected by this and we went and stayed Thursday night with them. By the time we got back home later in the evening on Friday we had enough water pressure to flush the toilets. But goodness it was not a fun couple of days at all. And I’m so thankful for all the people who worked tirelessly night and day to get that plant back up and running. I feel like the employees/contractors don’t get nearly enough thanks and praise for what they sometimes have to do in these situations.

Normally I would have taken this a lot more calmly than I did. I flat-out panicked. Why? Because we had our son’s birthday party reserved for Saturday in one of the neighboring towns at Pirate Pete’s (essentially a big arcade type place) and we had no idea whether or not he would get that party or if we would be stuck either rescheduling or scrambling to just host it at our house. It was an absolute nightmare! Luckily, the fix to the water plant was able to be successful with the water coming partially back online by late Friday evening and by Saturday Pirate Pete’s was able to be open for business. I was so relieved. A 6-year-old can’t comprehend why his birthday party can’t happen because of something like this. And he was able to have an absolutely wonderful birthday party! Our boy is so blessed with many wonderful friends (and their parents are great too!).

On Sunday we had tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. I was exhausted from the previous few days that I sent my husband and Garrett with his parents. I didn’t feel like driving the nearly 3 hours (each way) to the game plus sitting at the game with a 3-year-old who probably wouldn’t want to sit there for an entire game…. so Katelyn and I had a very nice quiet day together at home. We were able to play outside on the new playset the kids got for their birthdays from my grandmother. And we watched more than our fair share of Sofia the First 🙂

We’ve got a fun-filled week coming up. Garrett has his baseball game on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday evening he has his kindergarten class’s end of the year picnic that his teacher is hosting (I just LOVE everything about our community!) Next weekend we’ll be hosting Garrett’s family birthday at our house. And I’m sure we’ll do something fun for Memorial Day too … he’s been invited to his best buddy Ryder’s grandparents house (just up the road from us) for some swimming on Sunday. And then it’ll be the last couple of days of school and we’re out for the summer. I can’t believe that my baby’s kindergarten year is almost over 😥 It has absolutely flown by! This summer I’ve chosen not to do daycare for him (he’ll do a few weeks of different camps), but I’m going to be working from home and utilizing the grandparents. So I’m really looking forward to some one-on-one time with him. I’m hoping for a fun-filled summer!

I got to watch some of the Royal Wedding. It was beautiful. I’m still not entirely sure about the match of Meghan Markle and Harry …. but he looked amazingly in love so that’s what matters! And I do love the fairytale of it all. I thought her dress was absolutely beautiful, but a little on the plain side … it needed a just a little more embellishment to it. But I did love her reception dress – that was gorgeous! Ahh gotta love a good fairytale 😀

Oh and one other little tidbit…. Nathan has formally accepted a new job offer. A little over three years ago he took a position within my family company to get us to be able to move back to the area. It wasn’t really an ideal fit for him and he really missed engineering (his chosen field), so when an opportunity popped up he applied, interviewed, and got the job. He starts that on June 1. We’re all very happy for him. Engineering jobs are few and far between in our area (it’s why we had to move in the first place) so we are thrilled that this has happened for him! Plus it’ll be nice to be going back to a normal schedule of Monday-Friday 8-4:30 …. which will be a really nice change after working Saturdays and odd hours, including super early and super late. The concrete business is not ideal for young families, he has missed out on quite a bit these last few years because of the crazy hours the concrete company sometimes has … like on Mother’s Day weekend this year when he literally had to work from 8;30pm Saturday night to 2am Sunday morning and then had to go back from 7am – 6pm Sunday … yeah  😦

 

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I joined a book club!

I have been on the hunt for an IRL book club for quite some time. I am a member of a Facebook book club group that meets locally. But they seem to just get together at local restaurants for drinks under the auspices of a book club. Which would be okay … if I clicked with the members better … or liked their book selections. 😦 The book club through my library meets one Thursday a month at noon, and I am always 45 minutes away on Thursdays for work. I apparently don’t live in a very literary area so those are my only options. And neither works for me.

So I’ve joined Modern Mrs. Darcy’s book club online. I had looked into joining this for quite some time, but didn’t really want to pay to belong. But I’ve recently cancelled both of my beauty box subscriptions, my meal planning subscription and my online workout subscription …. all of those were costing me $40 a month! MMD is only $10 a month … so I’m still coming out $30 ahead each month, lol.

I’ve just joined and I’m still getting used to the website. But I’m really liking what I’m seeing! Some of the book selections are not really my cup of tea, but for the most part they are. But I’m going to look at it as a way to expand my reading horizons! 😀 As if I need any more books to read! Eek!

And now I’m off to the library to pick up April’s selection!

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Sunday Thoughts

Another week has come and gone *sigh* And this upcoming week is going to be crazy insane for me. We leave on Friday for Spring Break in Florida! Yay!

So this week I have to …. pack for the four of us. Figure out if Katelyn has ANYTHING from late last season she can still wear – I don’t want the poor girl to swelter. I’m good on Garrett, since our old neighbors (they literally moved out last week 😥 ) gave me a ton of clothes for Garrett late last fall ranging in sizes from 4 to 6. Swim suits will probably have to be purchased for both kiddos. Oh and lets not even think about all the stuff that I have to wrap up at work before I can get out of town for a week. Ugh. Remind me why I thought this was going to be a good idea?!

We’re driving down. 15 hours in a car. With two children who 9 times out of 10 do not get along. Oh and my in-laws are coming with us (in a separate car). I’ve never been on vacation with my in-laws. And we’re going to put 6 people in a 2 bedroom condo. I’m likely to come back completely and totally insane. This whole thing started with it just being the four of us getting away by ourselves for the first time ever. And now the in-laws are coming. And don’t get me wrong, I love my in-laws, and I will be very thankful for their help on this trip …. but our condo is not big enough for all of us. Plus where we are going is relatively expensive …. and they are pretty cheap. It feels like it’s going to be a recipe for disaster. I went from really looking forward to this trip …. to not really wanting to go. Plus my grandma just spent a month down there (it’s her condo we’re borrowing) and she said that the traffic is absolutely insane because the snowbirds are still there in force. Ugh. And of course my in-laws are all about getting out and doing something every day all day. I just wanted to lay on the beach and in the condo. All day every day. Guess I’m not going to get that wish anymore….. I don’t want to go 😦

Ok, enough with the pity party.

Today the kids and I are meeting up with my parents for lunch. They’ve been out of town on vacation and then with us leaving for a week they wanted to see the kids before our trip. Later this afternoon Garrett has a play date at the park with an old daycare buddy. He’s apparently going to be moving to our town and will be going to school with Garrett in the fall – yay! It’s a sad situation as to the why, but I know Garrett will love having this friend around again!

Reading wise I’m hanging in there. I’ve got about 60 pages to go in my second George Washington book and I’m 40% into Baby Teeth. Holy moly is that book insane! I’m LOVING it! I got it from NetGalley when it was Read Now and I’m glad I didn’t let this one get away from me!

Upcoming this week, I’ve got a Mailbox Monday scheduled for tomorrow as well as a review scheduled for Thursday. Next week I will have a couple of things pre-scheduled so I’m not completely dark while I’m out of town. Plus I hope to be able to get some good reading done while on vacation 😀

That’s about all I’ve got for today. Have a good week, and wish me luck that I don’t go insane in the next two weeks between getting ready for vacation and the actual vacation itself 😀

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Monday Ramblings…..

Well, no Mailbox Monday post this week. Cause I went a whole entire week without bringing a single book in the house! YAY! [We won’t talk about the 3 books I just ordered on Paperbackswap 😉 … ]

Anywhoo …. we had a really good week last week. Very spur of the moment, on Tuesday, Nathan purchased tickets to go see Luke Bryan on Saturday night. I was in absolute shock that we could still get amazing seats. And I’ve been dying to see Luke Bryan for a while. It wasn’t necessarily Nathan’s cup of tea (but then again, neither was Avenged Sevenfold two weeks ago for me, ha!) but he wanted to do something special for me. So I really appreciated it.

Last week saw me and Garrett both at the doctor’s office. I had strep throat; Garrett had a stomach bug. Not fun for either one of us …. although he did get a kick out of mom getting a shot in the tush. I still don’t understand how on earth I went 31 years before ever getting strep throat and have now gotten it twice in the past two years …. when neither of my children have spread it to me. How does that even happen? Where am I getting it from?! Either way, amazingly enough, neither of the kiddos managed to get strep from me. So for that I am thankful.

I’m home today with Garrett who is out of school for President’s Day. Plus he has Friday off since that’s the incoming kindergarten registration and current kindergartners are off that day. So it will be a short work week for me! Woo! Just going to enjoy my time off with him this week!

Be on the lookout for my review of The Lucky Ones on Thursday. Have a great week 🙂

 

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Thinking Ahead….

…. to 2018! It seems insane to think that 2018 is so close, but it’s definitely right around the corner! Scary!

So I’ve been thinking more and more where I’d like to go with my reading in 2018. 2017 has been a great year for my reading in terms of quantity. I’ve read more this year than I have in the last few years. That’s great, I’m happy to see my numbers go up. As far as quality … I definitely read more than a few home runs … but also a great deal of duds! Can’t all be winners I guess…

So what do I want to focus on in 2018? Hm.

(1) – I need to rein in the book buying. I don’t spend a whole lot of money on books (I utilize the used book store/goodwill/library book sales a lot). But when I buy books, I buy like 10-15 at a time. Ugh! That needs to stop. I say this every year and I doubt it will stop …. but I feel like I need to reiterate it. Maybe one day it will stick?

(2) – Clear off my shelves. Really focus on getting some of those older books moved. Get them read or get them out. At this point my shelf space is at critical level. I’ve rearranged so many times and I still do not have room for everything. And to be honest, I could seriously not buy a single book for the next 4 years before I ran out of something to read. Oops?

(3) – Goodreads groups/challenges. So I am still in love with my Goodreads challenges. I’m not going to stop participating over there. However, I want to take a break from group challenges. I had a slight run-in with a group member that left a bad taste in my mouth and left me not contributing to the point total that week. I’m being vague because I don’t really want to complain too much, but it made me realize that I definitely do better on individual challenges. Besides … I’m really feeling the burnout on not knowing what book I’m going to be able to read until the callout happens. It’s taken away a lot of my reading spontaneity and I’m wanting that back.

(4) – Continue to work on backlists, but also get some new releases in there. 2017 really saw me focus on backlists. But it also made me realize that I need more new releases as well. I need to find a better balance …. maybe for every 3 backlist titles, read 1 new(ish) release?

(5) – I have been a member of Book of the Month for over a year now and I have only read 2 of the books I’ve gotten from there. Oops? So I need to work on getting those books read. I would like to try to read one book every month from BOTM. This can go hand-in-hand with my desire to read more new releases.

So those are my “goals” for 2018. Who knows how they’ll go, ha! The main point is to read and enjoy what I’m reading 🙂

How about you? Do you have any reading goals for next year?

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Hello!

So … I haven’t had much to post this past week … sorry!

It’s been pretty quiet around here. Work, work and more work. Garrett had another progress report come home on Friday. He’s doing so well in kindergarten! I’m so proud of my little guy. Sometimes I look over at him and am just in awe of who he is and what he can do! It’s amazing to watch children grow up! One night last week he read almost an entire book to me! Proud momma moment right there! He definitely doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s capable of. Hopefully he gains more confidence in himself and his abilities.

Tomorrow we have to take Garrett back to the doctor. He’s still having a lot of trouble swallowing 😦 The scope we had done back in September with gastro showed nothing wrong. So now I want  an ENT to look at him. Maybe it’s more of a tonsil/adenoids issue since he definitely struggles more when he’s congested. We have to figure this out one way or another – he’s gotten sent home from school twice now because he threw up at school at lunch. A total of four missed days because of his swallowing issue….

He’s also been monitored by a growth stature clinic because of his size for the last year. He’s now been listed as failure to thrive! I’m just flabbergasted by that. He’s not failing to thrive … he’s thriving just fine. Sure he’s a small guy, very little by 5 year old standards, but he’s for sure thriving. He’s most definitely the smallest kid in his class (and his best friend is the tallest – they’re a pair to see!) But he’s happy and healthy. Plus according to his teacher last month, he’s at the head of the class academically! I’m tired of doctors and hospitals and pokes and prods. It’s time to leave my kid alone and let him be a kid. What pisses me off is that he’s always been small, he’s always been in the 1-2 percentile. Well now he’s in the 10th percentile for height and 25th for weight …. but that doesn’t seem to account for anything?! Don’t give me that failure to thrive bullshit.

They did a bone scan of his hand to check his bone age to see if he’s potentially just going to be a late bloomer.  They keep talking about genetic testing and potentially doing growth hormones. We have made the decision not to go down that route. I’m not pumping by child full of hormones that will do god knows what to him in the future just to potentially get him an additional 1-3 inches. (And let’s not even talk about the cost …. one estimate I saw said that one inch will cost you approximately $52,000…) The risks don’t outweigh the benefits to me in our situation. If he ends up being 5’4″ (which is where he’s being projected now…) then so be it. He’ll just be a small guy. He’s healthy and happy. That’s enough for me.

Can you tell that I’m at the end of my rope with all this junk with doctors and my son? I honestly feel like they want there to be something wrong with him. They want him to have some rare genetic disorder causing his slow growth. I’ve heard nothing but criticism about his size for his entire life (he was born small, 5lb 14oz at 39 weeks). I’m so over it. It’s time to move on and figure out his swallowing issue. Maybe if he could eat better he’d grow better … there’s an idea! Even though the endocrinologist we saw last week told us that his small stature had nothing to do with his eating habits. Whatever. It’s still a pain in the ass to deal with a kid that throws up and can’t swallow because he says food won’t go down his throat. Something’s wrong, that’s not normal – to me that’s a more important issue than any stupid genetic test could show. I never should have opened up this can of worms, it boils my blood every time I think about this whole issue.

Moving on….

Garrett has some sort of a Thanksgiving performance on Tuesday – he says he’s a pilgrim and his line is “bang bang”. I’ll be curious to see how that goes! He’s best friend is going to be a turkey. This is sure to be a cute performance!!

I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving. Christmas will be right around the corner. And my Christmas shopping is almost all done! Talk about being on the ball this year! Ha! Well I think that’s all I’ve got for this quiet Sunday morning. I’m going to a painting event later today with some girlfriends. Going to be painting a snowman door hanger! I’m looking forward to that.

I sure hope you’ll stop back by on Tuesday for my blog tour stop for Deborah Crombie’s Garden of Lamentations!

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

I’m back!!!

I hope, lol!

This year has been really wonky for my blogging mojo. I have been reading … as of this writing I’ve finished 57 books for the year, with most of November and all of December remaining … last year I only managed 53. But real life has intervened more than once.

Katelyn had to have tubes put in her ears in April. My grandmother was sick in June/July with a pretty serious cancer scare – she was extremely lucky only a surgery was required. In August Garrett started kindergarten 😥 In August and September Nathan had carpal tunnel surgery done on both hands. In September we finally had Garrett’s scope on his throat (with negative results of anything being wrong …. so we still don’t know what causes his swallowing issues) And the medical bills, tubes – carpal tunnel – scope … ugh! We have “good” insurance, but good lord we’ve been drowning in medical bills. Plus Garrett did t-ball in the spring/summer and flag football in the fall, so we spent 2-3 times a week out on a field. It’s been crazy around here!

So it’s been a crazy busy and somewhat rough year. It’s just been one thing after another. And so the blog fell by the wayside. It juts wasn’t a priority with everything else going on. Somehow though I managed to keep reading – I think that was my escape as to how I dealt with a lot of the stress I was under.

Hopefully though we’re past the rough part, lol. One can hope at least! And I can get my schedule back on track and get back to the blog. I’ve missed ya’ll. I know I’ve been posting those mini reviews so I was at least keeping a teeny tiny presence here. But not what I would like.

So here’s to hoping I can get back on track here and start producing some good quality stuff for the blog again.

Until next time…