School & Priorities


 This is the post that I don't want to write -
but I have to get my priorities in order. 

I'm currently working full time and 
going to school part time time.

And while I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to 
further my education, this has been by far the most 
challenging semester I've had.




Which means I need to utilize my time the best to my ability. 

So I'll be posting on here less frequently because
 I need to make sure I get in enough study time.





 If you're curious, 
this is where I will be until May. 
(Try not to be jealous.) ha! 

                 



But I'll post when I can.
Hope ya understand.


***

p.s. I just updated the "About Us" page though,
so feel free to check that out. 

The Glass Castle - Book Review



I'm not sure where to begin, except by telling you that
 I will never forget this book. 

The book is a memoir of the author, Jeannette Walls 
who tells us about her childhood and teenage years.

Throughout the book, her life story is both remarkable 
and tragic at the same time, but it's the deplorable 
     events that make her triumphs all the more satisfying.    







This is a blurb from the back of the book: 

 The Glass Castle is a memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.
The Glass Castle is truly astonishing--a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family

It surprised me how much I related to Jeannette in this story.
I never went hungry as a child or lived in as horrific conditions as her, but like hers, my family never had a home of our own. 

I won't go into all the details, 
but lets just say that for a few years my dad 
didn't believe in having a traditional job. 
(He has a very entrepreneurial spirit.)
 So we spent time living in a camping trailer,
a hotel, and in the basements of other family member's houses. 

But when you're young everything is an adventure, 
and this book portrays that perfectly. 

Her story has a modern day "fairy tale" feel about it. 
And I admire Jeannette fearlessness, not only in her life, 
but in her ability to share her story with all of us. 

I recommend this book to everyone.


***

Have you read The Glass Castle? 
What are your thoughts on it? 



So Many Books, So Little Time


I love reading books from different genres because it exposes 
me to different writing styles, and I feel like it 
expands my mind and imagination.


I have created a list of books 
that I want to read this year: 
(So no spoilers please.) 
  



 A Mystery: 




We Were Liars

"Haunting, sophisticated . . . a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents."--Wall Street Journal



A Classic: 








"The hero-narrator of  THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story." - Amazon Overview 






A book for "Young Readers":






"Wonder is essentially ... a wonder. It's well-written, engaging, and so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves. More than that, Wonder touches the heart in the most life-affirming, unexpected ways, delivering in August Pullman a character whom readers will remember forever. Do yourself a favor and read this book – your life will be better for it." - Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Times bestselling author





A Self Help Book:




"Has Fear Become Your Comfort Zone? 

Fear will rob you of peace, joy, and motivation. It will damage your relationships. 

It is the root cause of most problems you face. 
Can you even imagine a life without fear, stress and worry? 
Author and popular life coach Kimberly Giles has created a simple system used by thousands of people around the world to beat fear and live with clarity, confidence and power. When you read Choosing Clarity, you’ll discover Kimberly’s revolutionary process to eliminate your fear of failure and loss, reprogram your subconscious mind and stop living on auto-pilot, feel better about yourself and your life, learn new ways to deal with people and problem, and write personal policies that create success." - Amazon Book Description




An Award Winner: 



"An instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II." -Amazon Overview



As I finish reading these books, 
I'll do reviews of them here on the blog.
I'm so excited to get started.  

... 

Are there any books that you plan on reading this year? 

Or

Are there any that you've read this past year and really enjoyed? 
I  would love to know. 

Thanks!  

Lucky List 4


Lucky List 4
Things that have made me happy this week: 


*Seeing our friends baby blessed in church.

*Watching the sunrise through the heavy fog.

*Getting my books for school. 

*Having J.R.'s siblings and their significant others 
over for a New Years party.

*Setting our New Year's Resolutions.

*And finishing one goal already! 
I made a goal to get all of our paperwork organized, 
and it's finally done! 

I used to have all of our paper in one of
 those accordion type folders, but it was really full 
so every time I opened it, all the papers threatened to fall out. 

Because it was so annoying, I stopped filing 
away our important papers, so instead they just 
piled up on the kitchen counter. . .*sigh*

Well not anymore!!   




I got everything organized into what I call 
my "big girl" filing system. 
(To me, it's a weird adult feeling to be excited about filing paper.)
Ha.

But it's a relief to have it done - I should have done it months ago!



Speaking of being an adult, 
this is going to make me seem like a junior high girl,
 but I decided which movie couple J.R. and I look most alike:   





The Shooter

Haha. It's a stretch, but I think these two are it. 
(Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this.)



Other things that made me happy this week:


*This photo: 


source unknown
  (Isn't it just the cutest?) 



And last but not least...


*This video: 
People are awesome 2014


If you cant view the video click here for the link.


....

What made you happy this week?
I would love to know!






Blessings Jar 2014




Last January I decided to start a "blessings jar".

Anytime that something special happened, 
I would write it down on these cute little pieces 
of paper and put them in jar.

It all sat on my kitchen counter as a reminder to 

be aware and mindful of all the good things that happen to us. 









This past week I pulled out all the little pieces 
of paper and read through them. 

There were 41 total! 
Almost one for every week of the year.

Most of the blessings were little things.

Like these ones:

02/12/2014
 Candace won a $10 dollar gift card for the 

"maintain don't gain" challenge at work.

08/19/2014 

We went to the dentist and neither 
one of us had any cavities. 


10/22/2014 
Candace won tickets off of Instagram 
to the Odyssey Dance performance of Thriller. 
  

But some of the blessing were pretty miraculous: 


3/12/14

Got Home safe from work. 
Avoided being rear-ended on the 
freeway by a texting driver. - Candace 

06/04/2014

J.R. and Michael were able to fix the clog in our kitchen sink.
Thanks to Michael it wasn't very expensive. 

09/11/2014

J.R. was able to secure a full time position at his work.



I won't share them all on here, but it was really encouraging to read through all of the good things that happened to us.

Plus, it brought back some memories of small 
moments I had already forgotten.


I'm so happy with this little "blessing jar" project that 

I'm going to do it again for the new year.

...


Do you keep track of all the good things that 

happen to you in your life? 

I'd love to know! 








Lucky List 3 and a Quilt Story


I meant to post this last week,
 but I got really busy with all the celebrations
 and never got around to publishing it. 
So this post is about Christmas. 

Also - I've decided to call these posts, "Lucky Lists". 
They're just small moments through out the week that made me happy - moments that I feel lucky to have experienced. 



*Waking up to a white Christmas.

*Taking a nap with J.R. Christmas afternoon.

*Watching It's a Wonderful Life. 
If you have not seen this movie, you're seriously missing out! 
It's a long standing Christmas tradition 
of mine to watch it every year. 

*Reading - and finishing - The Glass Castle.
(Review coming soon)

*Getting this amazing camping quilt for Christmas 
from J.R.'s mom and oldest sister.


This quilt has a story:    





Once upon a time, when J.R. was a little kid, 
his mom made a quilt from his dad's old jeans and
 they would always use it when they went camping. 
So, they named it, "The Camping Quilt." 

And it was the best quilt they ever had. 
It was big and heavy and it kept them 
 warm during those cool mountain nights. 

Well, after years of camping adventures
 it started to get old and warn out.
Until, finally, it started falling apart. 

And little J.R. was so sad about it.

He made a wish for another camping quilt, 
but years and years had gone by and 
his wish never came true. 

Until the Christmas of 2014, when  
he opened a large gift and there it was -
another camping quilt! 

Except this one was even more special, 
because it was made from his own jeans and 
the jeans of his wife from when they first started dating. 
And it was stitched together
 out of love by his mom and sister. 

His childhood wish had come true, 
and he was very happy. 

 Now he dreams of the day when maybe his own 
children will sleep under the camping quilt. 

The End.