3 Year Anniversary!?!? How the time flies

                    

I couldn’t decide which one I liked better 🙂

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years. I can remember the day I decided to start blogging – I was a stay at home Mom and I was losing it!! I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks being a stay at home mom is easy has lost their marbles. It’s one of the most challenging jobs I have had and yet I really miss it.

Fast forward three years, lots of posts, and here we are today. And really, I am still here today because of you! So Thank You!!

Thank you for hanging with me!! Until Next Time, Happy Reading 🙂

February Challenge – Peeling the layers back

I’m not trying to be dramatic. I am honest to God lost and struggling to accept who I am. This post is a little long, I know. But I am writing this for me. This is going to be a personalized challenge but feel free to jump in because honest truth, it gets old being alone sometimes.

I know I talk a lot about my car accident. In a way, it is part of my mourning. I mourn the woman I was prior to the accident because that woman is long gone. She’s not coming back, no matter how much I wish she was.

I saw one of my concussion doctors this week. And she gave me some tough love, that I didn’t realize I needed to hear.

It’s been two years. You have made what significant progress you are going to make. Sure, you can continue getting better in small ways. But the person sitting in front of me is who you are. I didn’t know the person you were before the accident and no one else going forward will either. They will only know the person in front of them. Let go of who you were and accept who you are now.

After the visit, I sat down in my car and cried one last time, mourning the person I once was but will never again be. Then I got MAD. And mad is a much better feeling than one of self pity and feeling sorry for myself.

In a previous post, I mentioned how things are different now. And as someone who particularly doesn’t enjoy change, this has been terribly difficult on me. Some of the changes are small and more of a nuance than anything. And some are big and ugly and in my face.

Like reading.. I could read close to four or five books a month. Now I am lucky if I get one in. It takes me so long to get through the book, I hate it. Not many know this but I have a learning disability. I have worked really hard to increase fluency, comprehension, and all the other wonderful skills you use while reading. And I feel like I have lost them all. I don’t feel like I am starting over but I am no longer in the advanced reading course. With time, this is one of those skills I hope to gain back. But who knows.

The running.. I was a runner. I was training for my first marathon, ran my first half, and LOVED it! I worked out easily 5 days a week and it felt great. Now, there is this emptiness there. I have zero desire to run, to work out, to do any of it. My body is the weakest it has ever been. I hate it!! And I have no idea how to get back.

I have tried pushing myself to run when I don’t want to. (See adorable picture above ) That felt good for about 5 minutes and then I was thinking “What the hell am I dong?!?!” In other words, that was a one time run deal. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I bought a new workout watch – Garmin Viveoactive 3. Amazing watch!! I love everything about it, but it still doesn’t help motivate me.

Then there’s the job. I have committed hundreds of thousands of dollars into my career. I have two masters, a bachelors degree, and I fucking loved my job – prior to the accident. After the accident, I still have all my fancy degrees but I am not in love with my job and honestly, I don’t even know if I can keep up with the demand. This is heartbreaking!! All I have ever wanted to be is a teacher. My passion was endless, I was awesome, gifted, yada, yada. You get the point. This felt like my calling. Until it wasn’t. Until that stupid accident..

So, 2 years have past, I have lost my father-in-law, step-mom, and my niece, and I find myself asking – What the fuck am I doing?

I am completely lost and I have no idea who I am. I feel like a stranger in my own body. What I know is that I am not the same- post and pre accident don’t line up. I don’t think the same. I don’t feel the same. I can’t process at my old speed. I don’t multi-task or tune out distractions nearly as well. Indoor florescent lights will always feel too bright. I feel like my personality has switched from a type A to some other one that’s out there. I can’t do as much as I used to. I am drinking way more than I ever have. I am eating like shit. I am self medicating. None of this is pretty, it is all really scary, and it doesn’t end! This is my reality and I don’t know how to accept it.

Deep breath, I think it is safe to say I am still mad. Which brings me to my challenge.

This challenge is for 30 days and it is all about inner peace, positivity, getting healthy, and feeling in control. Over the span of 30 days, I (we?) must:


Quit the bad habits! Walk away from the drinking, self medicating, and eat at least 2 meals a day. You are not going anywhere with a foggy mind and a sluggish body.

 

Find your Smile! Find something to smile about and identify one positive thing that happened each day. Write it down and read it aloud every night. It might be difficult in the beginning and some days might be harder than others, but do it! Do it because you deserve it!

1


Find some Mental Clarity
! Try at least 5 minutes every night but 20 minutes would be great. I am going to try meditation and reading. My goal is to meditate every morning and to read 1 chapter (give or take) every night.

 

Count your Steps! True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body. Let’s face it, the two are intertwined. You can walk 20 minutes, a mile every day. Or maybe try to walk as many, if not more steps as you did the day before. Just get up and move a little.

 

Know your Self Worth! I am giving myself one month to figure this shit out. I am going to be looking into Skills/personality tests, making pros/cons list for staying in my job or going, and so on. I am going to figure out either what a former teacher can do after teaching or how to get back to being happy as a teacher.

 

This may not look like it, but there is a lot here and the next 30 days will be difficult. But I am up for the challenge, you all know I need a change. Comment below if you want to join me on this journey or with any thoughts. And Until Next Time, Happy Reading 🙂

 

Sick with the flu, followed by death in the family

I have been home sick for the past week with the flu.. ugh, it was not fun! Sorry to all the emails I haven’t gotten to and the pages in my book I haven’t read. You know you don’t feel good when the simple act of reading is too much.

And then Monday came with dreadful news – My step-niece passed away. I have known her since she was 8. She was 18 and her college roommate found her. I feel frozen, not able to even process all of this yet. I still can’t believe she is gone…

 

Hello, It’s me… anyone?

Hello fellow bloggers, book critiques, and lovers of all that is books. Gosh, it feels like it’s been a long time. I am sure you think I have forgotten about you but I haven’t.

I have been so passive with this blog. Not because I wanted to or because I lost interest. No, I just couldn’t juggle everything while my brain healed. I couldn’t be the mother my children needed, the wife my husband deserves, the teacher I know I once was… all the while reading and blogging like I would like. At first, I thought of myself as a failure. But I know that’s not the case because I am still here today and that means something.

2 years after the car accident, I find myself adjusting to my new self and wrapping up all the therapy. Yes, 2 years of therapy is a lot and I am ready to be done. Although being done also means accepting things for how they are. Am I the same after the car accident, NOPE. Will I ever get back to who I was, I’m not really sure.

But I can’t stand in the mirror and wish for something that might never come. I need to start living my life again and move past this accident.

While I am figuring out my new ‘normal’ and trying to see what that means for me, I am learning that the things I used to love doing, I no longer care much about. It’s a weird feeling really. Some days I don’t recognize myself and I wonder if my husband still sees the same woman he married. Luckily, my love for reading and desire to blog has not changed.

So Now What…

I have lost a lot of followers. I know and I am sorry. I hope you haven’t completely given up on me and are willing to give me another chance. I have not been here and I want to change that. So if you’ll have me, I am here! Drop me a line, a book recommendation, anything. I am here and I have decided I am not going anywhere!

Let’s rediscover the magic in books and share in our passion to read

Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

A year from Hell..

This has been a year from hell..

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Lets take a walk in my year. Not even one month into 2017, I get in a devastating crash.

car

Almost one year later and I am still going through therapy, still suffering a concussion, and still not able to live the life I once had. Running is out of the question and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. I continue to have to wear prism glasses to trick my brain and eyes into working together. I am trying to come to terms with having to do a maintenance plan (a.k.a. eye exercises) for the rest of my life. And I continue to struggle concentrating while blocking out external stimuli. A car accident that wasn’t even my fault has caused devastating changes.

Diagnosed in September of 2016, my Father-In-Law continued to suffer from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

grandpa-and-ash

My Father-In-Law passed away in November. I miss him so much! He wasn’t perfect but he was a wonderful man.

My Step-Mother passed away Saturday, December 23… She was sick and the last couple years have been extremely difficult, especially on my day. But my heart is broken and I mourn per passing. I more the companion my dad lost. My Step-Mother has been apart of my dads, my life, for over 20 years. And even though I’ve known she was sick, I thought I had more time. At least time to say goodbye.

1

I talked to my Dad earlier this week and he told me he didn’t think Linda would make it to summer. And I thought – I really need to tell her how I feel, how I appreciate everything she’s done and who she is to my Dad. But that thought was quickly followed with not wanting to do it over the phone and this stupid idea that I had time. I would get through this week of work, get through Christmas and then I would drive down to see her and the rest of my family. I honestly thought I had time. I always forget we are not promised tomorrow. I should have called and talked to her.

These are only three examples of what has made this year horrible, but they are strong and carry so much pain. This has been a year from hell.. I honestly hate 2017. All this grief is overwhelming and heavy.

2018 can’t get here fast enough…

 

Life, Survival, and Death

Hi, it’s me. It has been a while since I have been able to get on here. Most of that is because my heart has been broken and life just never seems to slow down.

For those who don’t know, I was in a bad car accident at the end of January 2017. If you haven’t ready the post – Surviving the Accident – check it out. I’m still recovering and thankful that I am continuing to get better. Since the last time I’ve check in, I have fired my previous vision therapist and hired one who believes I can still get better.

I struggle to fit in all my therapy appointments while working full time and raising two active boys. But I’m doing the best I can.

Life in my family has changed and I am still processing how that looks. Cancer is such an ugly thing. Check out my first post, Life Interrupted, The Family Battle with Cancer., to see the beginning. But my father-in-law passed away a month ago from today. I still don’t have the right words to say and I don’t even know what to say. But my heart is broken and I miss him so much! My family and I have been grieving and trying to get back to life as it is now.

Please understand and be patient during this time. The holidays have been so difficult, everything has been difficult. Finding the time and energy to get on my blog has been near impossible.

Curious- Which plan do you use???

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I get this post is possibly odd and has nothing to do with what I normally post but I’m just not sure what I want to do…

Right now I have the free plan and it’s ok. I mean I like it enough but I don’t love it. I am wondering if I could get more out of my blog if I switched to one of the other plans.

What plan are you using? Is it worth the upgrade?

Surviving the Accident

car crash

Please forgive my absence. I was in a terrible car accident back on January 21. And it has been a LONG and SLOW recovery. The accident happened on the freeway coming home from work. There were 4 cars total and I was the last car to get hit. The car that hit me was this big GMC SUV

GMC SUV

Did I mention I drive a very small car- Chevy Volt…

car

Yeah, that’s what was left of my car. On the inside, all the air bags went off. The GMC hit me sideways and bent the frame, totaling my car. I am so thankful my kids were not with me. I was taken to the hospital via ambulance and diagnosed with a concussion.

concussion

There’s a saying in the world of concussions- no two are the same. Yeah there are common symptoms but they are all different. Mine turned into my worst nightmare. For the first couple months, all I could do was sit in my basement- mind you all the windows were covered in packing paper- sit in the dark with the lights off while wearing sunglasses, and pet my dog. If that doesn’t sound bad, try it. All you have is your mind, your dog, and darkness.

I couldn’t listen to the radio, watch tv, look at my phone, or read. All I knew was pain, so much pain. My thoughts weren’t mine. They were destructive and negative with such foreign depressing thoughts.

quote

From there, I saw 6 doctors for an hour each week, sometimes two times a week- I’m talking Occupation Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy.. It felt like I saw every type. I couldn’t drive, and every time I got into the car I would have a panic attach.

calendar

Months past. I missed holidays, my sons 4th birthday. My husband was practically a single Dad having to take care of the boys all on his own, plus schedule my appointments  and drive me to them. Oh and do his job… My thoughts were sluggish and I couldn’t remember anything. When I talked, I could hardly hold a conversation. The sound of my kids laughing through my symptoms from 0 to hell. Life was absolutely miserable.

In three days I will be 6 months out from the accident. My doctors think I will be finally able to return to work full time by the end of August. Two of my doctors are talking  about exiting me from services. I am allowed to start walking, slowly. Right now I am only allowed to walk for 5 minutes at a 3.0 pace. I can’t believe I went from training for a marathon to walking 5 minutes. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but I still have a long road ahead of me.

road

Recovery has been painful, slow, and difficult. In the last 6 months, I have been pain free for 1 day. Yes, you read that correct. Trust me when I say I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

Things are different for me now. I now have to wear contacts and prism glasses. I actually have two sets of glasses. I don’t know whoever thought it was a good idea to give someone with a concussion two sets of glasses and expect them to remember when to wear them. Writing this, I realize I have the wrong set of glasses on. Another thing that is different is I am can’t handle the heat any more. It makes me instantly symptomatic. There are other things but I don’t want to bore.

What I really want to say is please forgive the lack of posts. For the first time, I am starting to feel like my old self. And I have missed me terribly!  I hope in the next couple months, I get to reconnect with my followers and begin living my life.

🙂

Life Interrupted, The Family Battle with Cancer.

brain-cancer

The playwright wrote in “I Never Sang For My Father” – “Death ends a life, but not a relationship…which struggles on, seeking its own resolution.”

Cancer is the ugliest thing around. It doesn’t just hurt the people who have it, but also the ones around them. Right now I hate Cancer more than I have words to describe.

grandpa-and-ash
The picture on the left was taken almost a year ago, January 20th or so. My son would have almost been 3 and my father in law who can never sit still for long, decided to indulge my son desire of going on a wagon ride.

I’m not going to go into details because honestly, it’s just too heartbreaking. But here is the condensed version: My father in law had his first seizer mid September. That day he was diagnosed with brain cancer. From there they told us he had at max 11 months to live. After surgery they came back with 5 to 11 years to live.

You can imagine the emotional rollercoaster that must have been…

emotional-roller-coaster-ride

Within the last three months he has had brain surgery, went through radiation, and completed two out of 12 months of chemo. One week after he finished radiation, the mass on his brain grew back to almost the exact same size. Yes, you read that correct- 1 week. We discovered the growth on his brain because despite the fact he is on seizure medication, he had another seizer and the MRI confirmed.

But the worst part is the news we received this week from his neurologist- he is at the end of his options. Surgery isn’t one of them. More radiation isn’t one.. The only thing he has left is an experimental treatment that would be performed at Mayo in Minnesota.

heart-breaking

What does that even mean, experimental treatment??? There are so many questions and no answers. It could drive a person mad…

Trying to have an optimistic conversation with my husband is one of the most difficult things I have tried to do. Pushing the words out of my mouth that I am not sure I even believe… Pushing the words past my throat, a throat that felt on fire and painfully squeezed with each word that came out.. But I push the words out because I have to be my husbands rock.

As you can imagine, to say my husband is a mess is an understatement. At 31 years old, he is watching the man he has looked up to for all his life suffer and be told the possible outcome is far worse than grim.

tears

I mourn the loss for my husband. I mourn the loss for my children because they are so young they might not remember who their grandfather is, what kind of man he was. And I am selfish and mourn for myself.

What does it feel like to be on this rollercoaster? It feels like depression and hatred and pain. It pulls you down to were moving through life feels like walking in molasses. I lay in bed and I can’t stop the tears from falling. I blink my eyes and realize I must have fallen asleep because it’s the next day. But I don’t feel like I’ve rested. Reading feels like too heavy of a task so I watch netflix. But even then I feel like I am just staring at the screen. I want to point my finger and blame someone.

cancer-quote2

I want to hit, scream, and cry. But I am the rock my husband depends on and rocks don’t do that. So I stay calm, I push the tears away, and I hold my husband. When I am alone and I don’t feel numb, that is when the tears come.

gary

 

You see, I am charged with keeping the house together. I don’t go to the doctors appointments, I don’t see my father in law.. because I am the one holds everything together while my husband is gone. It’s not an easy job. And deep down my biggest fear is that I won’t get to say goodbye.

As you have probably gathered from this emotional mess I am writing, it takes a strong and wonderful man to pull this kind of emotion out of someone. He is not even my father and he is far from perfect, but he is a great guy.

I was asked what I want for Christmas and I said time. This is why I want time. If I could give you one piece of advice going into the holidays and new year, it would be to love your family and put aside your differences. You always think you have forever but sometimes father time changes his mind.

cancer-quote

Liebster Award

liebster Award

This is the second time I’ve been nominated for this award and honestly, I am just as excited as the first.

My fellow bloggers over at closetreaders nominated me this time around. This blog is written by two sisters. If you want to know more about them, they recently did a Introducing Us post that is fun to read.

For those I nominate, here are the rules:

  • Thank the blog that nominated you and recognise their blog
  • Nominate 5- 10 bloggers you admire by tagging them in a blog post 
  • Create a blog post answering the 10 questions you were asked by the person who nominated you
  • Put a list of the rules in your post
  • Give 10 random facts about yourself
  • Ask 10 questions for your nominees 
  • Add the Liebster Award badge to your post/blog

Kind of simple, right 🙂

So before I get started, I want to nominate some really amazing blogs I enjoy. These people might not be ‘new’ to blogging but they have amazing content and a real voice to their writing. I nominate:

TheTattooedBookGeek

rakioddbooks

deepthiunnikrishnan

ravenandbeez

ladieswholunchreviews

I am really excited to see your answers. I know this might seem silly but if you think of it, would you let me know when you post. I’m curious about what your answers are going to be 🙂


10 Random Facts:

  1. I love running so much I might actually be addicted to it. On the the days I can’t run, a part of me (mainly my body) is relieved, but a bigger part longs for the trails and running.
  2. I refuse to accept my post baby self- Although I know I will never look like I did prior to having kids, I know one day I will be able to wear a two piece swimsuit again. Heck, I’m not that old and I refuse to fall into the stereotypes of the soccer mom who has to dress a certain way. Maybe this is why I am struggling to make friends with some of the moms in my sons class.
  3. To piggy off that idea, I am really big into health- healthy living, healthy eating, and emotional health. Emotional health being the biggest became that is what drives and affects the rest of your health.
  4. This years political election scares the heck out of me!
  5. I have Celiacs Disease which can at times be frustrating but I think I am a healthier eater because of it.
  6. I am returning back to work as a Special Needs Teacher. If you ever need help or advice advocating for your child, I’m your gal.
  7. I love coffee. I think love might even be an understatement. There is need there, I need it. Even before my early morning runs, I drink at least half a cup before heading out.
  8. Chocolate is a big weakness of mine. Which usually translates into cookies, brownies.. you get were this is going.
  9. I love debating with people or talking about different topics. That’s mainly why I created Tuesday Talks- to connect with others.
  10. Fall is my favorite season. I love the change in color 🙂

Questions I was asked to answer:

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Besides clutter, I would say my biggest pet peeve is when things aren’t where they are supposed to be. Things have a spot and that is where they go. It drives me crazy when I go to get something and it isn’t there. I think this is pet peeve of mine because I feel like it wastes my time. And I hate having my time wasted.

What is the last movie you watched?

What can I say, I am a sucker for good action, Marvel, and I love the attitude!

Who did you last text?
My husband. He is has been gone for a week due to work. I sent him a picture of the boys

How many books are on your TBR list?
122 but I’m pretty sure that is all of them… Wow, that’s kind of a big number

What height are you?
I am 5’5

Who do you admire most?
My husbands cousin- Regardless of the family  dynamic, they are raising an amazing girl. She knows what she wants, she’s independent, strong, and her own person. She isn’t afraid to dress how she likes and when posing for pictures, she is full of attitude. And I’m not talking about the spoiled kind, she is already a confident strong girl. And she is only 4. She is this way because of her parents and they are amazing people.

When was your last holiday and where did you go?
4th of July, and we had family over at our place. We did a water party in the back yard, grilled, and had a nice time 🙂

Who’s post did you last like on instagram if you have an account?
I don’t have instagram but the last post I liked was: I am a Feminist

What is your biggest habit?
My biggest habit that is good is that I always lock my doors and I am aware of my surroundings.

Funny story- when I was in college, the last two years I lived in an apartment complex. I would get home really late from work, around 11. And for a couple nights in a row I would notice this guy sitting in his car with the lights off. Every night he would be in a different  parking spot but always in the same area.  If I wasn’t actively looking while walking to my apartment, I wouldn’t have noticed him. After the second or third night, I called the police. Come to find out, the guy in the car was an undercover cop looking into something. The next night he was gone.

What song did you last play?
Into the Wild by LP

Bonus: Recommended blogs?
Wow, I think I would recommend any of the blogs I nominated. I mean there is a reason I follow their blogs, right? 🙂


10 Questions for those I nominated:

  1. Describe a recent nightmare and do you think it means anything?
  2. What’s a goal you hope to achieve?
  3. Regardless of responsibilities, time, money, etc. If you could go anywhere and do anything right this moment, what/where would it be?
  4. What book would you recommend that is a must read for this summer?
  5. If you could take a pill like in the movie/tv show Limitless, without any negative side effects, what would you do or try to accomplish before the pill stopped working? Remember, you only have 24 hours before the pill wears off.
  6. What is one thing you look for in other blogs before you decide to follow them?
  7. If you could travel back in time and give your younger self advice, what time would you travel to and what advice would you give?
  8.  What is your favorite dish/food you like to make?
  9. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  10. If you could ask your pet three things, what would they be? And for those who don’t have pets, same question but if you could ask your house/rental.