Saturday, November 5, 2016

"Columbine" by Dave Cullen

Genre: Nonfiction/ True Crime/ Psychology/ History
Publication: April 6, 2009 by Blackstone Audio
Format: Audio Book
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: "The tragedies keep coming. As we reel from the latest horror . . . " So begins a new epilogue, illustrating how Columbine became the template for nearly two decades of "spectacle murders." It is a false script, seized upon by a generation of new killers. In the wake of Newtown, Aurora, and Virginia Tech, the imperative to understand the crime that sparked this plague grows more urgent every year.

What really happened April 20, 1999? The horror left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we "know" is wrong. It wasn't about jocks, Goths, or the Trench Coat Mafia. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on scene, and spent ten years on this book-widely recognized as the definitive account. With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, he draws on mountains of evidence, insight from the world's leading forensic psychologists, and the killers' own words and drawings-several reproduced in a new appendix. Cullen paints raw portraits of two polar opposite killers. They contrast starkly with the flashes of resilience and redemption among the survivors.

My Thoughts: I've just recently gotten into the True Crime/ Documentary genre in the last year or so after watching Netflix's Making a Murderer (which I highly recommend to everyone). But when I ran across Columbine on my rec list I knew it was going to be something that I wanted to read. Like most people my age, this was where school shootings began. That's not necessarily true, but for us, it was the first. You just say the word Columbine and it evokes the grainy photos of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold standing in a lunch room with a gun. I didn't think of a school or a community. I thought of the  massacre that happened there instead.

I actually didn't read this book, instead I listened to it on Audible Channels. It wasn't easy to listen to. Not because Don Leslie didn't do a FANTASTIC job of narrating (he totally did), but because this was real to me. I remember exactly what I was doing when the news broke about the school. I remember the fear in the days after. This was something that shook our country as a whole. Listening to the vivid account of it was just heartbreaking.

What really shocked me though, was that I didn't really know what happened when it came down to it. The media that swarmed this story was filled with gossip, half-truths, and even lies. It took me a while to accept that what I had believed about Columbine really just wasn't true.

Dave Cullen is a fantastic journalist and superb writer. He covers everything about this story as far as I could tell, giving the reader an up close and personal with the killers as we may ever get. But at the end, he shows us the hope through the survivors. I no longer picture the massacre and the fear when I hear the word Columbine. Instead, I picture a community of people who survived something terrible and came out on the other side. I picture the survivors like Patrick Ireland and the hope they inspire.

Bottom Line: Overall it's a really hard book to read emotionally, but I think it's well worth it and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

"Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication: September 1, 2015 by Delacorte
Format: Kindle
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?

Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.

My Thoughts: There are bad books, okay books, great books, and then there are books that make my fingers tingle while I'm reading them because I just want to devour every single word off the page. Everything, Everything is the later. I'm a mom to a 19 month old. My time is precious. I don't get a lot of alone time to read a book in one sitting any more, but believe me I did for this one. From page one I knew I was going to be addicted and end up late into the wee hours of the morning finishing this book up, and I wasn't wrong.

I fell in love with these characters SO HARD. Maddy and Olly are just simply amazing and I wanted to know all about them. Their story was so unique and their characters so real, I didn't want to let the go. Madeline's mother... good Lord in some ways I could totally relate to the intense amount of love she has for her daughter. There were so many quotes and passages I highlighted in this book. Honestly I could sit here all day gushing over it, but I won't. If you're a fan of books like Fault in Our Stars, or basically any great YA Contemp then you will fall in love with this one like I did.

Bottom Line: I HIGHLY recommend this one. Going on my favorites shelf.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

"Inspire" by Cora Carmack

Series: The Muse #1
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publication: December 14th, 2014- Self Published
Format: Kindle
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too. 

My Thoughts: I love Cora Carmack. Really, I do. Her books are funny and sexy and I always end up liking them. So I was super excited when I found out she wrote a New Adult PNR- like I said before, there's so few good ones out there. I'm not going to lie to you guys though, I almost didn't finish this one. ALMOST. I loved Kalli and I loved Wilder, but I hated their insta-love. They literally met in a grocery store line, said about five words to each other and BAM! That was it for them. Head over heels. ...Okay, it wasn't exactly that way, but close. Here's the thing though, I pushed through it and I'm really glad I did. Yes, there's insta-love, but there's also this really cool, amazing, original story too. If you can get over the fact that these two characters felt love at first sight (or more probable are just destined for each other), then you will enjoy this story.

What's even more crazy was that even though I wanted to give up on it in the first half, by the second half I wanted the next book ASAP. Unfortunately, it looks like the book's publication was put on hold for good reason. After stalking the author I discovered through her blog that she was experiencing some health issues at the beginning of this year and that for now, the second book Inflict, is on hold. It was supposed to be published sometime this year, but so far I haven't read anything saying that's going to happen. Which really sucks because I think the second book is going to be even better than the first. BUT we all need our favorite authors to take care of themselves first so they can write later. Cora is one of those authors like JLA that just spins out books like magic, so I have a feeling it's probably really hard on her to delay a book. Either way, I hope she feels better soon and I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Bottom Line: I would recommend this book to all friends of PNR and Romance, but with a warning about the insta-love.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Sunday, August 28, 2016

"738 Days" by Stacey Kade

Genre: New Adult
Publication: June 7, 2016 by Forge Books
Format: Kindle
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

My Thoughts: SO. FREAKING. GOOD!

I am really, really, particular about my New Adult books. There's so many of them out there and after a while they tend to all run together. I also have a certain balance that I like: a good bit of angst (but not so much that it becomes ridiculous), an oh-so-sexy leading guy that makes real mistakes, and a main character that I can relate to. Oh, and really hot, steamy scenes (no shame here). And Stacey Kade delivered all of that and more in 738 Days.

Let me back up for just a minute though and say that I absolutely adore this author. I follow her (in a non-stalker way) on Facebook and her post are always on point. In fact, I kind of wanted to be her best-friend at one point when she started a re-reading of Flowers in the Attic a couple of years ago when Lifetime was doing the remake. Not to mention, she once fangirled over Andrew McCarthy and I just knew right then that she was going to be an author I wanted to keep track of. Also, she responds back to her fans which is always a huge star in my book.

Anyway, 738 Days was a book I could not put down. I had just spent a week straight reading amazing novels and I was having the book hang-over of a lifetime when I picked it up. I had previously read her Ghost and the Goth YA series and loved it, so I figured this would be something that wouldn't disappoint me. Well, it definitely did NOT disappoint, but now I'm still suffering from THE WORST BOOK HANG OVER ever! In case you don't know what that is, it basically means I just read this amazing novel and the next book I read could not possibly live up to it. This novel had me flipping pages until 4:00 am, and let me tell you, I have a toddler who is up and at 'em at 6:00 every morning so I'm greedy with my sleep. Do I have regrets? Psh, please. I am running on pure love for Chase Henry and Amanda Grace.

Bottom Line: I am going to be recommending this book left and right. I'm also going to download more Stacey Kade books ASAP while also praying that she writes more NA books... and maybe a sequel? Please? 

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Letter #3: You Don't Owe Anyone Anything.

Hello Brave Girl,

Two letters in one month. Obviously, mom has a lot she needs to say. I write these to you as a "Just In Case". Just in case something happens to me. Just in case I forget to tell you as I get older. Just in case you don't want to listen to me as a teenager, but don't mind reading things from me. Etc.

Today, I want you to know, without any kind of explanation from you whatsoever, that you don't owe anyone anything. Not me. Not your dad. Not your grandparents. Not your future friends or future significant others.

"No" is a powerful, and sometimes hard, word to say. "No, I don't want to do that." Or "No, I can't do that for you." Or even "No, you can't be in my life." All of those things are hard to say, and one day will probably need to be said at one point in your life. The part I want you to focus on, is not feeling guilty for saying it.

I'm telling you this, because I don't think anyone ever told me this growing up. Usually, I never had a hard time telling a stranger no. That was easy. What was harder was telling people I loved no. People that would take advantage of that knowledge about me. That they could push me into doing something they wanted or needed. Those people were toxic, to me at least.

It sucks when that happens. It sucks when you have someone you love and would do anything for, use you. And a lot of time, it was in unexpected ways. Sometimes people just wanted to be saved from themselves. But That. Is. Not. Your. Job.

You were not brought into this world to fix anyone. There's a fine line between helping someone who needs it and wants it, and helping someone who doesn't want to get better. You have to know the difference and you have to know when to walk away and cut that person from your life. It's something I failed at constantly because I felt like it was my responsibility to take care of everyone- regardless of how much they used me.

It wasn't, and its not going to be yours either. I want you to know, right now, you owe me nothing. Everything your dad and I do for you is because it brings us joy. You bring us more joy than I ever imagined possible. The only thing you can do for us is to live your life the way YOU want to live it. To make the choices that will make you happy in life. To travel. To go to college. To create art or to to be a successful business woman. Or both. And to learn to say no to those who would take your happiness away.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Wicked" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Wicked Saga
Genre: New Adult/ Paranormal Romance
Publication: December 8, 2014
Format: Kindle
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

My Thoughts: Can I just be honest here and say I am in love with JLA's paranormal romance writing? Seriously, all of her PNR books are just out of this world amazing and addicting. Luckily for me, Wicked had that same magic that she spins and I couldn't put it down. You would think after publishing... well, a TON of PNR books they would start to melt together and get repetitive, but that's just not the case. Each one of her novels/ series stands all on it's own with a splash of amazing sauce thrown in.

What I really loved about Wicked though was that it was New Adult. I don't get to do as much research on upcoming books since becoming a mom. I just don't have the time. So I could be wrong here, but it seems to me like there's a large gap of good, quality, paranormal romance missing from the New Adult genre. So when I got my hands on this baby, I was beyond excited. Just the right amount of world building, romance, and action thrown in!

Needless to say, as soon as I finished this book I immediately went to Amazon to purchase the second in the series.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Letter #2.

My sweet, brave River,

Yesterday I cried over a book. Which, as you'll come to learn is not unusual for your dear old mom, but this particular time was different.

Nine years ago, I went to a book store with my friends and stayed until Midnight playing games, dressing in costumes, and talking to complete strangers excitedly about an imaginary world. I'm talking, of course, about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows release party. I was 19 years old and I was about to close a huge part of my life that went back to simpler, happier times. For me (like many others) Harry Potter was my childhood.

I've never been great at being social. Even as a kid I preferred to lock myself into a room or lay outside with a huge book to be transported into another world. Don't get me wrong, I had friends and I played, but probably not as often as others did my age. When I was younger I would sometimes wonder if something was weird about me because of this. Harry Potter got me through it.

One day your crazy Mawmaw took me to the Hueytown Public Library where she insisted that I should read this book about a boy who was a wizard. She said other people had told her about it and said it was wonderful. Not trusting your mawmaw very much I decided to pick up a second book just in case. That night, I gave it a go though and I stayed up well past midnight on our La-Z-Boy turning the pages of that book. I was engrossed in this world of magic and creatures. With each passing year I would wait anxiously for the next book. I would get older, my interest would change, but nothing made me happier than when I got my hands on the new Harry Potter book.

At 19 I thought that time in my life had finally ended. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried. It felt like I was shutting the door on my childhood and that's never an easy thing to do... especially when you've just left high school and have no idea what you're going to be doing with your adult life. You see, at that point I had never loved anything as much as I loved those books. Nothing had ever come close to making me feel that magical or transported me back so quickly to a simpler time in my life when I had no worries.

Yesterday, I got to feel that again when I came home to find the screenplay Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sitting on my kitchen table. I ripped open the box it was delivered in and squealed with delight as I held the book up, with tears in my eyes, for your Mawmaw to see (she had been babysitting you while I went to work). It didn't matter that I was 28, just got home from work, and wearing sweaty scrubs. It didn't matter that I have a ton of responsibilities on my shoulders now or that I probably looked like the biggest dork on the planet. None of that matter to me because I was happy.

This is what I want you to take with you. Life is too short to hide your excitement over something. If something makes you happy, show it. Scream it out to the world and dance crazily. Enjoy your life. Don't worry about what people think. There will always be people out there that are sadly bitter and want to try and take that happiness away from you  by mocking you. Ignore them. Pray for them. But never let them steal it from you. Never let your life get so bogged down by daily living that you can't be happy with something you once loved.

I love you my amazing happy girl. Nothing in life makes me happier than you, including the above mentioned books. If I embarrass you later on down the road with my love for you, then you know this is why. When I can't stop from hugging you outside of school and kissing your cheek you know this is why. When I shoutand clap crazily for all of your achievements you know this will be why.

Because you make me the happiest.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

What I'm Loving in July.

1. Netflix's Stranger Things.
I'm only on episode five, but so far I LOVE this show! It really is Stephen King meets The Goonies. Plus my 90's girl crush Winona Ryder is phenomenal as always!

2. Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless Foundation.
It only took me twenty-eight years, but I finally found my perfect foundation (and yay for me it's in my budget)! My main problem is super dry skin, especially in my T-Zone. Well, thanks to this foundation I don't have to worry about it. It glides on smooth and the Classic Ivory matches my skin tone perfectly.

3. Rain, Rain App.
I have been looking for a really good FREE app for white noise while Boo and I drift off to sleep every night. I finally found this one last week while reading an article on apps to help anxiety, and I am so glad I did. It does everything I need... which is to, you know, make soothing peaceful background noise to cover up my husband yelling at his xbox at midnight. It carries a varity of nature sounds or white noise (like the dryer) and it even has a sleep timer you can set! So far my favorite is Rain Downpour. 

4. Amazon Prime. 
I am an Amazon junkie. I order *everything* from Amazon- birthday presents, books, clothes, household items, baby stuff, etc. It makes my introvert lifestyle so EASY. Fast and free two day shipping! Tons of discounts! Free streaming movies and music! UNLIMITED cloud photo storage! It's probably the greatest invention ever.

5. Ozark Trail 30 OZ Double-Wall, Vacuumed-Sealed Tumbler.
I'm not going to lie, when those fancy $40 Yeti cups came out I wanted one. But being the cheap person that I am, I just couldn't justify spending that much on a dang cup. Luckily for me I just had to wait it out because Wal-Mart created their very own amazing cup that has actually been proven to be better than the Yeti! AND IT'S ONLY $10! I couldn't find this guy in stores, but last week Walmart had free shipping for everything on their site (no catch!) so I ordered both the hubs and me one. I also splurged a bit and had someone I know make me a super cute decal to go on it that should be arriving in the mail this week.

6. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish.
I'm probably way behind on this one, but I am obsessed with these nail polishes! I'm not super girl, mainly because I just don't have the time to be, but I still like to do my nails when I have the chance. My problem has always been not having the time to do the upkeep on a pedicure when they're painted. And that's where these babies come in. I can go FOREVER without redoing my polish. Seriously, it's a long time. They don't chip or anything and that's without me putting a clear top coat on. They are a little on the pricey side for me, but the polish lasts so long it makes up for it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

An Open Letter to High School Me.

A few weeks ago I logged into my Facebook to find that I had about a gazillion notifications from my high school graduating class page. Turns out, I'm getting old and my ten year class reunion has arrived in full force. Surreal doesn't even cover it.

In a way, it does feel odd to think that I've been out of high school for a decade now. But honestly, it just seems so bizarre to even look back on that time because I am such a completely different person now. I'm a mom... like, a real adult. Teenage Sonnie hasn't made an appearance in my life for quiet some time now, and I am perfectly okay with having all that self doubt and angsty hormones gone- thank you very much.

All of these things flashed through my mind as I sat there debating on if I would even attend said reunion, but one thing stood out to me the most: I am so, so grateful for the person I am now versus the person I was then. 

The truth is, if I could go back in time (and of course still have my same future with my crazy wonderful husband and amazing daughter), I might would change a few things. But of course, that's not possible. So instead, I decided to write a letter to High School me, mainly in the hopes that if future River ever crosses this blog she'll read it and learn from it.

Dear 2006 Sonnie Who Embarrassingly Drives the Squealing Black Geo Prism to School (Almost) Everyday (When She's Not Skipping Class to Read her Book),

 Hi. How are you? Still freaking out over what you're going to do with the rest of your life as you sit in that first block Ecology class (that you will NEVER remember again)? Well, I'm here to tell you: don't. Don't meltdown over it today. You have time. In fact, you have PLENTY of time. Instead of freaking out over your future, how about focusing on the present a little more? Your future is going to be there. It's always going to be there. Don't worry so much, you actually have a good head on your shoulders if you would just believe in yourself long enough to realize it. You're going to be okay. You're going to be better than okay. So instead of worrying, just enjoy it. Enjoy your life right this second. Enjoy your small group of friends. They won't always be around and some you won't see again. Hold on to Jeremy just a second longer as he hugs you bye at the end of the day like he's done on most days since middle school. Laugh and listen to him as he goes on about how in love he is with whatever girl of the month. Savor the days that you can go home and simply relax with absolutely zero responsibilities. Don't let life scare you. Be brave. Don't settle. Be outgoing- make new friends. You're funny sometimes and people enjoy that. Don't let others run you over. Learn to say no and mean it. Wear you're freaking retainer because your mom paid over two grand for those straight teeth and if you don't they're just going to go back crooked. Learn to let go. Let go of people and things that are holding you back. Don't be afraid to be yourself. BE YOURSELF. Like what you like. Fangirl hardcore over whatever the hell it is you like right now. Be okay with what you look like. Be confident with yourself. You're not hideous for gods sake. You actually have some pretty attractive qualities if you could just stop being insecure long enough to figure them out. 

Most importantly: Stop trying to make everything perfect. Life is not perfect. It's messy. People are flawed. Relationships go wrong and it just is what it is. Embrace the changes because they're actually amazing. They open up the world to all these new possibilities that you didn't even know existed. Put yourself first and don't try to find yourself in someone else. You're amazing all on your own. Trust me. One day soon you're going to wake up and realize you love who you are.

But just to give you something to look forward to, right now, at this future second in 2016 as you lay next to your snoring adorable fuzzy jammie clad daughter, you are happy. You are so completely happy with your life it's terrifying in the best way possible.  

-Future 2016 Driving a Mustang and Wanting a Minivan Mom/Adult Sonnie.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hello 2016!

2015 has been the most life changing year for me. I became a mother. I've had a lot of roles in life: Daughter. Friend. Granddaughter. Cousin. Girlfriend. Fiance. Wife. But none of them, not one, comes close to the absolute sheer joy of being a mom. I've tried to sort out the awesomeness that comes with being a mother, but I can't. It's overwhelmingly wonderful and crazy and exhausting. Nothing I have ever experienced comes close to it.

As this year comes to close, I'm filled with an alarming sense of "time". Of how fast it passes. Of where I'm at in my life. Of the fact that thirty is approaching awfully quickly (wasn't it just yesterday that I was legally able to order wine for the first time?). And most importantly, the quality of how I spend my time. It can be a pretty terrifying feeling. One thing I have always known though is that life is short. Time is not infinite for me. At least not on this Earth.

With 2016 right around the corner I have come to realize that I need to embrace this feeling. So, without further ado, here's my 2016 List of Resolutions:

1. Center everything in my life around God. Obviously, this is not so much a resolution as something I struggle with to do on a daily basis. I also want to add in finding a church to go to as a family.

2. Make the effort to carve out time for my marriage. Spend quality, kid-free, time with my husband and not feel guilty over letting someone else keep River.

3. Have dinner at least once a week at the kitchen table as a family. Zack and I are super bad about just sitting down and eating in front of the TV. With it just being the two of us for so long, it became an easy routine to fall into. But now that River is here I think it's important that we start to establish family dinner time.

4. Have a Family Game night once a week. I LOVE board games, and unfortunately have just not made the time for them in far too long.

5. Save more money/ be aware of what our money goes to. This is a big one. I'm already pretty conscious of our finances, but I could definitely do better. My goal this year is to participate in the 365 Penny Challenge, and to make that a tradition for part of River's college fund. I also want to stop using my debit card so much and take out my extra spending money and use it as cash (that way I'm actually pulling bills out and noticing what I'm giving away).

6. Eat healthier. Okay, this one is pretty much a gimme on anyone's list, but I don't want to start eating better to look good. I want to get healthy for River. I don't want to have to worry about heart disease or blood pressure problems. So the goal right now is one small change once a week.

7. Worry less. If you know me at all, then you're probably aware of the severe anxiety I developed after giving birth to River. I tried really hard to deal with it on my own and without medications, but honestly it got to a point where that just wasn't healthy for me, and it definitely wasn't good for my relationships or my work. So for the past few weeks I have been on a low dose of Zoloft, that has worked amazingly. I feel like I'm getting back to myself and that makes me incredibly happy. I'm trying not to feel like I took the easy way out on this- because I certainly wouldn't feel that way if someone else told me they were on it. It's a work in progress. I also want to start meditating and focusing in on exercises that will help with the anxiety.

8. Stop nagging. So this one has a condition with it. My resolution is to stop nagging with the condition that my husband will actually get things done that I ask him to the first time and not ten days later lol. We're still trying to figure out a system that works without us trying to take out the other one. Right now the only workable idea that we've come up with is a "Honey-Do" list. I make a list out for the day and don't say anything else about it... unless it's like 9:00 at night at that stuff still isn't done haha.

9. Spend less time on Facebook. I'm ashamed to admit that FB probably takes up a good chunk of my day. I love private messaging my friends and checking out author's posts. Honestly, it's addictive. But keeping up with River leaves little time for much else these days, so it's time to cut back on the Facebook and focus my time on things that I really want to do (like reading) and not things that just pass the time. My aim is to check it once in the morning and once when I get home from work for no more than ten minutes each.

10. And finally (just because I'm OCD and there HAS to be an even number): recognize how I'm spending my time. I want to really focus on each moment this year. I don't want to waste a single second of my life, or my time with my family. I think I've fallen into a bit of lull this year. Being an exhausted parent is hard, but that's no excuse to be lazy with how I spend my days.

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy new year!

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