February: Thrift Shop

For February’s #YearOfHappy I’m supposed to go to a thrift shop and buy something for myself that happy me happy, no matter how weird it may be.

Well, lucky for me, my church has a huge thrift shop. It has clothes and shoes for men, women, and children, toys, books, jewelry, handbags, small furniture, blank cards, little trinkets and figurines, CDs, DVDs, etc.

It’s open every Friday morning, but I always browse around Sunday morning before Sunday school starts. The store is a hit or miss; sometimes I find a few things I want and other times I don’t.

However, I kept a special eye out this time. I wanted to buy something new for myself and this post, even though I just bought some new clothes which made me extremely happy.

Guess what I found?

A couple of Pokemon toys.

Yep; I bought two small Pokemon figurines.

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If you know me at all, you know I love Pokemon. I have most of the games, hoping to one day get all of the games (but the older they get, the more expensive they are). I have a few stuffed animals, a bunch of figurines, and of course a ton of Pokemon cards.

I like to collect everything Pokemon even though I don’t really use them. I just like to have them. Every once in a while, if I need a mindless, relaxing activity, I will sit in the middle of my bedroom and reorganize every single Pokemon card I own… it takes a long time.

It’s a weird hobby, I know.

I don’t usually buy this stuff for myself because it’s not something I need. I’m still paying off my school tuition and I’m trying to save up for a new car. So, if there’s something Pokemon related that I really want I’ll ask for it as a birthday gift or maybe buy it myself if I have a gift card.

So, when I found the Pokemon figurines at the thrift shop I was super excited!

I bought the only two there and ended up getting them for free. The ladies who run the thrift shop didn’t let me pay because I already do so much for the church, which was very nice of them.

If you’re joining in on the #YearOfHappy challenge, I would love to hear about what you bought this month.

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Babysitting, Birthdays, And Blogging

Friday: I babysat in the early afternoon for a couple of hours. The dad got surgery on his ear so I was needed to keep the peace while the mom was at the hospital with him. I kicked butt in Monopoly, watched the boys play some video games, and watched the oldest dye his hair pink… yeah. In my defense, the parents said it was okay and he’s not my child, so… anyway…

Mom and I went food shopping and then we all went out to dinner. Then to Barnes and Noble. It was a good day with the kids and a good night with the family.

Saturday: Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble in the morning to write (I swear, we should just live there). We got kicked out of our seats because some people reserved the table, but that was okay. We went upstairs and found a table by the writing books and didn’t get much done there. It was way too quiet… we always sit by the cafe and I always claim I can’t work with people talking (I usually listen to instrumental music or nothing at all), but apparently the background noise of the cafe is a nice atmosphere.

Then we went to our sister’s apartment for our brother-in-law’s 30th birthday. We stayed there for a few hours before it started snowing (again!) and we went home. I planned on being productive after getting home, but that didn’t happen.

Sunday: We went to church for the first time in two weeks (because of all the snow storms). The corner of the Sunday school room is leaking and the entire Sunday school closet (with all our books and supplies and such in it) was soaked. Nothing was damaged and there was no “flood,” but the carpet was soaked and part of the ceiling fell through. Plus, there was a huge puddle in the light fixture. I am officially done with snow.

Also, I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’ve stopped commenting on your blogs (or have been extremely slow at it) and that I’ve barely been keeping up with the comments on my own blog. I don’t know why I’ve been slacking in this department. However, I spent the rest of Sunday afternoon on my blog typing out posts and going through the blogs I follow.

You won’t believe how many blogs I follow that don’t even exist anymore. I unfollowed those as well as some blogs that haven’t been updated in months (in some cases, years). I hate unfollowing people. I feel like a jerk. However, it got to the point that I was following more people than I could count and some blogs I didn’t even know what they were until I clicked on their link. It was just something that desperately needed to be cleaned out.

With that being said, I’m going to try to set aside some time each day (or maybe every couple days depending on my schedule) where I can catch up on blog posts. I can give myself some time to read through each post and comment on them like every fellow blogger should.

I have to organize my flash drive, my blog, my writing stuff, everything… it’s kind of crazy. I think that’s why I’ve been so slow lately; I have a lot going on and I don’t know where to start on working through it all. I’m working on it slowly, but surely.

This is yet another reason as to why I can’t wait to be done with school… eight more weeks!

How was your weekend?

Long Weekend

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

This past weekend lasted three days thanks to our good friend Martin Luther King, Jr. I know a lot of people who are thankful for him because we get a day off from work/school, but there is so much more meaning behind the holiday than that.

I had an eventful weekend. It was busy, but in a good way. However, I can’t seem to remember Friday. I think I worked Friday and then came home and did nothing. I think Kris and I ended up playing Hyrule Warriors for a good chunk of the night.

Saturday we went to Barnes and Noble. She hand edited the first draft of her novel while I typed up the next draft of Detective Florence 2. We then went to Staples because we needed ink for our printer and we bought red pens because… why not? We went home and I spent the next 2-3 hours planning my Sunday school lesson plan for the following day. I was printing stuff out and my laptop kept losing internet so the connection to the wireless printer kept getting interrupted. I wasted a lot of paper… and ink that we just bought.

I babysat Saturday night for two kids I had at my old preschool. They kept talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. which was nice to hear they were learning about him in school. The 4-year-old told me, “Everyone has skin, but not everyone has the same skin.” Yes, I think that sums it up quite nicely.

Sunday morning I had church and my Sunday school class. The kids were off the wall, but I guess that’s expected from a long weekend. After church I dusted my bedroom and office and just did a bit of organizing. I planned on getting more cleaning done, but I didn’t. While my parents watched football, Kris and I watched two episodes of House Hunters before talking for the next 4-5 hours about writing, friends, high school, life, etc.

I’m including today in the weekend since I did not have work and I have to say it was mighty productive. My parents were out all day, so Kris and I went to Starbucks in the morning and then came home to edit. We’re both in the process of typing up the second draft of our novels. Then we went out for lunch, walked around Barnes and Noble for a bit (because we’re obviously not there enough), then went back home to write/edit some more. I typed up over 10k words of my draft and I’m still going. I just wanted to post on here before I forgot/it got too late.

Tomorrow is Tuesday the 20th which means back to work and… back to school for me. This means starting tomorrow I have to get myself in a new routine and add homework into the mix of everything else. On the bright side, it’s my last semester! Let’s pray I get through it safe and sound.

How was your weekend?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I am thankful for my school. As much as I complain, I would not be where l am today without it. I am well-educated and have learned a lot over the years. School has opened my mind to many new things and because of that l want to learn more.

I am thankful my job, the people l work with, and my students. I work with wonderful people who are inspiring to me with all the care and knowledge they bring to the special education world. I love each and every one of my students. Despite their disabilities, they still smile every single day and strive to be independant and do the best they can. I always look forward to going to work and am truly lucky to be one of the few people in this world who actually love their job.

I am thankful for all the past jobs l’ve had. I have met so many people over the years, some good and some bad. However, that taught me the right things to say and do and also that some people are here to stay and some aren’t, but everyone comes into your life for a reason.

I am thankful for the “little things” that l have a warm bed to sleep in at night, food to fill my belly, and a house to keep me protected.

I am thankful for the money l have. I struggle sometimes, but l have the knowledge and control to spend money only on what l need and not what l want. Because of that, l am debt-free and able to pay for school out of my own pocket.

I am thankful for time. There are simply not enough hours in the day, but l am grateful for what l can get done each day. It teaches me how to be productive and organized.

I am thankful for the Internet. Without it l would not write as much as l do. I would not be able to blog, do research, or even my school work.

I am thankful for WordPress, this blog, and all my WordPress friends (you know who you are). I have met so many wonderful people through my blog. Everyone has taught me lot (especially about writing). I love you all for your care and support through my blog and aspiring writing career.

I am thankful for my writing. It means l am creative and have an active imagination. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and what l live for.

I am thankful for my anxiety. Without that l would not have found courage and strength in myself. I would not have learned to face my fears.

I am thankful for my church. They’re like my mini family. I am happy to teach sunday school at a great church with a lot of eager students.

I am thankful for my pets Chip the dog, Hunter the cat, Raph the turtle, and Nano the fish. I am lucky to have a great home with a lot of space to give these animals a loving family and long, healthy, happy lives. If l could get more, l would. I plan to someday.

I am thankful for my friends, past and present. People who l am no longer friends with have come and gone for their own reasons. They reminded me that if l don’t have anything nice to say l shouldn’t say anything at all. However, as much as you dislike someone, you should always be polite and pleseant to them. You never know what else they may be going through. My present friends teach me something new every day. They love me for who l am. They support me in everything l do, no matter how silly it sounds. I am lucky to have friends that l can call “family.”

I am thankful for my extended family. All my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins on both my mom’s side and my dad’s side of the family. I may not see them often, but they’re always there for us and are just a phone call away. I am lucky they are all in-state.

I am thankful for my immidiate family. My mom and dad, who l would be lost without. They have taught me how to be me and become a responsible adult. They taught me everything about life. My sister Kris who has always been there for me and supported me in everything l do. She listens to my writing ideas and plays video games upon video games with me. My sister Lisa who introduced me to the wonderful job l have now, always listens to my problems, and also introduced me to the “classics” such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Alfred Hitchcock, and my favorite Jerry Lewis. She’s always there to sit and watch a good movie with me. My new brother-in-law Nick, who has made his way into my family comfortably and fits right in. He’s interested in just about everything l’m interested in and really cares for Lisa and the rest of the family as his own.

I am thankful for me. All my strengths and weaknesses, my looks and personality, and all the ups and downs of my life. All that makes me who l am.

Today take a moment and think about what you’re thankful for and share it with the world. We all really are lucky for what we have. It’s time we recognize it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

My Weekend

I hope everyone had a good weekend. It is Monday yet again. I feel as though it were just yesterday that it was the beginning of a week. However, this week should go by quickly with the holiday coming up.

Kris and I never went to Barnes and Noble on Saturday. We both woke up feeling a little under the weather so we decided it would be best to write at home. I didn’t write as much as I expected (or hoped to) on Saturday, but I did get some writing done nonetheless.

Yesterday I didn’t think I was going to get any writing in at all. I had church in the morning and my friend’s baby shower all afternoon. I came home exhausted and Kris and I decided to play video games (because… priorities). We ended up playing for a half hour, writing for a half hour, alternating the two tasks. I ended up writing over 4,000 words yesterday. I was impressed with myself.

This morning I wrote a little over 2,000 words. I have to get ready for work soon, so I decided to stop for now. I may get the chance to write some more later.

I started writing a “short story” for NaNo and I am now on part seven for it. So, that’s where I stand now on my NaNo. New novel idea? Maybe.

I’m at 42,108 words for NaNo, finally back on par and ahead of the game. I have about 8,000 more words to write and I’m hoping to finish it by Thanksgiving on Thursday. That means if I don’t write again today I need to write at the very least 4,000 tomorrow and 4,000 on Wednesday.

Of course, today I have to babysit after work. Tomorrow I have to go to the doctor after work and Wednesday after work is most likely going to be spent cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving. The good news is I don’t have school this week, so no homework for me. That’s at least one less thing I need to worry about.

I would really like to get my Short Story Collection/NaNo finished by Thursday so I can continue editing Detective Florence 2 over the break. I need to start riding that horse again.

Why I Do What I Do

Quit

This quote doesn’t exactly pertain to what I’m about to say, but it still makes sense. It’s not the quitting part I want to focus on because I have no intention on quitting what I do. It’s the “think about why you started” part.

There are so many situations that I say to myself, “why did I do this to myself?” or “what possessed me to agree to this?” Lately I’ve been asking myself those type of questions a lot because my life has been so busy. I went from a summer of writing all day, relaxing, and getting things done around the house. Now I blink and it’s time for bed and I can’t remember what happened during the day.

Last week I started back to work and that’s when the ball started rolling. Here’s my schedule:

Monday: Work 8-2:30 ; Babysit 3-5 ; Homework
Tuesday: Work 8-2:30 ; Homework
Wednesday: Work 8-2:30 ; Homework
Thursday: Work 8-2:30 ; Babysit 3-6:30 ; Homework
Friday: Work 8-2:30 ; Homework
Saturday: Homework
Sunday: Church ; Homework

I started back to work full-time because I needed to. I needed to get out of the house (even though I would rather stay home all day) and make a little money. I love the place I work at. The kids are great and the teachers are fantastic. I’m really learning a lot.

I’m going to school to get a good education in doing something I love: teaching and writing. Five classes is a lot, yes, but I’ve done it before. The homework isn’t really a lot, but a few of the assignments are time consuming. Therefore, it’s hard to be motivated to do it. Plus, once you start you can’t stop so I need to make sure I have enough time to complete the task.

I hated Sunday school when I was a kid, but I’ve always wanted to be a Sunday school teacher. Don’t ask me why… I guess it’s just more of the “teaching” aspect. This year I’m not only teaching a class, but I’m the director of the program as well. That’s a step up from what I originally wanted, but I’m proud to do it and excited to give it a shot.

I babysit because I love the kids. I’ve been babysitting for that family for five years now. It’s been amazing watching them grow up and being an “older sister” to them. They look up to me so I want to be the best example I can be.

In addition to school, work, babysitting, and sunday school, I have to think about my sister’s wedding (a month and two days), the upcoming bachelorette party, and just getting other things done in general like… you know, blogging? I haven’t been able to post in a week or two.

It’s tiring, but I enjoy it. I like to keep myself busy. So why am I complaining, “why did I do this to myself?”

I haven’t had the time to write. I did well last week writing for an hour every morning, but then I was too tired after work (and then babysitting) to do any homework. I got really behind on my school work last week and crammed it all in Friday night since that was my first free night all week. I would come home and relax saying, “I got my writing done this morning so I’m all set for today” completely forgetting about homework.

Unfortunately, at this point in my life, homework has to be priority over writing.

So I think I’m going to try to get some homework done in the morning. However, I still haven’t been writing. I think I’m going to have to keep playing around with different routines until I can fit everything into one day.

If I could add more hours to the day, I would. In the meantime, I have to make do with what I have and everything will work out in the end.

I love everything I do even if it’s hard to fit it all in one day. That’s why I started.

Reality Checks In

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Yesterday we arrived home around 1:30 in the afternoon. It was good timing. But, when I say “home” I mean my cousins’ house. Kris and I waited there for two hours for our uncle to pick us home on his way home from work to bring us home. After traffic we didn’t get back to our own home until about 4:30. It was a long day and I was tired, needless to say.

When we walked into the house we were greeted warmly by our mother and father and our dog Chip was ecstatic. Hunter pretended he didn’t care, but he kept going through our luggage and meowing at us. He’s been following me around this morning. Raph came right out of her box house when she saw me, which made me feel good. Mikey… well, he’s a fish. He came to the front of his tank, but he was most likely just swimming or looking for food.

After discussing the trip with my parents and showing them photos and souvenirs we bought them, I sat on the couch for a few hours before turning in early. I slept well, but I had to get up early this morning because I have to babysit soon. Why I agreed to babysit the day after my Disney vacation is beyond me. Kris was smart and took today off from work pretending she was just getting home today. I should have done that.

So I woke up at about 7:30 this morning. I rolled out of bed trying not to squish Chip in the process and then proceeded to make a small tent with my blankets. When Chip has the bed to herself, she likes to be under the covers. So, when I have to ditch her in the morning I try to make her a fort of some kind. Sometimes she stays, sometimes she doesn’t. It’s been over an hour now and she’s still sleeping under there.

I went down to the kitchen, made myself a cup of coffee, took out a pea from the freezer to feed Mikey (he got sick a few weeks ago so I have to feed him peas now), went into my office, opened the blinds and one of the windows, turned on my computer, fed Mikey, woke Raph up and took her out of her tank, and then I sat down at my computer to blog, surf the web, sip at my coffee, etc.

While waiting for my computer to finish loading, I felt as though I had never left. The routine I just described is the same thing I do every single morning. It’s going to continue to be that way because work starts in a week and a half. The only difference will be that I’ll be waking up about an hour earlier to do it all.

School starts a week from today, work starts a week from Monday, and Sunday school starts on a Sunday in September (I’m the director now and I have no idea when the first day is going to be… great, huh?). Not to mention I have to babysit today, tomorrow, and Friday. My cousins start back to school a week from Thursday and I have to get them ready because I have to drive one of them on my way to work. I also have to find time to write in all of this, as well.

I write better in the morning, but I have to be at work by eight. I have to drive my cousin to school which means I have to leave a little earlier than usual. If I want to write in the morning then I’m going to have to wake up at four in which case I would have to go to bed at about seven or eight. I’ll probably end up writing at night or in the afternoon after work, but then I’ll be tired from the day and then when am I going to get my homework done?

Listen to me ramble on. It truly is like I never left. I’m immediately back to my old routine that has never changed and I’m back to my old ways of thinking… or worrying.

One thing I failed to mention was the fact that I’m sipping my coffee out of the brand new mug I bought myself in Disney. It has the picture of Peter Pan on it and it says “Never grow up.” This reminds me that I did in fact go on vacation and that it wasn’t just a dream. I did get my break from reality, even though it doesn’t seem like it. My break lasted 11 days (granted four were spent in the car…) and through that my biggest and only concern was that I wanted to meet Peter Pan. And I did.

So, yes I do have a lot on my plate. I have a lot to think about and to worry about (even though I worry over nothing most of the time). The summer will be officially over sooner rather than later. It’s sad, but it was the same amount of time I get every summer. It just went by too fast, which is always how it goes.

I turn 21 in less than a week, so unfortunately for Peter Pan (and myself), I’m growing up. I never wanted to grow up (and I still don’t), but age is but a number and considering the fact that I cried after I met Peter Pan, I’m going to say I’m still a kid at heart and that is one thing I hope will never change.

I hate homework, but I’m excited for my classes this upcoming semester. Depending on the professors, I should have a good experience with school this time around. I’m starting a new job in a place I love surrounded by awesome people. While the kids can drive me nuts, they’re great as well and I enjoy their company. Directing the Sunday school will be a challenge, but it’s something I always wanted to do ever since I myself was in Sunday school. I may not be ready, but I’m willing to get through it. I’ll be writing every moment I can now that I told myself what I wanted to accomplish with my writing for the next few months.

So, I guess if it’s something you love and you want it, growing up isn’t all that bad. But, as I stated earlier, my mentality is growing up, but not my heart. I guess you really can have the best of both worlds.

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Going Home

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Today l’m leaving this beautiful place. I was lucky to stay seven full days this time whereas last time we only stayed five full days. Yet, l still feel as though we didn’t have nearly enough time.

I filled up my autograph book. There were still a few characters l wanted to see, but we saw and met a lot; a lot more than our last visit to Disney. Plus we got all the princesses (except Pocahontas). So, in that sense l guess there’s not much else to do.

I bought a lot of stuff for myself. I got a mug and a tumbler cup. The mug is of course Peter Pan and the tumbler is Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney together which is really cute.

Other than that l got a pack of three Tinkerbell notebooks and four novels. Yep. Books, notebooks, and cups. My three favorite things.

I have to hop in the car soon. I’ll be home tomorrow afternoon. Then l have to babysit for the rest of the week, school starts next week, work starts the week after that, and sunday school will start up again one of those sundays.

Back to reality.

Stepping It Up

Writing

Hey everyone!

It’s another one of those posts again…yes, we’re going to discuss “the future” today. Aren’t we excited?

My sister Lisa has a friend who is currently saving up money with her sister to move out of the house. Since she, Kris, and I are all planning Lisa’s bridal shower together and such we’ve had a lot of time to hang out more than usual which is nice. She was telling Kris and I her plans and it got Kris and I thinking…again.

We both love to write. And we do write. But we don’t “write.” I realize I’m not making any sense, but it’s Camp NaNoWriMo right now, people. I was doing so well and then I just stopped. Why? I don’t know…bridal shower and bachelorette planning, homework, work, babysitting, preparing my bedroom to be painted, etc. There is so much to do and not enough time. And unfortunately, with my bills from the upcoming wedding and I’m going to Disney again in August in addition to school bills and such, I need to save every scrap of money I can get. Hence why I’ve been working and babysitting so much.

Writing doesn’t fit in right now. It’s not a priority because it doesn’t pay the bills. It makes me angry because I love to write and want to do it all the time for the rest of my life, but I don’t want to become a full-time writer just so I can go to Disney…I want it as a career because I know I will be happy doing that for the rest of my life.

Thus, Kris and I are bummed; especially Kris because she basically works about nine hours a day in which case your entire day is gone by that point. But by coincidence, the Easter Bunny got Kris a subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine and gave her an issue to get her started.

This issue had a list of 101 best websites for writers. We’re talking about websites to get the creative juices flowing, writing advice, agents and publishing, general resources, jobs, online writing communities, genre-specified sites, and writing sites that are just fun. It’s the best thing we’ve ever come across. Kris and I were discussing freelance writing on the side until we were able to publish something and this list of website gives us links to find writing jobs.

Neither one of us have looked at all the websites thoroughly, so we haven’t decided which are too fantastic to not join and such. Plus, there’s a lot to choose from and honestly a bit overwhelming because you just don’t know where to start.

As I go through these websites, I will be sharing my favorites on here for all of you writerly people to enjoy.

Since Kris and I have been behind on NaNo and decided to finally step it up into our writing careers, we’re skipping church tomorrow to go to Barnes & Noble and write all day long. So I’m hoping to write at least 10k tomorrow.

I decided to write all day today as well since I was home and wrote 10,369 words. I have to say that I feel so good right now after doing that. My NaNo count is up to 30,721 now. Still behind, but hopefully if I get a good chunk done tomorrow I will be able to hit 50k by the end of the month.

Before I go, I have to shamelessly advertise: Kris started a new blog. She’s still maintaining her Sugar Wolf blog about writing, but she created a new blog called Wagging Tales. She works with dogs so this blog is dedicated to stories and her experiences with the furry, loveable creatures. So feel free to go check it out!

I hope everyone is having good luck with their writing  and NaNo (if you’re participating). Talk to you soon! 🙂

I Win

And Complete…

 

Well, not complete complete. But I did it! I won! I won NaNoWriMo! I have 50,230 words.

I can’t say that this month hasn’t been easy, but I do wonder why I’ve never won past NaNos before. I mean, this month I have been taking five online undergraduate courses as well as working 40 hours a week, being a Sunday school teacher on Sundays, babysitting on the side, having to continue on with my social life…not trying to sound cocky, but I am really impressed with myself. For once, I had an idea in my head and I actually stuck with it. I forced myself to finish what I started.

Now, the novel isn’t completed. I probably still have another 50k more words to write at the least. But at least I can nab that certificate at the end of the month.

Anyway, yesterday was Saturday and I didn’t write at all. I did homework in the morning, went food shopping, then hung out with my boyfriend for the entire day. I think I needed a break from writing so much (my left wrist is killing me) and there have been a lot of things going on work-wise that has been stressing me out (I’ll explain that one at a later date). Other than the homework that I had to get done because it was due today, I needed a “do nothing” day. But I think it helped because I was able to write so much today. I noticed I was writing less and less every day.

So Kris and I went to church this morning, went to Starbucks, and then we came home and began to write like any other Sunday. However, we both have had a craving for video games lately…she has been playing Harvest Moon and I’ve been playing Pokemon Conquest. So we decided to write for an hour, then play our games for a half hour. Then repeat. It worked because I hit 50k and Kris is now on par with the daily word count (she had skipped writing on Friday and got a little behind).

I created an outline for my novel before NaNo had started, but I didn’t finish outlining the whole novel because November had come. I find it ironic that the last sticky note (each sticky note was a scene) I posted is where I am now. So my non-finished outline brought me up to 50k. I think I got lucky on that one. No writer’s block for me! Well…at least for the NaNo portion.

I’m hoping to finish my novel before NaNo ends, but we’ll see. It seems as though it’s going to be a pretty long one…

I’m hoping everyone else hits their goal! 🙂

Today’s Word Count: 6,467
Total Word Count: 50,230
Today’s Page Count: 20
Total Page Count: 160