Thursday, April 21, 2011

Did you miss me?? :o)

I'mmmmmm baaaack! lol. Unfortunately in addition to being back to blogger, I'm back to Wisconsin and not laying on the beach in Negril like I was a few days ago!

To sum up what I've been up to, here's my short list:
- relaxing

Not too much variety in there. I am so far removed from all of my virtual blogger and nestie friends. I will catch up...eventually ;o)

Negril was fab.u.lous. I am amazed by that country. I used to think Punta Cana, Dominican Republic was my favorite place but I think that Negril has surpassed that. I had a wonderful time spending my days in the sun and water with my mom. It was great. The water was crystal clear and peaceful. My mom and I rate our vacations by the color of the water. We are clear aqua colored water people. That makes our trips. This did not disappoint. She has been to Jamaica a number of times before and so it wasn't anything new for her but being there with me was the first time it's been a mother daughter solo trip since 2003. We have vowed that we will be back within a year. If the way we are checking apple vacations is any indication, we'll be going sooner than later!!! (shhhh, don't tell K, hahahaha)

Tomorrow we are heading down to Chicago for Easter and we will be running from family to family to family. I'm already exhausted just thinking about it. I feel like I am overdue for some rest. I know, I know...didn't I just get back from a restful trip?! yes...but we were far from lazy. We we out on the beach by 7:30 am every day and up late enjoying our time together. We walked and walked and swam until we collapsed. I even did the cliff diving at Rick's Cafe! That was an insane jump!More to come about that. I think that deserves its own post.

So is going alright. I'm still overwhelmed and afraid of messing shit up. Tomorrow is the last day my predecessor will be with us and it's a half day for the company. So come Monday I will be on my own...and hopefully I will be able to tread water. XXfingers crossedXX

Here are some pictures from our trip. I'll upload more at some point but I have to get to bed soon and my Hawks are playing. Let's Go Hawks!!!!

I am so glad I got to go on this trip. I'm so thankful for everything - my parent's generosity, the ability to take time off of work to go, the time spent with my momma, and the wonderful weather and people of Jamaica that made our trip so spectacular!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A much needed update

I have been waiting to post anything about this on here for over a week now for a few reasons. One is that I didn't want to jinx it and another reason is that the jury was still out on if this would be a permanent thing.

So without further ado...I am officially working again! This is a job that is hard to explain what I do but basically it boils down to pricing for product lines for a distributor. It's sort marketing, sort of data entry, sort of...everything. It's a lot more responsiblity than I have ever really had - but in a good way. I will eventually get the hang of everything. The pay is actually more than what I was making but I think I sold myself short on this end. I tried to avoid the salary discussion in the interviews but they kept digging and I couldn't avoid it entirely. It's local, so not a long commute at all, maybe 20 miles round trip or so. There are some really cool perks to the job including huge discounts on the brands we carry (like Vera Bradley, Sunbeam, Wolfgang Puck) and summer hours! I'm going to love being out at noon on Fridays from Memorial Day to Labor Day! Now that's a smart company in my eyes! hahaha

So yeah - that's my big news!

I am so looking forward to getting back on our feet again. I plan on erasing as much debt as possible asap. We've been treading water for the last year but to actually have the disposable income again will be fabulous. I can't tell you what a weight will be off my shoulders now. Well, once that money starts rolling in again I should say... :o)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wedding Season

While the premise was a good start to the book, it fell flat very quickly. Joy has somehow managed to rsvp to seventeen weddings from April to September. She is so anti-wedding and dreads having to explain over and over again how she and her boyfriend, Gabe, are perfectly content never getting married and living a long committed life together -sans the wedding for themselves.

Throughout the book there is a man-stealing character named Ora that, even though I wasn't really enjoying the book, still got under my skin and I kept waiting for her to get hers. Ugh, I couldn't stand her! As the book progressed, I could tell that the character was heading to a fork in the road. She was either going to succumb to her biggest enemy - getting married, or she was going to go her separate ways with Gabe.

So for me, everything fell flat. From the main character who I couldn't understand, to the anti-climatic ending, I just wasn't that impressed with the book.

And this makes the first book read for the Spring Book Challenge! If you are looking to join in, the check-ins are on Mondays on The Nest Book Club's forum. You can get a list of the categories here on The Book Club Challenge blog.

Completed so far:
  1. Book about/at a wedding: Wedding Season by Darcy Casper, 10 pts
Total Pts: 10 pts

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fall of Giants & Final WBC Check In

I absolutely loved this book. I chose it for it's intimidating length - 985 pages. I was a little hesitant to start reading it because I don't tend to read too much in the historical fiction category. I am so glad I picked this book up! I was connected to the character's stories from the get go. It hardly felt like I read 1000 pages. The story moved fast and I didn't feel like it lost steam at any point.  If I have any complaints is that at times it skips big chunks of time (more so at the end) and I would have liked to read more about their lives. Maybe that's because I could have just kept on reading ;o)

The book begins right before World War I erupts and follows the lives of two English families- one aristocratic and one pheasant, a German family, Russian brothers, and an American advisor to Woodrow Wilson. Their lives are constantly intertwined, at times unbeknownst to them. I found myself cheering for some and being angered by others. I loved the character development in this book. On top of that - it's also a history lesson. I forgot about some things that happened in WWI and I enjoyed the refresher.

According to google, I see that this book is the first in a trilogy. The next book is scheduled to be released in 2012 and will follow the children of the characters in this book. The third installment isn't due for another few years and will take place during the Cold War (and I'm hoping Vietnam will be the focus in that book). I don't know how I am going to wait for the next book. I absolutely loved this one. Five stars all the way!

And with this book review - that marks the end of the Winter Book Challenge through the NBC. I am proud of myself for keeping with it this challenge. It's been a while since I did this well. My goal for the Spring Book Challenge is to somehow get 200 pts. That's will be a tall feat for me since......I have a job now! More on that in another post :o) Anyway, I finished up with 155 pts and I'm happy with that.

Final WBC Completed List:

  1. New to me author - That Summer by Sarah Dessen, 10 pts
  2. Book you first heard about on NBC - Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers, 15 pts
  3. Non-Fiction Science Book - The Storm by Ivor van Heerden, 25 pts
  4. Sale or Free Book - Mini-Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, 5 pts 
  5. Book about starting over, starting something new  - Breach of Faith; Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City by Jed Horne, 15 pts
  6. Book with a Pink Cover - Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer, 5 pts
  7. Read a book while drinking tea or other warm beverage - Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer, 5 pts.
  8. Read the book that has been on your TBR pile the longest - In a Heartbeat by Leigh Anne & Sean Touhy, 15 pts 
  9. Read a banned or challenged book - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, 10 pts
  10. Read a book with 6 or more words in the title - Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City by Billy Sothern, 10 pts 
  11. Read a book with a black main character - I, Alex Cross by James Patterson, 15 pts  
  12. Read a book that is intimidating to you (1000 pgs+) - Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, 25 pts
Final Points: 155 pts.

For Lindsay...

Since this week has been a blur, I have my dates mixed is only April 2nd....not the 3rd. (would be nice if I looked at a calender every now and then huh?) So tomorrow is actually the 1 year passing of sweet little Sophia. Either way, this post's intention is the same.

I have been fortunate to befriend some wonderful ladies through the IF boards that I have frequented the last 3+ years. I would be lost without them. I love them with all my heart. A year ago (tomorrow) one of these ladies suffered the worst possible blow when she found out at 28 weeks her precious baby girl had stopped growing at 24 weeks. Lindsay had to deliver her little angel Sophia and has been working to pick up the pieces since. It is undoubtedly a tough day for her and her husband to mark. If you have any spare love to send her way, I'm sure she'll appreciate it.
Her blog:
It Only Takes One
We love you Lindsay and are here for you!