Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Stop Shouting Please

Day 18 and I have missed several days. However, I am not the least bit concerned about it. I have written several days and even written decently on a few of these. I hope today can be one of those decent days because I have found so much poetry in my day today. I have heard from God today in a gentle loving way. There has been much drama in my life from various places in the last few to several weeks. This week has so far been blessedly free of drama. The freedom from drama has given me an opportunity to step back and see the people and emotions behind all of the drama. In seeing the people, I see the pain. 

When Adam sinned, humanity became broken and so did the world. This broken world full of broken people is painful. In our pain, we often lash out. We want to understand why, but that rarely happens. Then with our pain and our lack of answers we try to move forward. In our path forward we encounter people on paths of their own dealing with their own pain. Sometimes our pain and their pain are at odds with each other. Then we start shouting. We want people to hear our pain. We want people to acknowledge what we have been through as valid. Unfortunately, in our shouting we miss their pain and their story. 

So a little less shouting and a little more listening might go a long way. Sit quietly and listen. Things might end up better that way.  

As I sat and listened today, I heard several stories. A podcast about an explosive topic was not explosive, but simply listening and validating. An episode of Murder, She Wrote again dealt with a painful and confrontational subject with listening and understanding. (And of course a murder mystery that Jessica Fletcher solved.) And a video that my son, who is very interested in curse words, found is one of the greatest moments in acting because of the pain and frustration expressed in just a few words. All of these people are dealing with pain and anguish over topics that many people find reasons to shout about. 

But shouting doesn't get us anywhere. So stop shouting and start listening. Listen to people. Hear their pain. Have the courage to sit with it and with them. We will get so much farther that way. The world will be better because sharing pain and grief lightens the load. A lighter and more beautiful world is better for everyone. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Stress Levels Matter

Last night, I finally got the book review posted, so I didn't write on here. This is one of the tips I've learned these last few weeks. Don't pressure myself to do something that is not important to anyone, but myself. That's helped my energy levels. I have been drinking a more water and eaten a little less. That's helped my energy and the way my pants fit. All good things! (Anyone else hear that in Olaf's voice? My daughter is a Frozen addict.)

But did those tiny changes make that much of a difference? I'm not sure. It doesn't seem like that should make so much of a difference. So I started thinking about what else it could be. Less stress. I have had less stress in the last week or so. I have consciously decided to stop worrying about some things and other things have been resolved. So my stress level has gone down quite a bit. I didn't even consciously realize the physical toll the stress was taking on me. That's a big deal. I'm going to have to keep thinking about that for a while.

I have spent more time that needed playing games on Facebook and listening to podcasts, but I'm not going to beat myself up for it. I did accomplish things and my kids are with Nana for the night. Drew and I went out for some ice cream. So spending a couple hours on Facebook games and binging on true crime podcasts is good self care for tonight.

And good self care helps stress levels go down. So whatever your self care looks like, do that because taking care of yourself and managing your stress is a big deal.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Book Review: A Whole Latte Murder by Caroline Fardig

A Whole Latte MurderA Whole Latte Murder by Caroline Fardig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I stayed up until 1 am to finish this book and only gave it 3 stars. That might seem a little contradictory and that is a pretty good summary of the book. There are parts of the book that I am completely in love with and there are parts of the book that I detest. The plot is great. The murderer is super evil and not wholly unexpected. Some of the characters are amazing! And some I want to strangle.

The amount of hate I have for some parts of the book makes me think that the author is a genius to get me so emotionally invested in a cozy mystery.

I'm going to get into detail in the next part, so be warned this next part has spoilers.


What I hate ..... Juliet, Pete, the hatred toward Ryder, the constant love quadrangle, and the term "Red Headed She Devil."
I hate how Juliet pushes Ryder away and then gets upset when he acts distant. I hate how Juliet gets injured and then gets upset when people worry about her. I hate the relationship that she and Pete pretend they don't have. They make out and admit they want to be together and then decide the time isn't right, so they push one another to date other people. I hate that Pete is made to be this epic person and just comes off so unsure of everything. He can't make a decision about if he should date, who he should date, how he should treat people, who he should be friends with, etc. I get Ryder isn't liked by everyone and has this dark place that worries people, but seriously everyone hates him and Juliet together? They have their own agendas. It isn't like they are unbiased observers. Show me more of why Ryder is a bad person before you start crucifying him. Juliet needs to stop dating. She doesn't need a man to be valid. She says stuff like that, but doesn't actually do that. It isn't enough to have her pining for Pete, and confused about Ryder, but now she has to be involved with a 3rd guy. It is ridiculous. Please don't introduce any more guys. I hate the term "Red Headed She Devil". Can she please just be angry?

What I love .... Ryder, Stafford, the tie in to book one, and the psychopath killer.
Ryder's character is getting deeper and darker. He is chasing after Amanda's killer, who is a psychopath, and the rest of the world be damned. This is a character that is worth reading about, even if all the other people in the book are awful. I do love the character of Stafford. I think he is being misused because he is a horrid pairing for Juliet. I want to see how things develop for him, but I honestly don't have much hope that things will end happily for him. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it when an author can tie up loose ends from a previous book. I don't mind having loose ends in a book, especially when they serve to further the plot of the entire series. So the fact that this murderer is Amanda's murderer makes me so happy. (Not the murder, but the plot ties.) It gives me so much hope that all the stuff that I hate in this book will get better in the next one. The killer is totally evil, a bit of a mastermind (not quite Moriarty though), and someone you want to see dead, which makes his escape a genius move for the series.

Maybe I'm supposed to be more horrified that Ryder ran off after the murder instead of tending to Juliet. I'm not and maybe that's because I'm so in love with Ryder. At first, I expected him to have back up coming, so he ran off after the murderer and back up would get Juliet. He had no way to know that there were more people hidden in the other room. But then I find out he didn't have back up coming. So I'm a little more horrified, but still not bothered to the amount I probably should be.

I think I'm looking forward to book 4, but a part of me is worried that there will be more of what I hate and less of what I love.

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 13, 2016


I have missed 2 days, one on purpose and one on accident. Tuesday night I stayed up way too late to finish a book. A review on that is coming soon. I actually thought I had the review written and saved in my memo app on my phone. I guess I didn't save it, so the review will take a bit longer. Grr... But anyway, since I stayed up way too late on Tuesday, I went to sleep super early on Wednesday.

In the last two days, I have had more water to drink. Today I didn't get home until about 6:30 pm because I had 2 meetings, but I was not exhausted. I still played with the kids, got homework done, and was ready for bed.

I have been listening to a few podcasts and thinking about what to write. I haven't gotten much. I do feel like today was a success because I had a long day and still feel pretty good. Maybe I'm winning this war on tired.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tiny Steps

And I missed another day, but 29 is close enough for me.
I have had a good light lunch for a few days now. My pants already fit a smidge better. Today I chose water for dinner instead of soda. Those are tiny baby steps. I have a plan of how to organize a few things in my classroom which should help. Again it is a tiny step, but tiny is better than nothing.
I will have a series of tiny steps that will lead me to good changes and hopefully more energy. I will celebrate my tiny steps and my good changes. I will not beat myself up for off days.
I can do this.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Goals.... Can I Get There?

I see ways that I am hurting my 'stop being so tired all the time' cause, but I'm not doing much to change that.  I won't make excuses.  It is a lack of self control and I'm not very proud of that. I did make one change this week.  I have stopped pushing myself so hard to finish a book in 10 days or less. I never set out to make that a goal, but somehow it became one. And that is a whole lot of completely unnecessary stress. The books will be there when I have time.
So this week I haven't stayed up late reading or felt guilty about not reading. That is a step forward. I have still found reasons to stay up too late. Being stricter about my bedtime is one more step in the right direction.
Another step in the right direction is to be healthier. I will get morr energy if I take care of myself better. That's a rather obvious statement, but the action part of that is much harder than the saying part of that. Healthier takes time and/or money. I don't have lots of either one. But some small changes can make a big difference. Those small changes don't have to be expensive or time consuming either. Something like not eating spoonfuls of cookie dough from the tub I bought from a fundraiser. (Again obvious, but hard to do.) Also drink more water. Make water my first choice drink.
No one is going to better my life. I need to take control for myself. So I have some small and attainable goals in front of me.
Lord, help me do this.

Friday, October 7, 2016

In Need of Energy

Crap! I missed yesterday. So out of  31 days, I got through 5. That's not much. That makes me feel a little like a failure. I was so excited to get back to this. I can't say that I've been planning, probably because I'm such a pantser, but I still felt like I was putting some good content out there. Writing is good for me and putting space in my life for writing is a good thing.

Space in my life for good things has been hard. I don't want to complain or speak negatively about anyone, but I have been overworked the last little while. That isn't terribly surprising. I'm a teacher and basically every teacher is overworked. I had previously been able to find space and still teach to my personal standards. The last couple years that has been hard. I can see a light, but some of the things that would make it better can't happen right now for various technological reasons. So the light is there, but it is still far away. Another part of the space issue I'm having is my own laziness. I'm not sure how to better energize myself to be a good wife, a good mother, a good teacher, and a good person. This time of my life is exhausting. I'm sure there are plenty of parents out there who remember these years with small children and full time jobs. I know I'm not unique and I know my children will become more independent soooner than I'm ready for and that will provide me with more space. Of course I'm sure that will come with a separate set of issues. But right now, I have an issue of energy and I think I need to "fix" this issue or learn from it in order to move on to the next phase better.

So I know I need to do something, but I have no clue what.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

When You Make Yourself Tired

It is easy to blame other people and other things for being tired, but sometimes you need to look in the mirror. Today, I need to look in the mirror. It is 9:45 and I'm just now starting to type this. Lily went to sleep pretty well, but I sat rocking her for a while longer and looking at Facebook. I eventually turned my phone off and went to talk to Drew. Then I headed to bed with my laptop. I turned in it on and played games on Facebook. Then I finally started typing.

Not only do Facebook games keep me up later than is necessary, but also binge watching NCIS or Murder, She Wrote on Netflix. I have stayed up too late reading books and listening to podcasts or audio books. There are so many good books, podcasts, and TV shows that I want to fit just a few more in before I go to sleep. At times it really seems almost like an obsession. Just one more and I'll be satisfied. Just 10 more minutes and I'll get closer to the ending of this playlist or book.

A part of my obsession to try to finish it instead of sleeping is because there isn't tons of time to myself. So it is a bit selfish and maybe a smidge of my introversion. Other than that, I'm not sure why I'm willing to give up sleep when I know I'm tired. There will be more time in the coming days, so I don't need to fit it all in today. At least that's what I tell myself. Maybe I should start listening myself.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Two Year Olds Don't Sleep

A part of my tired problem is that two year olds don't sleep. At least my two year old doesn't. She doesn't like going to sleep. She doesn't like sleeping in. She doesn't like sleeping all night.
Every night it seems like she needs a different routine. I try to start it the same way, but she doesn't sit still. I go to plan B, C, or D. Sometimes one of those work well. Sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes Drew has to walk her. Sometimes that's not good enough. Eventually she will finally go to sleep.
But most nights she wakes up once or twice. She slept better as a newborn. Some nights she needs a diaper change halfway through the night. Sometimes she is hungry. Sometimes she is cold. Sometimes she is hot. Every so often she rolls out of bed. And rarely she has a bad dream.
In the morning, she is an early riser by nature and isn't a hard sleeper. So if Ike walks down the hallway at the wrong time or if I make too much noise getting ready, she wakes up.
I remember Ben going through this phase and I remember hating it then. Some things never change. I still hate it. Maybe some day soon she will sleep better. Until then I'll probably just keep complaining that two year olds don't sleep.

Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh

Since Drew was sick, I spent the night on the couch. Ordinarily it is a comfortable couch, but I think I chose the most uncomfortable pillow in the house.  So it was not a good night's sleep. I anticipated a rough day, but it was smoother than expected and I got more done than expected.
Then I came home.
The couple hours between arriving home and getting dinner are tough. The kids are hungry and rowdy. But I have to get homework and a bit of housework done. It is a struggle to balance, but then some days you just have to laugh. Tonight was one of those nights.  
Homework was going well. Ben was nearly done with his reading. Then all that was left was a bit of math practice. Lily was in the bathroom using entirely too much water to wash her hands. I heard her cough and thought she had taken too largeof a drink of water. Then I heard her vomit.  I ran into the bathroom and she was mildly upset. She told me she put soap in her mouth. My immediate reaction was to tell her to keep vomiting. Almost on cue, she did. I put her in the bathtub and told her to keep vomiting until it was all gone. She did and I thanked God that our bodies work this way to protect themselves. I hosed her off in her clothes and the  bathed her for lots of clean. I added a load of laundry to my to do list. Then I went back to finish the homework. 
This was not how I anticipated spending my evening, but sometimes we don't get a choice. And I decided to laugh and thank God. Now I'm ready for sleep. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sick and Tired

So I really thought my post today would be about Lily screaming for a good 15 minutes at about 5:30 am. She wanted to leave her room and see Daddy. I told her no because she needed to go back to sleep and so did I. However, a bit after that, I heard Drew get up and shortly there after get sick.
That changed the whole day. Today was homecoming at church. So there was special music, that we both were a part of. It was also our turn to greet people before the service. There was a lunch after service. We weren't planning on going to that and we were going to my father in law's house. So I didn't fix any food to contribute. That was a rough sketch of the day.
So the special music went on without him. The greeting was a bit rough because I was late and I think I left early. We didn't go eat with my father in law becuase we don't need to make him sick. We did stay and eat lunch there even though I didn't bring food.
I could have felt guilty and overwhelmed about various points in the day. But I didn't. I changed plans at the last minute and just went with it. That was freeing. I didn't get caught up in my head and there was space to allow other things to happen.
Like hearing the encouragement from a church member and the compliments as well. Like enjoying time with church families and my kids. Like hearing, really hearing, a podcast and a YouTube video
So maybe I'm one step closer to conquering this tired thing. Get out of my head and roll with life.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

31 Days of Tired: Worry about Failure

Wow! It is October already and October means 31 days challenge. I wasn't planning on doing this, but sitting here tonight I thought I should do this to get me back in the habit of blogging. I had not considered a topic until just a couple minutes ago. I'm not sure it is a good topic, but I'm going for it anyway. 

In the last little while, I have found myself tired in just about every way possible, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I've tried various things and just can't seem to get out of the funk. So I'll just blog about it for 31 days and see what happens.
Today there was a folk art festival that my art club attended. I say mine becuase I am the sponsor, which has nothing to do with my art ability.  The plan was simple, face painting. A few students, some paint, and some kids. Simple, but maybe too simple. So I was up for 2 and half hours in the middle of the night worrying about all the ways this could fail and all the ways I am currently failing. I got up this morning and did a bunch of chores around the house trying to make up for all those failures I had been going over the night before. That led to some yelling and crying and eventually asking for help. 
It was a long day. I sat down for about 30 minutes in 6 hours, skipped lunch, and got a bit of a sunburn. So tonight I'm totally worn out! 
However, that isn't the end of the story. The end is that asking for help worked. My stress went down and I was able to have fun. The festival was great!  My students were great. The kids and parents were happy. I really can't ask for much more.