Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I laughed, I cried and then I got very bored.

This book was somewhat entertaining but then I found I was flipflopping about if I was enjoying it or hating it.

Jenny has had quite the childhood, quite the life, some of her stories are entertaining, jaw dropping and left you wondering how the heck stuff like this could happen. I cried when she talked about the birth of her child because I have a blood disorder that is often confused with what she had to deal with and I remember the needles, the pain and the worry.

But then there were chapters where she just rambled, the chapters were long, points were lost, and it was poorly written in areas. And all the footnotes, they drove me nuts!

I wanted to love this book, I went to her blog and visited and again wasn’t in love with it. I am not sure that I want to read her second book now.

I love the cover, I love the print inside the book.

If you are looking for a deep intellectual read this is not it. If you want to watch a train wreck and hear stories about hands up dead squirrels butts then this book is for you.

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When A Gift Has Deeper Meaning

Today might be my birthday. Trying to help my husband out I wandered onto the Alex and Ani site and created a wish list. I sent him this and not my Pandora wish list because in my eyes Alex and Ani is a little bit more affordable of an option compared to Pandora.

Now that I am working in an office setting I like to try and spruce up my outfits with some jewelry. My Mom has some Alex and Ani bracelets and I love them and thought they were so cute.

This morning when the boys handed me the gift I opened to a beautiful bracelet.

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It said “What’s for you will not pass by”. This has some serious meaning, Brian could have easily picked out the dragon fly, or the heart but he chose this one.

There were two cards in the box as well. The black card reads:

WORDS ARE POWERFUL
What’s for you will not pass you
OPTIMISM|DETERMINATION|LIFE

When I turned the card over it said:

Your life is destined for greatness. Obstacles will inevitably come your way. Greet them with patience and hard work. Allow the light of fated opportunities to spill through, live in fearlessness, and remember that what’s for you will not pass you.

I loved this so much I went out and purchased the IT IS WHAT IS IS one to wear. This saying sort of drives me nuts but I appreciate it so much more. One of the reasons it drives me nuts is no matter what I am saying, what I am venting about Brian always comes back and says it.

The black card for this one reads:

WORDS ARE POWERFUL
It is what it is
SPONTANEITY|BLESSING|DESTINY

On the reverse:

Sometimes life hands you the unexpected. Embrace these twists and turns as a divine blueprint that will lead you to your destined path and remember to appreciate the journey. Life is unpredictable. Life is an adventure. Life is a blessing. It is what it is and what you make it to be. 

These two bracelets embrace everything in life right now. Where I am and where I am going. I have been working so hard for the past few years that things are finally coming together. I am pretty much where I want to be in life but you must always be moving forward.

As I start on new ventures, build my business and work with other businesses these bracelets I think will become a daily staple, to remind me of where I have been, where I am going and what I have accomplished. I think that they will also remind me that life is challenging.

There is one more bracelet I would love to add from their words are powerful collections and it is this one:

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This is another saying I believe firmly. We may not know right this second why it happens but eventually the lesson will be shown to us.

I had no idea when I picked out a few items and sent the e-mail to Brian that I would end up with a gift that would mean so much to me.

Review: League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth

League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth
League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth by Mark Fainaru-Wada

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It all started with a documentary on Netflix. I came across it by accident.

I had known a little about the concussion scandal in the NFL, I remember when Sean Beau killed himself and there was discussion about CTE. I didn’t realize the depth of what had been going on.

This book goes through the story of the whistle blowers and the NFL covering up what was going on. The NFL stating that there were was no link between playing football and concussion, and a group of people studying deceased player’s brains stating that yes there was.

This book made me angry at the NFL, but we all know football is a dangerous sport, it made me sad and angry at the people wanting to study the brains. Like vultures not even waiting until the body is cold to approach the family for their loved one’s brain.

It speaks about Bennet Omalu who was the first person to speak up and discover CTE. His plight is also documented in the recent Will Smith movie called Concussion. I have not watched the movie yet because I wanted to read this book and the related book about his story before I watched the movie so I had an idea of what may have been embellished for Hollywood’s sake.

If you are a football fan, I would suggest that you read this book. It makes you think a little differently about the sport. If you are not a football fan I believe you would still enjoy this book because it is very interesting, and at times jaw dropping surrounding the events that happened.
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The Elf Issue

Over Christmas there were a lot of articles and opinions on how Elf on the Shelf was a horrible thing to have in your child’s life. There were articles about it causing anxiety and pain, teaching kids to live under big brother, making them paranoid.

In our house we love Elf on the Shelf. He’s a friend who makes us laugh and has silly adventures. This year he also found a friend named Skoob.

Their adventures included:

Building a marshmallows tower –

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Taking baths –

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Performing dangerous stunts-

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And bringing Adam little surprises and activities to keep him entertained –

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Adam frequently talked to Elf and Skoob despite the fact they don’t talk back. And sometimes they would leave notes to let Adam know they were listening to what he said.

Then came Christmas Eve. Just before bed Adam started to cry. It was a genuine sad cry. He had a wonderful day and was on his best behaviour the whole day so I was confused. We started talking and he was so sad that Elf and Skoob had to leave with Santa. He was going to miss them and he loved having them in the house.

This is where as a mother your heart just breaks.

So when Adam fell asleep and Santa arrived before they left Santa let Elf and Skoob do something very risky.

He let Elf and Skoob give Adam a hug. He took a picture and before they all left they did a craft leaving the finished product on the shelf where Elf and Skoob often sat.

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Christmas morning Adam woke up and started to cry. His heart was crushed, he knew that Santa came but Elf and Skoob were gone. 

He found the photo and was so happy but so sad at the same time. He looked at it and cried and then asked me to put it away.

I figured this would pass and he quickly found happiness again once the picture was put away. I assumed that he would forget missing these guys and they would reappear next Christmas as they always do.

Boy was I wrong. Every day Adam asks for the picture and looks at it. He looks so sad when he is looking at it. Sometimes the bottom lip quivers but he usually doesn’t cry.

Now I feel like a horrible Mom.

Maybe Elf on the Shelf does cause some deep down emotional scarring that will cost me thousands in therapy to repair.

But then I tell myself that these emotions that Adam is feeling and dealing with are actually a good thing and maybe this is an excellent thing to be experiencing.

The fact is he’s going to have to deal with death and loss, he’s going to have to deal with someone important not being around and having to remember them in pictures.

This may not be something he has to deal with this year or next but recognizing this feeling of loss and sadness are a fact of life.

So maybe that is an extreme comparison between Elf and death, and Elf comes back, but maybe in the end Adam will end up being a better person for it.

Winter Finally Came

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Baby it’s cold outside.

We’ve been really lucky this year actually. After two brutal winters and a ton of snow and the coldest winters in history we have gotten off pretty easy for the first part here.

December we spent most of the days in our spring jackets, there were even a few days I didn’t even wear a coat to work.

We haven’t even had any snow.

So this cold snap and what little snow fell on the ground made for awesome sliding conditions.

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As much as I don’t like driving in the snow. I do love playing in it, I love watching Adam play in it and laugh so hard.

Unfortunately it was so cold he only had about 20 minutes to play before I made him go home.

The sad part is there is another “heat wave” coming and I feel like the snow will be gone again.

Maybe we will get one good snow fall this year.

The Two Year Hunt

Two years ago for our trip to Disney I bought a beautiful point and shoot camera. I have 3 batteries for it and many memory cards. These memory cards also work in my DSLR so you really can never have enough.

When we returned for the life of me I have not been able to find the charger for this camera. I have sparingly used it and finally drained all the batteries.

I have gone through every cupboard, camera bag, purse, crevice and all of Adam’s stuff. I could have sworn I charged the batteries in the time since we have returned but I can’t find the charger.

I’ve been considering just biting the bullet and going to buy a universal charger that will charge that camera and my waterproof one.  I know however the second I go and buy said charger I will find the one I own.

Last night I asked Brian if there is any possible place he could think of that the charger might be that I didn’t look.

Did you check in the luggage?

Why would it be in the luggage? I had kept the camera stuff together I thought. For some of the trip I thought it was in Brian’s laptop bag with all the other chargers.

Well no I didn’t check in the luggage. Nor in the almost 2 years since we have been back had I even thought about that.

I went and put a load of laundry in the wash and looked at the suitcase. It’s worth a shot.

The first pocket I open I found not only the charger to my Canon camera but the charger to my Olympus camera, a very nice leather case for the Canon camera I forgot I owned and an awesome flexible tripod.

YES! Best day ever! I have many times over the past year wished I had this camera but had to settle for blurry horrible pictures on my phone or taking my big DSLR.

This little discovery has just made my day! Maybe even my week.

Why the heck did I not think of looking there before? That was the only place Brian suggested to look when I asked last night.

Awesome work Brian!

The 2016 List

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I was very hesitant to put this list together. If you read my blog yesterday, or have spoken to me recently you know that I have failed at pretty much everything I wanted to do last year. I sat with a notebook and pen over breakfast the other day and thought about things. I started to write and jot things down as they popped into my mind.

I do have a list, there are things I want and need to do this year. I have no shame in at the end of the year standing up and saying I failed at everything, because really you don’t know true success if you have never failed.

  1. Mentally Recharge
    After last year I feel like I need a serious mental recharge. I need to do some things for me, important to me and do some meditating, pondering and just take some time to get myself back to where I need and want to be as a person, wife and Mom.
  2. Schedule ME Time
    Last year despite wanting to do many things I often pushed a lot of what I wanted to do for myself to the side. I was able to squeeze in things here and there but this year I am going to make a valid and selfish effort to schedule me time. I need to take care of myself so I can then take care of the world.
  3. Re-Take and Pass Cost Accounting and Achieve my Certificate
    This is a sore spot for me, there are days where I am fine with failing, and there are other days where I still want to crawl up into a ball. I tired, I spend hours studying and I failed. I was so close to putting the lid on 3 years worth of chipping away at something only to find it still hanging over my head.
  4. Find Happiness in Everyday
    I tried for many years to fill a happiness jar with one happy thing from each day. This failed 3 years in a row. I have a little different idea that I am going to try because after last year and feeling so down and beaten I need to remind myself that there is good in everyday.
  5. Read and Blog about 10 Books
    I am reading the books no problem, the challenge is actually posting a blog about each one of them.
  6. Focus Time on my Business
    For my business to succeed I need to spend time growing it. I need to focus on building the business blog, social media, building networks, growing it and succeeding.
  7. Pursue QuickBooks ProAdvisor Title
    This is something that would be beneficial to my business. It is free and comes with some perks, I just have to put the time into working on the modules and writing a final exam.
  8. Visit LegoLand Discovery Center
  9. Visit Ripley’s Aquarium
  10. Purge my Cupboards 
    I have been wanting to go through my cupboards, I have so many dishes and items that I don’t use. Every time I open the cupboard or put away the dishes I say I am going to clean this out. I never do. So maybe if it’s on the list I’ll get it done.
  11. Revamp my wardrobe
    I have a funny clothing situation. When I am at home I wear my Yoga pants and a sweatshirt, but then when I go to one job I can wear whatever I want including said pair of Yoga pants and sweatshirt, but then my other opportunities I must be more business formal to business casual. I need to do something. My closet is busting out from all the clothes and I keep going back to the same pieces over and over again. I need to come up with a “style” or options that cover every range of clothing situations I need. Have I mentioned I hate clothes shopping, trying on clothes and most days getting dressed if I have to be presentable. This could be a challenge.
  12. Go Sailing
    My father has a sail boat, all his friends have sailboats. I have an open invitation to go on a sailboat I have been admiring for years from afar. Did I make time last year? NO – Will I this year? I HOPE SO!
  13. Evaluate THIS blog
    So after not blogging for a month and a half I have decided that this year I will evaluate and decide to continue or stop this blog. I do love it, I missed doing it however Adam is to an age where he is aware of things like Facebook and blogs. He requests often that I don’t post pictures of him so I feel that I need to respect that request. Will people still be interested in boring old me? I feel as if there will be a change and shift in this blog. Who knows if it will be around at the end of 2016 to reflect on this list.
  14. Take things slower this year
    OK, so item 14 on my list it taking things slower this year. Doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. What I mean is to spend more time with my family and friends and not burn on max power 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I have been going so hard for so long that I feel like I have missed some important things, or have not enjoyed these moments while I am in them.
  15. Decide to pursue a diploma or not
    Maybe I didn’t get the memo about taking things slower this year. I am not thinking of doing this in 2016 or maybe not even 2017 but there is a 7 year expiry on my first set of credits and I have 4 years to complete a 2 year diploma. There are more options available to me then I thought there was. This is something that needs serious consideration, but there is not a this must be done NOW rush on it.
  16. Scrapbook
    Maybe one day I will eventually start to make this list smaller. Right now it is just growing bigger and bigger. I really miss scrapbooking, last year I did practically none at all. This year has to be different, papers and memories are flooding my office. I need to organize them and make them presentable.

    1. Finish 2010 Scrapbook
    2. Start and Finish 2011 Scrapbook
    3. Start and Finish 2012 Scrapbook
    4. Start and Finish 2013 Scrapbook
    5. Start and Finish 2014 Scrapbook
    6. Start and Finish 2015 Scrapbook
    7. Start and Finish 2016 Scrapbook
    8. Finish Adam’s First Year Scrapbook (October 2010-October 2011)
    9. Start and Finish Adam’s Second Year Scrapbook (October 2011-October 2012)
    10. Start and Finish Adam’s Third Year Scrapbook (October 2012-October 2013)
    11. Start and Finish Adam’s Fourth Year Scrapbook (October 2013-October 2014)
    12. Start and Finish Adam’s Fifth Year Scrapbook (October 2014-October 2015)
    13. Start and Finish Adam’s Sixth Year Scrapbook (October 2015-October 2016)

There you have it, my 2016 list. I know this year will be much better then last year was. It has to be. Things can only go up and I am going to make sure I take care of myself, mentally recharge and do everything I can to make it a good year.