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 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.

My Home Office

Since I do a lot of work from home I always wanted a nice home office.  In my basement I have carved a little corner where I can be productive.

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This desk was a steal from Costco. It took days to build but it was so very worth it. There is enough room to spread out. I have a lot of “I’m dealing with” stuff piled up against the wall so it’s more full then normal.

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I have one little cubby with all of my to read books. They are guarded by my friends Anger and Sadness and then of course Wonder Woman. I must say the designers got it looking just like me!

I have a candy bowl for those late night study sessions and my incredibly well stocked supply drawer. If you need it, I have it in there.

This space is one that when I sit down I feel like it’s exactly where I belong. If I’m having a bad day I can sit there and shake it off or I can work and produce awesome things.

Since it is the basement the rest of the room leaves a little to be desired but I’ll deal with that in the spring. There needs to be some serious decluttering and getting rid of some items.

This space will be a key to my success running my business.

I love this space and am so happy it has turned out the way it has.

Happy Birthday Adam!

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Dear Adam,
     Do you remember this night? No? To be honest it’s very blurry to me too. This was our first full night together. You were only in this world 24 hours at this point. You were crying and I held you close. Then I dozed off and got yelled at by the nurse because I could have dropped you. That much I remember.

We’ve made it 5 years and I haven’t seriously injured you yet. You have done it without my help. Stitches and bruises, x-rays and sickness. You are a boy and I was warned.

You are such an awesome kid. I am told almost daily how kind you are.  You missed a day of school and were greeted with many kids saying “Adam, I missed you yesterday!” Your heart is so big and you bring everyone into it.

You melt my heart when you give me a look and say “Mom, you are the best!” And even more when you cry because you are so happy. It’s usually over the smallest thing too.

I sit and watch you and wonder where my little baby went. But I look again and discover I have this fantastic boy beside me who I am so proud to call my son.

Happy Birthday my dear Adam.

Mommy & Daddy love you so much!

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Life

I have not blogged in almost a month!

I expected things to calm down when school started again, but silly me also started school and things are just crazy.

So I’ll update you on life –

Jobs – I’ve been working two jobs consistently. One job has been jerking me around and the other I love. I tried to quit the one job that I am really unhappy with back in September but was begged to stay on so I did and it is something I seriously regret. Despite “being such a valuable employee” my hours have been cut and the company is changing an awful lot that I do not agree with. I have started to apply to some other jobs which I can make a lot more money in a short amount of time. The other job is fantastic, frustrating at times but fantastic. I laugh a lot and have full flexibility over when I work. There is another opportunity which has been presented to me and of course I’m jumping all over it.

School – I started my LAST TWO CLASSES  in September. Add two courses to juggling two jobs and yep it’s stressful. But finally after 3 years of work I will have accomplished something. I am doing well in both.  Again one course I love and one I hate. I am loving the payroll administration course and am going to continue working towards being a Payroll Compliance Practitioner. Because who here loves getting paid? I know I do. On the flip side I am hating the Managerial Accounting course. Despite hating it I am doing well.  I have midterms next week so maybe that doing well thing will change. I just need a pass and I will be happy. Granted I would like to finish with a 4.0 GPA.

Business Launch – I know my business isn’t going to be booming overnight but some things I had planned are not going well as I had planned. I spent the better part of two weeks working on getting startup funding with no luck. It’s frustrating and it drags you down. When launching a business there are certain things you need to start to make money.

You can’t start making money until you spend some money but you can’t spend money until you start making it.

This will not be the failure of my business. Everyone who I have presented my business plan to has commented on how well I am prepared, how well I have planned for the success of the business and everyone believes that I will be successful. Nice but if you could put some money behind it that would be fantastic.

Life – Adam is doing fantastic and loving being back in school. I spend as much time with him as possible when he’s home. He was sick over Thanksgiving weekend and we are still dealing with residual sickness. Hence suddenly the time to blog. When you are sitting up all hours of the night there isn’t much else to do.

Life is crazy, I’m trying to get some books read as well to blog about and knock a few more off my to read shelf. The trees are changing colours and I love this time of year. We had a little taste of snow and the way Adam’s eyes lit up I can’t wait to make our first snowman.

I’ll try to blog more often but I make no promises. There is so much I want to blog about in a week but so little time.

I’m trying not to blink because I am afraid I might miss something!