Thankful, Humble, and Kind

No matter what has happened this year, we can all agree on two things: 2020 SUCKS, and Carole Baskin killed her husband. However, on this most giving of days, I am trying to remember the meaning of this holiday season. With COVID ramping up again and restrictions on how to spend your holiday, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of this supposed wonderful time of the year. Instead of dwelling on the negative, which has been in abundance this year, I am determined for even just this one day in this horrible year to take a moment and be thankful for all I have.

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Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Happy birthday to the man of my dreams! He’s the best father and husband I could ever ask for, and aging like fine wine. (We’re only in our thirties, but still. That’s old for wine, right?)

Thank you for all you’ve done for our daughter and me. Thank you for always loving me even when I have made it impossible to do. Every year together means another year in forever, and I couldn’t imagine spending it with anyone other than you. We love you!

Married, Year 7

It is the 7th wedding anniversary for my husband and me. Seven years married, and a lifetime to go. It’s interesting now to think back on the advice we have been given throughout our years together.

“Never go to bed angry.”

“Share the load.”

“Oh, you won’t be doing that for much longer!”

All of it was taken with a grain of salt because not a single person knows what goes on in some other couple’s relationship. Regardless of how close the outsider might be to the couple, they will never understand what it is like to be in your relationship with your significant other.

However, there is some sound advise out there. Not all of it should fall on deaf ears.

But, does advise ever grow old? Is there a time limit for the value of the advice? Does it grow stale over years, or lose its potency? Does it keep forever regardless of when it was given?

The best marriage advice I have ever read can be found in an article from a writer in 1886 named Jane Wells.

“Let your love be stronger than your hate and anger.”

Man, of they entire world doesn’t need that lesson right now, no matter the marital status. Letting hate and anger fester does nothing but foster more hate and anger. Only love can heal. True for life and marriage.

“Learn the wisdom of comprise…”

Another life lesson, but I feel this so truly for marriage as well. No one agrees with another individual completely on every topic known to man. And, if they do, they may need to take a journey to discover themselves. Find what really matters to them, and understand their own mind.

“Believe the best…”

Because the worst is sometimes an imagined doubt rather than truth. Give the benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty.

“…living up or down to opinions.”

Set the bar high. Demand what you want, but be ready to compromise and be surprised.

“…true friendship…”

The basis of any marriage should be friendship. The couple should have a foundational bond of fondness toward each other, which will serve to keep them from falling apart. Friendships may be tested, but it is the connection between the two people that will endure.

“…hand this down to your children..”

Because the more things change, the more they become the “new norm”.

Finally, I leave you with this.

I have loved a man with my entire heart for over 15 years, and dedicated the rest of my life to loving him 7 years ago. It has been hard, full of compromises, times of anger, but the love we share is worth it. The relationship we have is everything to me because we keep surprising each other.

Happy anniversary, babe!

Short Stories – “There’s This TikTok” on Wattpad

During this quarantine, I’ve been working full time, trying to teach my daughter kindergarten lessons, keep my house running, exercise, and take a certificate course. All this, and I have been desperate to find time to write! Writing is what keeps me sane, and with all this going on, it’s the lifeline I need to keep making it through my day to day.


Introducing “There’s This TikTok”, a Wattpad exclusive!

These short stories are a compilation of the teens who choose to do the infamous challenges on TikTok. You’ll find the lead up to the challenge, the reaction, and the aftermath as we follow each teen’s story!

The first challenge in this trio of short stories is the Kiss Your Best Friend challenge! Imagine meeting someone who easily fits into your life. They become your best friend. You laugh together. Cry together. Just all around do life together.

But, what if that spot they filled evolves into deeper emotions? What if your heart finds them to fit perfectly there, too? Would you be willing to risk it all? Would you be brave enough to shoot your shot?


If you haven’t watched these TikToks, I highly recommend them! I’m such a sucker for romance, I just had to take on the challenge of writing a before, during, and after story for them. It was just too fun!

Quarantine things: DJ Kopec

If you have social media, you may see some interesting ways those that make a living off their abilities have decided to try and continue to make said living. Specific to Facebook, some DJs have taken to hosting virtual events. I found DJ Kopec doing exactly that!

DJ Kopec is from the greater D.C. area and a great disc jockey! His mix of throwbacks to today’s hits, all blended in masterful transitions is amazing to hear. Anytime he starts a playlist, I can’t help but dance!

What this quarantine has brought out in many people is philanthropy. We all want to play our part by helping our fellow man, but as we see too often, we, as humans, fall short. During this time of uncertainty, there are those that have risen to the challenge.

Introducing DJ Kopec!

He has hosted many dance parties on Facebook, starting soon after the quarantine. At first I thought his events were just for him to make money, but as I watched and listened to his set, I realized it was so much more!

DJ Kopec has hosted these live events for many causes during this crisis, including raising money for organizations like Feeding America, as well as donations of chicken, eggs, and bread to local food banks. Sometimes there is sponsor with a challenge, like how many viewers will he receive, or how many t-shirts will he sell. Other times, there are announcements of angels pledging donations. He’s not just looking to make a pay day for himself (he does have his own virtual tip jar), but he’s using his skills and helping those in need.

Everytime I jump onto one of his events, he has at least 7,000 viewers and more people donating what they can. It is one of the greatest testaments to goodwill I have ever seen in my life, and I find it amazing that I get to take part of it, just by dancing!

Check DJ Kopec out, and join his next live virtual event!

Dance!

Self Awareness

I’ve taken several soft-skill classes pertaining to communication and personality types, and the one thing I have learned from each is how much room for growth I have. Call it ego or immaturity, but in my 20s, I could have sworn to you I knew exactly who I was and how to communicate with anyone effectively.

I WAS WRONG!

I’m approaching my 30s swiftly, and I am finding myself reflecting on my communication skills and personality type in ways I’ve never taken the time to consider before. Am I a details or big picture seeker? Do I like small talk or getting down to business? Am I competitive, or am I collaborative? I’ve never stopped to consider any of this in my communication style. In doing so, I have learned so much about myself and am working on the parts of me that can be improved.

For example, to answer the small talk versus getting down to business questions, at work specifically, I loathe small talk. I have a job to do, and I only have so many hours in a day to complete my tasks. When communicating with coworkers, I want to get to the point and move on to the next.

What I have realized this says about me and how it translates into my personal life is my amount of patience. I have a five year old daughter, and I try to summon all the patience in the world sometimes when I am talking to her. Otherwise, with anyone and anything else, my fuse is short! This is one area in my life I want to badly to work on. I want to be more patient. I want to take the time out of my day to stop and smell the flowers rather than plowing through life like a bulldozer.

I’ll get there one day, but for now, I’m just glad I have become more self aware. The first step is acknowledgement, right?

Trolls World Tour – Movie Review

My five year old daughter loves Poppy and Branch! After that first movie came out, it was all she would talk about. She would sing the songs and want to wear “Poppy pink” all the time! The movie was sweet and catchy with the mashups, so not too much heartache to be found after watching it multiple times a week.

When we heard a second movie was coming out, my child was so excited! We made the viewing party into a real experience for her since we weren’t able to see it in theater (due to the thing that must not be named). We baked cookies, made crazy drinks, and ate whatever she wanted for dinner. We laid out our spread and turned the movie on.

We built the moment of watching the movie up so much, this child was bursting the moment the first song began! Every few seconds she would say, “Daddy, did you see that!” Or, “Momma, look!” It was hilariously adorable! Luckily we were at home because this child could hardly contain her excitement.

As the movie played out, she was completely sucked in!

I, on the other hand, missed the first movie.

Don’t get me wrong, the second movie was cute, too, but something about the dialogue didn’t work for me.

In the first rendition, there is a conflict, a mission, a redemption, and a resolution. All of that is present in this sequel as well, but the interactions between the characters just feel short and bland. I know these movies have a lot of music in them, which I thoroughly enjoyed in both films, but there is a lackluster quality to the spoken exchanges between the characters themselves. Anytime they weren’t singing, there wasn’t much value added to inform the audience of what was happening.

Without getting too detailed, there is mention that certain events happened before and history was repeating itself. There is even a quick reference to whom the conductor of the first event was, but it’s blown off so quickly, it’s hard to tell if it’s really what they meant or if they were just wondering if that was the case. There are several instances like this where they just casually throw a comment out, but there is no further interaction amongst the characters to progress the thought process.

I know, it’s a kids movie. I didn’t have any overreaching expectations of the movie other than my daughter’s enjoyment, and she definitely enjoyed it!

Queue playing the soundtrack on repeat until we can buy the movie and play it incessantly!

Sonic the Hedgehog – Movie Review

Man, am I glad people complained about the way Sonic looked before they CG’d him. I can’t imagine the movie would have been even half as good had they not taken the time and given Sonic his proper aesthetics. I wonder what Tails would have looked like, too, had they not had fans balk as vehemently as they did about Sonic! Silly!

I’m a 90’s kid, so I grew up with Sega and playing Sonic. When I saw this movie was coming out, I honestly didn’t know what to think. When I saw how they originally designed Sonic, I was out. Nope, not going to watch it. Done! But, after the redesign, I was curious.

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Talk about a well done movie!

The casting we phenomenal! Jim Carey was amazing as Dr. Eggman. He brought humor to an otherwise dastardly villain, and captured the struggle between the two iconic video games characters perfectly. James Marsden was always a great addition to the story as the Doughnut Lord, a great sidekick and earthling to bring Sonic through his journey.

A lot of critics have called the movie a cute, cuddly, clunky CG tirade, but what they are missing is the nostalgia. Any kid who grew up playing Sega knows Sonic. The iconic clinking of the rings. The power up zing as Sonic rolled into a ball. His trademark red and white sneakers. You may only appreciate these well captured aspects if you used to spend your afternoons after school playing the game!

I truly hope there will be a next movie! And I’m being led to believe, there will be! Yes!

Opinions are like..

Everyone has an opinion on any number of topics. These opinions are words created in our minds to form coherent thoughts and phrases in favor or dislike of a certain thing. Literally, it could be anything we form an opinion on, and it could be in any varying degree between loathe and love.

But, what so many people forget is none of them matter.

Opinions are like assholes; everyone has them.

With well over 7 billion people on this planet, each of them has billions of opinions cultivated within their brain. If opinions were physical matter, the world would be polluted ten times over with them!

Mars, here we come!

So, whatever higher power you believe in had the infinite wisdom in ensuring your thoughts, your couth brain waves, only weigh down your mind, and not the rest of the planet. Thank goodness!

You may ask, “Well, what do we do with our opinions if they are so unavailing?”

I am no almighty being, so I cannot attest to what the grand plan is/was for these ever scurrying mind mice, but I have learned something.

The more you say, the less people hear. Listen more. Speak less. And, only bare your thoughts if, and when, you can contribute to the progress of the discussion.

Wait for the light to come on first, then speak.

Frozen II – Movie Review

Frozen IIIf you’re like me, have a young daughter and are staying inside the house, I’m betting we have watched Frozen II about the same number of times by now. Memorizing the songs was easy; by now, we have moved onto reciting each character’s lines in our best impersonating voice! It’s getting a bite dire in these living rooms.

One thing I do have to say about this sequel that I’m not so sure is receiving the spotlight that it should is the emotionally intelligent writing. I noted several different psychologist and doctors in the credits that I’m sure played a large role in this script! It’s clear the message in this second movie was meant to teach youngsters how to handle and respond to such big emotions the characters were feeling, and I will add that it was very well done!

There are many scenes throughout the movie which attempt to broach the subject of one mental illness or another, but there is one scene in particular that struck all the right chords for me. I have struggled with depression, mainly in my youth, but as I have matured, there is always that tinge that attempts to pop up. I’ve learned how to deal with it and carry on, but there are others in my life that also struggle with a mental illness. I digress.

This scene revolves around Anna, and she begins to sing a song. It’s at a point in the movie where things seem hopeless, and she’s all but crumbling under the weight of it all. This one particular scene speaks directly to grief and depression, and to me.

The song is called “The Next Right Thing,” and as Anna begins to sing, it is clear how she is feeling. She’s lost and scared and just ready to give up. One of the lines of the song is, “Hello, darkness, I’m ready to succumb.”

It’s a punch to the gut! I wanted so badly to pull her up from the floor and help her through the pain as I have known that feeling before, too. But, the song continues, and she coaches herself. She pulls herself up and focuses on one step at a time. Looking too far ahead is too much, more than she can take. Instead, she breaks it down to the next breath, next step, and next choice. She chooses to do the next right thing.

If nothing else, I feel this moment more than any other in most Disney movies, and I am a Disnerd. While I don’t fully understand the need for this movie, other than to cash in on the prize cow (it doesn’t progress their story, in my opinion), I do think it is very well done. While I am not a fan of watching it 10 times day, I do find myself pausing at the Anna scene and agreeing with her song. Sometimes, all we can do in our moments of weakness is focus on the next right thing.