The First Word by Isley Robson – Book Review

To stay sane, Andie Tilly must keep her mind on her work. Her job as a pediatric occupational therapist is the perfect distraction from the unspeakable tragedy she experienced as a child. But when she meets alternative-energy magnate Rhys Griffiths and his autistic toddler, Will, she quickly realizes her heart will never be the same. Especially when her name becomes Will’s first word.

 

After accepting a position as a live-in therapist for Will, Andie steels herself against the appeal of the disconcertingly attractive—and attracted—Rhys. But their chemistry can no longer be denied, and their heated affair seems destined for happily ever after. A destiny Andie’s terrified to embrace.

When Andie’s guilt, Rhys’s awkwardness, and the abrupt appearance of an erratic ex threaten to dismantle their delicately blooming relationship, they must decide if love is worth the challenge. Can Andie and Rhys find their way back to each other? Or will the demons of the past simply prove too strong?Read More »

10 years of photos

I just watched a video of a guy who took a picture of himself every day since he was 13 until he was 23. While these time-lapse movies are great and show an incredible transformation of a boy into a man, I couldn’t help but notice something a little deeper.ooo

In each image, the wore a different shirt most days, but the background and positioning of his body was constant. There were slight variations in his posture, but mostly, he sat in front of the backdrop and clicked away. With each picture, the boy became a little older, a little thinner, taller, and different lengths of hair, but the way the images played out over the screen, it almost seemed like the guy was running.

Three-thousand six-hundred fifty pictures passed by my screen, and with each sliding image, the boy was sprinting towards becoming a man. He raced toward adulthood, as most kid do, but it hurt me to see how quickly life passed him by. I know these pictures came from 10 years of photos, and 3,650 is a lot of days, but to see the images squished together in a four-minute video made me want to scream at the kid. “Stop growing up! Stay young just a little bit longer!”

If only time would slow down.

Sometimes, people just don’t like you.

Throughout my life, I have always tried hoped that people would like me. I would even say there were times I went out of my way to try and get people to like me. With age, though, I am finding that this way of thinking is tiresome. To try so hard to be the person people want you to be just so you can be on their radar for whatever amount of time your actions towards them permits is truly juvenile and almost sadistic.somtimes

Never will I be the exact person anyone wants me to be, nor will I ever again try to be that person. Being happy with myself is where it begins, and whether someone else likes it, I am who I am. I realized this, instilled it within myself, and began introducing the world to who I am. Those who have stuck by my side know the real me.

Most recently, I tried very hard with a co-worker who, in the end, very clearly wanted nothing to do with me. I offered her my support, tried to provide assistance and insight both professionally and in our personal lives, but the more I tried, the more she resisted. It ended in a way that we no longer communicate unless necessary which seems to work well for us, but this experience really taught me a lesson.

All I can do is try, but sometimes, people won’t like me, and that’s OK because I now know I showed them the kind of person I am.

This is not a New Year’s Resolution!

I repeat, this is not a New Year’s resolution! I am posting this the day after New Year’s for that very specific reason. 

While for some people, resolutions work well, for more than most, the connotation surrounding these yearly proclamations is destined to fail. There is just something about the tradition that sets people to either give up or lose focus halfway through the year and result in failure. I’m not saying everyone, so if you made a or multiple resolutions this year, best of luck to you, and I wholeheartedly hope you succeed. I, on the other hand, will not be partaking in this tradition because we have all seen how mine have gone over the years.

I’m sure I have made in painstakingly clear by now that I am not calling these resolutions, I have made a few promises to myself that just so happened to fall at the beginning of this year. 

I will publish my next novel. I want to have a new novel out before summer which shouldn’t be too difficult as I am almost done with it.

I will go back on my diet, the one I was on before I got pregnant, and I will get back to a healthy weight that I am happy with. I’m really not focusing on any certain number, but more how happy I feel in my own skin again. As long as the number keeps going down throughout this journey, my focus will be being more happy and healthy.

I will travel this year with two specific locations I’m already thinking of. Both are places I have never been, but one will take a little more doing than another.

And, finally, I will no longer allow anyone to influence my mood or feelings. There are certain people that truly matter in my life and others who either shouldn’t matter or are choosing not to matter. I will not allow anyone who doesn’t want to be part of my life, nor anyone who shouldn’t have any impact on my life stress or agitate me answer much as I can help anymore.

I’m making myself laugh now as I reread this because it sounds dangerously close to a New Year’s resolution, but I think the difference is that these are realities I know are possible. It all comes down to how willing I am to make them happen.

It’s a Wonderful Life – Movie Review

IMDB: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Ever since I was a kid this black and white film would play during the holiday season. I would watch the grayscale characters play out the life of George and Mary Bailey as their lives spun in directions they had never planned. They make their way through their lives until George finds himself in a horribly precarious situation where he wishes he was never born. With the help of an angel, he sees what his tiny town of Bedford Falls would look like had he never lived. His love for his family reminds him of why he lives and breathes everyday, and with help from his town, George heads back home to the greatest Christmas surprise he has ever received in his wonderful life.

Now, they have a version in color, and cameos of the movie can be seen in other Christmas specials such as Home Alone, but the story holds a place in my Christmas spirit all the same. The story would tug at my heart and make most in my family cry due to an overactive crying gene I have mentioned before that we call the Bonnie-gene. To this day I have kept the tradition alive and have to watch it at least once during the season.

Here we are, four days away from the big day, and I have yet to watch it! It just won’t be Christmas until I do. If you’ve never seen it, be sure to add it to your Christmas Watchlist this season.

What’s your story?

I’m sure we’ve all heard this before. Someone random or even an acquaintance asking what makes you, you. It may be any variation or form of the aforementioned question, but it holds the weight of your lifetime in it’s punctuation. 
If someone were to ask you this question today, what would the answer look like? What would the events of your past, accumulating to the present, show? 

Would they show a hard worker, striving for success? Maybe even showing some milestone(s) of achievement? 

Would it show a family oriented series of memories, leading up to the creation of your own unit? Would you be surrounded by people who you love and are loved by in return?

What’s your story?

What does it look like?

The best part of this story, the one you are currently starting in, is it isn’t finished yet.

Christmas Playlist

Let me get you in a Christmas mood. Enjoy my selection of a perfect Christmas Playlist. No Christmas celebration is complete without it!

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmasrawpixel-com-445786

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Joy To The World

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

White Christmas

Blue Christmas

Jingle Bells

O Holy Night

O Come All Ye Faithful

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Santa Clause Is Coming To Town

Little Drummer Boy

Santa Baby

Jingle Bell Rock

Winter Wonderland

Silent Night

Last Christmas

Merry Christmas Baby

Do you Hear What I Hear

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Feliz Nevidad

Silver Bells

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

This Christmas

I was Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Up On The Housetop

Here Comes Santa Claus

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Holly Jolly Christmas

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Home For The Holidays

The First Noel

Twelve Days of Christmas

Deck The Halls

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

An Amazon Original Series

IMDB: Set in early 1960s Manhattan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a 60-minute dramedy that centers on Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a sunny, energetic, sharp, Jewish girl who had her life mapped out for herself: go to college, find a husband, have kids, and throw the best Yom Kippur dinners in town. Soon enough, she finds herself exactly where she had hoped to be, living happily with her husband and two children in the Upper West Side. A woman of her time, Midge is a cheerleader wife to a man who dreams of a stand-up comedy career, but her perfect life is turned upside down when her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman. Completely unprepared, Midge is left with no choice but to reevaluate what to do with her life. When she accidentally stumbles onto the stage at a comedy club, she soon discovers her own comedic skills and decides to use this newfound talent to help her rebuild a different life for herself. The series will trace the trajectory of Midge’s journey as she goes on to pursue a career in the male-dominated, stand-up comedy profession, and transforms from uptown housewife to East Village club performer.

I am over the moon with this show thus far! I’m on episode seven, and I am in love with Rachel Brosnahan in this role! House of Cards just didn’t do her acting skills any justice. She sells the role of a witty housewife gone rogue and delivers it with a beautiful smile and a big middle finger. They couldn’t have cast the role any better, and I would bet she wins awards for this performance.

I don’t think I have laughed this hard at a series in a long time! Brosnahan’s interactions with all of the other characters including Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein leave me in tears.

“I still run this house, but from in here.”

“There, there.”

“Who wouldn’t want to come home to this?”

I am binge watching this show for sure, and I’m already sad this season will be over soon. Hopefully Amazon puts in for a Season 2!

Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot

I am absolutely in love with this wine right now. When I first saw it in the supermarket, I was actually looking for the Arbor Mist version of this flavor. Whenever I’m craving a sweet wine, my absolute go to had been Arbor Mist as their blends seem to be more sugary. Well, when I came upon the Arbor Mist bottle, the store had jacked up the price to $6 for a 750mL! Craziness! I enjoy this wine, but the greedy jerks were just taking advantage of their customers.

I kept looking, thinking I was going to go for a red Moscato instead when I happened upon the Wild Vines version. I was skeptical at first as seeing a bottle for $3.50 was low even for my standard, but I figured, what the hay!

Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot is meant to be served chilled, so I waited until the next evening to try the bouquet. The moment it hit my tongue I knew. It was my new favorite! The sweet tones of the blackberry married with the dark Merlot grapes gave it a bold taste, and unlike Arbor Mist, it wasn’t as sugary as I thought it would be with it’s subtle hint of bitterness. 

I was in love! Still am, but guess what I happened upon at the grocery store this weekend when searching out my wine. They had rasied the price on this one, too! I don’t drink that much wine, maybe a bottle a month, so I can’t be the cause of the higher price due to my high demand! 

Guess I may be back on the market for a new brand soon. Until then, I’ll enjoy my $5.99 Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot a bit longer.

Holiday Traditions

It’s Black Friday, and if you are one of the brave souls who venture out on this infamously crazy day, more power to you. For me, this day has come to mean clean up! 

My family and I are truly blessed with how amazing our family is, both blood and chosen. When we get together, a good time is had by all, and the feast is bountiful! Yesterday, for Thanksgiving, the story was tenfold. We all have so much to be thankful for, and I am so thankful for the full house of wonderful people, plentiful food, and beautiful memories made. 

Moving on to today, it’s now time to clean it all up, and I seriously just want to sell my house. Forget it all, and move out of the mess! The next person can deal with it. 

In reality, it’s really not that bad. Two loads into the dishwasher, a dozen wipes, vacuum, and mop later, my house is starting to look a bit more in order again.

Tomorrow, I am hopeful the true traditions will begin. Setting up the Christmas tree, decorating the house, making gingerbread houses; it’s time to start the Christmas traditions! And as I have said previously, I am overly excited for this year. 

Dishwasher just dinged. Onto the next load. Someone send a search party if I don’t post in a few days! First place to look, in the sink, under the dishes!