Finally!!

So. Apparently, my website and blog and everything got hi-jacked.
-gasps- Someone stole my shit! =o

I know, I’m shocked too. Really? I don’t say anything *that* important. Carry on.

So, I’m in the process of re-doing EVERYTHING. Have patience, please, some stuff may not work here and there. :)

But… I’m going to try to be back! So here we go.

Goodbye To All That!

.. a book review by me. :)

First let me say how excited I was to receive the reply email from Margo Candela offering me the e-book version of this book to review. I’m probably silly, but I am like star-struck whenever authors interact with me. Yeah, call me a groupie. Anyway, without further delay.. here is my first ‘official’ book review on this blog!

Goodbye to All That ~ by Margo Candela

Book Cover Amazon.com
Book Cover Amazon.com

How can you not fall in love with these characters!?

From the moment that Raquel opens the story with some behind the scenes of how to play the Hollywood game, through the ups and downs in life that we all face; I fell in love with her character. Margo does an excellent job of making you really feel that you know the people in her story. She could be my best friend, hell she could be me! Well, if I lived someplace fabulous like Hollywood that is.

Raquel is a junior marketing executive and is devoted to her work. She wants to climb the ladder to make it to the top at the media powerhouse Belmore Corporation. And she is well on her way, until things start to unravel right before her eyes. Raquel has to balance playing the office politics, showing her loyalty, and how to stay strong for her boss, Bert thefeared Bert who, by the way suffers a very public meltdown that spins his and incidentally Raquels future into frenzy.

In the middle of all of her professional troubles, Raquel also has to keep her family together. Her mother and fathers marriage troubles, her brother who seems to be in over his head and stuck in a marital rut. Raquel handles it all with ease it seems, with tons of humor spun in. And just when she thinks shes in the midst of chaos and about to give up, she meets someone at a bookstore caf that suddenly has her hopeful for a way out of this horror! Oh right, dont forget to mix in some casual sex? Casual love? Or just casual encounters that change our lives.

I love the way that Margo writes. The book really was an easy read and I didnt want to put it down! I could relate to the characters, and found myself many times laughing out loud as I read it. There were some parts that even had tears forming in my eyes. THAT is how I know that a book is great. I have to say that the book did not end how I thought it would be. So often, these books are easy to figure out how they will end. You can see the happy ending coming a mile away. Goodbye to All That, managed to give me an ending that I LOVE, without me knowing how it would play out. HUGE Kudos to Margo for that!! I mean, that, in itself, is something that drives my desire to read more by this talented author!

Go pick up your copy today! Borrow it, beg for it, BUY it! you wont be disappointed!

Overall Rating: 5/5

Things I’ve Learned, or so I think.

I’ve learned realized okay, finally admitted? a few things this year. This is just a few of the things, that I can think of right now. So, if I forget something? Sorry.

  • I should not still be awake at 2:47am.
  • People, even close friends, are bound to annoy you from time to time.
  • Sometimes, life gives you lemons and instead of making lemonade, you really should just grab the tequila.
  • Never, EVER say that you can’t handle anymore. Because the moment you say that? Is when a whole shit load of stuff gets dumped on you.
  • Be thankful for the little things. The small quiet moments, the moments you don’t even realize are happening.
  • Become more aware of all around you (emotionally, physically, mentally).
  • Express your love. Life is short, and unpredictible. Don’t let that chance pass you by to say “I love you.” Don’t be afraid of those words. Love is a splendid thing.
  • Do something challenging. Step outside of your ‘norm’. Face a fear, take a leap of faith, learn something new. Just LIVE life.
  • Never create a name for yourself (be it a journal, an email, a messenger I.D., etc) after something that reminds you of someone. (i.e. a cute little name that he calls you, etc). People change, and then you are stuck with having to change it… and that only adds salt to the already gaping wound.
  • Family, friends, and your pets — are everything. Work and money are just the things that happen around you.
  • Check your priorities. Make changes where you need them.
  • Realize that failure is not the end of the world. All that matters is how you pick yourself up and move on from the failure.
    Learn from mistakes. Try not to remake them. BUT, if you do? It’s not the end of the world. That just means that specific lesson isn’t over yet.
  • Write so that you never forget. Take pictures, write, sing, dance…
  • Make healthy choices. Not so that you lose weight (or gain weight) to be a model or popular, but do so that you are healthy and live a long and full life. Do it for the right reasons and not the superficial ones.
  • Express your creativity.
  • Laugh. EVERY single day.
  • Love ~ even when it hurts.
  • CHERISH LIFE.
  • And always… always – miss the loved ones who have passed, but remember the happy memories. Because even if they aren’t here on Earth anymore, they are always in your heart. And, you were blessed and lucky enough to have THEM in your life!

This is dedicated to my family, my friends, and my pet. I always strive to be a better person, a better friend, a better niece, a better daughter, a better granddaughter… a better me. I promise to never stop loving you, even if we disagree. I promise to always be there for you, in every way that I possibly can. 2010 was a rough year for me. There were many struggles (financial, physical, health) and the most impacting the loss of my grandma and the diagnosis of my papa having Alzheimer’s. I’m looking forward to starting out 2011 with a positive attitude, and trying to make it a more enriched year. I need a break, and I know it starts with me. I’ll be posting New Years resolutions by New Years Day.

I love you grandma and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss you and think about you. You are always with me, in my heart and I know you are watching over me. But, the selfish part in me wishes you were here. I miss your hugs, your voice, your laughter, just being around you. I miss it all. I always knew how close my family was, and how special they all are to me. But, once you lose someone, you see just how much they are not only a part of your life — but they are a part of you. A part of me went with you grandma, but a part of you is still here with me.

Here’s to 2011!
~xoxo

Busy

*blows the dust off of this thing*
Man, it sure has been awhile since I’ve been here. I have no excuses, really. Well, that’s not true. I do have quite a few. I mean, I’ve been busy. With….

-Work has gotten crazy, more work to do.
-School is keeping me busy, a lot of homework.
-Family stuff is keeping me occupied too.
-Other business stuff…
-etc.

It’s always one thing then another. I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all that I need and want to do. Like, say for instance — when is my quiet time? My time that I can be alone and just relax. Hopefully that time comes soon.

I had a great weekend. Went to Texas to visit my aunt and to see an NFL game. Happily the Titans beat the Cowboys! While I’m not a HUGE NFL fan, it grows on me. And there really is something about being there at the game. The whole atomosphere, the getting ready, after it, everything! It was SO much fun!!

Wow — It’s been awhile

I know, I’m such a bad blogger. I’ve gone MIA. I fell off the face of the earth. I mean, seriously. Hey wait. Why haven’t any of you sent a search party for me??

Anyway, I’ve been lost in that sea of “Trying to put on a smile and forge that sometimes life sucks”. I’m not a sad person. I love my life, my family, my friends. But sometimes, God how it sucks. I’m learning to move forward, but I miss my grandma so, SO, much.

Anyway. So here I am.
I checked the mail today and I received a surprise! I love surprises. Only problem is, I’ve had a momentary lapse of brain activity and I can’t remember “why” I received the surprise. What is this surprise you ask? Well, it’s a book. We all know how much I LOVE books. Anyway, I received in the mail today — Good-bye To All That, by Margo Candela. It looks awesome! I can’t wait to read it. Only problem is… I can’t remember if I won it in a contest? Did I request it from paperbackswap? Did I win it in an ARC group I’m in? Oh man. :\

*DING DING DING* We have a winner. I just remembered!! I won it in a contest on Chick Lit Club! — So I’m only half losing it. This is a relief!

Normal Again?

Tomorrow things go back to being ‘normal’. And by normal, I mean things are going back to how they have to be, minus a very big spot in my heart.

My aunts go home tomorrow, and I know they are so happy to get home… I know that their families want them home. I so understand that. Yet, for me, it’s like once they leave… I know things will go on. I won’t have something to keep me busy and to focus on, as much. I’ll have to go on about day to day life, without my grandma. I miss her so much. So very much. I’ll miss all the phone calls, the quick visits, the long visits, the holidays, the big hugs. I’ll go back to working normal, without family comfort at night. Of course, I have my mom and dad here, but the routines will be going back to normal. And, there will be more ‘missing’ time.

I’m strong, I know we are all strong… and we will pull through this and make it. I know that. But, God, I miss her so much…. and it’s hard to think about it all being over, and that I’ll have to hang onto the memories, and keep her close in my heart.

I’m trying to keep from having a panic attack. I feel this heaviness in my chest, and warm burning. I’m taking slow deep breaths, and repeating over and over that it will all be okay. Because, it will, won’t it…

Remembering….

I wrote this blog on 06/04/10 at 12:30am. So, it’s likely to be rambling and not make much sense. I started to proof read it, which of course would lead to some re-writting. However, I decided to leave it as is. Raw emotion, the way that it felt in that moment. We laid my grandma to rest on June 3rd.

Phenomenal Woman.

Few of us are truly blessed enough to have someone so amazing, such as was my grandma. She devoted her life to her family, and helped fill us with unexplainable love. Memorial Day, Monday – May 31, 2010… My grandma left the earth to be with God. It sent my whole family, and our many beloved friends, into shock. And this shock, will continue for sometime. And that’s ok, our hearts are hurting because we miss her. Even in knowing she is with God, she’s out of any pain and stress, she is at peace, our hearts ache. We think of the past memories and smile on those treasured moments. We cry, thinking of the moments that we will never experience. Everyone stresses that she is at peace. And, believe me… I know that. And sure, it provides some comfort, in that moment. We use those words, those thoughts and beliefs to be strong for the others. We are all weak, and yet we are all strong.

Our family has always been full of love. We might not have lived in a mansion, or had designer things. But, one thing we always had an abundance of, is love. I hear stories of friends childhoods, and I feel so bad for them. I had an amazing childhood. Now, that does not mean we did not have struggles. We did, of course, like everyone. But our family was so connected, so close, so loved, that even those struggles only made us stronger. I never doubted my family’s love for me. Ever. I never worried or thought that they felt I wasn’t good enough. They made me feel that I was the most beautiful and amazing woman ever. But to me? The most amazing, beautiful, phenomenal woman I know… is my grandma. She always smiled, laughed, was happy. Everyone who ever met her, adored her. How could you not?

I think back, all the memories… I’m so blessed. So lucky. She didn’t hesitate in helping family, and even friends. Her home was always open, food was always given, without questions. For as far back as I can remember, my grandparents home was always busy. Family, friends, in and out… stopping by, working, etc. The moment you came in the door, you were offered something to drink.. something to eat… and to make yourself at home. At home; that is exactly what it was. Home.

She married my Papa, young. She did what they did in those days. Marry and have children, make a home. In some ways, those simple days are what I long for. I know, it wasn’t easy back then either… but, it seemed so genuine, so matter of fact. Today, there are too many gray areas.

My whole entire life, my grandparents were prominant in my life. I grew up being around them, pretty much every day. I was born with a hole in the center of the four chambers of my heart. I was the first born grandchild, born to the first born daughter. So of course, I was spoiled. And yes, I went through the ‘spoiled brat stage’. My family was with me and helping my mom, every step of the way. That’s what we do. We had struggles, as I mentioned before. My mom and I moved next door to my grandparents right before I started kindergarten, and I lived there until I moved out on my own at 17 and 1/2. When I was younger, this was wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to live next door to the grandparents?? For part of my life, I stayed with my grandparents, next door. My mom struggled with acholism, and was not able to take care of me. I’m proud to say she has been sober for 20 some years!! My dad (okay, biologically he’s my step-dad… however, that does NOT sound right at all. He IS my dad… period.) Anyway, he came into our life, and with his help and my grandparents, and aunts and uncles help, my mom won her battle. I’m so very proud of her. So when I became a pre-teen to teen… it was hard to live right next door. I felt, many times, that I had 4 parents. Looking back now, God how thankful I am that I did.

I know, I’m a granddaughter. I know that. But, sometimes it felt as if I was a daughter too. My grandma and papa always talk about ‘all of the girls’. For many years, that was my aunts, my mom, and me. When my aunt had her daughter, our ‘girls’ grew… happily. My papa was surrounded by women, but never once did he mind that. He had his girls. He still has his girls. A sample of the way my family is. We protect each other. One day we were all going to WalMart. My grandma was driving, and in the car was my mom, both of my aunts and myself. As we are driving in the parkinglot, my grandma pulled into a parking spot, a lady going the WRONG way, got mad cause grandma got the spot, and she honked and flipped my grandma off. Bad idea. My grandma barely got the car in park, and doors were open and my aunts, my mom, and myself were out of the car. My grandma saying to us “Now girls!!” Of course, we didn’t fight, or start a scene, but if looks could cause harm? That lady would be very bad off. We all laughed about it hours later, and every time we talked about it. Grandma told me, even recently, how she was just praying that we didn’t go in the store and start anything with her or get in any kind of trouble. But in our minds, we were protecting my grandma. That’s what we do.

There are so many stories, memories, little things to talk about. I’m going to miss being able to go over to her house, walk in and just sit there and watch tv. I’m going to miss yahtzee, cards, marbles. I’m going to miss the massive amounts of food that she made at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m going to miss her cooking, her stories, her smile, her voice, her laughter, her hugs… oh my God, her hugs. And above all, I’m going to miss her. I know she is always with me, and she always will be. And yes, she is safe, without pain and cancer, without stress and struggles and worries, she is at peace. But right now, my heart is aching, perhaps selfishly.. because that is my grandma. I hope that I can become even half the woman she was.

“Gemma” I love you. I miss you. I will carry you with me, always, always, always in my heart. Thank you, for being mine.

Rest peacefully and in love Grandma.
October 23, 1934 ~ May 31, 2010

Always love…

Bathroom + Etiquette = ?

Look, I understand the need to have to visit the facilities many times a day. I understand that this is a natural thing, and I get it, really. But, there are some things, that you just shouldn’t do. We are all adults in the workplace, so I find it silly that these things even need to be stated, but apparently they do. So here are a few examples for you.

1. Please, please, PLEASE — do not make phone calls or have phone conversations when you are in the stall next to me. There is no phone call, that can’t wait the 4 minutes it takes you to do your business, wash your hands, and leave. Case in point: I’m at the office, I make my way to the bathroom (because the gallons of water — ok, not gallons, but at least a few glasses… like 2 most likely) have had, have rushed through my body. So, there I am. Comfy in my little stall, with the rest all open and in walks in a co-worker. Ok, no biggie right? Wrong. Not only does she ignore the other 5 stalls and takes up camp in the one right next to me, she is on the phone. Answers the phone and proceeds to have a conversation. Then, I’m trying to decide… do I stop my business? do I keep going? Is it my responsibility to STOP what I’m in there for?

2. Clean up after yourself. Ladies, ladies, ladies. Hover if you have to, place those little sanitary thing down, do what you need to do. But, and I can’t stress this enough. PLEASE. AIM. WELL. It’s a big target, you can do it. And, if by some misfortune your ‘hover’ is off? Then, clean up any sprinkles. Or, even worse… messes. CLEAN THEM UP. You’re an adult, or should be.

3. If you drop paper on the floor. Pick it up. It’s not hard. Pick it up and place it in the trash, or flush it. Simple. Right?

4. Mother nature sucks. I’m the first to agree with that. But ladies, keep Mother Nature in check. Please. I won’t go into details here, you know the issue, you know what you should do.

5. WASH YOUR HANDS. No matter your methods of hovering, sitting, drying, wiping, and so forth. Your hands need to be washed. Let’s keep everyone healthy, shall we hmmm?

This concludes this special PSA, brought to you from me. Don’t make me post a sign. Because I have pretty fonts, and decorative swirls and such that I can use, and I’ll do it!

Thank you. :)

xoxo
~Stori

Books, bOOks, and BoOkS

I’ve organized (most) of my books by author. Meaning that I’ve put all of the books by the same author together. Now, I’ve decided that I also want to semi-organize them by genre. Except, I don’t have enough shelves to do that. So, I’ve sorta done it… and sorta not. And, that’s okay with me. To take my OCD-ness a bit further, and I just went through ALL of my books (well the ones that are on the bookshelves) and made sure they were all logged on my Library Thing account. I’ve still got one more plastic tub of books to go through, and now that I type this, I think that there are a couple of stray books in my bedroom. So, promptly after I close this, I’ll be grabbing the ones from my room and placing on the shelf. Because, let’s face it. I wouldn’t be able to sleep until those books are all in the proper place.

No, this is not a problem. And no, I don’t need a support group. Now therapy? That’s a whole different story.

xoxo
~stori

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