Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday and...A Challenge.

Top Ten Tuesday is something kind of fun that is done over at The Broke and the Bookish that I really like to participate in when I can. Lucky for me, this week works pretty nicely and I am going to give it a whirl. This week's Top Ten Tuesday is all about fall reading, and the top ten books that are on that list. I'm in a bit of a reading slump, so I'm going to pick some that I really want to read soon and hope to get a good portion of them read this fall. Still adjusting to this schedule with my new job, but I am going to get some reading done too! So, here we go...

Currently reading this. Loving it, and really need to take the time to REALLY read more of it. I'm sure this means that the next book will be added to this list as well, but I figured I just wouldn't include it quite yet. 

I just am so excited that he is writing a children's book with someone else, and I really want to read it because I think it could be all kinds of awesome.

I loved loved loved the first one. Flavia is one of the coolest 11 year olds ever (notice Mr. Harry Potter, I said one of the coolest, not THE coolest). I can't wait to keep reading these books.

This book series has become a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. It's an interesting take on a dystopian-type world and yea, I just gotta keep reading it.

I've been on the request list for this one since it came out, and I'm still pretty far into the list but I am excited to read this one. Sounds really interesting.

This one is on my nook and I am super excited for it. I really liked Silver Linings Playbook (totally different than the movie, but a good different). It was a book that was simple, funny, and a nice fast read. This plot to this one sounds interesting.

Ok, so this is something I've been wanting to read for AGES, but haven't gotten around to yet. I own it too, which is awesome. Sadly, I would have to find out which box it's in since most of our books just aren't quite unpacked yet.

I have had this book for at least a year and just keep getting distracted from reading it. I really have gotten into fantasy-type books lately (hence my LOVE for the Throne of Glass series) and have heard really good things about this book.

I loved the first book in this series, and I have a friend that is constantly telling me I have to get back into it and catch up with this series. It seems I get too easily distracted because I really do have a lot of series I need to finish. I guess after the ending of books like Mockingjay, where I was in love with the series but hated the ending, I've been scared to really finish a series and be let down again.

I've read this before, but it was in high school. With the movies wrapping up I really think I want to try to read this again. I realize there are lots of people who would go on and on about how the movies don't stay true to the book and yadda yadda (seriously, it's an adaptation. There are so many things that are better left up to the imagination and I think people would just be upset with how they were shown on screen anyway) but I really love the movies and want to read it again.

So, there it is. 10 books that I would like to read this fall. Sadly, I may not get to a lot of them but I hope to at least knock a few of them off the list and tell you all about how much I love the books. I think my reading has just not been the same since Rainbow Rowell. Oh well.

SO now, I get to the challenge part, which is totally unrelated to reading. I've been struggling a little bit with where I'm at in life. I mean I have had lots of ups and downs (lots of downs) and I am trying to really figure things out for myself. Sadly, this means that even though I can see that God is here with me and that He is providing I still tend to be a bit negative about things. So this week, for the whole week, I have decided to try to find one positive each day while I am at work. I don't hate my jobs, I don't necessarily love it either (seriously, people treat retail works pretty crappy). I have been struggling lately because there is that one co-worker that I work with pretty regularly who literally hates her job and everyone she works with. She refuses to talk to anyone but the managers, and kind of has them wrapped around her finger. She has talked to me once, and it was not nice. She spends a lot of time giving me dirty looks mostly because lately I haven't been doing so well with rewards sign-ups so then I have not been main and kind of work the floor more instead. So anyway, I have decided to challenge myself to one positive thing a day. So here is my positive from yesterday:

So obviously yesterday was kind of rough. A lot of the stuff I mentioned above happened just yesterday. So I was annoyed and a bit upset about it all. Lucky for me, I was about to have two awesome encounters with customers. My first one nearly broke me. She was a woman fighting breast cancer. She had just finished up chemo for the day and was in the store to find new shoes. She had a ton of other health problems going on, not at all related to breast cancer, and she was tired and needing to sit while I ran around the store trying to find a shoe she was looking for. Sadly, we did not find what she was looking for but she seemed happy about it. We gave her all her options and she told me she would be back to look again. She kept telling me it was ok that we found nothing, but kept telling me all about herself. She was proud to show off the socks that she makes herself and was just such a joy. I've never been so sad to not find shoes for someone. The second customer I worked with was my last one for the day, and I didn't necessarily even work with her. She was surrounded by boxes of shoes and explained to me how the arthritis in her feet made it so that it took awhile for her to pick and choose shoes. She didn't necessarily need help, but she just wanted someone to chat to. So I talked with her and then told her to let me know if she needed anything. I came back to check on her 3 different times, and each time was different and yet the same. She just basically talked through her various shoe selections that were surrounding her. She kept asking me if it was close to closing and if she needed to hurry up and I kept telling her to take her time (we aren't allowed to kick anyone out, and honestly as long as they find shoes and leave it's not the worst thing in the world). She left at 9:05, just after the store was closed, with 5 pairs of shoes that worked perfect for her. And she kept telling the guy working at the register about me and then she got contact information to call the company to tell them how wonderful I was. It really made my night, and yet it made me kind of sad. Because I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary, just being nice and making sure she was doing ok. The fact that she brought up how odd it is to find someone like that kind of sucks. It's not that hard to put a smile on your face and be nice to someone while you are working. 

But that's it. Those are my positives from yesterday. Those two ladies really made my night, and it made me feel like even though I work retail and may feel like it's a bit of a failure on my part I am still helping people and doing something good for them. 

And now I must go and get ready for another shift, and I hope to have something positive to share about my shift when I wake up tomorrow (I have to close, and pretty much anticipate going to bed once I get home...). If anyone ended up reading this, I hope you have a fantastic day.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Adios Summer, It's Been Real

So, if you know me at all you know that my summer has been filled ups and downs (lots and lots of downs). I also seem to have complained a lot, and I feel like I kind of wasted my summer on thinking of all the crappy moments in life and not really enjoying the summer that I was given. In general, it was a strange summer that was mostly cool (I think I wore pants or a sweatshirt at least once a week) and with the financial situation the way it was (and still is...but should be improving soon!) I kind of just hid in my apartment. Anyway, with it being the 1st of September I'm thinking back to what I did have this summer and decided to share some positive things that happened, and even a few things I look forward to in the fall :)

This summer I was able to spend some days sitting out at the pool soaking up the sun. This was pretty much always accompanied with an audiobook of some sort (I just got sick of holding the actual book and then I started getting strange tan lines because of how I was holding the book to give my arms a break.). I just got to use that time to de-stress and relax. I definitely wish I would have done that more often.

I was forced to go fishing. Ok, so I'm not in love with fishing at all (as you can see, I refuse to touch said fish and my mom had to bait my hooks for me) but it was nice to be out on the lake and to eat fresh fish. That and I was pretty awesome and destroyed the competition. And in order to be true to myself, I have not gone fishing since. I figure I was doing so well, why not end on a high note?

We discovered some hiking spots around us. Jake and I spent a whole afternoon hiking around the lake near us and along the cliffs. It was a lot of fun and I was definitely feeling it the next day (those hills were so steep!). It was nice to be able to do something with him after he had been gone for Reserves stuff for a few weeks. It also really showed us just how gorgeous the area around us really is.

We got to spend a few weekends back home celebrating various things with family and friends. We were able to spend 4th of July in our hometown (there we are, eating cheese curds before the parade!) and get together with some of our closest high school friends over the weekend while all were home. It was a lot of fun to catch up with people and to see where life has taken us all. Ha I make it sound like it was just this super adult, mature thing but I swear, some things haven't changed (in the best way possible guys I swear! You all made me sad to have moved away). 

I was lucky enough to go to Lake Michigan...TWICE! The first time we had planned on hiking, but ended up renting this super fabulous tandem bike for an hour and biking along the lake sure. It was kind of fun, but I'm sure it would have been funny to watch Jake and I, especially when he decided that I should be the one steering in the front while he is in the back (that went poorly, and I think the people that were in the lot as we were trying to get ready to go were laughing at us...a lot).

The second time was with some of my nearest and dearest friends who had decided to come for the weekend and visit! We attempted to go hiking, but it got SUPER BUGGY. Like we thought we had put on enough bug spray, but it was NOT enough. We took this little mini trail that was like a mile long and basically just a loop...we ended up jogging the entire thing. We figured after that workout we deserved to sit on the beach and be bums and enjoy an adult beverage. It was a really fun day and a great weekend with these two. 

I read some awesome books this summer. It would take me a little too long to list them all, but besides catching up on all the Walking Dead graphic novels I read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (DUH, I definitely have mentioned fangirling over her lately), The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (I LOVE Flavia, and can't wait to read more about her...SOON!), Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (WOWZERS, that was quite the read. Definitely interested in seeing how they do the movie), and Lady Thief by AC Gaughen (the 2nd in the Scarlet book series, which is an awesome series...though this one had me getting pretty angry at the book...in a good way, I swear!). Like I said, I read a lot of great books during the summer and constantly added to my "To Read" list. I'd happily give recommendations :)

Lastly, I GOT A JOB! Is it the most glamourous of jobs? Eh, it could be a heck of a lot worse. It's just your average retail job at a shoe store, but I do kind of like it. I have met a lot of people (not that we're all going to be besties or anything like that...but its nice to just talk to people occasionally) and have been learning a lot about shoes (as well as kind of getting myself to like different kinds of shoes...just wait til you see what I have on hold). This job has been such a blessing for me, it really has. It is giving me time to revamp my life plan, so to speak. It gives me a chance to really focus on what's important and what's next for me. It is also giving me the chance to really work those customer service skills as well as other skills. As usual there are those co-workers that I'd rather not have to deal with (and if they approached me in the store I dunno if I would want their help...) and there are those customers that are just ridiculously crabby. There are those crappy retail hours (I had to work Labor day..) and there are weekends that I work (meaning I don't see my husband as much) but it's something we NEEDED badly, and I think it's right where I'm supposed to be (though just for this moment in my life, not permanently.).

I am sad summer is over, and I'm sad I didn't get to do all I wanted to do, but life gets in the way sometimes. However....I do love fall.

I'm excited for all things apple (apple crisp, apple pie, caramel apples...seriously..APPLES...forget pumpkin), all the fall colors (I love the brightness of summer, but there is something about seeing all the leaves change and the slightly cool breeze that means sweaters and boots), more hours at work (I need the money! And the say that fall is one of their busy seasons so I should expect hours. That and I'm working my butt off to prove that I can be awesome and that I deserve the hours), more reading (seriously, there are so many new books coming out and so many other books I want to read. I'm hoping with school and work being in full swing I'll FINALLY be able to get exactly what I want), my TV shows are coming back and new ones I want to check out are airing (YAY Parks and Rec and Walking Dead...and others! I can't wait to check out Gotham and many others. Side note, we mostly want to check out dramas...anyone have any comedies????), and I'm just excited to see what's next (I truly believe that I am in the situation I am for a reason and that I need to make the best of it. I can't wait to see what's next for me). I love fall, so much. I basically just like all season but winter (seriously, for a week or two it's ok...but after that I'm done).

And...that's about it. Sad to see summer go, but so excited for what's next.