Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends!

Last July I said I was coming back. Except I didn’t. Not really. I had reviews roll out in July and August, and then not again until November and December. But that was it. No link ups, no weekly posts, nothing else.

I think I’m fully ready to come back. This is my year. I’m going to find a way. Reading and my blog make me happy.

I have already settled on three challenges for this year: Goodreads, Alphabet Soup, and NetGalley/Edelweiss. *AND* I’ve already made my challenge pages for each and linked the last two!

Last week I also spent a little time cleaning up some other items in the sidebar, top menu, and a few pages. As much time as I put in to it, I decided having a (manual) Review Archives page was unnecessary.

This week I’m going to be working on updating my About Me page. It’s time for a refresh, right? But I always struggle talking about myself.

What are the key elements that should be on your About Me page?

Update on Baby A

It’s been a while since I gave an update about Baby A.

My brother and SIL have settled on a name: Daxton Ray Briggs Anderson. They added Ray at the beginning of September in honor of my dad and maternal grandfather.

His growth spurt seems to be over and the due date has again been moved. We’re sitting at February 13, 2022 – 8 days before my birthday. We are exactly two months away.

However, my SIL has recently experienced persistent bleeding. They’ve gone to the hospital on post twice in the past week. No answer except that Dax is healthy and she might have a “small” leak.

Y’all. This is exactly what happened to my mother in 2002 and it is how she lost the twins. How have we advanced 20 years with technology and medical practice and yet still struggling with the same issue?

I am not happy with the ARMY nurses and doctors on their post right now. It is already a high-risk pregnancy with having at least one miscarriage before and the whole Rh incompatibility.

The next thing my SIL said from the visits is that she basically may be induced any day now, depending on how this goes.

We leave today to fly up to visit them. My brother is graduating on Friday from the Prime Power School (evolved from the Nuclear Power training program established in 1958) on Friday. He is graduating at the top of the mechanical class. It has been an intensive year-long program of study and application. It has consumed my brother and required him to voluntarily reclassify. He is no longer an infantryman, but part of the ARMY Corps of Engineers. Now he will be working to deploy, install, operate, and maintain the Army’s Prime Power Program (P3) power generation and distribution.

Depending on all the things with this pregnancy, they may be moving to El Paso (Ft. Bliss) in January, February, or March. Right now there’s still no telling, but El Paso is only a 100 minute flight nonstop.

Baby A

Baby A is perfect and healthy. At the ultrasound yesterday, Brother 2 and SIL 2 were able to see the baby moving around. I never have any clue what I am looking at when friends share sonograms, but SIL 2 said the head is on the left facing up. The due date has been moved and is a solid February 13, only nine days before my birthday. Best present ever.

Where in the World is Girl of 1000 Wonders?

Hey guys! It’s been … a while.

The last time I posted was November 2019. I tried coming back in February 2020, but it didn’t even make it to a monthly chit chat post.

Life work became too much to handle my actual life. I am still teaching middle school, language arts and yearbook, as well as in charge of UIL. There were endless hours of digital “documentation” and other red-tape justifications required that I

a) wasn’t leaving school until until 7pm or later daily

b) didn’t have the spoons left to even take care of myself once I did get home

c) was so unhappy and {mentally} unhealthy

d) was manifesting my anxiety and depression in purchases.

If I was going to continue to look at a screen when I got home, it was most often to continue working, and if it by chance wasn’t, it was to lose myself mindlessly in social media to numb myself to the reality of my life.

I stopped reading. I think I read 1 book last summer? I have read about a dozen books this year, mostly during the Texas week of snow shut-down in February. I think I have wasted a lot of time numbly? mindlessly? on my phone. I’m hoping to bring reading back into my life.

I stopped buying things for others. That was one one of my three ways I spent money. Sometimes the urge is so hard when I see something that so-and-so would love. Except I never think they actually did.

The other two categories I was numbly? mindlessly? recklessly? spending money on were clothes and eating out. I did legitimately need new clothing because I lost 45 lbs. in a very short time span [whole other story] and my clothes were literally falling off me. Any kid could have easily pantsed me at school with the slightest of tugs. And the eating out was in response to not having the spoons left over to care for myself. Planning meals – and then cooking them – takes a lot of planning. I did all of that for hours at work! Oh. And the moves. And vet bills (I stopped counting at 3K in March 2020). And all of my new medical bills and medications added to my mounting list of debt. How could I forget all of that?!

I accumulated a lot of debt, but somehow it always worked out. Until it didn’t. I had two choices: file for bankruptcy or undergo debt resolution. Did you know it costs you money to file for bankruptcy?? Lordt. I went the other route to resolve my debt. I hate what it is doing to my credit score, but it will eventually bounce back.

There is another thing that only those who are extremely close to me know about. I’ve been battling with this for over 4 years now. I’ve thought many times about the root cause – the “why” – and can’t really decide which it is. I have Trichotillomania – mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair. It started the last summer I was with R when I was applying to all the teaching jobs around and principals wanted to hire me but didn’t want to even call my current school district to talk about my contract. I was terrified of spending another year living like I was – renting a room in a house with two guys, driving an hour to school in the mornings, and driving almost 2 hours every weekend to be with my SO. And it never stopped.

My hair was so pitiful I could only make a tiny little nub of a ponytail high on my head. I’ve also thought a lot about financial contributing to this behavior because R and that whole situation are no longer in my life and it is still happening. I thought it was getting better, but the trich combined with my thyroid just shutting down last year were a perfect storm in hair loss to the point that I had my mother shave my head into a mowhawk early in the spring – and she didn’t have to do much shaving. I started using MONAT hair wash and conditioner to help my hair growth, and I am trying to force myself to be conscientious about pulling. I haven’t had an “episode” in a while.

Along with my thyroid choosing to chunk a deuce last year for some mysteriously unknown reason, I also finally received some other health answers. At 26 I was diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic. My A1C went from 6.7 to 14.1 in a calendar year while I was eating the healthiest I probably ever had. I argued with my PCP for 2 years that there was something else – and my numbers kept showing it. And then I magically lost those 45 pounds in only 4.5 months. I was finally referred to an endocrinologist who listened to me, so he knew all the right tests to run. Last year when the U.S. shut down, I was diagnosed as Type 1 Diabetic. As well as Type 2. Just like my cousin. I am doing really well on my medications and am thankful for my endocrinologist, who is also just an overall GREAT supporter.

I have felt the past few years that teaching is my identify and I don’t know how to combat that, separate myself into work and personal life. I think returning to two of my passions – reading and blogging – might help me feel more complete. Not hollow. Or lost. Or whatever it is I’ve felt.

I guess this also is my official “I’m coming back!!” post…now that we’ve gone through all that. I’m going to be doing some refreshes here and writing reviews. I am going to be taking it reeeeeeaaaally slow so I don’t experience burn out….teacher burn out (if that even not happen), reading burn out, blogging burn out, life burn out.

And … maybe the biggest news of all. For my birthday in February, my (middle) brother and his wife are giving me the best birthday present EVER.

I’m going to be an aunt!

Back to School

Hey y’all!

It is that time again. I have already been back at school since last Tuesday – the day after I returned from Hawaii. I worked at school all week on our first ever incoming 6th grade orientation, Hippo Camp. I got some planning in with my new partner and my new mentee, who will be supporting our language arts classes thru writers’ workshop. The week ended with Hippo Camp. We had 126 baby 6th graders attend. It was a crazy packed day! 

Now it is time to move on to getting my classrooms ready. I want to do a few things differently, but I have seen HUGE classes on my unofficial class lists. As in 35+. Lawdy, but I hope not. That’s a discredit to teaching those kids. 

As I’m gearing up for the new year with new teaching load of all advanced classes (and one on-level), I’m wanting to change some things up. There is a big #clearthelist teacher movement going around right now across the nation. I am eyeballing some items on Amazon that I really would like to have to support these changes for my kids. 

Please take a peek at my Amazon wishlist for my two classrooms and groups of students. I want to prepare my classrooms for my students to be super successful in a great environment! If you feel so inclined, I would love any support from you guys! I appreciate every little bit. 

My Life is Complete!

I have spent the summer teaching summer school for all of June, a two-week total slob-hobo-in-my-own-home, followed by two weeks in Hawaii with my mom. The trip was to see my youngest brother stationed there, but things are always screwy with my brothers. We did see him….4 times…for a few hours. And this time, it wasn’t the military’s fault. Long story there.

While on this trip is also the first time I revealed to anyone who I didn’t have in-person contact with a massive change about my appearance. I drastically changed my hair, which required 2 cuts because the first stylist fucked it up so bad. SO bad. So I kept a low profile for several weeks. I didn’t share any photos of myself until this trip. I was asked – or should I say hinted but too scared to actually come out and ask – by one kid in summer school and one guy on this trip if I was a lesbian because it is short and part of my head is shaved. Seriously? We live in 2019. That is so ignorant.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip (minus my moody brother who never spoke to me or wanted to do any activities with us while we were there). We had only 1 tour scheduled when we arrived. There was only 1 other person with us! We went to Pearl Harbor (super, super powerful – read about that here), the Dole Plantation (not enough time to do anything but browse the shop), and the Polynesian Cultural Center. We only saw part of one tribe there (out of the six), and I would go back there in a heartbeat! It was so interesting and different.  You could easily spend 2 days there.

We laid low for a couple of days while researching and planning the rest of our trip. We took a circle tour of the island that had nearly 15 stops, which ended at the Dole Plantation. There was one woman making us late at EVERY single stop. She would not come back to the bus. It was getting very frustrating. One of the last stops was a quick snorkel at Turtle Beach (where I saw no turtles). It’s hard to believe, but this was the first time I had ever snorkeled. And I felt like I totally sucked at it. To my credit, the water was really shallow and the reef was right below me, so the idea that I COULD stand messed with me, even though I couldn’t. Because the reef! The water was also really murky, so I gave up.

We went to the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium. They were on the small side compared to what we have in Texas, and I saw many typical animals in their zoo that are native to Texas, so that didn’t WOW me right off the bat. The zoo day was very tiring, so we had to do the aquarium a different day. While we were there, the Hawaiian Ukelele Festival was happening between our hotel and the aquarium. It was a CRAZY day! Traffic all day, constant honking, flags being worn or displayed from passing vehicles, windows down with loud music blaring. We later learned that all of that was not for the Ukelele Festival, but part of a Hawaiian (the locals) protest.

We also went to a very small sea life park. It was free transportation to the other side of the island, and once each portion of the park was open and up and running, we liked it. They had several things shut down for construction, including the huge gift shop, so that was disappointing. BUT! They had 14 green sea turtles very accessible. All but three were 75-80 years old. The three younger ones were 21-25. I came back to their pool at least twice.

We figured out how to use the actual bus system, not the trollies (all but two that charge $25 a day!).  Day bus pass? $5.50. We went to the ‘Iolani Palace, home of Hawaiian royalty and the Hawaiian capital until 1969. It has been restored. We went on an audio tour and had to wear special covers on our shoes. The history of the rulers is very interesting. We finally got down some of the biggest Hawaiian historical points with more explanation in the audio tour of the palace.

Our last full day in Hawaii, we went on a catamaran sail to swim with green sea turtles out in the Pacific Ocean. It was the most exhilarating thing and checked off the number one thing on my mental bucket list. My life is now complete! As soon as I swam off from the ladder, there was a boy in front of me and a turtle surfaced right in front of him. I could reach over his shoulder and touch its head, but that’s a federal offense. After that, I was just in heaven. I will never, ever forget that for the rest of my life – and I did it with my mom. And I had no problems whatsoever snorkeling out in the ocean.

The flights were long. Even though I slept continually waiting for our airport shuttle, on the 8-hour flight back to Texas, and in the Houston airport during our layover and then multiple delays, I struggled the day after we came back. I couldn’t seem to get out of bed, but I eventually had to to be at school to plan an event with my principals.

I loved Hawaii – except for the prices. A cheeseburger was $15! Just a cheeseburger and fries. Not even a beverage. That part of Hawaii is a huge deterrent, but if I were to ever somehow miraculously go back, I would do so many catamaran turtle snorkels and go back to the Polynesian Cultural Center and do the entire thing, all the shows and components of each tribe.

Cruise Photos

We left for Galveston on the 4th of July. It was a long drive through torrential downpours almost the entire way. We were a little cramped in my car, but it was alright. The hotel was OK. I expected a little bit more, but we didn’t splurge. I was surprised we got such a great deal at the last minute. We did venture out to see fireworks. I love fireworks. We missed most of it. Only saw about 10 or so minutes.

We were up and getting on the boat by 11:00 the next morning. I was nervous that it was going to be crazy and confusing getting parked and on, but the Port of Galveston has their shit together. I dropped all my people and our crap, drove alongside the boat to the lot, and got shuttled back. We went in and zoomed through all the beginning stuff and then waited to board.

My mom and youngest brother and friend went, but we were part of a larger group of my mom’s classmates and other 80s alumni from our high school. Most were couples, a few parents and their children, a couple people brought a friend like I did. One of my classmates came with her family and brought her husband. It was really nice to see and chat with her. I did not get seasick, but my brother did a little bit.


I loved all of the options on board – both food and activities. We went to a movies music trivia (apparently I suck, BTW), Harry Potter trivia (also suck at), and a facial pampering party. There were more things, but we kinda came back to take naps, and well, just slept. I really wanted to go to the towel folding and the married couple game show. Apparently that is funny as hell and you have to see it if you’re ever on a cruise and they do one.

Dinner each night was nice. As my brother said, you get treated like a king. Our waiters Omar, Rolando, and Adita were SUPER fabulous. LOVED them! Rolando was very personable and quite a hoot. I didn’t try anything adventurous, but I did enjoy the desserts!

We spent about half the day in Cozumel after actually getting through debarkation. We were about 10 or so people away from making it to the stairs down to the crew deck to debark when this crew member was like “There is a shorter line this way.” We went backwards and rounded by the elevators and the line was already down that whole corridor parallel to the one we just walked down and wrapped around to the interior of the ship. We turned around and went back. And she came back and tried to get us to go over there again. Pffft. Lady needs some eyeglasses and a ruler.

We walked through the pier shops and to the taxis and went straight to one of the resorts that was reported to us to be very good. (Not really, y’all.) In hindsight, I wish we had actually gone on an excursion when in Cozumel. Several people from our group went to do the swimming with the dolphins. Lesson learned for next time. I am disappointed my legs are still white as can be. I got some sun in my face and a little burn on my shoulders while at the resort beach. I also got a henna tattoo! I think my mom felt bad that I was the only one who wanted one, so she got Snoopy on her arm. My friend ruined her phone in the ocean and that was a big downer. On the way back to the boat, we visited select shops to pick up free items. Most were charms for bracelets. And my mom and I also bought birthstone rings! My mom got this beautiful opal cracked ring for only $45! While we were in a shop picking up one of the free charms, I saw a ring that caught my eye. I got the guy down to $125 on the first “ehhhh”. I could have gotten him lower (y’all, they are willing to bargain!), but we wanted to get out and get all our stuff and get back on the ship.


Getting off the ship was the worst of it. It was a little ridiculous and of course I came up with a better protocol and operation. We had to vacate our staterooms at 8:30, but could not get off until after 9:30. We had to lug all our luggage around while everyone else on the entire ship was doing the same thing. So we leave our rooms at 8:30, wait forever to get up to the 9th deck (we were on 2), park our stuff and I go to get in line for breakfast. They were shutting it down! As I was trying to go through the line, they were pulling everything off! Jackasses. So I ended up with six pancakes thinking I needed to share with everybody because they were still at the table. Turns out they all went separate ways and got something, but I thought that was hella rude. Especially since it said breakfast would be served until 10:30.

We again drove home in torrential downpours. I was quite peeved with my friend because she was sullen and snappy the entire day getting off the ship and coming home. While in the many lines and checkpoints getting off, she kept purposely falling way behind. We were about 40 miles away from my dad’s work on the way home and I asked my mom if she wanted to stop and see him. He did not go because he is terrified of water. My friend snapped “I’d like to get home as soon as I can.” I get that she was phoneless, but she already had said she wouldn’t be able to do anything until her mom got off work that evening, so what did it matter if we stopped for 10 minutes? I wasn’t real happy on the way home. :/

I will be doing another post about things I learned on my first cruise because I feel like I become quite wise while in the midst of some of these things. And some of them are funny.

The day after getting back, the spearhead of this whole cruise posted about an Alaskan cruise in 2020. You know where I’ll be! 🙂

Where in the World???


Aloha! I’m back!

You guys, it has been a ROLLERCOASTER ride since the last real post I did. I had a few scheduled, but you haven’t seen me around since my official hiatus on April 4th.


I have moved …. twice! 

You guys already knew about the big break-up. I don’t get why people keep asking me if I still talk to him??? Like, no! WHY would I!?! I had to call the cops on him – a cop! Just STAHP, right nowUH. So I packed up all my crap, put most of it in a storage unit (new expense), and was stuck living in my “temporary” rented one bedroom. My roommates were very amiable, but I HAD to move for several reasons:

  • I was super cramped and felt a little claustrophobic.
  • It took nearly 50 minutes to travel to or from work.
  • The fence was unreliable and the neighbor’s dog was aggressive.
  • I could not really invite guests over besides family.
  • I was tired of dirty dishes literally ALL over the house.
  • Whatever my body-building roommate threw away in the kitchen trash started attracting never-ending bugs.
  • My landlord’s two sons were not very nice to Baby – and she ADORED them.
  • I wanted to be able to walk around half-dressed or looking like a hot mess hobo and not care.

I was not planning to move again right away. I was going to wait it out and pay crap off (y’all, I’m seriously in debt now, not quite sure how this is going to go). My work partner K had her BFF’s apartment locator husband on the hunt for me, and then my SPED teacher from my first year of teaching sent me a screenshot of this potential rental coming on the market – right around the corner from my old house, and even closer down the street to her house! I couldn’t pass up the 2 bedroom for the price. It was less than the rent my new landlords were jacking up my one bedroom to down the street (also large factor in why I moved out of my little bungalow down the street).

Moving was painful, I’m not going to lie. I think I’ve mentioned about 339087497 times how much I HATE moving! I was moving EVERYTHING out of my room to the new place by myself. One day I almost passed out. I had to go cool myself with a cold cloth for about 10 minutes. I moved everything except the bed and two dressers, but I did take all the drawers out and move those. In the process, I found several new pieces of furniture large and small for my new house because remember when I was supposed to move in with that asshat and spend the rest of my life with him? Why would we need two couches and two microwaves and this huge ass desk? So I had to buy some things for the new house. I had movers move the bed and dressers, and then I hired them a few days later to bring everything out of my storage unit.

We are 90% settled in. I am still waiting to get my kitchen table out of my parents’ storage unit. Of course it is in the very back! That probably won’t happen until mid-July. I also have not put up any of my wall decor yet, but I should do that soon. I have 2 boxes of picture albums, frames and other photos I don’t quite know what to do with, so it’s still all boxed up. The only thing I am not sure about is my inversion table. Right now it is in a corner out of the way, all taped up so it can’t come open. I have no idea where I am going to store it after use. That’s also a July problem.


I’ve gone on dates … and almost got kidnapped! 

I’ve gone on a few dates. All fizzled. It seems that we are living in a first date culture. I don’t get that. I am also SUPER surprised at the number of couples looking for a third partner or a partner for just them or just for their wife. I guess I’m too naive?

My first date was with a German engineer. He was very knowledgeable and extremely talkative. I liked him, but I felt a little ashamed of myself that in his 3 years in the US he has traveled more extensively than I have! He was going back to Germany this summer, so it wouldn’t have been a lasting thing anyway.

Then there was the ADT head honcho. His voice was like silk. Makes sense that his degree was in musical production. That lasted a week and a half.

Then there was the Indian guy. We went to a really nice place close to downtown Austin. I had just started my keto diet, so I was sticking to water, salads, and meats. I understand there are people who feel awkward or whatever when they are the only one drinking. I don’t understand that because you do you, so I thought he was just trying to be nice. He already had champagne for himself when I arrived. He asked a couple times if I wanted a drink and I declined every time. We had a really great conversation as we ate. As the dinner wound down, he wanted to go see Deadpool. I was interested exactly 0%. I agreed. The theater was sold out, of course, with opening weekend. I found this cute little drive-in theater that was showing The Goonies! We actually got a spot. I was so excited. We couldn’t keep the radio on without turning off the car, so he was fussing about all the displays. I didn’t care. After that was fixed, he all but attacked me. I told him to cool his jets because he was making me feel very uncomfortable. He was as far onto his door as could be. After about five minutes, he got out. I thought he was going to the concession stand. He got back in and started the car. As we pulled out of the theater, he was FLYING. He almost got us T-boned on my side. We got back down to the main street we’d come in on, and he was turning the wrong way. I asked him several times where we were going and he wouldn’t answer. Finally he said he was taking me to my car. He plugged his phone in and set his maps and the GPS said “Going home.” I started panicking, for good reason. He was going 60-65 down a residential street. I started reaching for my purse – to get my phone and call 911. All of a sudden, he swerved into this super shady convenience store with no gas pumps and started yelling at me to get out. He told me I could get an Uber to my car and shoved me out and took off. In hindsight, I think the only reason he stopped and dumped me is because he thought I was reaching for a gun. It cost nearly $50 to get back to my car. I was so shaken I cried. My (male) Uber driver was ultra nice. He let me cry and then when we got to my car he went on this angry tirade about men like that giving all men a bad rap, nothing was wrong with me, hoped I would find a nice guy, etc.

After a few weeks, I went out with this guy who lived in my hometown. Instant connection. We had a great night. Ate at Olive Garden and then went to play putt-putt. He made a few holes-in-one. He was old school country and I really liked him. Again, after a week and a half, it died. He totally ghosted me. If I ever run into him around town, I guess I’ll ignore him and pretend I don’t know him either.


I’ve been recognized at work…finally! 

My principal hand-delivered the yearbooks to me when they arrived. He was waiting for me to crack open a box. He poured over one and congratulated me on a job well done. Considering he has no idea what we do or how hard or stressful it is, this made me feel really good. He legitimately was interested in what our books looked like.

My principal also complimented my partner and I in a sit-down with him (about other department stuff) and then in a meeting with other teachers present. He is proud of the fact that we actually work together, plan together – and that we get along and like each other. We told him we’re joined at the hip. Seriously, at this point we share a brain. I also felt so validated because my partner K said if I had left this year (because that was the plan before the break-up), she was going to approach our principal and ask to move to the writing elective because she couldn’t work with anyone after me. Awwww. I hope we’re together for many years to come.

We have also been approached to try TWO new things next year. The first is from our principal. He wants us to completely change our teaching methods to blended classrooms. The upside is we have more individualized instruction with small groups of students and can really target skills. The downside is it is less control over the classroom and who knows if those kids over there are actually working? They look like they are….and then you grade the work and they were 94% goofing off. He specifically said it could crash and burn horribly, but we are failing forward. At this point, what could it hurt? The second came from our instructional specialist (which came down from the district). We are going to do a Texas Lesson Study with the state education agency. It is a long process that involves several sessions where they come in and film. Last year there were 216 educators in Texas who piloted this program. NONE were language arts teachers. My partner and I will be the first that we know of. It’s quite daunting.

Lastly, I received my five year service pin this year! I was so happy to hit this milestone, especially since it almost didn’t happen. This also means I can now apply for federal loan forgiveness! My loan will almost cut in half after everything goes through. It will be so nice once that’s paid off.

On another note, my yearbook staff next year is going to be awesome. I have a great core group of veterans returning and a stellar leadership force. And they are a force – to be reckoned with! We went to our spring workshop in April and got some good stuff going. I also got to lock up our principal in jail at our carnival.


I’m teaching summer school

Lord knows, I need the money right now. I am seriously a bazillion dollars in debt at this point (how??) and while I am panicking over here in this one corner, in the other three I’m totally ignoring and not caring. We’ll always have bills. And I have a plan! However, my living arrangement costs have drastically increased, so I’m not sure yet what the new monthly bills will look like. It’s going to be tight for a while. This summer school money will only alleviate a little.

31432470_10155503651062643_6359687550018867686_nThe kids are too much. I like a lot of them, and then there are the 3 or 4 that are absolute turds. (I’ve been using the word “turdie” a lot lately.) I tried choosing activities that would be engaging and fun. They LOVED the murder mystery at the end of the first week. Even though it’s work, I’m enjoying it. The kids have proclaimed that me and my partner K are the most likeable and favorites. I’ll take that.

The summer school principal has taken note of that, so hopefully I’ll have a fast-track in for next year. We have two more days of instruction and then they take the third administration of the state reading test. I have been assigned to an oral administration group, so I will at least not go crazy out of my mind being bored for 4 hours because I’ll have to be reading questions and answers to every student.



The cruise is coming up

35932269_2089212971121098_5229359833794215936_oThe cruise is coming up! Things are starting to get finalized and all the details put into place. I just ordered our group shirts and excursion yesterday. I’ll have to get our parking ordered and hotel booked this week. It’s fast approaching and I’m realizing I need a new swimsuit (the elastic is out on my old one) and I have no water shoes (never have) and who knows what else I’ll think of. I am going to soak up this experience – AND SWIM WITH SEA TURTLES!!! After this, I plan to pick dates to head down and watch a release of Kemp Ridley sea turtle hatchlings.


The brothers

My oldest brother has deployed. He is currently in El Paso doing whatever they’re doing before they leave the states. He will be going to Africa and I’m a lotta nervous about it now that it’s closer and weird shit has been happening over there. He kept telling my mom, “Don’t worry, you’ll be a rich woman if I die.”

My middle brother came home for leave and then went to his new base in Kentucky.  Just a few days later the Red Cross was sending him home when my grandfather died. He is back up there and loving it, although he doesn’t send much word back home. I learned from my oldest brother that my middle brother is also deploying in January to the Middle East. My oldest brother choked up a bit when he told me and he stressed that he was the one to go, that it was his job. Maybe he is growing up a little bit.

My youngest brother, my baby, graduated high school! He is spending his summer at home until we go on the cruise and then he’ll be shipping off to basic training soon after that. Because he now has his license, he is wanting to drive everyone’s vehicles everywhere. (The bleached hair is for baseball playoffs…it’s a tradition.)


I’ve spent a lot of time with my family and friends and Baby. Yes, she is french fry wasted in that photo. This time, I didn’t fall apart. I just moved forward. Thanks for all the love and support these past two months.

I am back and I’ll be working on getting things back up and running around here. I have not read a book since mid-March, so I am anxious and excited about diving back into reading this summer now that I’m mostly settled in. I can’t wait to hear from you guys and go around visiting!


I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise, right?

I’ve decided to take a temporary hiatus. After the shit storm that was my life in March and adjusting to my new life (and dating – y’all – I’ve gone on DATES!…OK, two…two dates) and dealing with losing my grandfather and the maelstrom to come, I am struggling to find time to read, let alone work on the blog. When Baby gives me the “Seriously? Another screen?” face, it makes me feel like a horrible dog mom. I have to make time for her, too. She’s my Baby.

So…I will be slowly working on things behind the scenes while I’m hiatusing so that things are ready to roll when I come back…which I’m hoping is the end of May?? You can follow me afar from Instagram. @sissybearla