My New Year’s “Resolutions” for 2016

Let me just start by saying I realize how “cliche” resolutions are and how stupid some people make them out to be. This is all a matter of opinion. Any day of the week, month, or year, I’m liable to start a new “resolution” and that’s okay. If I want to start every single day out saying, “I’m going to start losing weight, today!” good for me! Every successful person started out by trying. You can start 1 day and finish in 365, or you can start over everyday. There is no formula, it’s just whatever makes you feel good about yourself.  Okay? Here we go.

Last week, I did a recap of 2015. It was a fairly exciting year. This year I’m hoping to have even more excitement, just hopefully heavy on the happy variety.

Last year (last month), I basically finished the first draft of my first novel. Then, I decided I wanted to make it alternating POV. Now I’m writing the other half. Which leads to my first resolution – finish my novel and publish it! Since the first half is done, I feel like this is a very reasonable goal.

Otherwise, I would like to be more financially responsible (wouldn’t we all?), embrace some self-love, find my joy, and I would like be a better wife, step mother, sister, friend, co-worker, etc. by showing up. I’m a HUGE Rachel Hollis fan. If you’re not familiar, she’s the owner of The Chic Site. She’s an entrepreneur, a writer, a mother, and a friend. Not necessarily my friend (I wish) but she does exude a friendliness that is worth admiring. She’s had a big campaign lately about showing up in her own life and it has really opened my eyes to the fact that I’m not showing up in the areas of my life that I should. I need to put aside my lists of things to do and my script for like (that no one follows anyway) and be there for those around me. You never know what sort of amazing thing could come from just showing up. 🙂

So there you have it, those are my “resolutions” or goals for the new year.

  • Finish my book
  • Save some money
  • Embrace self-love
  • Find joy
  • Show up

What are your goals or resolutions for the new year?

-xoxo-

Ashley

Thankfulness

Happy November, everyone!

I’ve been less than regular here lately, and I again, have no excuse for it. I have however, been thinking a lot lately about thankfulness. That’s no surprise as we are in the month of the year that everyone seems to remember to be thankful, right? So there are many things that I think of often that I need to say thanks for. My husband for one, for always seeing the best in me and bringing out the worst (trust me, it’s a good thing ;)), my step-son for reminding me what life is all about. Let me stop here. My step-son is the #2 man in my life. He is a HUGE part of my world. But there are so many days that I take the love I have for him for granted, or the love he has for me, because I’m too busy being upset with “the situation”. “The situation” being with his mom, of course. Now let me start by saying that she is involved in his life and she loves him and we do all get along. But of course, there are so many times when I want to pull my hair out or her hair out for one thing or another and even just because I’m jealous of her for being able to have him or her other kids in the first place. I never realized just how hard being part of a blended family would be. It is though, it is the single hardest thing I have ever done and possibly ever will do. But it’s worth it. 100% worth it. Being a step-mom has taught me so much and I continue to learn everyday. I’m also thankful for my parents. They weren’t perfect, they were the parents who didn’t get along great when I was growing up, but they stayed together through the good and the bad, for better or worse, and showed me that love is worth fighting for. I’m grateful for my job, for my friends and extended family. I’m grateful to have married into a large family even if it makes me incredibly antsy at family gatherings. I’ve been going through a hard time lately, dealing with infertility and feeling like I’m losing my purpose and not living the life I intended. Do we ever really live the life we intended? Maybe to an extent. But there’s always unplanned things that get in the way. I never thought I would have trouble getting pregnant or that I would even marry into a blended family, but I have had trouble and I did pick that family, and on good days, I realize that I was given this life because I’m strong enough to handle it, and for that, I am undeniably thankful.

I am also overwhelmingly thankful for all of you who take the time to stop by my page for my posts that are sometimes few and far between and I hope that somehow, in my ramblings you are able to take something away from them once in a while. 🙂

<3

Oh and Happy Veteran’s Day to the Veteran’s! It is because of you that I have the freedom to be thankful at all. 🙂 ❤

Negative Reviews

I’m not good at negative reviews. Maybe because I’m sensitive? I’m all for constructive criticism and I know that’s a major player in negative reviews, sometimes. Sometimes, you find people who are seemingly unhappy with their lives and only want to spread negativity. That’s the only thing I can think of. Sure, there are times when you can seriously dislike something or have a real bad experience and want to share it with everyone, but other times I think some people are just being mean. In the banking industry, we realize that when someone gets good service, they tell maybe one person, but if they get bad service they tell at least 10. This is true for pretty much all industries, I know. The problem I have with giving negative reviews is that I really truly see the good in everything. That’s not to say that every review I have given is good, but let’s see in book reviews, I generally research the books I read before I read them. There are authors that I know I would love to read their grocery lists. So I know that when one of their books comes out, I’ll probably devour it. Or if they recommend certain books in their genre, I will probably love them, too. Anyways, the point to this post (which could honestly be reviewed very negatively due to all of my run-on thoughts), is that I’m not really sure how to give a negative review of a book. Especially if it’s book I truly did enjoy. Generally I’d give it 4 stars and move on. I’ve given 3 stars here and there. It just seems to me, if the book was really good, I should give it so many stars and not mention the small things that bothered me like the fact that the story wrapped up rather quickly at the end (it has to end somewhere right?) or that it was pretty easy to predict. A good book is a good book, right? I have so much to learn in all of this, I’m just trying to cypher my way through. 🙂

Goodnight!

xoxo

Ashley

Book Review- That Boy by Jillian Dodd

This book begins in the present day where Jadyn is on a romantic first date with one of her best friends and he proposes. Actually, it’s a full blown engagement party that he’s thrown. As she walks up to the stage to tell everyone that there is no way she’s going to marry that boy. She begins remembering what led them here to begin with.

Jadyn & Phillip have been friends since birth. They had a beautiful and easy friendship until Danny showed up in 5th grade.

I run outside and walk right up to those stupid boys. I ignore Danny and say to Phillip, “I want to play football with you guys, okay?”

Phillip shrugs his shoulders. Danny steps between us and says to Phillip, “No way .She’ll just end up getting hurt and go bawling home.” “Girls aren’t tough enough to play football.”

I look that Devil Boy in the eye.

Dad told me to teach him a lesson by playing football, but I can see now what I have to do. I cock my arm back and punch that boy right in the stomach. Then I move closer and give him a jab in the face. He falls onto his butt in the grass.

The corner of his lip is bleeding and he’s looking at me with a shocked expression.

“You know what? You just might be tough enough to play football.”

Thus begins the beautiful friendship between the three of them. One boy will give her her first kiss, one will teach her to make out. One boy will be flirty and sexy, the other will talk her to sleep at night. Both boys will love her. Both boys will help her through the toughest times of her life. Only one boy will be the love of her life. Which will it be??

This story was so wonderful! it’s written like a journal…I felt like I was in Jadyn’s head throughout the story. I remembered my feelings falling in love and getting mad at stupid boys and just the feelings I felt throughout high school and what not. This book will bring out the ugly tears, the giggles, the feels.

5 beautiful stars!

Let’s talk about underdogs.

An underdog is someone, usually in a competition, who isn’t expected to win. Right? Underdogs are all around us. I consider myself an underdog often. I feel like I work extra hard to accomplish the things I want because there isn’t anything just extraordinary about me at this time, I’m not the most beautiful or the smartest. People don’t just love me from the start and give me what I want. We’re probably all underdogs at some point in our lives. I say all of this because I had a pretty disturbing conversation about an underdog with someone who I honestly have always admired for the way that he seems unbiased and fair in decisions. He is choosing not to give the underdog a chance and I just feel like it has to do with the fact that she’s not the prettiest or best in social situations and I think this isn’t fair. This makes me want to pull for her that much more and honestly makes me appreciate him less for being oblivious to her big heart and hard work.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

So if you’re an underdog, know that I’m pulling for you! and everyone who isn’t will eventually see that you shine brighter than the rest because you have known struggles!

That’s my rant for the day.

Look for my book review of That Boy by Jillian Dodd on Thursday!

xoxo

Ashley