Monday, November 3, 2014


November is the month of thanks and I've been thinking so much about how thankful I am for everything in my life. My heart has been so full and I have been happy. I'm so giddy that I just can't seem to wipe a smile off of my face. There is a bounce in my step that doesn't leave. I almost don't want to talk about it because I'm nearly afraid I'll jinx it, but as I said, my heart is overjoyed. It's been years since I've felt this way and I couldn't be more thankful.

There have been times that I've wondered what life has to offer me because I felt so stuck in a rut. I certainly have my days like that now, but I am starting to see my life begin again and while I've felt uneasy about it because there is so much unknown, I can also see the potential that is has and it's been enthralling for me to experience. I've had many "ah-ha" moments and chances to make some huge decisions on the direction I want to go. It's unnerving at times and the thought of moving forward in such a big way stops me in my tracks, but as things continue to unfold, the more excited I become.

I have been given a lot of new opportunities and with much debate, thought, and tears I've accepted them. Each one has opened up to something better and it's got me optimistic about these chances I am taking. I've always been the type of person to stick to my comfort zone, but this time I've decided to take the risk and to just go for it. Since branching out of the known I've had an entire world open up to me that I had been ignoring. Stepping out of my comfort zone has taught me that you can't get what you want and what you deserve unless you spread your wings and take a leap. And while things may fall through the cracks here and there, everything has it's own way of working out. It always has. I'm so excited for these next 6 or 7 months to unfold. So many new adventures await me and while the planning in between is stressful and completely overwhelming at times, thinking about the overall outcome is what keeps me going.

I've been having such a fun time the last 3 months. My circle of friends has expanded. My confidence has skyrocketed. I've been getting out and doing more things. I've taken more trips and have explored new places. I've taken a chance with my heart and couldn't be more happy with how things are.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Beginning of Nov Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge Day 1 - Something Blue -

So much laughter was had yesterday afternoon. A friend and I got together and decided to check out our local Sage Hill Vineyard and Winery. I was shocked at how different the wines are here compared to California, where I had my very first wine! The kind of grapes that we can grow around here are different and I had a lot of wines that had a very distinct flavor I've never had before. They were very earthy and had a spice to them.

I've found that so far I tend to like the white wines more than the reds, but I was completely shocked to find that at our tasting yesterday I didn't like any of the whites he poured us. I wasn't a huge fan of the reds, either, but there was one that I didn't mind and could have a glass of!

We got to try a couple of dessert wines that were unfortunately unavailable for purchase right now, but they were quite good! I decided to get a bottle of the red wine that I didn't mind but as we were getting ready to leave we asked about one that was on the pamphlet that we didn't try. He did have it available and poured us a little bit. Hopefully my palate wasn't completely gone at that point, but I really enjoyed the very last white that we tried so I switched the red for the white! Hopefully when I open the bottle up again I won't be disappointed!

We then drove around the lake and went into town and had dinner at Skyline together.

I have been so lucky to get to know this lady and it's going to be sad when she leaves as she's only here for a short time. I'm definitely going to be missing a good friend that I've made. The time that we've spent together has been so enjoyable. She's been great to bounce ideas off of, gives wonderful advice and suggestions, and I've really loved getting to know her!

Photo Challenge Day 2 - I saw this! -

For roughly the last month and a half I have been studying and preparing to take my national ASCP certification in phlebotomy. The phlebotomy class that I took to get my certificate was super basic and so I've been enjoying (for the most part) learning more and getting a lot more in depth with everything. I definitely know that I'm in the right field of study. As I've been reading through the book I've been wanting to know how everything is connected, wanting to know even more. Very excited to get back into school and finish up my degree and get a job in what I know I want to do!

My goal is to take the test by February and so far I don't think that will be a problem to get done! I'm currently working on getting the paperwork filled out and processed to register and once that comes back a date will be set! I'm really nervous about it because I am a terrible test taker, but I'm feeling pretty confident in knowing this stuff like the back of my hand since I've been working in the lab for awhile!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A month for writers...

Last year I really wanted to attempt NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writers Month. Each participant has the entire month of November to write a novel of 50,000 words or more. They look at it as everyone has a story to tell, whether it's fact or fiction. Most people say "Some day I want to write a book." NaNoWriMo is that time. The time to stop putting it off and to just do it.

I started writing last year on November first and only lasted about 3 days. I ended up with 1,043 words. Roughly 2 pages in a Word document. My subject matter was difficult. I couldn't stay focused. Writers block hit about as soon as I started. I did no planning and I had a heck of a time deciding how much I wanted to personalize it.

I was too picky. I couldn't make up my mind and I tried SO hard not to criticize and edit myself after each and every sentence. Most of what I wrote was not re-read after I typed it and it was the hardest thing I did! 9 times out of 10 when I write a paper, or even a blog, my rough draft ends up being near my final draft... but with a book that isn't possible.

I contemplated giving NaNoWriMo another shot this year, but I honestly don't have the time, dedication, or drive to put into it. I have a full time job that I've been putting in overtime with, and I'm trying my hardest to study up to pass my ASCP exam beginning of next year.

But I do miss writing. I miss the challenge and I miss expressing myself. In the past I have done blogger challenges by posting every day for a month and I've decided that I want to challenge myself to doing that again. My blogs may be short and sweet, or they may just contain a photo for the photo challenge I want to attempt (once again). But I need a jump start into blogging again and I felt like it was an opportune time to do so.

I've went back and read what I wrote last year for NaNoWriMo and I want to share a bit of it. When I read it I really wish I would have kept going and written more. I don't think what I jotted down was too terrible (certainly could probably be better) and I hope that maybe some day I can take it further. Writing a book is on my bucket list and whether I can publish it or not is beside the point. But I hope that someday I can revisit that point in my life and help other people go through what I went through and show them that while it was a difficult journey, one can heal. I know what I want the subject to be, I know what I want to share, I just don't know how to go about it and the format that I want the book to have.

Now I don't know if I want my book to be written this way... but when I started this one last year I decided that I wanted to share my life but do it in a way that it was like telling a story and writing a work of fiction. Most things are taken straight form my life, some are exaggerated... that's the freedom of writing :)

So here is a little excerpt of what I wrote... Judge kindly, but constructive criticism and comments are always nice :)


She gathered up her things and put them into her navy blue bag that had held those few necessary items for the last three months. A toothbrush, change of clothes, important documents, and maybe a book, if only she could focus enough to read it. Making the decision of which shirt to pack was harder than normal and brought her to tears. Realizing that she would likely not change into it anyway, she just threw one in without a second thought. She sat down on the bed in their bedroom of only 9 short months and heaved a heavy sigh knowing they would never sleep beside each other in that queen sized bed again. They would never have the chance to hang up their sign they just bought reading, “I love you more!”. They would never again playfully argue over whose turn it was to switch his oxygen tubing from his nasal cannula to his bipap machine. Memories raced through Sophie’s mind as she stared at those 4 pale yellow walls. She was numb and still could not fathom what was about to happen.

She kissed Brad’s little chihuahua and set out his food before she left. Her heart shattered in that moment as there is nothing like the bond between a man and his dog. After 3 months of being separated, with a few short visits in between, there is no doubt that he knew something was going on, but the poor dog could never be prepared with what was to come.

As Sophie went from room to room recalling memories that they shared in each, she started getting anxious and realized it was past time to get back to him. She didn’t get a whole lot of time to herself these days, but it’s not that she wanted it, either. Time to herself was filled with panic and all the what-if questions. What if something would happen if she were gone? What if he needed her? It was best if she just stayed near.

Grabbing her things, she left their home with sweet memories but a broken and bitter heart. She started out on her one hour drive that she knew would be the last. Her stomach was in knots, her heart palpated, and tears threatened to escape her tender green eyes. She wanted to get back to him, but knew that with each moment that went by, it was one moment closer to when she would get hold his hand and kiss his lips for the very last time.


The story and relationship of Sophia E. Baker and Bradley L. Martin was considered a lifetime movie to most and even a fairy tale to some. Sophie and Brad could hardly agree. They saw their relationship no different than anyone elses, and that is what made it so extraordinary. It may have been full of dumb luck and quirky flaws, just like the next couples, but unique to their blossoming relationship were trials unimaginable to most.