Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Review: If the Viscount Falls

It's here! The final book in Sabrina Jeffries' Duke's Men series. It's the one I've been waiting for: Dominic and Jane.

Years ago, Dominic ended his engagement with Jane because he couldn't give her the life he thought she deserved.  After years of waiting, Jane finally becomes engaged to another man, yet needs Dom to help her in the quest to find her missing cousin.  As the two begin their search, they find that neither of them has quite gotten over the other one. However, Jane refuses to give him to "Dom the Almighty". And Dom still believes that he saved Jane from a horrible life by not marrying her. Will these two ever work it out?

As usual, Ms. Jeffries writes a terrific story! The scenes between Dom and Jane are entertaining, amusing, and hot.  You can feel the fiery passion they both try to hide.  Dom's interactions with his siblings are great too. My favorite scene is the "insipid kiss" scene. The passion between them builds and as a reader, this is one of those great scenes you look forward to in a romance novel.  While I am sad to see this series end, I think the author ended this series on a high note. I only hope to see the Duke's Men again.

One of the things that causes me to realize I found a great author - I read part of this book while on the treadmill.  I actually didn't realize that 34 minutes had passed as I was so enthralled with this book! Now that's a good story!

*I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Going the Extra Mile

Today was one of those mornings:
  • The alarm didn't go off so we got up late. 
  • I have had a horrible headache since 7 p.m. last night. 
  • I had a meeting with Colin's teacher, and we got stuck in traffic.
  • I realized halfway to school that I had life my cell phone at home.
  • Let's not talk about the meeting with the teacher.
  • I hurried to work - no phone, head-aching, jaw hurting (apparently I clench my jaw when stressed...)
  • Upset student waiting in the lobby to walk to me as soon as I walked in the door.
All I wanted was some coffee.  And quiet. Obviously that was not going to happen.

I sat down with the student ready to take the brunt of whatever had happened to upset her. 

Now I can't get into details about students. But it turns out, she had a simple situation. One that could have been taken care of yesterday when she spoke to someone else, but that person had given her wrong information. Thus setting into motion the events that happened today. Not to mention, causing this student worry and anxiousness over something that really wasn't a problem.

I answered her questions, cleared her confusion, printed her a new certificate.... and she and her husband went on their way. Happy. Thanking me for my help. For going the extra mile.

These little things are the big things...

Connor's teacher said that to me once when I spoke with her about an issue he was having with another student.  It really wasn't a big deal, but I thought she should be aware in case something else happened.  She thanked me for letting her know, and said "these little things are the big things to them".  And she's right. 

I've applied that way of thinking to my kids at home since then. Sometimes things that are so trivial to me as an adult truly upset one of my kids. I used to dismiss it, but now this quote keeps going through my head...  "these little things are the big things to them".

But what about with adults? The same thought process should apply. This student's particular situation was a BIG deal to her. It was causing her distress, yet on my end it was a simple fix.  Five minutes out of my day to brighten someone else's is not a lot to ask.  

I find myself getting crabby with life in my old age. At times, I feel I'm losing my patience with the world. What I realized lately is that I have become lazy in life. I'm tired of always making the effort. But that's wrong. That's my bad. I need to suck it up like I tell my kids to when something doesn't go their way. I need to start making an effort again. Even though I am bone tired of doing it all and giving my all, that's what I am meant to do. As a mother, as wife, in my job, in my home...I need to focus on the little things that mean so much to other people. Because in doing so, I find myself happier. I find my self-worth isn't so much about what makes me happy, but about how it feels to make others happy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 Resolutions: What I am NOT going to do this year

I'm that person - the one who makes a list of resolutions - floss more, lose weight, etc - and then never follows through.  It's not because I don't have good intentions.  Truthfully, I just don't have the time. I thought when the kids started grade school, I'd have more free time, more time to myself.  Instead, I find our lives are even more busier than before. Sometimes I find myself wishing for the diaper stage again - at least then they took naps.

So this year, I decided to take a different approach and make a list of what I am NOT going to do this year.  Let me tell you, on day 6, I haven't completely succeeded but that's why there are 365 days in a year! If things don't go the way you planned, there is always tomorrow.

1 - STOP being negative.  This is a hard one. By the end of 2014, I was really feeling the pull of life.  I was (am) overworked and stressed out.  That, of course, cannot change overnight (or even by the end of January), but it's something I can work on.  I swear, I used to be a more positive person, but somehow that had gotten lost along the way.  The biggest issue I have so far with this are those few annoying people that just make me negative. Which leads to...

2 - STOP filling my life with those people who make me unhappy. You know, those one who make me feel less about myself. There are people who expend a lot of energy sharing their negative emotions. Or by crafting the "perfect" life to post on the internet. Why should I compare myself to them?

3 - STOP setting deadlines that are impossible to keep. The fault of every working mom - trying to cram too much into one day, one week, one month.  There just isn't enough time, and when I miss a deadline that I imposed on myself (that never-ending to do list, for example), I find that adds more stress.  That isn't to say I'm getting rid of my to do list (I love my planner too much for that!) but unless it's a necessity like paying a bill or returning a library book, things will get done when they get done. 

4 - STOP being so connected to social media.  I'm tired of checking email all the time, wasting hours on FB, or feeling bad that I haven't blogged in a month. Rather than worry about all those things, I will focus on being more connected to myself.

5 - STOP hitting snooze on the alarm.  This currently is a work in progress.  Although I am now getting up 10 minutes earlier than I was before Christmas break, which I have to say, helps the morning not feel so rushed.  

6 - STOP making excuses as to why I can't lose weight.  Look what Santa got me! I'm super excited. 

Don't judge the background - it's Keith's garage. ;)

What are you not going to do this year?