I don’t need to be seen. I am seen.

Religion has always been a very easy topic for me, but way harder for others to understand about me. I just grew up so differently when it came to religion and I was exposed to many different belief systems and ways of believing.

I was baptized as a baby catholic. I was semi-practicing until my teen years. My grandma liked to take me to the local baptist church. I grew up for a few years around an Indian 9965a5671ce283469e37bebdf1eb7a38family and was introduced to the Hindu belief system. My best friend grew up in non-denominational churches that she lived near and spent more time than I could actually ever count with her in those churches. I went to high school with several Islamic students and was introduced to the Islamic faith when it was basically unheard of in the US. A parent of one of my closest friends in high school was a youth pastor at a local Christian church and I spent a lot of time with their family and in their church to the point that at 17 I rededicated my life to the Christian faith. Since then, I usually (if I go to church) go to our local methodist church. There was the time of the royal wedding where I was pretty convinced I needed to be Episcopalian. Man, I loved that preacher!

My adulthood has been very similar. I teach students of multiple faiths, belief systems and non-belief systems. My friends believe in different ways. One thing remains relevant in all those experiences over my life time. I felt like I belonged in each and every one of them. There are a few things I am certain of. I have faith. I believe in something much bigger than myself and I believe in love.

My struggle has always been in the organized aspect of it. I understand the importance of fellowship. And might I say openly and with as little judgement as possible my definition of fellowship is very simple. I don’t need a roof, political and social hierarchies to tell me what fellowship is. But This is the issue that has always come up in discussion with others. This idea of identifying with a group. Fellowship can happen with the sun outside on my face as I hear the birds chirp, or in the gathering of my family and friends in well wishes for a birthday. Or in the prayers I say as I hold my guy’s hand at night. Or as I drive to school and I say prayer over the day for a colleague, for my students or my own private struggles. It is in the songs on the radio. I feel like sometimes fellowship gets mixed in with being seen.

I don’t need to be seen. I am seen. I don’t act like a Christian. I am one because I believe. But I love faith in all its varieties and beliefs and believe the one grounding principle is not in fellowship with those of similar beliefs. It is love with all.

And yes I realize that sentiment can be so trite and so big and so meaningless. My faith tells me to make it instead meaningful in the way I live and the way I love. That is what my faith and fellowship looks like.

It isn’t organized, or neat, or perfect. It is messy, it is not always perfect but it means everything to me. – MR

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Saturday Sharing…Be a kind human.

“Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs, beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process…[Civility] is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements…But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s ignored.”

Cassandra Dahke and Tomas Spath

Today’s sharing is a bit unique and continues on my line of breaking down false barriers in my personal media. I won’t paint you pretty pictures anymore. If I had done so in the past I am sorry and I grant you the ability to call me on them now if I do.

Every day I get up and I flip to a specific page in Brene’ Brown’s, Braving the Wilderness. I have found that it is exactly what I need in small doses and even more so, if I flip to a specific page it is the Divine speaking to me loud and clear. Today’s lesson is above and ironically enough it is has been on my mind for a bit now. This idea of civility. Especially when looking at civility through rejection. IMG_9116

Anyone ever been rejected? Oh I am the only one, huh? I don’t believe you. Well then let me say to you it is hurtful and creates shame. But more than anything it is not fun when it is not deserved.

And you know hypothetically that rejection says so much more about the person they chose to be than who you are. But we still wonder. I will own that wonder and curiosity now for all of you. But then I encourage you (and myself) to take pride in who you were in that moment. You acted kind in heart and behavior by being civil.

I never want to be the one that makes someone else feel unloved or unworthy of love. A lot of that is my personality and even more of it is my faith and beliefs. I truly believe my earthly purpose is to breath kindness and love into the world. The hard part that I am owning today is that it is not always easy to spot those who do not live with those same intentions.

There are others who have different paths and different purposes and it is so incredibly easy to forget that in the midst of those rejections. But reminder today, “it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s ignored” and my dear readers that includes you…and me.

We deserve to be heard. We deserve to tell our stories. We deserve to walk away from what is not ours to negotiate any longer. – MR

What I learned in 5 years.

 

5 years ago to the day and the minute, the temperature was -14 and I was the epitome of all the strength that I did not and still do not think I have. I was 37 years old and afraid. I was afraid of everything. I remember it was a late winter night when 8 o’clock feels like the middle of the night. My car was parked in the middle of downtown Indianapolis and I remember navigating the downtown hospital and getting lost. Eventually, I found my way because of the wet sloshy snow being tracked in. When we came that morning my guy was driving and all was fine. When I left that evening my husband was so different. He didn’t even know I was there. He was oblivious to my presence or even his own.

I got into the ridiculously cold car praying the whole time it would actually start with the unusually cold temps and all the sudden I hear this weird high pitched noise and it was my front window in my car splitting down the middle. I looked down at my phone getting ready to call my guy. My phone was almost dead and my guy was several floors up in the ICU. I just drove and imagined worst case scenarios and I honestly do not even remember it getting fixed or what happened.

Can you guess what happened next? It doesn’t take much predictability. I cried. I sobbed and ugly cried and I asked God a lot of whys. This moment so private and raw that I have never shared it ever. I couldn’t believe all that my day had become. How did I get here and to this point and how am I so needy that I cannot even do these basic things people do every single day all by themselves.

In fact, I was holding it together so terribly in the hospital that the ICU nurse recommended I go “home” (you cannot really go home when it is two hours away) and said that my state of mind and his were not good. She could see I was struggling seeing my healthy vibrant and loving husband in that manner and convinced me that getting rest at “home” was for the best. I felt so much shame. But I knew it was the best because I was breaking. He was broken and neither of us could help each other right there in that moment.

I went to my dad’s house and barely made it in and felt like my 16 year old teenage self quietly coming in and climbing into bed. I set my alarm to call the nurse on her cell at 11 to see how he was and I did that. I woke up at 2:30 and was back at the hospital by 3:30 to much the same I left the day before.

But that isn’t why I am telling this story. Instead, I told this story to my guy last night. We are on the anniversary and I have withheld many of the details and my own personal struggle for him because that is what the caretakers of chronic pain/disease sufferers do. We pretend we are okay for everyone else because every one else needs that. And it is hard y’all. It was literally the hardest thing I have ever done and the the hardest thing I continue to do. He doesn’t remember any of it from any point of view. But I do. I remember it all.

But if you want to know what it really feels like sometimes. It feels like you are holding your breath, balled up hands and waiting. You get so good at acting okay that somedays you do actually feel okay, but somedays it is too much.

And the damn regrets. I wrote numerous posts during that time that I took down.  I deleted them because the pain was too real. Or even better. I didn’t want to deal with them EVER. And guess what I went looking for? The posts and they are gone. Why did I do that?  And the constant pretending I was tough, had it all together and didn’t need anyone or anything. Who is that girl cause she ain’t me. 😀

I know many of my readers are like, “Damn, it was five years get over it” because that is what our society does. We move on, one foot in front of the other, the sun comes out tomorrow. It always gets better and I believe all of those things to the core of my soul.

But you want reality? Life doesn’t always work like that. In fact, I may even go out on the limb and say rarely does it.  I have had so many friends that have suffered some pretty tremendous life let downs or losses and it doesn’t go away. I have lost family members that I still to this day ache to say hello to. Pain is living….it just is.

We have to stop with that! And just because I am writing from a place of pain right in this very moment doesn’t mean I am not healed. I am as healed as I can be for a wife who saw her husband in ICU at the age of 37 and him 40. That is NOT normal. I am healed as someone who could be who went through the 3 months before the surgery and every year since. I am as healed as one can be as I watch my partner living his absolute best life with TN since. But we are okay.

I am tired of the world telling me how I get to feel. I am tired of the world in general telling us how we need to feel. I am actually so very happy because that surgery gave me my husband back in his best possible way. He is beside me and he is helping me raise our girls. That is love winning, but that doesn’t mean pain and mental toughness isn’t along for the car ride sometimes.

So that crack in my window that night…it was the smallest detail in the last five years of my life. But it was also when I became a survivor or at least I acknowledged I had no other choice but to survive. Every single step I have taken since then has made me a better, stronger, smarter, woman, mother, friend, wife and why would I ever, ever regret that and hide it just to make others feel better?

That my dear readers is love winning. I got the guy. I got my girls. I got myself. And all of that is on our terms. – MR

What I learned in 30 Days…

So I set out right before Christmas to prove to myself that I could workout for a full 30 days straight at the most busy time of the year. I did this for a few reasons. The first of which was I had severely fallen of the workout wagon and I love it. I have contamination OCD and I choose to not take meds which means I have to actively find ways to ease that anxiety. Exercise does that for me. See the first issue? The second was I have heard habits are built over 21 one days. So let’s add a couple of extra days and go for it!

And that I did. I am now currently on day 33 days but whatever. But the things I learned in that 30 days is:

  • It is not always easy.
  • The end is hardest just like grad school (I am pretty sure I cried the last week every day because I just didn’t wanna).
  • I truly love the ‘pep in my step’ I get from that daily workout at 4:30 in the AM (and yes I realize this is weird!).
  • I adore Shaun T. if you don’t know who he is…look him up! He is so motivating to me.
  • I need to take care of me first and I can so much more easily take care of others.
  • My girls need to see me taking care of me first.
  • I am more productive across the board with that morning workout. I don’t know why I just am.
  • If you record or time lapse a workout and put it out there for someone it makes you so much more accountable. I did it for a full 30 days and woah!!!! Now I just send a pic or some sort of thing to one of my friends.
  • You motivate others when you share it out loud that you are challenging yourself.
  • More than anything I learned…I can pretty much do anything if I set my mind out to do it!

The Higher You Reach…

The further you have to fall, right? And while that is true 100% there is another side to that that I want to talk about today. Saturday’s are usually my day for sharing and I will but it will be on Sunday.

Since signing up for the educational leadership program I am in, I have found a new phenomena. Doubters…I mean we all have doubters, right? Since I have been working on my health and fitness people always want to know “my secret” and what I do. I tell them img_8628and they have the reasons why they cannot do it and why it won’t work for them. Or the best response, “see me when it doesn’t work for you, or you fall, or you gain it all back”. I think the part that bugs me most about that is not that they are naysaying. But the fact that they doubt themselves or doubt me. For real, and we wonder why we have some of the problems in the world we do. Y’all others successes have nothing to do with you. They just don’t. It is also not your job to remind them, tell how they will fail.

But if you remember from my post “I don’t want to be your inspiration” I talked a lot about it being your own journey and no one but you can figure out that journey.

However, the educational leadership program is also very similar. I am shocked that when I share it with others the immediate response I inevitably get is a negative one. I knew it would happen honestly. To the tune, that I didn’t tell anyone for a year that I was endeavoring on this journey. I also did a gradual release (lol!).

But now pretty much everyone knows and quite a few have one of two missions. They need to talk me out of it and wonder why I want to do it. Or they doubt me. The first one, okay…fine that is your opinion. But that second one? Really? That is how you are going toimg_8639 2 respond to someone?

I. WOULD. NEVER. You do not have that right ever, ever, ever, to tell someone their path in life cannot be reached. I don’t give a flip who you are. That is the biggest struggle I have with education in general is that as educators sometimes the assumed right is that we do have that ability. We do not.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the horror story of a teacher telling a student that they will never be a “doctor” or “engineer” or whatever. Or worse have laughed at them? Can you be real and say, “You are going to have to work hard” or offer suggestions for other what you believe to be more realistic paths. But to outright voice your doubt!

STOP IT! For real…and that honestly applies to all of life.

I remember wanting to be a college instructor and a professor told me, “That will never happen because you have kids and are married.” You better believe the moment I could prove that prof wrong I did and made a point to make sure they knew they were wrong.

I know my tiny little post is not going to change any of this! But what my post does do is stand out to those who maybe reading and thinking it. Thank you for the doubt. So we can know moving forward…those people and yes there are more than a handful who have doubted me or told me this was not a smart professional move. Just know you are my motivation. I literally want to prove you wrong, so that you can see me stand there graduating from that program and I assure you it will happen.

What will also happen is I will get the job when I am ready and it is the one I want.

-MR

Menu Plan Week of January 14th

If you follow me on any of my other medias Facebook – Mommy Rhetoric and Instagram – Mommy Rhetoric. You know that I am getting ready to start a new Beachbody Program. I have also had some requests about what my food intake looks like and I was kinda holding off because I knew that this was happening tomorrow. So I will share…however that comes with a few things.

I am a beachbody coach and I can help you. However, I am not pressuring anyone and I am not trying to recruit anyone by this post. I would love support however you need, but my ultimate goal is that we are all just the best version of ourselves. If you know me you know I am genuine. If you don’t you may think yea right?! But that is on you.

I plan to follow the container system for this journey that lasts 6 weeks. I also plan to follow the 2B Mindset which is a program about eating intuitively and mindfully. I don’t deprive myself of anything I want. The cool thing about the 2B Mindset is I was eating this way long before this program exists. A huge weight loss tip is to truly listening to your own body on what foods you need and want.

For example, I made this granola yesterday and I ate too much granola yesterday because it was sooo yummy. I felt terrible last night because it was too many carbs, too much oatmeal. I know better. In my experience you will feel satisfied and it is the perfect amount when you want more but you know you should not. Sometimes I give in. Sometimes I do not. I will NOT deprive myself. Period.

So anyway…what I am here for. At the beginning of any program where I am changing eating to more strict eating I will add mexican dishes in it because it makes it so much easier for me because that is my favorite food by far. So you will likely notice a trend.

Monday 

Breakfast21 Day Fix Apple Banana Muffins which counts as 1 purple and 1 blue. I love this because it feels carby for breakfast, but it is not. I will sub out apples for blueberries if you want that flavor. 1-2 Hard boiled egg (1 red if 2/.5 red if 1). 2 Strips of bacon (1 red). The 21DFX recommends turkey bacon, however, with my keto experience I am less afraid of fats as long as you have a good traditional bacon. As well, I need more protein than I typically get so I pack it in in the AM. It will look like this all week.

Lunch – Spaghetti squash (1 Green) with this sauce (1.5 green and 1 tsp) with 1 red of beef. I just bake the spaghetti squash and sprinkle with garlic and coconut oil spray.

Snack – Nuts .5 blue (or my carb depending on my mood – 1 Yellow if I have granola).

Dinner – I am making gluten free lasagna using the sauce and gluten free noodles. I don’t necessarily have a recipe, but I will add hamburger to the sauce so it will be 1 red worth per serving. They will have garlic bread and I will have a fruit or one of my muffins (1 purple) topped with .5 tablespoon (.5 blue) of peanut butter.

Snack – I will usually eat my carb here and some olives and pickles. My carb maybe toast with butter or jelly. Or it maybe half a sweet potato (1 yellow).

Tuesday 

Breakfast/Lunch/Snacks– Same

Dinner – Taco Pizza. I will make this taco meat and one serving is (1 red). I like to use flat out bread and I think half of one is 1 yellow. If I cannot find those (sometimes I cannot around here) I will have 1-2 corn tortillas (2 actually counts as 1 yellow). I top with 1 red of taco meat, cut a tomato (.5 green or 1 full green). I top with cheese (1 blue or .5 blue depending on my mood…I don’t like a lot of dairy in general). I will sometimes top with ranch. I will likely add in a veggie to be sure I meet my green requirement (1 green).

Wednesday

Breakfast/Lunch/Snacks – Same

Dinner – Parmesan Chicken (1 red), asparagus or if I have leftover spaghetti squash I will place my parmesan chicken on top of it (1 green). I don’t necessarily have a recipe, but I usually will make it with an egg and almond milk mixed together and a cup of parmesan and gluten free breadcrumbs. I count this topping as (1 blue and .5 yellow). If I have red sauce left I will also put it on top, but if not no big deal. I will also probably have a half of a sweet potato (1 yellow). There will be dinner rolls for the girls and my guy. For me nope.

Thursday

Breakfast/Snacks – Same

Lunch – I am outta the squash at this point so I will make butternut squash soup which I just make by baking a butternut squash and emulsify it with 1 cup of almond milk or coconut milk. I season it with salt, cinnamon, onion powder. It will be 1 green/1 red and 1 tsp.

Dinner – Family always goes out to dinner here. For me usually I will eat whatever is leftover from earlier in the week or I will go to dinner with # 1 for tacos. If tacos I will eat 2 hardshell tacos smothered in salsa and count as (1 yellow/1 green/1 red/1 blue/1 purple). If super strict feeling I will not eat chips and salsa. If not then I will eat handful of chips and salsa. This is where I won’t deprive myself. If there were cheats (though I don’t believe in cheating. I am eating…thank you!) this would be it. I just don’t go crazy!

Friday 

Breakfast/Lunch/Snacks – Same

Dinner – My guy and I go out to eat and I will usually eat whatever I can on plan as best I can.

Above all….I eat clean. I do want any extra “crap” in my food.

For drinking – Lots of water, pre-workout, Pure Leaf Unsweet Black Tea

Hope this helps!!!

 

Saturday Sharing: Podcasts

Anyone else love podcasts as much as me? I am slightly obsessed as in seriously obsessed.

download (1)My current favorite and one I wait anxiously for new ones is: 

Broken Harts by Glamour Mag. This podcast is telling the story of the Hart family who were a home schooling family who adopted several children and by all accounts looked like all was well until one day one of the moms drove them off a cliff. The story is seriously tragic and makes you frustrated with the lack of a system to protect children and demonstrates how easy it is to hide in plain sight of everyone.

Longtime Favorite that I never miss:

My Favorite Murder which I have loved since the beginning because I am a born and bred Murderino (thanks mom!). I love true crime podcasts and this one is my most favorite. This one has a cult following and you can tell a fellow murderino by how they say, “Byeeeeeeee”. If you say it that way what follows is always a quick but knowing look. Like a nod; it is similar to what motor cycle riders do when they see one another on the road.

A telling of one of my favorite historical stories: 

Unobsecured is telling the story of the Salem Witch trials and I knew I was hooked when 99-ogI heard the story of the Proctors. A story that is taught in my classroom and kids just get sucked into. I think they really love it because the story has some truth to it. It is also told by Aaron Manke the creator of Lore if you have heard of that. Lore has a podcast, a book and an Amazon original. I have watched and listened to some episodes. But I love Unobsecured.

A hot and cold one: 

Sometimes I love this one and sometimes it is just okay. I am a huge fan of One Tree Hill (thanks to two previous students who begged me to binge watch). I did and I fell in love with Jana Kramer. She came out with a podcast called Whine Down with Jana Kramer. What I actually ended up loving was that her husband was on it a few times and I think the episodes did so good that now he is a staple on it. It isn’t so much that I love him on it, but I love them on it together.

Health and Wellness Podcasts: 

  1. Trust and Believe with Shaun T.
  2. The Chalene Show with Chalene Johnson.
  3. The Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis
  4. Rise Together Podcast

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Saturday Sharing is a weekly post. Enjoy!

Where it is at – TEACHING FINALLY!

Oh yea, I am a teacher and it has been a bit since I shared much of that. Sometimes you just get into the routine and think about no one else except those in your classroom. So again I will try and share.

College Speech – A new semester means another round of college speech. New students, same class.

English 11 / College English – We are writing college application essays. I pulled the Common App essay prompts and they answer them for an assignment. I do this so that they have that waiting on them when they start applying this summer.  I share with this quite a bit of info about college application responses and sample essays. Since we are an early college I feel like we have some great resources to help. I am also preparing to start discussing critical theory via literature to them. They will be reading The Great Gatsby and be assigned a chapter that they will be responsible for teaching in class alongside their critical theory that they pick. It is a very college dominated assignment. I will share the assignment sheet once I get it polished.

English 9 / English 9 H – We are working on argumentation and for them last class we did either/or and we did it rap battle type. Students moved to the side of the room of how they felt. They then had to make claims and rebuttals and identify different types of evidence. Today I used Miss G’s Speed Debating and my students loved it. I introduced them to rhetorical concepts before hand and will continue to do so.

sat-logoSAT Prep – New class this semester, but not new to me. My students got their PSAT scores and we are going through those and discussing methods for reading and writing quicker. As well as some test taking strategies. I use a NANOWRIMO technique to help with writing quick and we have writing sprints. These are good for testing in general. They help students clear out the “garbage”. I usually do them in sets of three. Have students write for 1/1 and half minutes or 2 minutes with the goal of getting more words each time. Pick easy prompts and I give them small rewards for the most improved and highest amount. I do something similar for reading. The goal of both is to block out the other stuff. I also encourage some students to provide distraction. That is important because there are always those things too.

We just started diving into reading strategies today and I use quite a bit of Princeton’s Review for them. However, because it is test prep and it can be terribly boring sometimes I try incorporate fun where I can.

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Reality Check.

Highlight reel…

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Cause when it is good. It is damn good. But that isn’t how life works. It is not always good. Also yes I realize that this post was literally about marriage being tough. But it is so easy in that post to get lost in what looks real and sometimes the reality looks much different.

There are also some really hard moments too. That are harder to explain and share.

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They look a little like this. They are plain and utter exhaustion for living with and being married to someone who has TN. The meds, the side effects of the meds, and the surgery. My husband is not always the same person I married.

And quite frankly I am not either. I have been stretched beyond where I even believed possible. I have wanted to walk away and give up and sometimes I fought for us completely alone.

And TN isn’t the only monster we have faced, but in every problem we have encountered I literally can picture a cliff and us holding hands. We decided to do this life together and I am loyal and loving till the end.

And I suppose that is what I meant by tough. I thought socks on the floor and stinky feet were the bumps in the road. Our bumps in the road have been damn mountains.

Now because I am me and Imma do what Imma do I will tell you it is worth it. It will always be worth it. I chose this path because God has given it to me. Call that the positivity in me, call it always showing the highlight reel I don’t care. I don’t just say love always wins cause it sounds nice. Quite frankly there are times it is the absolute only thing I have to hold onto.

Love always wins – MR

 

Saturday Sharing: New Year Edition

Hello longtime friend…welcome to my usual Saturday ramblings of what is up with me lately. I haven’t done one of these in a long, long time. Today’s is all about what I am doing in my spare time.

71fz0jq072lReading Sharing:

This previous summer I became obsessed with the Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard. The strong female lead, her love interest of Maven and Cal. Everyone out the nets are all team Cal and I am over here all like Team Maven. Everyone wants the good guy and I am over here like I want the bad boy. But I won’t spoil what happens. The characters are written in a really promising and realistic manner. The plot lines are a slow build and I can see where that may make someone put the book down. But Aveyard writes in a manner that even though you put the book down the characters have you. You wonder what is happening with them. I did just that. Started in August 5th and had to start over on Christmas break.

Now next in the line up is That is Not What Happened by Kody Kepling. I am going to push through this to prove I can read a book when I am teaching because I often forget that. This book is about how people are heroised (not a word…I know) after a tragedy and that sometimes the stories they tell are not actually true. It is fiction, so it is not necessarily true, but it is a reaction to all the school shootings that have been happening. I am almost half way in and it is so good. It definitely not like the Red Queen series, but it is good. I think I like series that you can stay committed to for awhile. But it is nice for a quick read to remind myself I can read.

I was going to read Furyborn by Claire Legrand, but it is a part of the trilogy and the rest x400of it has not come out yet, so I didn’t want to get too committed to a super deep plot right now after Red Queen. But it is similar in nature to Red Queen series, but I am told it is a bit steamier. I will let you know.

I also am always simultaneously listening to a book (thank you audible) on my way to and home from work. And currently I am listening to I’ll be gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara which is about the Golden State Killer and Rapist. I love true crime and I listen to a ton of true crime podcasts and books. This one is definitely a great one. The story of Michelle McNamara is also very interesting, but I do not want to spoil that, but I recommend that you go check her out.

And finally, right now I am doing the Weekly Prayer Project which is kind of a devotional and kind of a journaling prompt. My goal is to finish this this year. I love the book and I love that they are short excerpts. My biggest issue with devotionals is I get very overwhelmed.

So my reading goal….I want to read 30 books this year. I think I can do it if I include audible as an option. I love young adult, fantasy, non-fiction, romance and self-help. I also have one heck of a Barnes and Noble discount with my teacher discount and Barnes and Noble membership card.

Alright…happy reading with you this Saturday. Hope you are taking some time to read things other than social media (except don’t forget my blog).

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Saturday Sharing is a weekly sharing of what is happening in my life currently!!!