Life | Changing Of The Seasons

Hello everyone!

Today, I wanted to talk about the changing of the seasons.

At the end of summer, I tend to dwell on the past and the fear of going into a depression spell starting in August like the past several years, I didn’t. I haven’t been pulled into that black hole of sadness, and as much as I have been trying to be proud of this accomplishment, I have been suffering with a different kind of pain, around the the end of August through the middle of October, our weather has a way of going from one extreme to another with small chance of actual autumnal temperatures in between. As of now, September has been trying to cool down gently, but towards the afternoon it could still range in the high 80 degrees (26 degrees Celsius).before coming down into the 60’s once the sun goes down.

The final week of August, I started to have a little bit of pain in my back, and as much as I tried to blame it on my next period, it just gradually got worse as time moved on and before I knew it, I was spending a good chunk of my time lying in bed watching Criminal Minds fast as lightning and really opening up to naps in the afternoons. My way of escaping bouts of annoying back pain is to take a nap. I HATE taking naps–my parents know about my feelings on it, but they also know how stubborn I am about taking medicine to help relive the pain too, so we all have learned to accept our faults as they come!

I have been through this back in spring, and I vaguely remember how much pain I was in but I think this is worse because for once we got to experience a spring so the change of cold to warm weather wasn’t that bad of a shift (at least to me!) but since we are getting out of triple digit temperatures at a fast pace, has been really difficult on my body.

The thing is, it’s not just my physicality being affected by the sudden changes, my energy has been lacking too. This is what makes me mad because I want to do so much that I feel like I’m going to war on my own body. I know when it listen to my body so that’s why I’ve been in bed most days. I just feel guilty afterwards because I’m not able to read or paint any time I want to, so that’s been an issue I am still working on while you read this post. However, there have been some good things about this month that I wanted to share with you.

A few weeks ago, I went outside around five o’clock when our temperatures start to descend a little, so I can go out on the back deck and visit with out cats for a bit. If it wasn’t for the damn mosquitos I’d stay out there longer than 15-20 minutes at a time! Anyways, I was hanging with Nelson, Felix and Stormy, and we were all enjoying each other’s company but my favorite thing of the visit was when Stormy jumped up onto the rails, his little perch, and I went up to him and he lowered his face to me and let me bonk my head to his, twice! Now, for those of you who do not own cats, they do this with their fellow felines and whenever they do it with their humans, it means that they trust you. They consider you as family. I almost cried because I was smack dap in the middle of dealing with my back pain and he must’ve known inside that I needed a little bit of love back.

The next day,, I was able to go outside again and it was glorious! It was my ideal weather, but it was like eight or nine in the morning so that may have helped everything, but as my mom was pushing me out of the doorway, she asked me a question that sort of puzzled me at first. Here’s how this conversation went:

Mom: “When you were out last night, did you see anything in the yard?”

Me: “No, nothing out of the ordinary. Why?

Mom: “Look to your left.”

So, I look over and at first I couldn’t see anything, but then I moved closer to the rails and I finally saw it. We had a late blooming sunflower growing in our backyard! I was really glad that both of my parents were awake because I just shouting “THERE’S A SUNFLOWER!!” And then I tried to rack my brain on how I managed to miss it last night but obviously it wasn’t open enough for me to notice it on my own, but then I remembered the last time we went up north to visit with family and they had a sunflower that hadn’t opened yet but by the time we went home, it had blossomed and my aunt took a picture of it for us.

If it was out that evening, I think I was too interested in the cats to notice anything else and honestly, this can happen, especially if I have more than one cat surrounding me wanting extra amounts of attention, which if Felix is in one of his moods, he’s usually the one trying to cause fights with others which always seem to back fire on him! And if you are wondering where Stormy was located, he was on the front rail and since the sunflower was pretty short, I wouldn’t had been able to see it unless I went to that side.

The other mystery is, where the heck did it come from? I haven’t had sunflowers since last fall, and dad tried to tell me that’s where he threw them out because the cats wouldn’t go around there (another reason why I didn’t notice it!) to be fed so it is the perfect little area to grow. Unfortunately, it never grew to be like gigantically huge like most but it looked so adorable to be blossoming in the driest spot of the whole yard! And of course, I had my mom take a couple of pictures of it because I don’t know if it’ll ever happen again. Although, my mom did get me a vase full a few days beforehand and they were thrown out around that patch so maybe we will get another one as the fall season continues or into fall 2022!

Okay, well I think that’s all I want to talk about at the moment. I hope you enjoyed this post, even if the beginning wasn’t too positive, but that’s life.

Life | Mental Heath Update + Things I CAN Control

TW: talks about the dark side of depression and thoughts of suicide!

Hello!

Last year was so crazy that I ended up forgetting writing a two year post depression/mental health update. The only reason why I’m here now is because it’s been on my mind for the last few months. I am a whole month late but I don’t care about that too much, and I didn’t think you would mind either.

A “little” backstory of my struggle with depression.

I’ve had a semi-long history with it, It started in middle school, and just seemed to get worse after I graduated high school. The prospect of going to college and having to deal with different people, surroundings, etc was really exciting at the time, but you have to understand I wasn’t thinking like I had a serve physical disability. I was always in denial because I wanted to be like my friends, go to a regular class, live in a dorm and go to parties, everything that a normal college person does, I wanted it too.

When hell decided to descend into my life, I took it very hard. I was so depressed that I have MONTHS–between the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2012–of memories gone! I thought of suicide many times, and just because I have a disability, doesn’t mean I never thought of ways on how it could work in my favor. When you are that low, you are as determined to end your life but thankfully, I never acted on those feelings, but every time I felt like I was heading into that suffocating black hole, I was terrified because I knew what was going to happen once it took hold of me again.

And then at the end of 2017, after my sister got been married and told everybody that they were going to wait five years to start trying to have a baby, they find out they were pregnant. I was already trying to deal with the aftermath of my papaw dying, and that one pretty much threw me over and I went down the biggest hole I’d been in since September 2010. I struggled to be happy for them becoming parents, my parents becoming grandparents and the fact that I was going to be an aunt, but I thoroughly jealous of the fact that my younger sister was going to have a baby.

I’ve always wanted to have a family of my own.

It was the one thing that I wanted to accomplish most of all.

Nothing else I ever did would matter as much as being a mother. I thought my disability would be pushed down like it had while I was growing up because I would be more focused on my child(ren) than my disability. This also shows you how much I despised my own body that would one day carry my own flesh and blood, so seeing my sister absolutely hate everything about being pregnant would make me want to scream after every visit! It angered me so much that this was happening, and then my nephew was born and I was instantly full of both good and bad emotions. I felt really guilty, but yet I was still holding on to that dream and so, it just continued to drag me down

I was supposed to have a doctor’s appointment to discuss taking anti-depressants into the middle of the pregnancy, my poor mom had to be my rock throughout those nine months because I was so sad. I would cry almost every night and finally, a week after Nolan was home, I started on my long journey to heal. In my first year update, I mentioned that I would still have my ups and downs, and that is definitely true all around but I will say, I have kept quite a few affirmations in my mind at all times and in the past year that has really helped me continue to work on myself.

I focus on what I can control, and I let go of what I can’t.

Once I saw this, everything in the last 11 years just washed away. It was infectious to learn this quote because now I don’t feel as many things that would easily, not to mention that would normally, irritate me because I know I am in control (oddly enough!) of my own body and peace of mind. The only thing I still have issues with, is my guilt about my sister being pregnant with my nephew. I still put myself in a guilt trip every once in a while but I am learning to get out of it before the whole thing just takes over, so that’s something to be proud of I think.

I should probably share that if you haven’t learned to control how you react to the different situations, like talking back, judging a book by its cover, learning that no response is still an answer, you probably won’t be able to really let things settle down. You don’t have to right every time. You respect the other person’s words and you go on living yours by your own measure. These are things you CAN control, which brings us to the next phase of this post.

I have a blog friend by the name of Nicky and she recently posted a photo of herself on Instagram last month and explained how life was going for her at the moment. She was feeling really out of it and discussed about dealing with finding control in daily life and she proceeded to create a list of things she could control, and I liked it so much that I decided I wanted to talk about it too, but in “Got Meghan” fashion, I like to chat and ramble on–obviously! I knew doing a simple Top 10 list wasn’t going to cut it, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone basically and this was the ending result I guess.

  1. How to breathe, because not many people have the luxury to do so
  2. Everything is by choice in life and dreamland
  3. Reaction to both positive and negative situations
  4. The book(s) I want to read next – for the most part!
  5. I can help people understand more about me, the ending result will not always be in my favor, but that’s the price to pay.
  6. If things don’t come to me at the right moment or fit into my monthly blogging schedule, I can always save it for a later date.
  7. Accepting myself, ALL of my self and being in the moment
  8. One-on-one time with the cats – even if they don’t like to share!
  9. What songs to include in my Spotify playlists
  10. Creativity to the arts, especially starting new medias and projects

Before I go, I would like to say that if you can, find someone to talk about your depression, whether it’s through a therapist, family member, best friend, co-worker, basically anyone you feel the most comfort and trust with your feelings but if you are unable to, I highly suggest writing about it. You could create a blog like I did, although deep in my haze I wasn’t in the mood to blog about anything, so maybe find a journal or if you are worried about someone seeing a diary or journal, keep a regular notebook like you would keep for school assignments, and write in there secretly. Of course, the best advice I can give you is the National Hopeline Network is completely free and the number is 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433). There is another one I am giving you and that is, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and their number is, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). I hope if you are struggling with life, whether you have a disability or not, I want to say, you’re not alone at all. There are ways you can thrive with life again.

My only question is, can you list out 10 things you CAN control like I did above?

Royal Baby | 32 Swedish Forward Baby Names!

Hello!

I am back for another baby name post, and today I am focusing on the Swedish Royal family. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia’s son, Prince Carl Philip and his wife Princess Sofia will welcome their third little bundle of joy sometime in the next few weeks. When I was busy coming up with these posts, I wasn’t necessarily paying any attention on what season these babies would arrive, so there is a small chance that by the time this post does publish, the new Prince or Princess has already made its welcome to the royal house.

Back in 2016, I wrote a post just like this one for their second child, Prince Gabriel, and although the only part I got right was the letter “G” it, obviously, hasn’t stopped me from making any other name guesses of the future generations. During that time, I was thinking it would be a boy, mainly because both of the Prince’s sisters have had boys during their second pregnancies, however, with this one, I am definitely leaning into the color pink, so I tried to think of well beloved names on both sides of the family tree and hoped I was correct on more than one element.

For this post, I will be doing what I’ve done on my previous baby posts and picking out four names listed in the banner below, and including a middle name that could work with it too. I will also be giving you a little background on each name, plus my reasons behind my decision.

Birgitta Sofie

The name Birgitta is well beloved in the royal house of Bernadotte, as it is the first name of Prince Carl Philip’s great aunt Princess Birgitta of Sweden, Princess of Hohenzollern. If they do decide to use a name that is a bit popular among the public of Sweden, Birgitta or maybe even shortening it to Britta could be absolutely gorgeous for a modern day Swedish princess!

If they do end up having a daughter, I can see the name Sofia being apart of the full name but not a first. I’ve been wrong before and it was my main thought behind using Sofie as a middle and/or nickname! I feel this combination fits both the French and Swedish styles that you normally see throughout the rest of the royal family, and it works as Bridget Sophie too!

Kristina Madeleine Victoria

The name Christina in general is a big symbol of the Swedish monarchy. Just because they use the first letter “K” instead of a “C” is just basically moving on with the times, as Christina has an older quality while Kristina has a modern flair considering it is different compared to the king’s older sister Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson. There have been many other princesses with the name up and down history, but nothing is more amazing and possibly infamous than Queen Christina in the 17th Century.

I have to say, I don’t normally include multiple middle names in these posts, but with thinking about continuing a tradition, the royal Swedes are known to name their children after close family members and it would be an sweet way of the Prince to name this little girl after his own sisters: the Crown Princess and the Duchess of H√§lsingland and G√§strikland!

Isabelle Maria

Isabelle or Isabel is a beautiful and very French way of the name Elizabeth or Elisabeth. Although, Elizabeth has been used in the past for both first and middle names, I just don’t think it will appear on this baby. I don’t have anything against it–my middle name is Elizabeth!–it unfortunately has the same look as Christina, this past tense feel of it just turns me off but I do love for Isabelle because it just has this elegant but loose magic that the other lacks at the moment.
As far as the middle name pairing, I think it works great with any variation of the name Mary. Personally, I love Maria because I’ve never been a huge fan of the same letter either beginning or ending, but the main reason why I believe it will feature somewhere is because it is the name of Princess Sofia’s mother. She is also my inspiration for Britta as her middle is actually Britt. I really would love it to see The Princess’s family recognized too!

Signe Alexandra

I am actually a fan of Swedish names, and the moment I found Signe, I was hooked immediately! So, it is pronounced as “cig-knee” and can be spelled as ‘Signe’ or ‘Signy’ and could also be used as a sweet nickname for the rougher ‘Sigurd’ maybe. I like to think of it as the Swedish cousin of Australia’s own “Sydney” and I’m not even sorry about it either!

Honestly, between Birgitta, Kristina and Signe, they are all common names in Scandinavia, and I would really love it if the current royal family used more of their country’s baby names. I think it is time to fully allow their home grown names to shine out forward for the whole world to see finally its authentically and uniqueness.

My outlook on boy names is somewhat different than what I would think will happen, mainly because they’ve already had a nice thing going with using Alexander and Gabriel as first names. and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. What I really mean is, those names are like ‘normal, everyday’ type of names to the general public. I mean, I’m an American and this a different royal family then what most people know about, so despite the fact that I would like to see a traditional Swedish name up front, I can understand wanting to give the child a simple name that reflects both the royal family and what the future holds for this little prince.

Felix Johann

The name Felix already has a big following among fellow royal families, as there is one in Denmark and Luxembourg, so I think it’s only right for it to appear in Sweden. Felix is also big in households all over Scandinavia, so it would be a perfect fit all around I think! It has that likeable but traditional quality that I thought could work great with Alexander and Gabriel. Personally, my favorite part of it is, it’s masculine and short and these are two big factors for couples right now.

When I was trying to figure out a middle, I was instantly pulled into pairing it with longer and strong Scandi names like Oscar, Nicholas, and Johann. There are a wide array of names that could work great with Felix but I think we will have to see what .happens because this is where I have the most trouble are with male middle names!

Theodore Harald

Now with Theodore or Teodor as both spellings are common in Sweden, I feel more confident with this name to be on the Top 5 since it is an universal type of name. Despite the fact that people enjoy shorter names–a lot like the sweet quality that Theodore instantly brings to a child. Some couples love it for the cutesy flair on little boys and the amount of strength it will bring to him as he continues to get older, as it adds some seriousness for a man.

Again, middle names are difficult to decide on, but I thought about how close the Swedish family is to other monarchs on their borders, and with all of the health concerns on King Harald V of Norway, I think it would be really nice thing is to name their little guy Harald in tribute to the king. The Crown Princess has done that with her daughter and heiress, is named Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary.; the last name Mary is for her godmother, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, so it can happen and has been lovely additions to the next generation.

Folke Philip

When I worked on my guesses for Prince Gabriel, I was hoping the name Folke would see the limelight because I think it is so neat! I’m still not 100% sure on how to pronounce it yet but I would still like it to be somewhere in his name. The same goes with Philip too, it would be really nice to allow their third son a chance to bear the name “Philip” like his father, but I would still like ‘Folke’ to be up front though!

Gustaf Viktor

Out of all of the names I listed above in my banner, the one name that I am sure will make an appearance is “Gustaf”. Why? Well, it is the second name of the current King of Sweden. Despite the fact that almost all of the king’s grandsons has the name “Carl” in their full names, it’s only Princess Madeleine’s son Prince Nicolas that actually has “Gustaf” instead!

Now originally, I had picked the name “Kristian” for the possible middle, and I was really proud for remembering it but just before I was going to talk about my decision there, I thought about naming in tribute for both the Norwegian and Swedish kings, we are forgetting, the royal family has four little princes as of right now and none of them are named after the Crown Princess yet. I thought this was an interesting aspect to keep in mind as I was comfortable with adding “Victoria” on the girl side, but what about creating a “Victor” in the lineup as well? I do think this would be a great combination too because it honors a current and future sequence of events that will be visible in this child’s lifetime.

So, what do you think of the combos I’ve listed in this post? Do you think any will be on this child’s full name? If you have any guesses that you want to share with me, please tell me in the comments!

2020 RECAP | Trial & Error

Hello!

2020 has been a very complexed year. For a lot of people, it’s been one of the worst ones whereas I think it’s been a very successful year. I have had bad days and unsavory moments happen within the year but overall it’s been pretty good. It isn’t what anyone expected but I think how you look at it as a whole can make or break your perspective. I will say it wasn’t perfect all throughout these 12 months, something has happened to possibly crush everything you love and worked on, but you’re still here, so that should count for something, right?

In this post, I will be discussing three different sections that I thought were important to highlight that defined 2020 for me and this blog as a whole.

Three Good Things

At the start of the year, I decided I needed to share a ritual I have been doing off and on since 2014 and that is choosing three things (or more if you had a great day!) and talking about them to my followers on my social medias. Unfortunately, it never took off on Twitter but I’m hoping I can do better in 2021 so more people who want to look past any unsettling mishaps and focus all of their attention on the good instead. I feel this was the reason why I think back on the year with a smile on my face.

I just want to point out that despite the fact I want to spread positivity to everyone, I need to say you will have bad days here and there. You’re never going to have perfect days or moments endlessly, but that’s not being realistic. I wish I had said something about this in the beginning because I think it would have helped me get over the really bad days after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I tried to keep a brave face but honestly I wasn’t feeling as confident as I usually am, so that’s why I took that long break over the summer to think about things that were going on around me. After some time I came back, although I wasn’t 100%, I still thought I needed to do something so I asked my followers to share their good things and reading their responses did give me a boost to join them again the next evening.

Once 2021 begins, I will be posting them every other day, because it was just easier to get things done because I found out through posting them every single day, that I am vert much a perfectionist! I was wondering when it was going to rear its ugly head back to me. I’m just thankful it didn’t stay around when I was working on my Christmas Tree projects like I thought. Anyways, I am already doing this schedule and have been for a while now, but I really enjoy it again so I think I will keep it going for as long as I want to, until I feel ready to switch back to the regular format.

I wrote this post three days before it was scheduled published and I knew the background I used for the first day was yellow, but I guess it didn’t register well enough when I made last night’s list. I was only going base off of what I used the day before–which was black, because I wanted a little black and gold theme for the final few days but again, I just forgot all about this until I went to update it (and man, wasn’t that an adventure!) anyways, do you remember what your first top three good things for 2020 was? What did you list for the last day of the year too?

Trial and Error

The reason why I am calling this post “Trial & Error” is because of what I put on my “Three Good Things” on the first of January 2020. The first one says “I chopped and peeled a potato without hurting myself.” Although I wish I could forget the events before this happened, I remember saying to my mom afterwards, “oh, it’s okay. Trial and error I guess.” And yes, I can recall what I said word-for-word because this would become the year’s motto. It was also a stab at my perfectionist side always attempting to break through on a daily basis! At the time, I didn’t think it would mean much but then I would catch myself saying it to anything that I did on my own that I normally wouldn’t do, so over time it started to mean something important to me.

I did a lot of things that I figured would never happen again, like completing my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year and bring back painting pumpkins. Everything that happened that I haven’t done for a long time kind of scared me at first because I didn’t know if I should enjoy it and fear it would disappear for an even longer time, so I had to battle it out my emotions a bit, but now that I’ve done them, I fee like I can do them again and be better at them the second time around and I am overjoyed at it in the future!

Two Week Blogging Schedule

After 11 years of trying to work out a schedule that would not only work as far as publishing new content during the week, but inspiring myself to keep writing during a full month was really my biggest issue. I could work great for three months and lose all my love for blogging for like four months at a time and I would just feel absolutely defeated, so I knew I had to do something big or else I would have to stop blogging altogether and I don’t have any other backups or outlets that can compete to blogging so I was very determined to fix this problem once and for all.

When I decided that I was going to attempt reading ’20 books for 2020′ I knew I was going to make room to read, but what I didn’t exact was how comfortable I would be taking two weeks off a new month to devote myself to reading and then if I had time during my monthly vacation to do some work for the first full week back that was awesome too!

I really didn’t think I could last no more than a month using this new method but I did it for the entire year without feeling like I was going to experience a burnout like I would normally feel after a couple months so I knew I was doing something right here! There were times I would need an extra week because I was asked to review an artist’s music and I had established that Monday were the days I would talk about music, Wednesday would be about books; especially the reviews of the newly finished novels I was able to read in the weeks before, and Friday would be for anything else I wanted to talk about, but if I didn’t have anything special going on, I would post another review on that day. Everything seemed to work out perfectly and even this week, I kept the same layout I adapted towards the beginning of 2020 and was still exercising that format to the final week and was still enjoying it, seems incredible to me.

Well, I think I have officially run out of what I wanted to say in this post. I hope you have enjoyed all three posts in their rightful days. As of now, I should be back on the 18th of January, with all new content for you to consume and if you’re lucky, you might even get a book review on the 20th too, since I am right in the middle of A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St Clair. I am whizzing on through it as we speak so I hope you had a lovely and better 2021.

Bye.

snowflake

2020 RECAP | Top 5 Books!

Hello!

I have been so excited to write this post since August when I completed my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge! I still can’t believe I read 20+ books, and I absolutely loved it! I think my inner seven year old self was in disbelief the whole time. She would have definitely been hiding in a corner, shielding herself like it’s something poisonous or something.

After I finished with the first 20 books, I thought I had a clear-cut top five lineup but as more time went on, I was still analyzing everything that went on with two separate books and just couldn’t get them out of my head, so I took this as a sign that they should have the top spot together. This also meant I needed another book for the last bit of the countdown and thankfully, I kind of knew which one I wanted to put into the group and so, now I have SIX books in this post instead of the normal five but I’m okay with that and I have a feeling you are perfectly fine about this too!

1. Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone & The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham

This book was almost knocked off the top spot because I was really tempted to give it to another book, but Jane still has a strong hold over me, and it’s been 11 months since I finished it and I am still recommending it to random people on Twitter! Everytime I see anyone asking for books, it is the first thing to pop in my head and I certainly don’t regret it.

I think the main reason why this is my favorite book of the year is because it’s not something that I would normally read in the first place. I have never been interested in suspense thrillers, but in 2018, I watched the film What Lies Beneath for the first time and I just fell in love with it and I just wanted more of that genre and somehow it managed to spill over into what kind of books I read and from the moment I saw it on Prime Reading, I started dancing in my seat because it has been on my TBR list for little over a year and I just got this vibe that I would enjoy it, and I thoroughly happy with myself for taking the chance on it and it’s just an amazing book!

The only thing that really sucked was later in the year, I had a chance to read the sequel to it called, “Problem Child” and even though everything that I loved about Jane was still there, I just didn’t connect with it as much as the first so this really messed with me for a while, but it happens though! If Victoria is writing a third book in the series, I definitely want to read it and see if it is the same or has a completely different vibe going on, so we’ll just have to see what happens in the new year or maybe early 2022.

The German Midwife was the last book I read to finish out my reading challenge and it was the best thing I could have done, but also made me want anything–and I’m not kidding!–about World War II and the Holocaust. I have a bad weakness to women’s stories; I’m not picky whether it is fiction or nonfiction as we’ve seen with all of the books I read this year! I still think about this story, I was very upset about these women who were pregnant while being in the concertation camps, and knowing how little food they were given on a daily basis, and then if you are a history nut like I am, you could say it was like mediaeval times and childbirth was just as deadly in the late 1930’s into the 40’s.

While Jane was about seeking revenge and basically seeing how her mind worked in every scene, Anke was full of compassion and love, and she knew what was happening to these Jewish babies after she helped their mother give birth to them but still helped every pregnant woman in her care anyways. These are two different women and I just fell in love with both of them.

3. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

One thing that I didn’t expect to happen in general was I actually finished a book series this year!

I thought it would happen to another series I’ve read but I lost interest in it just before I started the challenge and I still find it sort of odd that it was this series because I celebrated 10 years of being a high school graduate in 2020 and while I was reading these books, I felt like I was being transported back to my high school days and dealing with my crushes. I wasn’t as lucky as Lara Jean but I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.

I loved this book for many reasons, the one that comes to mind is Lara Jean’s friendship with Stormy. She learned and grew a lot by hanging out with Stormy. I have my nana and we have a great relationship, but I wouldn’t compare her to Stormy because she’s not as rowdy and loves her cocktails like Stormy, but she loves to chat about her past and we can get into trouble sometimes. I feel after Lara Jean’s sister Margot went overseas, having someone like Stormy became her lifeline and she was allowed to flourish into this beautiful young woman. I think back at it now, this book was more about her as an individual–away from her family and the boys, she grew a lot and I certainly did too, because I started to realize that I have changed a lot since I’d been in school and I didn’t even know about it until several weeks ago!

3. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippinscott

This was the most anticipated stories on my list at the beginning of the year, and for good reason too, because it was so lovely! On that list, I had three books that I knew would talk about disability in some form and I figured it would be smarter on my part to get through those first before heading into the others. I knew they would make me cry so I just wanted to save myself part of the misery that comes with reading these types of books!

What I still find kind of eerie in a way is that I read and watched the film version two months before COVID came around, so I remember learning the importance of each of the main characters standing six feet apart from each other at all times, but it didn’t necessarily hit me how much I would hear this statement until the guidelines were plastered everywhere! I will say, I understand why Stella was so on it with her medicine and wanting to create an app to help other people with Cystic Fibrosis. And I also understood the bitterness Will carried as well, so their stories kind of carried over into what 2020 became and as strange as that sounds, this was a really good book!

4. City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

By the time I had found this book listed on Kindle Unlimited, I had almost given up hope for it.

I mentioned in the review that I was a big fan of the film that came out in 2013, but at that time I never wanted to really read the book because I figured I would do what I did trying to read the Harry Potter books, and compare every little scene but once I saw it online, I just couldn’t take it anymore and read the whole thing in like two weeks I think .I have seen how thick these books are on YouTube, so I was a little imitated by the sheer size of it but I was so proud that I read it after I have been waiting like four years to actually get my toes on it. I was very happy that I didn’t compare the two a lot but in my defense though, it’s been a long time since I’ve watched the film so I knew it wouldn’t be too bad.

One of my favorite things about it was how detailed the author made every scene, and I guess I never paid attention to the amount of material an author goes to making every scene stand out, and I’m glad I was able to read not just one fantasy novel this year but two others that I still think brought out everything for the readers, and it was deeply appreciated too!

5. After You by JoJo Moyes

I find it kind of odd that I have both the first and last books of the challenge included in this list. There are some similarities between Lou and Anke, such as how they treat everyone around them. They both want the best out of their situations and second guess everything and neither one has the power to do things differently that could maybe better their outcomes.

When I read the first book, I was only doing it so I wouldn’t be wondering what happens in the book, so I just made it easier on myself and it was the best decision I made because I was introduced to this lovely person: Louisa. She had no experience at caring for someone with a serve physical disability and had to figure out how to cope with his wish to die. When I got this book, I was thinking we were going to see her in Paris and having the time of her year, but we didn’t. We were introduced to Lou as she was losing all of her confidence and hope for the future. However, an opportunity popped up out of the blue and directed her back to who she was after meeting and falling in love with Will.

Honestly every book I read this year was amazing in their own way. I know I probably sound like figuring out the best books was easy but it really wasn’t. It’s hard to pick out each one because they were all different and I had a personal journey with all of them. For the most part, all but maybe one or two books actually received five or four stars on Goodreads because I thought they really deserved that type of rating.

I ended out the year reading 25 books, which was more than I ever expected to and it makes so damn proud because not only did I complete my original goal but I finished a whole series too! I think this is utterly amazing and I know I have a lot of family members and school teachers who have told me that they’re proud of my accomplishments, but I have felt like my heart could burst with excitement over this feat. I still remember my childhood days of hating to read both out loud and in general. I never found it to be fun until I was practically forced into it my freshman year of high school!

By the end of January when I come back to blogging after having a couple weeks off, I will be telling more about my next books and of course, announcing what I decided on how many I choose to read in 2021. Hope you to see again for that post.

Were you able to read any books this year? Did you give yourself a goal? If so, how many did you want to complete? After reading this post, do you want to set a reading goal for the new year too?

snowflake