December 31, 2018: Goodbye 2018

Well, today marks the last day of 2018! Lots of events took place this year:

  • I went to do OT for my hand injury back in April. My left hand still feels a little sore, but it’s a lot better than how it felt in the beginning of the year.
  • Andy and I officially began planning for our wedding! Our special day will take place in eight months. I have my wedding dress, but there’s still lots to do.
  • I rekindled my passion for reading. I always have my love for reading, but I truly used it as an escape these last couple months.
  • I lost my dear friend and colleague in poetry therapy, Johanna. Life moves on as usual, yet I miss turning to her for advice and good laughs.
  • I turned 40 this year! Such a special milestone. I got to celebrate the special day with my good friends from college. It was a wonderful time.

My goals for 2019?

  • Making sure my wedding runs smoothly.
  • Finding a profession that I can truly enjoy. I love working with children, but I feel like I’m ready for a new challenge.
  • Making sure that Andy and I live through 2019 in good health and blessings. We have so much to celebrate this year.

I really enjoyed posting here throughout 2018. At the beginning of the year I set a goal to post every day on both blogs: Woven From Words and Poetic Threading (my Blogspot poetry site). I’m happy to report that it’s been achieved! For those that cared to read my daily entries, thank you. I definitely plan to continue blogging throughout 2019. Maybe not daily, but in a consistant basis. I can’t wait to share more with you.

Happy New Year!

December 30, 2018: Surprises

I didn’t expect to end the year sick, yet here I am with the stomach bug. 🙁 I was trying to be soo careful at work, wearing gloves and using hand sanitizer every chance I got…but when a child manages to touch your face, there’s not much you can do. So yeah, last night was terrible. I’m slowly moving about the day, taking it easy with drinking seltzer. Still feeling achy, but hopefully I can eat food. Hopefully I can make it through the day without getting sick again.

December 29, 2018: Wedding Colors/Flower Girls

My David’s Bridal color swatches shipped out today. I’m looking forward to their arrival…I need to discover which shade of yellow could work with the purple I selected for my color scheme. This yellow shade will be paired with the other color in the reception area.

Next year will be a busy one, since the wedding will now be eight months away. I need to search for flower girl dress ideas, for when Ana and Nadia go for their outfits. I’m hoping for the best.

December 28, 2018: Reading ‘One Day in December’

December28_2018


I began my new read last night, ‘One Day in December’ by Josie Silver. It’s a love story, following the lives of three people throughout a 10 year period. I’m amazed that I chose another story that centers on relationships! I did want to focus on Christmas stories around the holiday season, and the book has Christmas as a focal point. Granted, I began reading it after Christmas, but it has the word ‘December’ in the title, and it’s still December. So that counts!

December 27, 2018: My Review on ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Liane Moriarty

Novel received from Book of the Month

Length: 453pp.

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Synopsis:

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out…

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

My Thoughts:

I usually don’t bother reading stories that are fixated on finding love. As soon as books venture into characters down-trodden and lost due to love, or moving on after a failed breakup, I put the book down. Yet reading ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Liane Moriarty was a nice blend of characters from different backgrounds drawn together, gaining empowerment after difficult life situations.

‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ follow the lives of nine individuals taking part of a pricey, 10 day wellness retreat at Tranquillum House. The workshops are run by an overzealous guru, applying her un-orthodox approach of healing to the attendees in order to attain transformative results.

The novel is written in the third person, each chapter taking the perspective of a different character. This made some parts of the story fast-paced, as a certain scene could be split in several chapter following several perspectives. This allowed the reader to see what the other attendees in the retreat were pondering at these tense moments.

Moriatry also delves into the lives of each person, revealing the inner truths of how Tranquillum House entered their lives. The story didn’t have a central ‘dark character’, if you will, for each person carried a personal life struggle which led to their self-discovery. Moriarty also writes in the perspective of the health guru and her consultants. Their input in this tale further opens up a window into the past that gives clarity to the bigger picture.

I also appreciated how Moriarty writes about the power of social media’s influence in our society. Ben and Jessica, a married couple in the wellness retreat, were attending Tranquillum House for marriage counseling due to the wife’s obsession in her appearance, leading to a constant need for ‘Likes’ on her Instagram account. Frances Welty, a once best-selling author, was attending Tranquillum House after suffering her first huge rejection and poor feedback due to (according to her publisher) a lack of online traffic and resources. Both women suffered from the harsh eye of the internet, but for different reasons: Jessica was at the mercy of comparing herself to beauty’s entrapment, while Frances struggled to thrive under a publishing company run by a younger, social-media savvy generation.

‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ was a pretty good read, even with the periodic slow pace it contained. Reading about relationship struggles normally isn’t a preference for me, but this didn’t take away from the story.

Rating: 4/5

December 26, 2018: Growing Up/Coordinating

The free time passes by so quickly! It seemed like Friday was only a few hours ago, and now I’m up at 5am once more, readying myself for work. I did have a relaxing time with relatives and reading. Ana is growing so quickly! She’s even talking more clearly, the ‘child-like’ sound of her speech fading away. I felt a bit wistful whenever I heard her speak. Her mom is still convinced that she bears no resemblance to her. I see Ana’s recent smiling photos, and a younger version of Brittany still looks back at me. It makes me laugh.

One thing I need to do is arrange a time for Brittany and Joyce (the other bridesmaid in my wedding) to get together and coordinate. I don’t necessarily think of minute details, aside from dressing in the color I gave them. Everyone else is concerned about matching outfits though. So the three of us can meet, and they can work out that detail. If Brittany can pin down a time to meet up.

December 25, 2018: Family Time/Reading Update

Today is very special, since Christmas is a holiday to spend valuable time with family. Life can be extremely hectic, yet for a couple days we can spend time with cousins and relatives, and share special moments together.

Along with the time spent with relatives, I also have time to plan my reading time. I’m nearly done with Nine Perfect Strangers, and it’s been quite an interesting story. I will have that review posted close to the end of the week. I’m looking forward to beginning my next story, which centers around Christmas (I know, after Christmas Day…my time management is out the window!). I’ll see where my mood takes me 😊

December 24, 2018: Special Times

Christmas Eve, a special day for many. Not only because it’s a holiday, but I actually have the day off due to the lack of children at the center. I definitely needed the extra time for myself to refuel mentally.

I even have some time to read my book today. I’m about 71% through with Nine Perfect Strangers. I’m going to give my review of the story this week.

Yesterday my friend from Puerto Rico called and mentioned that she received her save the date card for the wedding! I’m so relieved that I still had the right address for her. It’s going to be a wonderful event if she does indeed make it. It’s been 13 years since we’ve last seen each other.

Blogmas Day 23: 4th Week of Advent

Today marks the fourth and final Sunday of Advent. This period symbolizes Peace: that the excitememt of Christ’s arrival will bring about peace of mind throughout the land. All of our waiting and anticipating of Jesus’s birth seems like a long process, yet this is a time to reflect and internalize what we need to attain peace in our lives. Advent reminds us that true happiness comes through realizing what matters in life the most: being with family, loved ones, and a loving support system. Christmas is two days away, and it’s such a meaningful time for us all.

Image source:

http://stthomasmore.org

December 23, 2018: Sunshine Blogger Award

About two weeks ago, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

On December 9, I gave a Blogmas post about the Second Week of Advent. The next day I received a message from Pam Gaines at WriteSquire that I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Such a pleasant surprise. Thank you so much Pam!

11 Questions for Me

1)How do you define friendship?
Friendship is the act of two people sharing their passions with one another. They laugh, love and cry together throughout life’s moments.

2) What’s the latest thing you learned?           
I’ve learned that friends and family will be there for you during life’s most difficult moments. These past few months have been so stressful with work and health difficulties. Thank goodness for my fiancé and cousin

3) How do you begin each day, as a general rule?
I write my blog entries. I maintain two: Woven From Words, and my poetry blog, Poetic Threading. I’ve learned that writing is such a refreshing start to the day!

4) What’s your favorite quote?
I adore this quote from Rumi: Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.

5) What quote do you despise?
Life is what you make of it.

6) Why do you hate it?
It seems so flippant. I always roll my eyes whenever I hear it!

7) With whom —living or dead— would you like to share a meal?
Hmmm…I think I would love to share a meal with Martin Luther King.

8) Why would you share a meal with her/him?
I would love to ask him advice on staying true to your principles, despite interacting with people who act and behave differently each and every day.

9) What do you love most about blogging?
I enjoy sharing my thoughts on life, and my interests. I began blogging in 2011, after watching the film Julie and Julia. I enjoyed the idea of leaving posts about your passions each and every day. Since I have a love for poetry, I began a BlogSpot page called Poetic Threading. Six years later, I began my journaling page on WordPress, Woven From Words.

10) What do you least enjoy about blogging?
Sometimes I struggle to put words on the page. I’ve learned to accept that a post can just be one or two paragraphs, even though I’m still hard on myself by doing so. But then if I put off writing to later in the day, I’m so fatigued that my thoughts are all over the place. So, posting at 5:30am is the most ideal for now lol!

11) What’s your favorite hobby?
Reading, and crocheting. I’m currently on a crocheting break, due to an injury on my left hand (Tendinitis…I can still function with it, but too much work on my left wrist leaves it in pain for a couple days. Thankfully my OT sessions have been very beneficial, and I hope to return to crocheting very soon. I really miss it).

11 Questions for You

  1. What are your passions in life?
  2. How do you mentally prepare for a challenge?
  3. What does Love mean to you?
  4. Do you believe in symbols as guides in your life journey?
  5. Describe your favorite book and/or poem.
  6. What was a moment that stood out in your life for 2018?
  7. Name someone you hold a deep respect for in your life. It can be anyone (friend, family member, mentor, etc.).
  8. What is one goal you would like to achieve for 2019?
  9. How long have you been blogging?
  10. What do you consider to be a strong support system in your life?
  11. What is one thing that you do in your daily routine that empowers you?

I Nominate:

veiledhousewife.com
myspirals.com
pagesunbound.wordpress.com
beautybeyondbones.com
hammockofbooks.wordpress.com
alittlebutalot.com
wolflibby0914.wordpress.com
Fscspritualexpressions.wordpress.com
blendstrong.com
kellogsontherun.wordpress.com
zeezeewithbooks.wordpress.com


I will post the Sunshine Blogger Award rules below, in case you know someone with unique content that deserves this honor.

Thank you for reading!

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

✦︎ Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.

✦︎ Answer the questions.

✦︎ Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

✦︎ Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

✦︎ List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.