I Miss School (Sort of)

missing school

I know, I know.  You think I’m crazy.  Heck, I think I’m crazy at times, but it’s true.  I miss being in school and most things about it.  I’ve been out of school for just over a year now, and it’s still something I have to wrap my brain around.

Which is partially why I’m looking into graduate school.

Of course, that’s not the only reason.  I’m looking into graduate school because I want to pursue a Master in Library Science degree.  For a while I sort of pushed my library dream aside in favor of video production.  It’s not that I’m not into video production anymore, I would love to work in a studio or freelance, but I’ve always loved libraries and their place in our society.  I’ve wanted to work in one since I was in high school… and now I do.

But I want to take it just a little further.

It will still be at least another year or so before I’m actually back in school.  After all, I need to research what school I want to attend for this degree and that’s what I’ve been doing the past few weeks.  But as we near the end of August I’m seeing all the back to school sales and I wish I was attending now.

I think aside from being in the classroom, what I miss most is back to school shopping.  Even if I didn’t need new supplies, I got them anyway.  School and office supplies have always been a weakness for me, as it is for a few other people I know.  In fact, I just bought a few notebooks because they were only 50¢ at Walmart.

It’s a sickness, honestly.

Even when I do get back to school for my Master’s, I’ll still miss the school environment as I’ll most likely be pursuing the degree online.  There are no local programs for me to go back for the MLS degree in person, so unless I move out-of-state my only choice is online school.  It’s not a bad option though, I actually enjoyed my year of online school through Liberty University back in 2011 to finish my Associate’s degree.

Now I don’t love everything about school.  What I’m not looking forward to about going back are the tests.  I’ve never been a great test-taker.  While I have gotten my fair share of A’s, I have often made mistakes that could’ve been avoided.  Also, the cost of textbooks.  Nothing irritates me more than spending hundreds of dollars on a textbook only to find out that we didn’t even need it in the first place.

Still, I think the pros far outweigh the cons of going back to school.  After all, I’ll be able to further my career, learning more each day and after it’s all done I’ll have achieved something that I know wasn’t an easy thing to do.

I’m a little terrified thinking about going on to graduate school, but at the same time I’m excited to go for something that I enjoy and would really help me in my career.

Are you excited for a new school year?  If you’re not in school, do you miss it?

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Getting My Groove Back

I know I haven’t been as active here on the diaries this summer.  To be blunt, I’ve just been in a slump.  I want to write, but I either don’t have time to just sit and write or when I do have time, I just don’t feel like it.

That has to change.

groove

I miss connecting with my fellow bloggers and readers out there.  I miss writing about a cool event that happened in my life or something I’m going through, like this blogging slump, and someone out there can say, “Hey, I’ve been there.  You’re not alone.”

Every blogger goes through a slump at some point.  It might not be natural if we didn’t. Sometimes we need a kick in the pants to get us started up again.  I’m trying to do it myself, but I’m admitting that I might need some help.  I’ve been looking up topics that I can cover to get myself back into writing, but I will also take reader suggestions.  So anyone who has a post idea, feel free to submit it into the comments.

Also, I would love to do a Q&A post in the future!  If you have any questions for me, you can leave those in the comments as well or you can even submit them through email (which you can find on my contact page).

Wish me luck on getting my blogging groove back!

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Unexpected Blessing

This past Monday I was slapped in the face… with a job.

I didn’t fill out an application nor did I go in for an interview.  I was simply asked if I could stop by the library and was offered a job that had opened up that morning.

unexpected job blessing

I can’t even begin to explain how happy and excited I am about this new opportunity in my life.  I’ve been trying for the past year to get a job in the library field, applying as a library assistant to any jobs that opened up in my area.  Obviously, I didn’t get any of those jobs.

There’s no way that this wasn’t a huge blessing from God because I mean, the position had just become vacant that morning and for me to be the first person the library director thought of to offer the job to…?  And, come on, a library job?  Yeah, this job is definitely a gift from God.

So today is my first day.  Of course I’m both excited and nervous… but really more excited.  This is what I’ve wanted since high school (though I may have gotten off track at some point during college).  I’m very excited to have a job that I’m going to be passionate about and be able to learn from and work with great people.

And hello?  I’m going to be around books!

How great is that?

Again, I’m very grateful for this new job and opportunity to be in a field I’ve dreamed of.  It goes to show that even when it’s hard to keep believing that God has something good planned for you, you have to keep believing because God will always come through.

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July Playlist

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a monthly playlist.  The reason I stopped was because a lot of the songs would’ve been repeats.  But this summer has brought some new songs into my life, as well as reintroducing old ones that I haven’t listened to in a while.

So here are some of the songs I’ve been playing frequently.

july playlist 2016

Powerless – Alyson Stoner

This song is from the movie Summer Forever, which is available for download on iTunes, Amazon, etc.  While all the songs in this movie are great, this one is by far the best.  The full video that I linked to is also great and I was disappointed they cut out a chunk of it in the movie.  I know the song is a bit of a downer, but you can’t help but admit that it’s the best one from the movie (or that might just be me).

I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes

This is one that I’ve loved since it was released.  It’s a fun song that expresses a truth about relationships… easy is okay, but crazy is more enjoyable.  And it doesn’t have to be just for romantic relationships.  Crazy friendships are fun too!

Bye Bye Bye/I Want It That Way – Glee Cast

I can’t even tell you how pumped I was when Glee finally covered Nsync and Backstreet Boys.  This is probably the best mash-up they ever did!  I only wish they had covered more of the two bands’ songs.

Dragon (That’s What You Wanted) – Alyson Stoner

Okay, how can you not love a song like this?  The feel is definitely early 2000s for both the song and video.  It’s catchy and again, the dancing in the video is great!  I hate that I didn’t know this song existed until this month.

Runaway – Love and Theft

Another catchy song that I find in my head from time to time.  It’s been a while since I actually listened to it, until this summer.  I can’t believe I forgot this song was even in my iTunes library.

Wrecking Ball – Glee Cast (Cover)

I know a good song when I hear it, even if I’m not a fan of the artist.  Thankfully this song was covered on Glee so I could buy it without hating myself and I love this version.  The song came back into my regular playlist because of a video I saw on Facebook that was hilarious.  And it just made me think of how things in life can come crashing in without any notice that can leave a mark on our lives, whether it’s good or bad.

Sugar Rush – A*Teens

I realize this song is a cover, but I don’t know by who… and the only reason I know it’s a cover is because my mom told me back in the early 2000s it was.  I just think it’s a cute song and I love this version as well as Dream Street’s (which you can listen to here).

Pop – *Nsync

Since it’s been 15 years since their last album came out, I’ve been on a little *Nsync kick again.  This song is the standout at the moment because it’s one of the ones I can remember most from the concert I went to in 2002 (one of the best birthday presents ever).  It’s upbeat, catchy and how can you not want to dance along with it?

I Want You to Know – Cover by Max Schneider and Alyson Stoner

No offense to Zedd and Selena Gomez, but this version is my favorite.  I wasn’t sure how I’d like an acoustic version of the song because I was so used to the upbeat, dance version… but these two (along with Kurt, of course) completely dominated this song.

Maps – Maroon 5

I’ve known of this song for a while, but never really listened to it before.  Now that I have, I can’t get it out of my head.  It’s another catchy song that will pop up in my head at the most random times.  And, I have to throw this in there, but Kurt, Max and Alyson also did a great cover of this song that I have to say, I’m more partial to than the original – which you can see here.

 

So those are a few of the songs that are on repeat this month.  There are more, but a lot of them are from artists I’ve listed here and I wanted to give y’all some variety.

Are there any on this list you also like?

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Letter to My Best Friend

best friend open letter

Dear Best Friend,

You know who you are.

First off, I’m truly thankful that God placed us in that middle school Spanish class years ago because we definitely came into a great friendship that I think will last.  We don’t get to see each other as often as in high school, but that happens.  The important thing is that even if we go weeks without directly talking to each other, once we’re together it’s like no time passed.

We hit a lot of milestones together – sweet sixteens, first boyfriends, high school graduation, getting our driver’s licenses, college graduation.  Really that only thing we haven’t done was senior prom, and that’s because I didn’t go (and I still don’t regret it).  We still have many more milestones to cover (I’m still betting that you’ll have kids first) and I’m excited to see what God has in store for the both of us.

What I love about our friendship is that we don’t hold back.  We can be honest with each other and let all our thoughts and feelings out when we’re having a bad day, but not even five minutes later we can be completely weird and silly.  A friend like that is hard to come by… you usually get either one or the other.  We’re lucky to have both in the same person.

I also just need to thank you for being there for me during the times I’m having stupid drama in my life, and you don’t judge me.  You usually understand since often times you’re going through some of the same things, just in different ways.

Life is weird for us right now – we’re both college grads and still struggling to find full-time work in our fields of study.  The thing is, I know God has something great for both of us.  You have a great gift when it comes to working with children and I have no doubts that you’re going to be everyone’s favorite teacher once you get into the right school… the parents are going to love you too!

So don’t worry buddy… your time is coming.

Thanks again for being the best friend I could ever ask for!

Hate you buddy!

– Tabbers

Introversion

I’ve been a real hermit lately, even on the Internet.  Assuming you’re all still here, you’ve noticed this is my first post in a few weeks.  Sorry about that.  I just sort of lost myself into a deep state of introversion that I just plain didn’t feel like coming up with any blog posts.

As I work my way back into a blogging routine (because I’m now realizing that I’ve missed it) I’m going to keep this post short.  Instead of another list of things that go through my mind, I’m going to share with y’all a few pictures I feel describe me as an introvert perfectly.

alone not lonely

introvert things

visit

parties

leaving

Honestly though… that last one is definitely the most accurate.  Especially as of late.

Can any of you relate to these pictures?  Or are you more extroverted?

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Seeing the Sequel First

Why would anyone do that?  See the sequel of a movie first?

Well, since you asked, one reason I can think of would be that you promised your best friend to go see a movie, even though you hadn’t seen the first one because honestly you had no interest in the first place, but hey, she’s your best friend so you go see it with her.

… yes, this is exactly what happened to me.  Twice.

The first time this happened was to see Iron Man 2 when it came out.  I told my best friend and another friend I’d go see it with them, despite the fact I had no interest in Marvel films at the time (and really, other than Iron Man and Avengers, I still have no interest in the others).  I went in knowing that I wasn’t one for these type of films, and that it would most likely be a waste of my time, but boy was I wrong!  I loved the film, and Robert Downey Jr., and it wasn’t too long afterward that I saw the first film… and got my mom hooked on them too.

Two summers ago, I let it happen again.  My best friend and I were planning on seeing a movie she was excited for, but she had changed her mind because she wasn’t in the mood for that film that day, and instead we went to see How To Train Your Dragon 2.  Again, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t care for the film that much, but guess what?  I’m in love with the franchise!  I’m even currently watching the Dragons: Race to the Edge series on Netflix that is a spin-off of the movies.  It took me a little longer to see the first movie afterward, but I did eventually see it and subsequently got both movies for Christmas.

From my experience there’s really no harm in seeing the sequel first… I mean, it’s a movie.  It’s not life or death.  But seeing the sequel first can leave you a little confused at first unless you have an awesome best friend who will explain the important points about the first movie during the previews.  Overall, it’s not too much different than when a movie comes out, then years later a prequel is released (Star Wars, Monsters Inc.).  Sure, it’s not the same, but you get my point.

And before I end this, let me say that there was one more time this happened to me, back in 2002 when Spy Kids 2 came out.  I saw that one first because I again, I went to see it with a friend who wanted to see it.  The only difference was that I had wanted to see the first one the year before… I just hadn’t gotten around to watching it before seeing the sequel.

So yes, I have seen sequels first and the only impact it’s made on me is that I’m more partial to the second movie than the first one in a franchise.

I know, I’m weird.

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When in Doubt, Consult the Book Jar

You sit there staring at your pile of unread books, but have no idea which one you should read.  How can you decide?  They’re all great books!  Here’s what you do…

You consult the Book Jar.

thebookjartitle

First of all, I am not taking credit for coming up with this idea.  It is something that I saw on Facebook about a week ago and it’s been on my mind to do this… so I did.  This is just my way to share the idea with my fellow bookworms.

I wish I knew who did come up with this idea so I could personally thank them.  Not only is this a good idea to decide what book to read next, but it was a fun little project to do.  Even though the steps are simple, I’m going to show the pictures to walk through what I did.

paper

cut up titles

Obviously the first steps are to write down the titles of all your unread books, or even ones you want to read again soon, and cut them into small pieces of paper.  Luckily I already had colored paper to use for this.

folded titles

Then there’s the fun part of folding each piece.  Yay.

For me it wasn’t too bad of a task since I don’t have nearly as many books as some book bloggers I follow.  I mean, I wish I had that many books.  I suppose I could gather a list of library books I want to read as well to add to the jar.

mason jar

Then you get a jar that you want to fill.  I was originally going to use a mason jar bank that I’m not using (since we have a ton), but it’s painted and I wanted to at least be able to see the colored paper scraps.  So I went to Michaels and bought a cute little jar with a hinged lid – like the one I saw in the original book jar post.

I don’t think it really matters what kind of jar you use.  It’s a matter of personal preference.  If you want to use a painted jar, where you won’t be able to see the paper, that’s fine too.  In fact, that’ll make your choice more of a mystery since you can’t see the colors of the paper.

Then you fill said jar.

full jar

And BOOM!  You have a book jar for whenever you can’t decide what to read next.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll be using this a lot.

What do you think of the book jar?  Would you make something like this for your books?

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My Future is in Good Hands

I’m just going to admit this… I was a mess this morning.  An emotional, worrying, crying mess.

Because of the immediate future.

Gods will for my future

The lease is about to be up on our place, and my mom and I are considering moving.  We found a place we want in a new town and we sent in the application.  The thing is, without going into detail, the only way we can get this place is through God and if it’s in His will for us to move there.

Why was I a mess?  Scared of the outcome, I suppose.  I was attacked by numerous thoughts of doubt for both ends – on whether we get the place or have to stay where we are.  I’m ashamed not only because of my doubt, but because yesterday I was so full of faith and there was no reason for me to pull a complete 180.

It’s amazing how quickly God can speak to you when you crack open your Bible for your morning reading and suddenly you realize all that worrying was for nothing.

I’m currently reading Romans and instead of stopping where I planned after chapter 7, I continued on to chapter 8 and read a verse that I know, but constantly forget where it is:

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28 (NLT)

For some reason this verse made me think of another one I know well, but it hasn’t been in the front of my mind as of late (you know, until today):

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

After reading both of these verses this morning, I felt the relief and comfort wash over me.  I know that God isn’t going to let us get this apartment if it isn’t the right move.  My mom and I have both prayed that we want whatever God’s will is for us when it comes to this decision.  While we might not have gotten an answer about whether we should’ve applied or not, I came to the conclusion that applying is the step we needed to take to see if God will open this door for us or keep it closed.

“Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright”

(What Faith Can Do – Kutless)

Was I still scared to bring the application in?  A little, maybe.  But before I even left the house to drop off the application I was restored in faith knowing that God has control of the outcome, and that only His plans for us are going to unfold.

“…yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42 (NIV)

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Tribulation Force [book review]

tribulation force review

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

In one cataclysmic moment, millions around the globe disappear.

Those left behind face war, famine, plagues, and natural disasters so devastating that only one in four people will survive. Odds are even worse for enemies of the Antichrist and his new world order.

Rayford Steele, Buck Williams, Bruce Barnes, and Chloe Steele band together to form the Tribulation Force. Their task is clear, and their goal is nothing less than to stand and fight the enemies of God during the seven most chaotic years the planet will ever see.

Kicking off right after the end of Left Behind the four characters are all feeling their calling from God and how they are supposed to serve Him during this time of tribulation.  Though reluctant because they do not want to split up their core group and they might find themselves working for the Antichrist himself, they reason that it might be the best way to witness to others under his influence.  They know that soon enough the time of tribulation will officially begin and hard times will soon befall the earth.

Despite the serious tone of the book, there are still little accounts of humor between the characters as misunderstandings happen, which I think really adds to it.  They’re still human after all, and they’re all undergoing constant character development as new believers in Christ.

Like in the first book, I still found myself thinking about when the actual event of the Rapture happens.  I felt motivated to really pray for my loved ones and that somehow God will use me to bring others to Him.

And again, I’m not trying to push away non-believers to read this series.  I might only be two books in (out of twelve), but I can tell this is a series that is worth the time to check out.

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