July & August in Review

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

July and August in Review

I'm combining these summer months since I never got a chance to review July by itself. So, I've finally been able to get some more reading done but it's nowhere near where it was before. I am working only one full time job now but, ironically, this one job is keeping me insanely busier than when I had a different full time job combined with graduate school combined with this job part-time as an internship. How is that possible??? But there are other perks to this job so I guess it's just a trade-off that I'm willing to accept.

As for my blogging, I reviewed four books in July:
And five in August:
This month I also caught a really bad cover copy, and I welcomed author Margaret Dilloway to Take Me Away to guest post. The giveaway winner for How to be an American Housewife is Megan D!!

In July, my husband and I traveled to Washington, D.C. with my parents for a little vacation originated from plans to go see Manchester United vs. Barcelona play at Fed Ex Field in Landover, MD, as my mother is somewhat of a soccer hooligan! (okay, slight exaggeration!) The trip was incredibly fun and a nice escape from what has been a stressful time at work. August brought my 29th birthday (one more year of being young, heheh... actually I'm looking forward to my 30's). However, we also got bad news medically about my mother, as she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She just recently underwent surgery and we are hoping she will be good after that, as they call it a "favorable" cancer. But it's still scary and she has some recuperating to do and some minor treatment (relatively speaking) to still undergo.

In other blogging news, I've been feeling sort of discouraged about blogging lately. It's ridiculous how something meant to be fun, to be an outlet, an escape, can often turn into pressure and create other negative feelings. I won't go too much into it, but I'm finding that I often have to remind myself that I just plain like to read and that's what I should do. And there shouldn't be such things as pressure and even "belonging" necessarily in merely enjoying a hobby. It's complicated. The last thing I need to do is stress over the lack of time I have to devote to blogging! I'm thinking other book bloggers will likely understand, and if any of you reading this are not bloggers you're probably thinking I don't have enough to worry about, haha!

Anyway, I actually have some EXCITING news... okay, really it's nothing big or life changing necessarily, but after five years of living in our home and not doing anything to our second bedroom but using it as a storage room (reminiscent of a beginning hoarder) and overcoming severe disappointment that it will likely never be a nursery, we decided to clean it out and turn it into a READING ROOM!! Only a book nerd would be excited about that, I suppose. We covered the one wall with wall-to-wall bookshelves. We do have a computer desk in there but we simplified from the huge desk we had to a little IKEA desk. The desk actually came with a nice-sized sturdy shelf where we have stored our "educational" books (ie. textbooks, my trusty DSM IV-TR, etc.), we covered the door-less closet with a curtain, and we bought two reading chairs (super comfortable even though it may not look it)! We need to finish it off with a couple matching foot stools (that were out of stock when we IKEA'd) and maybe a rug. We also put up those two fabulous reading art pictures by Pamela Miller that I bought at the UCF Book Festival. No pictures of the room yet because I want to finish it up for real. But the room has transformed from something I rarely even went in or looked at to the most relaxing, peaceful room in the house!

So now that I'm settling in to this "new" job and the recent craziness, I'm hoping to have more time to enjoy what I want to do. But then, these next few months usually get crazy don't they?


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Sorry to hear about your mom - I hope the treatments go well! The reading room sounds great! We just finally bought some furniture after it seems like forever and it was, what else - a reading chair!!!

Zibilee said...

It sounds like you have had a up and down summer. I am sorry to hear about your mom, and hope that she recovers very soon. Also, Happy Birthday to you! I hope that you had a great day. I also think that I am feeling a lot of pressure about blogging right now, and am trying to remember that I do this for FUN, and nothing else! Your reading room sounds wonderful, and I am hoping to have one of my own someday when that kids have moved out!

nomadreader said...

The reading room sounds fabulous! As for blogging stress, I'm totally with you. I simply don't want to devote my life to my blog. The result is I don't always post as frequently or as promptly as I intend. It took me awhile, but I'm okay with that. I think blogging falls somewhere between obligation and joy for me, but both feed one another, and that's good for now. I hope you find balance (and perhaps the reading room will help!)

bermudaonion said...

You've had a busy couple of months!

One of our neighbors was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and his doctor told him that it's the best cancer to have because it doesn't spread. I hope that's true and all is well with your mom.

I think most of the pressure with blogging comes from ourselves, so keep reminding yourself that it's a hobby!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

It sounds like an eventful summer. I am sorry to hear about your mom, but am glad that surgery went well. Hopefully a full recovery is in store. Cancer is so different with every single person. I have some people in my life battling it as well.
I hope you continue to blog and enjoy it. I do know what you mean. I have been out of sorts with it all too. Every with saying no to requests I still feel the pressure to blog when I don't have it in me. I just want to read and relax and enjoy it.
I hope you enjoy your reading room! That sounds like a dream to me! We have such a tiny house that it ain't happenin' here! Oh well.
So nice to hear about your summer. You are always one of the people I like to check in on, with the little time i have to spend reading blogs!
Take care,

Booksnyc said...

I am sorry to hear about your Mom - I had a thyroidectomy 3 years ago and although the surgery and treatment is relatively minor compared to many cancers it is still stressful to deal with the uncertainty until it is treated. I hope she feels better soon!

I hear you on the blogging stress - I struggle to get the right balance too but am mostly happy with where things have landed.

Have a great birthday!

Jenners said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mom ... even if she is a soccer hooligan. It sounds like it is treatable so that is good to hear. Sending good thoughts your way.

And a reading room!! HOW COOL!! Whenever I daydream about my dream house, I always include a reading room complete with all types of comfy seating and floor to ceiling bookshelves with one of those ladders that you can push around.

And I totally get what you mean about blogging. I struggle with the same issues all the time. In the end, you have to just give it the time that you have and want to give, have fun and let the rest go.

Good luck on your journey!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I am sending a hug and good thoughts to you and your family - keep us updated.

I just finished the audiobook of Still Missing by Chevy Stevens, which was particularly unsettling in the listening form. I have the printed version of Never Knowing, so I'm expecting more disturbing storytelling there, too!

Tina said...

Oh wow your own reading room, Im full of envy...:)

Sorry about the blogging..;( I think I know how you feel, the blog sometimes feels like its gone from a hobby to a job, after this fall mine will be slowing way down. I think some of it tends to be a popularity contest as well....

Im hoping I can keep up once school starts...tomorrow!!...

I hope you feel less stressed about it.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

DC? How cool. I love it there.

Mom? I'm so sorry. Good luck. I hope she does awesome and kicks its butt. My mami battled and won cancer several years ago.

Reading Room? LOVE it! You go girl! I want pics.

Blogging? I feel ya. Ya just gotta post when you want and not sweat the small stuff :)

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