April 9th. I love it.

So glad that’s over!

First up this week friends is Middle Grade novels. I love them. This week I read “You Throw Like a Girl” and “Chester and Gus.” I won’t tell you the details now (but read my reviews) but they both meant a lot to me. Middle Grade novels are the types of books I like to write and reading great books like these makes me want to work even harder at writing. I hope that with some time off this summer I can work on the two projects I started/finished this fall. If you’re in the mood to read the first draft of 2 middle grade novels, let me know and I’ll send copies to you for editing!

I love it.

Next up, having multiple teams to root for. I love it. Now that it’s baseball season, my TV is on a lot more. Sometimes I watch games that I wouldn’t think I’d be interested in on MLB TV and get so engrossed with the game, I don’t realize I have other things I was supposed to be doing. While the Indians will always be my team, I can’t forget about my friends that play on the Red Sox (Steven Wright), Twins (Chris Gimenez), and Blue Jays (TJ House). I’m also a huge Paul Goldschmidt fan (D-Backs) so I watch them consistently too. Oh, and I can’t forget Bud’s Dodgers. With all of these teams to root for, there is never s shortage of baseball at my house.

I love it.

Finally, lazy days. I love them. Yesterday I slept in till 10am and continued to lay in bed until I finished listening to the Focus 3 podcast (if you haven’t heard it, I’d start). Then I was motivated and went to the store but came right back home and lounged. I read an entire book (Chester and Gus), napped for a few hours while watching “Merlin”, one of my favorite shows (check it out on Netflix). Today was much of the same but I’ve been writing, watching baseball, and drinking lots of coffee. The cats even let me sleep in until 8:30am because I fed them last night. How nice of them.

I love it. It’s great. Everything’s great.

I love it.

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You Throw Like a Girl! – A book review

You Throw Like a GirlYou Throw Like a Girl by Rachele Alpine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I may be biased because I know the author, but this book blew me away. Not only is it about baseball (one of my true loves), but it’s about a girl beating the odds (and the boys) and a sport that she loves.

Gabby is spending the summer in Chester, Ohio. He father was just deployed and she’s having a hard time adjusting. She left behind her friends and her softball team but she’s hoping that playing for Chester’s team will make things better. She promised her dad she would pitch in the Championship game, just like he did when he was a kid.

Unfortunately, she finds out that there aren’t enough girls to participate in softball this season because everyone in town seems to be part of the Miss Popcorn Pageant. She leaves the rec center defeated.

By a twist of fate, Gabby’s mom signs her up for the pageant. She is a legacy in town because she won the crown several years. Gabby’s mom is so excited about the pageant that Gabby can’t bear to squash her dreams of a daughter following in her footsteps.

Grace and composure are not something Gabby thinks herself to be good at, but this summer will test her in more ways than one. Refusing to go back on her promise to her dad, Gabby signs up for the Chester baseball team. Unsure of the rules, she disguises herself as “Johnny” and blows the boys out of the water with her arm.

Juggling these two new personas (beauty queen and a boy) gets out of hand and her friendships are in trouble because of her lies.

Can she make her mom and her dad proud?

Most important, can she pull it off?

I loved this book because it’s all about girl power! The boys on Gabby’s team make a lot of comments about how girls are inferior and it makes Gabby’s blood boil. Her will to win is so strong! She is passionate about her sport and won’t let other tell her she’s not good enough!

I rated this book 5/5.

View all my reviews

April 2nd. I love it.

How is it April already, friends?

First up this week, sno-balls. I love it! It’s finally sno-ball season and if you don’t know what they are, think snow cones but way better. I went to my ferrite stop yesterday, Ro-Bear’s, with Lupita, Sonia, and Diana. I actually went with the intention of getting an orange flavored one but as you can expect with so many different choices, I changed my mind 7 times while waiting in line and ended up getting sour apple. So good!

I love it.

Next up, barbecues. I love it. While hanging out with my favorite friends yesterday (see above paragraph), I noticed that they had a grill. Apparently they’d had it for a while and I was too daft to notice so this prompted the idea of having a cook out! We had burgers and corn on the cob and my favorite kind of potato chips. I even got to love on Sonia for the first time (every other time I’d seen her since she was born 2 months ago, I was sick or just staying for a minute). Family dinner nights are my favorite!

I love it.

Finally, baseball season. I love it. Baseball is officially back! Today, I’m watching the Ray and Yankees play. It’s fun to see Chris Archer, one of my favorite on the mound. I’m glad I have something to watch again!

I love it. It’s great. Everything’s great.

I love it.

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Day 19: A Difficult Time in My Life

Overall, I’ve had a pretty awesome life. I’ve traveled a lot, met some amazing people, lived the dream, and found somebody I love.

But it wasn’t¬†always awesome.

When I first moved away from home in 2011, I had a really hard time. I was 3000 miles away from my family, really stressed out, a nervous nelly, and afraid of what was coming.

A little background – I’ve been obsessive compulsive basically my whole life. Since 1st grade, I’ve been an absolute neat freak and worry wart. I always had to have everything clean and organized, vacuuming my room more often than I should have. I would also stay up late at night crying to my stuffed animals about how I thought the house was going to burn down. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen and it was just me overthinking everything. This kind of thing has always been a struggle for me.

Fast forward to age 21 and living alone in a strange city for the first time and it’s like my OCD went into hyperdrive. I started worrying constantly about nothing and thanks to the old man that lived next door to me and accidentally tried to key into my apartment (an honest mistake, I know) my compulsive locking got out of control. I would barricade my door at night with my dining room chair, lock the door almost 200 times before I was satisfied, and would often leave for work but then have to drive right back home to make sure I locked the door behind me.

Of course, after my time in Arizona, I was led to New Orleans. My issues didn’t subside at all, and probably got worse. I would stay up almost all night worrying about the future and coloring (it helped me calm down). At that point, I decided it was time for me to come home and work things out.

I drove back home and spent 4 months going to therapy, hanging out with my parents, and working on myself. It was a really hard decision because I didn’t want to be a useless lump, but I really needed a break. By this time, my anxiety was out of control, my sleeping pattern was seriously messed up, and I was having at least 2 panic attacks a day.

My parents were especially helpful during this hard time. They understood what was going on, did their best to help me out, and supported me. I know it was hard for them too, seeing me so unsteady. I found out later that my mom was also going to see a therapist in an attempt to help me even more. I don’t think she realized how much I appreciated all of her assistance; she would distract me when I was anxious, come lay in bed with me when she would come home from work if I were hiding, and bringing me Spidey when I needed it. My dad did a lot too, making sure that I wasn’t sitting in the house all the time and getting me out in the world so I would stop being afraid of everything.

After those 4 months at home, although I may not have been totally ready yet, I felt comfortable enough to move back to New Orleans after I took a job at Tulane. While I still struggle with anxiety and OCD, I have improved a lot (much thanks to my boyfriend, Bud).

I think I had to go through that difficult time to realize that I am stronger than I thought.

Day 18: My collections

Over the years, I’ve collected a lot of things. I used to collect pennants and pins from every ballpark I visited. All of the pennants are still hanging in my room back home (and also in my brother’s room as we ran out of room in the walls).

Today, I still collect pins from ballparks I visit and Bud and I also collect baseballs. Our goal is to visit every ballpark together. We have a map of the stadiums and we buy pins and put them in the city where they belong as we get them.

I also collect smushed pennies. You know, you put 51 cents into the machine and you get a cool penny that had a design in it from wherever you’re visiting. I’ve already filled up 1 penny book and just started on my second one. These are souvenirs that my parents and friends get for me when they travel so I have them from a ton of different places. So, if you want to send me smushed pennies from where you visit, go ahead!

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Day 3: Ways to Win My Heart

I missed yesterday, but I’m writing it today, so get off my back, people!

Just kidding.

Today is all about how to win my heart. Do you want me to like you? Love you? Totally ignore you? Here are the 5 things you should do if you want to be my friend.

  1. Read. I read a ton of books and I love being able to talk to other people about them. This year already, I’ve read 15 books. 10 more to reach my goal of 25. How many books have you read?
  2. Like baseball. Or at least understand it. I grew up in ballparks and around baseball and it’s a huge part of my identity.
  3. Bake. I am a master baker and even though it isn’t entirely necessary for you to be, I really like having taste testers. And what do I love more than taste testers? Someone to help me bake (and then do the dishes later). I love company in the kitchen.
  4. Watch movies. And lots of them. I go to the movies at least once a week, so if you want to hang out, let’s buy some popcorn and sit in the good seats.
  5. Have pets. I’m an animal lover and the quickest way for me to trust you is to have an animal that I love. Simple as that.

Do you have what it takes to be my new best friend?

June 5th. I love it.

The holiday last weekend screwed me up so my apologies for not writing my blog last week. Here’s what I have to love this week:

First up, presents. I love them. Who doesn’t? My sister found these super cute Wizard of Oz dolls of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion and sent them to me, along with Jelly Bellies that last like pancakes and maple syrup, and a Proud to Teach P.E. bracelet.

I love it.

Next up, my new job. I love it. If you were confused by the present my sister sent me about teaching P.E., be confused no more. I’m happy to announce that I took a job with St. Martin’s Episcopal School where I will be teaching Physical Education. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I can’t wait to start my new career!

I love it.

Finally, Snap Chat. I love it. I’ll admit that I hated it at one point. But since Bud has been traveling so much with the Tulane Baseball team, it actually makes things fun and easy as far as communication. I probably annoy him with how much I send him, but just think of all of the kitty cuteness he’s missing! Yogi and Maisy miss him, too.

I love it. It’s great. Everything’s great.

I love it.

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