You’re Killing Me, Smalls! & 2 Thank Yous: AS King & my parents rock!

More Mandee Monday-You’re Killing Me,  Smalls!

So, a normal person would be excited when their favorite author announces a new book. A normal person would just pre-order it and wait excitedly. A normal person would check their blog from time to time and read updates and such.

There hasn’t been any normal in my life since,

well, never. 

I wanted to be a garbage man (yes, MAN) when I was 3. My mom let me get up early and watch the garbage men when they picked up our trash and I still remember peeking out the window and waving to them with a huge smile on my cute little face (I was pretty darn cute, I must say!) I was a puppy for several weeks (again, yes, WEEKS) when I was four. I barked, ate from a bowl, but thankfully used the potty like a person. (WHEW!). There was also a waitress phase. We turned the kitchen into The Hobit Hotel (my Mama started reading me Tolkien when I was 2). I took orders on my little notepad and brought out the food. It was hysterical. My dad, Popi, and I would then sit down and figure out the one thing that wasn’t on the table. We’d then wait until Mama sat down (finally) to eat to ask for it. She’d yell something about our legs being broken or how we’d be sorry when she was gone. Then she’d go get whatever we wanted and kiss us on the head.  I have at least a million more of these stories about my parents and how they totally rocked my little kid world and shaped me into someone who laughs and smiles and cares and really gives a darn about people.

Now back to my point: A normal person would be ecstatic at the news that their ultimate favorite author (YES, YOU, AS KING! YOU!!). And, don’t get me wrong, I totally am. But, I’m also a total brat-face and I can’t wait.

I. CANNOT. WAIT! 

There are so many awesome books out there that I am dying to read. There are new books, series finales (Lauren DeStefano’s SEVER immediately jumps to mind), and a my towering TBR piles.  I should really just hush and read and be happy. But, I can’t do that! I’m an only child. Waiting makes me go all Crazy Town Banana Pants! (Do you watch Community? If not, OMG-Go Freaking Watch It For Real Life!)

So, what’s my point here? Well, I have two. (possibly more, but I’m not a math person).

1. Thank you, AS King,  who I totally freaking love as an awesome author & totally fun person (BTW: not at all in a creepy stalker!) kind of way! You say what needs to be said. You are a survivor and I respect the hell out of you for your awesome stand against bullying. You shove it in the faces of people who need it shoved there (and other places I shall not name here). You find joy in things that matter. You just TOTALLY FREAKING ROCK! Mostly, though, You write these EPIC books that sink into my soul! They sit there and become part of me in a way that makes me stronger & better. You hit home with kids who don’t think anyone gets it. Then they read your books and feel like someone really does know what nobody else understands. Sometimes that is one of my students or a kid who I know really needs you. Sometimes it is someone in a book store or a library that I don’t know. Sometimes it is me. Really, your writing makes me hurl your books into people’s hands and scream, “READ THIS RIGHT NOW!!”  The Dust of 100 Dogs had me shoving the text in people’s hands! Please Ignore Vera Dietz shook my world. Everybody Sees the Ants, wow! Just wow!

I really super totally want to read Ask the Passengers immediately! I cannot wait for Reality Boy!

Simply put:

You’re Killing Me Smalls! 

2. Thank you, Mama & Popi! My parents are awesome. I’m lucky to have been raised by people who loved me & wanted me. I used to think Popi and I were kids together. I used to say, “Popi, remember when we were little and we . . .” My Mama says that we were loved more in one day than most people are loved in their whole lives. It’s true, too.  Maybe the dishes sat in the sink some nights, maybe we didn’t have a whole bunch of money. Who cares! I sure didn’t. They made me KNOW that I could do anything I wanted to do. They showed me what the real deal was, but made it fun, too! They read to me, let me be what & who I needed to be, picked up the shredded bits of my heart a zillion times when things totally sucked,&  they made me proud to be their kid! My Mama showed me what real love means when we cared for Popi as we slowly watched cancer take over his life. We were able to laugh then, too, in between times of nightmares and oceans of loss. They made me realize what I’m worth and taught me what marriage really means. Schmoopy and I can proudly base our marriage on those of our parents. My model for love is the truest example. There aren’t really words in English or any other language to explain these two amazing people.

 These two amazing people raised me with so much love & laughter & hope & peace.
I’m the luckiest kid ever!  

I do realize that to many this post seems to be about two totally different things. But it isn’t. The way I was raised and they way that AS King writes really do belong together. And I don’t really need for anyone but me to get that.

TGIF Question of the Week: A sad story

Ginger, from GReads!, has these awesome TGIF posts with really fun questions! I’m jumping in again this week, but with a warning:  My answer isn’t a happy one.  So, if you don’t want to read something sad, and I don’t blame you, then go ahead and skip this post.

A Book Blogger is Born:

What made you decide to 
start your very own book blog?

 

I started my book blog when I was going through a time of personal and emotional HELL! What started out as the best year of my life, quickly feel apart. In short, I had my dream job and Schmoopy and I were finally (finally, finally, finally after years of trying) going to have a baby. It was a time of true peace and bliss in our lives. It didn’t last.

There were plus signs and blood tests. There were ultrasounds and heartbeats. There were 13 weeks of complete euphoria. I was one of those annoying pregnant people that smiled every time I puked. It was just like heaven.

Then we went to visit to a new doctor for some testing (since I’m in the “kinda old to be pregnant” category, we needed to get some extra tests done). During the ultrasound, the tech, who we didn’t know, was making that “uh-oh” face. She said she’d be right back. I knew something was wrong. We were told by another stranger (a very nice doctor that I can’t help but despise) told us that our baby had no heartbeat. There aren’t words to describe this. We were broken. We were completely and utterly broken. Broken and shocked. This wasn’t supposed to happen. That was September 29, 2010. I had surgery on October 1. The recovery was awful. I was deeply depressed. I was in pain, both physically and emotionally.   I really was broken. There were nightmares, and pills that made me feel like I was being stabbed, and people that said the most horrible things. If you aren’t sure what I mean by this, please check this post by Devan at Unspoken Grief. There was a lot of healing that needed to happen in my heart and mind. My body was working against me and it seemed that everyone else was, too. If someone you know tells you that they’ve miscarried, love them, support them, express how truly sorry you are, and more than anything, keep your opinions and advice to your self.

As my world shattered (this may sound extreme, but it is actually an gross understatement), my work was also falling apart. My position wasn’t going to be renewed (budget cuts) and I was told that I’d be spending the rest of the year filling in at different spots throughout the building. Just like that, the dream job was slipping away, too. Isn’t there some saying about how long the fall is when you are on top of the world?! At almost the same time, my personal and professional life crashed.

Real depression is painful. It hurts. It also makes everyone who loves you hurt, too. Sometimes it brings out the worst in people. I will never understand why, but it’s true. Simple human kindness isn’t as common as I always believed it to be. And at the same time, the kindness of strangers is sometimes so powerfully beautiful that I almost can’t comprehend it. I’ll never know why some people act the way they do, especially when someone is in so much pain. I do know that most people are kind. I also know that I don’t have room in my heart or life for those that are unkind. What a horrible learning experience. I cannot even explain how amazing my husband was during all of this. I was completely broken and he stayed so strong. I know now that his heart was just as broken as mine, but I couldn’t do anything but breathe (and some days that was a struggle). He was perfect. He was everything I needed him to be. He found his healing through helping me. He really is my greatest blessing. I love that man!

In the spring of 2011, when I was just beginning to feel human again, I decided to start something positive. My love for reading and a silly little tradition of me taking pictures of my engagement ring (When Schmoopy and I got engaged, I started posting pictures of our Adventures in Bling!) came together into this blog. It was such a major part of my healing. I’ve met so many amazing people and learned so many new things. It’s been a little over a year now and I’m still learning as much as I can and trying to interact with as many wonderful people as possible.

That’s the long, sad story of Books and Bling! There is still healing to be done, unanswered questions about our future family, and lots to learn. Wow, this really made me feel better!

While this journey was born out of true tragedy,

it really is leading to a very happy ending!  

Please remember to be kind, always!

 

Ordered Cinder by Marissa Meyer! Thank you @Parajunkee!

Today I am IMPATIENT!

I can’t wait to read Melissa Meyer’s Cinder.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I’ve been on the waiting list at the public library for a while. I’m trying to be patient!

Alas, Patience and Mandee just don’t mix!

Today I read the super awesome review by  Parajunkee’s (read it here) and decided that I just cannot wait another second (well, maybe a day or two until the box arrives!).

Also, if you aren’t reading Parajunkee’s blog…well, start right now-I’ll wait!

You can read the first 5 chapters here free  (but don’t do it if you have no patience!)

So excited for some awesome Cinder Bling!

Maybe we will just file this under Don’t Tell Schmoopy! 

Today I am Tired!

This week has been awesome, for real life, but today I am tired.

I found myself wishing I was snuggled in my bed with my meows READING. I found myself wishing that, like, all the time!
Doesn’t that sound amazing?! Alas, it was not to be.

I really wanted to finish my awesome Monday book. That hasn’t happened, either! I stayed up reading way too late several nights this week. Another reason I’m tired, but always so worth it.

I got to see one of my BF’s from middle school & high school last night. Her awesome parents and amazing kids joined us, too. That was super fun! Totally worth it, but did add to my sleepiness!

My other *wishful* thought this week that just may be keeping me up at night…I just cannot wait until my iPad arrives so that I can bring tons of books with me wherever I go. Schmoopy really outdid himself with that anniversary gift (even though it wasn’t Bling and it didn’t follow the traditional anniversary gift rule!).

Today I am tired, but I’m happy. And I’m surrounded by the people and books (and the Bling & meows) that I love.

So, that totally rocks!