Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! I hope you are having a wonderful and joyous day.

It’s rare for me to get a picture with my mom so this is a special treat from her birthday in February. She is a strong woman in mind and in spirit. I see a lot of that willfulness in myself being raised by her. I love when she laughs and complains about something in a childlike voice. Or when she picks on me when I go to hug her till I laugh.

She always makes sure that me and my sister are taken care of and I appreciate that about her very much. She has a beautiful soul. I love her very much.

I hope everyone is enjoying Mother’s Day in whatever way you all enjoy it within your families. Weather with it’s with your actual mother or just an important woman in your life that you know deserves to be celebrated.

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My 3rd Blogoversery!!!!

This is my 3rd blogoversery. Officially I’ve been blogging for over 3 years! It’s been an incredible journey and I can’t say how incredibly it has changed my life.

Blogging has been my anchor in what was the most difficult period of my life. It was my something to do to pull myself above water and to take responsibility for my own happiness and health.

Through blogging I had a place to discuss my moods and my depression and through that I started to see what triggered it and how to find a way out. It helped me sit one on one with my anxiety and how I couldn’t continue on the way I was before. I learned how to flip the script in my mind to appreciate what I had in front of me. To honor my wants and desires and to let go of everything not in my control.

What I blog about and how often I do so has changed much. I do the best I can when I can. But, if I don’t feel like it that day or didn’t have the time I let that be ok. So many of you have stuck with me for so long. Some of you I’ve talked to personally about some of the more difficult things that have happened. Doing so has helped me immensely and I am grateful to those of you who know who you are.

I can’t say enough how amazing it is to be in a better place now mentally, physically, and emotionally. That is to say I still have bad days, but they don’t dictate my life. I’m human. I’ve learned to hold onto the good and let go of all the rest. The amount of good that has come from that choice has been infinite and I know that an infinite of good is what’s out there for me.

To every single person who follows and reads my content, Thank you! If anything I’ve ever said has made you smile or think a little deeper or helped you in any way whatsoever I’ve done my job as a blogger. Thank you all for being there. You have truly changed my life!

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Yesterday’s Wordcount: 0

My Sister’s Birthday

My sister’s birthday was on July 9th. The reason I didn’t get this post up sooner was well.. because I needed time to recover from the actual celebrating part.

My sister, her friend Tony, her friends nephew Andrew, and I, all went to six flags on Tuesday and it was fun. We went on almost all the rides because the wait times were pretty good and we all had a good time. It was a little awkward for me at first being around people I hadn’t really met, but it didn’t take too long for me to relax and just enjoy it for what it was.

It was really wonderful to see my sister relaxed and enjoying herself. She was quiet, but that’s who she is as a person and it was nice to see her look so content. We ate some good food. We had some nachos for a snack and some crazy awesome funnel cake for a birthday dessert. We made a whole day of it and its a memory I know I’m going to treasure.

I needed time to recover, because we walked a lot and apparently, g-forces will cause your body to be sore after a while.

Anyway, I love my sister. I wish her all the happiness in the world. She deserves the best. She’s lived a lot longer then I have and I am proud to know her. This may be late, but Happy Birthday Misty! I’m so happy that God brought me into your life. I’ve learned a lot from you. I look up to you and I hope you know how proud I am to be your sister.

Thanks for reading! <— it feels weird saying that in a post like this one, but I am always grateful. I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful day!

-Till next time!

Happy 4th of July!!

Typically, I’m not the most patriotic person out there. However, on July 4th, I like to forget about all the things that have been upsetting me about this country and our current president and remember how far we’ve come and to think about some of the things that make me proud.

This year, I’m working on this day, but on the drive home I’m sure I’ll see some fireworks in the sky and marvel at explosives being used for something beautiful.

America has a complicated history. It was built from terror, battles, and a sense of conquering. It’s not a happy history, but we can choose to make America better by being better as people and treating others with respect and reflecting that with the laws we choose to vote for and the causes we choose to advocate for.

On a lighter and mildly interesting note: I found out if you search for 4th of July on an IPhone, fireworks appear from the bottom of the screen.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July. I hope you all eat some great food and spend some good times with family and friends.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Ten Things That Bring Me Joy

I’ve been feeling a little down recently. Going to the hospital the last time while it was long, but not the worst experience, brought down my energy quite a bit. Sometimes, when things get me down I need a little break to rebalance myself and think about things (which sometimes gets me to be a little more on the sadder side, but I digress).

Anyway, I really don’t want to continue in that feeling for very long. So, I’m going to talk about some things that bring me a great amount of joy instead.

The following is in no particular order:

1. Seeing/touching/being with Animals!

I adore watching animal videos. I love seeing animals. I don’t really care what kind. I’ll talk to a lizard or a turtle in the same way I might talk to a puppy. I just appreciate and love any and all animals. No matter how derpy. No matter how spooky. No matter how gross (I’m looking at you blob fish). If it’s a critter and it’s in my presence I’m filled with so much love and joy just to be around them. That’s just who I am.

2. Eating Ice Cream

I’m a simple human. I love me some cold and delicious sugar cream. I love to try out different flavors and combinations. I love adding toppings to it. I just love ice cream.

3. Reading a good Book

The girl who has a book blog cannot have this list be completed without mentioning the thing she never shuts up about. I love books. I’ll never stop loving books. I’m so happy that I’m reading again, let me tell you, I was so not ok with the fact that I couldn’t read for a while. I’ve been heading out to buy books recently. I’m almost finished with an arc I’m going to review. I’m just so happy to be reading again.

4. BBQ Sauce

This is where I probably deviate from many of you, but I love this sauce. I had it once as a kid and since then every time I have it, it makes me feel like a kid again. Honestly, this sauce is my drug of choice and I know it’s probably not good for me, but I could put it on almost anything. It’s my addiction.

5. Good Music

I have a deep love for music. Growing up I didn’t really feel that way. I would only get to hear the radio stations my family enjoyed and it was all older songs for the most part. Then in elementary and middle school I found I had a love for Hannah Montana that since died, but also during that time I first heard songs from David Guetta and since then I’ve had an intense love of EDM music. But my tastes are pretty widespread and I’m not afraid to branch out at all. The only genre I didn’t like at all growing up was country (and some rap), but I’ve been trying to give it a chance recently (it’s a minimal chance, but still a chance). Either way, I love listening to it and it will always be a deep part of my life.

6. Dancing

I love to dance and it’s probably why edm is the bulk of what I listen to. I’m not really a good dancer. I remember being in a dance recital in kindergarten and loving it, but I haven’t had any other sort of formal training at all since.. so basically it’s at zero. But, I move based off of how the music makes me feel and the joy of it is all that matters to me. It’s so freeing and there really isn’t anything like it.

7. Going on Roller Coasters

I am a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. I will go on pretty much any roller coaster at this time and I have no fear of heights so a lot of the time it’s just a super joyful experience for me. The wind in my face looking down at beautiful scenery. It makes you feel so alive. That’s what I love about it.

8. Watching people create art

I’ve always loved art, but most of all I love to see how it comes together. I love seeing the decisions being made right in front of me. The creation of something from nothing, but the person’s imagination. Artists are Incredible. I’m fascinated by them. Especially when I’m so bad at creating art myself.

9. Sitting/being outside

I really love being in nature. Especially at a park and seeing all the birds, animals, and bugs just living their lives. Especially if I find a rolley Polly in the grass. I love picking up rolley pollies. I don’t care how childish that is, I love the little grey bugs.

10. The Stupidest YouTube videos I can find

Sometimes I try to hide how dumb my sense of humor is and how low a bar it has, but it exists and it brings me joy and that’s all that matters.

Thank you all for reading! This post was a joy to write. I’d love to hear some things that being you all happiness in the comments below!

-Till next time!

Celebrating Pride Month

June is Pride month and it’s a time to celebrate love in all its shapes and forms. It’s something I think everyone should celebrate in their own way as it really celebrates all of us. It’s celebrating what makes each and every one of us unique as individuals and our right to love whoever we wish however we wish. It’s about accepting the individuality of each person and saying everyone is valid in the way they wish to live and their voices are all worth hearing. I think that’s something we should all take pride in.

For me, celebrating Pride means listening to lgbtq+ artists, possibly reading an lgbtq+ book, and exploring movies featuring lgbtq+ characters. This world is full of colorful people with all walks of life. Celebrating the uniqueness of culture and ways of being is important to me. The message of Pride is a beautiful one. We should all be proud to be who we are and being the best versions of ourselves.

No matter how you chose to celebrate Pride this month, know that you are valid and worthy of love. Being a part of this community can be beautiful, but it can also be difficult. There are times when others won’t accept you for who you are and it’s hard to think that someone could hate you for simply living your life authentic to you. But, choose to shine your light anyway. You are all beautiful and worthy people. Live your lives well and spread your joy. You all deserve it. No matter what your color of skin, religious beliefs, or sexuality.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

How will you celebrate Pride this June?

-Till next time!

Avicii: This is my Tribute

On April 20th, 2018, the world one of the biggest names in edm. Personally, I felt like I lost someone whose sound would forever be imprinted on my heart. Avicii was one of those artists that I could hear a brand new song and know it was his work without anyone telling me the artist. In truth, I thought I’d have years and years of future music of his to listen to, but that sadly wasn’t in the cards.

This superstar of an artist gave me songs that lit up my heart and gave me hope. Songs that celebrated life and living out ones greatest dreams and it inspired me to dance in the moment again and again. In my heart Avicii’s light will never die. People like Avicii…people who hide their demons away and give so much of their light for all the world to enjoy are very special people.

I don’t want to taint this post with the details of his death. I’m sure, a year later, the majority of you know what happened. No this post is a celebration. Avicii’s music will continue to inspire joy and dance in my life for the rest of my life.

Losing this powerhouse of a musician, one of the first to be a part of what sparked my love of music in the first place was like losing a friend. Someone who was always with you raising you up. Someone that showed you to turn to the light when the dark felt like too much to handle. That’s who Avicii was and still is in my life.

These are some of my all time favorite Avicii songs:

  • The Days/The Nights: both of these give me a deep feeling of hope for different reasons
  • Hey Brother: a song that gives me a feeling of nostalgia
  • Levels: a song that I will always dance to no matter what
  • Waiting for love: a song I just love to sing along to
  • Wake me up: another one of his supremely hopeful songs
  • SOS- just an overall beautiful song
  • Silhouettes- a song that talks about the brightness of the future and not letting the past ever hold you back. A song of how each and every moment is one that transforms you.
  • Broken Arrows- Another very hopeful and uplifting song that brings a smile on my face
  • Addicted to you- I love the story of this song. Falling in love once more and giving into it after lost love. I think there is something pretty brave about that.
  • Lonely Together- I feel like this song about friends coming together when they are feeling a little lonely and just enjoying life together.

For this tribute I sung ‘The Nights’ to no music. Singing is my way of celebrating and letting go of emotion and I’ve sung along to avicii’s songs countless times. The audio isn’t perfect, it’s kinda muddled and soft, but this is something I’ve wanted to do since the time of his passing.

So here it is:

https://youtu.be/ZKfITN-da9w

To Avicii, you moved the lives of millions. You shared stories of living life to the fullest and making all your dreams come true. You may have gone away into another life, but what you accomplished on this earth will always have a positive impact. Rest well my friend. You are a shining star gone way too soon.

Thank you all for reading! I hope you all enjoyed this post. I meant to have this up on the 20th, but I got the dates all mixed up and I realized I had it wrong. Avicii is a person that has a big place in my heart. Truly someone who has gone way too soon.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad’s birthday. I want to take this time to talk about how much my dad means to me and the importance he has for my life.

My dad was my idol from when I was a little kid. I would follow him around wherever he went. Helped him with whatever I could. Looked for bugs in the dirt with him. When I was little I would listen to story after story that he would tell me with complete awe.

My dad’s health right now is terrible. Thing after thing came up and I honestly don’t know how much time I have left with him. That’s why on days like today I take a step back. I look at the people I love and I pray for as much time with them as possible.

If I’ve been taught anything due to my dad’s sickness it’s that you don’t give up on people you love. You hold onto them. You cherish them and every moment you have, because you don’t know when they may be gone from your life.

My dad will always be my hero. Today and every day going forward I’m going to cherish him. It’s been hard to see how his sickness has changed him, but the man that he always was to me will never change.

I may become different things to different people in the future. A friend, a love, a co-worker, a mentor, or what have you, but I will always be my dad’s little girl.

Happy birthday dad. I love you. May we have another wonderful year together. I hope you feel better soon.

Thanks for reading!

-Till next time!

My 20th Birthday

Today, December 17th, is my birthday. For many people a birthday is something special and something celebratory. For me most of the time it feels like just another day of life. Yeah, I get well wishes and congratulations, but honestly if I didn’t mention my birthday was coming up to anyone no one would be the wiser.

That’s something I’ve come to terms with over the years. Having a December birthday can be weird because everyone’s scrambling for gifts for their loved ones for Christmas and frankly I understand that that’s what is and should be more important to people. A lot of the time too gifts for a December birthday and Christmas are rolled into one and you learn that that’s just what it is.

The point that I’m trying to make is, I’ve learned that the day of my birth isn’t all that special, but I can use it as a way to gather what I’ve accomplished in that year of life and what I want to do in the future.

So this year in my life I want to try and accomplish goals I’ve wanted to achieve for years. Like writing everyday and exercising when I can. But I also want to make it a point to be happier. To do as many things as I can that make me happy. To ask when I want something. To not feel so guilty about wanting things for myself.

I also want to tell my future self that no matter what happens this year to be more mindful and chill out a bit before making any decisions. To take life a little more calmly. But at the same time to not hold back and take chances.

There is no reason that the 20th year of my life can’t be one of the best years of my life. I just got to have faith and do what feels right.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

2nd Year Blogoversery Celebration!!!

I don’t really have words. I have been blogging for only two years and yet it feels like I’ve been a part of this community since forever. Over time this blog has evolved and had growing pains and has been as much of a rollercoaster as my life has been. I am so proud of this little piece of the Internet I have carved out for myself. For the love I have received from this community. For the joy and opportunity this has brought into my life.

Blogging truly has saved my life. Without blogging some of the things that have come to pass in the past two years would have been unbearable. I never imagined just what was in store for me thanks to this incredible decision I was so unsure of at first and was basically forced to take by my sister. I owe this all to her. She might not realize it, but because of her getting me to create this blog I’ve had the most beautiful things come into my life unexpectedly. I wouldn’t have made connections with fellow bloggers. I wouldn’t have made connections with authors. I wouldn’t have found the person who holds my heart.

I feel so incredibly lucky because this blog though I may not receive any financial support from it has given me things that are beyond anything of monetary value. I have no words for the peace it’s given me. The love it’s gifted to me. The friendships it’s allowed me to have. In two very short years my life looks nothing like it once did and I know in the next two years things will change further in even more beautiful ways.

In two years I’ve written over 500 posts.. accumulated over 2,700 followers.. had my posts viewed over 50,000 times… that’s absolutely insane!!! I don’t have words for this. I’m just a simple bookworm who loves books and is now starting to write about all the things I love. I’m so eternally grateful. If your reading this THANK YOU!!! This is one of my proudest achievements.

So I can’t finish this off without one last very special thing.. to link back to the very first post I ever wrote. I had no idea the kind of ride I was in for back then. https://thebookravenblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/hello-world/ What’s crazy is that post has 14 likes.. which is the amount of likes I used to get crazy happy over. Honestly, it wouldn’t matter if only one person was engaging with my content. This world of writing and books has always been my greatest passion. I’m so full of joy to be able to share that with all of you every day. If I made one person happy I consider that a great success.

Thanks so much for reading! Thanks to each and everyone of you for making this journey amazing. I have so much love for this community. Thank you!

Till next time!