Friday, June 28, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Not So Kranky

Yeah, I have stuff I could whine about today (I always do) but I don't want to do that because yesterday was Daniel and mine's 5 year wedding anniversary. :)

Back on June 27, 2008 Daniel and I got married at the Salt Lake City Temple.

In front of the Temple doors
It was a pretty amazing and stressful day (as wedding days always are).

In the 5 years since, I have moved a total of 4 times between 3 different states (GA->UT->CO), worked for 2 years, had 2 kids, been too poor to buy milk and then had enough money to buy a car, wrote one book that sucked and am working on another one that hopefully doesn't suck as much. Daniel has gotten his Associates degree in Accounting and had a few different jobs, and all the while we have weathered the ups and downs of life together. I couldn't have asked for a better man to have by my side through all of it.

And the best part is, I get to keep him forever and ever! You know, whether I like it or not. ;)

So looking forward, what will the next five years bring?
  • Daniel will get his Bachelors in Accounting
  • We'll get out of debt
  • We'll buy a house
  • We'll have at least one more kid
  • I'll finish a book that is good enough to be published
  • And the rest of life will just be smooth sailing....
I mean, that's how it works, right? Once you make it through the first five years everything gets easier? No? *looks disappointed* Oh well, I guess we'll just keep doing what we do, BEING AWESOME! :D

Wow, we looked so young!
Thank you for reading while I gushed and have a happy weekend!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Books!

If you hadn't noticed, I really love to read. I read as much as possible, but it's hard, I don't have as much time as I used to.

So, over the last couple of weeks I've read two very good books and I shall review them here.

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley gets 4 stars.

It's a really interesting read since the main character wakes up in a park, in the rain, surrounded by dead people and has no idea who she is. But she soon finds out that she's an agent for a secret government agency that protects the world from supernatural threats and one of her co-workers wants her dead.

This book gripped me from page one and was a great ride. Even parts of the book that could have been very info dumping and boring were good, not perfect, but still good.

I highly recommend it to people who like the paranormal and/or superheros like X-Men.

Don't Bite the Bridesmaid by Tiffany Allee gets 5 stars!

Alice needs a date for her sister's wedding that's taking place on a week long cruise. Who better to ask than her hot neighbor Noah? Problem is, Noah is a vampire.

This was just a fun and quick read all around. I'm not normally one for paranormal romance or vampires but the characters in this book are just soooo good. They feel very real and I believed everything they did. The romance was wonderfully sexy and the ending was also quite satisfying.

I haven't enjoyed a romance like this in a long time.

So there you have it. What good books have you read recently, tell me in the comments!

Have a Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Mommy Guilt

Oh my, I just realized, here at 7:30 PM on a Saturday, that I forgot to post a blog yesterday. I had it all planned out in my head too. But have no fear, brave reader, I am here now. Following is a slightly pessimistic, and rambling, view of motherhood.

So let's talk about Mommy Guilt. It's a thing, I'm sure of it. And it's brought on by some crazy idea of what the "perfect" mother should be. In my mind, the "perfect" Mom is one who keeps her house clean, kids properly fed and appropriately clothed, is loving but firm in her disciple, keeps her kids busy doing healthy or educational things, sticks to a good schedule/routine, and is always productive. Any thing else, like hobbies or spending time with people who are not your kids, is just gravy.

I am none of those things. Well, I might be a couple of them on any given day and I've only manged to do all of them at once, maybe twice a month, but that's it.

I'm always behind on the house work, and my house isn't even all that big. There are some days where the majority of Will's diet is Goldfish and we're all in our PJ's all day. My disciple ranges from spoiling the boys, to completely over reacting to minor things. The boys spend way too much time watching TV and not enough time being outside or doing something constructive. My routine, even when written down, is all over the place most days. And I spend way to much time being online doing next to nothing.

I am so far from perfect it's scary and depressing. And there are many days that I go to bed kind of hating my self for it. And rationally, I KNOW I shouldn't feel this way, I KNOW that no one is perfect, not even those people I look up too. I KNOW that there really isn't such a thing as "perfect". And yet, I always find my self lacking.

All of this, is Mommy Guilt. We Moms want the best for our families and we want to give them our all and make life easy and beautiful for them. I mean, that's our job right? It's not enough that we're pregnant for 9 long awful months and then push a baby out of our abused bodies. We're expected to care for and nurture every aspect of this tiny creature's entire life.

And this Guilt doesn't even cover our other roles as Wives, or Employees, or Friends, or Family. This just has to do with children.

It's a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure. Lives are in our hands. If we mess it up, there's a whole life damaged and scarred, that might not be able to recover. Lot of freaking pressure, I tell you. Thus, the Guilt.

And Mommy Guilt can be debilitating, trust me, I know. I fight it every day. I open my eyes every morning and have to decide how I'm going to approach this day and by the time I close my eyes at night, nothing has gone as I planned. Sometimes it's totally out of my control, but many times, I know it's my fault and what I did wrong. I promise to do better the next day, but it never really gets better. The Guilt makes it hard to get up the next day. It makes me want to curl up in a ball and sleep, hoping that when I wake up, all the problems will just go away.

To be really blunt, it fucking sucks. ((or no, she said the F word, run for your lives, cover your bleeding ears!))

BUT, I offer hope, more for my self than you, but you can have it too, I'll share. Now, repeat after me: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT. SCREW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO OR THINK. YOU ARE THE MOTHER TO YOUR CHILDREN, YOU KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR THEM AND YOUR SELF. THE REST OF THE WORLD CAN EAT YOUR HOME MADE CHOCOLATE POOP PIE! (bonus cookies for the person who gets that reference)

Now, go forth, dear reader, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Comments welcome!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Father's Day

So yesterday was Father's Day and of course I got to thinking about the fathers in my life.

And, obviously, the first one to pop into my mind was my own dad.

Dad and William on a merry-go-round
He's kind of awesome, but I'm kind of biased. :) I know I'm really lucky to have such a great dad in my life. He's happy, fun loving, and smarter than a lot of people give him credit for. I've been told we're a lot a like and I used to hate that growing up, but now I'm proud of it. He's a terrific dad and an amazing granddad. William and Jacob adore him.

And then there's Daniel.

Jacob, Daniel & William
I could not have asked for a better father to my children. He loves hanging out with his boys and is willing to do everything for them. He's patient when I'm not and shares in all the responsibilities. I couldn't do all of this without him.

So Happy Father's Day to my dad, Daniel, and all the other great fathers out there. I hope you had a good day yesterday and that those feelings will lift you up throughout the week.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Disappointments

Hello Good Reader. Take a deep breath in... now let's get it all out.

Don't you just hate it when you discover something new and you're really excited about it but after a while it's just hugely disappointing? I've had this happen to me three times this week.

I'd like to start with the game I discovered a few weeks ago called Dragon Story. I praised it in my first Happy Korner, but just this morning I found out some things that kind of tick me off. So over the last few days the game would crash on me whenever I tried to visit other people's dragon islands. I couldn't figure out why this was happening so I did some digging online. Come to find out, the version I have on my Kindle is not the actual latest version of the game. If I want that, I'd have to have an iOS device. Apparently people with iProducts have all sorts of features and dragons that I, as a Kindle user, will never have. And it doesn't look like the developers of the game are going to fix this anytime soon.

It's just annoying. Why offer a game if you're not going to offer the full version? I'd even be willing to pay real money to get a fuller version of the game, but that isn't even an option.

Nonetheless, I'll continue to play the game, just minus the social aspect of it, since the reason the game would crash was because I was trying to visit iOS supported islands.

The other thing that was disappointing was an anime I found earlier this week called Trinity Blood. I got so into this show. I normally avoid most things with vampires because I feel the trope is way over used, but this put a different spin on it that I like. Plus, the biggest draw for me was the main character, Able Nightroad. He's pretty much the most kick ass anime character ever. Goofy+Hot+Killer Powerful=Totally Awesome in the Kricket Book of Awesomeness (it's a thing, I'm working on it ;) ).

But the last episode of this show was just awful. It's going good and it's gearing up for, what should be, an epic battle. It even gets this battle started, but then it's like the writers realized they only had ten minutes left of the show and rushed the hell out of it. There is just soooo much more they could have done with this, it makes me sad. But, it also makes me want to read the manga and/or novel as well, so you have that.

And finally, there was a book I was looking forward to reading but 10% of the way through and I just couldn't get into it.

I tried, I really did. But it gets to these parts with these aliens and the author just took too damn long to actually describe what these aliens look like. At first I thought he was talking about a creature with multiple heads and arms and things and I could not for the life of me figure it out. Finally it comes together that a single alien entity it actually a pack of wolves, and as cool as that is, the whole book was just done for me by then. So I moved on.

And that's my gripes this week. Now that I've let them out I feel a little better.

So tell me, what things have you gotten really excited for and then walked away from wondering why you even bothered? Tell me in the comments!

Thanks for reading and have a Happy Weekend!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Family & Books

Last week was a very busy week. Lots of running around, lots of cleaning, lots of visiting with people. I think this week will be more relaxed.

So here's what I'm thankful for:

  • I got to see my day last week. He was in town on business and we got to celebrate his birthday with him as well. The boys loved hanging out with Granddad and we can't wait to see him and Grandma again in July.
  • Will got his new glasses and he loves them. It's nice to have frames that fit and lenses that work.
  • I love good books and I love finding new ones.

Speaking of good books, here's a review!

I'm giving The Enchanted Forest Chronicles 4 Stars. I used to consider this five stars when I was younger, but now that I'm an adult and a more experienced writer I see flaws that I didn't notice before.

This is a four book set that is a quick and easy read. It's very funny as it takes a lot of the classic fairy tales and turns them around on themselves. It's a great series and pretty solid story telling. What got to me was the third book. It felt like there were just too many characters in any given scene and they all had to say something. You have a pregnant queen, a witch, a magician, a King of the Dragons (who is female), 2 cats, a  talking rabbit that got turned into a blue floating/flying donkey, a fire witch, and all the villains. That's a lot of useless talking.

But the whole thing picks up again by the fourth book.

It's a great read and I highly recommend it to anybody, but especially middle school age girls.

So there's a dose of happy to take with your drink of choice as you continue to face this day. Happy Monday!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Love/Hate Government

Unlike last week, I don't really have a laundry list of things that bothered me this week. I mean, yeah, there are some government things I could talk about, but my opinions aren't that much different from everyone else.

A lot of what's going on in Washington is interesting and everyone is all shocked or surprised by things, whereas I don't think they should be. What is going on now, this is not the first time our government has covered up an international incident. This isn't the first time different groups have been targeted and harassed by the government. And this is not the first time that the government has spent a lot of time and resources monitoring their own people for various reasons.

What makes things different now is that we live in an era of information. It's easier to find information and it's easier to spread it. Thanks Internet. Sometimes all we find and spread are lies, but in there is a nugget of truth. And thankfully, we the people, no longer have to simply take what we are spoon fed by the major media.

But even through all of this, I still love this country and I'm still grateful for this government. It's not perfect by any means, because it is run by people. And humans are possibly the most flawed creatures on this planet. But I'd rather live here than any where else.

Now remember friends, take deep breathes and let go of all that negativity and have a great weekend!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: A Slice of My Life

Hello lovely readers and welcome to the first episode of Kricket's Happy Korner! This is where I share the stuff that made me grin or laugh or whatever happy response you prefer. Let's get started shall we?

To start things off, I'm grateful for long weekends where I get to have Daniel home for an extra day and we all get to play together as a family.

Ke$ha's new CD. I've been listening to it non-stop for like a week. It's a great mix of peepy and soulful songs and it just makes me grin and want to dance or sing along when I listen to it.

So You Think You Can Dance is pretty much the best competition show on TV. Who wants to watch mediocre singers stand on a stage when you can watch amazing dancers fly across one? I mean really. Also, way better than Dancing With the Stars because these dancers actually know what the hell they're doing and they're damn good at it too.

I've become addicted to this game on my Kindle Fire called Dragon Story. It's a game were you hatch, raise and breed pretty dragons. The dragon designs are great and very diverse. I find it great fun, but I'm pretty easily amused.

And now for a book review. :)

I'm giving Mockingjay 4 Stars. I really liked it, and felt it was a good ending to the series. Not a happy ending but a real one. I've read other's reviews and understand some of the negative ones but I like that this story didn't end happy for Katniss. At least not fairy tale happy. It's more real. Some reviewers wanted her to be a super hero, but she's not really, she's just a 17 year old girl trying to survive and sometimes only kind of succeeding. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the movies.

I am a big fan of Felicia Day and she just launched a new YouTube channel called Geek & Sundry Vlogs and on it is one vlogger who talks about comics. I'm kind of new to comics and Amy Dallen does a good job of introducing the world of comics to people. Also, she's kind of cute as a button. Here is the first video. You should check out the rest of the channel as well, it's nothing but geek stuff.

And that's all for now, friends! *reads over blog* Yep, that kind of sums up my life and all the things I like to do.

So tell me, what makes you happy? Is there something new you've discovered that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. *hint hint nudge nudge*

Have a happy start to your week!