What I’m Looking Forward to in 2019

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain.

First off I want to state that this is not a list of resolutions. Resolutions require commitment and often end in disappointment, plus I already wrote about resolutions I should make but won’t because they don’t last. Think of this as a list of things I am excited and hopeful for in the next 365 days (this way no one gets hurt mmkay!)

  • I’m excited to be more at peace and happier in 2019. 2018 had a rough start. I was having a hard time juggling working full time and taking care of my mom full time. I wasn’t happy, I was struggling with depression and trying to hide it from family, friends and co-workers was making it a lot worse. With the support of my family and friends I left my job of 8 year’s, so I could focus on my mom full time. The end of 2018, while still not perfect in every way, ended 100 times better than the way it started. I plan to carry this positivity forward!
  • I’m looking forward to reading more in 2019. In October I put down the Roku remote and got back into reading a book series I started the year before but lost interest. I read 24 books from October to the end of December, got back into a normal sleep schedule (binge watching ruins sleep) and exercised my brain that’s been on hiatus since I graduated college. I am on a mission to read all of Debbie Macomber’s books and re-read all of Nicholas Sparks books. Deep literary stuff, you know.
  • I am excited to cross off as many items as I can on my ‘Quarter Life Crisis Bucket List” as noted above, I’ve been working on the book portion of that list as well as the craft project part of the list. I’ve begun to dabble on the musical instrument part and have ideas for my volunteer projects!
  • I am excited to get back home to Indiana in February and start the process of getting my mom’s house packed up and cleaned out. Don’t get me wrong, packing up and selling my childhood home is going to be an emotional rollercoaster, but I know in my heart this is what needs to be done to bring some closure for my mom and will bring her some peace. Plus, spending 2 weeks with my family and my best friend won’t be bad either 😉
  • I’m excited for another year of renewed friendship! Up until this past fall, I had done a terrible job of keeping in touch with friends from home. Moving 1000 miles away doesn’t help, but it’s not impossible to maintain a long distance friendship, and I failed. I’m lazy and let life get in the way, but after a much needed trip home to Indiana I feel like I have a social connection again. Sometimes life is funny, sometimes life is sad and sometimes you witness random people do weird things in public. It’s important to have a friend to share all of that stuff with who won’t judge you (and will ask for pictures ha) #myarmsaresobig #hottfuz #warmlint
  • Looking forward to House shopping. In connection to selling my mom’s house, we have decided in the next year or so to put our own home in Texas up for sale in an effort to find something that fits our current needs better. This is bitter sweet. I LOVE our house, but when we moved my mom in we began to burst at the seams. Also, even though our current house is a new build, it was NOT built for a wheel chair. RIP my door frames and walls. A new house means more room, possibilities for having house guests again and just maybe we won’t all be at each other’s throats (this ties in to bullet point #1 ha)
  • I’m excited to get more involved in church this year. No more walking in quietly, worshiping, than leaving quietly. I know I mentioned this in my quarter life crisis bucket list, but this definitely deserves mentioning again. I have social anxiety, so this task has required baby steps but I’m getting better and I plan on finding a small group to join soon!

And finally…

  • Baseball Season!! I am beyond excited about baseball season, but if you’ve been following me for a while you already knew that!

What things are you looking forward to in 2019?

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New Year’s Resolutions I Should Make, But Won’t…..

…..Because I know better

Well folks, it’s that time of the year where everyone likes to get serious, dig down deep into their soul and pick at their flaws like a teenager with pimples.  The good news for you is, I don’t do serious, reflective writing and am a firm believer that pimples should be popped in the comfort and privacy of one’s own home!

So, today we are going to discuss the resolutions I should make, but won’t because I know a losing battle when I see one.

  • Stop posting every thought that comes to my mind. Example: Not everyone wants to know that my dog, cat and husband kept me up snoring all night, and they certainly don’t need audio and visual proof.
  • Stop threating to make my husband sleep on the couch every time he drives slow in the left lane.
  • Stop forcing passengers in my car to listen to whatever song I am currently obsessed with on repeat for weeks on end.
  • Stop waiting to put gas in the car before the display screen replaces the speed with a picture of a gas pump and the words LOW FUEL.
  • Stop strategically planning what car my husband drives based off of fuel needs.
  • Stop kicking the ice that falls out of the ice maker under the fridge.
  • Stop negativaly judging people when they say the 2nd Willy Wonka is better than the 1st
  • Stop making fun of mesothelioma commercials
  • Stop reading the plots to movies ahead of time on IMDb
  • Stop judging people who defend Nickelback
  • Stop trying to trick my dogs into thinking that I stole their ears.
  • Stop watching the Sound of Music on repeat.
  • Stop passing gas and blaming it on the dogs or rogue indoor geese
  • Stop rolling my eyes when 20 something’s say words like “iconic” and “relatable”

So tell me readers, what is a New Year’s resolution you should make, but won’t because you know better.

 

See you in 2019!

In Memorian of Vincent Jingle Bottoms

If you joined us Saturday, you will know we broke a news story about Vincent the Elf (here). Today we honor him..

Vincent Jingle Bottoms

June 12, 1340 – December 26, 2018

Vincent Jingle Bottoms, 678, of Nolanville, (formally of the North Pole) passed away Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, at his residence. He was born on June 12, 1340, in the North Pole, to Master Elves, Dancer and Sparkle (Sugar Plum) Jingle Bottoms.

He graduated from the St. Nick School of Expectational Elves in 1360 and received an additional degree from Purdue University in Engineering in 1987. Vincent was a member of the North Pole United Hockey Team where he played goalie. He enjoyed reading, gift wrapping and spending time with his family.

Vincent was preceded in death by his father, Dancer, and pet cat, Rowdy.
He is survived by his adoptive Christmas family, Matthew & Jennifer Shidler, and pets Mosby (cat) Wrigley & Lucy (dogs)

A celebration of life will be held Monday December 31st. Family and friends are encouraged to attend and share stories, poems and memories of their time with Vincent. Cremation was originally chosen but due to current circumstances surrounding Vincent’s death and the ongoing investigation by the FBI, the family has chosen a private burial at a later time in an undisclosed location. All arrangements have been entrusted to Hefty & Sons.

Memorial contributions may be made to GoFundMe where an account has been started to cover burial costs. Any remaining funds will go towards grief counseling for Santa and his remaining elves as well as support groups for other elves dealing with domestic violence situations.

300 Writing Prompts # 2: Write Tonight’s News Headline At Your House….

Imagine you are a news anchor. Write the beginning of tonight’s newscast script.

INTRO MUSIC:

VOICE OVER: “Proud to serve central Nolanville and the west side of Boxer Street, this is WYRU-Reading News 38. Closed captioning of the following programing is brought to you by WYRU- Reading & the First National Bank of Piggy. And now Boxer Streets leading newscaster Jennifer Lynne.”

Jennifer: Good evening and thank you for joining us. Our top story tonight:  A local family finds themselves a little less merry and bright tonight after what authorities are calling the worst attack on an elf in decades.  The 678-year-old Christmas Elf which was reported missing early Wednesday was found dead in his holiday vacation home early this afternoon.

Boxer Street police said a family member discovered the body underneath the couch in the shared family house at about 1:30 p.m. on Decemember 29th. The Elf, who has been identified as Vincent, was spending the extended holiday at his new vacation shelf in Nolanville, according to a family friend.

The FBI joined the investigation because the elf initially was reported missing the day after Christmas by authorities in charge of attendance compliance at the North Pole.

Police detectives and crime scene investigators began searching the house late Thursday after obtaining a warrant. Not all details of the crime have been released by investigators yet.

The medical examiner’s office says the cause of death is being ruled as blunt force trauma and sharp force injuries similar to a mauling or bear attack. Police Chief Mosby said. As such, this case is being considered a homicide.

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It is Boxer Streets first homicide of 2019, Chief Mosby said.

No arrests have been made as of yet, but 2 suspects, Wrigley and Lucy Shidler, remain in police custody for questioning.

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Suspects being held for questioning

Neighbors described Vincent as a friendly, outgoing elf. “Always keeping a watchful eye, and leaving presents for his family” said Carla Kilburn, a friend close to the family. “His personality – he was very stoic yet charming.”

“This is almost dreamlike,” said Kilburn. “It just didn’t seem true at all, I guess he must have over stayed his welcome.”

A GoFund me account has been started in Vincent’s name to cover cremation and burial costs. Any remaining funds will go towards grief counseling for Santa and his remaining elves as well as support groups for other elves dealing with domestic violence situations.

Police ask that anyone with information on this case are urged to contact Boxer Street PD at (765) 867-5309

 

 

 

300 Writing Prompts # 1: Best Way To Spend A Lazy Day

What is your favorite way to spend a lazy day?

The simple answer to this is, at home and in my pajamas with my cats and dogs. The full answer is much more complex and is comprised of the following components:

  • Surroundings
  • Attire
  • Nutrition
  • Entertainment

The surroundings are very important, and it goes way deeper than just being at home with my pets. Also, this almost always requires two days off in a row. I must sacrifice the first lazy day to the productivity Gods. This is so that I can prepare every inch of my house for the second day of pure and utter laziness. I will strip the bed, wash every piece of laundry, do all the dishes, heck, I’ll even clean out my nightstand. I do all this prep work so that when midnight hits of the actual “lazy day” I can relax unbothered and remain unmotivated by my surroundings.

The attire is also carefully planned out. The amateur lazy person would say that what you wear depends on the weather outside, but they are WRONG. I’m no amateur. I want to be lazy and cozy, even if its 105 outside. The simple solution is to crank the air to 62* and find my favorite hoody, sweat pants and blankets.

Nutrition is key on a lazy day as it is important to keep your strength up. My menu varies depending on what we have on hand and what I feel like, but the usual suspects are frosted flakes, mashed potatoes, egg salad sandwiches, ramen, ginger ale and milk. Not all at the same time of course…although I always say I’ll try anything once!

Entertainment is the final category that fuels the motivation for a lazy day. More often than not it’s the TV series I’ve just gotten hooked on or the book that I can’t seem to put down that motivates (or un-motivates rather) me for a lazy day.

So tell me, what is your favorite way to spend a lazy day?

 

I’m Officially a Texan, Y’all

Well, it is official, after almost 7 years I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, a born and raised Hoosier, am officially a Texan, and I have H-E-B to thank! YEEE HAW!

“But Jennifer, wouldn’t your “Texan” status have been granted the minute you got your driver’s license or purchased property?”

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Well, I can see how you would think these acts would make you a true Texan, but the truth is, this is a two-step process. You can accept Texas all you want and say “y’all hail Mary’s” until your face turns blue, but until Texas accepts you back, a true Texan you are not.

Low and behold, on Friday, November 9 2018 at 11:58 am I received my admission letter in the form of a Facebook notification.

“Facebook? How, ah, informal of them..”

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Hey! I don’t need a fancy document to prove my new-found state membership! Besides, some of the greatest most powerful people in the world use social media to get their points across and no one thinks any differently about them….(sigh)

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Anyway, back to how all this started. Earlier in the day I came across a Facebook video (watch it HERE) of a wayward Turkey who had accidently made its way into the living room of an unsuspecting couple. The video was cute, I had to hit the share button and tagged my favorite grocery store, HEB, and went about my day.

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What’s HEB you ask? Only the greatest supermarket ever (that’s right Kroger, I said it). They are based out of Texas and there are at least 7 of them within a half hour drive of my house. They are the only place I feel comfortable buying sushi from that isn’t a restaurant, they offer curbside pick-up and they deliver straight to your door. THEY DO IT ALL.

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I was putting away laundry and my phone went off. There it was. HEB commented on my post (blue verified check mark and all). In fact, not only did they acknowledge my existence with a comment, but they threw in an exclamation point and a winking face emoji just to boost my ego. Did we just become best friends? YEP!

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I always knew this day would come but I had no idea it would be on some idle Friday while in my pajamas folding laundry.

To my dear Indiana, it’s been a great ride. You taught me a lot about life and you will always be my first home, but I must go now. My grocery store needs me. Yall take care now, ya hear.

 

 

 

 

 

My Quarter Life Crisis Bucket List

“Ladies & Gentlemen, we are now approaching your “Quarter Life Crisis” where local time is NOW. Please remain in your seat with your seatbelt firmly fastened. Any anxiety, stress and emotional baggage must be securely stowed away either in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you. On behalf of “Last Resort Airlines” and the entire crew, we’d like to thank you for joining us on this trip and look forward to seeing you on board again, have a nice panic attack trip!”

The quarter life crisis is described as the period of time ranging from a person’s twenties up to their mid-thirties.  Now I’m not going to crystal ball my health or anything, but I am hoping I have a few more years before I get to the “jump out of a plane, climb Mt. Everest” phase of life. But then again, I do tend to party hard with Twinkies and Mt. Dew so I’m not holding my breath.  Anyway, today is my 31st birthday, so I thought what better time than now to sit down and make a year-long to do list. Think of it as clearing the que before the heavy stuff hits.

 Tasks to complete before my quarter life crisis evolves into a full blow “Mid Life Crisis”

Finish all of my started and abandoned crafts before undertaking any new projects.

  • MLB coasters (14 of 30 left)
    • Mets
    • Tigers
    • Diamondbacks
    • Padres
    • Athletics
    • Twins
    • Red Sox
    • Phillies
    • Rangers
    • Mariners
    • Rockies
    • Indians
    • Blue Jays
    • Orioles
  • Yellow Submarine cross stitch
  • MLB hexi quilt
  • Metal file box project

Learn to play at least 1 song that isn’t a nursery rhyme on one of the many lonely un-played musical instruments in our house.

Become a member of the Mario Andretti pit crew and change a tire…in the comfort of my driveway..on purpose…and with help…

Become a bit more fluent in Spanish. Two years in high school was not enough. Si estás leyendo esto, ya hablas español con fluidez y deberías enseñarme o usar el traductor de Google como yo. De cualquier manera, hola!

Finish all my books I have already purchased before buying another one to read. (if you haven’t already guessed, I have a problem with finishing things I have started)

  • 74 Seaside Avenue- Debbie Macomber
  • 8 Sandpiper Way- Debbie Macomber
  • 92 Pacific Boulevard- Debbie Macomber
  • 1022 Evergreen Place- Debbie Macomber
  • 1105 Yakima Street- Debbie Macomber
  • 1225 Christmas Tree Lane-Debbie Macomber
  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – Caitlin Doughty
  • Fool Me Once- Harlan Coben
  • Man up!: Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence-Ross Matthews
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer
    • Also, news flash, if you have not read the book Land of The Jonah Fish Fry by Oliva Kessinger you are missing out! It is seriously one of the best books I have read in a while! Get it here on Amazon! 

Become less of an anxious hermit and join a small group at church. I practically lived at my church growing up, and sometime in my late 20’s I developed some time of squirrely anxiety about being around people. MUST OVER COME THIS.

Learn to bake a few items from scratch.

  • Bread
  • Cherry Pie
  • Noodles

Step outside of my comfort zone and get a massage. Now I know this sounds like the easiest and most fun bucket list item to complete, but in all honesty this may be the hardest one to attempt.

Complete all 300 writing prompts in a journal I recently purchased but almost half expected never to fill out. Who knows, maybe I will learn proper grammar by the time its completed. Probably not, but its a fun idea.                                                                                    IMG_0733I want to give back to the community in the form of NON-court ordered volunteer work. Nothing against those who have volunteered on the recommendation of a judge ;), but I’d like to continue my 30’s with a clean record ha. If you have any suggestions of organizations to volunteer with, please let me know below in the comments!

So there you have it, 10 clear bucket list tasks and 365 days in which to complete them. My hope is over the next year I will update you all on my progress and this time next year I will have a whole new set of fun goals to attack.