A Birthday Giveaway!

It's my birthday today! Yay!

 

via GIPHY

Not only is the universe providing an awesome solar eclipse, but while the world has been seemingly crappy lately, I've found myself refusing to give up on optimism. Because that's how we let the crappy things win.

One thing that I'm especially thankful for is all of you, which is why I'm doing a giveaway for my birthday! The prize? A box of some of my favorite books shipped to you with a personal note from me telling you why I loved them and I hope you will, too!

Here's what you have to do to enter:

Leave a comment down below telling me three things that you still love about this world. 

That's it. Just tell me three things that make you happy. Do so before 11:59pm (EST) tonight and then tomorrow morning I will announce the winner, which will be randomly selected from the comments below.

Ready? GO!

This contest is now closed (but keep commenting with happy thoughts!). Congrats to Merima for the win! 


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Just keep loving.

The news this weekend was difficult. I had a particularly hard time finding my sense of optimism on Saturday, but then I saw this tweet from The Bloggess, a woman who almost never fails to make me smile, and I felt the light in my heart get a bit brighter:  

And she's right. It seems that the jerks are the loudest in the room right now. But I want the change that. So, taking more notes from the fabulous Bloggess, I'm going to make a point today and for as long as I can to be Furiously Happy. To be Deafeningly Loving. To be Overwhelmingly Optimistic.

Because I refuse to let hate win. In fact, I refuse to let it think it even has a fighting chance.

Because just wait until you see what Love can do.


In other news, here is yesterday's #SundaySupdate video! The video got really laggy at some points and I'm not sure why, but the audio seemed to be doing just fine for the whole thing, so... hopefully all issues will be cleared next week. Enjoy!

 


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Be different.

About a week ago a young girl who frequents the bookshop and likes to chat with me came into the store and told me that Grandparents/Special Friend Day was coming up at her school. Me: Oh fun!

Her: Well, yes, except, my grandpa can't make it.

Me: Oh no... that's a bummer.

Her: Well... I was wondering... since he can't make it, I'm allowed to invite a special friend.... Would you be my special friend?

What's that? Oh, that mess on the floor? It's just my heart in liquid form. Once I regain my composure, I'll get a mop and clean it right up, I promise.

So, yeah, today I got to go to the local Montessori school for two hours and be this girl's Special Friend for the day, which basically consisted of getting to wear a pin with her face on it and going to classes with her to get a peek into her life at school, followed by a choir concert before we were all dismissed and released back into the wild. It was delightful and I have never felt cooler.

At one point in the day, we were sitting in her homeroom (which is not called homeroom, but I can't remember the cute Montessori term they used, so I'm just applying public school terms to this situation) and as I was looking around, I noticed that on the wall above their 3-D printer (whaaaaaaat) were 8x10 photos of each student and a sentence about who they want to be or what they want to do with their lives. It was cute. While my special friend made her homework to-do list for the week, I started reading each kid's sentence. Most of them were standard: "I want to be a teacher," or "I want to change the world," or one kid's read "I want to make the world laugh" (rock on, little buddy), and then I found my young friend's photo.

"I want to be different."

Things in the news have been bleak lately and I've been trying really hard to keep my optimism going and to only perpetuate happy thoughts. If you've noticed, a good amount of my twitter posts consists of cute puppies and other baby animals. I just want to make people smile and to let them know that there are still things to be happy about.

When I saw this girl's sentence, I felt that feeling that I try and make everyone else feel, and all day long I've been trying to figure out why that made me smile. I think it's because people who intend to be different are the people who tend to think about why they do what they do or don't do. This girl, a sixth-grader, is already adamantly refusing to give in to peer pressure and blending in. She has already decided that standing out was better than all that.

It also helps that I know her, so I know that her version of different isn't achieved by being cruel or tough, but instead by memorizing strange facts and befriending booksellers. It's by writing silly poems and drawing goofy pictures of people, and by volunteering to help build book displays while her dad goes grocery shopping instead of staying home and taking selfies (not that I think selfies are bad, mind you, I just think that a lot of kids would rather take selfies than hang out in bookshops). She's a do-gooder and an all around cool kid. She's certainly different, but I'm certain that she's not alone.

So for all of you who think that the future is lost and that every new generation is worse than the one before you, I want you to know that somewhere out there, there are kids like this one: kids who want to be different. And I want you to remember that being different is what makes a difference.

And I think we're going to be just fine.


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Dear Life, I Will Stay Positive, So Just Stop Trying to Piss Me Off. You're Wasting Your Time.

So, the other day, I posted this on Facebook: Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 4.21.43 PM

Day 1: I'm driving home and it's been a warm day, so I'm not thinking about ice. I go around a bend in the road and  suddenly my car is like "Yay!!! Let's go in circles!! Weeeeeee!!!!!!" and then the snow bank on the side of the road was like "STOP!"

I get myself straightened out and think "Okay, let's just get home, because we're right down the road. We'll check the car there."

I do just that and I'm amazed, but barely a scratch on the girl, so I sighed a sigh of relief and went inside to go to bed.

Apparently I should have been thinking about ice.

Day 2: My Jeep, Ramona, is all gruffy when I start her up. I'm all "Ramona, were you smoking last night?" and she's all "I'M SIIIIICK"

So, I call the mechanic as soon as I get home and make an appointment for my day off that week to bring the Jeep in to fix what I assume was my muffler.

I was wrong.

Day 3: I'm on my way to work and I start going up a hill. Ramona is wheezing like an asthmatic chain smoker and I'm reciting "The Little Engine That Could" to her in hopes that she'll pull through. That's when I slowed down and heard a "rrrrrrr-d-d--d-d----d--d--dderr....."

And then nothing. The car locked up. I couldn't even put it into neutral... so that's awesome.

The lucky thing (yes, there are lucky things in this situation) is that I broke down right outside of the church that I attend, so... I abandoned my vehicle in the middle of the road and ran inside to use the phone because I live in an area with no cell phone service (yaaaay...). First I called work and then I called the auto shop and then I ran back outside to hang out with my car again. As I was sitting on the hood and waiting for the tow truck, a cop shows up.

My mind: Oh please... let's just add a ticket to this...

Cop: Is this your car?

Me: Yeah...

Cop: Did you break down?

Me: No, I just thought the view was pretty here... Yeah, it just puttered out and stopped. It's totally locked up.

Cop: That sucks.

Me: Yeah...

So he hung out with me and made small talk until the tow truck showed up, which was nice, given the circumstances, and it kept me from having the stress induced break-down that I knew was on its way.

So the tow truck guy was nice and gave me a ride to work (because this girl shows up in style) and he was all "We'll call you at the store when we know what's up." and I was like "That is the kiss of death...."

So, all morning passes, and I hear nothing.

I go to lunch.

I come back and still nothing.

I call them.

Mechanic: Hello?

Me: Hi, it's Emelie at the book shop. You came and rescued me this morning in my Jeep Wrangler.

Mechanic: Yeah, the red one?

Me: Yeah.

Mechanic: Yeah... it doesn't sound good.

Me: I know, but you say that as if it's making sound, so that's good, right?

Mechanic: ...It needs a new engine.

Me: ...I'm sorry, what?

Mechanic: You heard right.

Me: Yaaaay.....

So then I got home that night and as I'm pulling in the driveway in my borrowed car I realize that my house keys are attached to my car keys, which are at the auto shop.... And that's how I found out that I can pick locks with bobby pins.

So, all in all, it was a pretty okay day. Right?

Okay, maybe not. It might sound like my life is crappy right now, BUT there are pros... and cons:

  • Pro: The mechanic said that it was clearly not a maintenance issue and that it was just a crappy situation. So, I was doing everything right.
  • Con: I WAS DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT.

 

  • Pro: No one was hurt.
  • Con: Except for Ramona (my car, for those of you who weren't paying attention). She's pretty hurt.

 

  • Pro: My pastor is awesome and happens to have a car to spare right now, so I'm not without transportation.
  • Con: Now I'm a nervous wreck while driving someone else's car.

 

  • Pro: I'm an optimist, so I always try and see the good side of things.
  • Con: Because I'm an optimist, life finds a way of trying to challenge me in that area.
  • Pro: I'm totally winning, so suck it, Life.

 

optimism

 

 

In other news, there's a new book review for Page Break, check it out here.