new year, new books

a good read

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

This year I am challenging myself to read at least seven new books. While in college, I never wanted to read for enjoyment because my textbooks took precedents. Since being out of school, I’ve read dozens of books, some I couldn’t even tell you the names. I am a firm believer that reading is something to keep the mind active and your imagination running wild.

Finding a new book to read is hard. Sometimes, even reading a book is hard. When you go to a movie with someone, you have instant gratification once the film ends because each of you will spit comments back and forth. For me, it’s hard to read a book sometimes becasue I won’t get that opportunity to discuss a book–this is probably why book clubs started.

Currently, Monuments of Men is on my docket. This book has been on my back burner since I saw a preview for it in the Summer. I am excited about reading this book and really diving into it. Based on a true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, what’s there not to be excited about? They’ve turned this book into a film that will be released at the end of February. Take a peek at the trailer, doesn’t this make you want to read the book?

If you have any suggestions for books to read, please let me know! I am interested in reading all, and any books this year.

life aspirations

I asked Matt if he would write a guest blog for me. I threw a few ideas at him but with the underlining being, write whatever you want. I just want you to write and to be featured. They’re your words, your thoughts, just do it. Below are the words he came up with. Matt does blog on his own time and this entry is posted up on his blog as well. Check out his blog.
you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

i’m on the pursuit of happiness

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

In her previous posts, Kendal has been talking a lot about chasing dreams and doing whatever it takes to make those dreams into a reality. Her posts have been motivational for me and keep me wanting to do whatever it takes to make MY dreams a reality. As a kid growing up, I always had dreams of things I wanted to do. She touched on it a little bit about how we want to be all sorts of random things – firefighter, professional athlete, lawyer, doctor, etc., but for me I’ve always had two main dreams in life that never were associated with a career or a profession.

The first dream of mine is to have a room in my house that’s strictly a library. I have a picture of it in my head. There would be four walls filled with books. There would be ladder that went around the entire library to help reach the books on the top shelves – like the ones you see at bookstores. There would be a fireplace in there as well as a piano in the corner. The piano would preferably be black and of the “grand” variety. There would be a couple of leather chairs, one black and one white, and also a bearskin rug on the floor. I want the shelves to be filled with books. Personally, I like hardcover books the most, so the majority of them would be hardcover. It doesn’t matter what book it is or if I’ve even read it, just as long as I’m interested in it, it should be on the shelf. I’ve always been a huge supporter of books and of reading in general, so I just think it would be great to be able to sit in a room that’s fully devoted to books. Hence my reasoning behind wanting a library in my house.

The second dream of mine is to have a backyard that is devoted as a garden. My late-Grandpa had a garden. It was huge. He had everything from raspberries to pumpkins to strawberries to zucchini in it. He loved to garden and it made him happy. Being around him always made me happy. My grandparents had a place in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and every summer, my family would take a couple trips up there to spend time at “Camp Ruppert” as we coined it. Me being an only child and being a tad (okay more than a tad) hyper as a child meant that Grandpa put me to work. Whether it was picking up rocks in the garden, throwing rotten tomatoes and rocks over the fence into the woods next to their plot of land, or picking raspberries (by picking, I mean eating three and putting one in the bucket), I did it. I had so much fun doing it. I loved going up there even if it meant that I was going to have to spend time outside all day as the sunflowers and corn towered over me or if he caught a squirrel and drowned it in a bucket of water and told me that it was just sleeping (true story and I totally believed it was sleeping). Some of the best memories as a kid are from Camp Ruppert and they’ve inspired me to have a big garden like that after I retire. I’m not opposed to having a smaller garden before I retire, but I want a big garden to be one of my final accomplishments. I want to sell pumpkins to little kids before Halloween or to have frozen raspberries to put on my vanilla ice cream as a snack before bed. I want to share the joy that I had as a kid playing in the garden with everyone because joy brings people closer.

Even though I don’t know the slightest thing about how to grow a garden with so many fruits and veggies or that I don’t buy hardcover books anymore (I switched to e-books :/), I’m not going to give up those goals in my life just because times have changed or I’m uninformed on something. There’s always a solution to something so it’s just a matter of doing something about trying to find that specific solution. Heck, I can kill two birds with one stone when it comes to my two dreams. I can buy books on gardening and then I can use those books to fill up my library. Brilliant.

A great man named Michael Jordan once said, “I hope the millions of people I’ve touched have the optimism and desire to share their goals and hard work and persevere with a positive attitude.” Personally, I like this quote a lot because you can do so much more with a positive outlook in life. Life is full of ups and downs, but each time you’re down, just remember that something else is on it’s way to pick you back up. No matter how crazy your dreams may be, never give up on them. The determination you show will pay off in the end, even if it’s not for your desired goal. Things happen in weird ways. Just don’t take anything for granted and everything will turn out right in the end. Keep on smiling and everything will go as planned.