Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Recap

I've been debating for about a week now whether or not I wanted to do a year-end recap this year.  I did one last year and loved it because it showed everything that I had accomplished in a year's time, everything I'd gotten to experience, and I was able to leave out the bad things.  But the difference between this year and last is that last year was a pretty good year for me.  I didn't lose many people or go through things in any degree what I've gone through this year.

However, I feel I owe it to myself to look at everything I've been through this year and see how much of what's happened this year has made me who I am - which means things both good and bad.  So here we go.

The year started off on an okay note.  Not much was going on, exams and switching classes, the normal.  At the end of January, my cousin, Jimmy, had his last weekend home before deploying to Afghanistan.  In February, I attended my cousin, Pauline's, visitation.  February the 6th, at 10:00PM, to be exact - Jimmy deployed to Afghanistan.  Also on the 6th of February I was scheduled to have my district Power of the Pen meet, which was moved to February 26, which I didn't place in, but I did make Regionals.  In March, my favorite movie, Remember Me, was released and I went to see it on the 13th.  Also on the 13th of March, I had my Regional Power of the Pen meet, which I didn't place in, nor did I qualify for State.  On March 20th, I went to Wal-Mart at midnight to get New Moon on DVD.  At the end of March, I went on Spring Break to Tennessee with my family and grandparents.  I went back to school and Jimmy came home on mid-tour leave in April.  On April 15th, I saw him at my grandparents' house and he put me on his shoulders.  Two days later, April 17th, we celebrated Jimmy being home with a dinner at my grandparents' house.  He put me on his shoulders and we had a really good time.  That was the last time I saw him.  On Friday, April 23rd, Jimmy went back to Afghanistan.

On April 24th, I attended the Ohio State spring game and one of my favorite teachers became the father to twins.  On April 26th, Leanna Renee Hieber came to my school.  On April 27th, Leanna Renee Hieber's second book in the Strangely Beautiful Saga was released, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker. And I went to the release party.  That same week, I took my state tests. 

In the beginning of May, I gave a speech in hopes to get onto the Freshman Student Council and made it.  On May 9th, I went to Columbus to my cousin's cookout and saw him for the first time since 2007.  On May 13th, Robert Pattinson turned 24 and was on Oprah.  On May 18th, the fifth Vampire Academy novel was released, Spirit Bound.  On May 24th, my cousin Jimmy celebrated his 27th birthday in Afghanistan.  On May 27th, I read the poem I wrote for Jim to my class as part of our "Coffee House".  On May 28th, final exams for my eighth grade year started.

On May 31, Memorial Day, my beloved Uncle Chris took me on my first Motorcycle ride and got me hooked.  I soon fell in love with the nickname "Biker Chick" :D.  On Wednesday, June 2nd, we had our 8th grade awards where I received several awards for my academics as well as for Power of the Pen.  I made it into the Jr High's Academic Hall of Fame.  I finished my exams and then finished my eighth grade year.

Over summer vacation, my family and I went to the zoo, and then to Myrtle Beach.  I got a package from Jackson Pearce, and read Sisters Red.  July flew by, but it was summer and warm, so things were good. 

The month of August started off on a bad note.  My great-grandma (Granny) died on August 3rd at the age of 97.  Losing her was very unnerving because I thought she'd be the one thing that would always be in my life.  We'd come close to losing her many times before, so much that I was convinced that she was immortal.  I miss my Angel, but she's a real Angel now. 

As the month went on, I prepared to start high school.  As a last vacation of the summer, my brother and my grandparents and I went to the lake.  We came home on August 20th, and my amazing back pack had come in.  Also, on August 20th, I talked to Jimmy for the last time.  We also went to a Bengal's pre-season game that night.

I started high school, and only one week into it, my life changed.  The month of August, ended on a bad note as well, when we were informed of the worst possible news.  My Hero, SGT James C. Robinson fell to indirect fire in Afghanistan on August 28th, 2010 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  I can't even tell you how horrible I felt, and still feel.  I pray to God nobody ever knows this pain, though I know others will.  In September, we brought Jimmy home for good and said "goodbye".  Also in September, Jim's youngest daughter turned 3.

My cousins Amber and Corey found out they were having a boy and I met Jackson Pearce.

In October, I attended my first homecoming dance and dressed as Jimmy for Halloween.  In November, we had a baby shower for my cousins and we celebrated the hardest Thanksgiving ever.

In December, I got the Eclipse DVD and did a lot of Christmas shopping.  My cousin had a son, my new second cousin.  Christmas break finally came and my family celebrated the hardest Christmas ever.

This Christmas, I got a biker vest with the Patriot Guard Riders' emblem on the back and a "Biker Chick" patch on the front.  Along with a Mission Accomplished pin from bringing my Hero home.

So to sum it up, this year has been an odd one.  I've become a different person in the course of this year - and I'm not sure yet if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I can't go back to who I was.  I'm hoping the New Year is much better, though I'm sure it couldn't be much worse.  However, I'm almost not wanting New Years to come, and I'm not quite sure why.

I'd like to take a moment and say Thank You to everyone who has been there for me the past four months.  It's been tough, but having you people has really helped.  I love you guys - if you're reading.

I'd also like to take a moment to say Thank You to our amazing troops overseas for everything you do.  And to Jim's unit - 187th, 3rd BCT, 101st Airborne - come home safely in February!

Happy New Year.

Officially Inspired

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to review the 14th book I read this year, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.  As you may recall, I read this book back in June or July.  I have it written down when I finished it, but it's in my book, and my friend is currently borrowing my copy of SR. 

Anyway, with that said that it's been quite some time since I read SR, this review may suck. But let's give it a go.

The novel starts out with two sisters, Rosie and Scarlet, as young girls at their grandmother's house.  Their grandmother is attacked and killed by a Fenris (which is like a werewolf).  The Fenris comes into the room to attack the girls, but Scarlet (the older sister) fights him off.  But not before the beast scars her up pretty good and takes her eye.

The years pass and Scarlet has dedicated her life to fighting Fenris.  She's determined that no others shall suffer because of them and that if she can kill them, that she will.  Rosie, however, wants to hunt too.  Scarlet isn't too keen on the idea.  Rosie is her little sister, she doesn't want to put her in danger.  But she promises to let her try.  Scarlet's friend, and old hunting buddy, Silas is back in town and is hunting with them again.  The number of Fenris in their area is increasing, and they all want to know why.

They discover that this year is the year of the Potential - a human that has the potential to become a Fenris if another Fenris gets hold of them.  The trio wants to find this potential to save him from the life of a Fenris and also in hopes of luring a considerable amount of Fenris to their death.  Rosie's a team player, but ever since she was little, their life has always been about the hunt.  Rosie doesn't like hunting as much as Scarlet does, and she wants to do other things.  She wants to be normal.  She wants to paint, or dance, or do whatever appeals to her.  She doesn't want to hunt - but she doesn't want to let her sister down either.

This novel is about the struggle of staying loyal to the sister that saved your life, being a good friend to the man who wants to let you live your life, and staying true to yourself.  Balancing sisterly love and the love - or is it love? - of a man has never been harder.

I rate this book 5/5 stars.

Monday, December 13, 2010


 Today is my first snow day of the season.  The snow is absolutely beautiful outside, and if I'm even near a window I can feel just how cold it is outside.  I've also realized just how close Christmas is.  12 days. 

This year, understandably, I'm really finding it hard to get into the Christmas mood.  I'm not going to share my exact feelings with you, because honestly it's hard to put them to words.  There are very few people I can talk to about how I'm really feeling, but even then I can't really put it to words.  But the more I've thought about Christmas this year, the more I keep thinking about a short piece I wrote two years ago.  I think I shared it on this blog before, but I'll post it again.
"The First Snow"

The snow started falling in blissful patterns. Lightly then harshly. Flakes then puffs. As I walked outside I could feel the chill of the morning creep upon me. I could see the puffs of my breath. Winter was here and along with it came the first snow fall of the season. I bundled my coat tighter and rubbed my hands together forcing more circulation into them. I got into my car and turned the heat on high. As I drove off to work the sun's bashful beams came timidly from behind a cloud that looked as though it was made up from thousands upon thousands of the purest snowflakes.

By the time that I had reached my office the snow was glistening with the sun upon it. I was awestruck by
this. All I could do was stare out my office window.

That was when I realized it. The snow was so peaceful compared to this chaotic world. In a world where wars rage and people fight, where people die at the hands of their peers, where we lose dears ones to diseases with no cure, where children's parents neglect them so much they must beg for food, where people, good people, lose their jobs because the company can't afford to pay them anymore. And then there's snow.

The snow comes and goes as it pleases. It doesn't need worry about the little things the we humans do everyday. It's blissfully happy as it is. There was a time, I'm sure of it, when we were, too, like the snow. Maybe centuries ago, but what changed? What happened to make us like we are now? Blood thirsty, power seeking, money greedy, people? Not that all of us are that way, of course.

So what does the snow represent to me? It represents hope that one day we will return to being like the snow and all wars will end along with all fights. Maybe one day we need not fret over the little things and rejoice over the important things.

Why do I feel this way?

Because snow brightens our world.

Maybe one day we will be snow.

Now, more than ever the snow makes me think.  I can't tell you exactly why, but it does.  It makes me think about those I've lost and those I still have.  It makes me think about how quickly life goes by - and how unfair that sometimes is. 

I wrote something the other day.  Lately I haven't been sharing things that I write because a lot of it is really personal and doesn't really make much sense to the outside world.  However, I would like to share this one.

I wrote this Thursday and Friday.  This poem isn't really about Jimmy, because Jim wasn't due home for Christmas this year.  However, a lot of the feelings and things are based off of how I felt about Jim and his job before, and how I dealt with it after and also how I see things, a bit.

"I'll Be Home for Christmas"

I’ll be home for Christmas,

He tells them,
But he knows he might not make it
Until then.
Cause where he’s at.
Every breath is a gift,
But the worry they’ll never fully know
Is a weight he can lift.

So he tells them he’s safe,
And they’ve got nothing to worry about.
But he knows what goes through their minds,
That he’s the one thing they can’t live without.
They believe him,
It’s better than the reality
And the possibilities they’ll never let be real
‘Cause everyday he sees fatality.

He does his job,
Tries to ignore the uncertainty.
Does what he’s told
He does it so determinedly.
But one day his family’s
Worst fears come true.
Never again will they see his smile or
His eyes so blue.

A soldier,
Always true to his word,
Was home for Christmas, a half-mast flag
Flying free like a bird –
Because of his sacrifice
And the so many before him.
It sucks that it happens,
But it makes the future less dim.

He came home for Christmas,
Just not the way they prayed.
A flag drapes his coffin, a community cries,
As to rest he is laid.
They know he believed in what he did,
But that doesn’t heal the pain of a broken heart.
They watch as he is honored and saluted and
Each three shots stab them in the heart just like a dart.

The news talks about a hometown hero
And they know that’s exactly what he is.
They feel their pride for him, warm, deep inside them,
But they know the true honor was all his.
He didn’t see it that way,
And they could only see him as the boy they always knew.
Not as a veteran, but someone who is always honest and so
This Christmas, like always, they know to his word he stayed true.

They feel him near everyday,
Although he’s nowhere to be found,
But they know he’s still here,
They hear and feel him all around.
They know he’ll never leave them,
Nor will he abandon the fight.
He’s not one to ever give up
No matter how ugly the sight.

They know too well the cost of freedom because of
The soldier they will always hold dear.
They know he served to protect them, and
In the whisper of the wind they hear:
“I came home for Christmas,
Just like I promised to.”
And with each American Flag that waves, they hear him say,
“I’m still defending you.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Baby Cousin!

I just had to post to tell you guys that I have a new baby cousin!  Meet my baby cousin, Nikolas JCR, or as I call him Nikkie. Ain't he just the cutest?  He looks so much like his Daddy, it's not even funny.  But somehow Nikkie's cute. :)

Welcome to the world Nikkie!!  I love you!
(he was born on Monday, December 6th, 2010)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Season Change

I woke up to snow, and first thing on the computer I checked my package's shipping status.  Yep, it's Christmastime.

Hope you all enjoy the snow, if there's any where you're at.
~Officially Inspired~

p.s. this picture was taken Wednesday when it snowed as well.  Sadly, you cannot see the snowflakes flying into the flag. :(