Category Archive for "Uncategorized"

My Favorite Books of 2022

December 1, 2022
cammy

It was the spring of 2020. Tyler and were living our entire lives in a small condo. I looked at my single bookshelf and thought “I wish I could be someone who finishes books”.  It had been years since I’d finished a novel.  I decided to give it a try.  At that point in time, we were living with the reality of a relentless that would only continue to get worse. Businesses were either essential or closed, and I needed a way to escape the reality we were all trying to cope with. Off to Target we went, and I bought the book that grabbed my interest the most: a psychological thriller.  Two years later, I just finished my twenty-fifth book of the year. I decided to start documenting and reviewing my books in the last two years. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll find all the books with very brief ratings in my highlights. As we come to the end of another year, I wanted to offer my favorite reads from the year in no particular order.  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This novel was everywhere at the beginning of 2022….

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How to Ease Holiday Anxiety

November 23, 2022
cammy

Ask any therapist or counselor – it’s normal to be anxious around the holidays! Not only are these days loaded with pressure and preparations, but they’re also fraught with awkward conversations.  When are you graduating? What’s your plan with that degree? Are you seeing anyone? When are you getting married? When are you having kids?  When are you having another? Are you expecting a promotion this year?  Have you thought about going back to school? I remember all those thanksgiving questions when I was in my undergrad and in my master’s. Those invasive questions are… stressful. Not only do I remember the dreaded questions, but I’m still on the receiving end. Tyler and I have been married for two years – can you guess which question I’m preparing for?  On top of these deeply personal questions, there are also political ones. In my opinion, the personal and the political are the same, but, for the sake of this blog, I wanted to differentiate between the two. We, in the USA, just wrapped up the mid-term elections. Or, should I say, we’re in the midst of elections as our friends in Georgia are still in the heat of campaigns. The campaign…

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Hey Google, what should I do with my life?

I was trying to make a difficult decision the other day.  Indecision causes stress, or, should I say, it causes me stress, so the weight of it all was getting to me. Do I commit to one option and sacrifice the other? How do I know which option guarantees success? What if option A leads to exhaustion and disappointment? What if option B could be really fulfilling?  These questions kept rolling over and over in my mind like a hamster on a wheel. I felt stuck, stressed, and desperate for clarity. “I wish I could just google it,” I thought. Wouldn’t it be great if Google had all the answers to our most pressing questions? What should I do with my life? Do I even have a calling? Should I take the leap? Do I need to make a change? Should I take the job? Do they actually care? Is it worth the investment? Will I be safe? Will I be loved? Will I be happy? To my own dismay, I knew Google wouldn’t have the answer I was looking for. As much as I love typing a question into the toggle bar and clicking “search”, I knew the map…

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Negative

October 26, 2022
cammy

I’m not pregnant. My body has been sending mixed signals for days now, but two tests have shown the same result: I’m not pregnant. No period, just nausea and tenderness and overwhelming scents in public spaces. The voice in my head is saying all the things I don’t want to hear: It’s not never, just not now. This is only the beginning. It will happen. Other couples have struggled for years. This could be a long road. You’ll get another chance next month. Just go about life. Be grateful for all you have already. These may all be true, but the one thing these ideas don’t do is provide comfort. Not a single one eases the pain, disappointment, confusion, or frustration. Not one is empathetic or compassionate. So, these are the words I’m speaking to myself instead: It’s disappointing. It’s okay to feel disappointed. We can sit in this space and feel the sorrow. It’s okay to feel confused. It’s okay to be hopeful. It’s okay to imagine what it would be like to share the exciting news. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to feel the tears welling up. It’s okay to get excited about what could be….

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The Courage of Tiny Humans

October 24, 2022
cammy

One beautiful morning last week, my husband and I were laying poolside in Mexico as the sun cast itself upon our legs. We were enjoying our morning coffee when a staff member walked across the shallow pool. She made her way into the deeper end as two older women followed. It was time for the morning pool workout. Slowly, the group grew in number. I watched from the side as they began their warm-up. Shortly after they began, I watched as a little girl, no older than 5, walked toward the group. She circled her arms as the group did, inflatable lifesavers around each arm, and joined right in. I kept watching, unable to take my eyes off them, when my husband leaned over and asked, “you want to join them, don’t you? Go do it.”I jumped right in and made my way over to the deep end. They had already shifted into the full workout when I got into the group. At this point, everyone sitting around the poolside was watching. All different ages and ability levels had gathered to get some morning movement in. Soon enough, the little girl was too little to do some of the movements,…

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Food Truck Faux Pas

June 17, 2022
cammy

This weekend, while standing in a food truck line waiting to order a cheeseburger, I couldn’t help but stare at a group of women next to me. Fortunately for me, I had sunglasses on so it wasn’t entirely obvious that I was staring at them.  They looked the same, for the most part. Tall, blonde, light blue denim shorts, a flowing white button-up over a neutral tank top, gold jewelry, white shoes, and black sunglasses. That’s what they were all wearing. As I looked at them, I noticed a nagging voice in the back of my head growing louder and louder.  I call that voice judgment. As I watched them, judgment began criticizing them for looking the same and wearing the same outfit. They were all very “in style”, but they also looked exactly the same. I laughed to myself, thinking “they all look the same and I don’t”.  I wanted to feel superior, but I wasn’t proud that I was judging these women. As a woman, knowing exactly how much effort they likely put into their outfits and the amount of money they probably spent to look the way they did, I felt guilty and disappointed. Rather than allowing…

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Light for a Life

June 17, 2022
cammy

My husband and I attended a vigil for the victims of the Uvalde shooting just two days after it happened. I’d spent the prior 48 hours moving between tears and numbness. Having lived in the United States since birth and dealing with the reality of mass shootings since Columbine, this one shook me more than the others. I truly hate that I just wrote the word “others”. At this point in our lives, my husband and I are hoping to have kids. God willing, I’ll become a Mom soon. It’s terrifying to think about bringing a baby into this world, into this country, knowing they may be murdered at school one day. The day it happened, I called my mom desperately hoping she’d have an answer to the question stuck in my throat.  “How are we supposed to bring a baby into the world, Mom? How am I supposed to just let them go to school in America? How are we supposed to protect them in a country more concerned about guns than their life?” She didn’t have that answer. I don’t have that answer. I’m not sure who does. In the days that followed the shooting, I read an…

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A Sobering Decision

June 7, 2022
cammy

I decided to quit on Memorial Day Weekend. After a decade spent living in an unhealthy relationship, I decided to walk away. Maybe not forever, but definitely for this chapter. What did I walk away from? What did I decide to quit? Drinking. I had my first adult beverage on my twenty-first birthday; seriously. I’ve been drinking for ten years, never once considering it a problem. Drinking has always been a social activity. I rarely drank on weeknights and, as I’ve gotten older, my tolerance dropped significantly. When I turned 30, my body changed. The hangovers lasted longer, my tolerance was lower, and the sleep deprivation felt worse. There were so many weekends I’d ask myself, “Is this worth it?”. Was an entire day spent feeling sick and saddled to a couch worth the 3-4 hours of social drinking the night before? Was a Saturday night out worth sacrificing my ability to get things done the next days? The weight of my decisions became heavier when I started linking my anxiety the morning after drinking to the number of drinks I’d had before. The symptoms of severe anxiety I’d experienced before taking medication returned every morning after a night out….

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Ten Recommended Reads for 2022

May 1, 2022
cammy

Mid-April brought the completion of my tenth book this year. I’ve been intentional about reading different authors and different genres so I could make some recommendations for you! As always, my blogs and weekly updates go to the Brave Notes Club first. I’d love to have you join us! For now, take a look through the list, and, please, share your thoughts. 10. Anatomy by Dana Schwartz  This was the Winter Young Adult book club pick from Reese’s Book Club. It’s a period piece with a love story at the center. I’m ranking this book as number ten because it took 160 pages for the love interests to meet each other. I enjoyed the main character, but not much else.  9. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich Set in Minneapolis, this story comes from a local author! I had so much fun reading about the local places mentioned in the story and the main characters reckoning with the pandemic and protests. At times I did find it difficult to follow the writing style of this book.  8. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley This book offered multiple perspectives through which to explore the story. It was hard to like any of…

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Where Does Your Love Come From?

April 12, 2022
cammy

Loving from competition leads to lack.  Loving from a place of gratitude creates abundance.  Years ago, I read a piece about motherhood. Back in the days when I never thought I’d ever want kids, I was curious enough that Google sent me links to articles I didn’t even know I’d want to read. That’s Google for you. This particular piece focused on the frightening side of motherhood as your heart exists outside your body in the form of a tiny human body. There is a massive vulnerability in becoming a mother. It didn’t sound fun.  When Tyler and I got married, that article popped into my head. Not because I was ready to become a Mom at that point, but because I felt a new fear creeping up my spine that I had never felt before. I remember laying in bed next to him one morning as he slept, trying to identify what this fear was. I was very nervous. It wanted me to pull him into my arms and hold him with all I had. This fear was anxious and vulnerable. That’s when a phrase from that motherhood article popped into my head.  My heart was living outside my…

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