Tag Archive | life

A Second Job

I feel like it’s been quite a while since my last post, though in reality it hasn’t been overly long.  I suppose it just feels like a long time because every moment of every day for me has been SO dang busy.

Nearly every day of January, other than working, was spent looking for a second job.  Just after New Year’s, Joshua and I decided that it would be a helpful idea for me to find a second job, if possible.  I won’t go into details, but we have about six big expenses coming up this year, two of them medical, and we realized with our current income, it would be quite difficult to find the necessary funds.  Thus, the job search.

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Lord willing, after submitting six applications and multiple inquiries, I heard back from a company and within two weeks (filled with studying, passing a qualification assessment, and all the legal stuff), I started work!  Technically, my first day was February 1st.  As of now, I’ve completed four full work days and I’m enjoying the job!  I’m just grateful for the extra income and something else to put on my resume. 🙂

Same. ;)

Same. 😉

For those of you wondering, my second job involves me being a Social Media Evaluator for Appen.  I’m extremely grateful for another work-from-home job, which enables me to still take care of dinner and some quick things around the house on breaks.  Combining this job with my original job, I honestly can’t express how grateful I am for the opportunity to work an eight-hour day completely from the flexibility of my computer!  It is such an incredible blessing. ❤  I know it won’t last forever, so I am certainly wanting to enjoy it and be grateful for it while this is my situation. ❤

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Anyway, that’s been my life lately!  I also barely started editing my NaNoWriMo novel, but that was the day before I started work for Appen, so since then I haven’t had a chance to get back to it.  I’ll have to figure out a time to do so!

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

Glasses!

I bought new glasses!

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For those of you who don’t know, in order to see clearly, I need glasses.  I started wearing my first pair of glasses at age twelve.  However, when I was sixteen, I was tired of dealing with my glasses (there are numerous cons to wearing glasses for those of you who don’t know), and I figured, my vision wasn’t that bad, so I stopped wearing them.  I didn’t get contacts (I’m still freaked out by all the risks involved with contacts), I just quit wearing glasses.  I also did some research about whether or not this would damage my eyes in the long-run, but the resounding answer was no.  Satisfied, I placed my glasses in my dresser.  That is, other than when I drove. 😉

Five years passed.  Skip forward to a few months ago.

My husband knows that I need glasses to see properly, and he’s always encouraged me to wear them, but I’ve still chosen not to.  However, recently, I started to notice some actual problems with not wearing my glasses.  For example, say my husband would be pointing to something he noticed in the distance, and when I looked to see it, I literally wouldn’t even know something existed there.  It wasn’t just that the shape was blurry, it was that it completely blended in with everything else because of the blurriness.  More and more I noticed not being able to read menus at fast food places, or not knowing if someone across the room was talking to me or my husband if they didn’t ask a direct question and I couldn’t tell who they were looking at.

So yes, problems.

I’m not sure how I went this long without it becoming an issue because my eye doctor didn’t see a change in my eyes this year.  Perhaps it’s because I now have someone actually pointing things out to me, and previously I just assumed nothing was there since I couldn’t see it.

Because, you know, my sight wasn’t that bad.

Well, that phase of reluctance and denial has ended.  My hubby began to encourage me more and more to wear my glasses, but I just didn’t like my current pair.  They worked for driving, but they were frameless, so they had a lot of glare, as well as they slid down all the time.  Thus, I decided that in order to start wearing my glasses again daily, I would need the necessary motivation of a new pair of glasses.

Thankfully, I heard of Zenni Optical, which pretty much revolutionized the whole getting glasses ordeal.  Their glasses are inexpensive, high quality, and custom made.  You can upload a photo of yourself to “try them on” and browse hundreds of frames.  I ended up spending $30 for a pair of glasses, and that included shipping!  They did not sponsor me at all for this, by the way, I just happen to love them!

My glasses came in the mail yesterday, marking the beginning to my journey in adjusting to daily life with glasses again.  Can I just say, though, that I LOVE my glasses?  The size, the shape….  Also, the lenses look like they are almost nonexistent.  I can’t get over it–my glasses look like they are just frames unless a glare is on my lenses.  I’m sure that this will probably go away as the lenses get exposed to different elements, but I still think it’s just so neat.

Another great thing is that these glasses hardly ever slide down.  I’m so happy with them, and they definitely help me feel more comfortable with wearing glasses again!

I thought it would be fun to post photos of my glasses through the years, from starting at twelve-sixteen and then today.

My first pair of glasses at age 12!

My first pair of glasses at age 12!

Second pair at age 14

Third pair at 16! (These are the frameless ones I mentioned.)

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And then today’s at age 21. 😉

 

Anyway, I just thought it would be fun to write an update about my new glasses and the start to this more “clear” phase of my life. 😉

Until next time,

-Tialla

The Dry Well | A Writing Update

The Dry Well {A Writing Update}

Some, or perhaps all, of you may have noticed my lack of blogging for quite a while.  A large part of this absence from blogging in the past 11 1/2 months (wow, almost a year!) has been due to God bringing a very special man into my life–the man I now call my husband.  However, it’s been longer than that since my consistent blogging, probably since I published my second novel, “Where Shadows Lie” in June of 2015.  Ever since I decided to take a break from writing at that point, I haven’t blogged very much.  It’s been one post here or there, every month, or couple of months truly.  My blog has become a place for general updates–how I spent my summer, haircuts, big news, dating, engagement, and marriage.

I would like to take back my blog to the place I consistently updated, but I’m not even sure how to now.  It’s been so long, and my life has changed so drastically since that was a priority for me.  I started this blog when I was fourteen and in school and now I’m nearly twenty-one, married, and working.  Life is 100% different in every way.  I feel like I have grown up with this blog, but I don’t quite know where to go with it now.  I don’t even read blogs like I used to–I have severely cut back on my blog subscriptions and I only follow at most five blogs now.  I am more particular about what I put energy into reading, and I hardly update my blog because I just don’t know what to write.  I love my life, but it simply isn’t fascinating enough to share about all the time.  Honestly, I feel like that has a large part in all this: what to write.  And that actually brings me to the topic I wanted to share.

I am a writer and a published author.  Writing is my passion and nothing else quite compares to the thrill of seeing a book go from an idea to a published novel in the hands of readers.

It kills me that I have absolutely zero passionate story ideas to follow right now.  I am dying to start writing a new book and begin that process all over again; to experience the joy of a story unfolding before my eyes as I type away.  The truth is, my imagination feels like a dry well right now.  Perhaps I need to just wait for things to settle down with my marriage and then I’ll have an idea to run with.  People ask me when my next book will be out, they wonder what I’m working on…because surely, as an author, I always have a ready spring of ideas to pull from.  I watch my favorite authors as they release book after book, year after year, and I can’t help but marvel how they have all these great ideas–they never run out!

So, to be completely honest, I’m a bit at a loss right now in my writing.  But I refuse to give up and I am keeping my imagination wide open for an idea that I can latch onto and mold into a story.  I have high hopes that I just need to wait for life to settle a bit, and then it will come to me.  We will see, I suppose!

The same concept applies to blogging.  I still don’t know how to start consistently blogging again because I simply don’t know what to write about.  Perhaps I will post more book reviews here, but even as much as I love books, those reviews don’t feel personal enough for my blog.  Perhaps I will post more vlogs, but I have a hard time filming those because I’m such an introvert.  Or perhaps, through trial and error, I will find something that suits me, and discover my blogging niche.

Until then, thanks for sticking with me, friends!

-Tialla

Wrapping up 2015

Happy 2016!  It has been quite a while since I’ve shared a personal post here on the blog, hasn’t it?  Well, no fear, I’m here to change that today! 😉  Since it is the beginning on 2016, I thought it would be nice to wrap up 2015 with sharing the biggest and most positive moments for me that occurred.  2015 wasn’t my favorite year, but it still had some huge blessings and I’m so thankful for God taking me through it and being by side for every moment…even in the darkest hours.

Participated in my first cover reveal and blog tour.  I have been part of other authors’ cover reveals and blog tours and I always thought they were fantastic ideas, but I hadn’t had one for myself yet.  In May, Shane over at Itching For Books hosted my very first cover reveal for the upcoming release of my book “Where Shadows Lie.”  In August, she also hosted the blog tour, and I had quite a bit of fun with both!  I definitely love the cover reveal idea, but I’m not so sure I’m partial to blog tours for myself.  I don’t know if I will be doing another for upcoming books, but it was great to have the experience!

Published my second novel.  This point pretty much goes along with the last one, but publishing my second book was certainly a huge highlight of 2015!  Some days I thought it would never be finished! Haha!

Manned a booth at the AFHE Convention.  As most of you know, I manned my own booth once again in 2015 at the two-day homeschool convention in the book fair section.  I have done this three times total and they have all been a blast, so it was definitely a highlight of my year!

Disney Costume Party.  I dressed as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland for a Disney costume party in July and it was so much fun!  I loved stepping into his shoes for a night. 🙂

Attended a Lindsey Stirling concert.  I adore Lindsey Stirling.  I think she is incredibly talented and what she can do with a violin is unparalleled in my opinion.  Therefore, when I had the opportunity to see her in concert for the second time, I jumped on the opportunity.  It was absolutely amazing, and you can watch my video all about it here.  ’Twas a definite positive moment in 2015!

—Chopped off my hair.  In August, I made a scary decision and had my hair cut much shorter than I had had it in YEARS.  Even though it was a huge change, this was the first haircut I’ve ever walked away from that I’ve felt completely confident with.  The response to my haircut was quite varied—some people loved it, some people wanted my longer hair back and said the short hair didn’t suit me.  However, I still loved it!  I’m currently growing it out just because I get bored very easily with my hair at any length. 😉

Changed churches.  I’m not going into details, but the week after I cut my hair, I decided to leave the church I had been at for the past seven years or so, maybe longer, I don’t quite remember.  My whole family decided to change as well and we have migrated to a wonderful new church, and it has definitely been one of the best decisions made ever!

Celebrated my 20th birthday.  In September, I turned twenty.  We celebrated by spending an entire weekend with some amazing friends, all of whom I am so VERY thankful for.  It was the best birthday I have ever had, no one has ever gone out of their way to make my birthday as special as they did.  It was absolutely mind-blowing!

Pierced my upper ear cartilage.  I’ve always thought that upper ear cartilage piercings look cute, but I never had the bravery to do it until a couple weeks after I turned twenty.  I went ahead and had it pierced and I LOVE it!  It was way less painful than my ear lobe piercings and far more fun!  One of my best decisions ever!

Met the love of my life.  I don’t know if any of you have guessed this from when I said that 2015 completely turned around in September, but meeting this amazing guy is definitely the reason why.  Even with all the other highlights, there was a whole bunch of negativity infiltrating 2015, making it out to be a pretty hard year in my opinion, until I met the man who is now my best friend of all time in the history of ever.  I am so thankful for my absolutely incredible boyfriend, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us!  I feel extraordinarily blessed, and I can’t thank God enough for bringing my love into my life!

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Until next time,

Tialla

Blogging Style

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Recently, I’ve been considering my blogging style, and more specifically, how it has changed over the years.  I began this blog five years ago, and as I’ve matured, my blog style has certainly changed as well.  Yesterday, I went back to some of my oldest posts, and couldn’t help but smiling at the energy and excitement which came through my posts.  I feel like that blogging style almost doesn’t exist any longer.

Sure, I still express my excitement about certain things on the blog, but I think I mostly just don’t share about the little things any more.  Maybe it’s subconsciously purposeful as I’ve tried to cultivate a more professional image since graduating, but I’m not sure.  Maybe it’s just who I am nowadays; maybe I just don’t feel the need to express all about my life online.  Perhaps my approach to blogging has become more filtered than it used to be.  I’ve certainly become more aware of the dangers and power of the Internet since I began blogging, and maybe, just maybe, this has affected what I’m willing to put out.

Maybe it was the addition of social media.  When I first began blogging, this blog was the only social media I had.  Now I’m on nearly every social network with the exception of just a few.  The micro-blogging due to social media has perhaps created a habit for me to just write a quick, couple-sentence post rather than write a blog post.  Maybe this also has to deal with the immediate responses on social media, which just doesn’t exist here in the blogosphere.  That immediate gratification is addicting.

Perhaps it’s because of how I’ve “grown-up” since working for LetsHomeschoolHighSchool.com.  I absolutely love my job, and I think my priorities have changed some.  When I first began blogging, I didn’t have a job other than odds and ends here and there.  Now, I have more responsibilities.  Bills.  Insurance Payments.  Finances.  Managing my own schedule to balance everything.  In one word: adulthood.

Whatever it is, something has changed.  My style, my approach to blogging, has evolved.  I’m not confident enough to say that it has matured, but, without a doubt, it has changed.  It’s perhaps not as lighthearted as it used to be.  I find it more fun to film a vlog than to write something funny for a blog post.  I can’t put my finger on why, but it’s simply the truth.  Most of my blogging in 2014 entailed author interviews, giveaways, book reviews, blog tours, book announcements, life changes, and vlogs.

While I do miss my old style of blogging, I’m hesitant to think that my new style is necessarily a bad thing.  This is who I am nowadays.  My priorities and hobbies have changed, thus it only makes sense that my style changes as well.  I love participating in blog tours and interviewing my fellow authors.  However, I feel like perhaps I should share more about my life here on the blog in addition to my other posts.  What better time to try this small change than in the New Year?  It’s not necessarily a resolution, just an idea.  Perhaps it may start with a compilation of my social media posts, but maybe it will grow from there.  I think if I write just one lifestyle post a month, or every other month, it will be a success.

Let me know what you think!  Have you noticed how my blogging approach has changed?  Would you like it if I wrote more lifestyle posts, or do you like my blog as it is?  Perhaps you like my blog as it is, but you think it might be fun to know more about my life.  I will warn you, though, that my life is not ‘exciting.’  It’s not glamorous or sugar-coated.  It’s just…normal.  I know ‘normal’ for some people involve hiking the Grand Canyon, enjoying natural hot springs, and playing hockey, but that’s not me.  I get my kicks from movies, books, Starbucks, ice skating, Barnes and Noble, and Internet memes.

I hope you all are having a fantastic New Year so far!

-Tialla ♥

A little bit of this…a little bit of that….

Hi everyone!  This is going to be a very long post in which I talk about everything that’s on my mind lately, from sorrow to overwhelming joy, to favorite quotes, to awesome light shows.  There’s just been so much I’ve been thinking about that I want to share with you, so I figured, why not put it all together in one gigantic post??  I hope you enjoy!

 

God’s grace is sufficient.  I’m going to start out with raw honesty.  I’ve been here in Colorado for exactly two months today.  This day two months ago was a very, very tragic one for me—and not simply because I was leaving.  There are reasons I haven’t spoken about on the blog, which I probably will eventually, but two months ago, I was heartbroken.  I still cry when I think of it, and some days are just so hard.  

But God.

God has raised me up on wings like eagles, He has held my hand, He has guided me.  He has filled me with an overwhelming joy and strength that I never possibly imagined before.  He has sustained me.  He is sufficient.

Through these past two months, God had grown me in ways I didn’t know were possible.  It has been very painful at times, yet so exciting and mind-blowing at others.  I’m so amazed with what God has done in my life while I’ve been here.  He has used me for purposes that absolutely leave me speechless and teary-eyed with awe.  How great is our God!

 

The power of words.  This goes along with this first point, but…never EVER doubt what God can do with something as seemingly simple as words.  He has totally blown me away by using just a few of my words in a conversation for a HUGE purpose that I never would have dreamed of.  I am overwhelmed, ecstatic and SO SO excited about what He’s doing.  So in awe and filled with joy. 🙂 🙂

 

 

 

My Grandma’s birthday.  I am so excited that I get to celebrate my Grandma’s birthday with her tomorrow!  What an honor to be here to help make this day fabulous for her.  I think I’ve only been with my Grandma maybe a handful of times on her birthday in the past, so I’m very thankful to be here this year.  I plan on making a nice breakfast, her favorite cake, and probably taking her out for dinner.  I think we’ll be visiting some friends as well, which will be fun.  What a blessing!

{Working from home…RANT ALERT.}  What is it with people and assuming that those who work from the computer don’t really work?  That they don’t have “real” jobs?  Like, seriously.  Do you know how tiring it is to stare at a computer screen for 8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week?  It might not be physical work, but it is mental work and extremely fatiguing.  Yes, I can work anywhere I have internet connection—which means that YES I can work in my pajamas if I’m not feeling well.  Regardless of that fact, it’s still work, it’s still a job, and it still brings in a paycheck.  It just frustrates me when people act like I don’t have a real job, or I’m not really working.  This stereotype needs to end.

 

Excitement of Autumn.  I love summer, so I was very sad when it was over.  However, it soon started looking like fall, and next thing I knew, I was excited again.  Hot cocoa, hot apple cider, pumpkins, scented candles, and boots were at the top of my excitement list, mostly.  Oh and pumpkin-ish coffees, chilly movie days, and hanging out with friends in the crisp air.  But you know what else I’m super excited for?  Football.

Would you have even thought of me as one who gets excited for football?  I never would have.  In the past, I couldn’t care less about football.  But recently, I’ve found that I really love coming home from church and getting the game on.  But the thing is, I never watch the game.  Yet, I love this time of year.  I think I finally figured out why—because football season means parties (with food and fun), and extra reading time for me while everyone else is watching the T.V. haha!  See, I’m not so into football as I let on. 😉

However, live games are an entirely different story.  It’s pretty much becoming a fall tradition for my family to go to a Lumberjack football game.  For those of you who don’t know, the Lumberjacks are the NAU (Northern Arizona University) football team, right in Flagstaff.  They are seriously a great team (I’ve NEVER seen them lose), and it’s so much fun to go to a live game.

So, I’m totally looking forward to going home this Friday and heading to the football field.  I’m also looking forward to seeing my friends again, being in a city with a Starbucks, going to the movies, and driving an automatic car.  Haha

 

A mini-Michael Jackson.  You guys know how much I love Michael Jackson.  So it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that I’m crazily impressed by this little boy.  Oh my goodness…words cant expressed how amazed I am.  He’s so talented—and that’s an understatement!

 

Vlogging.  I’m hoping to do another vlog soon.  We’ll see.  I have three ideas for videos, so now I just need to take the time to sit down and do it.

 

A Favorite Quote.  This is possibly my favorite line from Star Wars.  Strangely enough, it’s more relevant today than ever.

 

Anxiety.  Even with my excitement of going home, I’m also a little nervous.  This is simply due to some memories I left behind (directly linked to the heartbreaking day I mentioned earlier).  I’m just not sure if I’m ready to face those memories yet.  I know God will help me, as He has so wonderfully helped me these past two months, but I’m still a bit anxious.

 

Folk dancing!  I’m dying to do the Virginia Reel again.  It’s been years since I’ve done this dance (or any folk dancing, for that matter), but watching this video reminds me of how much fun it is.

 

Sentence thieves.  Click here to see a Facebook post regarding why people need to stop stealing my lines.  This happened with “Let It Go” as well.  Seriously.  I wrote those before they became popular, and now I have to change them.  Haha  #TheStruggleIsReal

 

Halloween light shows.  These are amazing!  I’m not a fan of Halloween, but I have to admit…these are impressive.

And of course, “Thriller.” XD

 

Conclusion.  This was a super long post on sorrow, joy, awe, rants, quotes, dancing, and music.  I just want to leave you with these verses:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5b

-Tialla ♥

 

Birthday Update

It’s been a few weeks since my birthday (September 13th), however, this was the first birthday I spent away from my parents, so it was rather significant.  Thus, I thought a blog post might be fun to let you know how I celebrated.  I turned 19, by the way.

Can you believe I started this blog when I was 14?  It feels like it can’t possibly be that long ago.  To all my readers who have been with me the whole time, thank you very much!  I can’t help but laugh at my oldest posts, so when I say thank you, I really mean it. 😉  These past few years have definitely been quite the journey of growing-up for me – and I’m sure the next few years will be the same.

So I thought it might be nice to post a fairly recent photo of myself….

This was from the AFHE Convention back in July, but it's pretty much the most recent photo I have of myself. Haha

This was from the AFHE Convention back in July, but it’s pretty much the most recent photo I have. Haha

Anyway, what did I do to celebrate?  Well….

–I got a full set of gel nails.  If you don’t know, gel nails are basically acrylic nails, but gel is more gentle on the natural nail, and won’t tear the natural nail if it breaks off.

I used to never paint my nails because the nail polish would always chip off within the next couple days and I didn’t have the time to keep fixing them…which meant they just looked worse than if I didn’t paint them to begin with.  However, “fake” nails always look nice, and I can change the color every 2-3 weeks with fills.

I started with purple:

 

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And then changed to white with gold glitter tips just a few days ago.  I thought the gold was a nice touch for a bit of fall, and I think it looks SO pretty.  I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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So yes – I have turned into that girl who takes joy in pretty nails.  Don’t judge me.  I know, it’s totally vain and pretty much useless…but I like it, and I’m spending my own hard-earned money on it.

Moving on….

-My grandparents took me out to BBQ for dinner.  Which was absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious and SO fantastic.  Oh my goodness.

-I went to the drive-in movies!  This has totally been on my bucket list and I’ve been dying to go to a drive-in movie all summer.  We don’t have one in my hometown, but there’s a drive-in here!  I saw “When the Game Stands Tall,” and “The Giver.”  I enjoyed both, though especially “The Giver.”  I’m dying to read the book now!

-I flew to Phoenix and saw Lindsey Stirling in concert.  You obviously already know this from my posts about the concert (here and here), but you might not know that it was part of my birthday celebration.  Well, it was.  A couple weeks later than my birthday, but what does that matter?  It was still incredible, and I’m so glad my family was able to drive down and spend the weekend with me there!  That was a priceless birthday gift in and of itself.  My brother and sister-in-law also came down, so it was wonderful to spend time with them as well.

So those were my birthday celebrations!  My grandma also bought a cake for me, and several people wished me a happy birthday.  It was all-in-all a great day – one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a while!

On a random note – nineteen is kind of a weird age, isn’t it?  Because technically I’m an adult, but still a teen.  Weird.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Monday!  I know Mondays are usually rather hard, but I hope this found you well or cheered  you up. 🙂

-Tialla ♥