April 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in April: 
1. When Life Hands You Lymes – Lots of editing, chopping, and adding
2. My Mexico trip 
3. Family Time  
4. The A to Z Challenge

Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 
2. Pray the “prayer of Jebez” every day for three months {Completed in December. +3)
3. Read the whole Bible {Completed}6. Read 12 non-fiction “spiritual” books {1}
7. Read the Proverb of the day every day for six months {6 months – missed one day}
13. Write a monthly review on my blog within 5 days of the end of the month whenever internet is available {6 months}
14. Blog my 3 (or more) top goals for each month within 5 days of the beginning of each month whenever internet is available {5 months}
15. Write 24 book reviews {10}23. Read 24 non-fiction books {4}

Reading Update
Fiction: 6
Non-Fiction: 4
Reviews: 10 
Audio Books: 4 (fiction)
Nights Gone: 20
New Countries or States: None 
April Goals 

1. Complete the A to Z Challenge and visit 200 other A to Z Blogs {Completed the challenge – didn’t visit very many other blogs}
2. Finish the first edits on SL (WLHYL #2) {Yes }
3. Prepare and leave for Mexico {Yes}
4. Read and review 4 non-fiction books {Yes}
5. Contact 100 (___________) {Haha, nope: Only like 15.}

What I’ve Been Learning

I read a book about the USS Indianapolis and WW2 and the struggles people went through to bring the horrible war to an end. It was crazy the extremes that people had to suffer through. From Dangerous Love I learned what it’s like to keep going, even when the going gets tough. God’s love can change us and mold us if we allow it to. When Others Shuddered gave me an overview of the lives of eight women who made a big difference in their world and reminded me that I, too, want to be a world-changer. 
During the month I read three historical fiction books that took place during the Civil War. They were very historically accurate, including snippets from people’s letters and journals who lived during that era. It was sobering to think about how our country was once torn and fighting each other. It also made me thankful that our country stayed together and that we can heal and look past our mistakes and differences. And, it also made me realize how very important it is to do just that. 
I also had fun learning about the countries that I “visited” this month during the series I have on Noveltea called Around the World in 52 Weeks. (The countries were Norway, Bhutan, Cayman Islands, and Georgia.) The country I’d want to visit most out of those? Probably Norway. They really like books there and I really like books… So, it sounds delightful. 
It’s much easier for me to keep up with life when I’m keeping up with the small things – like eating healthily. I let myself have about eight or nine days of eating sweets and dairy and breads and all those yummy treats and yikes… I’ve discovered that really and truly nothing tastes as yummy as being healthy feels. I’m happily and confidently back on my healthy lifestyle and although I might take a meal (or day) off now and then, I won’t be doing such a long stretch again for a long time. 
Although I had fun with the A to Z Challenge, I got tired of it near the end of the month. I wanted to be creative and post whatever I wanted, instead of just posting about creativity. That actually surprised me a bit. I think it’s partly to do with the fact that I was out of my normal environment and everything felt “off.” All in all though, the challenge was enjoyable and it stretched me a bit, so that was good. I think my main concern was that Noveltea would seem really redundant to y’all, so hopefully that wasn’t the case and if it was, then I whole-heartedly agree with you. 
I need to make sure the monthly and weekly goals I set are realistic, and if they aren’t or if they aren’t moving me forward in the overall range of my life goals, then I need to learn to let go and reevaluate. 
Re-writing and adding and chopping my WIP can be rewarding and fun, but it can also be really difficult and draining and make me want to take a dozen naps. Pushing through will be worth it in the end and bribing myself with listening to music and taking walks really does help. 
This was a good month. And a very long one. I can barely remember what happened back at the beginning of it because so much has been going on in my life. Thankfully these last two weeks have been slow, easy-going weeks with a lot of reflection time. 
Right before I left for Mexico I had fun answering questions for an interview I did over at this blog. The questions were great and made me really think, so it was fun. The interview went live today so y’all should check it out. 
Family time is amazing. I’ve had wonderful hours spent playing tons of Uno with my youngest brother, swimming in the ocean and pool, cooking, doing dishes, walking, playing multiple games multiple times with multiple people, and just hanging out. 
* * *
It’s that time again where we get to choose where Annie goes for this week in our Friday Series, Around the World in Fifty-Two WeeksAnd the destination is: Dominica! 

(The first two countries I landed on were Pakistan and Central African Republic, but both of them had strong warnings against visiting them at this time because of unrest so I figured Annie wouldn’t have been able to go.)   

4 thoughts on “April 2016 in Review

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow! What a busy month! I was just wondering, what are the names of the books about the Civil War that you read? I'm currently writing a story (that may morph into a book, I don't know yet!) about the Civil War, and have realized just how much I DON'T know! I definitely need to do quite a bit of research! So any good books about that era you could recommend would be helpful…
    Hannah M.


  2. Aidyl Ewoh says:

    Hey Hannah! Yay! That's neat that you're working on a story, I hope it goes well. Here are the links to the three books (I have them reviewed on Goodreads).
    “Wedded to War” https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1617220325?book_show_action=false
    “Widow of Gettysburg” https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1624401182?book_show_action=false
    “Yankee in Atlanta” https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1624409889?book_show_action=false

    I hope to post the review from the third book on Noveltea sometime this week.
    I'm not sure if I know of any good books from that time period, but I'll keep my eyes open and try and to remember to pass the titles along to you if I find any. 🙂

    I totally understand about doing research… It's good, but so time consuming some days. 🙂


  3. Anonymous says:

    No way!!! I know those books! At least I know them in the sense that I own #4 from that series… I've only read that one, but it was really good, and I can't wait to read the rest! And now knowing that they're recommended by you confirms my desire! 🙂
    Hannah M.


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