Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Compliments Kids Get We Never Will As Adults

This week wraps up my time at the preschool. I've been there for a little over a year now and while I'm so excited for my new job and going down to working only one job from here on out (yay for being able to get decent sleep at night!), but I will definitely miss these kids.

There are a few things I've learned while spending so much time with these kiddos, and one of them is that kids get complimented on things we as adults never would.


We could have no idea what the child has just drawn on the page. The colors are all mixed. They didn't stay inside of the lines in the coloring book. Half of the crayons/markers/paint got on the chairs, tables, clothing, hands, and your face than on the page. It doesn't matter! They're brilliant artists!

But what about me? I have a very pretty picture of Snow White I colored one day during project time hanging up by my stuff in the classroom and does anyone compliment me on it? Noooooo. I even colored inside the lines! Do you know how much of an accomplishment that is for me?


You hear this a lot especially when people have babies. "Are they a good eater?" With preschoolers when they eat plate after plate after plate of food, we tell them "Great job! You're such a great eater!"

When we as adults go back up to the buffet to pile more onto our plates, suddenly we're overeating. What if I just really like food? I don't get praise for eating an entire box of Girl Scout cookies by myself in one day?


This is another big one for babies. "Are they a good sleeper?" When kids and babies sleep for hours at a time, it's as though God has shined down on us from heaven reaping blessings upon our heads. A sleeping child is every parents and preschool teacher's fantasy!

Needless to say, no one celebrates when I sleep in or take random naps during the day.

Going to the Bathroom

"You went pee on the potty! YAY!!!!! You went poop too? BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!"

Seriously, the amount of times we celebrate this at the preschool is astounding and it seriously is ridiculously exciting.

Granted, I don't need to be complimented for going to the bathroom. But you have to admit, it's kind of a funny concept that we cheer kids on for going #1 and #2.

Have you all noticed these things, those of you who have kids or work with kids? What are some things we say to them that we would NEVER say to an adult?

And, in case you missed it, I did the TMI tag over on YouTube and tomorrow I'll be posting my May Reading Wrap-Up on there as well.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Motivation and Insecurities

I tend to talk about my insecurities and doubts about blogging and social media from time to time on this blog. While, I'm sure my thoughts on this may get tiresome, I do think it's good to have moments to sit back and really think about "why am I doing this?"

Yesterday, I was watching a video from Carrie Hope Fletcher about this topic, and I thought I'd made a video of some of my responses to what she had to say. Since I talk about writing and blogging, and not just YouTube, I felt it would be appropriate to post it here.

Carrie's Video:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

When I Make a Mistake

At my new job, they're big on fixing problems and mistakes which have been made. Which is an awesome thing. When a mistake happens, you shouldn't just sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn't happen. You have to fix it.

But let me tell you, there's not much more humbling than grabbing the blank card, hand-writing your apology, and walking it to the guests room. Yup. We hand write cards when we make a mistake. (Along with giving the guest some sort of freebee with the card.) I think it's an awesome touch, but writing them out sometimes is quite the humbling experience.

When starting something new, whether it's a job or a relationship or a project or whatever, we always want to put our best foot forward. We want to show people what we're made of and prove "Yes! I can do the thing! I am awesome at all of the things! Look at how great I am!" I don't know about you, but I hate making a mistake in these situations.

It reminds me of being at the preschool sometimes. We do a lot of conversations with the kids about saying I'm sorry and learning how to apologize. There are some kids who end up sitting in time out WAY longer than they originally would have simply because they refuse to step up and admit they did something wrong.

Admitting you're wrong is a hard thing to do.

The other day, when I walked into work, the manager on duty that day said they had seen some of my cards floating around. At first I asked "Is that a good thing?" To me, having the cards floating around meant I was screwing up. I kept making mistakes. He happily said it was. It meant that I was doing what I could to help take care of the guests. My apologies floating around was a good thing.

Later that evening I had made a big screw up. I mean... a BIG screw up. And I didn't even realize how big it was at first! Then I saw the manager's face and how he talked to me about it. Even the cook later who had been there during the conversation told me "We didn't mean to scare you Emily..." Because it had completely terrified me! But the manager then said "Just use this as a learning experience" and later in the evening teased me about it to show all was okay.

A day or two before, I was having a conversation with my boss about some things I needed to work on and I had shared how I kept letting my mistakes get to me because I knew I could do better. She reassured me that she doesn't expect me to be perfect. That we all make mistakes and that was okay and how she made them all of the time too.

A few weeks ago I had seen a quote on Tumblr which said something along the lines of "Self-love is important, but I think self-awareness is even more important. Sometimes you have to know that yeah, I can be an ass-hole." That's not a direct quote, but it was something along those lines.

We absolutely need self-love. We should celebrate the things we love about ourselves and what we're good at and our strengths. I love how our society is trying to be more encouraging and uplifting for people.

But we need self- awareness too. It's impossible for people to be perfect at every single thing. We need to know where we fall short. We need to know when we've messed up or said something mean or did something wrong. If we don't, we're lying to ourselves.

This isn't so we can dwell on it though. I know sometimes it can be a dangerous cycle of picking at the things we don't like about ourselves and dwelling on them and never focusing on anything else. That's why we need self-love.

When I was talking with my boss and the manager on duty, they said it's all about learning experiences. Taking that mistake, seeing why it was wrong, and then not doing the same thing again.

 At the preschool when we teach about apologizing, we also address forgiveness. When a student says "I'm sorry" to another student, the other needs to say "I forgive you" and then not hold the mistake over their heads. The kids who learn how to admit their mistakes and move on from them usually end up in time out far less than the kids who don't.

It's all a learning process. It's impossible for us to have everything right all of the time. In fact, I find it stressful to have it right all of the time. If I expected every single move, call, word, and action I took to be perfect, I think I would drive myself insane. The pressure of feeling like everything has to be right and perfect all of the time I think is exhausting.

It's not making excuses about what we've done wrong or saying it's okay. It's not. But knowing how to learn from them, fix it, and moving on. That's how we grow as people. If we never made mistakes, how would we grow?

Having to admit to these faults is hard and humbling. There will be times in the future when writing those apology notes will be hard to do. There will be times when I don't want to tell someone I'm sorry because I don't want to admit I did something wrong. But, those days will still happen at work and outside of work, and I need to still step up and make that apology. Because that's how I'll grow as a person and be able to finally move on.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ramblings on Blogging and Vlogging

This is the time when the bad and neglectful blogger apologizes yet again for being bad and neglectful of their blog. Dusting off the dust of their blog and giving various reasons why the blog has been silent as of late and making big grandiose promises that "I'm back to blogging for real this time. FOR REAL!"

I am not immune to this blogging trope.

Because I am sorry for being a bad and neglectful blogger. I also have reasons for being so. These reasons are: Vlog Every Day April, getting another job and having zero time to do anything, and a severe case of writers block.

In April, the VEDA excuse was legitimate. I was busy making videos every single day so my inspiration for the blog was all going towards that. For the writers block thing, a ton of bloggers have the same problem and push through anyways, so I should be able to do the same. As for my having two jobs, that excuse will only work through May since once June hits I'll be down to one job and will hopefully have a bit more time then.

Then, I wonder, what about June? In theory, I'll have my blogging mojo back and be ready to go. But what if I'm not? What if I just don't have any more ideas to write about? For a long time now I've seen my writing on here going downhill and I've been struggling more and more with finding topics I find worth writing about. I also have seen myself being drawn more and more to YouTube. Does this mean the time of my blog is nearing an end?

That's such a sad thought to me. I love this blog. I love my friends I've made through it and how I can keep in touch with people better than I would if I stuck with only Facebook statuses and Twitter updates. I like having my blog as an Internet "home base" for myself. A place where I can have almost everything all in one place. If someone wants to know how to contact me, I can just give them my blog link and they'll find my posts, my YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

I then think of my YouTube channel. When I try to sit down and brainstorm what I want to write or vlog about, I've been having a tough time deciding what should go on YouTube and what should be on the blog. I tend to do the same things in both places. If that's the case, what's the point in having both? Do I even have the time or energy to keep both up?

These are all of the things which have been going through my mind lately. At least a summary of what I've been thinking about. Particularly while I've been driving (practically living) on the tri-state to and from my various jobs. Having a commute gives you a lot of time to think and listen to audio books.

Here is the plan I've come up with, and I think it's a pretty awesome one. At least for the time being.
I want to keep up my blog and my vlog. I love both of them and can't stand to see either one go, but, I do want them to be different. I shouldn't just be replicating what I have on the blog over on my YouTube channel. That would just be silly. So, I'm going to try and keep the tone of each of them separately.

Over on YouTube, I'm going to spend more time focused on books, musicals, fandoms, and other fun things. Booktube is HUGE over there and I feel like it's the perfect place for me to share my love of books with reviews, to be read piles, book hauls, book tags, reading wrap-ups, etc. It's also where I can play my ukulele, talk about musicals, and do fun tags and topics. Especially during VEDA. As of right now, I don't think I'm going to have an official "schedule" for YouTube. But I will try to have something up on there at least once or twice a week.

Over here on the blog, I want to go back to the style I had more towards when I first started. Talking about life, faith, family, friendship, love, etc. I've noticed when I try to be more sentimental and serious on video, it never turns out the way I hope it will. I'll have more updates on what I'm doing in life, thoughts I've been having, honesty posts, and the like.

For the blog I will for sure have a post up every Wednesday. This way, I don't only rely on having inspiration to write and I can force myself to be sure I write something and have some consistency. It also will give me a chance to really focus on writing a single blog post and being sure it's good quality, instead of quickly writing something every day just for the sake of having something up. Periodically I may have something on other days as well, but Wednesdays for sure.

Now, naturally, there will be some overlap. My blog would be ridiculously boring and gag-worthy if I was only serious and never had any fun. My love of books, musicals, and random fandoms are of course going to seep into my other thoughts and posts. Then vise versa. There might be moments on my YouTube channel I have a specific topic I want to talk about, or I might be in a more contemplative mood. I know for sure I want to do Letters to Advent this upcoming December where it's a bit more mellow.

For the most part, I want to try my best to have something different in each place so I'm not just putting the same type of content only in different spots. I hope that makes sense.

So, that's my plan. Check back next Wednesday to see if I actually follow through!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Fangirls Guide to the Galaxy - Book Review

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Sam Maggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: May 12, 2015 (TOMORROW!)

Basic Summary Without Spoilers:

There isn't a whole lot to spoil in this book since it's non-fiction. This book is for all of us girls who love all things geek. Superwholockians, Potter-Heads, Tributes, Tolkienites, Trekkies, Star Warriors, Gammer Girls, etc. 

Wait? All of those words are gibberish to you? Or they sound familiar and you think you fall into some of those categories but aren't sure what to do? This book is for you. 

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy (TFGttG) is a book which highlights all of the big points of being a fangirl from the vocabulary, going to your first "con," finding your way around the geek corner of the Internet, creating a cosplay, and feminism in geek land. 

What I Liked:

I really enjoyed Maggg's style of writing and how quick and easy it was for me to get through this book. All of the little inside jokes for each fandom were fun and she did a great job of giving a general overview of all of the fandoms and the basic things you need to know if you want to dive into fandom life. 

This book is definitely for beginners in this world though. It makes me think of someone who just binge watched or read a new TV show or book series and became a huge fan, then joined Tumblr or for the first time to find out more, and then had no idea what they were getting into. Or possibly for friends of fangirls who are wondering what has taken over their friends life and they want to learn to speak the same language. 

I kind of wish a book like this existed when I was in high school or college, or even when I first joined Tumblr so I could learn too instead of just feeling silly asking questions everyone already knows. I also wish I had read it before I went to C2E2 a few weeks ago so I could prepare for my first con. But, it did make me ridiculously excited for NerdCon in October.  

This book also did a great job of not playing favoritism to certain fandoms. Granted, she probably wrote more about the ones she was familiar with, but she definitely gave credit to several different types and pointed out how each person experiences being a fangirl differently. It's not a one size fits all type of idea. 

I also liked the section on feminism and defining what it is and how to be a critical reader and consumer without being rude or personally attacking people. I feel like we tend to get these things confused. 

She also included short interviews with famous fangirls (my favorite was Erin Morgenstern who wrote The Night Circus!) which was cool because they gave advice to other fangirls. 

What I Didn't Like:

This was for beginners. Most of what she talked about in the book I already knew. It was nice to have everyone all in one place, but for someone who has already explored Tumblr, YouTube, *sometimes* fanficiton (but I don't often... if ever), gone to cons, etc., there isn't a whole lot to offer. While it was enjoyable and I liked reading the book, I also went away being like "well... that was a nice review." It took me awhile to get into the "pretend I'm just starting out in fandom life" mindset to really appreciate everything the book had to offer. 

This book also wasn't done very professionally. While it was a fast and fun read, she could have gone more in depth with several topics. There were only four chapters, so there was definitely room to expand. 

Overall Thoughts:

TFGttG was fun and cute. I like how this is the ideal time to be a geek fangirl because there is so much support, a great community, and more and more people are recognizing this is a huge part of culture. For people who don't know anything about the geek world and being a fangirl, this book is a great start to get an overview. But if you aren't a beginner, you might enjoy it, but you won't learn much that you don't already know. I gave this book four stars on Goodreads. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Speak Up! Growth

Happy Friday everyone!

It's May first. Can you believe it? I can't. This is crazy. I didn't get even to post my favorite NSYNC meme this week.

Sigh. Ah well.

BUT - it's the first Friday of the month and that means we get to link up with Speak Up! If you have never vlogged before, this is a great way to get started because you're given a topic and have a community to connect with right away. It's also a great way to get to know other bloggers. This month, our topic was, growth.

Don't forget to link up with Amber!