Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Sunday Salon: I'm Back!

So, um, wow... I took a much longer hiatus from blogging than I had intended to.  As most of you know, I had a baby last year.  In fact, we're coming up on Miss Laura's first birthday faster than I want to think about!  I am in the midst of planning her party as I type this.

I thought I'd use this post to give you all a summary update as to what has been going on with me...

The last year and a half has been a whirlwind.  Just sitting down to think about what I want to write about here has made me realize what a blur it truly has been.  Having a baby has so completely changed my life -- our lives -- but I can't imagine a world without my daughter.  And I had to include this picture from Easter -- we have a reader on our hands (I hope!)  Within weeks of Laura being born, my husband and I had no memory of what life was like before she arrived.  She is such a doll and yet a little monkey at the same time.  We have about a million nicknames for her, depending on what she is getting into.  :-)  I can't believe that any day now we expect her to get up and walk across the room.  She has taken a couple of tentative steps here and there, but she would much rather pull herself along our furniture.  We are both eagerly awaiting those fully independent steps, though not without considerable trepidation, knowing that we are getting ready to be running around like crazy even more than we already are with a crawler!  I am so looking forward to decorating for her first birthday party and making her a little cake to smash.  My mother and I took a cake decorating class on Saturdays this month, so I am planning to make a little 6-inch cake and decorate it for Laura to smash (and eat).  The theme of her party will be Winnie The Pooh's first birthday and all of the decorations arrived a couple of weeks ago.  I can't wait to decorate and have our family and close friends over to celebrate what a fun year this has been!

In other news, a lot has been going on with me professionally -- particularly in the last couple of months.  Going back to the Fall of 2010, though, I started a second part-time job in anticipation of it becoming full time when it became financially possible.  I was lucky enough to get my foot in the door with a legal transcription company without having had any prior experience.  It turns out I had a talent for it and things took off.  While I was still pregnant, I was typing up a storm in addition to fulfilling my role as the Assistant Store Manager for B&N @ Georgia Tech.  It was pretty crazy trying to manage both jobs and maternity leave *almost* felt like a vacation compared to that.  I said ALMOST. :-) Actually, I really did enjoy those 12 weeks I had to spend with Laura and if I could be a stay at home mom, I would do it in a heartbeat and never look back.

However, at the beginning of March, I officially became the next best thing, a work at home mother!  I did go back to B&N for another six and a half months while my amazing parents helped us beyond measure and watched Laura while my husband and I worked.  I had intended and hoped to become a full time Legal Transcriptionist at some point in the near future.  Then over the Christmas holidays, a friend of mine who worked in our corporate office asked me if I was still interested in working from home because she was hopeful she might be able to recommend me for an opportunity with one of our apparel vendors, Gear For Sports (they include the Champion, Gear, and Under Armour brands).  The next thing I knew, in January I had a conversation with the Sales Manager who oversees the B&N College Bookstores business for the Company and by the beginning of March, I was officially the Vendor Analyst for the B&N College business.

Of course, the best part is -- I get to work from home!  I am still in an industry I truly do love and one that has been so incredibly good to me over the years, but I no longer have to put up with the often-frustrating retail side of it day in and day out.  What an amazing blessing.  My parents are still watching Laura some, but for much shorter periods of time while I get in several concentrated hours of work.  I did have to give up legal transcription, but the manager of the company still wanted to keep me on and let me request work during any down times I have.  I am grateful to have that in my back pocket, so to speak, if I should ever want to make another change down the road.

There is no doubt about it, I have been very blessed in my professional life (and personal life, obviously).  Even in this tough economy, when I have needed to make a change, a job has found its way to me.  Not only that, but the very same week I had my training for the new job, my husband had an interview and found out within days that he was accepted into a management program with his company, so he got a promotion, as well!  The last month and a half has been a challenge to coordinate our schedules and figure out what works, but we finally seem to be settling into a good routine.

As the dust settled, I realized that it was HIGH time to blow the dust off of Melissa's Bookshelf and revive the blog.  I have participated in a couple of recent book tours and I had taken one review book by an author I love last year, but it just took me awhile to finally feel like I could jump back in with both feet and keep up with this site along with my busy personal/professional life.  I took a day recently and did some serious Spring cleaning on the blog and am so happy to have updated it a bit.  And yes, I have still been reading throughout it all, though admittedly not nearly as much as I used to, though I have found myself with more time for reading lately and I hope that continues to be the case.  I have lots of reviews planned for the next few weeks for the books I've read over the last several months.  I've penciled in some time every day to write reviews and schedule them to publish and I can't wait to get back into some of the memes I used to participate in.

So, I hope those of you who used to keep up with Melissa's Bookshelf will find your way back on occasion and I welcome all of you new readers out there.  Thanks to those of you who have kept up with me on Facebook, as well.  I'm looking forward to being an active member of the book blogging community again, that's for sure!  Happy Reading!!


  1. Yay! I'm so glad to see you're coming back :) I've missed you.
    Congrats on the wonderful new opportunities job-wise :D

  2. Thanks so much, Kathrin! It is GREAT to be back -- I'm so excited to feel refreshed about book blogging again. Take care & thanks for stopping by!

  3. Welcome back! Having little ones took most of my time too. I can't imagine trying to blog at the same time! Congratulations on your sweet little girl and your new success. I'm glad you've found a balance that works for you. I know that when life gets hectic for me blogging can feel like a chore and I hate that. It's nice when things settle and it's fun again. :)
    Best wishes!

  4. Welcome back! I cleaned my Google reader out, but kept you on it. Glad that I did. :)

  5. ~ Thanks, Wrighty! Yes, blogging was definitely feeling like a chore and I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever feel differently about it again... Guess it just takes time!

    ~ Thanks, Kailana! I suspect a lot of people cleaned me out of their readers, but that's okay. I appreciate you keeping me in yours!

  6. Welcome back to blogging! Your daughter is precious.

  7. Looking forward to your posts, & glad you are back, too!
    I hope everything continues to get better for you. It'll go in spurts for you, as the little one will go through different phased which you'll have to manage also. I remember my daughter taking up allllll of my free time for the first 2 years! So good luck!


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