This is it guys! My final post for Rockin’ Random Mom. Before I go though I want to introduce you all to my new blog. In my last post I told you all I would let you know what that new blog will be. Some of you may have seen my Facebook and Twitter banners change. If not that’s okay.
I changed them last night to test them out. Then I just never changed them back. I like my new blog name. I like what my new blog will be about. Make no mistake though, it will pretty much be the same only with more focus on my writing and on living my best life.
Some of my categories will be the same. I am even going to be bringing over most of my posts from this blog to the new one. I have a new category called Old Blog posts where many of them will live.
But many of them will be placed in my new categories with updated information or new pictures. I’m excited to bring them over. I’ve share so much of myself with all of you on this blog. It didn’t feel right to leave them behind.
What’s going to happen in the next few days…
I will be changing my social media. You won’t have to do anything. I’m just changing the names of them to fit my new blog name. So look forward to that.
My blog is almost ready for next week. My new blog will go live Next Sunday! I am so excited!!
So without further ado, my new blog name is **Drum Roll**…
Yes, I still have mom in the tag line. I can’t help it. Being a mother is a part of me. These are the things that are a part of me and I’m looking forward to our new journey together.
Thanks all so much for laughter and the tears – for the joys and sorrows. To my blog: We’ve through a lot together. Many ups and downs as we walked this road of uncertainty together.
Through you I found the courage to speak my truth. You gave me a voice when I wasn’t sure I wanted one. When we first started this adventure together, I was down on my luck and really needed to creative outlet to make me feel whole again.
You gave me that. What was lost was found through you. My inner wisdom an my inner strength. So thank you! It’s been one hellva ride!
Thanks so much to everyone who made me a part of your day. To the blogger community thank you so much for your support. It has meant so much!
My regular readers know I have been toying with the idea of changing my blog for quite some time. I have written a few posts on my vague idea but was never quite ready to take the plunge. There is a lot that goes into starting a blog. There is a lot more to consider when changing your blog or starting a new one from scratch.
These are scary steps to take, especially for someone like me who has limited technical skills to speak of. There is also the fact that my blog and I have become great friends so it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to this blog and start a new one.
I really want to try to find a way to just change the name of this one but it’s looking more and more like I won’t be able to that. Rather, I will have to start fresh. This is bittersweet for me. I’ve been blogging for 3 1/2 years now. July will be 4 years. That’s a long time to develop a steady reader base, a steady online reputation with RockinRandomMom as my brand name, and my stats. We can’t forget about my blog stats.
I don’t let myself get bogged down by the stats but leaving them behind will be a sad thing to let go of.
However, it is finally time. As I said in my first post of the new year, this is my year to conquer fears. Fear of changing my blog or starting a new one is one of those fears I am going to conquer this year.
I spent the last several months brainstorming different blog names. I must have about 50 different names written down in my notebook. I finally have one. I will reveal my new site after I have officially set it up (just in case at the last minute I change it or the name I want is taken). So stay tuned for that.
I will write one final post in this one to let everyone know what my blog will be called and where to find me. No worries ladies and gents. You will be kept in the loop.
I’m writing this post though because I feel the need to tell my readers that I will be taking a short break from this blog. I still have to design my new adventure. I have to get through all of the technical stuff and brand myself with a new name.
I have to set up all of my social media and move several posts from this blog to my new one. Yes, I will be moving several posts over there. It will still be me, just with a new name.
I also plan to finally set up a newsletter with my new site. I am finally going to make the blog I want with the content that I want and attempt to brand myself better. This is my goal this year.
So everyone, I will be gone for a few weeks while I figure everything out and set up my new blog. I do hope that you wait for me and join me on this new journey as I venture out into a new adventure!
The Virgin’s Lover is an interesting book. I am a huge admirer of Queen Elizabeth I. Philippa Gregory loves writing about the Tudor Family. This book is all about the first two years of the Queen’s reign and her love affair with Sir Robert Dudley.
It being February and all – the month of lovers and what not, I thought it would be fitting to make this my book of the month for February. So without further ado, my review of The Virgin’s Lover…
So What’s this book about?
As I said, this is a love story between the world’s most famous Queen and her commoner childhood friend. It’s more than that though. It’s really a love triangle between these two and Dudley’s wife, Amy. Philippa Gregory gives us three different perspectives of this affair. Scratch that. She gives us four.
The Virgin’s Lover may be centered around Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley but Amy and the Queen’s top adviser, William Cecil, who does his damnedest to prevent the scandal that surrounds the young queen and her lover, shows us just how serious – and dangerous – this relationship was to the Queen.
What did I think of the book?
I love Philippa Gregory! I especially love her books on the Tudors. She really does such a good job of mixing real life with fiction (based on documentation of facts and rumors that is). I had to constantly remind myself throughout the book that it was in fact, fiction.
She does an amazing job of making you forget that.
I did enjoy the book, though it’s not my favorite book by this author. I couldn’t help feeling a bit betrayed by her in her depiction of one of my favorite historical figures. That’s more to do with me than with the writer.
Was the Queen Strong?
I have always seen Queen Elizabeth I as one of the strongest women in history. I always saw her as a woman who stood up for herself in the face of so many men telling her that ruling wasn’t a woman’s job. I see her as fierce and formidable and she made history choosing to rule alone.
I felt the author portrayed Queen Elizabeth as weak minded, entirely dependent on the men around her – perhaps a bit too much than she actually was – and not as much the queen that history knows her to be.
This is where the constant reminders came in for me. I had to recognize that A, this is fiction and B, it’s based on the first two years of the queen’s reign. Trying to put myself in her shoes, she probably was completely dependent on her advisers.
She was a young queen, new to the throne. She was inexperienced but she was also a survivor. She was constantly terrified that someone was going to kill her and this drove her to paranoia and she trusted very few people.
The man who dared love a Queen
Robert Dudley was one of those few people. Queen Elizabeth trusted him completely with her life and with her heart. What Philippa Gregory does though is show a different side of Dudley. Through his interactions with his wife, Amy, we see a different side of the man that I never saw before.
But through my own research over the years, my own life experience, and comparing fact with fiction, I think the author’s portrayal of Robert Dudley is probably more accurate than anything I’ve seen in other fictions about the virgin’s lover.
They say that he truly loved Elizabeth. Even the author states it in her Author’s note. Maybe he really did love her but throughout the book I couldn’t help but feel that he loved himself more. He was very manipulative and way too ambitious for his own good.
Maybe the real man did believe it was his destiny to become king and rule at Elizabeth’s side. This made him more cocky than he should have been. And he used Elizabeth’s love for him against her whenever it suited him.
Manipulation of someone you claim to love is not love. His ambitions ruled him more than his love for Elizabeth. At one point in the book, he starts to really make demands on her as if he is her husband. He acts as many husbands did in those days.
That he is to rule over her and she is to obey him. And the way he treated his wife, Amy. I have watched movies and read other books on Robert and his wife. This is the first time though that I got to read her story. Regardless of whether it was true or not, I really felt for her.
He cast her aside and only when she died did he show he cared about her at all. But that was the guilt taking over his mind. He didn’t care for her in life but when she died, he felt remorseful for the way he treated his estranged wife.
And what of William Cecil?
As for William Cecil, I don’t know what to think of him. On the one hand he really did seem to have the Queen’s best interest at heart but he also truly loved his country. I respect that a great deal.
But again, this is fiction. I do love how The Virgin’s Lover put me right there as if I was walking with these characters, feeling their feelings, and learning their thoughts. It reminds that it is so hard sometimes to separate fact from fiction as most of what people know about the two lovers was mostly rumors.
It stirs a passion in me though to find out more. What was written back then about the Virgin Queen and her lover? It wasn’t all rumor but the rumors is what makes this love story so fascinating!
My final Thoughts
If you are a history buff and find the Tudors or even just Queen Elizabeth I interesting, I would recommend this book. I don’t know that I would recommend this book for romance enthusiasts as it is full of romance but the romance is more betrayal and scandal than it is the actual romance part. Then again, if that’s your thing, this might be the book for you.
Still, I enjoyed reading The Virgin’s Lover and I would encourage all of you out there that if this your type of book, do give it a try. You never know, you might find a new interest in history if you don’t already.
At any rate, I look forward to reading more of Philippa Gregory’s books.
Last year I wrote a piece on my favorite love songs of all time. I had a lot of fun coming up with that list. But this year I want to share more of my favorite Valentine’s Day songs with you all. Just so you know, these won’t all be in the traditional love song category, hehe.
Like this first one on my list…
I Love Rock-N-Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
For me, this song is at the top of my Favorite Valentine’s Day songs. I love Rock-N-Roll. I have always said that music was my first love. This past weekend I watched a documentary on Joan Jett. I find her to be very inspiring. I’m definitely a fan! I also think this is a great one for all us singles out there!
I Knew You When by Marianas Trench
This is one of their brand new songs and is on my newest playlist. I just love it! It’s basically a break up song but upbeat and makes its way onto my Favorite Valentine’s Day Songs. And I really love the video!
Never Let You Go by Third Eye Blind
Oh my does this song take me back! The reason this song makes it onto my Favorite Valentine’s Day songs: You could say it’s another break up song but to me it’s about growing up but not forgetting someone special from your past. They will always have a piece of you. Damn, I miss the 90’s sometimes!
Alive by Adalitas Way
This song is definitely more of a traditional love song but with upbeat tones. However, its the video that puts this song on my Favorite Valentine’s Day Songs list. It’s a beautiful video. Just watch it.
80’s Baby by NKOTB (Featuring Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson)
So this is technically not any relation to Valentine’s Day but it made it on the list for a few reasons. A) Even though it’s a brand new song it takes me back to all of the music of my childhood and teenage years, which is a little love story in and of itself. For me at least. B) It can also be interpreted as an older couple reminiscing about their young romance when they started out. And yes, I was a HUGE fan of the New Kids back in the day 🙂
Okay now I am going to end this list on a more traditional love song. It’s a song I can totally see becoming a popular wedding song actually.
I Get to Love You by Ruelle
This is definitely at the top of my list for my Favorite Valentine’s Day Songs. Ruelle is someone I’ve been listening to a lot lately. I even gave her her own playlist on my phone. I’ll share more of her songs in the future. For now, this song is just beautiful!
While it is a love song of the romantic variety, I can’t help but listen to the lyrics and remember back when my boys were born. Holding them in my arms for the very first time and being in complete awe of them. The words in this song, “I get to love you” springs to my mind whenever I look back and remember the feeling of holding them for the very first time. I get to be their mother. I get to love them and am so grateful they are in my life.
So there you have it folks! My Favorite Valentine’s Day Songs. What are some of your faves? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks so much for reading! And listening! Oh and Happy Valentine’s Day!
The L word. You all know which word I mean. That four letter word that starts with L and ends in E. These days it seems to roll off everyone’s lips and not just because it’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day has nothing to do with what I am going to address in this post. But since it’s the month of Cupid and all things romantic, The L word is perfect to start this month out with.
Happy February Everyone! Contrary to popular belief, I actually like the month of February. Maybe its the word. I mean, February just sounds nice. Maybe it’s because my oldest niece has a birthday this month. It’s the month of Pisces too, one of my fellow water signs.
Or maybe it does have to do with all the romance in the air. While I may not be one for all that over-the-top romantic crap, I do appreciate a good romantic feel in the air. Especially after coming out of the very bleak and depressing January. The L word though, that’s a different animal.
You see, a few days ago I had a short but mindful conversation with a friend of mine. I told her I loved her but when I did, I told her that I don’t say that to just anyone. And it’s true. The L word has always been a bit of an elusive word for me. More so the feeling of love has left me… Doubtful.
What Do I mean?
Allow me to elaborate with a little back story. As most of my readers know, I didn’t have the greatest childhood. Where love was supposed to be, there was hatred, often accompanied by some type of violence. Where there was supposed to be emotional support there was often anger and resentment. In my early childhood, I didn’t hear the L word very often.
Throughout my childhood and adolescence love was a contradiction. There were always strings attached. There was always an obligation to love someone who took care of you, even when they didn’t always treat you well. I often found myself saying the words without really meaning them. It was survival and obligation that led me on that path.
Unless I was saying it to my siblings. My siblings were my world. They got the full of my unconditional love. I also loved my mother. With other family members though, I said it because it was expected but it always felt wrong.
The dating years started and while I didn’t date a lot, the ones I did date I really cared for. But I didn’t love them. I only said the L word once and as soon as I said it to a guy I immediately regretted it. I was haunted by that old feeling of being a fraud. It wasn’t until I met my ex-husband that I really started to understand the whole romantic love thing.
There are different kinds of love out there. There is the romantic love ( the most misunderstood love to me), there is the love you have for you family. The love you have for your friends. There is also self-love. We can’t forget how important self-love is.
But the truest love for me was the love I immediately felt for each of my boys when they were born. While I did experience what all the poets write about in romantic love, I was also really confused by it. I think most people are very confused by romantic love. It really is a mystery isn’t it?
When my boys were born though, that rush of emotion that hits you like an ocean’s wave crashing on the beach as soon as you hear their first cry, that’s a love like no other. That’s when I truly understood love. That’s when I decided – albeit – unconsciously – that I would never say the L word again unless I truly meant it.
I would never again say the word unless I really felt it in my heart. For the most part, I have stayed true to that. People these days tough. Too many are so quick to say it. They spill the word out like they are giving away candy. And just as quickly, they take it away. They steal that candy back from the person they gave it to.
The L word isn’t meant for that. Because it isn’t just a word. Every word has a meaning. This word has that and then some. It’s more than just an emotion too. It goes deeper than that. It hits you to your core.
The L word shouldn’t be said to just anyone. It should be given the respect it deserves. When you say, “I Love You”, mean it! Show it! Because love is more than just words. It’s actions. Love is words and actions in equal measure.
So when I say the words, “I love you”, know that I not only mean, I feel it.
What do you all think? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks so much for reading!
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