Hi fkalich. Good to hear that things are getting easier for you. I think that most would agree that regardless of how easy or difficult different parts are to learn, persistance is always key.
For me, I want to become fluent and I realize to do this, I simply cannot stop practicing with a variety of different tools.
I read in another post that you also use L.S.L.C. How's that going for you?
I did Rosetta Stone vol 1 and 2 at home before discovering L.S.L.C. I also had a couple years many moons ago in high school so some stuff I was familiar with. But the L.S.L.C. really impresses me with the method of teaching. I've completed the entire course several times now and continue to use it every day anticipating volume 2 in August. That's the key I believe, to not stop using it. A perfect example is this: when I went through the course the first time, there were lessons that were very tough to comprehend. I wouldn't advance on until I was confident. I remember doing lesson 29 at least 10 or more times all the way through before I did lesson 30. But now when I throw in lesson 29, it's really no trouble at all. Yeah, I darn near memorized it, but it also makes sense after doing it so many times.
I read childrens books in spanish (la casa del arbol series is great) and watch spanish tv.
To top it off, I get to speak to native Mexicans every day at work. Two of my amigos don't know any English at all, and one knows very little so I have no choice but to communicate in spanish with them. Another guy, Marco, has very good English so he is a huge resource for me. But even with the others, I never stop asking them for the best or most common way to say something. And to please correct me when I get it wrong. They love it and never hesitate to help. As for me reciprocating, I purchased a great beginners guide to learning English for them to share (2 live together) and they are using it along with audio lessons that another friend helped them with. Now they are asking me the questions "como se dice este in ingles" etc.
I've bought several books and study and speak spanish every day. I've made great progress in a little less than a year. But that said, there are still many times that I get frustrated, or a bit burned out when I'm overdoing it. I don't think there's a certain point where you get over one great big hurdle, and then it just gets or stays easy. I think it's just a combination of consistency, discipline and effort that eventually get you over a hurdle and lead you to yet another one.