Saturday, December 27, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

At the end of the year I put together our family scrapbook. It brings back lots of memories throughout not only this year but years past as well. I ran across several videos I hadn’t seen in a long time of Tigger at various stages. One was when he was beginning to walk. Another was him laughing at something. Another was him talking. It’s made me realize just how much he’s grown up. I can’t believe it. Where did my little boy go? He’s not so little anymore and I know he’ll just keep growing. It’s an interesting emotion.

Hubby also puts together a video at the end of each year. As I watched Bear’s video I’m amazed at how much he’s already grown. As slow as time seems to be going, I can’t believe how fast it’s flying by.

It’s fun to see how much we’ve accomplished and the smiles on everyone’s faces throughout the year. Hopefully, Tigger and Bear will appreciate these books later on in life. I know Tigger gets a kick out of them now. I also hope that the books we put together of Lion will help them to remember their brother.

The end of the year also brings into the forefront goals and things to work on for the next year. I’m not ready to look at this year’s list because I know there were several things that just didn’t happen. However, I look at everything that has happened and I’m pretty sure it’s an even trade.


So as you look toward 2015 keep in mind that goals change, take lots of pictures to help remember the smiles and laughter that is around, shoot high but don’t stress if you don’t quite make it, and remember to enjoy the journey. Life is good, even with the ups and downs. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

This week has been an emotional week for some reason. I thought a lot about Lion and have really missed him. Sometimes while looking at Bear I would see Lion as well. There were some sweet moments though as Bear smiled at me and I imagined Lion there with us.

I’ve also had some questions of how my experience with Lion has affected my outlook and experience with Bear. It’s not something I had a really good answer to right away, but as I’ve thought about it I’ve been able to clear things up in my head.

First off, nothing can compare to my experience with Lion. It was so different, so unexpected, so precious that there’s really nothing I can compare to it to. That being said, it has really made me appreciate Bear a lot more. I’m cherishing the little things more too. The feel of a little hand on my arm or a sloppy kiss on my cheek. The beautiful smiles and laughter. The sparkling eyes. The smells. The wiggling. Everything and I am treasuring just a little bit more.

I’ve also found that my desire for kids has changed too. If you recall my very first post about not wanting kids, that’s changed. It almost scares me that Bear could possible be the end of our family.

It’s also been interesting to hear the questions that have come up from Tigger lately. I think it’s completely normal but it’s interesting. I was going to write about it this time, but I think it might be best to do a seperate post about it.


So in the meantime, Merry Christmas. Enjoy your families. Treasure the little moments.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

I've been trying to find things throughout the week that I consider beautiful. I've been taking pictures of those things with the intent to share them here. I found several things this week thinking I've have a stock pile but as I sit to write this post, my mind is a complete blank.

This time of year always seems to be overwhelming for most people. (I think that's safe to say.) Whether it's by our own doing, (saying yes to everything rather than saying no. Trying to do too much. You know, that sort of thing) because of the loss of someone special, (the holidays always make those losses feel more accute), or the simple fact that it's a busy time of year, it has most people running around like a chicken or an elf or whatever creature you want to place here, with their head cut off.

So in light of trying to remember the real reason we celebrate this season and for trying to slow down enough to enjoy those beautiful, little moments, I'm going to share all of the photos I took this week. (I thought I took more than 2 but oh well. These are from our citrus trees in the back.)

Merry Christmas. Hang In There. Treasure the Little Things. :)







Saturday, December 6, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM



It's amazing how quickly the weekend comes these days. It's hard to believe that four years ago Tigger bounced his way into our lives. (He also decided today that he's not really four, he's still three because four is too big. Not sure I'm following the logic since he also said he could be five but he's not four.) It's hard to believe how life has changed since then too.

This week Hubby showed me an email from a gal he works with. Their baby ended up with a severe heart defect that requires surgery. They didn't know before hand and almost lost her. I had a hard time reading the email with the words a blurred from the tears in my eyes. With all the technology we have today, I'm amazed that there is still so much unknown yet at the same time I watched via FB another friend's twins who were born almost three months early fight and survive with the help of skilled doctors, nurses, and technology. The girls are now home with their parents.

I can't help but think and know that one of the reasons people aren't finding out about issues their child have in utero is because they will be given a better chance of surviving if we don't know ahead of time. I know that may not make sense on many levels but it makes sense to me.

We all have our trials. Sometimes that trial is learning how to deal with the consequences, good and bad, of a lack of knowledge. It's an interesting concept to think about, and every once in awhile I ponder what that means, especially in relation to Lion. Had we known ahead of time we wouldn't have had much time with him. Other families I know may not have been able to have their baby at home if they had known of the condition ahead of time. If we knew everything it would sure make some decisions easier, but then how would we grow?

Anyway, I'm trying hard to enjoy life at the moment. This time of year seems to have us all spread thinner than usual, and a little more stressed than usual. This topic is probably not the best thing for some to ponder when stressed but I've found it strangely comforting in knowing that things happen exactly the way they are supposed to despite our knowledge or lack there of. Just know that we aren't supposed to know sometimes, as hard as that may be, and enjoy the journey. Wishing you a very Merry and stress-free Christmas! ;)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM



This picture is one of Lion’s roses in bloom. Hubby and I saw this rose bush as we were looking for something else. We both had the same thought and brought it home with us. 

Anyway, I wanted to make sure to do a Thanksgiving post this year because there are so many things I have to be grateful for. So here it goes . . .

  • I am grateful for my wonderful family which includes my immediate and extended family.
  • I am grateful for a loving, kind, supportive Hubby.
  • I am grateful for three little boys who are teaching me many lessons in life. 
  • I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • I am grateful for the knowledge of the resurrection.
  • I am grateful I know where Lion is and that I will see him again.
  • I am grateful for this beautiful world we live in. There is so much good that I believe is overlooked at times.
  • I am grateful for wonderful, supportive friends and neighbors.
  • I am grateful for smiles. :)
  • I am grateful for laughter.
  • I am grateful for animals, even though they always end up being more work.
  • I am grateful for the time we have.
  • I am grateful for trials and how they help us learn and grow.
  • I am grateful for the temples of the Lord.
  • I am grateful for good books.
  • I am grateful for beautiful music and how it uplifts the soul.
  • I am grateful for a cool breeze on a hot day.
  • I am grateful for the rain.
  • I am grateful for the freedoms I have and those who have sacrificed to safeguard those freedoms.
  • I am grateful for those who are willing to serve in any compacity—civil, military, ecclesiastical, etc
  • I am grateful for food, even though I don’t like to eat.
  • I am grateful we can drive to the store and purchase things.
  • I am grateful for hard work.
  • I am grateful for the plan of salvation.
  • I am grateful for the Atonement.
  • I am grateful for life.


There is so much to be grateful for. This season I pray we/I won’t forget to be thankful for all we have. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 28, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

I have a beautiful post planned with a gorgeous picture of one of Lion's roses, but Hubby and I just got back from a concert by The Tenores (a wonderful concert) and I can't keep my eyes open. A bag of M & M's kept me awake after taking the babysitter home. So this post will have to wait until later today. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

SAVING GRACE by Michele Paige Holmes—Book Review/ #amreading #books #reviews

SAVING GRACE by Michele Paige Holmes. What a cute, romance read. I loved how Grace's agenda backfired in a way. I loved how the Duke delt with the situation, and the ending was perfect. This engaging, clean romance is for anyone and everyone who loves a good love story.

:) :) :) :) :)

After the death of Grace Thatcher’s grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. But her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing.
As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage. But when Grace meets Mr. Samuel Preston, a true gentlemen and sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

I was reminded by a dear friend about something from my last post. Often times we are not close enough to overhear what people are saying who are going through hard trials. Distance limits us it what we are able to do. However, it does not limit our ability to pray. She said she prays hard for those individuals that they will have the comfort they need. And she’s right. We should and can pray for those who are struggling.

Looking back on my experience with Lion brings many things into view. I didn’t realize how much we were sustained through those weeks. I felt those prayers that were being sent my way, our way. I felt the comfort and the strength from those prayers. It was an amazing feeling. I can still remember the day that extra help was lifted. It was a noticable difference in not only the air around me but in the feelings I had. It was almost like I was being set down after being carried for awhile. The added warmth wasn’t there but I still felt the comfort.

I can testify to the strength and blessings that are given to those we pray for. And it’s not only saying a prayer but asking for specific things. Bless so and so with the added strength and comfort they need at this time has an added power than a general bless so and so. Or being able to not only ask for a specific person but for a specific purpose. Bless so and so who is struggling with this . . . or something like that. There is an added blessing and power to specific prayers. People feel them. They are a strength. They lift and bless those lives. It’s an amazing thing that the Lord has given us.

Last week I said I’d begin sharing some of the doctrine Hubby found comforting while researching what the apostles and prophets have taught about the plan of salvation and infant deaths. Well, due to the fact that I was asked to speak in church and the holidays that have snuck up on me (please tell me I’m not the only one that feels like they came early and yet late at the same time), I’m not prepared to share those yet. So forgive me and hang in there. They are coming.

I’ll end with some gratitude, since it is the season. :)

  • I am incredible grateful for the power of prayer, and not only prayer but specific prayers.
  • I am grateful for good friends and family who continually teach me, stretch me, and help me to grow.
  • I am grateful for the love, guidance, and support of a loving Father in Heaven and Savior.
  • I am grateful for this beautiful world.
  • I am grateful for how precious life is.
  • I am grateful for the many opportunities life has given me.
  • I am grateful for laughter.


My list of gratitude will get longer, but for now . . . what are some things you are grateful for?


Friday, November 21, 2014

SAM'S CHRISTMAS WISH by George Durrant—Book Review/ #amreading #reviews #books #christmas

SAM'S CHRISTMAS WISH by George Durrant. This was a darling book. The pictures were beautiful and I was excited to read it to my son. Although the ending was perfect, I could tell the concept behind it was a little lost for my son who's three. It brought tears to my eyes though. A beautiful Christmas wish granted.

:) :) :) :)

"We don't need no charity," insists Big Sam Edwards. It's bad enough to have lost his job a few weeks before Christmas; the thought of "do-gooders" meddling in his business is more than he can bear. "I'll be watching if anybody comes around trying to leave anything at the door!" he warns.
But the mystery of a pile of gifts left anonymously, without any tracks in the snow, works a change in Sam's heart. The spirit of Christmas fills his home with joy.
Over the years, Sam becomes one of the most generous men in town. Yet his fondest wish goes unrealized: "I wish I could do something good and do it in secret so nobody would ever know."
And then one Christmas, he gets his chance—his secret act is even more gratifying than he ever could have imagined.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ADRENALINE RUSH by Cindy Hogan—Book Review/ #amreading #books #reviews

ADRENALINE RUSH by Cindy Hogan. This book began as a real thrill ride. I loved the feel and pacing of the book. The characters were great, and I loved the concept. I was really enjoying it until the middle. Things got very disturbing to me. I didn't think the death-defying stunts needed to be as horrific as they were. It was very twisted in my opinion. I also didn't realize this was part of a series. I felt left out of some of it since the main character kept referring to things that had happened in the past. It was a good read, but in the end, not for me. Although I'd be curious to see how it all began. I can't recommend it for everyone.


:) :) :)

A madman with a mission is kidnapping groups of thrill-seeking high school seniors across the country, and it s up to Christy to stop him. To do so, she must take on a fearless alter ego and infiltrate a group of adrenaline junkies bent on pushing life to the limit. Death-defying stunts are only the beginning: two groups fit the profile, and Christy must discover the real target before it s too late.

If she chooses the wrong group, more people will disappear. But choosing right puts her as the prime target with no guarantee that she'll get out alive.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

I apologize for last week. We went on a family trip and I completely forgot about posting. :) It was a great trip though. Here’s a picture, Hubby took. I tried for awhile to get one like this and of course he got it within a couple minutes. Gotta love it!



There have been many things over the past couple of weeks that have made my heart ache. I’ve watched a couple of friends morning their children who have passed. It’s still very new for both of them, one of which celebrated a birthday for their loved one. How I wish I could take their pain away.

This is going to seem like a very abrupt transition, but it all ties together. Hubby is a great researcher. When things happen, he digs into things to find truths, facts, anything that will give him more knowledge on the situation. Me, I’m not that way. I haven’t figured out what I do in situations other than pray.

With Lion, he researched not only the trisomy 13 syndrome but church doctrine on the plan of salvation and talks from apostles and prophets on the loss of children. I have watched him share with countless people these doctrines that have been so comforting to him. I have even shared on his behalf, and I realized recently that I haven’t read those articles yet. I need to.

I remember a friend of mine asking what I found comforting during the time right after Lion passed. What can others do to help. That is a very hard question to answer, and I don’t think I ever talked about it. I think I will now since I’m on the other side of things this time. I think I will also share those truths that Hubby has researched. Maybe they will help someone or maybe they will help you help someone, because we all need support, especially when dealing with a trial like losing a child.

A hug and telling someone you love them is always a good start in any situation. After that it’s easy to feel lost as to what to do. Then comes the question, “What can I do to help?” Chances are, they don’t know the answer. They’re barely keeping it together. It means a lot that there are people willing to help, and they may even feel bad that they can’t come up with anything (which I know is never the intent of that question).

So, rather than asking that question, watch and listen. You will think of or hear things in passing that you can do to help. Then just do them. Don’t ask, just do them. You can do them anonymously or not. Meals, watching kids, quietly getting house work done, taking care of animals, gardens, garbage cans, anything you can think of will be greatly appreciated even if they don’t know it at the time. I had someone make me a CD of songs that she loved to listen to after she had a child pass. It was greatly appreciated, although it took me a little while to recognize what she had done for me.


Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what can be done. Hopefully you can help someone in any situation with these suggestions, and over the next few posts, I’ll share the articles Hubby shares with friends who are going through a similar experience.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A CHRIST-CENTERED CHRISTMAS by Emily Belle Freeman—#BookReview #amreading #ChristCenteredChristmasn

A CHRIST-CENTERED CHRISTMAS by Emily Belle Freeman. With Christmas around the corner (and really having begun in September which is when I found Christmas decorations popping up in stores) I find it a good reminder to take a look at the true meaning of Christmas. The hustle of the shopping, the craziness with parties, family, gifts, and the list goes on. It's very easy to forget the humble beginnings of the holiday. This book shows different ways to keep Christ in the center of Christmas. It talks about seven of the people involved in that first Christmas, what they represent and how we can utilize their examples to help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Emily shared experiences as well as what her family has done to shift their focus. I found several things that I could easily add to our family traditions as well as those that we are already doing. It is a great, easy read that will help you shift your focus back on Christ during this Christmas season.

:) :) :) :) :)

Deepen the spirit that fills your heart and home this holiday season when you discover the meaning behind seven gifts of Christmas, each celebrated with an invitation from the scriptures and a simple tradition.
Each gift is based on a figure in a Nativity set, and the traditions can easily be combined with things you already do. This year as you prepare your home for the season, resolve to prepare your heart in a way that will lead you closer to Christ.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

THE MATCH MAKER by Karey White—Book Review #amreading #bookreview #books

Match Maker Book CoverThe Match Maker by Karey White (The Husband Maker #2) I loved the first book in this series. Check out my review of that one, here. This is the first book I have ever wanted to skip to the end to make sure it wrapped up the way I wanted it to. I didn't do that and enjoyed the book but it was harder to get through because I know what I wanted to have happen. The characters are still wonderful and I got a good taste of Scottland, which I loved. I can't wait for the next book to make sure Charlotte ends up with who I think she should. This is a series I would recommend having all three books to read back to back, otherwise you are left feeling incomplete at the conclusion. It is a great read that I would recommend for anyone, though.

:) :) :) :)

(Summary contains spoilers if you have not yet read book #1 The Husband Maker)  It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart. In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone that ever--at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.

The Match Maker releases on November 1st
Order your copy Now!

Don't miss the Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader November 4th to 21st Tour Schedule


Karey White

Author Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Match Maker

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TWIST OF FATE by Rachael Anderson—Book Review/ #amreading #books #reviews

TWIST OF FATE by Rachael Renee Anderson. This was an adorable read. I loved the way the season played into it. I loved Ty's mom. The play on names was perfect. Any romantic at heart will love this short, fun Christmas novella.


:) :) :) :)

This was originally published as part of the All I Want holiday romance anthology.
When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty’s mailbox, Ty’s faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancé is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her – make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE!—Book Review/ #amreading #reviews #books

GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE! This picture book was wonderful. I was fascinated by the story and loved the DVD with the reading of this story. The pictures in the book were beautiful and the DVD almost kept my three-year-old's attention through the entire thirty minutes. I loved the story. It brought a new perspective to a well loved story. I would highly recommend this to everyone this Christmas season.

:) :) :) :) :)

In creating stories for others, we sometimes end up revealing truths to ourselves. Such was the experience of the beloved Charles Dickens, master storyteller and honorary champion of Christmas. But Dickens was not always the purveyor of yuletide wisdom we know today—he too had to discover for himself the true spirit of Christmas and how best to keep it all the year through.
It was 1843, and winter was fast approaching. Times were tough for Charles Dickens and his family. He needed to publish something that would earn enough money to meet his many obligations. Pondering his predicament, Dickens set out to write a quick Christmas story that would be sure to sell. Little did he know that his writing—and the genial ghost he would bring to life—would take him on an incredible journey of the heart.
This beautifully illustrated volume tells the story behind the writing of Dickens's most famous work and reveals how he discovered the spirit of Christmas for himself—with a little help from his own literary characters. Originally presented by acclaimed British actor Joh Rhys-Davies at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2013 Christmas concert, the book also includes a DVD with footage from the event.

FAIRY TALE CHRISTMAS by Michael McLean—book review/ #giveaway #amreading #bookreview #books

FAIRY TALE CHRISTMAS—by Michael McLean. This was a fun, quick read that gives a different twist on familiar fairy tale characters. It's fun to be in the point of view of the villian. Children of all ages would love this Christmas read. I highly recommend it to any and everyone of all ages. Just thinking about the story brings a smile to my face.

:) :) :) :) :)

Santa Claus has been kidnapped!
Behind the plot are an evil queen, a wicked stepmother, a sorceress, a beanstalk giant, and, of course, the mischievous Rumpelstiltskin. They have a plan that will erase the term "Happily Ever After" from our storybooks forever.
But it's nearly Christmas Eve, and time is running out. Can Santa and the fairy-tale heroes save the day and bring Christmas to all the children of the world? Will anyone have a "Happily Ever After" again?
Fairy Tale Christmas reminds us all that there is good in everyone and that the magic of Christmas can soften any heart.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher, however the opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CHRISTMAS IN SNOW VALLEY—Book Review/ #amreading #reviews #books

Christmas in Snow Valley. This group of Christmas short stories were very cute. I haven't gotten through all of them, but I've enjoyed the first three. The setting is perfect for Christmas and the love stories are wonderful. I look forward to reading the rest of the anthology. I would recommend this one to any and everyone that loves Christmas combined with a good romance.

:) :) :) :)


Christmas in Snow Valley is packed with six wonderful Christmas novellas sure to bring romance into your holiday season. Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancé, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn't pursue him or even seem interested. Ty's career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Risking it all for Love by Kimberley Montpetit Succumbing to family pressure, Jessica Mason reluctantly comes home for Christmas. Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica and religion have not been compatible. So, when she visits Michael’s grave, she's surprised to meet the handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down. Is she ready to take another risk on love?

Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell As head of Snow Valley hospital's fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn't have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She's been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.
Christmas in Snow valley Banner
 


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Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/20/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Christmas in Snow Valley (1)

 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

Boy, I feel like the holiday season has been going on forever and it’s just begun. I’ve had many things running through my head this week so this post will probably be pretty scattered. Then again, I’m pretty scattered now myself. :)

I can’t believe how fast Bear is growing. It’s fun to see Tigger and Bear interact. Bear’s been talking up a storm but is still having issues sleeping at night. He’s a great baby though. I couldn’t ask for three better boys.

It feels like there are more and more people that I know who are having babies return home early on in life. It’s that or I’m becoming more aware and sensitive to that type of thing. It’s probably more the later but it’s amazing how much of that is around. My testimony of how precious life is and what a miracle we’re all here is growing on a daily basis. We are so blessed to be here with a healthy body. There are so many things that can and do go wrong. But the majority of us are completely normal. It’s truly amazing and just another testimony of the divine plan of things.

Since it was Halloween I feel like I can talk a little about this too. The closer we came to the holiday, the more people put up decorations. I was very surprised to see how gruesome the decorations have become. I think there’s a line and in my opinion a lot of people have crossed it. What happened to the cute, silly, fun decorations? There are houses I don’t want to have to drive by in my neighborhood now. Tigger loves to see decorations, but I refuse to even point some of the houses out. I won’t even look very closely. It feels like a kid holiday has turned into something else. In fact there were hardly any little kid trick-or-treaters this year. It’s a bit sad.

It’s amazing how quickly thoughts come and go these days too. In the amount of time it takes me to put my fingers on the keyboard my thought is gone. There have been many more things that fly by through my mind this week. I need to learn to write them down so I won’t have to try to remember them.

Anyway, as we head into the holiday season, try not to get so wrapped up in everything and forget the most important thing. Family. Love them. Have fun with them. Enjoy them. Life is good. :)


Thursday, October 30, 2014

THE MATCH MAKER by Karey White—Book Blast #amreading #books

Match Maker Book CoverThe Match Maker by Karey White (The Husband Maker #2) (Summary contains spoilers if you have not yet read book #1 The Husband Maker) It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart. In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone that ever--at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.

The Match Maker releases on November 1st
Order your copy Now!
 
Don't miss the Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader November 4th to 21st Tour Schedule
The Husband Maker new

The Husband Maker by Karey White Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she's dated since high school has gone on to marry the next girl they date. Not two or three girls down the road. The very next one. Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed? When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Karey White

Author Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

    $75 Book Blast Giveaway $75 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/23/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Match Maker

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

FINALLY YOU: A TRIPLE TREAT ROMANCE—book review/ #amreading #books #bookreview

FINALLY YOU: A TRIPLE TREAT ROMANCE BOX SET. This box set had some amazing books in it. The first, WORKING IT OUT by Rachael Anderson was delightful. Check out my review here

The second, A PERFECT FIT by Heather Tullis began really well but left me disappointed at the end. I loved the characters and the situation they were thrown into. I didn't like some of the choices Cami made. It left a bit of a sour feeling. I'd love to read the rest of this series alone, but I'm not sure I will. 

The third, LOVED LIKE THAT by Julie Wright left me smiling. I remember reading this years ago and I loved it as much as I did back then. It was a clean, sweet romance that I would recommend to anyone.



FINALLY YOU: A TRIPLE TREAT ROMANCE BOX SET 
Three Bestselling Authors, Three Romance Novels, One Great Price 

WORKING IT OUT by USA Today bestselling author Rachael Anderson 
Grace Warren's life is safe and predictable—exactly the way she likes it. But when she gets roped into going to an auction to help out a friend, everything changes. She meets Seth Tuttle—a guy who unexpectedly kisses her then disappears, leaving her flustered and upset. If she never sees him again, it will be too soon. But when Seth limps into Grace's rehab clinic post surgery, there's something about him that makes her second-guess her carefully placed boundaries. Maybe he’s exactly what Grace has needed all along—assuming she's willing to risk safe and predictable for a chance at love. 

A PERFECT FIT by Amazon bestselling author Heather Tullis 
Cami DiCarlo doesn’t agree with her father that her life has been stuck in a rut, so she is not happy when he forces her hand into heading up guest services at his newest five-star hotel. The fact that he unveils the existence of four half-sisters at the same time, and insists that they live together while they launch the new resort, only makes things worse. When she meets Vince Talmadge, the sweet, sexy landscaper her father would never have approved of, Cami can’t say no. If only she could be sure she is on the right track—and that they will be able to stop the person who is trying to destroy everything she and her sisters are working to build. 

LOVED LIKE THAT by Amazon bestselling author Julie Wright 
Does meeting someone when they’re a soul make you soul mates? After being set up on one of the worst blind dates ever, James Hartman decides dating is hopeless and he should just stick to doing what he knows best—being a bachelor cop. That decision lasts all of ten minutes as he comes across the scene of a car accident and finally meets the girl of his dreams. Granted, she’s dead when he meets her, and she doesn’t remember him at all once he resuscitates her. Does he try to help her remember that out of body experience or does he walk away from his one chance to be loved like that?

Monday, October 27, 2014

CINDER & ELLA by Kelly Oram—book review/ #amreading #books #reviews

CINDER & ELLA by Kelly Oram. This was a delightful read. I loved almost everything about it. The tough situation had me sucked in to see how Ella would handle and grow from that experience. I love the fact that Cinder and Ella didn't know know each other personally. I loved how they helped each other through things. It was just a great story that I couldn't put down. However, there was some language and talk of sex involved. I would recommend this book to almost anyone if you're okay with some language and vague talk of sex.

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It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.
...
Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

I went to the funeral of a friend’s sweet little boy last weekend. Hubby knows the couple well and knew a ton of people at the funeral. I got the feeling again that it was a mini reunion. I remember feeling that when we were planning Lion’s funeral. It’s a really sad excuse to have a family reunion, essentially. So as he’s saying hi to everyone, I’m struggling to keep the tears at bay. I remember feeling unsure of how to greet people who were crying and I wanted to be strong for this sweet mom who was going through something I wish no one had to go through.

The casket was closed by the time we got there and I have no idea if it was ever open but in a way I’m glad it wasn’t. I had a hard enough time looking at the beautiful pictures of this little one with his family and by himself. I’m not sure I would have been able to handle really seeing him.

As we sat in the chapel for the funeral service it all felt surreal. Watching the little boys father carry in the beautiful, white casket threw me back to when Hubby carried Lion’s casket into the chapel. The music was perfect. The talks were wonderful. I lost it when the events leading up to when their precious little one went back home. Their experience was much more traumatic than ours but the end result was the same. And my heart broke for them all over again.

I think I squeezed Hubby’s hand too hard but it felt like I had to hang on to ground myself. I cried more at this funeral than I did at Lion’s but I truly believe that’s because I was in shock then. I hadn’t had the time to really process what had happen and what we were doing. The whole time I sat there thinking, we’ve been through this. We’ve actually done this. We’ve felt and are still feeling those things.

Some of the statements I overheard family members make were exactly what we felt or heard our family members say. The emotions talked about in the funeral were what we felt at the time. I felt like the mom was much better prepared for her talk than I was. She delivered it with an incredible amount of composure while I’m sure her heart was breaking even more, if that’s possible.

Oh how I wish no one ever had to experience burying an infant. How I wish I could take that pain and heartache away. How I wish for so many things for those families that I know I can’t do. All I can do is be there as a support and love them. Hopefully my experience will help them get through the rough patches because unfortunately the worst is yet to come for them. Once the meals stop and family isn’t around every day and life moves on, you’re left with a hole and an ache that won’t leave. You don’t want life to move on and yet it does and everyone around you almost expects you to do the same.

I distinctly remember the feeling of emptyness when “life moved on,” whether I wanted it to or not. It was yet another challenge to face, but I know the only way I made it through is with the help of my Savior. The comfort I still receive from Him helps me deal with things as I relive the good and the bad of our precious time with Lion. How I miss Lion and wish he was with us, but I know he’s where he’s supposed to be.


If you’ve lost a loved one, know that my heart breaks for you and with you. But with the help and love and guidance from the Savior, you will make it. Even though it may feel like you won’t, you will make it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

VISIONS OF HOPE by Annie Henrie—book review/#amreading #books #bookreview

VISIONS OF HOPE by Annie Henrie. This beautiful book contains some wonderful artwork coupled with inspiring scriptures and truth. The pictures were a little different than my taste and they didn't hold my son's interest as much as I would have liked them too, but the artist is obviously very talented. Everyone should take a look at her work.

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The most fundamental questions in our lives—questions about where we came from, why we are here, and where we are gonig—are answered when we have a true understanding of the plan of salvation. Now, our understanding is deepened and enlivened by this beautifully illustrated depiction of God's eternal plan for His children. In her unique, richly textured style, fine artist Annie Henrie offers a visual interpretations of the plan of salvation, including pre-earth life, the Creation, the Fall of Adam and Eve, life on earth, the spirit world, the Atonement and the Resurrection, and the kingdoms of glory. Accompanied by text from the scriptures, each exquisite image testifies of God's love for us and of His plan of happiness.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher, however the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SPELL CHECK by Julie Wright—Book Review/ #amreading #books #bookreview

SPELL CHECK by Julie Wright. Julie's books have always been fun to read and this one is no exception! I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put it down. The situations are hilarious and the magic incredible. I loved all the webs Ally weaves and how she figures out how to untangle herself and others. It is a delightful, funfilled read that anyone would love.

:) :) :) :) :)

A skeleton is rattling its way out of the closet marked "FAMILY SECRET! KEEP OUT!"
Allyson Peterson believes that being hanged by the Salem High Witches is the absolute worst thing that can happen. But when her powers, wrested from the trolls of ancient Sweden, manifest themselves, she realizes that a prank hanging by vindictive cheerleaders is the least of her worries.
Ally accidentally sends her parents to the jungle to fight anacondas, turns her brother into a mute, and curses the entire cheerleading team with an illness that has no cure, proving that her spells need a little checking. Her Swedish grandmother shows up to help her through the worst part of all-surviving the Troll Trials and saving the guy of her dreams from a vengeance that has festered through-out generations.
The power is in her, if she can just get the magic right.
*A review copy was provided, however, the opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A MOM

This week has been another lesson on perspective. A high school friend of Hubby and me had their five-week-old baby return home. It’s an experience I wish no one ever had to go through and yet many people are. It has brought back many memories and I’ve relived many of those precious times we had with Lion.

Here’s the perspective. As I’m complaining and struggling to get sleep, this sweet family is planning their child’s funeral. As I got frustrated with my kids this week for whatever insignificant reason, I remembered this family and what they are struggling with. Even now as Bear is waking up after not more than a twenty minute nap, I’m remembering how precious life is and how blessed we are to have Bear with us.

And as if the point needs to be driven home, there were several FB posts (I’m spending way too much time on that these days) of different friends with children or themselves in the hospital for various reasons. Life is precious and I’ve taken it for granted lately. I could easily blame the lack of sleep, but that would be an excuse. We are very blessed to have our health and to have wonderful healthy kids that keep us active. Life is short and we should savor every moment of it.

Along with learning of the death of this sweet baby, I have found myself fighting to not read into everything little thing with Bear and Tigger. Visions of my little ones in caskets want to push their way into the for front of my mind and I’m struggling to keep them at bay. Fears of losing my little ones are rising again, and as much as I’m there for this sweet family, I’m not sure I’m ready to see another little angel in a casket tomorrow. (If you haven’t figured it out yet, I usually write these posts on Friday night and schedule them to go live on Saturday morning.)

On a lighter note, Bear was able to be blessed last Sunday. It was wonderful to have so many family and friends around us. We missed those family members that were not able to attend and we’re ever grateful for the support of so many loved ones.

As I dressed Bear in a little white suit, my mind flashed back to the times I dressed Lion in his little white suit. Once for his blessing and the other for his burial. It brought tears to my eyes. Then as Hubby blessed Bear, I couldn’t help but envision one other person standing next to them. How we miss our sweet, little Lion.


I guess the point of this post is to not take life for granted. Give those you love a hug. Tell them you love them. Try not to wish time away because we just don’t know how much time we have with each other. I used to blow off these statements as a clique and didn’t really understand their meaning until recently. Don’t make the mistake I did and underestimate the truth to and the power of each of those statements.