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Showing posts from 2013

Like Moonlight at Low Tide: Sometimes the Current is the Only Thing That Saves You by Nicole Quigley

Like Moonlight at Low Tide: Sometimes the Current is the Only Thing That Saves You by Nicole Quigley is the story of Missy Keiser, a junior in high school. When Missy was in middle school her life was miserable. She was made fun of for her appearance and her families lack of money. Then, her mother uprooted the family from their Anna Maria Island home in Florida to follow her boyfriend to Pennsylania. When things went wrong up north the family moves back to Florida. Missy is not excited to face to the people who had made her life so awful in years past, but she has to go to school. Can Missy handle what is sure to be a rough ride at her new high school? Will her old flame, Sam King, notice her? Will she make new friends? Will she keep her old friends? You know I’m not going to ruin it for you.

This debut novel from author Nicole Quigley is a wonderful read. The themes go far beyond other books which are set in high school. While Missy must battle her old foe Tanya, she must also learn …

A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season by Katherine Paterson

A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season by Katherine Paterson is a collection of hearwarming holiday tales. Each one is incredible in its own right. The stories are well written and each has a different perspective than the last. Most are set in present day, but some are set in the past. Katherine Peterson wrote one of my favorite books (Bridge to Terabithia*), so when I was given the opportunity to reveiw another of her books I was excited.

I’ve had a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit this year (like many years). This book is the only reason that I’ve gotten it even a little bit. I am so glad that I read this book. I started just reading one story a day (there are twelve), but towards the end I just kept reading. Christmas stories are special to me, since my mom always tends to read them aloud each year. I had heard a few of them before, but I enjoyed re-reading them as well.
I highly recommend this book to you for this season. It is a great reminder o…

Saturday Sweet Things: 11.10.13

I hope that everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving!

Its been a while since I've done a Saturday Sweet Things roundup and I started this one several weeks ago, but here are some of the wonderful things I've found on the internet lately...

This post from Anne Marie Miller puts into words some of the struggles I have had the past year and a half or so. Its been an interesting time in my life and I have a lot of things to work through with what I'm finally processing.

This post from my friend Brenda is exactly how I feel about writing and my hopes and dreams. Maybe one day...

This post from HuffPost is a good reminder that people prey on our emotions. She is a too feministic for my tastes, but her point is a good one. I would like to add that it isn't just men who manipulate women's emotions, but other women do as well.

Its Turkey Day 2013

There are many things that I am thankful in my life. I have tried to do a "Week of Thanks" in the past and haven't managed to blog every single day to make that happen. Last year I didn't blog about Thanksgiving at all and y'all it's my FAVORITE holiday.

I love Thanksgiving because it was always a special family day for us growing up. When I was four we moved to Maryland and it was a thirteen or eighteen hour drive (one way) to get to either set of my grandparents. Consequently, we only went when we could go for a week or longer. When I was twelve we moved to South Carolina and we would go to see family in Florida for Thanksgiving. I loved those trips. 

Thansgiving Day, no matter where I was, started with the Macy's Day Parade. I would (voluntarily!) get up in time to watch the parade with my dad. My mom would get up and start cooking. Inevitably my brother would get up an hour or so before the parade ended and want to watch football. Sometimes we changed i…

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay is a fantastic read. I really couldn’t put it down. The story is about Samantha Moore, a grown-up foster kid. Sam has been given the opportunity to attend Grad School at Northwestern University on a grant. The only stipulation is that she must write letters to her benefactor, the anonymous Mr. Knightley.

When Sam was growing up she found solace and friendship in literature. The characters from books by Austen, Dickens and Bronte were her nearest and dearest companions. Consequently, Sam quotes them more often than any normal person should. This has made it difficult for Sam to find her place in the world and find real people to share it with. She explains all of this and so much more to Mr. Knightley as she finds it easy to bare her soul to him. Meanwhile she starts dating for the first time and starts to get out of her comfort zone with her classmates.
I really enjoyed this book and felt drawn into Sam’s story. While I haven’t read as many of the c…

Life Lesson #4

The words "Thank you!" are not said enough. If someone does anything for you, literally anything, say, "Thank you!"

You are going to hurt their feelings by saying it. If you don't say it you're looking at 50/50 odds of hurting them. Just say it, what do you have to lose?

Life Lessons are quick bits of real life that I feel should be public service announcements. Have one to hare? Leave it in the comments.

Life Lesson 1, 2, 3

Life Lesson #3

This is related to lesson number two, but I felt it was important enough to mention on its own: When driving with only your flashers on, your turn signal is irrelevant.

Life lessons are quick bits of real life that I feel should be public service announcements. Have one to share? Leave it in the comments.

See Lesson 2 here.

Life Lesson #2

When your headlights are not working and it is dark, not driving in that particular vehicle is the solution. Using your flashers as a substitute is not.

I wish I were joking.

Life lessons are quick bits of real life that I feel should be public service annoucements. Have one to share? Leave it the comments.

See Lesson 1 here.

Life Lesson #1

Shouting Singing along to your music device at the top of your lungs does not land you a record deal.

Even though you are walking through the heart of Nashville. Even though.

Life lessons are quick bits of real life that I feel should be public service annoucements. Have one to share? Leave it the comments.

Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

Made to Last by Melissa Tagg is the story of TV host Randi Woodru and her quest to fix everything in her life. Randi's problems though are wrapped up in a very big secret that could easily be her undoing. Enter journalist Matthew Knox who may just make her biggest fears into her reality.

Made to Last was a wonderful novel that brought me into the story and kept me reading. I was interested in what was going to happen. Just when I would think that the story was getting predictable, something new and fresh would happen. I liked that the story included overtly spiritual aspects without being to preachy. It was a true part of the character development, but not added just to make this into a Christian novel. The characters were realistic and relatable which is why this story moved along so easily in such an interesting manner. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman

Chasing Hope is the gripping story of a former Olympic hopeful and a juvenile deliquent. Their paths cross in an unlikely situation and they both try their hardest to make something out of shattered lives.
I really enjoyed this novel. The story was interesting and moved along at a good pace. The issues that each of the characters were dealing with were relatable, but they weren’t cheesy and predictable as is often the case in similar books. While the book focused on the story between the two main characters it also had other interesting interpersonal relationships. I think many people can relate to Sabrina’s relationship with her parents and her grandmother. Overall, I definitely recommend this book. Its a fairly light read, but it will still make you think.

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher. All of the opinions and the synopsis are my own.

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey is a dark and complex story about a little girl name Leah and her new friend, the Rainbow Man. The book takes place over one week leading up to the town carnival. It starts on Saturday which is little Leah's birthday. Leah Norcross is a shy and somewhat strange girl whose family just moved to the town of Mattingly from Away (the city). Her father is a psychologist and her mother stays home with Leah. The Rainbow Man appears at that birthday party.

The story takes off from there and gets darker and darker. The various characters and their viewpoints make it a well-rounded and complete story. The town of Mattingly is full of interesting people and its members know about the magic. Has the magic found Leah or she just making it up? Should the town believe what she has to say? Does the Rainbow Man exist? 

This book was intriguing on so many different levels. There were many secrets between the characters which gave it a level of mystery that kept m…

Merry Mary Monday: 8.12.13

We went to a Duck Dynasty themed birthday party last week. Pop Rocks and I both got into the getting ready for it. Mary didn't get to go, but I did put her beard on her and took a picture to send to the birthday boy (he's a family member).  You can see Pop Rock's beard in the background.

Here is what she looks like with it on I was hoping I could find a camo shirt for her, but I didn't have any luck:

A Pretty Age by Barbara Mueller

In A Pretty Age by Barbara Mueller Sophiny Mumm, a sixteen year old student at a Catholic convent and her best friend Antoinette Dominguez find themselves entrapped in the schemes of evil man. Antoinette elopes and then subsequently disappears. Sophiny must solve the mystery of her friend's disappearance while subsequently avoiding getting captured herself.

This was an interesting read. It's set at the turn of the 20th century and is an interesting look at the era through the eyes of a somewhat sheltered girl who is very excited for the development of progress. The story starts out slow, but eventually picked up enough steam to keep me reading. I have to say that I figured the end would be very predictable. Some parts of it were and others were not. I was impressed with the way that Sophiny grew as a character through the course of the book. She started out rather meek and mild and ended up as a strong fighter. This was all due to her relationship with Antoinette.
I would reco…

Saturday Sweet Things

If you don't want to read any of the rest of this, go watch this video... seriously do it.

Have you heard of Free Pie Wedensday? Neither had I until this past week. Get the French Silk - its amazing! 
I've made a few Pinterest Recipes lately (follow my recipe board here). 
The first one was this Cauliflower Sauce. It was good. I thought it was an alfredo sauce. It isn't until you add parmesand cheese to it. It definitely requires the addition of spices or cheese, etc. for it to become a true sauce. But its a great base. Also, don't use jumbo garlic cloves. I steamed some broccoli and boiled some noodles and made it a pasta dish.
The second one was Salmon Florentine. This was a meal that will made often in our house now. It was fairly easy and, for a salmon dish, fairly affordable. It did a bit of time to make, but that could have been helped by being better prepped. I made the spinach "topper" just used what we needed. I kept the rest and Pop Rocks fixed som…

Checking Back In

Pop Rocks and I joined up with my family for vacation the week of July 4. It was a fun week with them. Unfortunately it rained Sat - Wed a.m. We made the most of it and had fun. I took a grand total of 0 pictures so, yeah.

I've been caught in a whirlwind of work and housework, etc. Since I got back. I feel like I'm still catching up - I guess that's why people clean their house before they go on vacation. 

I am hoping to get the house completely organized and clean this weekend so that I can move on with my time. We've been cooking at home a lot this week, too. I'll share some recipes tomorrow. 

What have you been up to?

Sunday's Song: Hurricane by Natalie Grant

"He'll find you in a hurricane."

Merry Mary Monday - 6.24.13

When I was a little girl I love the story of The Princess and the Pea. You know the one. Its about a princess who was caught in a rainstorm and seeks shelter in another kingdom's castle. When she tells them that she is a princess, the queen decides to find out and puts a pea under a bunch of mattresses. Well the princess tosses and turns the whole night and her complaining reveals that she truly is a princess. (Find out more)

Well this weekend I looked over and saw this: 

That's "Princess Mary" on her folded over blanket on top of a pillow on top of the couch. Nobody's spoiled here. Nobody at all. 
I woke her up with my picture taking.

And just one more to prove my point:

I would hide a pea in her bed, but this princess would just eat it.

Sunday's Songs - 6.23.13

I've had several songs in my head lately, but this one, as it normally does has stuck with me the most. This song is about Mary who used oil to annoint Jesus and was critizized by Judas for using oil taht would have cost a years wages. Jesus rebuked Judas because he knew that this was Mary's way of showing her love for Him.

This song uses that story and puts a new twist on it. Its true - "You weren't there when He found me. You didn't feel what I felt when He put his loving arms around me. You don't know the cost of the oil (my praise)."

I hope this song will encourage you this week. He loves you and wants to save you.

Saturday Sweet Things - 6.22.13

So I really like these posts, whether you do or not, so I'm keeping them. I think you like them though. Do you guys think I should keep the name or find something else? Perhaps, Saturday Sweet Links? E Reads? You tell me!

When I was in youth group, back in the day, I was in love with band Plus One. Well, last week after I published my first one of these posts, I was working on this weeks Sunday's Songs and went down a rabbit trail that led to Plus One. I then thought to myself, "Self, I wonder what happened to those guys?" So I Googled it and found the answer. In a random addition to this story, I am pretty sure that I once talked to Jason Perry (swoon) at an event at my college. It was a high school soccer tournament and he was there to see a kids friend play. I was running the ticket booth and he didn't have cash, it was kind of awkward, but he was super nice. I just wish I had recognized him before he walked away.

I completely left this off last week, but its a …

Happy Father's Day

I am blessed to have two wonderful men in my life that I celebrate on Father's Day.

My dad is an incredible man. I love him so much and can't say enough great things about him. He is one of the greatest people in the world. He is kind, a good listener, and my friend.

Pop Rock's dad is another of the greatest people in the world. He is kind and loving and is the best Father-in-law in the world. For real, I will win that debate, don't even try to argue.

I hope you have a great day celebrating the Father's in the world.

Saturday Sweet Things

So I want to try this out as a new "feature" on this-here-blog-thingymajig. Let me know if you like it or not in the comments. Basically this is just going to be a round-up of things I've found on the internet that have proved to be interesting. 

This is a great post from Jenny Simmons (lead singer of Addison Road) that encouraged me greatly this week. She always posts great stuff, though I don't always read it.

If you are a history buff (like me!) or a Phillipa Gregory fan (also like me!) then you will find this article really interesting. You might also like it if you like Dan Brown or that movie with Nicolas Cage about the Declaration of Independence or something (didn't watch it, yet).

I read a lot of blogs and while I find most interesting or entertaining, not many actually cause me to do something that improves my life. Rachel Anne's does. Join up as a Company Girl and take part in the Small Things monthly challenge. Your life will better and your house wi…


Its Friday and apparently everybody around here is gone this weekend. Many are probably at Bonnaroo, haha. By around here, I mean the whole city of Nashville, not my house. Everybody is still at my house. 

The fireflies are out and it makes taking Mary out at night so much more pleasant. It is like being a part of a fairyland each evening. I heard that the light exhibit at Cheekwood is supposed to be that way as well so I definitely want to check it out. 

I don't have any big plans for this weekend, except celebrating Father's Day with Pop Rocks folks this weekend. It will be fun as it always is when we are with them. 

What are you up to?

Being a Christian When Things go Wrong

Recently our pastor was diagnosed with a very rare and often deadly form of cancer. I learned about it on the news (ours is a rather large church) while on the couch recovering from surgery. The news was heartbreaking. 
See, we recently started attending this church and have really thrived from Pastor David's preaching. When things go wrong in a Christian's life, everyone seems to stop and stare. We didn't attend church the following Sunday for obvious reasons, but we did eventually listen to his sermon on the internet. It was everything you hope to hear from someone. 
Give it a listen, its about an hour long. Maybe you can put it on while you're working on something else. It will change your life. It really will.

Merry Mary Monday - 6.10.13

I snapped a few really cute pictures of Mary this weekend.

She was being pouty, so I moved her bed onto the couch so that I could hang out with her.

Have a Merry Monday!

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

As I had hoped to do, I finished Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade over the weekend. I enjoyed this book so much! It was a fun read and is perfect for the beach or the pool this summer. Its a great story that isn't too heavy, but not too flippant either.

The story is about Meg Cole, heiress to the Cole Oil Company fortune. Her first order of business following the death of her father is to cull the staff of people he employed. Specifically those who work in areas that don't fit her interests. One of her father's favorite hobbies was his thoroughbred horse stable. She attempts to fire Bo Porter, ranch manager, but has a hard time following through. What follows is an interesting story that I think many women can relate too.

Meg must learn a lot about herself and how to deal with her insecurities along with her anxiety issues. It's a good look at what many of us deal with on a daily basis. The tactics she uses in the book are good strategies that I can use in my life also. H…

Friday, Friday, Friday

No other day holds as much excitement for me as Friday! I love it. When I wake up Friday morning they day always feels like something great is about to happen. It doesn't always, but I love to stay up late and Friday is the only night of the week that I can pull it off. Tonight, I have a book to finish (look for a review next week) and I am so eager to get home and dive in to it. 

I will probably do some cleaning around the house as well. What day of the week do you most look forward too?

My Pony Has a Tail

In this month's issue of Real Simple there are some tips to get out of a hairstyle rut. I am in a hairstyle rut, so I sunk right into the article. Most of the women in it, like me, typically just pull their hair back. Most had good reasons for it. One because she was an artist. My reason - I cannot stand having my hair in my face. It drives. me. crazy. So at some point, my hair will be up. Usually in a ponytail, often in a knot. I like the way my hair looks in a knot. Its curly so it looks fixed, in my doesn't-really-care-how-it-looks-only-how-it-feels opinion.

So today I tried to use one of the hairstyles from the magazine. It said to make a deep part and then clip back half of your hair with a pretty barrette. I got out a barrette and parted my hair. Then I used the barrette on half of my hair. It looked absolutely awful. So my hair is in a deep parted ponytail. 

I was going to share a list of 305 different ponytails that I pinned this week, but it doesn't actually exist. …

Merry Mary Monday - 6.3.13

Its been over a month since there was a a Merry Mary Monday post... so just a quick hello and a cute picture!

Happy Monday!

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The Art of the Surprise

I recently surprised my Mom on Mother's Day. It was so much fun! I live several hundred miles from my mom and I haven't been with her for Mother's Day in the last six years, so it was a great big surprise. 

Normally, I wouldn't have planned it as a surprise. I just wasn't sure if I was actually going to be able to keep the plans until the last minute. When I walked into the house close to 1:00 am and woke her up, she was so excited. 

Originally she thought that neither of her kids were coming for Mother's Day and was planning on going out of town. My brother and his wife decided to come down too and the cover worked. 

My mom and I spent all day on Saturday talking, even as we went shopping. On Sunday, we went to church and then my dad and brother manned the grill and cooked up some delicious steaks! I took the following Monday off of work so I was able to stay the entire day on Sunday. 

I made the trip with a great friend and that made it so wonderful! The trip is …

Sunday's Songs: Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

The song I want to share with you today is one that has been pounding through my mind a lot lately. I hear it most days at least once, usually more on the radio and I'm so glad. It get stuck in my head and honestly I need it there. I need it to resonate in my thoughts and in the way I live my life. Without futher ado, here is Big Daddy Weave and "Redeemed."

Mother's Day 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

As you are reading this I am (hopefully) hanging out with my mom! I surprised her for Mother's Day because I had a friend who needed to go to my hometown as well this week. This is the first time I've spent the day with my mom since 2007. I am very excited. 

My mom loves the song "I Hope you Dance" by Leann Womack. She always told me it was her song for me, so I want to share it with you today!

I hope that you are spending time with your mom, or at least don't forget to call her!


Its funny but lately I've felt very strongly that I'm so not qualified to give an opinion about anything spiritual. I'm not an expert by any means, but I know Jesus. He is my Savior. All I want is for others to see that in me. 

Its a scary thing to speak truth as a Christian. What I mean is this: when I say that its wrong to lie and then I lie, I feel like people see me as a hypocrite. The real issue isn't me purposely being a hypocrite, its that I'm a sinner.

Thats why I try to keep things encouraging around here. Its also why lately I've been quiet on my usual Word for Wednesday posts. I just haven't been able to find words to express these things. 

I love sharing encouraging music here. Mostly because music is what gets me going. Its what makes me excited and I'm always eager to share it. Thats why I do the Sunday's Songs posts. I hope that they are as encouraging to you as they are to me. 

So anyway I have another song that I want to share with you …

The House on Moody Avenue by Celestine Hannemann