Just another day in paradise…

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Five Minute Friday: Bloom and MYSTERY HOSTESS

I’m linking up to Lisa Jo Baker’s 5 Minute Friday (on Monday).

Five Minute Friday


This week’s prompt is BLOOM. Make sure to head over to her page to check out what other people have written this week!



I watch him run in front of me. The little feet pitter pattering as he goes farther and farther away.

“I beat you mommy!”

“Yes, baby, you did. You are so much faster than me!”

And I can’t believe that he was once a 18 month old who couldn’t even walk.

Even the baby has bloomed so much! He climbs the stairs, and runs after his brothers. Faster down the hall than you could imagine! And I chase him in an effort to corral him towards his bedroom.

They still need me. I’m still their mama. But they have bloomed so much. Continue reading

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Imagine a world where troubled teens get taken to a camp where they can be put to better use. A world where there is no abortion. A world where unwanted babies get dropped off at people’s doorsteps and called “storks.”

Imagine a world where all health problems can be solved. A world without cancer, or diabetes. Without lost limbs or blindness.

Sounds good, right?

But everything has a price.

Where do the limbs come from? The organs? And what do the troubled teens do at the camp?

The answer is unwinding.

Unwinding takes a troubled kid apart piece by piece, limb by limb, and organ by organ, making each part usable in another human being. Through grafting, the teen can continue to live in a divided state, one in which he/she is now useful to the world in which he/she lives.

But what about the orphans? The ones who don’t get taken in by loving families?

What if a person is just not perfect enough?

And what if a family decides to raise a child to be “sacrificed” as a tithe or a gift to God in return for blessings?

When is it ethical to sacrifice the life of one for the benefit of others?

In this chilling dystopian series by Neal Shusterman, this is the world in which America has embraced.

A world of Harvest Camps, where “feral” teens are sent to live in a divided state. A state in which their bodies, and body parts are sent to be used by others in society.

An unwind order can be signed for any reason. Even taking the teenage by complete surprise.

But there is a resistance. A group of AWOL teenagers who have slipped underground. Some are in hiding. And others are fighting. Fighting for a change. And still others are losing their lives in the battle by becoming a terrorist, hoping that the sacrifice will lead to a new world.

Connor Lassiter is one of these AWOL teenagers. He is nicknamed the Akron AWOL because it is in Akron, Ohio where he begins his adventure as an AWOL. The story continues following Connor and the people who join him in a fight for life.

Unwind is the first novel in a series in which Shusterman takes his readers on a ride through this tumulus society.

It is a gripping series in which positives of modern medicine are looked at from a completely different angle. What would you do if this society came to be? Would you fight for the rights of the teenagers? Or would you stand by, saying nothing because of the good the divided teenagers are doing?

Unwind, Unstrung (short story), Unwholly, and Unsouled are the first three and a half books in the series. A fourth book is due out this Fall. All four books have kept me captivated from page one and all the way through the end. Although the concept disturbs me, it is also very fascinating. The characters are impossible to forget, and worked their way into my heart.

Have you read any of Neal Shusterman’s books? Which ones were your favorites?

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PS. I’m having a Grand Opening party over on Facebook for my Lilla Rose business. It is going to be open until Wednesday morning (when the party starts) to anyone.  You can add yourself to the guest list by following this link:

Hope to “see” you there!

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Run Forest Run!

Okay, so maybe that title dates me. But I don’t care. No one is more inspirational than the fictional Forest Gump, who broke his braces, and then ran his way across the country, just because he could!

(If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend you see it at least once.)

About 5 weeks ago I started a journey to improve my fitness through running (jogging). I have been following the Couch to 5K running schedule, with a few repeated days when my mom came to visit.

Honestly, I was terrified of week 4. A lot more running, and a lot less walking. Two days of the three down though, and I have accomplished it!

Not only have I accomplished it, I have increased my speed and distance. For example, I was originally running about a 21.5 minute mile. Today I ran an 18 minute mile!

I still have a long way to go. I cannot run longer than 5 minutes at a stretch…yet. But last week I would have told you that I wasn’t able to run 5 minutes straight. And I have conquered that.

Now before you ask, no, I have not lost weight. I still have a good 20-30 pounds to shed. And yes, it is my goal to lose those pounds. But I am not running for the sake of weight loss.

I’m running for my fitness. I’m running because my body is a Temple of God and I haven’t been treating it as such. I’m running because it is me time. And yes, I am hoping to eventually lose weight and keep it off for good.

If you haven’t heard of C25K and were wanting a way to ease into running, I highly recommend it. Here is a look at what the plan entails. 


Keep in mind, this is only the first 3 weeks. It goes for a total of 9 weeks.

I have tried this program before, and was never successful. The thing that I have found to be the MOST helpful for me is purchasing the app through It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an Android, you can get the app. It will tell you when to walk, when to run, and can log your progress. If you run outdoors it can even keep track of where you are running via GPS. And, if being chased by zombies is more motivating to you, there is even a zombie trainer!

You can find the link for the app and the whole program by clicking the photo of the schedule above.

Have you tried C25K?


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P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Facebook giveaway! I am picking the winner TOMORROW at NOON!

Giveaway June 2014



In honor of reaching 100 Facebook “likes” for my blog page, and to celebrate my new endeavors with Lilla Rose, I have decided to do a giveaway!

Head on over to my blog Facebook page or to my new Lilla Rose Facebook page for details on how you can win your very own Flexi clip! This is a great way to get introduced to these gorgeous clips, and to see for yourself just how durable, comfortable, and beautiful they truly are.

Giveaway June 2014


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For the days when life is too hard…

Let me be honest with you. There are days when life overwhelms me. Days when my depression takes over. Where I am angry at everything that happens in my life. At my kids, my husband, and even the TV stations. Days when I feel trapped and alone.

It happens more than I would like it to.

Lately I have been succumbing to that anger and depression. I have been wanting to curl up in my bed and just hide or sleep all day. I have been angry at my children over the littlest of things. And I have let my temper get ahold of me.

I don’t share this so that you will feel for me, or out of some kind of pity party. I share this to be transparent. To let you know that you are not alone.

There will be days when you too will be tired of your job, your family, your kids, your significant other…or simply life in general.

There will be days when it will be hard for you to get out of bed.

Days where all you want is to quit.

I’m here to tell you that it is OKAY.

Its okay to have rough patches. To not be yourself.

Its okay to struggle with the day to day and to feel overwhelmed with life.

Its okay to wish that you didn’t have so much on your plate and to want to no longer carry the burden on your shoulders.

Its okay to grieve over the life that you wished you would have, but didn’t end up with.

Its okay.

The trick is to not allow it to overcome you.

Grieve if you need to. Take time for yourself. But don’t let the struggles of today overcome the joy of tomorrow.

I share this with you after having a couple of weeks of pure struggle. Of allowing myself to be overwhelmed.

For me, I find that reading God’s Word and spending some quality time in prayer really changes my attitude and outlook in a way that nothing else does.

It doesn’t have to be a specific passage. But I find that reading stories like Job’s (in the book of Job) and Joseph’s (Genesis 37-50) are great for reminding me how minor my struggles are. Paul is another inspiration. You can read his life stories in many of the letters of the New Testament. Romans is one of my favorites.

Exercise is also amazing for lifting the spirits. Go for a walk, get a breath of fresh air if possible, and get your heart beating. Dance, run, swim, bike…whatever you like to do that gets your heart elevated. It will release all those good for you chemicals and help you to feel more yourself. Plus, its great “me time.”

Another option, is to take a nice warm bath. Soak in some oils, and epsom salt. Play some soothing music. Whatever makes you smile. And simply RELAX. That can be so difficult for us, in our society.

And finally, turn off your electronics. Get off of Facebook. Stop watching TV. Don’t mindlessly play the candy game. Find a book to read. Clean the house. Write a journal entry. Find something productive to do that is off of electronics. Something that does not tell you about the latest drama, or ask you for more money, or cause you to wish for something more. Electronics are not bad. But there are times when they can be draining.

Get outside! Enjoy the sun. Give your loved ones some hugs. And remember that today is just one of many days. This too will pass.

What is your favorite thing to do, in order to get you out of a funky mood?


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