Friday, September 28, 2018

Uncle Kenny....

I always have bragged about how much I love my Vincent family.

When I married into this gang, they have always been the best.  They are funny, kind, caring - just people you can be comfortable around no matter what.

And this kind of personality isn't just with my in-laws.... it's the whole Vincent gang.

When I met Ricky & dated him & met his family, it was more than just his mother & siblings. I also got introduced to his uncle & aunt & cousins.  They didnt let me down either in knowing that I was now an official Vincent & one of them.

So it's just hurt my heart so badly this week when one of our cherished family members passed away this week.

Uncle Kenny.

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I never knew him by just plain Kenny... nope - who is that?  It's always been "Uncle" Kenny.

He is Ricky's dad's brother.
I never had the opportunity to meet Ricky's dad, so I felt an even more special love for Ricky's Uncle who just showed me a glimpse of what my father in laws life was like.

Plus, the older Ricky has gotten through the years, I just see so much of Uncle Kenny in Ricky. Not just in looks, but in personality. I told Uncle Kenny that a few months back & I think he got a kick out of his nephew favoring him.

Ricky just always adored his uncle.  I've only heard Ricky reference his uncle with nothing but words of praise & love.  That was passed down to me as well - & it goes to all of Uncle Kenny's family - his wife Linda & his children, Paula & Jason... & has trickled down even more to their spouses & their children.  The family just grew & every one of them, precious.

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It's been quite something to hear Ricky talk the past few days of his memories of his Uncle Kenny growing up. From trips to the country where he & Ricky's father grew up - & hearing of how his Uncle helped him after his accident when he was younger - to just the admiration & love Ricky carries for his uncle through the years.

A piece of Ricky is just broken.  We all feel a piece of brokenness in this.  His immediate family?  I know its more than just brokenness... I sadly & so unfortunately know how this goes & feels. "Broken" can't even contain the emotions.  How do you describe when your world gets turned upside down?  .....Shattered?  Devastated?  Fractured?  Wrecked?

... but I also know the family has the Joy of the Lord in them... & the Hope of Heaven.  Which is soothing to the soul, especially in times like this.

We are so grateful that Paula, Uncle Kenny's daughter, had a family Christmas get together this past year & Ricky has talked about that since December.  He sat down with his Uncle Kenny & talked & talked & talked.... over 2 hours of hogging his uncle's time from anyone else :) & if anyone knows Ricky, you know he's not much of a talker - so that says something about the love Ricky has for this man to just sit with him & enjoying every minute of ingesting being with his uncle.  But Ricky has gone over the conversations so much this week.  Words said of caring.  Words of advice.  Words of a wiser man who has been down roads & wanted to impart his knowledge to his nephew.  I'm grateful Ricky had that time with him as well...

Please pray for Uncle Kenny's family.  It's hard. No matter if you are expecting death to come or not.  You never want to say good bye.

& you can know your loved one is celebrating in Heaven with their family & hugging Jesus - but our selfish side wants them to be with us to have one more conversation & one more kiss on the cheek.

We love you Aunt Linda, Paula & Tony, Jason & Jen ... & all those kiddos who have been so blessed to have an amazing PeePaw in their lives....

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So 2018, you have taken my dad, my Uncle Timmie & now our Uncle Kenny.... but you sure are building up an incredible welcome in Heaven of strong & amazing men who I know will be some of the first to greet Ricky & I when we arrive to our final destination.

This world is not our home... & we are not home yet....

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Eat up little guy, unexpected money out the window & tame brows!!! {Thankful Thrusday #189}

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This week I am Thankful for:

Bruno eating good
Our poor little guy just struggles so much with eating. He has these growths on his gums that are basically bigger than teeth - so it makes chewing really hard for him.  & soft food gets clumped up in his throat & chokes him - so its a sticky game every night watching him eat.  He takes his food & digs his head in & opens his mouth & tilts his head back, like swallowing a pill!  Smart boy.  I've been crumbling up some treats in his food lately - which isn't great for his skin, but at this point, I dont care.  Let him be happy with his food.

Hair day
Always love getting the roots touched up & even bigger for me, getting the brows tamed down. I cant see anything close up so I struggle with keeping my brows from looking like a wild jungle.  I know leaving the hair dresser, I'm good for a week or two anyways.

Yarn sale
This was an unexpected surprise - one that I took full advantage of.

Helpful parents
I love all the parents who help getting these kids to & from our HSM home group. It's not close for many of them (especially me - ugh) so for parents who go totally out of their way to get their children there & then get them back home - it's a lot of work.  I give kuddos to these parents.

Sweet text
I got this text after the HSM Home group & it just truly made my day!!!!

Survived panic attack
Oh man - waking up in the middle of the night in a panic attack is not fun. At all. But I am glad I was able to get through it  -with help from Netflix & puppy snuggles.

HSM chats
I love that our HSM girls are so open in talking about things going on in their lives - the  conversations where they say, "Can I talk to you about something" & then all the heart felt stuff comes out. I'm so glad the girls know we're there for them.

What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

My first dream of my daddy.....

Everyone always talks about if you have a dream of your loved one after they pass away.

I had one dream of dad when he first passed away. It really was an amazing & incredible dream. It was mainly a dream of him bowing before a presence with a lot of glowing light & all I could see was my dad on his knees from behind. I really didnt SEE my dad. Not his face, not his features.  But I did wake up with an instant feeling of need to tell my brother about it so he could draw it out - he's the artist of the family.  It was just a beautiful vision of what Heaven looked like for a cowboy. I even woke up with the impression on my heart to have my brother draw what I saw & called it "Cowboy's Heaven"...

But recently, I had the first real dream of my dad.....

It was a little far out there - as most dreams are... but it felt so real... as dreams can do.

In the dream, I was at mom's house & we just got home from going to the store. We were carrying bags in & all of a sudden, the door opened, & my dad walked in.

To say we were freaked out is putting it mildly.  My mom & I just stood there with our jaws dropped & no sound able to come out of our mouth.

Dad just laughed & said how hard it has been for him to get home to us. That he has been trying so hard but kept running into problem after problem.

For some reason, the fun of dreams, dad said he was stuck in Alaska without a way to get home.

Alaska???... what in the world! I have no idea where that came from.

But he kept saying, "Alm, you have my phone so I couldnt call anyone" (which mom does now have my dad's phone) & he said he didnt know anyone's number by heart (which honestly, I'd probably be the same way if my phone went missing)....

In my dream, I snuck off & called my brother & told him to get over.... & while waiting for him, we were telling dad we thought he was dead - & we had a funeral - & we buried SOMEONE.

Dad just kept telling us it wasn't him & he didnt know who we buried - & he was laughing his own laugh that just is my dad.  Hearing that sound in my dream ... I cant tell you what it was like.  I miss my dad's laugh so much.  I have heard so many times over the years, I can imitate it pretty darn well & Ricky even says all the time, "Do your dad's laugh" & then follows up with, "Yep - that's it exactly"....

But we were telling him about the funeral & about all the cowboy things we had & how we had his horse there & dad loved every thing we told him.... but just kept telling us that he was right there - he didnt know who we had the funeral for.

Then my brother showed up & he was like us - freaked out - & so freaked out, he refused to come into the same room my dad was in because he couldnt believe it was him.

& right as I was waking up, I was standing in between both rooms telling dad to come see Tony & Tony to come see dad ....

& then the dream was over....

I just cried as soon as my eyes opened laying there  in bed.
I didnt want it to end.
I wanted to still spend time with my dad.

In my dream, I saw dad's face.... I heard his laugh... I saw his limp walk with those hips of his.... I could almost swear I smelled him with the familiar smell of hay & horse on him.
... I didnt want it to end.

I have thought of that dream over & over again... & I just cry every time ... because the reality is just a nightmare....

How has it only been 4.5 months... but feel like a lifetime since I've talked to my daddy?

As hard as it is to wake up from these dreams.... I hope I still have them. Just for the ability to hold the memory near of that laugh ... that voice... feeling near to him.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The weekend that was all about Fall coming in....

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Did Fall come visit everyone this weekend?

It sure showed its face to us!  It was in the 90's all week long last week - & then Friday, the rains came & then Saturday - BRRRRR!!!!! & the gloom & rain just stuck with us all weekend, causing that cold CHILL in the air. Yep - Fall came right on time.

Friday kicked off with Ricky & I meeting up for an early dinner on our way home from work.  We both were stuck in traffic & neither one of us had lunch because of busy days so we were starving - so we just decided to get out of traffic & head down to Penn Station & get some grub.

I'm glad we actually stopped because that's when the storms came through - it was CRAZY raining.  Like you could see the rains moving across the ground & the winds were howling & the electric was blinking.  We were stuck in a building where we had fries & an ever abundant refill of lemonade - we were good.

After finally making it home, we were all just glad it was the weekend. Dogs included. They totally know when its the weekend. & they love it as much as we do.

I snuggled in & tried to watch the new show on Netflix that I keep seeing everywhere - Maniac.

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I love me some Emma Stone so was excited about it.... but yeahhhhhhhh... no.

I just couldnt get into it. I was so lost - so confused - & then I just didn't care. I gave it 2 full episodes & about 3/4 of the way into the 3rd episode, I just felt like watching a show shouldnt be this much work or feel like this much torture - so I gave it up.  Sorry not sorry.  I kept seeing online where people were saying it was so amazing they loved it.  Good for you if you are one of those people. I'm a simple minded gal & does this reflect on my mental genius or anything? Who know - & better yet, Who cares!

I ended up turning it off & turning on New Girl.... started back from the beginning... & man, this is my speed. I forgot how funny this show is.  I stopped watching it when the show got moved to Hulu? Something happened to it - so I havent seen all of it-  but I have loved started back at the beginning.  I love Jess.

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Saturday, I got up with intentions to go to Home Depot with the hubs to get some lumber, but the rain came in & he didnt want to get the wood wet so I ended up just cleaning my kitchen & doing some laundry - the usual Saturday stuff.

I took some time to do another Bible Journaling page from our scripture we talked about on Wednesday with our HSM group....

& then I did the good wife thing & made Ricky some brownies with cookies on top.  He loves his brownies.  I'm just not that much of a brownie person.  Weird. I love chocolate - but I dont care for brownies or chocolate cake.   Give me chocolate candy or chocolate icing - anything oozy & gooey with chocolate - or something that melt in my mouth.  Cake? Nope  But he wanted brownies & gooey for me was the bowl to lick. Win Win for both of us.

I took my momma out to the Dollar Store to pick up some cat food & drinks. We were going to drive up to Wal-mart for a different outing but it was just so yucky with the cold rain. We just stayed close to home instead.

I ended up finishing up my book Beartown with the cold, rainy weather... & wow.... how did I wait so long to get to this book? So good.

You can see the chocolate on my shirt from where I made the brownies - haha

& then before I know it, Saturday is gone.  & I pulled up Netflix to finally start into Season 2 of Anne with an E.  I love that show so much & have delayed watching Season 2 because I dont want it to be over & have to wait another year for the next season.  But I couldnt take it any longer. Finally diving in.

Sunday - what a messed up day. 

I just couldnt sleep. I dont know if I was having panic attacks or what - I woke up around 2am & felt like I couldnt breath. It was terrifying.  I got up & walked around, got some water - couldnt lay back down... it was awful.  So I did what I knew to do best - turned on Netflix to make myself laugh & watch more New Girl.  It worked.  It relaxed me & I dozed back off around 4:00am... & woke up again at 6:00am & fell back asleep around 6:30am & then finally got up at 8:30 so I could get ready for church.

Needless to say, my day was messed up. I just felt so BLAH with the on-off-on-off sleep. Plus, it was still gloomy & rainy & I always say I am solar powered so my energy level was zapped. & naps make me feel funny - so when I took 2 small naps after I got home from church?..... I just felt horrible all day long.

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This is an accurate picture of me all day on Sunday

The rest of Sunday was about getting my nails shaped up - getting some things laid out for the week - some reading - some handlettering - some loving on my dogs, especially my little 18 year old blind guy...

& here we are... back to Monday!

So did Fall come visit you this weekend?

Have you tried watching Maniac?

What are you watching on Netflix lately?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sore shoulders, PA REPRESENT & nothing but big lap dogs..... {Thankful Thursday #188}

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This week I am Thankful For:

Massage at work
Yes indeedy... a massage... at work.... for free.
Have I mentioned how amazing my work is???
They offered these for the employees for a free 15 minute massage. & let me tell you - my masseuse was ALL about getting the stress out of my shoulders.  I ended up walking back to my office feeling like jello & loopy headed. & do you know I woke up the next morning & felt like I was in a fight. I couldnt for the life of me think why I was so sore. Did I sleep wrong? Did a dog lay across my neck at night? ... & then it hit me when I felt the pain go across all my upper back - OH YEAH - my massage.  It was really nice though. Makes me want to go get more of them. But so grateful for a free one!!!

Handled horses on my own
My brother & Ricky take different days to do dad's horse & one of the days that was Ricky's, he went out of town to hear his girl give a presentation at her old alma mater.  So I took the responsibilities of taking on the horse chores all on my own.  & it went really well actually. Proud of myself.  I always wanted to be able to know how to do it on my own in case something like this happened - & now I feel more confident if something should happy to both Tony & Ricky on the same night.  & I have to say, there really is nothing like a big horse that just stands on your shoulders & just wants attention. It's like a big dog really.  Who pees & poops a LOT more than a little bow-wow.

Julie's award
So going off of why Ricky couldnt do the horses - he went down to EKU to hear Julie give her presentation.  I was so glad that her husband recorded it so I could hear it all & see what an incredible job she did (not surprised at all).  Ricky just has talked about it & talked about & just so proud of her.  She's worked hard & deserves every credential & pat on the back & all the attention her work has discovered.  So thankful for her dedication to what she does.... even if I do cringe & give her grief over lab animals. I get it serves a purpose that can change lives.

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HERE is the link to her presentation she gave.... it's so interesting to hear her story - even if you just listen to the first part of it, it's so cool to hear Julie talk about her life & how it influences her to go into the field of science.

Sweet treat
How precious is this?  A old high school friend sent this bunch of candy in the mail  to me. What a total surprise! & what a yummy bunch of caramel.  It's like something you'd find in a candy store on a ocean front pier.  Delicious. & just so grateful for the sweet gesture.  I honestly can't say enough how blessed I am to have the sweetest & kindest heart people in my life.  Thank you Shannon!!!!

Speaking of sweet & kind friends.... I was super blessed with ANOTHER Starbucks mug - from PA. Which I am loving that this is making me look up where states are & to really look at the mugs & see what some things represent.  This just made me laugh seeing the YOUZE... which made me think that would be on New Jersey's mug actually. But I never realized how close PA was to Kentucky and Indiana. Not as far as I first thought.  These Starbucks mugs are giving me all sorts of geography lessons!!!  Thank you so much Stacy for the mug & always your sweet support of Thankful Thursday & all my blog posts.  You are just such a dear soul that I am so grateful for!!! ... stop over & visit Stacy & give her some encouragement. She just started a new job that is so inspiring in what she's doing!!!!

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Coffee Shop
They have the road blocked down a lane on the way home so it takes me nearly an hour to get home every night.  So when I have HSM home groups, its sort of ridiculous for me to sit in an hour of traffic to get home & LITERALLY turn around & drive another 35 minutes in the opposite direction to get to the host home. So I've just been sticking around the area after work until group time.  & I'm so thankful there's a cute little coffee shop that has some yummy drinks & a relaxing atmosphere to sit & read... & have a cake pop... until its time to meet up with our gang.

HSM Home group
Speaking of which.... we had nearly double the girls at our group this week!!!!  They were so full of some fantastic questions. & I love it even more when they were trying to answer the questions amongst themselves.  Tapping into some great thoughts.  These girls are incredible y'all - just incredible.

I love my library. Simple enough.

Lunch with Ricky
Saturday, after we spent over 2 hours in the bank with our investor, Ricky &I went out for a lunch date. We haven't been out to a restaurant in forever to have lunch or dinner. So it was super nice to enjoy that time with him.

Chinese... give me ALL the cashews please!!!

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, September 17, 2018

The weekend by the numbers

I havent done this in awhile.... I'm all about numbers so it was fun to track some things...
So here's some fun numbers of my weekend

* 3 pieces of veggie pizza for dinner on Friday.  Pizza Hut thin crust pizza is the best.

* 12 bags carried in to mom's house from our trip to the Dollar Store. Did you know you could buy 12 bags worth of stuff there? You totally can.

* 2 friends I saw at the same Dollar Store. I always tend to run into someone I know every time I go there.  Granted, it IS the only little place in town to get anything without having to drive 20 miles so it's  the local go-to stop.

* 3 Starbucks iced coffees

*32 times I had to tell at Ernie "Leave BRUNO ALONE!!!!"

* 158 - the number of pages I read in my latest book.

* 93 degrees on Saturday. What happened to fall coming in?  I'm tired of the 90 degree temps & especially tired of the humidity!

* 128 minutes spent on Saturday morning with our bank investor.  I just had one quick thing to do with him but Ricky & him get to talking & it's like Ricky's love language.  Dividends, bonds, CD's, IRA;s - these are all words that Ricky gets excited about. Me?  I'm sitting with glazed eyes - but thankful my husband knows what he's talking about.

* 35 minutes spent Bible Journaling.  Love looking back over scripture & re-reading it & seeing what stands out to me. This is one we talked about Wednesday with the youth girls in our home bible study.  I had me some Christian music cranking & love pulling out my color pencils & playing in my Bible.

* 999 - the price of new cell phones.  Ricky wanted to go get new phones this weekend but he was getting run arounds from  different cell phone companies on plans.  I honestly just sat in Starbucks & told him to come find me after he decided.... which a half hour later, he came in & said, "I just cant handle this today" haha - cell phone plans shouldnt be this complicated.  Onto another day of figuring it out. 

* 19 white tee shirts folded.  & this isnt even all of Ricky's white tees. & you can imagine how many colored tees he has. Dude goes through the clothes in a week. & this looks like 18, but I had one white tee that was mine so that's not in the pic.

* 2718 - the number of stitches knitted to finish up my latest knit hat. I honestly know this is legit because math - & row counting.

* 11 girls in our small group in HSM on Sunday.

* 5 times I nearly choked in tears on the message given to the kids.  I get touched & moved every week myself in these incredible words that are preached to the kids.  Powerful stuff!!!

* 12 - the number of times I said, 'WHAT IS GOING ON? in the last 2 episodes of Castle Rock.  I honestly am so lost.... anyone else watch it & know how those last 2 episodes ended the season?  I gotta search on Google for some answers because when it went off, my face was contorted in the most confused expression that could exist.

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I'm totally checking out these articles .... I am SO CONFUSED!
So how was your weekend?

Did you get hit by the rains of the latest hurricane/tropical storm?

Give me a number from your weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

My N States, rainy days & kick off to home group! {Thankful Thursday #187}

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This week I am Thankful For:

Day off work
So glad for Labor Day weekend. I needed the time off after all the weekend work that had been happening!

Female specialist
It's not been the most fun to have a male surgeon with the colorectal issues. So I'm really glad I found a female surgeon who specializes in such things.  It's an area that you dont find a lot of specialist anyways, so I'm really glad I was able to get in with this doctor.

HSM Home Group kickoff
So for the month of September, we're having Home Groups on Wednesdays where we get to dig a little deeper in the Bible.  We werent sure how it was going to turn out & I was thrilled that for our first night, we had a decent size. With sports practice, homework, band, just all the busy life kids live, I wasnt sure what to expect.  In total, I think there were like 17 kids.  Good stuff for the first night.

This is just for the 9th graders
Every 'class" has their own home to meet in - isn't that cool!

WHOOOO nelly.  Perimenopause cramps are nothing to joke about. I feel like I'm back in high school with the cramping.  I honestly think I took 10 Advil by 10am .  I literally couldnt function without the Advil.

Two new mugs
I honestly am just in awe every time I see a package at my front door. Y'all ARE THE BEST! I'm not even joking one bit.  I am truly blessed.  Thank you so much Dana & Jenna for my N mugs ;)
Dana is my fellow yarn lover & blogger & I love her & her husband love taking pictures of nature & everything around them.  Check her out & especially be in awe of how she keeps up with Project 365! I'm so jealous!... & venture over to Instagram & meet Jenna. I love that not only do I meet new & incredible people on blogs, but now, also on Instagram.  Connections everywhere!!! & I love every single one of them!

Dana - hope you are out of the storms path coming your way in North Carolina!!!!

Harvey felt better
Our poor boy didnt eat one night & just acted really funny.  It worried me to death. & was so happy to see him starving & wanting food & treats the next day & back to playing & back to himself.

Rainy cool day
Perfect for reading outside - & boy did I ever. I devoured a book & enjoyed the fresh smell of rain all weekend long.

Someone else enjoyed the lazy rainy day with me

Dog had tags
SOOO thankful the dog that wandered to our home had tags on so we could safely get him home!

Wasn't he a polite fella asking for a treat?

HSM prayers
I love when we have an opportunity to pray over our kiddos in HSM & after a POWERFUL message about the Prodigal Son, we had just that moment.  I love that the girls came up to us & wanted prayer over them & things going on in their life.  I'll never tire of lifting their needs & hearts up to our Heavenly Father. What a privilege!

What are you THANKFUL for this week?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Show me your books - September 2018

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So I hit my goal this month of 40 books in 2018! 
I'm totally going to crush that goal this year... which makes me happy because I was like 2 or 3 short last year of my goal of 40.  
Now its making me want to pick up my goal next year to a minimum of 50. We'll see.
But my book spree has continued with the help of the library & Hoopla... 

Be sure to click the pic at the bottom if you want to see what everyone else in blogsphere is reading & get some new reading ideas.

Church of the Small Things
***** / It was Amazing!

Quick Summary: Just little stories of Melanie's life that sum up with insightful life lessons as take aways.

I really enjoyed Melanie's other books she has written & snagged this one up when it was on sale on Amazon on Kindle for $1.99.  Now that I've read it, I'd have bought it at full price. It's just delightful.  A fun easy read that left me with all sorts of emotions.

I'd laugh when she'd talk about roller skating & Xanadu - & had my heart tugged when she talked about her dogs through her life & cried when she talked about her best friend's battle with cancer & I especially lost it when she talked about her relationship with her father.

This is a really sweet book that is fast to read & another one of the books I'd love to give out to girlfriends for gifts.

Read if you enjoyed her other books or you love just a good read from someone who feels like a girlfriend - nothing with a true story line or novel but just a laid back easy read - or read if you love her blog or love supporting other bloggers.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

34189556The Wife Between Us
***1/2 / (really)  Liked It 

Quick Summary: A woman is divorced from her husband & is concerned for his new wife

Man, its hard to do a "quick summary" without giving anything away on this one.

I have heard a lot of people talk about twists & turns & surprises in this book & I have to say, I enjoyed the little GASP worthy moments.

You really have to stay aware in this book because there is a lot of time jumping in this one, but its not really complicated.

& I have to say, the reason I didn't totally love this, I think I was expecting a little bit more 'crazy' with the husband character because I've read some MESSED UP husbands (Behind Closed Doors comes to mind) & in the end, I actually felt sorry for him.  Not that that excuses his behavior, but I just wasn't like "he's the worst ever" to make a woman mess up her own life after a divorce to do what she did.  Is she going to make it her life mission now to make sure he never marries again?

I do always love a book I can't put down & cant wait to read the next chapter though & this book totally did that for me.

Read if you like suspense & surprises.  Or if you enjoyed Gone Girl & that kind of mystery.  Steer clear if abusive situations bother you.

I was happy, I think, but I wonder now if my memory is playing tricks on me. If it is giving me the gift of an illusion.  We all layer them over our remembrances; the filters through which we want to see our lives.

35542451Girl, Wash Your Face
***/3 Stars - Liked It

Quick Summary:  Chapter dedicated to the lies that are told to us or we believe as women & how we can overcome them.

So this is where audiobooks can make or break a book for me - I did this one in audio & it was read by Rachel herself & it just sort of came off as whiny or bragging & I just didnt 'feel it' when I hear a younger person sort of 'preaching' how good life can be when she's already married the man of her dreams & built a company up all by herself or ran all the marathons she has & how she lives a healthy lifestyle.  The audio part of it just rubbed me the wrong way.

I do think if I read it myself, in my own inflections & tone, it would have been a 4 or possibly 5 star rating.  Because I do think she has some valid points - & also, some not so valid points.  A lot of simple, no brainer points that, again, just irked me.  A lot of "write down your goals" - "Envision it" ala Vision board style ... one of the ones that irked me the most was when she says, "Burn more calories than you eat & you'll loose weight".... ummm... tell that to my menopause 46 year old body that is ever expanding with hormones.  Things like that just bothered me.

But I did laugh at points. I did find some motivation & inspiration in other areas.  So I did enjoy it.  I do think I would like to try & read it with my own eyes instead of listening to it to see if I come away with a different view.

This does seem to be the woman-motivational book everyone is talking about this summer so I'm probably not in the popular opinion on this one - but at least I didnt totally hate it.

Read if you enjoy some girl power motivation & if you like some simple reminders on how to look at life in a more positive way.

Your dream is worth fighting for, & while you're not in control of what life throws at you, you are in control of the fight.

23848559Furiously Happy
*** / 3 Stars - Liked It

Quick Summary: Another bunch of stories & insight on life from Jenny Lawson - a blogger who shares honestly about her fight with mental illness, but ends up finding humorous ways to share her stories.

If you enjoy The Bloggess then you already know Jenny Lawson & her style of writing.

She's real, raw & REALLLY honest & REALLLLY funny too.

So I enjoy her books for that side of it - the honesty & humor.

But sometimes, some chapters, they are just a little bit too much for me.  They may drag on a little - or seem a little too "out there" for me & some just come across as rambling or too far off the rabbit trail.

But then the next chapter will have me laughing my head off & saying "YES - That's me!"

In the end, for me, its a mix that's worth the read of her books - & blog - because I'll always appreciate someone who isn't faking it for the sake of looking a certain way - Realness is special & I'm glad she opens up her world & her thoughts to us.

Read if you like Jenny's blog or if you appreciate humor, with a side of crude & if depression and mental illness is something you are struggling with & need to see that you can make it through.

I'm having one of those rare days where I love people & all of the amazing wonders they're capable of & if someone F's that up for me, I will stab them right in the face

35297426Then She Was Gone
***(1/2) / Liked it a lot

Quick Summary: A young girl is missing & we see her story played out & what happened to her  through her abductors eyes & see how the after effects of that touches her mother's life.

This was really chilling to me & one of those books that makes you a little sick to your stomach & will stick with me for awhile.

I enjoyed that this story is told from different POV during different times of the years that Ellie is missing & in the end, we get the full story.

I did leave the book feeling a little frustrated about one of the characters &  feeling like he didnt get the ending I would have given him -  but I do appreciate that the original story had closure all around.

I really did enjoy this author & it was the first time I had read anything from her so I may have to check more from her out.

Read if you love a good suspense story or a mystery. Reminds me of The Lovely Bones - but better. TRIGGER: sexual abuse, child abuse, abduction.

If she could rewind the timeline, untwist it & roll it back the other way like a ball of wool, she'd see the knots in the yarn, the warning signs. Looking at it backward, it was obvious all along.

36681184Still Lives

Quick Summary:  An artist opens up her latest big show in a museum gallery & she didnt make it to her event & the mystery is on to see what's happened to her.

... & I dont even CARE what happened to her.

OH MY GOSH. This book - it was so boring & just so strangely written.   It would be in one paragraph & then the next pharagraph, it was like a whole different situation or setting & no sense of change.  Just WEIRD!

I had gotten through 47% of the book & I still felt like I was forcing myself to read it & I was just so frustrated & aggravated after each chapter so I just said, I GIVE UP!

I just couldnt get into it - the characters, the story - all of it was just on my nerves. Maybe it was just me & my head wasn't in the game in this one - but yeah, not for me.

Sorry Reese! (It was Reese Witherspoon's pick of the month)

Read if ..... nah.... just dont.  If you like a mystery, check it out & tell me what happened.  & if you did read it & you enjoyed it, you can tell me what I missed.


18601926Year of No Sugar
* / 1 Star

Quick Summary: A woman tries to have her family go a year with no sugar

I'm not sure I get the point of the book. Spoiler alert - they did NOT indeed go a year of no sugar.
& what the book is telling us is basically, its IMPOSSIBLE to do. So there's that.
I did find some things interesting in the book - but most of the things I found interesting were facts she shared from other writers on the subject.

She never really mentioned anything about how it effected her family, except little snippets of her daughters journal, who basically felt tortured & hated every minute of it, but nothing about health & energy. I think she mentioned one time about the fact that they didnt loose any weight - that was the extent of her documenting their health. Oh, & that her kids missed less days at school by a few days. M'kay.

& then she COMPLETELY 100000% lost me when she talked about an anniversary trip to Tanzania where they slit a goats throat & how she wished she could go back & do it again - because then, she was a pescetarian & now, she's a carnivore - & even drinking the blood mixed with milk (A local tradition) sounds interesting to her. EXCUSE ME? She also goes on to talk about why eating meat is a good thing & even goes as far as visiting a friend's farm to watch chickens being "processed" & even slits a chicken's neck herself. Needless to say, for me - after this chapter, I really didnt even care what else she had to say. This was a book on sugar, not about a switch from vegetarian to a carnivorous life style.

In the end - I'd tell everyone to skip it. You'll not really learn anything & you'll be very sick of hearing the word "Dextrose"

Read if .... you are really bored?  Want to hear about someone's life that takes on a challenge & how they handle it?  Dont read if you want to really know about how taking out sugar for a year effects you.

“Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t seem to remember much about how you celebrate things without buying a bunch of unnecessary stuff and without consuming a bunch of unnecessary sugar.” 

*** / Liked it

Quick Summary:  A boost in reminding us we are to live BOLDLY for Christ

If you enjoy Beth Moore, then you'll enjoy this book.  She just has a way of using every adjective there is to describe things.

This book is just a good source of encouragement to remind us that we should only be caring about what our Lord thinks of us & doing everything we can to serve Him.

I actually did this one on audio & if you know Beth Moore, you know girlfriend can talk REALLLLY fast. There are some areas where it was so fast, I actually even missed what she said & have to jump back 30 seconds. I'm sure it would have taken me longer to read it with my own eyes & digest the words.  But I still got the gist of it & some of the stories & examples in the book left me sitting for a minute to inhale what I just heard.

This isn't a new thought or anything different than you've read before if you read any Christian leader books - but its always good to get a grounding under you & a lift to you soul.

Read if you like Beth Moore studies, or if you need some encouragement & new energy on serving God.

Nobody is left wanting more than the one who did only what he wanted.

So what is the best book you've read this month?

Life According to Steph

Monday, September 10, 2018

The weekend that we didnt see the sun....

Happy Monday!

Any else feel like they are floating away? Or wearing a life preserver?
I thought it was supposed to be SPRING showers... not Fall Monsoons.

I will say, all the rain & dreary - it did end up giving us a taste of Fall with the cooler temps though - which is nice. We even get a few days of the cooler temps so I guess it had its up side of pouring on us all weekend.

Plus, all the gloom & rain was a good excuse to do a lot of things I needed to do - like cleaning & laundry... & of course, that's my call to read on the porch.  I actually spent most of Friday night & most of Saturday afternoon into evening reading.

Friday night / Saturday afternoon
Glad I liked the book - devoured it.
I was reading An American Marriage.  Time to take my stack of books back to the library this week & see what else they have.

What else exciting happened this weekend....

... I finished Season 2 of Ozark. OH MY GOSH! This show is so stinkin' good!  So intense! I was shocked at some of the happenings in the last 2 episodes of the season. -WOW!!! Someone talk Ozark to me who is watching it!

... Anyone else watch the HOT MESS that was the women's US Open finals?  It's funny because Ricky wanted to go out & get some dinner & I was like, "NOPE - US Open finals is at 4 pm" - its basically the ONLY time in life when I stay home for a sports event. Tennis is my only jam.  & with this match up - no way I was going to miss it.  & I'm so glad I didn't. I felt so horrible for both the players.  Serena totally was NOT treated fairly - & I'm first to say I think she has a little bit of an attitude - but she didnt deserve the treatment the umpire was giving her.  & then I felt so bad for Naomi who totally didnt get to enjoy her first Grand Slam title.  When they were both on the podium crying at the end - it all just felt miserable.  I still can't believe they FINED Serena $17,000 after all this too.  RIDICULOUS!!!!!!

... I got another hat finished on my knitting needles & a few more rows done on my afghan.

... HSM was FANTASTIC on Sunday - the story of the Prodigal Son is always something I never tire of hearing.  & it was just a great opportunity to pray with some girls.  I just love my group so much.

... Went over how to feed the horse on my own since Ricky won't be able to do it tonight - he's going to hear his girl give a speech at her old college.  How cool is that?  She'll be talking about her/their experience in the fire they were in & how that has inspired her to discover all she has in her field of work.  I wish I could be there myself- but with work & Bruno & just not feeling the best, I just can't.  I know she's going to be amazing though - no doubts.

.Click HERE to read about her event

.. We had a stray come to our house this weekend. A HUGE DOG! I think he was a Mastiff.  Ricky was like, "WATCH OUT" & I was walking to him with my arms open, saying, "Come here baby" :) haha He was a BIG OLE BABY too. Luckily, he had a tag on & poor thing had on it 'Needs Meds" - which made us even more hurry to call & contact the owner.  The guy was so glad to hear from us & he said he ran through their front screen door & got out.... when you gotta go, you gotta go I guess. The owner was at our house in no time & Titus was excited to see his daddy.  I'll be keeping an eye out now for him since his owner said he has a way of getting loose all the time.

... I wanted to watch Miss America but for some reason, on my Direct TV Now, it kept giving an error that said that that program wasn't allowed to be played. How strange is that????? Oh well - it gave me time to watch the last episode in the Real Housewives of New York reunion.  ANOTHER Hot Mess of TV.

So what happened exciting in your weekend?

Do you watch Ozark?  Did you watch Miss America?
& what do you think of the "no swim suit" controversy?

Are you staying dry - or feeling Fall temps yet?

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