Scenes of a farewell mini luau

There is something about the tongan culture that really brings friends and family together, and always makes me feel like I'm part of their family. It makes me miss my tongan friends in Utah, and all the big parties they would throw. I was once in a ward where there were many polynesian families, and oh boy...their parties were always fun and so crazy!

This past Wednesday we bid farewell to one of the most beautiful and sweetest missionaries that served in the South Jersey area...SISTER MOEA'I. Members of the church helped her mother in preparing a mini luau to wish her well back to Hawaii. She danced, and as always carried that beautiful, fun-loving spirit with her.
She sure danced beautifully! 
Her mother and sister joined in and as you can see...there was a lot of fun. I love how family oriented they are. 
While there was much fun and laughter there was also a spiritual moment in which both her sister and her mother gave thanks to all the members who where there to take care of their missionary. Many tears were shed and there were plenty of hugs to go around.
They are so thrilled to have their missionary returning home with honor. She will definitely be missed.

And returning home just in time for General Conference which I am looking forward to this whole weekend. I look forward to hearing the prophet, and apostles of the church guide us with direction in hopes that we will heed their words, and continue to feel inspired.

 For those of you who are interested as to what General Conference is all about, and if you've heard of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir you can go online and watch it here. I just love listening to them sing.
Aloha Sister Moea'i! God be with you until we meet again!
I LOVE YOU, and I will never forget you!

Happy Weekend everyone, and enjoy conference!

A patriarchal blessing can truly change a life.

I have to admit being a mother for the first time was no picnic. You'd think that it would be harder being a mother of four as opposed to being a mother to one. The days in my life seem pretty easy today when it comes to raising my kids. I  believe it's easier now because I have two self sufficient daughters to help me out around the house, and life with a two year old comes pretty easy.

I am older in my years, and because I've been around the block three times before I seem to have it down...well almost. I know I still have a lot to look forward to with Chelsea, and Noah, but having that five year age gap  is always a blessing!

I am a firm believer in the Lord giving us what we can handle, and He knew that 17 years ago I couldn't possibly have another kid too close in age. I have so many friends with four to six kids who are 18 months to two years apart, and I commend them for the patience they must have to have kids so close. I honestly don't think with the way my life was 17 years ago I could of had kids too close in age. I don't think I would have had the patience, or the means to give them the best love.

Moving to Utah was a bold move, but after converting to this church I wanted to start a fresh life. I still considered myself a newbie in the church when I married my better half. We had Sierra months after we were married, and at times I felt so lonely because I had no family in Utah. There was even a period in our life where we became "inactive" and hardly ever went to church. I guess you can say that I had held on to so much darkness from my past that eventually led to anger and depression, and inactivity in the church.

Receiving my patriarchal blessing is when things started falling into place. My love for my Heavenly Father grew deeper, and my understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ became much clearer to me. I count my blessings for having never ever been on any kind of medication for depression. I never knew there was such a thing as prozac until I moved to Utah! So I didn't see that as a cure for my depression. My husband did his very best to help me get through my first years as a first time mom. It didn't help not being active with the church I had just joined either. I wonder though had I gone to church more if my life as a first time mom been a lot easier for me. Would I have received more blessings, and felt more loved by my husband's family.

The sad thing about this post is that while being inactive we were in Thomas S. Monson's home ward in Holladay. I took for granted the fact that we had an apostle of the Lord attending our church! He wasn't the prophet then, but he was still a member of the first presidency. Even though we saw him three times in the five years we lived there he presented an example so strong, and I always felt loved and welcomed by him. Sad huh?
Who knows how the first five years of my life living in Utah had been had I been more active in the church. Then again I look back at those trials, and I wouldn't exchange them for anything. I am who I am today because of those experiences. It's because of those trials is why I have more patience, and more love for my entire family. I am more active today with the church than I have ever been when I first joined. I never want to go down that path again of inactivity...EVER!

I now take the principles of the gospel more seriously, and never take my children for granted. I try not to stress over the little things. I wake up, and give thanks to my Heavenly Father each day, and thank him for giving me and my family another day to live. Each day is a new day, and realize that the years get shorter as my children grow. Teaching them true principles of the Lord is crucial in our home, and hope that our example as parents will always be pleasing to our kids.

Receiving my patriarchal blessing saved my membership in the church in many ways. It is a guide that led me get to the temple, a guide that continues to help me accomplish my great calling as a mother. It is a guide that gave me a strong impression to have more children, and if I continue to live righteously-my patriarchal blessing will always be there for me as a guide to lead me to a path of eternal salvation so that we as a family may return back to our Heavenly Father and reign with Jesus Christ forever.


Arise and shine forth.

Last Saturday was the Young Women General Conference and each year just keeps getting better and better. Last year it was just Sierra and I, but this year I am lucky to now have two daughters coming to attend. Alexandra has been looking forward to this conference since the day she turned 12. It was so nice to have seen so many sisters and daughters hand in hand sitting together conversing with one another. This moment is one of my most favorite moments in the church because it's an opportunity to be with my daughters and grow with them spiritually in hearing the words of the General Young Women Presidency

Growing up as a youth I didn't have the church, or anything to guide me spiritually, and I didn't have much guidance from anyone as far as setting goals for my future. The youth of the church today are so fortunate to have programs in the church in which they can participate to learn and grow in making the right choices in this life. They all have the gift of agency, and the gift of the holy ghost to guide them in making the right choices in which can lead them to eternal happiness. 

Living the teenage years is not easy, and some of you may feel a little overwhelmed at what the future will bring. But I do know that if you pray and strive to live by the standards in which you are taught, your direction in this life will be much easier. I know that the Lord blesses those who keep their values strong, and holds their morals in a way that is respecting not only to yourself, but to others as well. 

It took me 11 years to hold a temple recommend. It was my stubborn choice, but I am glad I went through at the time I did. My hope for you girls is that y'all will let your light shine brighter than mine did when I was your age. Y'all have a chance to do it right. You have a chance to live up to your standards because of what you are learning in the church as well as when you pray to your Heavenly Father. You have a chance to make a difference in this world because y'all have the gospel. Y'all have a better chance at fighting all opposition because you know how to pray, serve, and attend programs like seminary, girls camp, youth conference in which helps build your testimony. 

I am grateful for the young women program in the church, and for the strength of youth handbook. It truly is a guide for all the youth to remember their standards, and to keep their values high. Although I would never exchange my youth for anything I'm grateful for all that I went through because it has made me the woman I am today. I'm grateful that y'all have the spirit to guide you in a direction that will help you to avoid all the temptations of the world. Y'all have the gospel of Jesus Christ in your life, and are extremely fortunate and blessed to have it. 

Follow the words of your young women leaders in the church. No matter how trite the words"live up to your standards" become to you... continue to heed those words in hopes that it'll sink in to your heart. Most youth today "don't get it", or they don't care to get it, or they just don't have a firm belief foundation that when you follow the Lord's commandments better things come your way.

God Bless all the young women out there who may be struggling with any kind of issue in which they know may be wrong. Keep praying for the strength to overcome all temptation. Determine to remain virtuous and pure.

I didn't understand the concept behind the young women program until I had a daughter involved in it. Now that I have two daughters who are in the young women, I know now how to encourage them to stick to their standards and keep them high. I pray that they will attain their most spiritual goals as well as their temporal goals. Something I didn't achieve as a youth in my generation. May you continue on to get the highest education possible, and in due time receive the blessings of the temple. 

"The call to "arise and shine forth" is a call to each of you to lead the world in a mighty cause to raise the standard and leave this generation in virtue, purity and temple worthiness. If you desire to make a difference in the world-you must be different from the world." -Elaine Dalton

The temple, and mommy mantras.

Reasons why I attend the temple are to make my weaknesses become strengths, to be humbled, to pray, and receive answers to my prayers. It helps me to be at peace, and overall a much more happier person. It really does help, and I feel like as if I've been cleansed from all the wickedness in the world. matter how many times I go that darkness tries it's very best to creep into my soul.

The darkness I'm referring to is the opposite of the light of Christ.

It never fails that when I have returned from doing something so great that comes from the Almighty that darkness of depression & anger tries it's very best to creep back into my life. It literally works hard by ruining my spiritual high that I have felt so far this whole month. Ruining it by picking at those things the adversary knows will get to me. Ruining it by trying to make my minor trials harder, and by having my youngest daughter get the best of me by trying my patience, and the end result is raising my voice at her. I don't like it! I don't like it one bit!

I look at the background of my life, and as a believer of Christ I look at all the things that I am doing that I have worked so hard to accomplish in being a humble servant of the Lord. I ask myself questions wondering why this happens when I've had amazing spiritual moments, and without making it sound like I'm checking off a to-do list...I feel as if I'm doing everything in my power to live righteously.

Pray my heart out to Heavenly Father at least twice a day for my life, friends, the world & my family.
Attend ALL my meetings, and worship the Lord.
Serve my fellow man, and help others in need.
Read my scriptures by myself & with my family.
Hold our weekly family home evening (even if it's on a Sunday.)
Pay tithing.
Share the gospel.
Visiting those from the church, and other friends in my community that may need help.
Attending the temple as much as I can.
Nurturing and raising my children the best I know how.
Supporting my husband in all that he does including his calling as Seminary teacher in the church.
Doing my church calling to the best of my ability.

I'm sure there are more things I can add to the list that are pleasing to those I love especially to my Father in Heaven. My better half tells me that I have a choice to allow that darkness to creep into my soul.

He's right.

I do have a choice as to how to handle a sassy, overactive child who wants to grow up way too fast! I have a choice to choose a discipline action that won't require any kind of abuse, or harmful words. I look back at how I was raised and remember how the back of a fist hurt when it hit my back. How the verbal abuse can be just as harmful as the physical. I don't ever want to relive that in my home. I don't want to have any of my daughters or son learn that behavior. I remember the pain I endured, and how it felt to hear hurtful words, but yet have so much love for my mother, because after all...she is my mother, and all has been forgiven.

The family home evening lesson Sierra chose to teach was exactly what I needed to hear. To set a goal in which you want to do better. Improve on something that you want to achieve in your life, and strive hard to LIVE it on a daily basis. I chose to read my scriptures everyday, and I mean study them so hard that I'll be reciting them in my sleep. I also think of a mantra such as "within me is a peacefulness that cannot be disturbed." I reflect that as being the spirit of Christ.

There is a book that I read a while back called Mommy Mantras, and every now and then I reflect back on it. It has really helped me in dealing with my youngest daughter. One of the mantras in that book that I remember reading, and have been constantly saying is,"I can stand this" before reacting to my sassy child. Although Chelsea can be charming in a public setting she can be a spitfire in the home. I have to remind myself that she is has a different personality, and that I can't compare her to my two oldest daughters. They all come down from the spirit world with their own personalities.

Looking back at my childhood gives me the chance to change the things in how I react when Chelsea is giving me a hard time. My poor mother obviously didn't think of any mantras, and unfortunately would react to our disobedience rather than tolerating it, and just leaving the room. I am so grateful for those mantras, and for the temple that helps me to overlook all the odds that we are against in this world when it comes to our family life. I know that I can stand it because when you look at the big picture of a family, you don't have a choice. I am a mother, and mothering comes with obstacles that we are going to have to face, and work out in a positive and calm manner. 

I love my children, and want them to know that they can always feel safe, and secure in their home. I don't ever want to hurt them in any way that could scar their future. I love them so much. I love them.

"That is why the mantra "I can stand this" is crucial. Try to ameliorate the stress-provoking situations, but let's face it, mothering has its share of things we just have to tough out."

The best thing about the spirit of Christ is that He guides me with more blessings, and helps me focus on looking more at the positive things that the temple brings rather than allowing that darkness to creep in.  How grateful I am for prayer, and for the strength that I have had to be able to recognize and try by best to avoid negativity.

Our lives are not always harmonious, but boy do we try to live in harmony, and when we pray hard enough to fight all opposition...all is well.

All is well. 

Sartorial elegance.

Love this color of my Cole Haan bag! Bought this at a thrift shop for $15.00! 
I'm a huge thrift shopper, and I feel very proud to know that I have, and am continuing to teach my girls to shop thrifty, and wisely. I hardly ever blog about the things I find at the thrift store except for the time I found these cool cherry rain boots for Chelsea last spring. I couldn't help but to blog about my most recent finds at a few consignment shops, and yes...even the Goodwill store.

With the way the economy is today it's always nice to know of where we can find hidden treasures whether it's for the home, or for the kids, and for a lot less! I wanted to share with everyone that we don't always have to shop retail, or feel the need to go to the mall. I personally have always been a thrift shopper, and one great thing I did learn from my mom was how to shop thrifty, and to learn to live with wearing second hand clothes.

Some of us may feel ashamed or embarrassed because some of the clothing we own are from second hand thrift stores. I'm not! If anything, it gives me pleasure to know that I have a knack in finding wonderful things for so less. I cannot even begin to tell you how many wonderful things I have found at thrift stores. I've even had a few friends ask me where I have found certain things, and I tell them at a thrift store. They usually have a shocked look on their face, and that's when they realize that they may not find the same exact dress, bag, shoes, etc. if they were to go to that same store. It's a hit and miss every time I go thrift shopping. Sometimes I come home with a handful of items, sometimes I come home with one, and sometimes I'll come home with nothing at all.

Lately I've been coming home with quite a few things. People usually start donating their items around early March, and I'm in desperate need of some "new" spring/summer clothes. I found this really cute Oilily cardigan not too long ago at a consignment shop in Haddonfield, and it's perfect for Spring. I only paid eight dollars for it.
 I love the pattern in the back as well as the birds on the sleeves.
My knowledge of knowing designer labels comes from the time I began working at consignment shops in Salt Lake City back in 1994. One of my favorite shops I worked at was Name Droppers, and that is still my favorite store. Unfortunately I'm 3000 miles away and can't physically shop there. The owner who is a dear friend of mine brings in the high end name brands, and as I saw what would come in is when I began to learn of the famous designers. When I go thrift shopping anywhere in New Jersey, D.C., Philly, or New York I try my best to find the designer brands first.

I have found other items that are not high end such as name brand clothing from Target. I love Target so it doesn't matter to me if what I found at the thrift store is Mossimo, Merona, Converse, or the Target collaboration brands such as Missoni, Isaac Mizrahi or Jason Wu.

This is a jacket by Mossimo I found at the Goodwill store for 4.99, and I love the color green!
I have to admit there will be times when I'll walk into a thrift store and if the price seems too high for thrift...I'll pass. I'd rather spend the extra five bucks, and buy it brand new at Target, T.J.Maxx, or even Marshall's.

I have been obsessed with denim lately, and found these three Tribal brand denim jackets. Price for all three? Guess...$15.00. Retailed at 78.00 (price tags were still attached), priced at goodwill for 9.99, and got them half price for 4.99! Yes... I was jumping for joy when I left the Goodwill!

I've become attached to the nautical look for spring. I found this cute navy/white striped hooded cotton sweater by allen allen, usa for three dollars! Perfect for those cold summer nights on the beach. It's really cute on with some denim or even white jeans!
One thing I am grateful for is that my girls don't mind when I find something for them at a thrift store. Sometimes it's hard to find modest clothing for my oldest who will be 17 in May. There are times when I don't find anything decent for her at a thrift store. Therefore we'll go to Marshall's, Target, and lately...Forever 21.

This is one of her favorite dresses that I found at Goodwill last spring. It's by Liz Claiborne, modest, timeless (which means it can be passed down to her sisters), and way cute on!
Nowadays it seems that everyone is into thrift and vintage clothing, and I love that!
I found this cute jacket at Goodwill. It's missing the buttons, and I plan on buying royal blue buttons to bring out the yellow polka dot. I think it's Anthropologie looking. I'm not sure of the label, but it does have a "sample' label inside which usually means it almost made it to a nice retail store.

It's easier to find clothing for my youngest daughter who is seven. I found this cute H&M top along with this skirt from Children's Place both under five dollars. I added a white petticoat underneath to give it a more flowy look.
I found the petticoat for a dollar at a garage sale! 

Right now with four kids, and one income shopping thrifty is the best way to go. Even when we had two paychecks coming in with one child (back in 1995) I've always shopped thrift, and obviously worked at a couple of consignment stores. Sometimes I miss that.

What can I say...I love clothes! 

"Charity Never Faileth"...170 years

On March 17, 20 women gathered & heard the prophet Joseph Smith announce the official establishment of the Relief Society organization. Nearly 170 years later more than 6 million sisters around the world still strengthen each other & build the kingdom of God. (Marianne Holman, Church News)

There are moments in my life in which something is said that will spark a memory of my childhood. This evening was one of those nights. While gathering at the Relief Society birthday dinner this past Thursday with at least 50 sisters from my church I was reminded of what this organization is all, friendship, and helping build the kingdom of God.

Throughout my young childhood I never noticed my mom hardly having any female visitors. I don't recall my my mother having many friends over. However, I do remember one friend in particular named Magdalena. I remember that every time Magdalena would call or come over and invite my mom out for dinner she would have a huge smile on her face. Each time she returned home from spending the day or evening with her she seemed happier, and less stressed. It was as if she had a lot to unload on her. The times she would leave our house after a two hour visit seemed like therapy for my mother. There wasn't any yelling or negativity in the home on the days my mom would see her friend. I know that the bond of friendship my mother developed with Magdalena helped her in many ways. My mother found her inner strength while building her friendship with this woman, and helped my mother withstand all the trials in which she were to soon face. Magdalena was a blessing of friendship in my mother's life, and she helped my mother's light shine.

Celebrating the birthday of Relief Society is something I always look forward to every year. It's all about the sisterhood, and all that we can learn from each other. I love that we all are so very different. Different in ways in which we can all strengthen each other. Different in ages in which we can all learn something from one who is older. Different in color in which we can all learn something from our cultures, and appreciate each other's origin, and yes...even different in religions. Having non members come to our activities is a sure sign that they are there to get the feel of what our faith is all about.

We can learn from those who are investigating the church as well as those who have just converted to the church, and we have had new sisters who have been baptized within the past three years. It brings me joy to see faces that I haven't seen in a long time.
There were lovely testimonies said tonight by a few sisters in how Relief Society has blessed their lives. They all have a testimony, and understand the importance of what Relief Society is all about. They each glow with the light of Christ in different ways. We are all individuals with unique talents in which we can share with one another.
It has been so wonderful to see certain sisters whom we haven't seen in a while who have come back to feel the spirit again, and for us to see the light of Christ in them.

 Inviting the young women to be a part of the celebration was fun. They are the future generation of a sisterhood in which even at a young age are fellowshipping, and sharing the gospel.
our lovely young women...including my daughter
I'm grateful for my membership in the church, and to be a part of a loving organization in which we have a purpose. A purpose in which we are in to build friendships, to fellowship, to love, to help, to seek, to serve, and to help build up the Lord's kingdom.

I'll always remember my first day as an investigator in Relief Society. I was 20 years old, and I felt so loved. Although I felt a little nervous in the beginning not knowing what I was about to learn, I am grateful for continuing to seek in having my faith grow towards the Lord and to have participated in all the Relief Society activities to be spiritually fed with the sisters.

I learned a lot as I attended my meetings which led to my conversion. I pray that the things that I'm doing at this point in my life up until today in striving my best to help my sisters will prove to my Heavenly Father how much I love him, and how much y'all mean to me. I love all of you. I continue to think of all my other sisters from the various wards I have lived in the past.


So I say to all my sisters near and far, whether you are of a different faith...may your light always shine with the love of Christ, so that others may know of our love for you. May we always help those in need, and may those who call upon us know that our light will never grow dim in serving them.
"This great circle of sisters will be a protection for each of you and for your families. The Relief Society might be likened to a refuge-the place of safety and protection-the sanctuary of ancient times. You will be safe within it. It encircles each sister like a protecting wall."
~Boyd K. Packer

No prom, no problem.

Yep...she did it again. Last night Sierra attended her second jazz festival in which they had another competition, and she brought home this piece of paper that proves how well she did with her talent in playing the piano. There were seven other bands with piano players that played as well, and she was the chosen one!
I'm sorry for bragging about Sierra so much, but she truly is a talented young woman. She didn't even utter the word PROM at all this week. She wasn't interested, and it certainly wasn't on her mind. She has been too busy focusing on practicing her music, the band competition, and the young women kick off. Oh...and the Hunger Games movie too. The weekend has been packed with priorities so we will definitely be watching the movie next week.

I look at all the things she is accomplishing until now, and it makes us feel so, so happy. I feel as if we have done a pretty good job in raising her. We are so proud of her in all the decisions she makes all on her own. She truly strives to live a life of purity, and has a huge heart that has room for more to love. She is a strong girl who lives up to her standards, and her love for music truly defines her personality.

Music is beautiful. 
Music is peaceful.
Music is pure.
Music is strength. 
Music is humble. 
Music is cheerful.
Music is happy.
Does this picture look like a look of disappointment, because she missed her junior prom last night? I think not. This is a look of happy, and if you ask anyone they'll tell you the same thing... she's always jovial. 

*The Pop Shop*

What do you do on a beautiful March day in 79 degree weather ? Some of us may have went to the beach or to the park, but instead we ventured out to the one place we should have went to when we first moved to South Jersey.

I can't believe we have lived here for almost four years now, and just now got acquainted with the Pop Shop. When my daughters had piano lessons in the Collingswood area I've always passed by the Pop Shop, but never entered in. I've always heard good things about how wonderful the food, and atmosphere is but just never made the effort to enter in...until today.

The feeling was nostalgic. They have this handmade wire basket covered with bottle caps as you enter in, and the menus are in newspaper form. You can also fill out a slip with your email, and they will give you a 'free gift' for your birthday. We had the opportunity to witness someone's birthday today, and it was so fun.  This is one place to take a loved one on their birthday. I promise you they won't regret it!
There is a wall covered with cool vintage clocks (note Felix the cat from the '50's.) So old, but so cool!
The service was great, and I have to say we had a wonderful waiter. 
They have paper hats for the kiddos to color and decorate, and Noah really enjoyed that. He loves coloring!! Of course I helped him color his hat. We didn't have a variety of colors in the small pail so I did my best in making his hat as colorful as possible.
We had a grand time, and the food...the food was delish!
I had the turkey blt.
Jon had the "Frazer" grilled cheese sandwich, and we had a half order of battered onion rings and french fries. Jon also had a "chocolate" vanilla coke which in my opinion...tasted different. Not to my liking, but he loved it! 
Since Noah's molars are still coming in he began to get moody. All he wanted was for me to hold him. He saw the family sitting next to us order a sundae for their little girl, and Noah was drooling over it. Our wonderful waiter, Brian noticed Noah's tears, and somehow wanted to make his first visit pleasant. I told him about the sundae he was eyeballing, and then he comes back with a small bowl of ice cream. Yep...he worked that tip real good. 
Noah ate that ice cream so fast that he didn't even have a chance to savor it. He did share, and I'm sure the coldness made his gums feel good. 
It has been such a beautiful clear, sunny day, and I am so grateful to have spend it with my better half, and our little boy. It's moments like this in which I treasure. I can't believe Noah will be two and half months in May, and I am enjoying every minute with him. Just going to lunch at a place where locals are familiar with was priceless. I had to blog about this moment, because this moment was very special to me. 
Don't worry girls...we'll make sure we bring y'all next time!
"Don't always feel like we have 'forever' to do things, and put them off for tomorrow. Each day quickly passes us by, and the next thing you know we'll be uttering the words "if only". Let your little one eat ice cream before eating their grilled cheese, (especially if they are teething). Always hug, and hold them. Enjoy sunny days during the winter months. Make an effort to notate the little things, and never take them for granted. Whether it's the weather...or your children."

Happy weekend!

Finding beauty in Spring, books, and children.

One thing I am not used to is Chelsea asking me if we can go the park everyday!! We have a nearby park and a bike trail less than a block away, and with the weather being so's hard to say no. Even during the school days. I said to her as long as you do your homework, and practice piano she can have some 'recreational' time. Having that extra hour of sunshine sure is a blessing.
 Every time we go to the park we walk past a house where the petals of the flowers are falling from the tree. Luckily we love our they love us, and don't mind when Chelsea pulls some of the flowers from their tree. 
This is the first time in the four years we have lived here where we have had a very mild winter, and spring came early. I don't mind it at all. Especially with our car breaking down, it helped my better half figure out what the problem was with our van by taking apart what's under the hood in warmer temperatures rather than in freezing temperatures.

Alexandra is my mini-mom. She will practically do anything for Noah! She hasn't had a lot of homework this past week so she is the one that has been taking Noah to the park...instead of me! Should I feel bad? Does that make me a bad mom? I don't think so. Sometimes I need a tiny break from him...sometimes.
 Having her take him for an hour or so gave me some time to catch up on my reading, and I am currently reading these books...
If your looking for a more peaceful tempo in your life...Gift from the Sea is the book to read. It was so inspiring. This book has been published for 50 years, but just now found out about it. It makes me want to live by the ocean, and to always find simplicity in life.

I am loving "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years". It's about a writer who is editing his life in hopes that when people read his story they won't roll their eyes up in the air or have anything negative to say. I have to say that so far I am not rolling my eyes or feel the need to close the book. I am halfway done, and can tell that this story will have a happy ending.

As I was reading the excerpts of the book, it truly does define me. As much as I live to write and tell stories about all the days of my life with kids, trials, adventures, church, etc. I strive to find the beauty in everything that I write about. Every day is a new day which means everyday we change. It is nice to write about things that are meaningful in hopes that others will find inspirational, and not boring.

I'm no Donald Miller, but telling my story in my own way on 'my blog' makes me happy, and when I leave this mortal life...I want to believe that in all my days of living, that I lived a good story.  I just hope my small chronicles makes others happy, or perhaps puts a smile on their face.

"And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time."
~from the book,  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years"