Thursday, November 21, 2013

Am I a Failure?

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The holiday time are upon us again and I realize that it's been a long time since I wrote more than a book review for this site. It wasn't because I didn't want to but because I needed to focus on rebuilding my life. Finally receiving a diagnosis was merely the first steps in what will be a lifelong journey.

I'm on medication now and it helps. The ups and downs are still there but for the most part, I can ride them out and still be functional. Once I got used to taking the medication, I started building routines to help me get through the day and to get back on track. I've been thrown off a time or two, but the basic routine is still there and it's helping me get through. Every so often, I add back in a piece that has gotten lost.

I sat not only this website aside, but also which was a tough decision but one that was necessary. It's just now, nearly 6 months later that I'm slowly coming back to both of them. Instead, I focused on spending time with the boys and on slowly reclaiming my home. In that time, I've lost track of how many trash bags have gone out and how much we've donated. This past weekend, we helped load up 5 trash bags of stuffed toys, a full box of books, a fan, a vacuum and a small bookshelf to go to a family who lost everything in a fire. There will be a lot more to go as I slowly work my way through our home. So far, there are only three rooms that have been seriously worked on. Our laundry room has been redone, the bathroom is done and the boys' room is in progress. All of those I'm struggling to maintain but they're better than they have been in years. I'm hoping that by May..a year after my diagnosis, I'll have the entire interior of our home done and then I can focus on the van and the barn.

All of this sounds good, right? I've been making progress. I can't argue with that. There has been some really good progress around here. Except in one area...finances. Financially, we're barely hanging on. We're behind on some bills and there's never any extra money for anything and it kills me. Whenever I think about money, I feel like a complete and total failure.

I know there are those who know me who judge me because I don't work. They point to the trips that I've taken for the website and make comments about how they wish they had someone paying the way. They comment how I'm an abled body person who just lives off of their ex-husband and the generosity of others. They comment and I bleed inside. I want so badly to shake them and scream they wouldn't take my life if they had the chance..a life without a special needs child who *needs* his mother to do homework with him as much as she can because without that extra help, he doesn't succeed at school..a life with a mental illness that can be downright crippling at times. It's not a life that many would choose if they looked beyond the surface to what was happening inside.

I'm not making excuses. I'm telling you how it is. My oldest son is 13 and in the 8th grade. He's one of the joys of my life and I wouldn't trade those after school homework sessions for anything. My heart breaks on the days when I don't have the gas money to go help him and he calls me crying because he doesn't know how to do something. I would give anything to find a magic cure to help things not be such a struggle for him. There is no magic cure other than a lot of hard work, hard work that both he and I and his father and his father's wife put in. He'll be joining Special Olympics soon for bowling and I don't care if I have to beg on the street, I will find a way to get him the hour drive to practices.

As for me, I'm still rebuilding and it's going to take a while. One thing that I've learned in this process is that I have to go slow. I have to add pieces back in slowly. It's like a tower of cards. If you move too quickly, the whole thing collapses and you have to start over. I wouldn't give this to anyone. It's a challenge that nobody in life should have to face, but to many of us do every single day. Am I physically able to work? Yes. Am I emotionally and psychologically able? Unlikely. Adding in something that huge right now would cause my house of cards to collapse.

Would I trade my life for another? No. I love my children and I love the world that we're building together. I am who I am but sometimes being who I am makes me feel like a total failure. These past few years have been miserably hard for me and for the boys and it was my hope that this year I could provide them with an amazing Christmas..tree, decorations, wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with family movie time and then just for once, really spoil them on Christmas morning. That isn't going to happen this year. Both of the editing jobs that I had agreed to take on for this month fell through and
money just isn't coming through the door. I have bills that are piling up and we're struggling. I try really hard not to compare my life to others, but when I see people saying how broke they are and yet they're going to the movies or fancy places, it's hard. Then, I remind myself that I can't see behind closed doors to know their life more than they can know mine.

“In fact, if you're wondering if I expect miracles---the answer is yes. Even when they don't seem to happen, I keep believing in them. Even when I stop believing in them, I'll always start again. Because if you don't have hope, what's left? I believe. And maybe they'll happen in a way I never saw coming--they usually do. Or maybe I'll find the way to make them happen myself. But ether way--I expect miracles.” Jennifer DeLucy


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review: For Every Season

11:45 PM 1 Comments
"Working hard to develop a new Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is fully committed to rehabilitating an orchard with business partner Samuel King. But an impulsive decision has created an unexpected strain in her relationship with her beau, Samuel's brother, Jacob, threatening plans for the orchard. Amidst mounting tension in matters of the heart and business, Rhoda finds that this fledging settlement feels like the home she has always longed for, and she begins to embrace the God-given, heightened intuition that has always felt like a burden to her. She longs for Jacob to fully be free of his past, so they can work towards the future together. But as Rhoda uses her gift to unpack an old secret with her Englisch neighbors, it is not her beau but an unlikely ally that cheers her on. With the orchard on shaky ground and Jacob's plans in question, Rhoda is determined to see things through to harvest. But can she trust her insight to direct her path in matters of the heart?"

When I first agreed to review this book, I somehow missed that it was the third in a series. That being said, I was very thankful for the section in the book that gave a synopsis of the story so far.

Now, onto the real review... The author of this book must be commended for how developed her characters are. Granted, she's had three books to do so, but it's a skill that not every author has. There were times, when I was reading, that I felt as if I were a part of the book. I could smell the apple blossoms and see the farm in my head. I could envision Samuel and Rhoda and each of the other characters. I laughed with them, I mourned with them...and at the end of the book...I wanted more of them.

That being said, I would recommend reading the first two books in this series first. There were times when I desperately wished that I had.


I received a copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program. All thoughts, opinions and comments are mine.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review: Stones for Bread

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"A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.
Liesl McNamara’s life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.
But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl’s recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour—a single father with strange culinary habits—seems determined to win Liesl’s affection.
When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family’s past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.
Filled with both spiritual and literal nourishment, Stones for Bread provides a feast for the senses from award-winning author Christa Parrish."
As someone with a love of baking and a desire to work with bread, I couldn't resist saying yes when the chance to review this book came along.  I'm glad that I did. While parts of the book are entirely predictable, it was Liesl's past that made this book such an enjoyable read for me. I connected with her mother's story and her desire to know who she really was.  I fell in love with some of the characters. Trust me, if you read this book, it won't be hard to do.  My complaints? The book mixes biblical history with flashback scenes and present time.  It also has actual bread recipes and all of these are mixed into one book. I'd have rather seen the recipes at the end of the book in their own section instead of taking up multiple pages in the middle of chapters. While the biblical history of bread was interesting, it threw off the rhythm of the story and I'm not quite sure how to remedy that within the book. Over all though, this was a very enjoyable read and maybe someday I'll be brave enough to try out that chocolate sourdough recipe!
I received this book from the Booksneeze blogging program. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Blast - Wanted:Vampire

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Wanted: Vampire - Free Blood
Book 1 in the Wanted: Vampire Trilogy
Released: Aug 24, 2012 Genre: Paranormal Romance Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Three years ago, death blew out the candle in Alexis Hall’s life and left her devastated. Nothing could replace what she’d lost, not even the sexy stranger she awoke married to. Still, she finds it hard to ignore the dangerous sparks he triggers within her. She knows Bradley Cox took advantage of her. What she doesn’t know is he holds a secret that will change everything.
But Bradley isn’t her only concern. In a moment of desperation to somehow reclaim what she had lost, Alexis made an offer to a vampire––free blood. Her blood.
In a story of heartbreak and obsession, a simple ad changed Alexis' life forever and on one fateful night her dreams and her nightmares will collide. Can she trust Bradley? Or is he her worst mistake? Can she retract her offer to the vampire? Or will she fall under his deceptive spell?

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Wanted: Vampire - Bad Blood
Book 2 in the Wanted: Vampire Trilogy
Released: Feb 24, 2013
Joel’s back.
Determined to return her sexy ex to his former vampire self, Tara Callister does what she has to do: She exposes three evil witches in order to enlist her coven’s help. Unfortunately for her, things don’t always work out as planned.
Targeted by her enemies, betrayed by her coven, she must figure out how to save herself and those she loves from the evil entwining itself in her life. But when her journey of self discovery leads her down an even darker path, will she stand behind her white witch promise or become one of them? And more importantly, are Joel’s feelings for her strong enough to survive it all?

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Book 3 in the Wanted: Vampire Trilogy: Coming in February 2014
About the Author
Lisa Rayns, author of the paranormal romance, "Wanted: Vampire – Free Blood," lives in a small town in South Dakota. She studied Composition/Literature in college and worked with explosives and as a blackjack dealer before beginning her writing career. An avid reader, she weaves romantic stories rich with action, suspense, and her own personal flavor of the paranormal. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and Siamese cat. For more information about Lisa and her books, visit her website at
Follow the Author: Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Prize: Author is giving away a $25 Amazon Giftcard. Fill out the form below to Enter!
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Review: My Hope is Found

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Image Courtesy of Amazon
"Gideon O’Riley has been given another chance at a life with Lonnie. But will the fight for her heart risk it all over again?
After finally finding love with his sweet bride Lonnie, Gideon’s heart was torn when a woman from his past claimed to be his true and rightful wife, forcing him away from his family. God’s merciful hand saw Gideon through the heartache, and with Cassie’s blessing, he is able to return home. But his journey back through the Blue Ridge Mountains will hold a trial he never anticipated.

Meanwhile, Lonnie determines to seal off her heart from Gideon, convinced he is lost to her forever. Strengthening her resolve to move on is her growing fondness for the handsome Scotsman, Toby McKee—the young reverend she has come to care for deeply. His proposal of marriage offers a bright future for her and her young son.

Yearning to allow joy back into her life, Lonnie must put aside the broken pieces of her heart that still love Gideon. When he returns to find her betrothed to another, he has to place his hope in God, trusting that the One who redeemed their love once can do it again."

Have you ever realized that you're just too wide awake to sleep so you pick up a book thinking you'll read a chapter or two and the next thing you know, it's 4am and you've finished the book? That's what happened to me last night with My Hope is Found. I started reading and the next thing I knew, I had finished the book. The story was one that pulled your heart in while at the same time was like nothing I had ever read before. Gideon's love for his former wife and child warring against Toby's love for this young lady and Lonnie caught right in the middle of it.  This book happens to be the third book in The Cadence of Grace series, but read perfectly as a stand alone. The only thing I found even slightly lacking was that I would have liked more backstory as to how this situation came about and how Lonnie and Gideon ended up with the family she was staying with.

All in all, if you like historical fiction, I would completely suggest that you find this gem and pick it up. Just start reading it earlier in the day....


I received this book through the Blogging for Books program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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