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July Reads

Hello readers … so I am 99% sure I had a post drafted with books read and it has disappeared so I believe that some of the books I read in the past few months are now gone forever as I have 3 kiddos and can barely remember what we had for breakfast :).

low light photography of books
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

This first book I am going to talk about a little more in depth.  I was asked to be on the review team for this book before the official launch.  I am a little behind in posting but I absolutely adored this book in every way possible!
BEAUTIFULLY INTERRUPTED
I have been following Teresa the author of this book on social media for quite some time.  I adore her writing on her blog and knew when she decided to publish a book that I 100% wanted to get my hands on that book and read her thoughtful, full of life words.  She posted about joining her launch team and I of coursed jumped at the opportunity and was overjoyed when I was chosen to be on that launch team :).  It took me a little longer than I would have liked to finish the book but when you are in your busy season you take what you can get in order to get it done.  As I was reading this book I was overwhelmed with the fact that I learned something new in each chapter.  Teresa has a way with words that just connects to your soul.  She makes you want to be a better person and shows you that no matter where you are in life, how busy you are, how many kids you have, etc. it can be done.  It can always be done you just have to give it all to Him and know that he will pull you through everything!  She shows you how you can learn from every situation we are given. He will show us our true passion we just have to wait for the right moment to be shown. We have to be paying attention.  Our scars are more than just reminders. This chapter was huge for me.  I have been through so much in my adult life that I have a ton of scars but that it is ok. They tell our story, they make each of us unique individuals so stop and really take a look and feel what you have been through.  I learned that I need to take more time and spend it with him, I need those minutes of silence to really dig deep and see what my purpose is.  I need to be ready at any given moment because more times than not when we least expect it he will show us something in our life.   I learned that we are a lot like my favorite gem (a pearl). We are given and built on layers upon layers.  Those layers build us up to who and what we are today. Without all those layers we are nothing. We have to grow from something and until we have those layers we wont see our greatness!!!  He will throw things at us unexpectedly, we just need to be ready at all times.   He will make us wait, we all have waiting weathering periods. Like many seasons he will get us through it.  She showed the importance of praying.  Never stop praying, nothing is too small or too big for us to ask God for them.  It is the only way to get them answered.    Don’t let fear/doubt creep in.  Listen for God and if he is calling you to do it, no matter how many people tell you no, try. Push harder. Do it anyway, He knows best!!  Kick all that fear in the butt, break through those fears and  and rise up!  He always has a plan, listen for the calling. A lot of times when you don’t think things are possible they will work out and God will blow your mind!  He strengthens us.  Don’t take the hard times as a failure, or a beat down. They are a way to strengthen us and show us that no matter what he is always working with us.   We will all go through those hard times. We will come out, we will listen to God, start our day with God, and it will all work itself out!  The last and probably most important thing I took away from this book was that all our gifts are from God.  he is amazing, they are there we just need to be patient and wait for his timing.  All our sufferings, rewards, etc., are all from him. USE THEM WISELY!!!!

I absolutely loved this book.  I highly, highly, highly recommend it!!

IT TAKES TWO
This book is about Jonathan and Drew Scott aka the Property brothers.  I love their show and them so on one of our library trips with the girls, I decided to get it and see what it was all about.  It was really fun to get to know them outside of the show and how truly different you can be portrayed on TV.  There were a lot of fun facts and pictures throughout the book.  I really enjoyed getting to know a little more background and information about the twins that was not based on a TV show.

LOOKING FOR LOVELY
This was a Bible study book and I absolutely loved it.  Each week consisted of 4 days and the days were anywhere from 2-4 pages in length.  This Bible study was more realistic to me and I could really relate to it.  I was excited that before each week there was a little footnote page of what was to come and immediately after reading it, I connected with it. I couldn’t wait to dive in to see how that week could correlate to my life and how I could learn and grow from the things I was going through.

Honeysuckle Dreams
I absolutely loved this book.  It was all about how things can go wrong in a second and are never what they seem.  It shows how true friends stick around for the ugly times in your life and will always have your back. This story is about a man whose world gets flipped upside down and one of his sisters best friends steps up and is there for him and any means he needs. The book is a super easy read and has some twists thrown in there that you are not expecting.  I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be picking up some other books by this author.

Saving Grace
Saving Grace was a great read. I wasn’t sure exactly what this book was going to be about. When I received the book, I learned that it was about a pageant winner and her year after winning the competition.  This story is about lifelong friends and the journey it took to get where they are today. It is about a girl who has lost almost her whole world yet still has good friends and family by her side to help her achieve the things she wants the most. It is a book about how working hard will definitely pay off in the end. It is a book about not giving up and holding things back, to let people know how you feel and be the one to make the change when one is necessary.

 

What books do you recommend this month?  I may get it and review it for you!

Mel

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Laurel Denise Review

Hey guys.  I know I have been a little MIA on here for awhile. I apologize but it is spring/summer and our busy season with softball going on.

Today I am bringing you a review of my Laurel Denise necklace.  I have been eyeing these necklaces for awhile but couldn’t really justify paying the price for it. I decided with our income tax that I would splurge on something nice for myself.

I have been looking at these necklaces and trying to figure out what word(s), I wanted on my charm.  It took my sending every picture about 10 times to Matt to try and get his approval for the shape :).  I already knew what I wanted written on the charm (that part was a no brainer).  My life motto has been “be brave,” ever since the girls were born this has been the motto I have tried to live by.

Once I got the necklace, I was a little disappointed with the size of the necklace.  I know it states on the website the size but I guess I should have paid closer attention.  I was looking at the pictures and thinking it would just be a little bigger.  Once I put it on my necklace with some of my other charms though I was ok with the size but think the pricing for the size is a little on the high side.  Other that that I absolutely LOVE my necklace!!

Do you have a life phrase or motto you live by? Let me know in the comments below!!

Mel

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April Reads

This week has been another slow month. It has been jammed packed month with softball and soccer and Trevor has been a true boy and getting into everything he possible can.

I read three books this month.

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** Image taken from google.com

HEART TALK by CLEO WADE
This book really spoke to my heart. The last few weeks I was struggling and feeling down about myself and defeated. This book is filled with short poems and words that really should speak to anyone who has a beating heart. I was so moved by her words and how I could 100% relate to everything I was reading and just wanted to keep going and going.  I highly would recommend this book.

DECLUTTERING AT THE SPEED OF LIFE by DANA K. WHITE
This books for me was not the greatest but I stuck with it.  I as my husband likes to say am the most unorganized organized person he knows.  I typically know where things are and can find them quickly but I often times say where did I put that? I know I put it somewhere so I would remember and to keep it nice and neat and then cannot find it.  The chapters are well laid out and I enjoyed them, however, I felt like I was reading things I already knew.  I am not sure what I was exactly expecting with this book but it just didn’t hit the mark for me.  I did like how the author tied organizing to everyday life. She told little bits of stories here and there with things that could relate back to organizing.  It was an ok book but not one that I would say run out and buy today.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

DEVOTIONS FROM THE LAKE by BETSY PAINTER
I read Devotions from the mountains and absolutely loved it.  When I saw Devotions from the Lake I knew I wanted it. Although I hardly go to the lake the life lessons that come from these books are truly amazing. I love my morning routine of reading my devotions.  This book has rich pictures and I love seeing how the picture relates to the words on the opposite side words.  I am so excited to see what the next installment will be. I would highly recommend these devotionals.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

What did you read this month?

Mel

 

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March Reads

Hello. It was another slower month with reading around here. I have decided to work on my fitness business and continue working on bettering myself. As a result most of my books are personal development (PD) type books that get my mind set and right for the day.

WORRY LESS, LIVE MORE by Robert J. Morgan
I really enjoyed this book. This book had a lot to do with things that are out of our control. Things that we worry about way too often and the outcome will never or seldom change.  The book had quite long chapters but there were several subheadings so you could break it down for easier reading days. One thing I did really enjoy about this book was at the end of each chapter there were discussion questions for you to answer and sort of some up the chapter and what you learned.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

STRONGER THAN THE STRUGGLE by Havilah Cunnington
This book has so many good points that I just suggest to stop reading this post and go pick the book up.  Yes it was that good. It tells about how everything counts in life and that God would never lead us to something if he didn’t want us to be there. She shares about how God will always be there for us no matter what our faults or sins are. He looks past all that and focuses on what we need and how to get us there in his timing. She talks about our Kairos moments which translates to opportunity and how if we take advantage of our Kairos moments we will get so much more out of life. One of my favorite points from this book is how God comes to save rescue us right in the middle of our chaos. When we feel like things are spiraling out of control is when he tends to step in or when we tend to notice him doing work in us. Know that you have nothing to fear, when are backed up and loving God we are in good hands.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Other books that I read this month were:

  • The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – I receive a morning “learning” lesson in my inbox and love starting my days with them.
  • Big Potential by Shawn Achor

What did you read this month?

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February Reads

This month I read three books. Not too bad considering I started a new venture. I have decided it was time to get my butt in gear and focus on me for a little bit. I decided to dive right in and become a Beachbody coach!!

I couldn’t be happier with my decision and things are getting better by the day!

All That Glitters

I was asked to review this book and of course said yes!!  I really enjoyed this book. The book is set back in time with a focus on the gold rush. It is about two sisters who have a father that is dying. The youngest daughter runs off with a man because she basically wants to be away from the family. When the oldest daughter realizes what happens she sets off to find her sister but not before an injury, a chance meeting, and you guessed it a LOVE story thrown about.  The oldest goes on a crazy adventure to find her sister and comes across begging for God to keep them both safe and to find each other.  I really enjoyed the book, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Like with most of these books and hallmark endings I find the endings a little off or maybe it is just because I want so much more!!  I wish there was another book ready for me to read to learn more about this family!!

You are a Badass

With my new coaching responsibilities it is my duty to do personal development each and every day and I so needed to start doing it. I have been looking at this book for awhile and new it was the first one I wanted to read. I chose this book and couldn’t put it down. I read a chapter or two a day to keep what I was reading small and so I would be able to apply it to my every day life. There is so much honest trust in this book that each and every one of us needs to hear. I highly recommend picking this book up.

Girl, Wash your Face

So yes funny title but it is such a good read.  I would honestly stop reading this post and go pick it up today. I haven’t been able to put it down. Again so much honest truth that each one of us needs to hear or read to realize we are not alone and what we are feeling is ok. The ways to deal with it are what makes us better people. Each chapter of this book starts out with a lie. That lie is something that we tell ourselves every day sometimes every hour of that day. Then it breaks it down to tell you why it is a lie and how you turn it around to be a truth with a positive outcome/look on life. I definitely recommend picking this book up as well!!

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

All three of the books I read this month were great. I would recommend them all to anyone who loves to read and o rlooking

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January Reads

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Hello Mornings

Hello mornings is a must read in my opinion. It started out by saying how important mornings are and how they do matter. God is always waiting on us even if we quit 100 times. He wants us to get that focus first thing in the morning so that we can have full attention on everything else that matters throughout the day. We need to take each morning as a new adventure because you never know when it can lead to greatness. Give yourself grace. It talked about how we are always so hard on ourselves and never really give our own self a break, learn to give grace. The section that really spoke to my heart was about habits and how we do too many things out of habit instead of focusing on the important things and actually wanting to get up and do them.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Westing Game

Matt introduced me to this book when we were strolling the kid section with our daughters (yes I am a little late to this game). He asked me if I had ever read it and looked at him like he was crazy. I decided to pick it up and give it a read and see if I liked the book.  I actually wound up loving the book. If you are not familiar with the book it is a murder mystery about 16 heirs to one man fighting for an inheritance all while solving clues as to who the murderer is.  It is full of twists and turns and the ending is definitely not what you expect.

31 Proverbs to Light your Path

This book was neat. It was your typical devotional type setting. The book had a Bible verse to start with, followed by a message of 1-2 pages. Then there was a prayer at the end of the passage and then to close out each proverb there was a call to action. Something simple that you could do that day to put what you had read to use. It was neat to see how each proverb had a meaning and then try to figure out how to put it to use in your every day life.

**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

OTHER BOOKS I READ THIS MONTH:

  • Melissa Explains it All
  • Braving the Wilderness
  • Audacious
  • Christmas Stories
  • We’re Going to Need More Wine

Did you read any good books this month?

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December Reads

so … I am about 99% sure that I didn’t get much reading done this month. With the chaos of the holiday season, I feel like December just flew by and I didn’t have a chance to do much of anything. I did manage to start these two books and am extremely excited to finish them.

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Devotions from the Mountains was a book that just caught my eye. Matt and I are huge outdoors people and if he had it his way he would live in the mountains with neighbors about 10-20 miles away. When I received this book I knew I would love it. Each page has a beautiful picture on one side and on the other there is a Bible verse, followed by words of understanding, and then a devotion/quote at the end. The pictures themselves are worth it for this book. They are all breathtaking and make you just want to stop and stare at the pictures.  I would highly recommend this book.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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This next book I wanted for the girls. We have been having a rough go with them and their attitudes and not really appreciating things in life. I saw this book and thought it would be perfect for us to read together and learn. The Brave Girls Confidential starts out by introducing the girls. They all have names (Faith, Hope, Grace, etc.) It starts by telling a little bit about each girl on their own separate page. It then goes on to tell different stores involving the girls. At the end of each story there are some questions for you to go over.  I really like this book because I feel like the girls are going to learn some valuable lessons and learn to be better girls at the end of the book. Each night we are reading one of the stories. The girls are already starting to ask questions and are participating in the books questions.  I really hope they learn something from this book and will continue to be better humans as well as teaching others along the way.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Ok …. I know disappointing right. Two was all I have for you.  I did, however, get a ton of books for Christmas and my birthday is right around the corner so I am hoping for a few more.  Hopefully I will have more reads for you next month.

Did you read any good books this month?

Mel

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November Reads

Today I am bringing you my November reads. I didn’t get any reading done this month to be honest. I received two books on the 25th and finished both of them by today.

STAYING STYLISH by Candace Cameron Bure

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I have read every single one of Candace’s books and was so excited to read this one. This book is a little different from her normal book reads, however, it was something I am not familiar with. I am not a “fashionable” person. I don’t follow the trends or try to even say that I am stylish. To read her book about fashion, hair, skin, exercise, etc. was huge for me. There were so many things that I never even thought about that I can bring in to my every day life. There were things that I need to take a little more time to myself for and I am so glad that I got this book to learn those few steps that can make me have a little more respect for myself.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A SIMPLIFIED LIFE by Emily Ley

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Emily Ley is someone who I follow on social media and have read all her books as well. I love Emily’s outlook on life. Recently I have come to discover that our house is clean but a big cluster.  I have started going room by room to do a huge clean out and have really downsized from all the “junk” in the house that we don’t need. Emily is a wife and has three kids (including twins) just like myself so I can really relate to her parenting tips and tricks.  I really like how she has taken the everyday things we do in life and showed ways that we can simplify them without breaking the bank or throwing away our whole house.   I really enjoyed this book and took a lot away from it that I can use in my own every day life.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Daily Question, My 5-Year Spiritual Journal

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Although, I have not officially started this book, I have read and went through it plenty of times. I have always wanted to do a 5 year journal where you just document what happens each day. I like the added value to this journal by the fact that it asks you a question. Each day of each month has a question directly for that day. You answer the question and then work your way through the year. Then you repeat this for 5 years. I really love the questions and how I can really see true growth in myself from year to year and look back at how things (myself included) have changed! I am so excited to start this book and keep it as a keepsake for my kids to keep through the years.

**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

I also read Starstruck by Lauren Conrad this month.  I plan to get back on track with reading and have a lot more reviews for you next month!

Any recommendations for me to read? What books fill your shelves?

Mel

 

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October Reads

Hello readers …..

Today I am bringing you my October reads and bear with me because there are quite a few!

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham.

I have a love hate relationship with this book. I really enjoyed the story telling and the basis for the story. It caught my attention and kept it throughout the whole book. If I am being honest, I read it thinking, I know what is going to happen.” ….. and then it didn’t. It of course did not go the way I thought it was going to go, however, it was still a good read. The only thing I did not care for was the ending. I wanted more. I wanted to keep reading and see if things eventually wound up this way or that way. Definitely a good read and I would recommend it!

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Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines

Of course I had to get this book and do a review for it. I am obsessed and love Joanna and Chip. I think we all know that everyone else in the world is too :). OK maybe not everyone but anyway. The one thing that I love about Chip is that he is consistent or the same. It seems that no matter what he is doing: on the show, in an interview, on Instagram, in his book, etc. he is always the same Chip. His personality comes through and it makes me love him even more. I really enjoyed this book and was afraid that it was going to be a small repeat of the Magnolia Story, however, it was not. It was a little of this and a little of that but all brand new stories. If it was the same story it was mentioned but didn’t drag on throughout the whole story. I really enjoyed the book and knowing that even if you are famous, they struggle. Just like you and I. The biggest message from this book is to keep going, that you never know when that moment will come and keep going and doing things you love!

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Fame Game by Lauren Conrad

Yes, I read this book and I actually enjoyed it. I picked a couple of her books up a long time ago on the clearance rack and just never got around to cleaning them. I tend to get a lot of books for Christmas so I figured I should start clearing my shelves and get some of these stories read. I liked the story line and the characters and how I could really picture these four characters as people in Hollywood and trying to live their lives. Again as I mentioned in the Capital Gaines book that the book revolves around spoiled Hollywood characters but how their real lives can be just like ours as well and they deal with real life issues that many of us face too.

Can I say by Travis Barker

Ok. When I started dating Matt, it came with a catch. I had to be prepared to listen to Blink 182 for the rest of my life. Which I was ok with because I already liked Blink 182. ;). We purchased this book as soon as it came out and I figured I would go ahead and start reading it. I read the book in two days, it was that good. I didn’t know much about Travis besides that he was in the band so reading the book was very interesting. I loved learning a little more background about Travis growing up and how he came to be this amazing drummer in a band. The book takes you through all of his ups and downs, good times and bad. He truly has been through a lot in his life and reading about how he has grown into the person he is now was such an inspiration. I would highly recommend this book, especially if you like Blink 182 and one of the greatest drummers of all time!

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Women in Sports by Rachel Ignotofsky

I absolutely loved everything about this book. As a girl who grew up playing sports and learning of hard times for women in sports it was truly amazing to see all these amazing women in this book. The book basically takes a look at 50 female athletes that have paved the way for the women who play today. It shares stories of struggles and how they had to break so many barriers in order to get women the rights to be able to play the sports they love. It breaks my heart to read some of these stories and how women had to participate with the boys just to prove they were capable or better than the men, but on the other hand I love it. We have broken so many molds and showed a lot of men in the world that we are strong and we can compete on the same levels. I would highly recommend this book to any woman out there. Even more to those who play sports or with young girls to show them that anything is possible. I have passed this book to my girls and shared stories from the book and hope they know they can do anything they want to do.

**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

Mistress of all Evil by Serena Valentino

This book goes with a series that I have been reading for a little while now.  This is the fourth book published so far. They are basically your favorite fairy tales told from the villains point of view. I have read the tales of the Beast, the Evil Queen, and Ursula. This last one I read was about Maleficent. I grew up watching all the basic classic Disney movies that the whole world has seen. I hadn’t seen very many until my husband brought me all their old VHS tapes with practically every Disney movie there is and made me watch them all. I think I appreciate these books a little more because it shows a different side the stories that we know and love. It shows you a little compassion or insight in to why the villains are the way they are. It makes you not want to just automatically hate them but to feel compassion for them (a little bit). I love these books and they are super easy reads.

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100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs

I choose this book to review because it was time for a new devotional. I thought this book would be your typical devotional that makes you get into a go with the flow to finish the book. Boy was I wrong. This book is so much more and gives you a true insight to things in your life. The book consists of a two page layout with: a title, Bible verse, writing, a quote, and then a Be Brave call to action. It also has a nice bookmark in the middle to keep your place as well. The book consist of 100 days of being brave. It shows you ways that you have been brave in your life and ways that you will be brave in your life. It has a way of looking back on your life and seeing when you have been brave without even knowing it. I am so excited to finish this book and see just how brave I have been and will be.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Beside Still Waters by AnnaLee Conti

I loved this book as well. This books takes place starting in Alaska in 1915. In the beginning the hard part about reading this book was going to that time period.  Obviously, I was not around in 1915 so I had to think a little bit when it came to the way the writer shared some details. A little confused at first and then remembering that it was set in 1915 not 2015. I loved the way she wrote the book and I love the story line. There were so many parts to this book and I loved every minute of it. Just when I thought the story was going to have its happy ending, something else would happen. I love how the main character in this book goes through many, many heartbreaks and finds the courage to keep moving and pushing forward. I love that initially she went to Alaska for work and later comes to learn, live, and find her way back to her true passion.

What did you guys read this month? Any good reads I should pick up?

Mel

 

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13 years and counting ….

This past Tuesday, Matt and I celebrated our 13 years and counting dating anniversary. Although we are married and celebrate on our wedding date, we still acknowledge the day that I said yes to being his girlfriend.

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Most people will sit here and post about how their marriage is perfect and they never fight, etc.

WRONG …..

I would just like to say that although Matt and I aren’t perfect we make the most of every situation. We have had our fair share of fights and makeups along the way. We don’t always see eye to eye. We don’t always look our best. We don’t always want to cuddle and be lovey dovey. There are days when we don’t even want to talk to each other. That is marriage. Marriage isn’t always pretty but we definitely know that no matter what our day entails or what we have going on we love each other and will always be there for each other. Even on our rough days, I know that I can go snuggle up to him and he will hold me and everything will reset and re-balance.

I wouldn’t trade my marriage for anything in the world and I truly feel that I am with the man who I was meant to be with, good days and bad, I know that he ALWAYS has my back and will love me flaws and all.

13 years have flown by …. here is to many more!! I love you Matt!

Mel