Monday, August 22, 2016

Marriage Monday: Relationships Take Work

"Happy relationships don't just happen to people - 
people work for them." Zach Brittle.

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Marriage Monday: Occupy the Heart

Never stop doing little things for otheres. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of someone's heart.

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Marriage Monday: Healthy Relationships Include:

Healthy Relationships 
Cooperation, Trust, Accountability, Safety, Honesty, Support

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Marriage Monday: Passionate Friends

"Marriage ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends." Harville Hendrix

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Marriage Monday: Small Moments

"Trust is built in very small moments in which one person turns toward their partner when they're in need. When our partner responds positively, by "being there" for us, that builds trust." -John Gottman

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Marriage Monday: Don't Put Your Marriage On Hold

"Don't put your marriage on hold while you're raising your kids or else you'll end up with an empty nest and and empty marriage." Marriage 365

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Review: The Sacred Gift of Child Birth & Giveaway

Title: The Sacred Gift of Child Birth, Making Empowered Choices for You and Your Baby

Author:  Marie-Ange Bigelow, MT, CD(DONA)

Release Date: May 2016

Publisher:  Cedar Fort

ISBN:  978-1-4621-1811-3

Pages:  176

Buy The Sacred Gift of Child Birth: Here

Add The Sacred Gift of Child Birth to your: Goodreads

Find Author Marie-Ange Bigelow:
Facebook | Website | Blog  

From the back cover: Many books teach and focus on the health and safety of giving birth, from comfort techniques to medical procedures. But few delve into God or His principles and plan for women. Childbirth offers a unique experience for women to draw closer to the Lord and benefit from many divinely designed blessings--spiritual, emotional, and physical. This relatable and rewarding book empowers women with valuable information that allows them to make informed decisions about birthing.

Come see the sacred nature of childbirth and put God and faith back into this miraculous process of bringing His children into the world. 

My review:   
This book is lovingly written for parents-to-be who desire to know and understand how to have their best birth experience.  Read this book well before the end of your pregnancy so you have ample time to decide what you'd like to have happen and so you can include your tribe (spouse, midwife, doctor, etc).

The book focuses primarily on giving woman the education and facts- and therefore power- to have the best birthing experience possible. It is filled with current evidence based research as well as practical experiences.

Marie includes worksheets to give you an opportunity to realize and write your thoughts and feelings. It also includes charts to simplify the information, a birth preference quiz and information on postpartum.

It is obvious Marie has dedicated her time, training, and heart to her clients and her profession. In her book it feels as though you get a glimpse of her passion and love for women, childbirth and the gospel.

*I was given a copy of this book to review in exchange for my honest review.


I have one copy of The Sacred Gift of Child Birth to give away.

You can enter until May 31, 2016 To enter leave one or several comments on this post telling me what you did to enter.


1-Visit Marie's website.
1-Visit Marie's blog.
2-Like Marie's facebook page.
2-Leave a thoughtful comment on Marie's facebook page.
2-Tweet about the giveaway (please include link) If you'd like you can copy/paste this: I just entered to win the book The Sacred Gift of Child Birth at .

Monday, May 16, 2016

Marriage Monday: It's the Little Things

[Image Source]
"It is not necessary to overhaul your relationship in order to improve it. It's the little things that make a big difference." Michelle Peterson

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

General Conference Wallet Size Matching Game

I made a wallet size matching game of the first presidency and 12 apostles for my kids for conference this year. If you'd like to use them also click the links below. There is both jpgs and pdfs.

I'll make the links more pretty during the two sessions today. :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Marriage Monday: Life is to be Enjoyed

"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. 
Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." 
--Gordon B. Hinckley

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Marriage Monday: Deep Friendship & Mutual Respect

[Image Source via Marriage 365]

"Happy marriages are based on a deep friendship, mutual respect and enjoyment of each others company." 
-John Gottman 

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Marriage Monday: Little Ways Every Day

[Image Source via #staymarried]

"Many people think that the secret to reconnecting with their partner is a candlelit dinner or a by-the-sea vacation. The real secret is to turn toward each other in the little ways every day. 
-Dr. John Gottman

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

What I read in November and December 2015

What I read in November and December 2015

A Christmas Carol 
by Charles Dickens

The classic story of Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come. 

I listened to this one on Audible read by Tim Curry. A great story made better by a fun reader. 

I am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai
Historical, Memoir

The Taliban overran her city but she spoke out, declaring everyone had a right to an education. Years later  she was shot in the head at point blank range. She survived and is now sharing her story. At 16 she received the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Very eye opening of the ways and customs of another culture. The story of a young, strong girl and how far she's willing to go to protect what she feels is important. Pick this one up!

Choose Your Own Autobigoraphy
by Neil Patrick Harris
Memoir, Humor

A twist on the common memoir this autobiography is a choose your own adventure. Each chapter describes the real life of NPH and at the end each one lets you choose a path: what really happened to NPH or what will probably lead to his ultimate destruction. 

I always love listening to memoirs as the folks who wrote it usually read it themselves. This one also has guest appearances from several of his friends. Funny and fabulous.  Only knowing him from his television appearances it was interesting to hear how much he really loves the stage and what he did through out his career.  I think the actual book has pictures but in the audio book he bursts out in song. 

Silver Bay 
By JoJo Moyes
Fiction, Adult

A large hotel development has its eyes on the small seaside town so when Dormer goes to research and help set it up he's surprised to find he's really growing an interest in the crazy family that runs the hotel. 

I love JoJo Moyes but so far this is my least favorite book. It took me a while to get into it and the story line didn't hold my interest very well. 

The Glass Castle
By Jeanette Walls

Jeannette grew up with a father who'd spend his paycheck on alcohol and a mother who would rather follow her dreams than raise a family. The children learned to survive in run down houses and with little food at home. Later as adults they all moved to New York with successful careers while their parents chose to stay homeless. 

Read this one for book club and didn't enjoy it. I had a hard time separating myself from the story because it wasn't just a story but it actually happened and I couldn't get over that these kids really had to live like this. Even the last quarter of the book didn't redeem it for me. Some at the book club discussion had read the companion book and presented more light on the family and the mother. I still didn't like it. 

600 Hours of Edward
by Craig Lancaster
Autism, Fiction

Edward is 39. He lives alone. He has Asperger's and OCD. He feels he does best when he's right on (his minute by minute) schedule. Across the street a young boy and his mother move in and Edward begins to, difficultly, choose friendship over schedule. Little by little he's learning more about interacting with the world. 

I completely loved this one. I laughed out loud but also parts hurt my heart. A fascinating look at someone trying to live and thrive with a disability and how the world interacts and reacts.

by Laura Hillenbrand
Historical Fiction, War, Non Fiction, Memoir

From his defiant childhood to his all star running, Zamperini later signed on to be an airman in World War II. A downed plane, days at sea and even a prisoner of war Hillenbrand tells Louis's provoking story.

One extraordinary thing after another. I waited so long to read this because of the hype and it took me a while to get through but it was a fascinating story nonetheless.

After You
by JoJo Moyes
Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

*Read Me Before You first then pick this one up.*

Louisa has a lot to deal with now. She finds her own place and sets in. Maybe even too much. Then her life is flipped upside down.

I didn't know Moyes had written a sequel so when I found out it was already out I was thrilled.  Lou is just as fabulous and the crew in this book was completely enjoyable. 

Go Set A Watchman
by Harper Lee
Fiction, Historical

Scout, now 26, is back home from New York visiting her aging father, Atticus. She is faced with remembering the past in her young girls mind and facing the realities of the world as an adult.

Interesting to see how Scout has grown into her own person still with the influence of her father and town but is now forced to face how she grew up versus what is really happening in town (reality). 

Monday, February 1, 2016

What I read in October 2015

What I read in October 2015

All Joy and No Fun 
by Jennifer Senior
Non fiction

Written by a journalist, this book includes stories that try to answer: what are the effects of children on their parents? Senior theorizes that the great amount of change in the last 50 years has drastically put into question just what is the role of today's mothers and fatheres. 

This was a fun look at an interesting theory. Though many of the examples given weren't specifically relatable to my current environment, parenting styles, values or beliefs I enjoyed getting a view into the examples of parents and family's that she studied.  

David and Goliath 
by Malcolm Gladwell
Non fiction, Psycology 

When the odds are stacked against them, what actually works that makes the underdog victorious? Gladwell shares a compelling collection of stories to see if there are similarities in attitude, resources, will power and more.

Fascinating and fun. Read this one for book club and thoroughly enjoyed the discussion.  I loved it so much I am itching to pick up another one of his. I think I'll try Outliers.

by Rainbow Rowell
Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

A diehard fan of a popular book, Cath has been writing fanfiction for years and now has her own, very large, following of her own. Now off at college, out of the house, a roommate, heavier classes to keep up with, Cath still can't let go of the fictional world she's been so immersed in for so long.

I have read others by Rowell so I wanted to try to this one. It was a well crafted story with deep characters and a few good plot twists. I just didn't love it, just not my style. If you like Rowell though, certainly give it a go. 

Maybe Not 
by Colleen Hoover
Adult, Romance, Novella

A companion novella (very short story) of Maybe Someday, this story follows Warren and roommate Bridgette. Warren is excited to have a hot girl roommate but they fight like crazy. 

I loved Maybe Someday so much I picked this one up without thinking about it. Only after I started it did I realize it wasn't what I was hoping. Warren and Bridgette were my least favorite characters in the last story and this one was obviously all theirs. And it's basically just them hooking up.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan
Fantasy, Mystery, Fiction

After losing a few jobs Clay finds himself working at Mr. Penumbra's Bookstore. He quickly discoveries it's an odd little place and the longer he's there the more mysterious it is. The customers, the books, even the bookkeeping. The more he uncovers the more questions he has.

Kind of unlike anything else I've read. It certainly wasn't what I expected even getting into it a few chapters. If you're looking for something different pick this up.

Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappear
by Norma Fox Mazer

When you have an older sister it's easy to feel like everything you want, she gets. And then on top of that sometimes you're friends with your sister and sometimes you're not. 

My (middle child) daughter and I got this at our school's Scholastic Book Fair. We read it together. There were a few parts she laughed out and loud and a few parts I was seriously questioning why the author chose to include something in a childrens book. Just ok. 

The Rithmatist 
by Brandon Sanderson
Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Steampunk, Mystery

Joel knows all there is about being a Rithmatist. He reads and study's and even sneaks into classes so he can learn more.  So when students start disappearing from campus Joel helps a professor try to crack the case.

I really needed to finally read a Brandon Sanderson novel (I have a lot of friends whose opinions I trust that enjoy his books) so I picked this up and fell in love. I've been so nervous to try his others (like MistBorn or Elantris since I don't totally love heavy fantasy) so I was thrilled when I could follow along and enjoy this one!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Marriage Monday: Valentine Gifts Inspired by 5 Love Languages

Words of Affirmation 

“Love Story” was wrong, love DOES mean you say sorry, and other nice things. Affirming your true love is all about being thoughtful and genuine. It’s not only important that your partner hears “I love you,” but also why. 

Gift Ideas: 

❥ Send love notes with unexpected phrasing (You are a tiger in a world of house cats!) 

❥ Give your partner sincere compliments about specific things.

❥ Fill an antique jar or box with all the reasons you love your partner written on slips of paper.

Quality Time 

According to Dr. Chapman, “This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.” Time is a strong communicator of love, especially in a world full of distractions.

Gift Ideas: 

❥ Put away all your devices and talk to your partner about their dreams for the evening – dream job, dream vacation, etc.

❥ Take a class together to learn something new. It can be anything from rock climbing to wine tasting.

❥ Plan a romantic getaway to a unique or memorable spot. You don’t have to break the bank, try being a tourist in your own town.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

*Used with permission by author.

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Marriage Monday: Great Glories of Married Life

One of the great glories of married life is the opportunity to support one 
another and build your dreams together. 
-Michelle Peterson

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

What I read in August and September 2015

What I read in August and September 2015

Cold Sassy Tree
by Olive Ann Burns
Historical Fiction

1906 in small town Georiga where the whole town knows (or thinks they know) everyone's business. Surely there's a scandal that's got folks talking. 

Picked it up for book club and enjoyed it quite a bit. I read it shortly after I did a reread of To Kill A Mockingbird so I couldn't help but compare what I could from the two. It's an interesting read about life, small town, assumptions, family drama, and family ties. Try it out if you haven't yet. 

by Julianne Donaldson
Romance, Adult, Regency, Clean

Hoping to cease her current boredom Marianne Daventry departs Bath to join her sister at a friends large estate. That night her carriage is stopped by a highwayman and Marianne's adventures begin. 

A reread but one that I enjoy to do once a year. Donaldson's debut novel (in 2012) was a huge success. If you find yourself in a bit of a rut, you need a fabulous book. Pick this one up!

The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah
Historical Fiction

A WWII book on the soil of France. When Nazi's invade the people who haven't fled are forced to take them in. Certainly some quotable quotes. “I always thought it was what I wanted: to be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I'd like to be known.” “But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.” “In love we find out who we want to be, in war we find out who we are.”   

I read this for book club. It's worth a read. Certainly to call into mind what it means to be compassionate, strong, and courageous. All at a time when you thought there was nothing more they could take from you, and they still find a way. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Marriage Monday: Fondness and Admiration

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"Fondness and admiration are two of the most crucial elements in a rewarding and long-lasting romance. Although happily married couples may feel driven to distraction at times by their partner's personality flaws, they still feel that the person they married is worth of honor and respect."
-Dr. John Gottman

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.