Monday, October 31, 2022

My Current Book Stack


Every year I ask for books or Amazon cards for my birthday so I can stock up on books. I love to read and I can't imagine a life without books in every room of the house. 

I also participate in Goodreads Reading Challenge every year and I'm on track to meeting my goal before the end of December.

The stack you see here will carry me well into 2023 and I've got about 4 more coming in the mail this week. 

So here's a quick synopsis of my stack, starting from the bottom up:

Atomic Habits - this book has been around for awhile, but my son recommended it after listening to the audio version, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The God of The Way and The Jesus I Know - both Kathie Lee Gifford books and I just find her to be so inspiring in her faith.  She's a faithful Bible scholar and doesn't let religion taint her devotion to walking with God. My kind of lady.

The London House - I think this was recommended to me on Amazon or Goodreads, as were several others in the stack. Every month I get recommendations based off my reading history. I've been reading a lot of historical fiction this year. 

This is Happiness - I bought this one after listening to one of my favorite podcasts (The Stories Between Us). This often happens to me when listening to my favorites. I'll end up buying a book they reference in their episodes. 

The Wife Before - Just a good mystery, which is one of my favorite genres.

The Paris Seamstress - Again, historical fiction and it was displayed at Barnes and Noble, so I bought it.

The Paper Girl of Paris - Apparently I'm on a Paris theme lately.

A Thousand Tomorrows - This is a review book I was given this month, by Hachette Books. I've been reviewing books for them, for many years. But who doesn't want one more Karen Kingsbury book, right?

The Family Across the Street - Recommended when I bought my other mystery novels. Bought it.

100 Ways to Declutter Your Home - (this is the thin white book spine with no title, 2nd from the top) - Fiona Ferris is one of my writing mentors and she writes these delightful little books that are so inspiring, on all different topics. You can find all of her titles on Amazon, but I will link to her blog HERE where you can see all the titles for yourself.

Not a Happy Family - Shari Lapena quickly became one of my favorite mystery authors a few years ago, when I found her first novel in a little independent book store, while on vacation. I buy all of her books, no questions asked. This is my current read. 

As I said, I have a few more books coming that will take me well into next year. I used to set my goal at 2 books a month, but that has become a challenge the past few years, so I've tried to be a little more realistic and set my goal at 20, which I'll probably stick with for 2023. 

I will put my Goodreads page on the sidebar. If you're a Goodreads member, I would love to connect on there! Just follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back. 

Well, that's the book stack! Do you have a book stack? What kind of books do you read? I would love to hear from you😀 Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite genre is. 

Until Next Time...


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Cloudy Days


I know this picture is moody and dark, but I didn't want to edit it and brighten it up because it perfectly represents some of my days this week. Sometimes life isn't sunshiny and bright. Sometimes it's overcast and cloudy and that's the reality of being on this earth.

Thankfully, those days don't last too long, for me, so I'm trying to learn to make my way through them and know that tomorrow will bring new light, new opportunities and hopefully a new mindset.

Do you ever have those days?

Maybe someone hurt your feelings or maybe it was you who said something you shouldn't have. Or maybe you've spent too much time on Instagram and everyone else seems to have this picture-perfect life or house, and you're over here realizing you haven't dusted the furniture in a month, much less have anything picture worthy to show. 

For me, I go through waves of feeling inadequate in several areas of life, and then the clouds will shift and life is all sunshiny again. 

Sometimes I'm invincible and other times I will crumble at the slightest jab of sarcasm. I know that makes me sound like a mess, but most of the time I'm not. But every now and then, I am.

When I feel this way over a few days time, I start to wonder if it's a spiritual attack or just life. I go back and forth, asking the Lord to remove this veil of condemnation from my eyes, so I can see myself the way He does...valuable and worthy.

These are the days when I turn to my husband and God and pour out my insecurities and let them build me back up. And maybe that's the purpose of those sit in the lap of my heavenly father and let him whisper in my ear that I'm loved. And to sit near my husband and have him reassure me that I'm doing a good job at all the roles I play. 

After a day or so, I'll rise up, put my confidence back on and get on with my life - happy to serve, love, give, work and hopefully receive. 

But, I'll look back with thankfulness that every now and then a mom is allowed to have a dip in the road and be the one to be lifted back up. Because she deserves to be loved and shown, the way she loves those around her. 

So, here's to cloudy days. Without them, we wouldn't appreciate the sunny days half as much!

Until Next Time...


Thursday, October 27, 2022

Thankful Thursday


Today I'm linking up with Jennifer, at Overflowing with Thankfulness, for a Thankful Thursday post.

It's early and I'm drinking my coffee, reading blogs, which is something I enjoy doing so much. It's the way I started many mornings, way back when blogging was an everyday thing. But when I moved away from Blogger, I lost my blog list (and most of my followers) and lost track of so many of the people that shared their lives through writing.  It felt pretty lonely out there in "website" world 😟 

So, that is something I'm so thankful for - coming back to blogging among a community that is here to share their daily lives. 

A second thing I'm so thankful for is a realization of something that comes from a post I read this morning, HERE. I am thankful for all the interests the Lord has placed inside of me, because one day, when I'm in a later season, but honestly, even now, those interests will help me get through quiet or lonely days. 

What exactly am I talking about? Well, I've always been a person who could occupy myself with a multitude of activities, such as reading a book, writing, organizing, decorating, crafts and hobbies. I always have an ongoing list of projects that need to be done and I rarely find myself out of ideas.

But, as I've watched some older women in life, I've noticed they never developed a love of anything that could keep their minds occupied in a constructive way and their later years are literally spent watching tv and their bodies (and spirits) have suffered for it. 

If I could offer advice to anyone in this area, it would be to develop interests when you're younger and always try new things. Carry those interests into your older years, to keep your mind sharp and have something to occupy your days. 

And, a third and final thing I'm thankful for today, is living near my grown children. As a person who met my husband and moved away from all my friends and family, I treasure the fact that I live just minutes down the road from my kids and grandkids. 

I know there may come a day when they move away, due to jobs or opportunities, and if that happens, I will be heartbroken. But, for now, I'm so thankful to be able to pick my oldest granddaughter up today (she's 7 years old), and take her on a Millie Date, as we call it, to a museum she's been asking to go to. 

We'll spend the day together, probably eating at Chick-fil-A, reading a new book I bought her, going outside and whatever else she drags me to do today. She's like me - she always has an idea brewing 😀

Tonight, all the kids and grandkids will come over for Family Dinner and the house will be total chaos. David and I will wave goodbye around 9:00p.m., clean up and collapse on the couch out of utter exhaustion, but in a good way.

These are the things I'm thankful for today.

Until Next Time...


Monday, October 24, 2022

A New Porch for My Birthday


Last week we celebrated my birthday with our normal family dinner, except this time we had an additional little bundle with us. Our 1-week-old grandson, Calem, finally joined us. As you can see, his sisters are in love with him already. I'm holding Asa, who is 5 months old today, and seems so big now, compared to Calem. It's so fun to have two boys added to the all-girl crew. Our future is going to be busy, for sure!

Speaking of busy...this is/was our back porch. I've never shown a picture of the house because it's so ugly, but last week it started getting a facelift, so I had to show the "before" photo. 

Since we bought this place, 4 months ago, we've had 9 trees cut, a new roof, landscaping done, a patio built, the house pressure washed and now the back porch is getting screened in and the windows and trim are being painted white. We are so excited!

Oh, and my husband has also gutted, repaired and is now renovating our master bathroom. Whew! We've been busy!

Here's what we have, so far. The porch now has a roof and this week will bring a beadboard ceiling, screened in sides and two swinging screen doors at the steps. This is my favorite improvement, out of everything we've done up to this point. 

There is very often a breeze out here in the evenings and it's going to be so nice to sit and enjoy the lake, without all the bugs! Plus, I'll have another space to decorate and that's always a good thing!

We are really starting to love this place and feel at home here. It's taken awhile. Renting is always interesting because you have to really work at feeling "at home" in something that isn't yours. But, once we bought it (after 2 years of renting), it instantly had a new feel; like it was finally ours and we were at home again. 

I've wondered over the past few months, if we made a mistake taking on another fixer-upper. Although David and I both thrive when we have projects to work on, I was also enjoying having the weekends free and not being tied down to house projects all the time. But, there's something about making a place completely your own that's so satisfying. Plus, every other house we looked at over the past year, needed updating, but at much higher price points than this one. And, none of them sat on a private lake and none had friends right next door. 

So, here we are! Fixing up another house. We aren't strangers to doing this. We've only owned one new house our entire marriage and we still found things to add to that one, to make it fit our style.

 I firmly believe that we each have a style, and once you find that style and can manage to live in it, your home becomes so much more than just a place to sleep. Your home becomes a part of you and kind of wraps its arms around you, every time you come home. As a person who loves to be at home, I find this to be so important to having joy in my life. I've lived in places that never felt like home and you know what? I moved! Life's too short to come home to a place that doesn't feel like home. The older I get, the more I believe it. 

So, on that note, it's time to get myself ready for another day of builders being right outside my windows all day, having to walk the dog on a leash, which we haven't had to do in years, and catching up on bills and emails. It's going to be a great day!

Until Next Time...


Thursday, October 20, 2022

My Birthday

 "But I trust in you, Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hands."

Psalm 31:14-15

Today is my birthday! I'm 57 today and now I know what 57 feels like 😅

I'm up, I'm having my coffee, waiting for my mom to call and sing Happy Birthday to me, which is her trademark tradition. 

The construction crew is coming to screen in our back porch today, which couldn't have been planned any better, considering I'm the one who wants it so bad, so I can sit outside, rain or shine.

The kids will come tonight for dinner and dessert. This will be the first time we're all together in one room since the new baby was born (just last week).

I will fill in the middle of the day puttering around the house, maybe doing something creative and of course, cleaning before dinner.

I'm not one for a big fuss. I'm much better at fussing over someone else's birthday,

but my kids are always so good at making me feel special, which I greatly appreciate.

I'll probably be back tomorrow with real pictures,

but for now, I thought a vintage picture seemed

to fit my age 😂

And I love the scripture that was in my devotional for today!

I know my years are in God's hands and so far,

I'm thankful for every one of them!

Thank you, Lord!

Here's to many more!

Until Next Time...


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Back to Blogger and Things I've Learned


You might notice a change of scenery here on the blog. That's because I've moved back to Blogger and boy does it feel good!

For several years now I've been blogging over on WIX. My son actually set me up there when we had a home business, but that was then and this is now and all I want is a place to share my thoughts in a very non-complicated way.

I had my blog A Million Skies here from 2009 to probably around 2015 and then moved to a website format, but it always left me feeling like something was missing, which was the community I had built here, with friends and followers. 

Well, now I'm back and it's taken me a few days to re-learn the system, but that's ok, because I need to learn new things now and then, right? 😃

This year I've gone from using a MAC laptop for YEARS, back to a Windows PC, so that's been fun. 

I've learned how to publish an e-book on Amazon, so that's been interesting.

I've created my own junk garden, started using watercolors in my journaling and learned that I'm horrible with house plants. 

I'm working my way up to learning other new things this year (and running out of time), such as how to choose a book over Netflix (some of the time), that I really don't hate cooking, just the meal planning, and that kids only need 1 or 2 toys and then they want to play with your household decor instead of the closet full of stuff you bought them while buying groceries at Walmart. 

See? You're never too old to learn things!

Besides all of that, I've also learned that blogging is still such a passion of mine, but this time around, I'm not focused on how many people read it, but about those who come back day after day. Those are the real treasures I've been missing while I was away.

Until Next Time...