I’m Thankful . . . Sooo Thankful

Happy*Thanksgiving*Eve!!! I’ve had an extremely busy month, so I had to step away from this blog and most of social media for a while, but I’m glad to be back, celebrating my favorite holiday.

I love Thanksgiving because of so many things. I love waking up with the fam at the crack of dawn so we can run the Turkey Trot 5k, something I’ve done since high school. I love coming  home to my mom bringing over breakfast quiches and helping me get our feast started while we all watch the Macy’s Day Parade on TV. I love knowing we’ll be getting ready for Christmas the next day. But to me, Thanksgiving is a little bit better than Christmas because it’s all about being thankful for what you have, rather than wishing for what you don’t. This message has been especially important these past few months.

As most of you know, we took in a homeless family at the beginning of September. If you knew this single mom and her three kids and heard their story, chances are, it’d change the picture in your mind of what homelessness looks like. Since then, we’ve moved in a new house while they’re still staying in our foreclosed home (nobody has come knocking on the door yet, even after it was sold at auction *fingers crossed*). We’ve been so blessed by our new rental, which is only a half mile from our daughter’s high school (also our alma mater–where I met my hubs when I was 14). With her being involved in so many activities, this is exactly what we wanted, and came at the exact price we needed! So you see, karma is a wonderful thing. I hope this holiday season you help someone in need if you’re able to do so. Anyway, here are the promised pictures . . . better late than never, right?

house front

Front view . . . our 10yo loves running up and down the stairs . . . not annoying at all 😉

 

 

 

Our backyard . . . I've always wanted to be on the water! Fun Fishing times, but being that it's Florida, beware of gators!

Our backyard . . . I’ve always wanted to be on the water! Fun Fishing times, but being that it’s Florida, beware of gators!

 

My first home office . . . and it looks right over the water from the second floor! Beeeaaauuutiful!!!

My first home office . . . and it looks right over the water from the second floor! Beeeaaauuutiful!!!

And you want to know something else I’m thankful for? YOU!! For supporting me in my writing endeavors. I’m thrilled to announce the last installment of My So-Called Afterlife trilogy is coming out on January 27, 2015! JUST 2 MONTHS AWAY!!! If you have a minute, I’d be ever so grateful if you added 18 Thoughts to your Goodreads and help spread the word!

Sample tweet or FB post: Add the last book of the  trilogy by   to your Goodreads now! Only 2 mo until it all ends!

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Also, I know most of you will be shopping this weekend. My 14yo daughter and I host a blog on my publisher’s website called The Jedi and the Padawan. If you’re looking for ideas for the geek or hipster in your life, we’ve got ya covered!

Too Much Excitement for One Week!

School starting, my first mother/daughter column, a national magazine book review, a 99 cent sale for 18 Things , and my birthday . . . everything is coming up roses this week 🙂 Let me tell you that there were many times I was severely depressed during my growing up years. My 14yo daughter started high school this week (at my old stomping ground where I met hubs when I was 14!), and as he reminisced about those years with her, I realized I hardly remembered any of my own experiences. I think my subconscious just decided to shelter me by forgetting. But I do remember HOW I felt in my darkest hours, like each day would bring more troubles than I could deal with. So this week I’m incredible happy and thankful because as I’m turning thirty-five (which I view as the midway point in life . . . the Bible only promises us seventy years, eighty with a little trouble, so obey your parents!), it dawned on me that my life is way more than I ever dreamed possible. I have two jobs I LOVE (teaching middle school writing & being an author), a husband who has stayed married to me for 16 years and counting even though I’m sure I got the better end of the deal, and two wonderful daughters. Speaking of which . . .

My teenage daughter has lowered her standards and agreed to do a weekly column with me on my publisher’s website. We’ll review movies, books, music, and fashion. You get both of our perspectives, the Jedi and the Padawan. Check out our first post here, a review for the Ninja Turtles movie.

turtles

Also, 18 Things was reviewed in the Sept/Oct issue of Stone Soup magazine, written by my daughter! If you have a child 13yo or younger who loves to read, they may want to subscribe and/or submit to this magazine. As a book reviewer, they pay the child $40 and send them two free copies of the magazine.

magazine

And in other 18 Things news, the Kindle ecopy will go on sale for only 99 cents tomorrow and Friday (regular price $4.99). I do hope you’ll download it if you haven’t done so already. And if you have, would you mind posting a tweet or Facebook status to help me spread the word? Last time it went on sale in February, it almost broke into the top 100 on all of Amazon (#114–sooo close!!!!). It’s on my bucket list to make it to the top 100, and it’d be about as sweet as it can get if I’m able to cross this one off during my birthday week!

Will I have the Sweetest Birthday Ever?!

Will you help me have the Sweetest Birthday Ever?!

Here’s a sample tweet or FB post:

For a  novel packed with love & adventure grab 18 Things  while it’s only   Aug 21-22

What about you? Has joy greeted you this week? If not, I pray faith would make you whole again and that you could grab hold of each happy moment this life gives. ❤