Category Archives: personal

What I’m reading – January 2014

One of my goals for 2014 is to read more.  I have always loved reading but in recent years I haven’t done much of it.  Mostly because it can consume me.  Like…seriously consume me.  When I pick up a book and start reading I am transported into that place and time seems to stand still.  Unfortunately, while I like to think that the clock has stopped ticking, it hasn’t and I’m generally brought back to real life with a question like, “What’s for dinner” or “Why don’t I have any clean underwear?”  In all honesty, I don’t think that loving to read as much as I do is necessarily a problem.  It can however, turn into one if I allow myself to get too sucked in to book after book after book.

Another reason that I haven’t read much lately is because I feel like I need to expand my genres and that’s been an issue for me.  I’ll just be straight forward…I can’t get into non-fiction.  I’ll be reading right along and all of the sudden I am thinking about my grocery list or things I should be working on.  I can’t ever get consumed in non-fiction the way I do in a good fiction book.  The thing is, I really WANT to.  It’s just hard.  And I tend to just ignore things completely that are hard.

So, in an effort to be able to fall into a book the way I love but also learn to love non-fiction, I’ve devised a plan.  I will alternate fiction with non-fiction.  And I promise not to cheat!

It’s the end of January…I’ve already cheated.  Oops.  I did read some non-fiction though, so it’s not all bad.

Right around the time that I decided that I would set a goal to read more this year, I found this list of 16 books to read before they are made into movies. There were several on the list that I already had on my list to read so I decided to take on the challenge. (Uh oh, now I found this list and it’s even bigger! And LOOK! I had no idea that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was going to be made into a movie! WHAT?!)

First up in January was Divergent by Veronica Roth.


I read the Twilight series years ago long before it was the talk of every teen girl around. Same with the Hunger Games. So, I figured this would be something I would enjoy. Um…yes. I realize that this book is filed away in the Teen section at the book store. Apparently, although I’m officially an adult, I really love books aimed towards teens. Whatever. I loved this book y’all. In fact, knowing that there was another book after the first one really helped to keep me motivated to get through my non-fiction book next. Bonus points.

Divergent is a dystopia, which apparently I like. A dystopia is a story set in the future, where there is an oppressive government and repressed society. It’s very fast paced and suspenseful which makes it easy to read. I would finish one chapter thinking that I’d put the book down after that and then of course wouldn’t be able to.

The next book I read was Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel.


I think even if I hadn’t had the Insurgent book in line next, I would have still been able to get through this one fairly easily. The subtitle is “Clean Living in a Contaminated World” and the book focuses on the toxins of this world that can harm our faith and witness to others. I really enjoyed the way that Groeschel shared experiences and stories to help me visualize a lot of the ideas in the book. The book as a whole really had me looking within myself at things that are polluting my own life. I’d definitely recommend it to others.

You know what book number 3 was…and I’ll go ahead and tell you that this is where I cheated and read two fictions in a row. I couldn’t help it!

I flew through Insurgent and decided to just go ahead and finish the series up with Allegiant. I finished it this morning and WHOA. Seriously didn’t end the way that I thought it would. I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t already read it but, whoa. Just…whoa.

So now I do hereby solemnly swear that I will read a non-fiction book next. I’ll report back here at the end of the month and hopefully I will have read some more great books!

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Throwback Thursday

I’m SO close to being all caught up with my work. Which makes me feel like I’ve just climbed to the tippity-top of Mt. Everest. Seriously. This NEVER happens. And the idea of being able to actually take some time to work on editing some personal stuff before the slew of the spring busy season picks up again makes me giddy. GIDDY, I tell you!

So, in this weeks issue of #tbt I’m sharing images from last May. This family has a daughter the same age as my oldest and they played volleyball together for several years. While they were good friends, I feel like that friendship paled in comparison to that of Sadie and Cole. Those two cracked his mother and me up with their friendship and varying degrees of it. We found out last spring that the family would be relocating to the Houston area because of Dad’s job and I just hated to see them go. Thank goodness for Facebook so I can keep up with them! ;) Cole just celebrated his 14th birthday so I felt like this was a great time finally edit the images from his going-away party.

He’s not around every day but Sadie and her friends still talk to him often. (How come we didn’t have SnapChat and texting when my good friends moved away?) I am just so thankful for this group of kids. This is usually the age when they start to kind of separate and so many of these kids have just remained the best of friends. It makes this Mom’s heart happy! I remember the night I took these photos. I wasn’t able to get over to the party until it was late and the light was awful and it was super windy. Taking them, I just kept thinking about how technically BAD they were and how I should have brought my tripod to steady the camera so that I could shoot at a lower ISO. But you know what? All these months later, as I edit them (finally), I’m realizing that it doesn’t matter how perfect the images are. What matters is that these kids can look back at this and remember. Remember how Sadie wouldn’t get up from that chair because she was sitting on the flag that everyone was trying to capture. Remember what it felt like running around the yard in their bare feet chasing each other. Remember how much fun it can be to hang out with friends and not be on the computer/phone/game system/etc. It’s kinda like the good old days. Am I right?

We miss you Meacham family!

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Throwback Thursday

You’ve been on Instagram, right? If so, then you’ve surely seen all the different daily hashtag posts. You know, #MCM and #transformationtuesday, #WCW and #tbt. There are more, but for now we’ll stop at #tbt, also known as throwback Thursday. That’s when you share a picture of times gone by.

I’m not sure how many of these I’ll be able to do, but I thought it would be a great way to share all the personal images that I failed to share in the last year. Because, let’s face it, 2013 was a year of some SERIOUS changes and events that quite honestly…were just downright hard! I know someday I will look back on 2013 and see lessons and growth. Right now though, my sentimental soul is still a bit in recovery mode.

I realize that these are all #firstworldproblems, right? But here’s a taste of the changes that went on:

-Lost my step-dad in March, completely unexpected.
-Just a couple weeks later, attended the funeral for one of the coolest missionaries to Haiti that I had the pleasure of working with.
-After 12 straight years of having a child in elementary school, my baby graduated.
-My “baby” graduated high school and started college!
-Lost 60 pounds.
-Turned 40 years old.
-Found nodules on my thyroid and went through a period of testing to see if it was cancer.
-Almost lost my little sister to severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome
-Subsequently, had my sweet nephew arrive a full 12 weeks early at just 26 weeks gestation.
-Sold our “dream home” that we built ourselves 10 years ago.
-Bought a “new” 1966 fixer upper.

See, that’s a lot. Right? You know what though? Even just typing those things out I can already spin some of them into positives. So it’s all good. Mostly. I hope to share details of each of these things, but today I’ve got some “moving into the dorm” pictures for you.

We just visited Madilee as she started her 2nd semester at Ozark Christian College. Looking through these photos from last August, I remember how HARD it was to move her in and just leave her there. She’s always been very independent so I knew she’d be fine. But this Mommy was going to miss her SO much. Not to mention her siblings. It was a hard hard day filled with so many different emotions. There were activities over the course of several days but we weren’t able to stay because we had to hurry home. That’s what happens when your daughter moves to college in the middle of moving!

Teagan rode with Madi on the way to Joplin, she wanted to get every last possible minute with her that she could. She’s such a sweet soul and all these changes were taking their toll on her. I knew the goodbyes later in the day would be the hardest on her.

Once we arrived, we were greeted by awesome students who were available to help and direct us to where we needed to go.

Funny story, I got a very tearful call the day that Madi got her dorm assignment.  To say she was devasted to be in the Alumni dorm would be pretty accurate.  I giggled, and got in trouble because this was SERIOUS.  So I then explained that this sounded a whole lot like when she got on the team in middle school that NO ONE wanted to be on, only to find out that all of her friends were also on that team.  I’m happy to say, that she very very quickly fell in love with Alumni before we even left her!  (Yep, Mom was right once again.)

Unlce Jeff and Aunt Lori live only 20 minutes away and came over for a bit to visit.  SO nice knowing that in the event of Madi getting sick or needing some family in a pinch, they are able and more than willing to step up!


Dorm rooms are tiny, but Madi and her roommate had their priorities right.  Coffee, candy…and apples.  (I’d be willing to bet those apples were never consumed.)


The day went by WAY too fast and after a family dinner, we took her back to her dorm and said goodbye.  There were tears.  Lots of tears.


SO very proud of you Madilee.  You’ve made it through your first semester of college with flying colors.  You’ve started your second semester at Ozark, and have added classes at MSSU to pursue your nursing degree.  You are involved in a church and have a great group of friends that we love.  We are praying for you this semester as you continue to grow.  We love you!

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