The Lego Table

I am a sentimental person. I can’t help but get a little teary eyed when my children outgrow things that they cherished or we had really sweet memories attached to.

Maybe you are the same way. I came across a kids John Deere hard hat that I know doesn’t get played with anymore, but my father-in-law who passed away was a big John Deere tractor guy and I just wasn’t ready to donate it. Other than a few really special keepsakes I will let things go when the time is right.

I am not emotional about every little thing. I can toss or donate items enthusiastically when I know it’s a cheap plastic thing that no one ever cared about, but when it’s homemade it really gets me in the feels.

For example J made a wooden “horse” to hold my aunt’s old saddle for Ezie’s 3 little pigs birthday party and it is full of memories.

 

 

It took up quite a bit of space and the kids had outgrown it, but I still couldn’t let it go. You can see it in the background of this photo, right next to the restroom in our basement. Perfect place for it, ha ha.

Then I got a message from SJ’s deaf school wanting to borrow it for their farm theme. They had done this in the past and I would just get it back afterwards. This time I asked if they had room to store it and would like to keep the saddle and they said yes! That meant the world to me. If they have thrown it out since then it’s fine. I know items don’t last forever, but to know that it was going to make more deaf kids smile and be used as a tool to teach speech–well it doesn’t get much better than that.

The latest conundrum was the lego table.

I’ve blogged about this lego table that Jeremy designed and made himself. The kids have spent COUNTLESS hours playing at this table. All four of them.

I have so many precious memories involving legos. Then last year Z got an electric drum set and we knew the only spot for it was the place where the lego table currently sat.

No one really played with legos much anymore and either the table was getting smaller or the kids were getting bigger, but I wasn’t ready to face reality. This was another toughie. It was time to move on. We needed to say goodbye to the lego table.

Then I thought of some of our close friends with two little kids that are like family to us. I asked if we could give them all 50 pounds of legos and the table, but only if they wanted it and if it was the right fit for their family. It was Christmas time and they thought it would be perfect for their little ones! That settled it. The lego table had been scribbled on and was definitely showing years of love, so J sanded it down and restored it to its original glory. Then SJ inscribed the kids names and we added a scripture verse on the side.

On Christmas day we got photos and a text message about how much joy the Lego table brought. Our friends continue to give us updates about how much everyone loves the Lego table.

I have replied with all sincerity that really it was a gift to us that they took that Lego table.

Z was the biggest Lego fan of all.

The boy whose Christmas wish list used to be full of Lego sets and his rainy days were spent creating with bricks now has a Christmas wish list full of instruments and his rainy days are spent composing music.

Goodness, he’s signing up for dual credit college courses this week and in a month he’ll get his license and then apply for his first job!

The term bitter sweet may be cliche, but everyone knows exactly what you mean when you say it. I am rejoicing, but I’m also grieving. Mostly rejoicing though because I never wanted them to stay little forever.

Those memories are comforting and sweet, that’s all. Sappy as it may be, seeing my kids’ old clothes on other kids that we passed them along to, or knowing a favorite item is getting more use really warms my heart and makes parting with this season a whole lot easier. Like I said, it’s a gift.

By |2024-02-01T02:34:58+00:00January 31, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Frugal Family Ham

First the recipe and then I’ll share how I make this extremely cost effective!

Instant ham broccoli cheddar soup (inspired by Panera- YUM)

All of my photos of the soup are terrible and do not look appetizing so here is one from The Chunky Chef whose soup recipe inspired mine.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter Divided
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves Minced
  • 3 cups stock (I’ve used chicken or my own home made ham broth)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets (with stems) You can use frozen if you wish, the pot may take a little longer to come to pressure.
  • 1 cup of chopped celery (totally optional, but if I have some on hand I add it as a filler)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of cubed cooked ham

Instructions

  • Place the Instant Pot on the saute function. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, chopped onions, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the broth, broccoli, celery, salt, pepper, red pepper and garlic powder to taste to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal. Cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.
  • While the soup cooks, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl. Add the flour to the butter and stir.
  • When the pot indicates it has finished, quick release the steam and place it on warm.
  • Open the pot and add the heavy whipping cream, ham, and shredded cheddar to the pot.
  • Scoop out a couple of tablespoons of the soup and add it to the bowl with the melted butter and flour. Stir and add the mixture back to the pot. This will thicken up the soup.
  • Place the Instant Pot on saute for a few minutes until the cheese has melted.
  • Serve in bowls.

 

I recently bought ham at full price and I hated to do it, but I really wanted this special soup recipe that I make because it’s been cold here. I told myself Next time spiral ham is on sale/clearance I am going to buy extra and freeze them as I have done in the past.

Ham usually drops under a dollar a pound after Christmas and Easter. I saw it for 89 cents at Aldi today and I stayed true to my words and bought four!

That was $85 worth of ham for $33. Almost  50 dollar savings!

Cha ching!

Here is why I get excited about ham. Everyone in my family will eat it. I can by one ten pound ham for under 10 bucks and make a nice dinner, plus have leftovers for my broccoli cheddar soup (it’s a terrible photo, but it’s delicious), and also to add to eggs or lunch.

So for $10 I can have a good portion of three meals for a family of six. In today’s economy I will shout that deal from the roof tops! I also have ham broth in my freezer. I don’t always make broth out of the carcass, but when I do then I feel like I am really maximizing my dollars. If you don’t have an extra freezer, just buy one ham it’s still a great deal.  I know this isn’t the healthiest recipe of all time, but sometimes feeding my family a home cooked meal is the best I can do. Maybe someday we’ll be all organic, but until then I am not going to worry about it and in case you’re struggling I hope this gives you permission too.

I can’t tell you exactly when and where the deals are, but keep your eyes peeled and next time you spot ham marked down under a dollar a pound snag one (or four). Heat it up according to package directions. Cut up the leftovers and then circle back to this recipe for my family’s FAVORITE soup.

By |2024-01-28T03:53:03+00:00January 28, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Inspiring Mom Ashley Roche

This month’s Inspiring Mom is Ashley Roche.

Just a heads up, there are some delicate topics included in this story. During the interview, I wanted to make sure Ashley didn’t feel pressured to share anything she wasn’t comfortable with. For Ashley though, she just wants to get the full story out to give God the glory and possibly help others. She told me that if she could even help one person by sharing what God has done for her it would be worth it. I had tears listening to her story and writing it.

When Ashley came to my house for the interview I opened the door to a beautiful, healthy, smiling mom and her adorable 6-year-old son with his fluffy, yellow dog stuffed animal in tow. I welcomed them in and my youngest son immediately ran to the door to say hello. The two boys took off downstairs to play together. The love of Christ radiates from Ashley and her son, unless you know her story you would never guess in a million years what they have overcome.

 

Ashley was raised by a single mom whom she had a bit of a strained relationship with. She didn’t grow up in the church. She knew about God but had no relationship with him.

When she was in high school she gradually got involved in the wrong crowd and in 2003 she started getting fake IDs and drinking. She dabbled in various drugs but Ashley firmly explained “I’ve done everything from marijuana to ecstasy, but it always came back to meth. I had to have meth. I was addicted to it.” When she recounts her struggles with Methamphetamine you can see it in her eyes how the drug had a hold on her. Meth was the thing that would not stop until it took everything.

She would do whatever it took to get it. The grip meth had on Ashley was so strong that jail didn’t stop it. Rehab didn’t stop it. Her family could not stop it. A move of God would be the only thing able to break the chains of addiction.

In 2006 she got involved with a drug dealer. They weren’t in a relationship, but they were close enough that she did end up pregnant and had her first son. Still, she used. She allowed drug dealers to work out of her home so that she had access. Her home was raided many times and eventually, CPS took her son and Ashley’s mother got guardianship. With all of her attention on getting high the visits to see her son were few and far between.

Ashley was so far gone she didn’t have hope that she would ever get her life together.

At one point in 2015, Ashley was desperate for money. A friend she did drugs with told her about Back Page. It was a website that has since been taken down, but it was for prostitution. Ashley was desperate so she started to advertise and meet with men at casinos and hotels. Twice she was busted when a fake client turned out to be a cop. That never detoured her. She continued to work the system and ended up in some terrible, TERRIBLE situations. At times she was living on the streets and starving, but eventually, the more tricks she turned the money started adding up.

This only increased her drug habit. She became an IV user and she overdosed multiple times. Ashley wasn’t really feeling sad or desperate she was to the point where she just didn’t feel anything at all. She felt lifeless, so why worry about being alive?
It doesn’t end there though.

It could have, but praise God He had his hand on Ashley and she knows it without a shadow of a doubt. But before the breakthrough she had to face another trial. In 2016 Ashley became pregnant after the contraceptive failed with a client. She contacted her client to tell him that she was pregnant. The man who was the father was married and wanted to make sure this “problem” was taken care of so that “it” didn’t destroy his life.

So he scheduled an abortion, but Ashley’s ride never showed up. Then he rescheduled and this time she made it all the way to planned parenthood and was sitting in the exam chair getting a sonogram of her 16-week-old fetus which she refused to look at. However, when they took her blood pressure it was dangerously high because of the drugs she had been on. The risk of cardiac arrest was too much of a liability so the doctor refused to do the abortion. So the man rescheduled the abortion. Later that week Ashley went to the bathroom and did more drugs as usual, except this is the part of the story where everything changed. While strung out on meth in a bathroom God met her there. You read that right. GOD MET HER THERE.

Even with drugs in her system, she had an overwhelming supernatural experience. She felt the love of God and felt a maternal connection to her unborn child that she never had before. While remembering the story Ashley said “Something spiritual happened that night and I sat there in the bathroom and cried all night long and repeatedly said ‘I am so sorry’. Crying and crying and crying and after that, something told me I didn’t want to do that anymore. I cancelled my next abortion appointment and I quit drugs. This was after using for over 10 years.” She said “The only way I can explain it is that I felt the same as Mary in The Chosen in the scene where she says ‘I was one way and then I wasn’t, and the only thing that happened inbetween was Him’ and that’s how it was for me. That’s all I can say. There was nothing that could have changed me. I was so long gone! I didn’t know He was there the whole time.”

She canceled the abortion and her baby was born 6 months later.

It wasn’t a perfect path lined with roses. The baby did have meth in his system, and CPS was wanting to do the right thing by keeping him from his mother. Ashley was changed though and she did anything and everything she had to do to prove she was clean and could keep her son.

She eventually had full custody and moved out of state. In September 2018, her baby was dedicated to the Lord.

Then in November 2018, Ashley was baptized.

She was completely changed just like 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Then in 2019 she was able to get custody of her older son back!

He moved in and they began to mend the broken relationship.

In 2022 he was also baptized!

In six years Ashley went from a life of drugs and prostitution to now having a place of her own with her two sons!

She’s had 4 job promotions where she works as a quality lab technician and she has a new car that she paid off on her own!

All of those blessings and achievements are incredible, but of course, the best part is her relationship with God. Ashley told me “As weird as it sounds I don’t regret any of the stuff that I went through because I don’t know that I would have reached out to God. I don’t know if I would have felt like I needed Him if I were managing on my own.” She said she will never forget the day He saved her. She wants everyone to know “If you are struggling it’s not too late. God will never fail you and no one is ever too lost to be saved by His amazing grace.”

 

By |2024-01-23T03:17:43+00:00January 22, 2024|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Double Recipe Chicken Pot Pie

I am not a food blogger and don’t have a “jump to recipe” button so I’ll post the recipe first!

Ingredients

2 boxes of pie crust (I just get the generic or whatever is on sale)

1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 tbs)

1 cup of chopped onion

2/3 cup of flour

1 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of pepper

1/2 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of garlic powder

3.5 cups of chicken broth (28 fluid ounces)

1 cup of milk (or cream)

5 cups of shredded chicken

4 cups of frozen mixed vegetables thawed

First preheat oven two 425 and prepare pie crusts as directed in two 9 inch glass pie pans.

Next in a stock pot melt butter over medium heat.

After butter is melted add onion and cook 2 minutes stirring frequently.

Stir in flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder until well blended.

Gradually add broth and milk stirring until bubbly and thick.

Now add the chicken and veggies.

Stir everything together and remove from heat.

Spoon half of the mixture in on pie crust and add the rest to the other pie crust.

Top the pies with the second crust. Seal it by pinching the edges or pressing a fork down all the way around.

Cut about 5 slits into the tops of each pie crust. I like making a star shape, but you can get however creative you like with the tops of pies.

Put your pies in the middle rack of the oven and cook them for 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. To prevent excessive browning you can add aluminum foil to the edge of the crust in the second half of the baking. The easiest way to do this tear off a sheet of aluminum foil that is about the size of your pie and cut a hole (about 6 inches in diameter) in the middle.

After you finish baking remove the foil and let cool for 5 minutes.

Bon apetite!

Now for the back story.

It truly seems like yesterday I had toddlers and today I have teens. Not quite, but with a family of six that includes boys that 14 years old and 9 years old boy along with two girls ages 12 and 6 year, the appetites are increasing DAILY and it is hard to keep up. I LOVE chicken pot pie. Not only is my favorite comfort food, but it’s one of the few foods that all four of my kids like. The problem is one pie made in a 9 inch pie pan is only going to give you six full size slices. That’s not going to cover it for my family! I looked for a chicken pot pie casserole recipe and searched for something that might accommodate a large family. However everything I tried ended up being a flop and couldn’t compare to the chicken pot pie I know and love. So last night I just doubled my favorite recipe and made TWO pies. It was so yummy. Everyone was full. No conniving or bribing happened. That’s a win in my book. So I posted my pies on Instagram and immediately got recipe requests.

That’s what inspired me to do this full blog post. I based my recipe off of this one. This along with everything I make is on my Pinterest page. Give me a follow @MessyMom. Take note that the original recipe does not have paprika or garlic powder and of course the increments are split in half because it’s a recipe for one pie. We ended up having a lot left over which is great! I love having leftovers. On Sundays I usually have what I call a “free for all” and I try to liquidate all of the things that are in the left over food from the week before so that the fridge is cleared out for my grocery shopping on Monday. It works well since Sundays are busy for us. Another thing I love having leftovers for is that they make easy lunches! Leftovers are my friend, but one that I was seeing less and less of as my children have started inhaling adult portions. I’m still working on tweaking our meals to accommodate the needs, but this chicken pot pie is one put on rotation, especially in winter.

By |2024-01-23T03:16:29+00:00January 17, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

40 Day Sugar Fast Starting January 2nd 2024

I am super pumped (and nervous, I’m not going to lie) about participating and hosting “The 40 Day Sugar Fast Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation”.

The book that we will be basing this off of is by Wendy Speake and you can get at Hobby Lobby, Amazon, or many other book stores. I have had some questions come up about the fast. I may not be an expert, but I have done it multiple times before and am ready to start this year off right. So here is a little quick Q&A to give you an idea of what this is all about.

When does the fast begin? 

Tuesday January 2nd! My Facebook event page says “6:00 am” and I know some people were worried there would be an online meet up at that time, but NO! I have that day off so I will be asleep at 6:00 am, but I had to put a time on the page so that’s what I picked.

Who can join? 

My only two criteria to join the Messy Mom fasting group is to be on Facebook (if you want to see updates and join discussions) and you have to be a female because I want us to be comfortable to share anything even if it’s related to–ya know–girl stuff.

The big group with thousands of participants hosted by author Wendy Speake is online and you can sign up here, you don’t have to be a woman or have Facebook for that one. But if you want something a little more intimate you can join my group on Facebook on my Messy Mom page. Just submit a request to join this private group and commit to eating no sugar and diving deeper in prayer and God’s word from January 2nd- February 10th.

How does the Messy Mom online group work? 

I will post daily scriptures and encouragement on the event page and I would love for any participants to do the same. Whether it’s prayer requests, breakthroughs, or even just looking for accountability that is what the event page is for.

What is biblical fasting? 

Fasting is intentionally reducing or eliminating something for a certain timeframe for the purpose of obeying God and focusing on Him. The Bible instructs us to fast. Jesus did it and also told us to.

 

What kind of sugar should we avoid? 

In the book “The 40 Day Sugar Fast” the guidelines are to say no to all sugary sweet treats for forty days “Nothing made with sugar. No soda. No ice cream, donuts, pancakes, or peanut M&Ms. Nothing containing sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.” Most importantly it’s your own personal commitment. Whatever the Lord is guiding you to do you should do, but then write it down, share with the group, and draw a firm line. If you don’t it can be all too easy to slide off of the wagon and quit altogether.

Now that we are ready to begin remember to turn to God anytime you feel that old habit of turning to sugar. Let’s allow God to transform us as we take these intentional steps to draw closer to him. I can’t wait to see all the fruit that comes from this!

By |2024-01-06T03:01:33+00:00January 1, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Z’s Sweet 16

First of all, how is it that I have a 16 year old. I could be getting really sappy and emotional about that, but I will wait until at least 17  for that blog post, 18 if we’re lucky. For now let’s just talk about the party. 16 is a big one. One of the biggest milestone birthdays of all actually and we knew he wasn’t get a car so I wanted to do something else significant. We decided that even though we had just thrown a launch party for my book and it was a huge undertaking we still needed to do something equally as big for Z, so we threw him a surprise party. It was…well, let’s just say there are two sides to every story. There is the glass half empty and the glass half full right?

I could talk about how it ended up being super hot even though September is usually nice Ohio. This heat made the cake melt into a giant glob

and the balloons popped throughout the entire party like bombs that would startle everyone.

I could mention that Z’s friends had one job and that was to stall until 12:30.

These are the kids that are always lingering around, hanging out, leaving places late and they are never prompt when it comes to being home on time, but on this day there was nothing that they could think of and needed to bring Z home early. In their defense I missed the warning text because I was frantically trying to get things setup. So Z showed up before we were ready and it was extremely anticlimactic, but he hadn’t seen everyone that was at the party, he just knew there was a party. So I blind folded him and made him sit in the front yard while everyone lined up for the “surprise”.

I originally wanted to offer refreshing bottled water to the guest, but the teens could bring their own soda if they chose. My husband scoffed at that idea informing me “Natalie I don’t care if you and Z don’t drink soda. You can’t throw a party for teenagers without soda.” He was right, so I conceded and bought plenty of canned sodas for which I offered a recycling bin. Were the cans recycled? No. Well, some of them were, but then melted cake was thrown on top of it so I gave up on that idea.

The party was packed with teenagers. over 20 of Z’s closest (ha ha) friends showed up and let me tell you– things got crazy.

Thankfully not in an immoral way, it wasn’t THAT kind of party, but I had to intervene to prevent multiple injuries from happening. For example our trampoline cannot handle a dozen people! I digress.

While I may have felt like I was failing as the hostess of the whole thing, the reality was the kids all had a blast. Z felt loved and said it was the best day of his life. He even told me that he was surprised. I’ve lived long enough to not let all the other stuff get to me. If Z was happy then I am definitely happy.

How many teenagers get to have an epic water balloon, squirt gun, zip line, knock down drag out, hose squirting everywhere water fight for their birthday? I am thankful for the way it all turned out and Z said it was the “best birthday ever” so I can’t argue with that!

By |2024-02-05T22:28:37+00:00September 25, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Launch Party

For those who have read “Hope at the Threshold” or follow Messy Mom you know I love parties and party planning. My book included details about my anniversary party/vow renewal from 2010, the Green Eggs and Ham party from 2012, the super hero party and One Happy camper in 2013, the Fun to Bee one theme party from 2016, and SJ’s butterfly birthday and  graduation party in 2018. So getting to throw another party, this time for the book, was a dream come true.

The week of the book launch party I sent an invite to my friend in Texas. I had zero expectations for her to come, I was just wanting to include her in my happy news. She told me she would be there in spirit unless she flew spirit then she may be there in person… which SHE DID!

She flew in from Texas very last minute and she really made everything come together perfectly. She taught the girls to sew and make these special decorations.

They had a blast. She also taught me how to do a balloon garland (way easier than I thought) and she made pennant banners.

They were so special because some of the material was actually from the kids old clothes. She asked me if I had any fabric or old clothing that could be used. I explained to her about my stash of cleaning rags, but they are really old unwearable items that I cut up to use around the house. I donate stuff that is in decent shape so I truly didn’t think she would be able to use any of. I was wrong and was amazed at how she was able to turn scraps of rags into something so sweet and sentimental. It’s perfect for me because I love reusing and repurposing things!

For the party I rented a pavilion at the local park which is right across the street from the library.

How perfect is that? It also has a little community library bin of it’s own. J’s brother and sister in law bought a book to put in the community library. I pray that the right person will find it and be encouraged! One of the things I really wanted to make this party extra special was customized cookies. My friend from Third Day Baking Co made the sweetest and most beautiful cookies for the occasion.

Some where cochlear implant theme and my favorite ones were a copy of the book cover. Then my brother and sister in law showed up with even more custom cookies which we really needed because we ran out of the ones I purchased. There were cookies and snacks galore! I had some sparkling cider left over from Christmas—don’t worry it wasn’t expired—and the kids kept wanting to open it but I told them I was saving it for my book launch and we finally got to pop that non alcoholic bubbly!

The best part was the people. The weather was all over the place that day but that didn’t seem to affect attendance. I had so many friends and family show up. There were people from church, people from out of state (such a fun surprise), people from our connections through SJ’s deaf school.

People communicating in sign language, babies, kids running around, some guests even brought their dog with them, which I loved!

 

Then there were the thoughtful hope themed homemade gifts and cards.

My  heart was bursting from the love. I also had guests sign my personal copy of “Hope at the Threshold” which is a tradition where I have a book that goes along with the theme of the party and the guests sign it. That was a full circle moment that meant a lot to me.

As far as the big question, how did the launch go and how are sales? Well, on the one hand it’s going great. I’ve had such awesome feedback from everyone who has read it and the word is already beginning to spread causing more and more interest. On the other hand my book still isn’t listed on Amazon. It shows it’s listed but that it is out of stock. Everyone thinks it’s sold out because my sales are so awesome. I wish that were the case, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to sell any on Amazon yet. This is annoying because a lot of people want to buy from Amazon to save on shipping of course! I would too. I am working hard to resolve this issue. Until then as I’ve mention on social media and the blog I would be happy to mail out copies to anyone who would like to read my memoir. The cost in full is $20 and you can pay through Venmo, Zelle, or Apple Pay. I have sent out a lot of books this way and those shipments have all been successful! Feel free to message me on social media or leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with you. The book is also available on Barnes and Noble.com, BAM! Books-A-Million, or Walmart. For those who have already bought a book (or many of you bought bookS plural, which is amazing) I thank you. I am so grateful! You guys are the best!!! I mean it.

Writing a book and publishing it has been such hard work. I feel like I reach one obstacle after another. When will it end? People have complemented me on the achievement and commented about what an accomplishment this is. I would love to say “You are too kind, thank you.” but instead I feel like Bleeker in the movie Juno. Juno says “you’re, like, the coolest person I’ve ever met, and you don’t even have to try

…” and Bleeker replies “I try really hard actually”. That’s me! I try really hard actually and I am learning as I go. I still feel like this is a soft launch and the book isn’t quite officially out yet, but this is definitely a great start. I am not going to let this hiccup with Amazon to get in my way. More to come my friends. More to come!

By |2023-09-14T02:04:10+00:00September 14, 2023|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Hope at the Threshold

This is it! The moment that millions of little moments have led up to. My memoir, Hope at the Threshold is now available online for preorder and will officially launch this Saturday August 26th! Hope at the Threshold is the story of how God brought us through the valley of welfare, hearing loss, marriage struggles, unstable housing, and so much more. It’s a pretty short book—only 21 chapters— so it takes about 5 hours to read depending on your pace. I would recommend having a box of tissues nearby for some parts, but don’t worry it’s actually a happy book with a redemptive ending.

If you would like a copy you can preorder on Amazon or Barnes and Noble online. You place your order now and the day the book goes live it will take payment and ship to you automatically.

Or if you want an autographed copy shoot me an email or message. I can send you a book in the mail for $20.

I am going to be sharing A LOT of details about the book in the next couple of weeks. There will be some fun “behind the scenes” info and bonus content. But for now I just want to thank everyone in my life who has shown me abounding love and support through this process.

I have so many friends who have believed in me and cheered me on every step of the way. I also had two editors and they were so gracious to help me and teach me along the way. I will always be grateful for these two wonderful ladies.

I have to thank my family of course, especially my mom. They have pushed me even when I felt like giving up. I compare writing a book to the scene from the movie Tangled where Rapuzel leaves the tower. She is bouncing around one moment feeling the grass between her toes dancing and twirling with joy, excited for her new adventure. Then the next scene she is crying and defeated, feeling like she should have never left the tower and that she made a mistake. She gleefully shouts with proud astonishment “I can’t believe I did this” then hear expression changes to dread and concern and she says “I can’t believe I did this” with a regretful tone. It starts at 1:20 mark of this video.

I soooo relate to that!

I can’t even describe the feeling of finishing a book and being able to hold it in your hands. It’s incredibly exhilarating to say the least.

You feel like dancing and twirling like Rapunzel when she feels grass for the first time. Then imposture syndrome kicks in. And you fear the negative responses or being misunderstood. It leaves you wanting to take it all back because it’s too risky. However you know in your heart your story was never meant to stay locked in the tower forever. That’s how it felt for me and as scary as it is, it’s time to share the book with the world.

I do I have one last person to thank and that is my husband.

He has appreciated and cultivated my creative spirit since I was a teenager. He has been by my side every step of this process and he has had to do so much in terms of formatting the book, designing the cover, giving me feedback, allowing me to make mistakes and learn as I go. He also has had to give me permission, not because he is a controlling husband, but because it’s OUR story. I wanted to be sure he approved of me sharing his story too. He is a very private introverted person so the whole idea of being extremely raw and vulnerable did not come easily. For the record, it didn’t come easily to me either! What we knew though is by sharing the ugly parts along with the sweet ones God would be glorified. We believe He is going to use this testimony and that is 100% our prayer. That’s why we were able to tell about the pain and show God’s faithfulness. Because He is in all of it. And I believe he can take a “messy memoir” and turn into a masterpiece that points others to His goodness.

 

By |2023-08-19T12:41:14+00:00August 19, 2023|Uncategorized|1 Comment

We Have SO Much to Catch Up On

Back in February I announced that my website would be under construction and I expected it to be back up and running a week later. Then my van broke down and it was a huge ordeal that included J taking time off work to fix it. Believe it or not this happened twice. The second time wasn’t even related to the first one and this was our NICE vehicle–the one we still make payments on. Ugh!!!

On top of that I had some health issues that I still don’t have answers to. I have previously shared about my anemia, but this appears to be something different. I keep having shaking spells for no reason. When it happens I look like I am shivering from the cold (but it’s not cold). It makes me sad and mad that I have had to walk through this but I am trusting the Lord and taking it day by day. I will explain more when *hopefully* I know a little bit more. For now I am on medication that helps me not shake so much. The one good thing to come out of this so far is that I have put so much more focus on getting healthy- physically, spiritually, emotionally… all of it.

Anyway, let’s talk about dreams! I started this year out with my one word- DREAMS! 2023 is the year where I believed dreams were going to be realized and things I’ve envisioned and hoped for for so long would start to unfold and you guys it’s definitely happening. My book, Hope at the Threshold, is complete and I’ve already sold several preorder copies.

 

I’ve had wonderful feedback and watched God begin to use this story already in many ways.

I was invited to speak at a women’s night back in April. and despite an ER visit the week before, I was able to share and everything went so well.

There is a video of my message on Youtube if you are interested.

I am so grateful for everything God did that night.

I have already been asked to do another speaking engagement and I know this is just the beginning. I’ve had so many people catch wind of the book and want to know how to get a copy. This makes my heart want to explode from happiness, so thank you for your support!

Actually, one of my favorite examples of this was from my friend Alison. Alison was recently on a mission’s trip and one of our mutual friends was reading my book on the plane. So Alison asked about what she was reading and she told her it was my book. When they returned Alison text me wanting to know how to get a copy. That was a DREAM come true moment for me. I know that these are people from my church that are showing love and support for me, but still, the idea that someone was reading my book on a plane and someone else wanted to get a copy. How cool is that? I wrote a book! It’s very surreal and of course as the word leaks that there are books out there I keep getting asked how to get a book which is such an awesome question. The problem is while I do have copies available for local purchase the book isn’t online yet. I promise it will be very very soon. No matter what it takes!

I am 98% ready to have the official launch (I’m looking at August). I have been waiting on my website, which is kind of done. At least it’s live, but it’s super slow and buggy. I’ve always been thankful for the name Messy Mom because it’s applicable in so many ways. My blog and my life seem to be a mess, but like my tagline says I am making the best of it. Thanks for being so patient with everything. Once this is all said and done I know it will be worth it. I love blogging and I am so thankful that I get to do this and for every single individual who stops by this space.

By |2023-06-19T17:09:57+00:00June 19, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Lovepop Father’s Day!

Shopping for Father’s Day is hard. Whether it’s your husband, grandpa, father-in-law, or your dear old dad they usually don’t want anything. They have plenty of mugs and if they are interested in a tool or gadget they just buy it! At least that’s how the men in my family are. In fact, I have a funny story about the difference between men and women when it comes to gifts. My mother-in-law saw a sturdy folding multi-step stool and saw it was a little pricey, but knew it would come in handy. She has a lovely home with high ceilings and kitchen cabinets that are amazing for storage but many are just out of reach. So she dropped a hint to her husband that she would like a stool like that for her birthday (very practical but that was her way of pacifying her sticker shock). His response was “Oh. I see. Well, would you want it for your birthday or do you want to be able to reach all the shelves now?” and he just bought it for her because he knew she could use it and didn’t need to waste a birthday present on such a thing. 

Then there is the matter of the card. You want it to be heartfelt, but you don’t want to spend an hour in the card aisle looking through everything. That’s where Lovepop cards come in. I was thrilled to be offered the chance to get some cards and review Lovepop—a company that specializes in making every moment magical with unique pop-up cards and gifts.

I found the perfect card for my dad because he had two jokes he always said when I was a kid and one of them was about a mushroom who was left out and had to convince everyone that he was a “fungi”.

This was before dad jokes were synonymous with cheesy jokes. It’s the origin of dad jokes. Anyway I knew that one was the one. I also found a gorgeous pop up-paper flower bouquet.

I was truly blown away with the products I ordered. I excitedly showed them to my husband whose response was “WOW”. The quality is so impressive and the designs are beautiful. You can check out the Lovepop Father’s Day Collection to choose from some pop cards or even pop up gifts.

Any Star Wars fans like in my family? They’ve got you covered.

There are also golf cards, Mickey Mouse, or The Office.

So many fun exclusive designs to choose from. For Father’s Day or any occasion you have to check out these gorgeous cards. They make an unforgettable unique for that person who is so difficult to shop for. 

Father’s Day is THIS SUNDAY but there is still time to do expedited shipping (ends June 14th!).

Now go take a look at Lovepop. It’s sure to put a smile on your dad’s face.

By |2023-07-12T01:28:29+00:00June 13, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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