A Modern Day Fairy Tale: October 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Softy and Tenderly by Sarah Evans with Rachel Hauck

From The Publisher:
Maybe in the wide-open country she can learn to breathe again.

Happily married and owner of two successful boutiques, Jade longs to begin a family with her husband, Max. But when she discovers that Max has an illegitimate son-who he wants her to help raise-Jade's life is turned upside down.

She flees to her childhood home, a rambling Iowa farmhouse, with enough room to breathe. There- while her mother's health grows fragile, and the tug of her first love grows stronger-Jade begins to question everything she thought she knew about family, love, and motherhood. In the wide-open landscape, Jade begins to see a future that doesn't rest on the power of her past, but in the goodness of God's tender mercies.

My Thoughts:

As a fan of Sara Evan's music, I was excited to have the chance to read this novel, co-written with Rachel Hauck. After receiving the book, I realized this was actually the second in her Songbirds series. While I would certainly like to go back and read 'Sweet By and By' and learn more about these characters, I did not feel completely lost in the story having not read it.
There is certainly a lot going on in this book, I'm not even sure where to begin! From the first pages, we see this 'southern soap opera' start to unfold as Jade and her mother-in-law June walk in on June's husband Rebel having an affair. This is only the beginning of the craziness that will come. We learn of Jade's struggle to have a child, Rebel's previous affairs, Jade's husband Max's struggles with addiction and the failing health of Jade's mother- losing her battle with leukemia. As if this were not enough already, Jade's world comes crashing down when she discovers her husband has a son, conceived just days before their wedding. She returns to her childhood home with her mother and June where things get even more interesting (but I'll let you read all that for yourself!) It is a wonderful story of forgiveness, love overcoming obstacles and finding peace with God.
To be entirely honest, the first part of the book moved rather slow for me. I'm not sure if it was just trying to catch up with all of the characters, or my mood on that given day, but despite being beautifully written I had a hard time really getting into the story. BUT, towards the end, once they'd returned to Prairie City, that changed and I was able to breeze through the second part and was left wanting more. One particular scene (from which the book gets it title) was especially moving, though I don't want to give that away! This is definitely a tearjerker! I look forward to going back and reading the first book of the series and to find out what comes next for the family. I'd definitely recommend this book to all.

You can purchase this book here.

*I was provided a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scripture & A Snapshot: Proverbs 31:30 (and more!!)

It's been much too long since I've had the time to join in for Scavenger Hunt Sunday, another of my favorite hops, so I decided today I would take a few quick shots to share for the week! Nothing too special this week, but hopefully a reminder to me to take the time to do it next week!!

Always Look On The Bright Side
(Scripture and A Snapshot!)

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30

This photo didn't turn out nearly as well as I'd pictured in my head, but it gets the point across I suppose! I chose this verse because I thought it was a great reminder that in a society where looks are looked at as so important, in the end it is not THE most important thing. (Not that there is anything wrong with trying to look your best, of course. So long as it's not your sole


When I read this topic, aside from the pesky fly that has been flying around my house, all I could think was birds. Mention birds around my little man lately, and this is immediately what comes to his mind! I'm sure some of you reading will understand that as well! ;)


Any excuse to share my son's school art projects!!!!


Yesterday, I found my son hiding under the train table, which was oh so cute, and of course I couldn't get a picture before he moved. I attempted to get him to recreate the moment today, and no such luck. So this was the best I could do...

Not sure how I like this, but I thought I'd try something a little different...for Halloween!!!

I'm posting early while I have the chance, but be sure to check out these links tomorrow for more great scavenger hunt and scripture and a snapshot photos!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Love ♥

I haven't linked up for What I'm Loving Wednesday in ages, so I thought it was about time to fix that!! I have so much that I am loving today!!

First and foremost, as we approach the 2 year anniversary of Shaun's Autism diagnosis (October 20, 2009) I LOVE the amazing progress he has made in the past two years. He is an amazing little boy and I am so blessed that I was chosen to be his mommy. It has not been easy to get
him to where he is now, and we still have a long way to go but I am confident that he will go far!!

"As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."- John 9:1-3

I am loving that all of the stores have their Christmas decor out. I know, I know- it's super early, but I just love Christmas! I get it from my mom. And Shaun gets it from me. I love the look of awe in his eyes when he sees the Christmas tree and lights. He loves Christmas more than I do (and in fact has a Christmas tree up in his playroom!!) It also means that the holidays are drawing nearer which means we will be seeing our families soon!!!

I am loving Parenthood. This is truly one of the best shows on TV right now. I look forward to watching it every week, with my box of tissues handy because I am always crying during this show!! Love it!!

I am loving that there is a Pretty Little Liars Marathon on today! Yay! It's my guilty
pleasure...except I have no guilt about it!!

I'm loving these fun Halloween ideas on Pinterest!!!

Source: None via Cortney on Pinterest

And most importantly, I am loving my family, always!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Scripture and A Snapshot: Psalm 107:1

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."- Psalm 107:1

There are so many wonderful things about the fall season. The beautiful colors, the wonderful fall baking (pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie...anything pumpkin...mmmm!), the smells. It is a wonderful season with so much to love. But I think one of the greatest parts of fall is the feeling of thankfulness that seems to be in the air with the approach of Thanksgiving and the holiday season. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for, and I try to remember this daily and give thanks to God for all we've been given, because without Him, we'd have nothing.
Though being a military wife and an Autism mommy is not always easy, I feel so incredibly thankful to have been blessed with my husband and son.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's Okay!!

I found this great link-up this morning hosted by Brunch with Amber and A Complete Waste of Makeup and thought it was a great idea! Head on over to join in on the fun!!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK:

  • that I want to stay in pjs all day, and my house is a little messy, and even that my blog has been a bit neglected because this cold doesn't seem to want to leave and my energy is just GONE!
  • that I walked my son to the bus yesterday with my pj pants wrong side out, because I was so tired and I don't think anyone noticed anyway!!
  • to buy new clothes for myself every once in awhile because it was long overdue and there was an amazing sale anyway! (5 tops for $40 at American Eagle! That's 5 for the price of 1!!)
  • that I've already started on Christmas shopping...better than waiting until the last minute, right?
  • to let some of the good coupon deals pass me by because we have plenty of health and beauty items to last us until we move...at least that's what I keep telling myself!!!
  • that my husband has to do everything on my iPhone for me (as far as syncing, etc goes) because I'm really not technology challenged- just iPhone!!!
  • if this doesn't make much sense, because well, I'm still super sleepy, and next time will be better!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Review: The Crossing by Serita Jakes

From The Publisher:

Imprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder. Who can set her free?

On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fi re on a Texas school bus. Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.

Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world—until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.’s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?

My Thoughts:
I'm not usually a huge fan of murder mysteries, but this seemed like a good story and I knew I wanted to read it. I was certainly not disappointed! I could not put this book down!! It was much more than just a murder mystery as we see how the tragic murder of high school teacher BJ Remington affected the lives of students on the bus, Claudia Campbell and Casio Hightower. Ten years after the fact, they are still haunted by the events of that night. When Claudia's husband Victor decides to reopen the case, both are confronted once again by the memories that threaten to destroy them. Throughout the story, we learn more and more secrets, and slowly all the pieces are revealed, just enough at a time to keep the reader wondering what might happen next and until the very end, keeping us in suspense of who exactly the killer was.
I believe my favorite part of this book were the pieces at the beginning of each chapter told from Miss Remington's point of view as she is dying. During this time she evaluates her life and the mistakes she's made (again revealing secrets little by little) and coming to terms that she is dying and seeking and receiving forgiveness from God. Truly, that is what this book is about. Repentance and forgiveness. Some characters will see it, others would not. This was by no means a light hearted Christian fiction novel, but a very powerful one that may be hard to read in places but is certainly worth pushing through anyway.
I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about the outcome of the story- I think I would have liked to see a change in some of the 'bad guys' in the story, but at the same time it was what made the book very real as life doesn't always have that happy ending. Regardless, I'd recommend this book.

You can purchase this book here!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.