The sibling secret weapon

I’m so glad I had more than one child, even though my children struggle to get along sometimes. It’s the most frustrating thing as parent. I see value in each of them, but sometimes all they can do is pick each other apart. I wish they wouldn’t, just as you shouldn’t alienate your family. You want your family to be a haven against the world. A place where the real you gets to be whatever it wants—without judgment.

The time you will spend with your siblings under the same roof is a relatively short time when you think about the average age most people live. Strengthen those bonds rather than tear them down. If you do, they become like a secret weapon in your life. No matter how far away you go, no matter what challenges you will face, you’ll have a person with an intimate understanding of your unique quirkiness to always lean on for support.

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Practice makes perfect

To be good at anything, practice will always be required. Yet, practice is usually the last thing any kid wants to do, especially when talking about an instrument or anything else that might be considered boring or hard. I wish I could say my children no longer fought me about their need for practice, but I would be a liar. The good news is I understand the importance, so no amount of whining will get them out of it.

If you are not blessed with such an unyielding mother as me, here’s a tip to strengthen your own motivation. Set aside time to practice every day. Even better, practice those things you desire to grow in at the same time each day. If you create a habit of daily practice you’ll find that internal struggle to get it done start to diminish. Constant practice also brings faster growth in whatever you’re learning, which also helps motivates.

Make a promise and a plan to never miss a day, and you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish.

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Stuffed Souls insights

In Stuffed Souls the character of Megan is an interesting one. She is integral to the plot, yet she isn’t actually there, since her body was taken over by first, Jessica, and then Claire. Imagine someone else taking over your life. What dark secrets would they find? Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. The pain they uncover in Megan’s past brings a level of understanding that could only be found by walking in her shoes, literally. What better way to get a new perspective on life. You can crack open this exciting book today. Right now it’s on sale! Click on the book below to get your copy, or ebook now.

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A blast from the past

Research for an upcoming lecture I’m giving led be back to my first published book this week. It’s crazy how much of the plot of A Heart Divided I had forgotten. At times it almost felt like the words had been written by somebody else. Years ago, when I was just starting out, I once heard an established author say something similar. At the time, I thought it wasn’t possible. How could you not recognize something you’d spent so many painstaking hours on? Well…she was right.

The fun part about being so far removed from the story, I got sucked into the intricate and often hilarious relationships. I read far more than I had intended, but don’t regret the time spent one bit. If you haven’t read my Rory’s Choice series you’re really missing out. They really are worth the read. Click on the books below to get your ebook versions and catch up today.






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Protecting yourself from some of dating’s emotional landmines

Dating is an unavoidable journey every girl must pass through in this life—unless you’re planning on doing this life thing completely solo. If you were to ask other women their opinions on the subject,you would get all kinds of reviews—from the “loved my dating years” to the “I never want to do that again.” Dating is all about putting yourself out there, so yes, there’s a good chance you’re going to feel vulnerable—maybe even downright betrayed along the way. To completely avoid all heartache is impossible, but there are a couple things you can, and should do, to minimize the risk.

First, fixer-upper boyfriends, those with painful pasts and endless excuses for their poor behavior, aren’t worth your time. And if you’re thinking, hey it’s just dating. Remember, nothing messes with your head more than falling in love, and sadly, once we do it’s hard to break those ties—even with idiots. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life having to pull someone along? Trust me, that’ll get old—fast.

Second, honesty is always the best policy, and the easiest way to weed out non-compatibles quickly. If you’re looking for a husband and want to have six kids, say so within the first couple of dates. Even if you’re a career woman bent on climbing the corporate ladder but want companionship, share these feelings early on. And if you’re thinking those are kind of heavy topics for first dates, I say how much time do you plan to waste on someone who doesn’t share your core values? Dating is not the place to change people’s minds. I promise you will find someone compatible, so don’t fear cutting lose those that don’t feel the same way. The longer you date, the more attached you become, so it’s in your best interest anyway.

Date with your head far more than your heart. I can assure you the heart doesn’t need much prodding when it comes to emotional and physical attachments. It will jump on board with whomever you choose.

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Our interactions with others never come with a free pass

It’s hard when someone criticizes you. Some might even say those words can cut deeper than any knife. So it’s easy to see why people often try to deflect criticism by pointing out someone else fault instead. Having been hurt many times by disparaging words, I can understand the reason behind this often gut reaction to redirect harsh words on others. By slamming someone else’s behavior as worse than yours might help you feel better for a moment. But in reality, you are always responsible for your behavior. It doesn’t matter what someone says or does, you can’t be cruel in return and think their actions absolve you of yours. You will pay for your choice, just as they will pay for theirs, so choose wisely.

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Sometimes experience is the only way

I have never cried over sending my kids to school. I want my kids to be independent, rational thinkers that will one day leave my house. But, now my oldest is a senior. Watching him prepare to leave for school for his last first day of secondary education this week, brought tears that even my analytical side couldn’t stop. Yes, future success requires that he leave our home to find his own way. But, holy crap, why did he have to grow up so fast?

What’s worse, I remember how adult I thought I was as a senior all those years ago. Looking back from this vantage point, I now realize how immature I really was. And my son isn’t any better in that department. Yet, here we are, careening toward graduation. The thought makes it hard for me to breathe, but I still won’t delay the inevitable when it finally comes. Life is a hard teacher, but sometimes there is no other way to gain understanding than by experience. I only hope when he does finally leave, I’ll have filled him with enough knowledge to avoid some of life’s pitfalls. Fingers crossed.

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