Friday, May 26, 2017

{I'm so tired.....}

5:53 PM 1 Comments
It's been a really busy, on the go, day.

We were out the door at 10am and didn't return until almost 5pm.  But I loved every single minute that I was out with my husband and daughter.

The day started with a therapy appointment for Jasmine.  It was her last one and she was officially discharged by her therapist.  I can't even begin to tell you how proud of her we are, she's come so far from that first day we brought her into the therapist's office.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

AS a parent we have the idea that if anyone can fix our children's problems, it's us.  There's no one out there that can do it, no one out there knows them better.  So when faced with the reality that they're struggling, they're in trouble and it is completely out of our hands, it's so hard to hand over that control to someone else.  I mean, let's face it, I don't even like giving out control to God over smaller things (I know, it's a huge problem for me and a lesson I've been trying to learn for decades).  But that day, in that office, my daughter was completely broken, falling apart, a mere shadow of the bubbly happy child she'd always been, and I had to sit back and hand over the reigns, knowing that she would rather talk to a stranger than to her own mother.

What a tough pill to swallow, but looking back, it was the best and most unselfish thing I could have ever done for my child.  What a huge difference from a year ago :)

Anyway, she was officially discharged, the therapist is beyond thrilled with her progress and how far she's come and really proud of her too.  She crept right into her heart and she was teary eyed as she said goodbye to her.  I can't even begin to thank her enough for what she did for my child.  I'll forever be grateful.

After we left the therapy appointment, we went straight to Midwestern State University to speak to Admissions.  Jasmine is interested in attending the school, wants to do Fine Arts and Theatre and is all excited about the possibilities ahead of her.  We had a very good talk with the admissions person and got all the info we needed.  We are now beginning the application and registration process, gathering transcripts and starting out FAFSA applications and all that fun stuff.  I can't believe we are here, at this point already, especially since this past week I've been revisiting the year of 2006 in my blog and my girl was just 7 years old.  Time FLIES!!!

We then stopped by the mall, she wanted to pick up a gift for her dad for Father's day.  This is what she got, she actually saw it about two weeks ago and immediately wanted it for her dad.  How sweet is that?

May 26, 2007

I also have to show you what my husband got me.  I was shocked.  But he's been hearing me complain about the dark circles under my eyes and the wrinkles and how I can't find a good eye cream and so on.  He surprised me with these today.

This one below is actually for me and Jasmine.  Because of her anxiety she is constantly messing with her fingernails and cuticles.  This will help with that.

May 26, 2007

And these are the ones for me.  I already tried them and was shocked at how well the serum worked, it was almost instantly and my wrinkles were gone.  I will have to do a post and review on these for you all and show you just how well it works.

May 26, 2007

May 26, 2007

We stopped at Cottonpatch Cafe for lunch. By far my absolute favorite restaurant. So good.

After lunch we had to run to the realtor office to sign our new lease, we now have a 2 year lease on this house, but with the option to buy at any time, which we are ecstatic about. We definitely want to try and buy it in about a year, just want to get rid of our credit card before that.

Made a quick stop at the UPS store to drop off Nick's school materials, and then our last stop was at Best Buy to try and find something that can access my external storage hard drive. The case itself where the cables hooked up to, stopped working and reading the USB connections. We were able to find something else, it's called a docking station that you can basically just pop your hard drive into and you can access it.

Problem is, for some reason, Windows 10 will NOT recognize it and won't automatically detect it or install the drivers. I spent about 2 hours working on it and can't seem to fix it, so I'm going to have to return this to Best Buy. I'm so frustrated because the storage drive holds ALL of my photographs dating back from 2003. I really do need to find a way to access it.

Anyway, I have to get going, Jasmine has decided that she wants a tattoo, and now that's 18, we really don't get a say. She has an appointment for 8:30 tonight and I have to drive her there.

I feel like so much is happening at once, so many changes with her lately, so I'm trying to take deep breaths and just go with it. Oh my friends, if you have little ones, hug them tighter, enjoy every single second because time just goes by so quickly and before you know it, you are where I am.

Have a wonderful Friday night, I'll be back tomorrow :)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

{ Blog to Book and a few other things }

8:39 AM 3 Comments

Hello everyone, I sure do hope this post finds you all doing well.  :)

I am doing ok, I'm finally over the horrible cold I had but my poor boy Nick, has it now and is absolutely miserable.  He seems to be at the last day of it though, because weird enough this cold has a pattern.

Ok let me start by saying that I think I got it from my nephew because he had been sick, then passed it to my brother and then to me.  I always joke around with Colby that he is the only one who gets me sick Hahah

Anyway, it starts with the itchy throat, goes on to horrible sore throat for a day, then fever, body aches, chills, headache and the last day is coughing and itchy chest and throat.  It lasted exactly 4 days, for us all, and this the fourth for my son, so I'm hoping he is knocking the last bit off.  At least we hope.

We are officially on summer break, school year is over, my girl is graduated (I haven't forgotten that I need to do a post on that, I will do it by this weekend), I've been getting over that cold and nursing my son back to health.  It's been a much calmer, relaxed week for me, but I haven't exactly been lazy or doing nothing.  Matter of fact, the reason there have been no posts this whole week is because I've been working on my blog to book.

I promised I would tell you all about it, and so here I am :)

Before I get into it, I had actually debated doing this post now.  I was thinking that maybe I should wait until I have the actual book in hand and do it all then, but I decided that I would go ahead and tell you all about it, in case some of you want to get started on yours, and then when the book comes in, I'll do another post showing you what it looks like and what I think of the finished product.

I will start by saying that this is a lot of work, especially if you've had a blog for as long as I have, and like me, blogged a lot.  I mean, A LOT.  Folks, I was posting 2 to 3 posts a DAY.  What on earth Sandra??

I look back now and laugh, but I was so enthusiastic about the blog and life and my little kids, and it really does shine through in the posts.  What a trip it's been, I have been working on this since Monday and just finished my first book for 2006.

But, I'm sure you'll all eager to know what I'm doing, and how I'm doing it.

For a long time I've been wanting to turn my blog into books, not just for myself, but for my children as well, I think it would be fun for them to sit down and read these posts, see themselves growing up and what they did and what they liked, essentially, where they came from.

Problem was, every site I found that would do it, was so expensive.  For example, the last one I found which I thought at the time was my only choice, was going to cost me $40 for ONE MONTH.  One month?!?!?!?  I've been blogging since February of 2006.   Just think we me here....

11 years
12 months in each year
$40 per month

I would end up paying $5280.  WHAT!!!!!  Yeah that's not going to happen.

Now what if I tell you that I found a site that will do this for me, give me a Hardback Letter sized book, that will cost me less than $40, including shipping, for a whole year?????


I came upon it purely by accident.  I was searching and searching and I could not find anything that would do this for me without breaking the bank.  Right before I gave up, I decided to browse through the google search results I had gotten and go back a few pages.  And that's when I found it, a fellow blogger talking about turning her blog into a book and the place to do it.

I was so ecstatic, that I started right away.  Since Monday I have done nothing more than working on this book.  I wish I could tell you that it's quick and easy, but it's really not, it will take quite a bit of work from you, but it's worth it and you'll enjoy going through all those old posts on your blog, as much as I am enjoying reading mine.

Let me tell you how it works and give you some tips.

The company is called Lulu.  It is a self publishing website.  You'll want to sign up for a free account, then when you're done, click where it says CREATE.  Next you'll want to pick Print Book.  (You do have the choice to make eBooks as well, how cool is that?).

Next you get to pick what size book you want.  You can do paperbacks, you can do hardbacks, and it shows you the prices as well.  I went with a Professional Hardcover, Casewrap, US Letter Hardcover, 8.25X10.75in, Black and White, $11.37.

If you scroll down on that page, you can download the template for your book and just add all the content in there.  I will say that it was a bit confusing for me, there are pages that I couldn't delete, pages that just didn't look right etc.

But what I ended up doing, was downloading the template, opening it in Word, and then I did my first page.

That's what mine looks like.  From there I pretty much deleted all the other pages in the template, which were contents, acknowledgements, preface, introduction and so forth.  I don't want any of that, I want the book as simple as possible with the focus on the actual blog posts.

But, after my book title page, which is the first page, I left an empty page.  Then here comes the hard and the time consuming work.  You have to copy your blog posts, one by one, and past them into word.  It takes a LONG time.  I started Monday morning, have worked on it every spare moment I have, in between laundry and cooking and mommy responsibilities etc.

My advice:

Stick to simple common fonts such as Tahoma, Times New Roman, Arial etc.  If you use a font that is on your computer but not on the Lulu website, they will change it to a common font and it will throw your text all over the place.  After finished the book, I had to edit it 5 times, over and over.
Keep the original margins contained in the template, don't mess with those.
Use actual page breaks instead of just hitting the enter key.  (I did that the first go around and again, it threw my document into chaos and shifted pictures, text etc).

I didn't include all the tags and meme's that I had.  I didn't feel like I needed those posts in the book and besides, they were just going to take up more room.  Not to say I changed the blog content, I still went month by month and added every post in, just left out the tags and unimportant posts, like I had a few in there whenever I changed a template on the blog, just basically saying "Hey I changed my template".  I didn't need that in the book.

The good thing about doing it one by one and manually transferring, is that you can delete unnecessary pictures, or videos, shift the text around a bit to fit better and so on.

At first I was going to do a separate page with just the title of each month on it, but that would take too much room, so I chose to do it this way.  I used Century font, 48 pixels and bold.  I also made sure to start every month on a new page.

I also tried to fit as many posts as I could on a single page.  Here's an example:

Going back to the page breaks that I mentioned above, those are very important if you don't want your text to shift around and to stay as close to what you want it as possible.

Let me try and show you what I mean.  As you can see below, I ended one post on one page and begun another on the following page.  Usually I would have just hit the enter key and started the next post, but with the publishing website that doesn't work and when you upload your file, it shifts things around.  So what you want to do is make sure you are clicked right after the last word on the page, in my case where it says "I've missed those".  Make sure you click right after the period.  Then go up top to the Insert Tab, and click on Page Break.  The pointer will move to the page below.

Start your next post there.  That's it, simple.  :)

Once you're finished adding all your blog posts, go ahead and save the file.  I saved mine as Blog 2006 because that was the year I was working with.

At the Lulu website just follow the directions to make the book you decided on.  It will ask you to upload the file, which you will do.  If anything is wrong with it, it will tell you.  In my case, the first time I uploaded it mentioned the fonts and some pictures that weren't high graphics etc.  You will get a chance to download a preview which will show you exactly how the book will look.  If you're not happy with something, just go back to your original file, edit and change it, save it and then go back to the website, delete the old one you had uploaded previously and upload the new one.

I had to do this 4 times because I wasn't happy with certain things.  But once it's done, you will then get a chance to personalize your book covers, add what you want it to say, add a picture if you wish, write on the spine of the book etc.

Here's my final book for 2006.

Again, I kept mine very simple, I just want a simple white book.

There is a minimum limit of 20 pages and a maximum of 800.  With all the blogging content I had for 2006, mine came up to 580 pages and the total price $28.05.  LOVE IT!!!

That's my final product and my page.  You can set it up to just yourself, or you can open it up to the public and anyone can purchase your book.  I will be getting copies for family, of course.

All in all, with shipping it will be less than $40.  I'm so happy I found this place.  I'm planning on ordering mine tomorrow and should have it by next week, at that point I will take pictures and come back and show you all.

Sorry this post was so long, I wanted to share this with you and give you as many pointers as I can to help you.  I didn't have any help and stumbled about blindly hahaha

I am now working on my 2007 book, it's going much smoother now that I know exactly what needs to be done and how it should be formatted.

I have decided, as well, that I'm going to do a Diary of a Stay at Home Mom - Slow Cooking book with all the slow cooking posts and recipes, which are a LOT.  And I'm also going to make a Full Bellies, Happy Kids Cookbook.  My daughter has requested one for herself and I'll order a copy for myself and my son, as well as any family members that want one.  I might actually give some as gifts.

Alright, I best get on out of here.  I have to continue working on the book, I also need to make my new menu plan and grocery list.  We have a very busy day tomorrow, a therapy appointment for Jasmine, a tattoo appointment for Jasmine (yes she wants a tattoo), bank, birthday and father's day shopping, Best buy, Goodwill, Rental company to sign new lease and so forth.  It's going to be crazy busy.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday.  OH and I do realized I've missed 2 weeks of my Friday Stories, but I just haven't had a chance, and since tomorrow I'm so busy, I will pick back up next week and hopefully then be able to stay on track.  Thank you for understanding :)

Monday, May 22, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 05/22/2017 }

6:36 AM 9 Comments
Good morning everyone, welcome to another Monday and another Happy Homemaker Monday :)

It's been an insane past few weeks, but I'm finally done with everything that I had on my plate.  School is officially over, my girl is officially graduated, my brother has returned home and now I can concentrate back on my blog, updating regularly, homemaking, reading and taking it easy.

I'm quite looking forward to that :)

I'll come back later with some pictures of my girl and her graduation ceremony, but let's get right into our HHM for today.

The weather:::
Where to start, we have had strong, severe storms and tornado watches the past week.  Thursday and Friday were pretty intense days in the weather department.  Today it's cloudy and we're expecting yet more rain, as well as rain in the forecast for tomorrow, but the rest of the week it's 96 and 95 degree days so should be quite nice.    

On my reading pile:::
Just finished a book that I'm reviewing today on the blog.  Starting on the next in line. 

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
As usual, if I was busy around the house, the TV was set to ID Discovery and crime shows.  I did manage to catch up on Reign, I love that show and am quite sad that it's ending after this season. 

On my TV:::

General Hospital
Dr Phil
The White Princess
The Handmaid's Tale
Once Upon a Time Season 6

On the menu for this week:::
Only have meals planned until Thursday, Friday I'll be grocery shopping.

Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Salad and cake.  It's my husband's birthday!!!
Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken with Noodles    
Chicken Fajitas
Homemade Cheesy Garlic Pizza 

On my to do list:::
Laundry......Have two loads fresh out of the dryer that I need to fold.  Put aways all the laundry.
Living rooms.... vacuuming, tidying up.
Kitchen..... load dishwasher, clean floors and counters
Blog..... I'm working on turning my blog into books and so far every website I had come across was quite expensive and wanted around $45 for just one month.  Considering I have 11 years worth of content, that was not a good idea.  I finally came across a more affordable solution, but I'll tell you all about it in a separate post.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::

I've completely fallen off the Nuts about Squares wagon, it's just been too busy for me to be able to do any kind of crochet or crafting.  Next week I can get back on track and start catching up.

Looking around the house:::

Just the typical tidying up.  I do have the back of my couches in the den, FULL of clean laundry that just needs to be put away. 

From the camera:::
My stunning daughter, I can't believe that she's graduated high school.  Like I said above, I've been working on turning my blog to book and have been going through all the posts, I was just working on the first few posts of my blog which were back in 2006 when she was but 7 years old.  Ugh, I want to cry!!! 

What I'm wearing today:::
Have a long flowy flowery skirt and a tank top.  I'm comfortable but still look cute, at least I think so hahaha  

One of my simple pleasures:::
Looking through old photos, even if it makes me nostalgic, I still really love looking back at where we were, how young the kids were and what we were doing. 

Inspirational Quote, Bible verse, anything you want to share::

I actually want to take this little spot to wish my husband a very Happy 44th Birthday.  I've been extremely blessed and lucky to have him as my life partner, and I couldn't imagine it being anyone else.  My wish is that I get to celebrate many more birthdays with him and our children.  Love you Curtis :)

{ The Beach House: Coming Home by Georgia Bockoven - TLC Book Tour }

4:31 AM 2 Comments


About The Beach House: Coming Home

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 16, 2017)

Bestselling author Georgia Bockoven is at her powerful and emotional peak in this novel perfect for fans of Nancy Thayer and Elin Hilderbrand.

Unlock the door to the beach house…a place where life slows down, people come together, and love is the strongest force of all.

After you’ve given your baby to strangers, what do you say when someone asks if you have children?

Fourteen years ago, Melinda Campbell was fifteen and a half, pregnant and terrified. Desperate to protect her baby from a malicious grandfather and needed at home to take care of her own critically ill father, Melinda makes the most generous, heart-wrenching choice of all: adoption. Now she’s living the successful life her father struggled to give her, but missing her daughter with a longing that shadows every joy.

Jeremy Richmond knows the beach house the way a painter knows his canvas, intimately and focused on detail. His life revolves around his adopted daughter, Shiloh, the girl who’s owned his heart from the moment he first held her as an infant. They were a picture-perfect family until Shiloh was diagnosed with pediatric lupus and Jeremy’s wife walked away.

When Shiloh tells her father she’s tired of fighting her illness and wants to meet her biological mother before it’s too late, Jeremy agrees to find a woman he has no desire to meet.

From the moment Melinda and Jeremy come face-to-face, they realize their worlds will never be the same. Will the beach house that has harbored troubled hearts for decades prove to be the balm they need to heal…?

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Georgia Bockoven

Georgia Bockoven is an award-winning author who began writing fiction after a successful career as a freelance journalist and photographer. Her books have sold more than three million copies worldwide. The mother of two, she resides in Northern California with her husband, John.

Find out more about Georgia at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.

The quintessential summer read, for sure.

This was my first book by Georgia Bockoven, so obviously didn't quite know what to expect.  I figured it would be a good summer cutesy book to read, and I'm glad I was right.

Twists and turns, fun ups and downs, filled with interesting characters and some tidbits thrown in that had me a little confused.

I think for me, I related a bit more to Melinda, though our circumstances were very different, in that Melinda lost a child when she had to give it up for adoption, and I suffered two miscarriages.  Different situations, but nonetheless I was able to relate to the character at times as only the heart of a mother really can.  Not to say that I didn't enjoy Jeremy or Shiloh, but sometimes you connect with a specific character, for whatever reason, and Melinda was it for me.

Then there is Cheryl and Andrew, the beach house next door neighbors who I absolutely loved.  You've no doubt heard about neighbors from hell?  These are neighbors from Heaven, for sure.

As I was reading through the book, I really had no idea what was going on at first, how they were all connected and where it was leading, but even though I quickly caught on and pretty much anticipated the ending, it still didn't take away from the story or ruin it in any way.

As I said above, the perfect summer read if you're looking for something to take with you to the beach, or even to read at home in your favorite chair, with a cup of iced tea.

Tour schedule
Tuesday, May 16th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, May 16th: The Book Bag
Wednesday, May 17th: Time 2 Read
Thursday, May 18th: Into the Hall of Books
Friday, May 19th: Bibliotica
Monday, May 22nd: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, May 23rd: Back Porchervations
Wednesday, May 24th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, May 25th: Library of Clean Reads
Monday, May 29th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, May 30th: Dreams, Etc.
Wednesday, May 31st: alyssarossblog
Thursday, June 1st: Tina Says…

Friday, May 19, 2017

{ Quick Check in }

10:32 AM 5 Comments
Hello everyone, just wanted to come in real quick and let you know that I'm still here, albeit a little absent the past week.

I had my brother here until yesterday, but on Wednesday night I came down with a very sore throat, and have been extremely sick with a cold since then.

Fever, body aches, runny and stuffy nose, cough, headache, you name it.  I am also sporting a very husky voice.

I apologize for not updating the blog and for missing my last two Friday Storytime, but I promise things will be back to a normal blogging schedule on Monday.

I'm spending today resting and trying to get better, as I have Jasmine's High School Graduation tomorrow, and it's almost 4 hours away.  I can't even imagine driving all that way feeling the way I do right now.

Anyway, just wanted to come in and do a quick update on what is going on and why I haven't been around.  Back to bed.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

{ The Marriage Bureau by Penrose Halson - TLC Book Tour }

7:27 AM 1 Comments


About The Marriage Bureau

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 2, 2017)

A riveting glimpse of life and love during and after World War II—a heart-warming, touching, and thoroughly absorbing true story of a world gone by.

In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined twenty-four-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London’s Bond Street and set about the delicate business of matchmaking. Drawing on the bureau’s extensive archives, Penrose Halson—who many years later found herself the proprietor of the bureau—tells their story, and those of their clients.

From shop girls to debutantes; widowers to war veterans, clients came in search of security, social acceptance, or simply love. And thanks to the meticulous organization and astute intuition of the Bureau’s matchmakers, most found what they were looking for.

Penrose Halson draws from newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and interviews with the proprietors themselves to bring the romance and heartbreak of matchmaking during wartime to vivid, often hilarious, life in this unforgettable story of a most unusual business.

“A book full of charm and hilarity.”—Country Life

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Bill Halson

About Penrose Halson

When Penrose was 25 and still unmarried, her mother sent her to the Katharine Allen Marriage & Advice Bureau.  Twenty years later, after a career in teaching, writing and editing, she and her management consultant husband Bill bought the Bureau.  They also acquired The Marriage Bureau, which had been set up in 1939 by two 24-year-olds.  As Bill had predicted, matchmaking suited Penrose down to the ground, and they remain happily in touch with many former clients who visit them in London.

The Marriage Bureau gives us an insight into the world of matchmaking and dating during the WWII era.

Being a huge fan of history made it easy for me to really enjoy every page of this book.  Not only did I get to learn about the matchmaking business, but we also get a bit of the social surroundings from that era and how the war affected it.

The book author herself was a client in the 60s and then again in 1981.  When she was able to purchase the client lists and archives, she knew this was the perfect way to showcase just what matchmaking was like in those times.

It was quite fun reading about the different couples that came through the agency.  The story is told through the eyes of the two women who started it all, Audrey and Heather.

If you're looking for a fun, easy read this summer, this could just be the book you're looking for :)

Monday, May 15, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 05/15/2017 }

6:12 AM 10 Comments

Good morning everyone.

I have to start by apologizing for being absent the past few days.  I was surprised on Thursday by my youngest brother Bruno, who was on a business trip to Las Vegas and then decided to pop in and see us.

He came all the way from South Africa, and I hadn't seen him in almost 10 years.  Needless to say, it was amazing and overwhelming, and so the past few days we have been together every day, going out, eating, visiting, catching up and all that fun stuff.

He is leaving on Thursday and then I'll be back to normal blogging on a regular basis, show you some pictures and talk about what we've done etc.

I need to pick him up from my other brother's house, in about 3 hours, so need to get this post up and crack on with some housework around the house.

The weather:::
It's been just beautiful, warm, sunny and glorious.  I feel like we are finally enjoying Spring and honestly can't wait for summer :)  

On my reading pile:::
The Marriage Bureau by Penrose Halson.

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
Like I said above I've been extremely busy with family stuff, and been going to bed really late, but have managed to watch a few episodes of favorite shows on TV, here and there.  This weekend I've watched the newest Dead Files, and some ID Discovery shows too.

On my TV:::

General Hospital
Dr Phil
Fear Thy Neighbor
See no Evil
Murder comes to Town
Reasonable Doubt
The White Princess
The Handmaid's Tale
Once Upon a Time Season 6

On the menu for this week:::

Spaghetti, Salad
Bangers and Mash    
Best Lasagna Ever, Salad, Garlic Bread, Victoria Sponge
Mexican Beef Cobbler 
Monterey Chicken, Twice Baked Potatoes   
Jasmine's Graduation, will be away all day 
Baked Beef Tacos 

On my to do list:::
Laundry......Jasmine's laundry
Living rooms.... vacuuming, tidying up.
Kitchen..... load dishwasher, clean floors and counters
School..... We are on the last few days of the year, so have a lot to do

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::

I've completely fallen off the Nuts about Squares wagon, it's just been too busy for me to be able to do any kind of crochet or crafting.  Next week I can get back on track and start catching up.

Looking around the house:::

It's clean, just have a few glasses and mugs on the dining table from when my family was over yesterday afternoon.  Going to pick up and tidy a bit before my brother comes over.

From the camera:::
Me and my brother Bruno.  He is the youngest in the family, and 4 years younger than I am.  I am really enjoying spending time with him, it's been so long. 

What I'm wearing today:::
Still in pj's right now, I will get changed in about an hour to get ready for the day.  Just going to wear some jeans and a tshirt, or I may wear shorts, not sure.     

One of my simple pleasures:::
Family time.  Sitting over a cup of coffee and laughing, joking.   

Inspirational Quote, Bible verse, anything you want to share::: 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

{ My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach - TLC Book Tour }

7:04 AM 3 Comments


About My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (May 2, 2017)

A heart-wrenching, yet hopeful, memoir of a young marriage that is redefined by mental illness and affirms the power of love.

Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Eventually, Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. But, soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had once taken for granted was upended.

A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breathtaking in its candor, radiant with compassion, and written with dazzling lyricism, Lukach’s is an intensely personal odyssey through the harrowing years of his wife’s mental illness, anchored by an abiding devotion to family that will affirm readers’ faith in the power of love.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Mark Lukach

Mark Lukach is a teacher and freelance writer. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Wired, and other publications. He is currently the ninth-grade dean at the Athenian School, where he also teaches history. He lives with his wife, Giulia, and their son, Jonas, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Find out more about Mark at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Instagram.

My thoughts:

I can't begin to explain just how excited I am to review this book and tell you all about it.

Let me start by saying that I picked the book up to read, and couldn't put it down, so much so that within two days I was finished.

As a mother of an 18 year old daughter who suffers with anxiety and depression, mental illness is something I am very interested in and curious about.  It's harder for someone like myself, who doesn't have to deal with it and never been afflicted by it, to understand exactly what goes on in her mind or anyone's mind for that matter.

This book is a memoir written by Mark Lukach, about his life as the husband of a beautiful woman suffering with mental illness, more specifically having psychotic episodes that seem to be brought on by nothing in particular.

Mark and his wife Giulia have gone through a really tough time.  They met at 18, fell in love, got married at 24 years old and had the whole world at their fingertips.  Then one day when Giulia was 26 their entire world came crashing down when she suffered an unexpected psychotic breakdown and ended up being admitted to a psych ward for nearly a month.

What I loved about this book is that we get an inside glimpse at what it's really like, not only for the person going through the breakdown but for the family who is left completely clueless, filled with questions and confused.  Life stopped for this young couple, both for Giulia and Mark, he had to take a 3 month leave from his job to take care of her.

After a couple months, Giulia recovered and soon after that the couple had a son, and unfortunately soon after that she suffered another psychotic break and then yet another a couple years after that.

The marriage was put to the test and we get to see this play out through Mark's eyes.  I felt so bad for him at times, and for Giulia as well especially since it didn't seem like the doctors could figure out exactly why she kept having these episodes or what was leading her to them.

It was a little scary reading about her psychotic episodes, the things she said, the way she acted.  It definitely makes you stop and think about how incredible our minds are and just how easily it is for it all to come tumbling down.

The first time it happened, Giulia had just started a new job and everything was great, but suddenly she began flooding Mark with emails about every single decision she made, she was in a panic and wanted him to help her.  Then she started talking about how the devil was torturing her and talking to her.

I found myself rooting for this couple to pull through, for Giulia to get better, for Mark not to fall apart.  It was a journey, ups and downs, scary moments and happy moments of joy.  I related to Mark so much in some things, especially when it comes to your loved one doing well and seemingly being back to normal but always scared and waiting for the next shoe to drop.

If you don't read any other book this year, please, please do me a favor and get yourself a copy of My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward.  It will change your life, it will bring a new understanding to mental illness and it will also renew your belief in the power of love.

What a brilliant story, thank you Mark for taking us along and giving us an inside glimpse at your life, I know it can't have been easy going through it, but it will help so many people who are lucky enough to read it.

Tuesday, May 2nd: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, May 3rd: bookchickdi
Friday, May 5th: Tina Says…
Tuesday, May 9th: StephTheBookworm
Wednesday, May 10th: Back Porchervations
Thursday, May 11th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, May 15th: Stranded in Chaos
Tuesday, May 16th: Dreams, Etc.
Wednesday, May 17th: Wining Wife
Thursday, May 18th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, May 22nd: Book Hooked Blog
Tuesday, May 23rd: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Wednesday, May 24th: The Geeky Bibliophile


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