DSCN9570It has been a rough few months, but there is still so much to be grateful for in my life. I just spent a few days down in Vegas with my mom and youngest daughter, and that made me realize just how precious each moment in life really is.

My mom suffered a severe stroke in September which stole her speech and movement on her right (dominant) side. It’s been a long recovery (and probably still a lot more to go), but I am so tickled pink by her progress. She is learning to communicate again and each word she manages to utter is completely precious. Seriously. I already love the power of words because I’m a writer. But seeing her lack that gift right now makes each word even more powerful when they leave her lips. Continue reading

The Most Beautiful Smile

Picture-034_thumb.jpgThe most beautiful smile I ever saw was my Grandma’s. It wasn’t Hollywood beautiful—you know the so called ‘millionaire’ smile with perfectly straight white teeth you pay a mint for, or lip augmentation for those perfectly shaped lips, or a cute dimple to catch the eye. No, it had none of those so called ‘perfect smile’ characteristics. Grandma’s teeth were kind of crooked and yellowed with age. She wore no lipstick nor surgical enhancements to give her smile that extra charm, nor did I ever notice a God-given dimple. Continue reading

Heaven is Here

Grabbing onto the gratitude theme for November, I thought I’d review a book I read last month that inspired and made me so grateful for all that I have. This book is Heaven is Here, by Stephanie Nielson. She writes the NieNie Dialogues blog.

Stephanie and her husband, Christian, had the ideal life: Christian had a successful career, Stephanie was a stay-at-home mom to four perfect children, Christian had just received his pilot’s license. But their fairy tale existence came to a burning end in 2008 when the plane they were flying in crashed on landing. Their friend, Doug, died. Christian was burned over 30% of his body. Stephanie was burned over 80% of her body and wasn’t expected to survive.

She did.

This book tells her memories of her first year of healing—the depression and heartache Continue reading