Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Five Times I met Myself by James L. Rubart {Book Review}

"What if you met your twenty-three-year-old self in a dream? What would you say?" is the tagline for the book, The Five Times I Met Myself, by James L. Rubart. That certainly intrigued me and I wanted to read more. 

This book tells the story of Brock Matthews' whose life is in a bad place. He is going through a lot in his business, his marriage, his parental relationship with his son, etc. He learns of lucid dreaming and he uses this strategy to see if he can change and help his life. 

The story goes through various times when Brock utilizes lucid dreaming to go back and speak to his younger self and talks with him in an effort to make things better. In some of the situations, his attempts are successful and make certain aspects of his life better and at times, other areas are made worse. 

This book is a bit complex with a great deal of "roads" to follow in attempts to figure out what is real and what is a dream. I will be honest, I had a hard time following along with the book but once I got into it, I did enjoy it for the most part. 

One of the things that held me back from loving this book was that I do not think that I'm a big fan of attempting to change your dreams. I don't know if it's a real-deal option but I don't like the thought of it, overall. 

That thought aside, I think this book makes you think and it fun to keep up with for the most part and for that reason, I liked it. 

Thanks, Litfuse for letting me read this book in exchange for this review. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Stop and Smell Your Children by Leah Spina {A Book Review}

I am about to sound like a broken record but that's okay. I have been enjoying parenting, mom-encouraging type books so much lately. Stop and Smell Your Children: Laugh and Enjoy the Little Years was icing on the cake and a breath of fresh air!

At first, I was a little skeptical because, I mean, Stop and Smell Your Children just sounds weird! But you guys, I'm powerless to resist reading a "mom" book so I chose it anyway. I'm so glad I did!

First, I feel like so many books on parenting and motherhood are just a bunch of steps you should take to make awesome kids. But this book? IT IS NOT THAT!!! 

Leah is a real mom. She is in the trenches like me raising her babies and she shares from the depth of that! 

A few things I loved about the book...It was such an easy read. Leah divided the chapters beautifully and each one was just enough for that moment. Not too long, not too short. Each chapter started with a quote and I just enjoyed that so much. This book would be PERFECT for a mom's group to read and discuss over a period of time. Each chapter ends with questions that are basic yet thought provoking and I think they are just right for a variety of moms. 

What I loved most about this book is that Leah just truly shared from her heart on what it was like during her first pregnancy, what it was like to miscarry, what it was like with a toddler and a newborn, what it was like to have an assisted birth and then a natural one. 

She deeply shares about how important it is as mothers to just STOP and enjoy the little years. Our babies won't be little for long and we as moms have plenty to teach and show them but most of all, they just need our love. 

I think this book would be a great gift for an expecting mom or new mom. It would be a great secret sister gift to share with a mom friend.

Leah, write another book please! :)

**Thanks for the book, iRead!**

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What's in a name?

Just the other night when I was staying with my friend, Mandy (and her family, in Knoxville, we had a brief discussion about names. Why we named our kiddos what we did, what we would name future babies, and how our opinions change over time.

Since I had a three hour drive home the next day, I had plenty of more time to think about names. And that's where this post was born. :)

I remember looking up what my name meant years and years ago but then never thought much of it. When Matt and I were expecting Mason, his grandmother asked me what names we liked and then she looked them up. That's something that is important to her and it was fun to know what certain names meant.

While I think it is cool, I don't think it's a major thing and I told Matt and that if we loved a name and its meaning was bad, we would change the meaning. Sounds easy, right? ;)


What do our names mean?

Matthew Robert: Matthew means "gift of God"; Robert means "bright fame"

Leslie Anne: Leslie means "garden of holly" or "grey fortress"; Anne means "favor or grace" and "prayer"

Mason Matthew: Mason means "worker of stone" and Matthew means "gift of God"

We decided before Mason was even created that we would give the middle name "Matthew" to any boys we would have. Matthew is such a great name and we believe that any sons we have will truly be gifts of God.

If we have any other sons, the names we have narrowed down are:
Maxwell: means "Magnus' spring"or "Mac's well"
Micah: means "humble" or "Who is like God?"
Maddux/Maddox: means "Son of Maddoc"
and a few others

If we have a daughter one day, we will name her Madeline Marie. Madeline means "woman of Magdala" or "Tower" and Marie means "wished-for child".

Our other girl names are:
Meredith: means "Guardian of the sea" or "great chief"
Molly: means "wished-for child" (Guess if we ever use the name "Molly Marie", she would be a Wished-for, wished-for child", haha!)

As with Matthew for a boy, any girls we have will have the middle name "Marie". Marie was the name given to my aunt and she passed away just before I was born. It's always been a special name to me.

While I'm talking about names, I'm sure some are wondering about all of the "M" names! Well, long before Matt and I were married, I had decided I wanted to name a daughter, if I were blessed with one, Madeline Marie. Thankfully, Matt loves that name, too. :)

When Matt and I got married, We realized that would make initials MMM. We also knew that we wanted a boy to have the middle name Matthew which meant we either gave a first name with M or we just didn't go that route. We loved the name Mason almost immediately and decided to go that route. So, unless the Lord changes our mind, we plan to name all future Morgan children with the initials MMM.

We can't wait for more Morgan babies so we can use some of the names we love so much! :)
(Also, This is NOT an announcement! Truly just talking about names. :))

What does your name mean? Share!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Open Letters {13}

Dear People,

Stop reposting the articles about the #RedCup. I haven't actually seen or heard from one person who was offended by the cup. Also, it's been shared 1,000,000 times so I believe that's sufficient.

That is all.

Dear Mason, 

We have only read the book, Do You Have a Hat, about six times and since the first time, you always answer, "No!", every time the question is asked. The other night I heard you in your bed saying "Hat? NO! Hat? No!" Love it. 

Your Momma

Dear Sunshine, 

Oh how I adore you!

Love,  A person who literally feels down in the dumps when it isn't sunny!

Dear Christmas Tree, 

Get Ready, You are about to get put up and decorated. I'm warning you because Mason is going to LOVE you! 

Love, Christmas Lover

Dear Hot Chocolate, 

Thank you for existing! 

Love, Me

Dear Matt, 

I am so proud of you. We decided a while back to just let your photography business just "be". You have done 4 photoshoots in the last month just by word of mouth and with returning clients. You are so talented!

Your proud wife!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Forgiven by Terri Roberts {A Book Review}

Recently, I've become interested in the Amish culture. This was only accelerated when we visited Matt's grandmother in Pennsylvania earlier this year. That being said, when I saw the book, Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, A Mother's Love, And a Story of Remarkable Grace by Terri Roberts, was available, I couldn't resist reading it.

I vaguely remember the story of the man who walked into an Amish school and killed and injured several young girls and then killed himself. It happened back in 2006 and it rocked the Amish community to its core.

Forgiven is written by the mother of the shooter and it is an incredible story. Terri shares about what happened on the day of the shooting and how it affected her, her family and the Amish community which they lived.

The author then gives the backstory of how she raised her son and his brothers. She shares how she blamed herself at times because of how she had raised him, etc.

All of that information was interesting but what really drew me in and rocked my world was reading about the Amish families who so quickly forgave the Roberts family. They didn't blame them for what their son had done, instead they extended grace to them nearly immediately.

What happened after the funerals and as time went on was just as incredible. The families continued to reach out and open their homes to the Roberts family. The Roberts family checked in on every family and over time became friends and even family with them.

I know that God is able to redeem incredibly horrific situations because of his power but being able to read those stories from the perspective of the person who received grace, mercy and forgiveness is beautiful. Roberts shared her family's story so well.

Thanks Bethany House and Chosen Books for allowing me to review this book!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Morgan's Movements {Early November 2015}

Well, let's just say that there was no shortage of rain in Early November in our neck of the woods. Because of that, there is no shortage of pictures either! When we are inside playing, we take pictures. :)

Let's see what we have been up to! 

Mason always watches a show from 8:00-8:30 each morning during the week. This is when I finish my getting dressed and just after Matt goes to work so it's good timing. This cold morning, he was in his new camo pjs and snuggled right up! 

"Rock, rock, rock"

Mason got a doctor's kit for his birthday and he has been using his tools frequently. This picture was just for fun and then I made the face mid-picture because he pinched the heck out of my nose (on accident.)

Mason also had his 2 year well-check which is his favorite because he gets to play with every book in the exam room. 

A flu shot calls for more snuggling later that day. I mean, duh! 

We had one day that wasn't excessively rainy but still wet. Anyway, we headed out to get some fresh air. Mason was ready in his rain boots! 

We love the book store! 

We also headed out on a lunch date. We used to rarely go out for lunch or dinner for that matter. Now that I'm working more consistently each week (still only 6-10 hours a week), we have a little fun money and we have been using some for lunch and dinner dates. :)

That afternoon, Mason didn't fall asleep until nearly 1 1/2 hours after I laid him down which is super unusual. When I went to get him up, I found this. Silly...

That night I worked and Matt and Mason had their usual fun time! 



And snuggles! 

Wednesday morning we had MOPS and then that afternoon, Mason and I decided to paint. He was very interested in painting the letters until he remembered painting a hand print earlier in the day at MOPS. After that he painted and completed approximately 10 handprint artwork pages! HAHA! 

Here he is spinning in the picture. I know you can't tell but I want to remember it anyway. Sweet boy loves to dance and spin! 


Thursday morning we went to Target to scour the Halloween clearance and then we met some friends at Pump-It-Up. These kiddos are BUDS! 

That afternoon, we were both worn out so we snuggled up tight tight! 

And we also read some books! 

This was also the day that I gave Mason a fun sized bag of M&Ms from his stash of Halloween candy (along with a rarity: diluted juice!!!) and looked over to find him sorting them by color! 

That led to this! Yay for sorting! 

Friday morning started with a little sticker fun! And some crazy hair, too! 

We almost skipped Kindergym because it was so gross outside but we decided to go and I'm so glad we did! 

That afternoon, I showered before work and I was showing Mason my wet hair and he licked it. Who even knows?!?! Crazy kiddo! 

Saturday morning was a little more work for me. Matt and Mason had a yummy breakfast. This picture is proof of how well Mason is doing with his new cups! 

Then, it was Kid's Workshop time at HD! 

And a little Academy browsing! 

We had planned lunch at Texas Roadhouse thinking they opened at 11 but it was 11:30 so we headed to the book store to spend some time while we waited. 

Then, we finally made it to lunch! Mason got a giant high chair which cracked us up the whole time! 

Sweet boys! 

That evening, Mason had lunch in the living room while we watched football, our Saturday afternoon/evening tradition! 

Then we had a family dance party before bed! 

We had a date night in and watched a few of our shows before LSU played. We munched on these awesome BBQ nachos! 

Sunday sillies with this kiddo! 

Our sweet friends, The S Family, sent Mason a birthday gift in the mail and it was delivered Sunday. 

**It's a fun lounge chair and apparently everyone is a fan of it!!**

We also headed out to do our Operation Christmas Child Shopping that afternoon. Always fun and fulfilling. 

More lounging int he new chair because you've gotta break it in! 


We are so goofy! 

Monday morning, Matt had a physical and Mason and I fed all of his buddies breakfast! 

That afternoon, he was clearly a fan of lunch! 

Fun times in the chair's box! 

After nap, we got out of our PJs for the first time that day and headed to see some friends at their new house. 

Tuesday we woke up to sunshine and we were sure glad about it! 

After a playdate, this boy was worn out! 

Our neighbor gave Mason this beautiful Santa and it is definitely his buddy right now! 

We ended the early part of November with my guys relaxing and reading some books before bed! 

Bring it on, Mid-November!