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An Inside Scoop on Sketchy Tacos: My Year in Mexico

My YA travel novel, Sketchy Tacos, has been four years in the making, and it's now available for pre-order on Amazon. I could not be more excited! In honor of Sketchy Tacos' release next week, I want to share with you about the year I spent in Mexico. Get the inside scoop on the story behind the novel! I married my husband, Alan, on May 11, 2013, and the next day we traveled to Mexico. We spent a four days at Secret's Silver Sands halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It really was a slice of paradise. It was the perfect getaway for our honeymoon since we had a short time and just wanted to enjoy each other and relax. [...]

By | 2017-04-06T11:52:57+00:00 January 31st, 2017|My Journey, Relationships, Travel|2 Comments

Don’t Allow Past Thoughts to Dictate Your Future Actions

Have you heard of the First 5 app? You can use it as your alarm or you can open it when you wake, and it gives you a five minute devotion so that you can start your day out right with God. I absolutely love it and highly recommend it. On Tuesday, Lysa Terkeurst wrote a devotion called "Getting Unstuck From My Thinking Rut" that really struck a chord with me. (I really suggest downloading the app and reading the full text, but I'll paraphrase below.) The devotional was based on Romans 12:2. "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve [...]

By | 2016-08-09T14:30:22+00:00 August 11th, 2016|Encouragement, Faith, Relationships|15 Comments

Siblings Should Be Friends for Life

This weekend, I'm staying with my sister at Johnson University. We've got a lot of fun things planned and I've really been looking forward to it. If you'd have told us four years ago that we'd be looking forward to spending five days together on our own, we'd have laughed. Hard. Finding friendship with my sister has been a strange, but worthwhile journey because sibling should be friends for life. There were times in our relationship that I thought we'd never get to this point. There were times in our relationship that I didn't want to get to this point. But we never gave up, and I couldn't be happier with the relationship we've found. Morgan said, "Growing up as sisters was rough because we have [...]

By | 2015-10-03T01:04:03+00:00 October 2nd, 2015|Relationships|15 Comments

Will You Marry Me? An Unusual Engagement

My then-boyfriend was taking me to Mexico for the first time. To make sure I had a fantastic impression, he got us each our own rooms at a lovely resort a block from the beach in Playa del Carmen.  Though I wasn't supposed to know it, he was just too excited to actually keep the secret. He was going to propose. On our last day there, he had the whole day planned. It was his birthday after all. Not the Cenotes. Our camera was stolen shortly after our engagement, so our photos are limited to the couple we uploaded to Facebook before it was taken. We started the morning at the Cenotes. They were these gorgeous freshwater pools. [...]

By | 2016-10-19T04:39:37+00:00 September 25th, 2015|Relationships, Travel|42 Comments

3 Reasons to Not Let the Fear of Losing Win

The fear of losing can keep us from even trying in the first place. For me, this is never more evident than in friendships. I am naturally an introvert. Now, I love having people over, but I feel exhausted afterwards. In one particular church, I would venture out of my shell to connect with someone, and they would leave. It hurt a lot. And I did not like the feeling of loss. So I ventured out of my shell less and less. I let the fear of losing rule my friendships. When I first got to college, I hesitated to put myself out there and really put an effort into my friendships because I knew I would loose them all in four [...]

By | 2015-09-08T09:46:31+00:00 September 8th, 2015|Encouragement, Relationships|44 Comments

Taking the High Road

Taking the high road can be lonely and frustrating, but it's worth it in the long run. What is the "high road"?  The phrase "taking the high road," means not retaliating. When someone makes an unkind comment or cuts in line, our instinct is to react and get even. Taking the high road, means we let the comment or action pass without reaction. Why would I want to take the high road?  Quick, harsh words or actions can give us instant gratification, but they can do long lasting damage. An "I hate you!" screamed in the middle of a argument can feel good in the moment, but words like that stick in the minds of family and friends long after [...]

By | 2015-09-08T09:45:48+00:00 August 31st, 2015|Relationships|25 Comments

A Netflix Obsession: Keeping Your Mind Clean

The task of keeping your mind clean in a world where you are constantly barraged with worldly images can feel next to impossible. Since I work from home, I have a lot of time in a very quiet house. To combat the sometimes overwhelming silence, I turn on Netflix... a lot. I pull up an episode while I eat breakfast and lunch, while I fold laundry and cook dinner, while I sweep the floor and craft. I go through a lot of episodes, so I go through a lot of series. My Netflix obsession has lead me to watch everything from West Wing to Merlin, from White Collar to Good Luck Charlie. All four of those are fun and clean, and [...]

By | 2015-09-08T09:45:48+00:00 August 28th, 2015|Relationships|22 Comments

A Frightening First Date

When I went on my frightening first date with my now-husband, I spent hours trying on outfits and testing them out with friends. I wanted my look to say just the right thing and I was so nervous I couldn't stop second guessing myself. I finally settled on a rose-print lace top, dark skinny jeans, and my killer black leather boots. I tried to pin on a little confidence, but it just didn't want to stick. My knight in shining armor only a month later in the scarf I made him. I entered the coffee shop and found him right away. He was wearing a white knit sweater and a scarf. A scarf! How many guys can pull off a [...]

By | 2015-09-08T09:38:25+00:00 August 14th, 2015|Relationships|24 Comments

5 Ways to Avoid Temptation in Your Relationship

Honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:20 Dating and in love As some whose love language is physical touch, I REALLY know how hard it can be to wait for sex and stay pure. But now that I'm married, I also know that it's totally worth the wait. Here's a few ways I learned to avoid temptation and make the wait easier. 1. Stay out of bed. Sure it's a great place for naps, but do you really want to spend time napping with your boyfriend? Or is it just an excuse to get cozy and horizontal? 2. Hands above clothes at all times. Sure the stomach is not a private area, nor are your calves, but [...]

By | 2015-09-08T09:38:25+00:00 August 12th, 2015|Relationships|30 Comments

When I Least Expected

In November, 2011, I lay on my dorm bunk with the setting sun glowing around me, and I swore off relationships. I was two years into college and boys had brought me nothing but bitterness and distrust. They were too immature. They weren't ready for me, so I would wait. It was better this way anyway. I would graduate college, get a job at the right location for me, and meet the guy there, once I was already established. It would be perfect. Then God laughed. Me in my dancing shoes. In December that year I went salsa dancing with my girlfriends. The room was hot, the music was loud, and the boys were cute... Really cute. It's [...]

By | 2015-09-08T09:38:25+00:00 August 7th, 2015|Relationships|14 Comments