Morning Meanderings….Count Down To Christmas


Good morning.

I hope all of you are well and snug and warm and ready for the week to come.

This season is odd for me now.

No tree is put up in our home.  I am not bustling around and wrapping gifts and making lists….

The joy of the season – for me is gone.  For now anyway.  And I hate even writing that because it makes me sad but it is also so true.

So what do I do?

This week I will do what I have been doing the last 5 months.  I will stay busy.  I will go to the gym, walk in the arb, have coffee dates and find my way through.  My friend Amy and I are going to make a make shift 5k for Christmas eve eve  (yes the eve before the eve) because having something to focus on works for me.

Enough of that though….

lets talk books.

WHAT?????  Books?

Yes yes.. ha ha.  I have not written a review in ages.  I need to.  I want to.  I am ready for a New Year in that sense as I can start my Good Read goal again…. the one I blew this year as I just…. didnt.

AND be sure to check out First Book of the year…..  AND soon to be coming/posting will be One Word…. our word for the year which I am still sorting through as I do every year…trying to pick just the right one.  It is a BIG DEAL.

So that is a brief what is happening with me.  I am off to the gym, making biscotti this afternoon while listening to audio and perhaps a walk in the arb with a friend.

Working my way back.

I am.


Morning Meanderings: We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Program


I do exist.

I have no excuses.  I just went about life and didn’t make it here.  I needed time to find me again… it is still a work in progress but I feel as though I may be getting there.

AND – I have been DOING.  Which…. is actually a great word.

I am going to quickly update you as I have TONS to catch up on with reviews and crazy things that have been happening (in good ways)…

Most importantly at this moment – YES to those of you who have asked if I am doing First Book again.  YES!  I love first book and this will be my 4th year doing it and I absolutely want to own this one again.  I will have the sign up ready today – I hope you will join.

Did I mention I LOVE First Book?

Next – YES I am totally doing ONE WORD again as well.  This will be the 5th year I have hosted the One Word and as you know from last years post, I LOVE this as well.  I am still thinking about my word……  posting soon on this.  Yes I promise 🙂

As for everything else….  I have been running, dressing up, biking, hanging with friends, getting out of the house, working with non profits, working with a fun online project, creating websites, walking in the snow, going back to the YMCA, lifting weights, saying YES more… and remembering that I am doing this life for two now…  and I can not let Justin down.   (Yes there are sample pictures….)






I miss all of you.  I just have not been taking the time to be here and I need to do that.  Minnesota is cold…. damp… and it s a good time to get acquainted with this blog again and all of you.

Thanks for waiting for me. 




Retiring a Word…. Bringing In A New One


Here we are.

2015 has been the hardest year of my life.  I came into it with such high hopes only to feel I have been knocked off my ship and sent to crash again and again on the rocks along the shore.  You would think I could look at today as good riddance to a year that has been mostly pain… yet it still hurts to move away from the year, the last year of my son.  It’s hard to think I seen him and laughed with him and joked with him and talked books with him in 2015…. and I will not in 2016.

Emerge as you may recall, was the word that I chose to be my “it word” for 2015.  The plan for 2015 was to emerge into who I have always wanted to be… a full time writer between working on freelancing and on my own book…. no longer would it be a dream.  Well… emerge changed throughout the year with the loss of my son and my struggle to find a solid footing in what now seems to be an uncertain and shaky world.  Yet 8 months into this and I am starting to lay a path, starting to emerge again into something I believe my son would be proud of.  “Go Mom.” I can almost hear him say.


And so, as I retire Emerge this year, while it was different than I had planned – it still worked.  I believe as this word will be removed from my necklace and placed in a keepsake box I will add a letter as to what it has been like to live with Emerge this year.  A new tradition for the words that are to come.

For 2016, I have chosen the word COURAGE.

noun: courage
  1. the ability to do something that frightens one.
    • strength in the face of pain or grief.


I even already made a purchase so I have something to wear.  I still need to find it in a format that I can wear it on my chain much as I did with Emerge.  I never took it off, and I don’t want to this year either.


The new year is upon us.  There is still time for you to choose your word.  There is also still time for you to choose your first book.


Happiest of New Year to all of you.  Stay safe.  Stay well.  Love others unconditionally.



Morning Meanderings… The Love Of The Written Word


It is a CHILLY morning here in Central Minnesota.  I sit with my lap top and a BIG cup of hot coffee.  It is days like this where the outdoors looks painfully brittle that I am glad that I do not have to travel out in it.

I will however, do just that in an hour or so when I go just a few houses down from my own to visit my Aunt and Uncle.  Needless to say, our conversation will turn towards books and I LOVE that we share this desire to read.  Currently she is reading The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks which was a book I devoured when I first read it.  I will have to dig around before I go and see what else I can find her.

This connection over books that my Aunt and I found this summer has really made me rethink about readers and non readers.  After discovering my Aunts dormant love for books… I am wondering how many others are out there… too busy in there own lives, saying they could never sit still long enough to read a book etc etc…

But what if…

What if these self proclaimed “non readers” just don’t know where to begin?  In a world filled with so many titles and authors and… well without the guidance of a reader, someone who’s opinion you trust… where would you find a book that works for you?  I have also been thinking about this in terms of the library.  What can we do to make people fall in live with our libraries again?  To see the real value of what they provide for our community….  I think it begins with a book.

My son Justin was a reader.  What was interesting, was that with his college life and work and friends… he would fall away from books.  And then… he would hang out with me.  I would be talking about one title or another and pretty soon he was downloading it on his Kindle, or we were driving to the local book store…. and often, he would just load up right off my shelves.  I loved that.  In fact now, with his book shelf in our home… I glance at these gorgeous titles and I know some of them are mine that he borrowed from me…

and I can not remove them from his shelves to return to my own.

And that…

is ok.

My point here (yes, there is one), is that I think there are readers in our midst…. and this is something I have been thinking frequently.  How do we bring the readers out of the people?

Justin Dechantal, book journey
Justin’s book shelf




In other news, my post about One Word has brought in a little fun discussion.  I hope you read it if you have not already.  I love choosing a word each year.

AND if you are participating in First Book Of The Year (and I hope you are!) start planning your picture with your book and email it to me at .  Everyone and anyone can participate, you do not need to have a blog.  This is one of my favorite posts of the year and I love to see all the people and what they are reading around the world as we enter a New Year.


One Word….What Can A New Year Bring?


In 2013 I found a site that spoke of instead of having resolutions each year – choose a word.  A life long lover of words… I LOVED this.  I studied the list of words diligently trying to find the one that I wanted to represent me going into the new year and I came up with:




Embrace can have several meaning but the one I liked and wanted to follow was:



As I read that original post again this morning and this meaning that I just posted above, the tears run down my face.  I could not have had any idea of what choosing this word would mean two years later… but there it is and I am thankful.

Last year, going into 2015 was a hectic time for me and I was ready for change.  I did not even make a full post about my word but tossed it into a Looking Back/Looking Ahead post that also is difficult to read now.  I had so much ambition… I was going to take 2015 by the horns and OWN it.  My word, for 2015 was:




The meaning of this word is…

1. to rise or come forth from or as if from water or other liquid.
2. to come up or arise

3. to come into existence; develop

4. to rise, as from an inferior or unfortunate state or condition.

For me, this was my fresh start word… and by April.  I thought I hated it.

When life changed for me forever, I looked at this word, which up until that point I wore on a necklace around my neck and thought “NO.  This is not what I meant.  I will never wear this again.”


I took the word off of me.

In later April, I was given something that has a lot of meaning to me.  It needed to go on a chain and as I looked through my choices of necklace chains my eyes stumbled on the chain that held my 2015 word… Emerge.  The chain looked to be the right length and style.  And quietly I knew…

Even in this.  EVEN in this….

I must emerge.

I put the necklace back on.  It has new meaning.  A harder meaning.  Not the energetic “Run with the bulls” attitude I came into 2015 with… but a more humbling one.  I emerge.  Daily.  I rise… again.  I put my head up, I wipe away my tears and I do this every day for my son.  I emerge.

The necklace has gathered a few things this year.  A couple of tags made for me by my friend Barb.  The key I found when I was in Arizona, taking the trip over the dates that I would have been on with my son.  The cross is from Honduras.


And so that is a L O N G introduction into the word for 2016.  Here is the list but of course you can choose any word.  I studied the list and looked up definitions and believe I am going with:
Strength in the face of pain and grief
the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
moral strength to venture, persevere
I would love to have you do this with me.  What is your word for 2016?  How will you own it and why?

My ‘One Little Word’ for 2014


While doing a little blog hopping yesterday I stumbled across this idea called One Little Word.  I love the idea of calling a word your own for a year, a word that will be your mantra, the word that you will apply to your life for a year.

While LOVING the idea… picking the word was a bit more difficult than I had anticipated.  After all… I have to live with it.  I tossed around the idea of “motivated”, and “Thrive” …. and then finally after looking at the list and the definition of the words that didn’t quite fit, it came to me before I seen it…



verb \im-ˈbrās\

: to hold someone in your arms as a way of expressing love or friendship

: to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly

: to use (an opportunity) eagerly

I prefer the verb version as to the noun.  I am thinking more of this as accept (which was possibly going to be the word but I like embrace better.  

And this is really what I mean:
Embrace everything.  I like that.  There was a time when I used to say no thank you a lot.  A lot.  Friends would invite me to go do things, weekend trips, movies, etc, and I would almost always say, “no thank you”.  At the time I would use the excuse that I had to be home with the kids, or maybe I didn’t know some of the people going with and the introvert in me didn’t want it to be awkward…
It’s odd to think of that old me now.  I am quite the “Yes” girl and if I can say yes, I usually do.  I have come to terms that life is too short, too precious to live it on the sidelines watching others live it.  The word EMBRACE fits right in with that mind set.  I want to embrace new things, I want to challenge myself and them embrace the outcome.  I want to wholeheartedly embrace LIFE.
So there it is.  I think I am going to find myself a little something at an Etsy shop, or make it myself that says embrace.  I love the idea of owning a word for a year.  I will embrace the challenges, the goals, my job, my family, my friends, the good and the bad….
Are you ready?  What’s your word?  If you decide to do this, please go to the original site and say so, but also… I would love it if you would leave your word here with me too 🙂