If Trees Could Speak. . .

I have a new poem to share!  This came to be, simply because of a remark one of my sisters made.  She brought up the subject that if a tree could speak, just think of all the stories it could share.  Well, that immediately brought to my mind the Ents of Tolkien's world.  But that's not exactly what she meant.  

Still, it's an intriguing thing to ponder about the silent Giants of God's kingdom and what knowledge they would have "gathered" over the course of hundreds of years.  

So here's a wondering poem. . .

If trees could speak
What would they say?
If they had a voice
What would they relay?

Where their roots grow strong
In God's Earth run deep,
Do tales there dwell?
Do stories sleep?

Perhaps of knights and maidens fair,
Or the breath of a dew-kissed dawn.
Perhaps of unheard legends,
Or ancient creatures long gone.

Maybe a tale they'd weave
Of some unsolved mystery?
Maybe a buried Truth
Of our fading History?

Would they softly whisper
Of treasures hid long ago?
Would they sing of storms--
Oh! to know what they know!

I wonder at these silent Things,
Which stand so strong and meek.
And think to myself:
What if trees could speak?

by Sarah Dake
August 24, 2014

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A + A Friday!

  • Feeling pretty good with the sling.  Right after you say, "I'm a ninja!" it hits you smack on the face.  And everyone saw it.  Needless to say, there was a LOT of laughter.
  • This isn't so much awkward as it would be TERRIFYING to me. . . 
And yet, hilarious!  XD  Well played, guys, well played.
  • Doing your daily early-morn workout at a friend's house then spraining your ankle pretty bad and all you can do is sit on the floor with your injured leg out, holding your foot so it doesn't shake.  Kinda embarrassing. . . (But your friend is so sweet and she prays over your injury.  :] )
  • Changing bedsheets with a sprained ankles.  Good bit o' hobblin', stagger stagger, an' limpin' goin' on. . . Argh, me hearties! Take it easy on an' ol' gal wid a bum leg!
  • Talking to one of your sisters, when you hear a sneeze from another room and this:  "Huh, I probably just sneezed all in that jar."  You promptly burst into laughter.
  • Contacting your computer's manufacturer Tech Support via phone and a guy with strong Indian accent answers.  You follow his instructions and eventually, your laptop comes on!  How awkward and embarrassing.  "I swear it wasn't working, sir!  Please believe me!!"  (Well, I don't actually say this out loud. . .)  You again obey the few more instructions, allowing him to connect to your screen so he sees exactly what you do.  And then your cursor moves on its own!  AAH! Of course, he's talking to you calmly, telling you exactly what he's doing as you warily watch your computer's seemingly possessed screen.  Very weird.  And a wee bit scary.  But it is working now, so you thank him and remember you still have a warranty just in case.

  • Applying for a job at the local library!!  (Please remember me in your prayers, if you don't mind.  :]  I could really use this job.  And, come on, it's at the library!)
  • Receiving a hardback copy of a brand new book in the mail and reading it in two days.  So good!  Click here to read my review.  :]
  • THIS: 
I could watch this for AGES.  :o
  • This quote:  "The enemy doesn't stand a chance when the victim decides to survive." (Rae Smith)
  • Finally receiving the copy of poetry with your poem in it!  I'm officially published!!
Instagram -- @sarahpenmaiden
  • The fact that your computer is working!
  • This joke!

Understand, did you?  Heheh. Couldn't resist.  ;D

Happy weekend, dearies!

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Book Review | Storm Siren

Storm Siren
Storm Siren, #1
Mary Weber

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Genre:  Fantasy Fiction, YA
Released:  August 2014

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. 
Yes.  Look.
You don’t want me. 
Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

WARNING: Possible Spoilers
If you haven't noticed already, I dive deep into these reviews.  Simply meaning they are THOROUGH.  Please be aware if you wish to be fully surprised at plot twists, spoilers, etc. you may want to skip over this post.  You don't have to by any means!  But you have been duly warned. :]

[The Basics]
Oh.  My.  Mint Chocolate Chip.

The first words that came directly to my mind after reading the closing pages of this book were, "NOOOOOOO!!!!  It can't end like this!  GAH!  I CAN'T WAIT TILL NEXT SUMMER!!!"  Haha, not to scare you potential readers. . .  But. . . there's a GIANT cliff hanger. -_-  

I was super impressed by this novel.  Just from reading the synopsis on Goodreads, I was expecting a great novel, but after actually reading it, I discovered an AWESOME story.  Written in first person, which I'm sure I've mentioned before is not my preferred style, the tale draws you in from the first page, and keeps your full attention.  I almost couldn't put it down!  

Each character is complex to a point and real, with unique problems due to their pasts, but ones that can surely be resolved with their actions in the present.  You will find yourself laughing a little at the wit of the reluctant heroine Nym, full out guffawing at the antics of her friend Colin, weeping at the sorrow and devastation of war, and staring in shock at the deceit and plot twists so carefully woven into this tale.  Mrs. Weber has a beautiful and intriguing style to her writing and I simply love her voice in words.  Well done.

We all need someone in our lives to encourage us and make us smile.  Well, Colin in the perfect guy for that--a much needed friend to Nym, who has known only slavery and destruction all her life.  He gives her the perfect example of friendship and never once gives up on her no matter how many times she ignores, or punches, him.  (Note, there's not really a romantic thing between these two.  Just a beautiful display of brother/sister love.)

Despite her past and with the help of a persistent coach, Nym learns to overcome the depressing thoughts that she is a monster and opens her eyes that maybe she was born for a greater purpose, and not that of evil.

Nym has always seen herself as a monster and believes she will always be so.

Few references to "panties."  Nym wears a low cut dress to one of the bizarre parties, several men seem to notice.  Other women wear form-fitting outfits and gowns accentuating slims figures.

Men, and one in particular, are often described as attractive and "stupidly gorgeous."  Well, after reading an article on whether or not it is "necessary to sexualize characters in YA fiction," I found this rather annoying.  Of course, we are in a young lady's mind (so to speak) and these are her thoughts we are reading and experiencing, but still. . . I found it to be a little distracting.  Along the same lines, it is thought that a maidservant was disposed of for "having a thing" for a man.

As part of the process of branding a person as a slave, the owner cuts a line in the skin of said slave's arm and applies the juice of a plant, which then gives it the form of a tattoo.  [SPOILER] Nym does this same process to herself as a "memorial" to the lives she's supposedly destroyed, at one point carving a bird into her own skin.

[Spiritual Content]
Characters say the phrase, "Go with the creator."

Nym and her trainer travel to an enchanted lake, called the Valley of Origin, where the very air seems to breathe magic.

It is common legend that an evil wizard with the body of a man and wolf can take over and possess another person's body.  [SPOILER] Turns out to be true.  (More on that in Violence.)

Nym has flashbacks of her parents' deaths, as they are burned alive in their own home.  In relating a story of the past, two men are killed by giant hail stones, "torn limb from limb."  A man is struck by lightning, whose body "bursts into pure energy."  It is later learned that a little girl was also killed.

The tattoo process, as mentioned above, is quite bloody.  When Nym does this to herself, she gets sick and vomits in a fireplace.  We discover early on that she has had the fingers of one hand broken, leaving that hand slightly deformed.  The owner who did it threatens to break her other fingers (but doesn't).

A girl is beaten, we read of her bruised face and dried blood on the floor.  Several threats, that are not followed through, include cutting one's tongue out or getting a throat cut.

Warhorses are a giant breed of beasts that sport sharp teeth and snippy attitudes.  They are ride-able, however, which seems CRAZY to not just me, but Nym as well. (She forms a bond somehow, and the horse is her riding companion for the rest of the book.)  In the barn where they are kept, we read of a bloody puddle and tufts of hair from an unfortunate soul.  At one point, the characters release the horses to hunt.  When they return, one is chewing on the leg bone of a deer.

A girl is nearly strangled.  Nym discovers she can send fire through the veins of an adversary, causing great pain, and even (if she held on long enough) death.

Fearsome creatures known as bolcranes have screams that resemble that of a tortured child.

A girl's body is possessed by the wolf-man who sheds her skin (literally) to reveal his true form.  A young man is clawed by the same giant wolf-man.  An officer is bitten on the shoulder.  Others are clawed and wounded by the dark wizard.  In one fight, swords slice and stab, deadly icicles fly through the air, the earth is torn into fissures, earthquakes rumble, stormy winds fling airships across the sky, and bombs level small villages.  Plagues take out other towns.

[Language, Alcohol & Drugs]
Swear words that mean nothing to us, but have the same effect, include "litches," "hulls" (i.e. "what in hulls. . ."), "bolcrane," and "kraken."  Other exclamations include, "teeth of a naked ferret-cat" or "good mother of Faelen."  As you go through the book, you gather that "litches" seems to come from a forest of the name Litchfell.  And "hulls" seems to resemble a certain bad place. . .

Lots of drinking at a wealthy lady's estate parties.  Also, more drunkenness in places called common houses that are similar to taverns.

After getting hit in the leg and arm by falling shrapnel, Nym takes pain-killers in the form of tablets in several instances, to keep the pain at bay while she completes a mission, with the help of Colin.

[Love-y Content]
Certain women are very clingy and seductive, running a hand over a man's chest or kissing him to spite another.  Quite a bit of innuendos.  Men don't just look at a girl's face and/or eyes, but their bodies as well.  A reference is made to a wealthy woman's "harem of menfolk."  Party costumes are super bizarre, ranging from a frog lady with a small hat made to look like the amphibian's eyes to purple peacock plumage to an arctic wolf.

There is obviously a strong attraction between Nym and her trainer.  He has a special ability, though not much is elaborated about it, to block powers.  And in training Nym, he places two fingers to her neck, where her pulse is, and the result is calming.  They kiss a total of three or four times, one near kiss, embrace, etc.

Overall, a splendid story! full of magic, fantasy, romance, action and the power to overcome.  I found each page well written, with intriguing and fun dialogue, scenic world-building, and unpredictable plot twists to boot.  A definite read for all of you fantasy lovers.

Recommended ages:  16+

I was provided this copy thanks to BookLookBloggers.com
in exchange for my honest review.

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In the words of Fripsky von Ciggatron, "Do tell!"

Life happens.  Ya know?  Because obviously, I've been absent ALL week long.  *bawls*  And *sobs* I've missed another A+A post!!  Gah.  You should be used to this by now.  :]  So here's just a little hullo of my happenings, or if you get technical with me, my, um, EXCUSES. . .

Firstly, the annual, family camping trip is closing in fast!  And I cannot wait!  I keep seeing visions of relaxing in my new hammock, oodles of books to read, singings by the campfire, and biking 'round the lake.  *sighs longingly*  Due to this, we took a day trip to the mountains last Friday to pick a camp site.  Then drove to the nearby Bald River Falls, hiked to the top, waded in the cold, mountain river-water, and took lots o' pictures.  What a lovely day.  :]

Had a quiet weekend, until Tuesday morning's early workout at a friend's house where I was doing this awesome move called The Gladiator, a karate jump followed by a driving fist to the floor. . . Well, I jumped, landed wrong on my left foot, heard a vicious POP! and came down hard on my *cough* sit-upon.  Resulting in a painful sprain and hopefully nothing worse (I'm not one for going for a visit to the doc).  Yeah, yeah, blame it on weak ankles.  -_-

The next big thing on our agenda is the Sportsman's Rally! hosted every other year by my church, Clearwater Baptist.

This is a huge event featuring archery, rock climbing, skeet shooting, face-painting, and much more.  I hear we are even adding a hatchet-throwing contest. . . My sisters and I are in charge of face-painting.  :]  Admission is $5 per person, with exception for small children.  If you live in my area, don't hesitate to stop by for a full day of fun and ministry!  You can click the links or image above to find directions.  Don't miss it!

Also, this Sunday as well as the next, my siblings and I are performing in song and dance at two local churches.  I dislike asking for prayer for myself, because I feel so selfish, but no need is too small, right?  And God welcomes every request.  So, please keep me in your prayers that my injury will heal quickly!

And now for some bad news. . . My BRAND NEW LAPTOP is . . . not WORKING!!  NOOOOOO!!!!  So sad.  I just bought it less than a month ago, and now it won't even turn on when I press the power button.  Honestly, this is probably the top reason for all the missed posts.  Ah well, hopefully after a call to the manufacturer it will get straightened out soon.

Thanks for stopping by and for putting up with me.  And for faithfully following my randomness.  :]

Oh, I nearly forgot!  "It's starting already.  Lost a memory.  Next it'll be something I really value. . . Like my hat."  (Haha, sorry.  Quote from Wizard Fenworth, from The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul.)  I mean, I nearly forgot to explain the post title.  It's a quote from Oskar N. Reteep of the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson.  :] Such a great series!  Look 'em up sometime.  So worth it!

 Fairfarren, my friends.

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Liebster Award!

This post has been in the drafts for WEEKS.  Agh, I'd simply forgotten about it. . .  Heheh. . .

I'm not sure how many times I've received this award, but it makes me feel loved to have lost count!  Thanks goes to Bethan, from Think. Read. Write. Dream., for awarding me. :]


- Post eleven facts about yourself.
- Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create an eleven-question set for the next group of nominees.
- Choose eleven people to nominate and link them in the post.
- Let your nominees know they've been tagged - and no tag-backs!

1.  I would one day wish to own an Irish Wolfhound (and name him Fitz.) Or maybe a Siberian Husky. . .
2.  I turned 22 on July 23rd.
3.  I love just about anything and everything to do with a Nautical theme.  :]
4.  I stand five foot five inches.
5.  My biggest fear is to see big animals at night, usually dogs. . .
6.  I've always wanted to go to Australia.
7.  I just purchased my first pair of mild prescription glasses last month.  (Mind you, they are merely my part-time spectacles.  ;D You know, for driving, and such.)
8.  I am currently reading a fiction book that includes football and special ops.  O_o Who knew they could put those two together and come out with a pretty awesome series?
9.  My computer's name is Jarvis.
10.  I love poetry.
11.  I collect Names.  :]

1. What colour are your eyes and what colour is your hair?
          My eyes are hazel, a mixture of brown and green.  And I am a brunette!  I love my brown hair.  :]
2. Which author would you like to collaborate on a book with?
          Wow.  This thought has never crossed my mind before. . . Hmm.  I would've loved to have met the Western author, Louis L'Amour, in his prime and help co-write a classic Western.  It would have been awesome to hear the stories of what he had done, where he had traveled, and all his acquired knowledge, then to add it to a book!  Alas, he passed on in 1988.

3. Who is your fictional boyfriend?
          Oh my.  I've never had a boyfriend (and never will probably), dating is over-rated.  But I won't go into that. . . [Haha! I saw that!  You sighed in relief.  *winks*]  Anyway, IF I based the prince of my dreams on one man, it would be. . . Wait for it. . . Captain America!  (Surprised?) 
4. Do you like floral print?
          Yes, actually.  It is pretty and vintage-y.
5. If you could have dinner with 10 fictional characters (films, TV shows, books, any fictional character) who would you choose?
          Oh dear.  CAPTAIN AMERICA.  Bilbo Baggins.  Lizzie Bennett.  Hiccup and Toothless (they count as one).  :]  Rapunzel.  Echo Sackett.  Aslan.  Sokka.  Belle.  Aragorn and Arwen.
6. What is one of your favourite songs at the moment?
          Masquerade by Jonathan Thulin (pro. too-leen).  Also his song, Coat of Arms.  Awesome!
7. Are you going on holiday this summer? If you are, where are you going?
        My family and I always take a week-long vacation up in the mountains.  We tent-camp, people!  Do you even know what that is anymore?  ;D
8. Which social media site do you use the most?
          Erm, Pinterest.  Blogger.  Gmail.  Yeah.
9. What are your hopes and dreams?
          To one day get married, be a wife and mother.  ^__^
10. Would you rather read inside or outside?
          Oo.  Depends on the weather.  On gorgeous days, I'll be outside.  On cold weather days, of course, inside, snuggled up in a blanket.  
11. What book have you read that had a really great message? What was the message?
          That's a difficult one.  Surprisingly, nothing comes to mind, although I've read TONS of books with great lessons and morals.  

Thank you again, Bethan.  :]  And thanks for stopping by, dear readers.  Hope you enjoyed this!

Alas, I have not the time to come up with a set of questions. . . So, whoever wishes to try this out, you can use the questions from Bethan or come up with your own.  If you participate, leave a comment to let me know! I'd love to read your post.  :]

Fairfarren, for now, my friends.

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What's in a Name?

It's been many a day since I've posted a set of names.  And so, while my batch of bread is rising, I thought it was as good a time as any.  :]

I think I've mentioned one of my most effective ways to find names is to read the end credits of movies. Have I?  Well, if not, I guess I just did.  :] Truly, it's fascinating.  I could watch to the very last production note and probably leave with a few pages worth of intriguing, unique names.  Writers, this is a great trick in finding the perfect name for your hero!  And entertaining as well.  You wouldn't believe some of the names out there. . .

For example:
GIVEN NAMES:                                                     SURNAMES:
-  Jerzy                                                                 -  Mahaffie
-  Garwood                                                           -  Stonebreaker
-  Tanissa                                                              -  Snively
-  Askia                                                                 -  Wojewooski
-  Sindharmawen                                                   -  Kwak
-  Lisaroo                                                              -  Wildermoth

Just to name a few.  :]  Please note, I am not making fun of these, by any means.  They are so unique and different, I just had to share them with you.  I especially love the surnames!

Anyway, I came across the first name in this set while perusing the end credits of Guardians of the Galaxy, which was pretty good, by the way.  But the best way to explain it:  It is definitely NOT Captain America.  Still, it had it's moments.  :]  Ahem, on to the names!

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Irish
Pronunciation:  AY-mon, EE-mon

Meaning & History
Variant of Éamonn, the Irish form of Edmund, which means "rich protector" in Old English.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Irish
Pronunciation:  TRA-sa

Meaning & History
Most likely means "strength" in Irish Gaelic.  Sometimes used as the Irish form of Theresa.

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Irish
Pronunciation:  CAHN

Meaning & History
Means "chief" in Irish Gaelic.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Irish
Pronunciation:  REE-o-nah

Meaning & History
Possible variant of Ríoghnach (derived from Irish ríoghan, meaning "queen") or the short form of Catríona, which is the Gaelic form of Katherine, meaning "pure."

Names and meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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A + A Friday!

  • Texting while mowing. . . (What? I listen to my tunes when mowing the yard.)  :]
  • Skimming channels and discovering that two different ones have bath re-do commercials on at the same time.  O_o
  • When your sunburn/tan-line does not match the neckline of your blouse.
  • Being the first person in line for food at a church choir get-together.  (Why is this awkward?  Because I am never first! I don't like being first, then you sit down with your food all by yourself, while others are standing in line across from you, salivating over your plate.  Okay, okay, maybe I exaggerate. ) ;]
  • Waiting in the checkout line.  Where are you supposed to look?  At the CANDY??  At the horrid magazines? At the people in front of you? or at the cashier clerk?  I suppose a little bit of everywhere, right? 'Cause, then you don't have to give anybody the Lizard Look
  • Driving through town and really getting into the song that's playing on the radio, then seeing another driver looking at you funny.
  • Hair problems.   Windy days especially!!

  • Sitting on the porch enjoying the early morning sunshine.
  • Hardee's Charbroiled Chicken sammich.  ^__^
  • Hugs.  (from friends and family, not strangers.  That would be awkward.  O_O)
  • Planning a trip to the theaters! 
  • Thunderstorms.  (Mild ones, at least. When the thunder rumbles directly above your house and lightning lights up the sky.)  :]
  • Seeing your sister return after a month-long, travel absence!  And when she brings peace offerings, like Ralph's Donuts!!!
  • When your sister begins composing music to a couple of your poems. 

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Spread the Love! Giveaway Shout-out

Welcome back, friends!  

This is a shout-out for fellow blogger and friend Ashlee Willis, who has a special on her debut novel The Word Changers.  I have yet to read it, but am looking forward to doing so.  

Follow through this link or click the image below and you can enter the giveaway!  

Fairfarren, for now.  Don't forget to check back for the weekly Awk + Awe post!!

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A Word, Guv'na?

Haldir (source)
1828 Webster's Dictionary
noun  plural: elves 
1.  A wandering spirit; a fairy; a hobgoblin; an imaginary being which our rude ancestors supposed to inhabit unfrequented places, and in various ways to affect mankind.  Hence in Scottish, elf-shot is an elf-arrow; an arrow-head of flint, supposed to be shot by elfs; and it signifies also a disease supposed to be produced by the agency of spirits.
2.  An evil spirit; a devil.
3.  A diminutive person.

Personally, I do not care for this definition.  I much rather prefer the image of Tolkien's Elves.  :]

“At the hill’s foot Frodo found Aragorn, standing still and silent as a tree; but in his hand was a small golden bloom of elanor, and a light was in his eyes. He was wrapped in some fair memory: and as Frodo looked at him he knew that he beheld things as they had been in this same place. For the grim years were removed from the face of Aragorn, and he seemed clothed in white, a young lord tall and fair; and he spoke words in the Elvish tongue to one whom Frodo could not see. Arwen vanimelda, namarië! He said, and then he drew a breath, and returning out of his thought he looked at Frodo and smiled.

`Here is the heart of Elvendom on earth,’ he said, `and here my heart dwells ever, unless there be a light beyond the dark roads that we still must tread, you and I. Come with me!’ And taking Frodo’s hand in his, he left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as a living man.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

Tenna enta lúmë, mellon!
(Until [next] time, friend!)

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Give Me Tomorrow

Wrote a new poem yesterday.  :]

For the days I fail You
For the Words I ignore
For the missed opportunities
For the trials in store
Grant me strength!
To live for You and show
A dark world Your Hope--
Lord, give me Tomorrow.

Poem written by me, Sarah Dake.  Photo via Pinterest.

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A + A Friday!


  • When a handsome stranger asks if he could give you his number "just in case." Then you feel bad, because you had to say no and he left really fast.  And, of course, your mother has to relay the whole thing to EVERYONE.
  • When a kitty nibbles your toes.
  • Turning quickly in a store and sliding your flip-flop across the floor.
  • Making rhymes and not meaning to. . . 
  • Playing Toilet Tag with friends.  Awkward at times, yes, but total fun.  XD
  • Wearing your glasses (mild prescription) and realizing they make you look older.  Is that why the guy asked me if he could give me his number??  O_o
  • Attempting a clapping push-up and falling flat on your face.  Oh, it's OK, only your SISTER AND FRIEND SAW IT!!  Haha :D
  • Taking a small handful of your mother's SALTED popcorn and unintentionally making a funny face. 

  • I now have a computer again!!!
  • Upgrading to a new phone, now own an iPhone 5c -- and love it!
  • The feeling you get after spending two hours washing, vacuuming, and overall cleaning your car; knowing it is then THE cleanest car in the world.  Mission accomplished.
  • Writing this awesome intro/prologue to a potential story of a retelling of Beauty & the Beast (which I hope to enter for a contest.)
  • This quote: 

  • Successful conclusion to small group Bible study--Financial Peace with Dave Ramsey.  So good! 
  • Shopping with your mother and bringing home a good haul of books, a couple thrifted shirts, and a Marvel mug!

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