Archive | May, 2016

The Selection – Book 1

31 May

My mom and I have a special bond, a love of reading! Even better, we enjoy reading the same types of books which has helped my library grow exponentially! Helping our love of reading even more is my mom’s career as a middle school english teacher. She is constantly exposed to new authors and stories through her students’ reading projects and school book fairs. And that is how we came to find The Selection by Kiera Cass.

My mom gave me a copy of the first book in the series on Saturday evening, and as soon as I got home, I was camped out on the couch reading. (And I kept reading until midnight!) It’s been a while since a book has captured my attention so quickly.

My favorite way to describe the plot of this book is The Hunger Games (sort of) meets The Bachelor. In this made up-country of Illéa, America Singer is a Five, and she is secretly in love with Aspen, a Six. A letter has been sent to the homes of every girl in the country between the ages of 16-21 saying they are eligible to enter The Selection, a competition to win the affection and love of Prince Maxon. Only 35 girls will be selected and America wants no part of it!

But through a series of events to please those she’s close to, she finds herself named as one of the Selected.

As it turns out, Prince Maxton is not at all how she had imagined him to be, and yet, she still can’t give her heart over to him as it still belongs to the love she left behind. As her time at the palace stretches beyond days and weeks, America finds friendships in what others would only describe as unlikely places, camera crews documenting the Selection for the country, and discovers she is at the center of some of the other Selected girls’ jealousy.

After a series of attacks on the palace and the sudden arrival of someone from back home, America is forced to closely examine her feelings for the Prince. Does she want to stay at the Palace even though some girls have elected to return home out of fear? Will she ever forget about the love she had for Aspen? Will her love for the Prince grow if she gives it a chance? Does she even want to BE Illéa’s next princess?

The answers to these and many other questions can be found within the pages of The Selection. One of the best parts about this story, it leaves you hanging with more questions than answers and the NEED to know what happens next. Which is the only explanation I have for running to Wal-Mart at 8:45 p.m. last night to buy the boxed set!

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s been way too long since I left America in the palace wondering what path she’ll choose! I’m off to get lost in book two, and I hope you’ve been inspired to run to your local bookstore and snatch up a copy of book one!




Things I’ve learned about moms

8 May

Have you ever thought about moms? Really sat there silently and thought about these women? Mom has been there from the very beginning, long before any of us knew what the word mom meant. She gave up sleep for late night feedings or to soothe away troubled dreams. She helped with spelling and math at the kitchen table. She made us special dinner for our birthdays.

Mom was there when we were learning all of our firsts, from words, to walking to that first spin behind the wheel. She knew when we had our first crush, and more so when we had our first heartbreak. She held on tight when we cried because of a fight with dad and when those pre-teen years kicked our self-confidence to the curb.

Mom always knew when to listen and when to share some motherly advice. She showed us, more often than telling us, how to be good, faithful, kind and loving human beings. From her I learned to value education and what a loving and lasting relationship looks like. She may not have noticed, but I was always watching her, hoping to be just like her one day. 

There were times we disappointed her, and broke her heart with our choices and decisions, but she had to let us learn and grow. She helped us find our wings and learn to soar on the wind. She had faith in us when we did not. And cheered us on when we were uncertain of life’s path. 

My mom is more than my mom – she is my best friend, my confidant, my safe harbor, my cheerleader and my greaterst supporter. Her opinions and thoughts I seek out whenever I am presented with big or small choices or life-altering decisions. Her knowledge surpasses my own and I have learned to see that as a blessing that I should utilize. 

In my 27 years, here are a few things I’ve learned about my mom:

  1. She loves the Lord with all of her heart and has a strong faith.
  2. Her family – parents, siblings, husband, daughters, extended aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews,  cousins- mean the world to her. Family is not defined by blood, it is by the bonds we build and strengthen everyday. 
  3. Her favorite color is purple.
  4. She would do anything for the kids she teaches at school and on more than one occassion I have seen her fight for children when she recognizes they need to be loved and pushed to excel. 
  5. Someday she would love to see the top of The Statue of Libery. 
  6. She enjoys reading and has no problem spending all day with a new (or familiar) book.
  7. Sappy Hallmark movies make her cry.
  8. She bakes when she’s stressed.
  9. She is technology challenged and loves when we help her sort it all out.
  10. She has a smile that brightens the room and a laugh that fills your soul with joy. And once she starts laughing, you can’t help but join in! 

Happy Mother’s Day to the most loving woman I know. Thank you for being there through all of life’s ups and downs, for being my constant in an ever changing world. 

Mom with The Statue of Liberty in New York City