Jsack's Mom's Blog

Sharing my heart, tears, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

My Mommitment journey and car decal giveaway

A year ago I was suffering from a major judgemental spiral. Being a special needs parent I had more than enough stares, disapproving looks, and snide comments. It was always when my son was reacting to his environment of being too loud, busy, and over stimulating. I still remember a very public sensory meltdown that ensued when we were in a McDonalds. After a day of travelling for hockey I chose a quiet place to have his happy meal than an amped up hockey team pizza night. Well little did I know that the town was going to see a spectacle in that quiet venue. 

It always starts out innocently enough of they didn’t have the toy he wanted. So we go for plan B and they don’t have that either. After those options we decide to eat our meal by this time I have an upset child running up and down on the bench. To any outsider this looks like my son is spoiled and I’m a passive parent. When really it’s an impending feeling of doom for him struggling with preservasive behaviours that his mind is telling him he needs. 

We always have a set routine at our McDonald’s, but this isn’t our local one so making do is our only option. That’s when the judgement bus comes rolling in and I feel hot, stifling, embarrassment and then a instant cup of angry for my son being judged. I ended up overreacting and gave those diners quite a show of what it feels like to be prisoner in a sensory overloaded moment. I left that restaurant feeling defeated as I had to pick up my son and go back to the hotel. 

I brainstormed, wrote a blog, and had to think of a way to change this negative to a positive. So I prayed on it, I always believe when the student is ready the teacher appears. That’s when Mommitment came into my life. Now I judge less, and ignore more, I spread awareness of Sensory Processing Disorder than anger, and I love and forgive myself and my son because life can be as unpredictable as how his central nervous system and senses are. Today a year later I’m still a work in progress but I stick to my Mommitment mindset and proudly wear this decal on my vehicle. This is my check in for the day, week, and month to remind me of my Mommitment and now that I know better I do better. 

  
Without further ado here is the Giveaway details. Follow the Rafflecopter guidelines from Tues, Feb. 23 rd to Tues, March. 1 st. Two winners will be chosen for a Mommitment decal that you can proudly display. 

What can you do to support a Mom in your life and community by showing compassion and non-judgement? 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Ten things of thankful-missing my Mom

I’ve been writing all day, furiously scribbling and typing out my feelings. Today is a day I dread more than ever the anniversary of my Mom’s death. I cry, write, read stories we wrote together, and listen to her favourite Elvis music. Two weeks ago I shared my list of thankfuls for my dear Dad. Today I will share about my Mom. She was my gift and I will love and miss her till my last breath. I’m proud to share my memories and thankfulness on the TTOT linkup with Lizzi and her ever faithful thankful family.  

 I’m so thankful that my Mom decided to have me her sixth child and third daughter. She was older yet I think she knew that I was meant to be. I was sickly when I was born so I’m thankful I got to spend that extra week in the hospital bonding with her. She would tell me stories of how I would look up at her as she fed me with this baby face and bright blue eyes of wonder. 

I’m thankful that she taught me the magic of books and how to read. My life has been full of all the adventures I’ve taken myself on with my love of words and wonderful memories. I loved when she would read to me and change the inflection of her voice and turn a story book into an interactive experience. 

I’m thankful for her beautiful smile even when she was tired as I wasn’t much of a sleeper as a child. She would read to me and T ell me stories she’s made up on the spot. She was so loving, kind, caring and an amazing story teller. She loved her children and Grandchildren with all her being. She was proud to show off pictures that graced her walls and upright piano. As beautiful as she was she just glowed when she held a child on her lap. 

I’m thankful for her brilliance. She wanted to be a teacher but she didn’t want to leave her parents to go away to study. She was very close to them as their only child. So instead she worked around town, met my Dad and fell in love. First came marriage, and many baby carriages and she had herself a full family to teach. 

  
I’m thankful for her gift of laughter. She could always find the humour in something. She would look for the silver lining and say this too shall pass sadness doesn’t always last. She had a beautiful laugh that would rise up from her toes and she’d slap her knee in emphasis. She taught me how to impersonate characters on tv and in the movies. I would get her into a fit of giggles when I’d do my Tim Conway impression from the Carol Burnett show. 

I’m thankful for all the times she let me stay up late watching old black and white movies with her. We’d have tea and treats and is watch the classics with her like Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, and every Elvis movie we could find. She had quite a collection of his movies that I’m proud to covet today. Our favourite was always his first Love me Tender and I sing it for her when I’m lonely for her presence. 

I’m thankful for my memories of singing and doing the dishes with her. She even made a mundane task like that fun. We would sing all the Irish classics and she’d dance a jig  around the kitchen. My heart would leap out of my chest as I joined her twirling around until I was dizzy with love and enthusiasm. 

I’m thankful for her talent of writing. She was so gifted with her thoughts and expressions and we collaborated on many stories together while in school and after I graduated. She would also make up silly poems and limericks and keep me in stitches with how funny she could be in real life and on paper. 

  
I’m thankful she taught me to be brave and follow my dreams. It’s because of her guidance that I started writing and sharing my heart here on the page. She guides me still and I write for her always in my mind and spirit. 

I’m thankful she was my biggest cheerleader and my sounding board. I could and did tell her anything. She knew I could see and feel things about people and never made me feel like I was weird. With  being empathic in a very sensory overloaded world was a gift and cross to bear that we both shared. She was my guiding light, truth seeker, lover of people, compassionate, kind, and had the strongest love and faith in God. She gave her heart to those who were deserving. And a piece of her intelligent mind to those who were not. 

I’m thankful I’m a Mom myself and I still wonder in situations what would she do or say. There will never be a day I won’t wish for her presence in my life. I have my memories and pictures, but most of all I can look in the mirror and see her there. As well as glowing  with love and pure divine light in my children. Love you always and forever Mama. ❤️

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Monday Musing-Riding the grief wave

I look at my reflection in the mirror and I’m a mixed tumble of messy emotions.  I don’t feel sad or cry everyday and there’s bursts of enthusiasm for life and all the wonderful things that make me happy. My family, friends, reading, writing, and creating something from nothing. Whether that’s in my kitchen or my craft room making something fills my happy bucket. 

Last year I suffered the loss of three special people in my life and just when I feel I’m dealing with my grief someone else dies! What do you do when you’re grieving during the month of love? Sometimes I can feel these emotions ebbing and flowing like the tides towards my heart. I can catch it in time or let it wash over me and fill me with overwhelming love or sadness. 

Sometimes it’s a mixture of both as this month has been difficult for me since the death of my parents. Seven years ago for my dearest Dad and five for my beloved Mama I had to say goodbye. Their leaving has left a huge hole in my heart in the shape of their love. I’ve done my best to live around that hole and create a new “normal.” Sometimes I succeed and then the grief wave threatens to pull me under again. Under the water where I’m drowning in emotion and struggling to breathe with the weight of my tears. 

I’ve been in counselling a lot of my life. I started when I was twelve in family therapy then continued on into adulthood. I still see someone when the urge arises and he thinks I need to deal with my grief instead of just trying to survive it. In the last ten years of my marriage my husband and I collectively had to say goodbye to ten loved ones. In the seven years since my Dad, step sisters, and my Mom’s deaths I’ve been in grief recovery in some form of another. Whether it was journaling, actively seeing a therapist, or in a support group. 

I’ve learned a lot about myself and I even wrote up a timeline of my happy and sad times in my life to track my triggers. The happiness is about feeling loved and discovering something new. The sadness always centres around a death in my life since I was three years old. I was born to older parents so I was around older people in my family tree. To me this was my life not anything unusual until I went to school and my friends parents were the same age as my older siblings! That was a shock as I never thought about all these special people leaving me. 

Some may say that dealing with death so young prepared me for the path I need to take to resilience. I have questioned my own mortality, mourned for a a young life snuffed out by tragic circumstances, and have wrote out my living will to prepare my family. I’ve learned a lot during this time of self reflection and pain yet still feel like there’s more to discover. As I carve out a new “normal” and live around this void in my heart. I keep taking it one step, one breath, one journey at a time. With all that I have lost I’ve gained more love, perspective and appreciation; for all the people who have touched my life on this earthly and heavenly plane and for that I’m grateful. 

It’s time for #MondayMusings and it’s being co-hosted by Everyday Gyaan and The Philosopher’s Stone
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Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.

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Ten Things of Thankful-Feeling the love

The day of love is upon us as I cozy up under my cozy fleece blanket and cuddle up with my family and feel thankful for the smiles, laughter, tears, and most of all love. Here I am to share my week with the lovely hosts of TTOT linkup while the lovely Lizzi enjoys her travels. 

I’m thankful for the blessing of being here with my family. I think of so many times in my life I didn’t think I would ever realize this dream about becoming a Mom. Now here I am cuddling with my precious boys and feeling full of love and bliss. 

I’m thankful for the beautiful gifts of flowers, a wonderful meal and a lovely card my adoring husband gave to me. He spoiled me in all thewonderful  ways and our son’s treated us to a V.I.P. restaurant experience. 

I’m thankful after a mid season hiatus that season six of The Walking Dead premiered tonight. My husband and I are huge fans and we’ve been counting the days till it was back on the air. I won’t give away any spoilers to any other fans. I will only say that it had everything I ever wanted in an action packed, turbulent, jaw dropping, firestorm of emotional thrill ride episode! 

I’m thankful that the reward chart that I’ve been using with my son has worked out so well. He’s been very helpful and we’ve figured out some of his triggers and ways to work with them. He’s done so well that he’s earned himself a special day out that I look forward to sharing with you next week. 

I’m thankful that he also offered to read to me tonight without me having to ask or beg. He does love to read to himself but not out loud. He enjoys adventure chapter books, Diary of a Wimpy kids comics and the Hardy Boys. He found a Jurassic Park book and was excited to read to me and his little brother. I’ve discovered if he finds something interesting he’ll want to share it with me. It’s a win/win for both of us. 

I’m thankful that my youngest son is finally over his chest cold. My poor little boy has been so sick lately and it tears out my heart to see him struggling with his breathing. Next will be asthma and allergy testing to see if there’s anything underlying with him having a weakened immune system. 

I’m thankful that he’s been able to sleep the last couple of nights. I don’t sleep when he’s not sleeping I just drift in and out of consciousness. I was so exhausted this week I fell asleep at 9:30 pm with a book, snack, and my phone in my hand. That was a restful sleep that was sorely needed and the ability to unplug helped tremendously too. 

I’m thankful for a fabulous Valentine’s Day having a family hot tub soak. It was the perfect day for laughs, making plans, and filling each other in on the events of our week. I love moments like this no matter where we live we always have each other. 

I’m thankful for groceries in my pantry, food in my fridge and a roof above mine and my family’s head. In times likes these during this recession not everyone has one or many of those blessings. I’m grateful for how hard my husband works to provide these for our family. 

I’m thankful for time off for the week. Tomorrow is a province wide family day and my kids are out of school as well for a convention. I’ve planned some down time as well as some fun activities that I look forward to surprising them with. 

  

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Love, Valentines Day, and the Walking Dead

My husband and I have been together for a long time. We have grown up together on this journey as a couple. I remember past Valentines days before kids and they included an expensive dinner, wine, chocolates, and time alone. Over these last few years intimate dinners gazing into each other’s eyes over seafood linguine have been few and far between.

 Securing a qualified sitter (able to handle the challenges of a special needs child) on the most expensive holiday of the year isn’t an easy task. Each family Valentine’s Day isn’t without a fancy meal, wine, and chocolate. Now they’re spent without the eye gazing, in my pajamas, and with two kids cuddled up watching Netflix. These moments are precious to me and I wouldn’t trade them for anything else because really it’s all about love. 

The love I have for my husband, my children, and the love I have for myself. When life is difficult and I find it hard to surf the waves of joy and disappointment I look towards them. My island of stability keeping me laughing, entertained, and loved. My husband and I are huge The Walking Dead fans and love all things zombie. So we’ve been having a count down on the calendar till tomorrow nights Season six premiere. When the show goes into its fall hiatus it’s a sad day in our house. 

  
We find ourselves watching previous seasons on Netflix and this week it’s been a marathon to get us caught up for the big day! My husband knows I have a über crush on Norman Reedus’character Daryl Dixon. He will tease when he sees him on talk shows and he’ll call me into the room and say “honey you’re boyfriend’s on tv.” I will giggle and come running so I can swoon over his loveliness. 

Why Daryl you may ask? Well I love a strong man with family values, able to live off the land, take care of himself in a conflict, offer a supportive ear to a friend in need, and cook a squirrel on a open fire and make it tasty. This may be a spoiler alert for a few so I’ll give you time to stop reading and you can hum TWD theme music…

Daryl has to face the most difficult task when his brother Merle returns to the governors compound and in turn gets bit by a zombie. Daryl storms in to rescue Merle, Andrea, and Mischonne and finds his brother’s blood thirsty gaze in his direction. In order to protection himself he then shoots his brother. The sadness that ensues is palpable as he holds him in his arms and cries out all his pain. 

I have always been a fan since the first season but that scene made me a believer in his character and a lover of all things Norman Reedus. I had first saw him in the Indie hit movie Boon Dock Saints 1 and 2 speaking in Irish accent and I found myself swooning. Tonight will be The Walking Dead Eve so that will mean a Valentine’s Day dinner feast lovingly prepared by my sweet husband. 

There will be wine, chocolate, and heart cookies we will watch Netflix and hang out in our pj’s and enjoy each other’s company.  Then tomorrow you’ll see us cuddled up watching our favourite show and over 1,3000 zombies on the screen in an episode director by Greg Nicotero the phenomenal makeup artist. There will be screams, hiding my face in my pillow at the most gruesome parts, and gazing into my loves eyes. That’s romance after ten years of marriage that’s how we roll. ❤️

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Living in a sensory overloaded world 

Life isn’t always easy and I make the best of it that I can. I don’t think my life is any worse or any better than anyone else’s, it just is what it is. I have never possessed the Staples magical easy button, but if I did look out world! I do daydream about it occasionally to come up with a working model with creativity and a little wishful thinking on my part. 

I’m a product of my own environment and a lot of time spent in my childhood was loud, confusing, and overwhelming. I came into the world and lived in an incubator for a week while I recovered from being sickly and jaundiced. My Mom had a cold and as a result the Dr took extra precautions with me. This was back in the 70’s when it was perfectly acceptable for Mom’s to stay in the hosiptal longer. Going through my own birth experiences I believe whatever emotion, feeling, thoughts, and drugs for pain management are passed from Mother to baby. 

Without having any personal recollection of my time in the spa I can let my imagination wander and say I must’ve loved it. My jaundice was being taken away under the phototherapy lights, I was warm, comfortable, and it was quiet. As I got older I was a child that thrived in peace and quiet because I saw that my Mom did too. She could fill a room with her twinkling laughter and tell a great joke but she loved the quiet of sitting with a good book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. 

We spent many hours enjoying each other’s company with me wrapped up in a world of make believe with my dolls, Sesame Street, Mr. Dress up and The Friendly Giant as my favourite friends. Whenever it would get noisy with having my siblings home I would retreat to my bed and hide under the covers. I had some certain spots for my quiet time up in a tree, in my blanket fort, and when I was very young I was found one time in the dryer sleeping in the warm and cozy laundry. 

When I needed a sensory break from my environment being too cluttered and confusing I would climb. I was confused for being a monkey on many occasions when someone would ask where I was they would see me climbing the tallest tree or onto the horse stock rack then onto the roof of our house!  I was quite blessed by the hand of God that I didn’t fall off and break my neck or worse! 

Now I’m an adult who still loves to climb and build blanket forts with my kids. I have Sensory Processing Disorder and so do my son’s. It’s not anything I could’ve done to change that outcome since it’s neurological. I’ve read enough in the last two years to help me understand my children’s brains and have seen myself on every page! I was quiet, yet boisterous at times, I preferred to read and write stories, or climb trees, and scrape my knees. Just like any other typical child, yet if my world was to loud, bright, crowded and confusing I’d hide away. 

I read that birth trauma particularly placental complications, is known to be a cause of Sensory Processing Disorder according to the book Out of Sync Child by Carole Stock Kranowitcz. If you’re new to this term and haven’t read my blog I will kindly provide you with a definition. 

Sensory Processing Disorder is Sensory processing (sometimes called “sensory integration” or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or “sensory integration.”

*this definition is provided by the website SPD Foundation.*

There are a lot of different processes with SPD where people are affected in certain ways. I’m very visually stimulated and auditory and tactile hypersensitive. Loud noises bother me, I take everything in while scanning my environment, and there’s certain textures I just won’t touch. I’ve lived with this my whole life and  this is known as Sensory Defensive Disorder. My son’s each have the Sensory avoidance and Sensory seeking behaviours.

 I explain it as follows as we each have a bucket that gets filled with each input throughout our day providing for our eight senses to our central nervous system to our brain.  These senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing, seeing, proprioception, interoception and vestibular. 

Proprioception- meaning ones own individual sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body, and strength of effort employed in movement. Yes My youngest son isn’t aware of his body in space, and where that begins and where it ends. So crashing into the wall, toys, or his brother are common, and he’s not aware of it until after the fact.

Interoception -is the sense by which one perceives pain, hunger, bowel/bladder control and the movement of internal organs. So in layman’s terms potty training is a bust as of late; my three year old has awareness but no sense of urge control or the urge to eliminate.

 Vestibular- is the sensory system that provides input about movement and a sense of balance. The brain uses information from the vestibular system in the head, to proprioceptive throughout the body to understand the body’s dynamics and kinematics, which describes the motion of objects or groups of objects, without the consideration of causes of motion. Translation meaning when my youngest son is “stimming,” (stimulating all his senses to seek input in his environment) he will spin for an hour if I let him. I prefer swinging-on actual swings- to regulate my vestibular sense. 

 He’s a “seeker”of all kinds of sensory input. Think of it in terms of having a bucket of water with a hole in the bottom, and it constantly needs to be filled up. The clinical definition is Sensory Modulation Disorder. My oldest son has Sensory Defensive Disorder like me. He has a lot of defensive issues with receiving too much input. 

Picture it as a bucket of water that’s constantly filled, and it’s pouring out all over the floor. His issues are predominantly with auditory, visual, and olfactory senses. It’s a full time job keeping all of us sensory and emotionally regulated, but it’s one I do gladly with the help of noise cancelling headphones, regular occupational, physical,  and speech therapy. 

The one thing I’ve come to realize of this journey in our sensory overloaded world is that it does take a village to raise a child, and if there’s special needs involved it grows in size and heart to provide them with success. I do believe that God only gives me as much as I can handle. Sometimes those days are long and difficult and other days are filled with fun and laughter. I’m blessed that they’re also filled with a lot of love, patience, and kindness, and a strong village. 

Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by  Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo! Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!


  

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Ten things of Thankful

This post is going to be a little different than ones I’ve previously posted. Tonight I will dedicate my thankful list to my Dad. I will share all my thankful moments of my time with him. Also all the things I’m thankful that he taught me as part of Lizzi and friends TTOT linkup. 

  
 I’ve got through this whole day without dissolving into tears. I kept myself busy knowing if I didn’t I would find myself wrapped up in sadness. Now that I’m not busy the waves of grief come back to me. 7 years ago today I lost my one and only Dad to cancer. I think of all my memories of us laughing, talking, and yes even fighting. No one could make me so mad and proud all at once. Then he’d fire off a string of curses and I would break into a fit of giggles! We both knew we were stubborn as mules and not willing to give in. I couldn’t be any prouder to be his daughter. 

I’m so thankful that he taught me how to be strong. He came from a family of hard working farmers that he was the oldest of seven children. He always knew how to command attention and get results. He had a strength that was admirable and exhausting at times. I would beg him to just stop working and put his feet up and rest. 

I’m thankful that he taught me perseverance. He never left any job unfinished and he wouldn’t tolerate laziness either. He would always say I know how to make you work hard is to get you mad. It’s true I do have a hair trigger temper and he would chuckle to himself when I’d be stomping around on my workboots doing my chores and swearing and blistering his ears with my language. 

I’m thankful he taught me to  trust  and to have faith in myself. I had moments when I felt weak or not heard so I raised my voice and got attention negatively. He told me I had trust that what I had to say was important and to have faith that I would be heard and appreciated for being myself. Then pretending to be someone else to please family, friends, or a boyfriend. 
I’m thankful he taught me to laugh at myself and not take life so seriously. I would have my face in a book or watching movies and I wouldn’t talk to anyone and I’d pretend I was playing that part of the character. He would laugh and mess up my hair and say “go play you’re too serious.” If I made a mistake he would say just laugh it off because everyone makes them.

I’m thankful he taught me kindness and forgiveness. He was notorious for feeding the hungry, taking in stray animals, and giving people work who were down on their luck. He let people stay with our family and no one would go without. He taught me that forgiveness was the only way to move on with our lives instead of being stuck in mad. 

  

  

I’m thankful that he was so giving of his time and attention to me. I always teased him about being a workaholic but my best times with him was working on his logging truck while he taught me how to work the tire gun or grease the axles. I would skip school sometimes and go to work with him and we’d listen to all the country greats of Tom T. Hall, Charlie Pride, and all the trucker tunes. He would teach me all the names of the trees and plants that were deciduous to our area. Then we’d have our lunch and he’d sip his coffee while I had my hot chocolate. 

I’m thankful he taught me how to be self sufficient. I know how to change a tire, break pads, check my oil, and maintain my vehicle. I had plenty of old Junkers to practice on and he was always so patient with me and we’d work together side by side feeling happy. 

I’m thankful that I could tease him out of a bad mood. He could roar like the thunder and get tripped up on his cursing jags. They could be a five minute tirade and I would just hold in my reaction until I couldn’t any longer and I’d burst out hysterical laughter. 

I’m thankful he was there when I needed him. All I had to do was ask or call him and there he’d appear. From watching my baseball games, driving me to and from hockey games so I could be with my friends, and supporting me while I was in a court of law.

I’m so thankful that  I never had to guess how much he loved me it showed in his actions. I still remember the last words he spoke as he saw all six of his children keeping vigil over him in the hospice room. “All my children are here and they all have good lives and make me proud.” I would do anything to hear those words again to lift up my heart when it feels broken. I miss our conversations, his jokes, the belly laughs we had, and his whistling through his teeth. 

  
I recently had a dream about him and he was talking and laughing while I was having a serious discussion that sugar fed cancer cells and he should cut it out of his diet, all he wanted was a beer. I explained that it contained yeast and sugar through fermentation. He replied “well I can have a beer I’m $@@&@ dying anyway!” That was my Dad an honest, straight shooter and one of a kind. He’s left behind many heavy hearts and also a lot of unforgettable moments in time. Love you Daddy, in my heart you’ll always be. ❤️
  

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Paradise Tempted book cover reveal by L.B. Dunbar 

  
 The hits just keep on coming from author L.B. Dunbar. Today I’m excited to reveal her book cover for Paradise Tempted the Beginning available on March. 3 2016. 

  

  In the beginning…
There was the darkness of his past. A snake in the garden and the woman he admired.
In the beginning…
There was a mysterious attraction to someone she shouldn’t desire. A thirst for knowledge of things she’d never known.
In the beginning…
There was temptation beyond control. It was only supposed to be one bite, but a fruit so savory was a taste he knew he’d want again.
In the beginning…
There was a start to the greatest fight of his life. Love.
Round 1 for Cain Callahan, Cobra, an MMA fighter, and his sweet temptation, Sofie Vincentia. This is a short prequel to the Paradise Stories, followed by Paradise Fought: Abel and Paradise Found: Cain.

In the beginning, there was the strongest attraction to love.

Links:
PRE-ORDER — 3.3.16 Release
Paradise Tempted: The Beginning by L.B. Dunbar

US: http://amzn.to/1VNPqqL

iTunes: http://apple.co/20a5PXP

B&N: http://bit.ly/1R3CDRU

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1SIoVDM

TBR GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28821568-paradise-tempted

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Lose the Cape-Never will I ever (then I had kids) Book Review edited by Alexa Bigwarfe and Kerry Rivera

  
It’s been no secret that I received the honour of being published in this book anthology. I’ve been on cloud nine since my essay was excepted by the Lose the Cape team! I was even more excited to purchase an ebook to read on my kindle app before the printed version was available. I’ve bragged about this book shamelessly and promoted it on all corners of my social media. For this I have no apology as my acceptance revitalized my commitment to my writing. 
I was feeling dejected as some bigger publications I submitted to denied my stories. In the meantime I was published on some great websites as well and I’m appreciative of that. I was looking for some reach on my social media platform and to build my brand. I was floundering and I didn’t feel like their was a clear path for me. So I decided to write for publications that really mattered me and not chase the “cash cow” that I was. I have no judgement for anyone else to enter those hallowed halls it’s just been too hard on my bruised ego. 

I saw that Lose the Cape was accepting submissions so I applied and got accepted! I was very happy and my post made it into the top 5 as most read for the month of October. This was a nice feather in my cap then I saw the call for personal essays for the book anthology to Lose the Cape-Never will I ever. I jumped on this opportunity like a cowboy to a horse and sent in my story. 

You can imagine my surprise and elation when I opened up my email and saw my acceptance and congratulations! I hugged my husband tight and I sprang out of bed like I was on fire and broke out into an Irish jig. I’m sure I made my ancestors chuckle as I like to speak in an Irish accent when I’m happy. Tis true it was my Ma’s way of making me laugh, sing, and dance. So who am I not to entertain my family in the same manner? 
Without further ado I give you my review of Lose The Cape-Never will I ever. 

I received this book as an ARC (Acquired reading copy) for my honest review and I’m privileged to be a contributor to it as well. I was very excited to see my words in print but this book has provided so much more than that! I read each story learning more about myself with each writer’s personal accounts. I laughed, cried, laughed, found my composure again and found myself so absorbed in these heartwarming stories. Lose the Cape-Never Will I Ever is a wonderful book written by such talented people and edited by the amazing team at Lose the Cape and Kat Biggie Press. I feel so blessed to be a part of something so special. Just recently I applied and was accepted as a writer/contributor to Lose The Cape. I love being on such a creative and talented team that reside there. I’m learning more about myself as a writer and as a person with each story I read there. I’m affirming myself as the writer I always dreamed I would be and living for my Mom’s vision for me. Please come check out the website and follow along on social media as well. I also wrote a book review for Alexa and Kerry’s first collaboration Lose the Cape-Realities for Busy Modern Day Mom’s and Strategies to Survival you can read it Here

  
  Make sure you enter the Valentine giveaway for these great books. 
You can follow Alexa and Kerry on social media sharing their book here:
http://losethecape.com/

https://twitter.com/LosetheCape

https://www.facebook.com/LoseTheCape

Author background information:
Alexa Bigwarfe

Alexa Bigwarfe is a freelance writer, wife, and mother of three children and a dog. In addition to raising her children, managing her home, and writing, Alexa’s heart is in advocacy and raising funds to support nonprofit organizations involved with infant, children and women’s issues. Alexa launched her writing with her personal blog No Holding Back, (katbiggie.com). Here she chronicles topics including health and wellness, living with autoimmune diseases, and most importantly, her grief after the loss of one of her twin daughters to complications from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). Alexa took the experience from that painful life event and channeled it into a compilation book for grieving mothers entitled Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother and recently edited another book anthology Never the Same Again-Families Forever Changed by Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. She has also been published in two anthologies, The Mother of All Meltdowns and The HerStories Project. Alexa enjoys writing articles about parenting and children’s health and wellness topics for regional parenting publications and online magazines. In her “spare” time, you can find Alexa enjoying time with her girlfriends or hiding in her closet for some “alone” time.
You can follow Alexa here:
http://katbiggie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/NoHoldingBack1212

https://twitter.com/katbiggie

Kerry Rivera
Kerry Rivera is a full-time working mom of three kids with a to-do list that stretches to “infinity and beyond.” Between a demanding corporate gig, the nightly homework and kids’ activities, and managing a household with her full-time working husband, she blogs about the “juggle” at BreadwinningMama.com. Her career journey started in the newsroom trenches and has since transitioned to working for one of the largest global automotive companies. She additionally writes for corporations, government agencies and brands in her “spare” time, and especially enjoys sharing the joys of modern parenthood around the web. Her love for content creation is only trumped by her love for content consumption. Her Kindle and nightstand are equally full, and a stack of magazines can be found in every room of the house. As a Southern California native, she takes advantage of the outdoors, enjoying both the beaches and mountains with family and friends, and loves to caffeinate with Starbucks Refreshers and Coke. She aspires to perfect a handstand in yoga, but is still working on touching her toes.
You can follow Kerry here:
http://breadwinningmama.com

https://www.facebook.com/BreadwinningMama

https://twitter.com/breadwinningmom

 

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Book cover reveal for Talon-by Sybil Bartel

Today I’m excited to be part of Xpresso book blog tours for the author Sybil Bartel Talon book cover reveal.  An original cover model from Michael Stokes photography be still my heart! 

  

Cover reveal courteousy of Xpresso Book Tours. 
  

 
Stay tuned for March when I join up with Xpresso for their blog tour for the book review for Talon by the talented Sybil Bartel. 
Book Author and Info:

Talon by Sybil Bartel 

(Uncompromising Series, #1) 

Publication date: March 1st 2016

Genres: Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

Talon
I surf.

I pretend to smile.
Two years ago my life was perfect, until it wasn’t. I scattered my wife’s ashes then walked away from the Marines. I didn’t think I had anything else to lose.
I was wrong.
The blond showed up at my surf shop, beaten and stabbed. I did what I was trained to do—I stitched her up. I didn’t have a clue who she was and I told myself I didn’t care. Until they came looking for her.
I swore I’d take my last breath before I let anyone else hurt her except I didn’t know she was keeping a deadly secret. Now I had two choices, her life or mine.
Marriage and combat taught me the same thing—I was no one’s hero. And I was about to prove it.

Good Reads Link:

  
Author Bio:

I grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.
I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
But Seriously?
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about me.
I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband.
Author Links:

https://twitter.com/SybilBartel

http://sybilbartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sybilbartelauthor

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1065006266850790/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7893521.Sybil_Bartel

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