Sometimes, we need to take a step back.

This year, I have big goals. I had goals to grow Writing Out Loud. I had plans and a lot of things coming up on the horizon. All of it was good. I was so excited. Very quickly, I found myself in a spiral I have caught myself in many, many times. The spiral of time and feeling pulled in different directions and falling behind because life is happening all around me. While I’ve been able to keep on top of my schedule and I have been working on the stuff I wanted to work on, I felt overwhelmed. I felt like something was being neglected. I have been constantly caught up in my thoughts and it was all just too much. Too much planning and too much chasing. 

While I was so proud of myself for setting a few big goals and laying out the micro goals that it would require to accomplish the big goal, I still set out to do too much. The book I’m writing is the most important goal on my goal sheet. This book has been in the works for years, even though it was mostly mental planning. God has really put on my heart to write it. And that is what I want to really focus on this year. I want to write this book and hopefully publish it. 

God and I had a nice moment during a journaling session this week where he told to me pause the blog and podcast while I work on this book. I’m not 100% sure how long this pause will be. I’m just taking it one day at a time and trying to focus on this book. I want the first draft done in March so here’s to getting laser focused!

I hope you stick around for when this little break is over. You can always follow me on Instagram, but I also plan on taking a social media break. I might pop up over there from time to time though. 

Catch you guys later!

& Then Comes Marriage

Last week, my husband and I celebrated 8 years of being married. The past 8 years have been full of growth, change, trials, and lots of yelling. Marriage is hands down the hardest thing I have ever committed to. Every day I wake up and choose my husband and choose to love him. I choose to believe the best in him and give him the benefit of the doubt. I choose to believe that he loves me and has good intentions. I have no doubt in my mind that my husband loves me. People have even commented to me how much my husband loves me, as if they don’t want me to forget. Truth be told, I used to. I used to have a very dark and twisted view of love. I didn’t believe it existed. I thought love was for weak people and I was not weak. On our first date, I told him that I don’t believe in marriage. I wasn’t going to get married. Oh, and kids? That was off the table. If he chose to still date me, he was going in with that knowledge. 

Now, obviously that all changed. But, it wasn’t like I woke up one morning and was suddenly gunning to get to an altar. I also didn’t wake up and suddenly want to have kids. My marriage and being a mother are results of a lot of growth in me. Every day when I wake up and choose my husband, he wakes up and chooses me.

Being married is awesome. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it is also the most awesome thing. In high school, I used to give my friends weird looks when they would tell me that their boyfriend was their best friend. Uhm, excuse me? I’m right here. I would think when my childhood best friend would tell me that her boyfriend was her best friend and how she couldn’t wait to marry her best friend. Okay, that’s cool. I would think at those statements. Not that I was trying to marry my best friend. I wasn’t getting married, but I didn’t understand the boyfriend being the best friend deal. This guy had been a part of her life for months. Many months, sure, but I was running the yearlong game. At that time, we were at 14 years of being best friends. In a matter of months, some dude had just replaced me. At least, it sounded that way. To me, those things were separate. I had my best friends, the people I grew up with, my family. A boyfriend wasn’t coming anywhere near that level of love from me or that level of trust. They each had their own containers in my mind and there was no mixing.

I thought I knew everything. I thought I saw all the failed relationships and was doing the smart thing by not getting invested. I saw the horrific divorce my parents went through and decided that if I could avoid that, I would have everything I needed in life. Watching two people who claimed to love each other try and ruin each other really kills any hope you had in love. Instead, I would just enjoy happy endings in books and movies all the while knowing that they weren’t real. 

Then I met my husband and now I’m living in my happily ever after. It is one we both fought for though. He had to fight for me first though. Like I said, it wasn’t an easy transition to come around to the idea of getting married. I finally understand the best friend deal. My husband is my best friend. I still have my girl besties. But there is a different best friend level with husbands. He is my best friend and we are building a life together. My friends and I are living life together. I understand it guys! Growth.

Now though, I love being married. I love watching how we serve each other in our love and support each other. My husband helps with everything that is Writing Out Loud. He helps me edit; he listens to my podcasts beforehand. He encourages me. Whenever I’m feeling anxious, he holds me. He prays for me. I love planning out futures together. Potential business ideas we could implement if we ever got an enormous sum of money. I love hearing his dreams and working together to figure out how to make them a reality. I love how the things we both love brings us closer. I also enjoy the times when we’re in the same room, doing our own thing, but we’re still together and that is all we care about. 

For our anniversary last week, we had a movie night. We put Little Man to bed, made some popcorn and cuddled up on the couch. We watched A Simple Favor (this movie was all sorts of awesome) and talked about all the things we loved about it. I love our date nights and how simple they get to be because all we care about is being together. We have writing dates where we hang out at a coffee shop or a library and work on our writing pieces. We have dates where we just walk through stores and their furniture department and design rooms mentally. We have dates where we go and make booklists at the bookstore, telling each other what books sound good. 

I love when something awesome happens, when I accomplish something that I set out to do, he gets just as excited as I do if not more. He is walking along side me and cheering me on along the way. He puts me first and that is the most amazing feeling in the world. 

Now, I’m just a sap over here because 8 years is a long time. I know people who have been married multiple times in that time frame. I know people who have been married, divorced and married again in the past 8 years. Please don’t take that as judging, I’m just pointing out how we live in a culture where divorce is very common. I think it’s nice to see a story where the marriage wins. 

This is what I love about being married. Marriage is awesome guys. It is always worth fighting for. 


My favorite thing about being a writer is meeting other writers. I also love when I connect with fellow classmates who also write and I get an opportunity to support their work.

That is what is happening today. I know an amazing woman who is an editor, writer, and just all around awesome. She just graduated from the college we both attend and it has just been awesome to watch her pursue her love for writing.

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Book Review- Two Can Keep A Secret

Two Can Keep A Secret is by Karen M. McManus and her second book that is out in the wild. I remember being at the bookstore with my friend, having her pick out a birthday present (I was also really late for her birthday present so she got to pick out whatever she wanted at the bookstore) I saw Two Can Keep A Secret on a table for new releases and promptly grabbed it to find out what it was about. McManus has this tendency to have clever sounding covers that make you want to start reading the entire book right there in the store. 

Two Can Keep A Secret is a mystery that leaves you with more questions than answers. At least, until you get to the end. Things are then wrapped in a nice little bow, which is my favorite type of ending. All the loose ends tied, nothing that leaves you hanging and itching for the next book in a series. If McManus keeps up this trend of stand-alone books, she is going to be my next favorite author.*

Two Can Keep A Secret has two POV’s. One of them, Ellery, is a self-taught detective. Meaning, she listens to a lot of real crime podcasts and reads all the stories. Her own life could be the plot of one of these podcasts. However, even before her move to a small town and her real crime-like situation— her family is already clouded with mystery. Her mother’s twin sister disappeared after homecoming and was never found. Factor in the fact that a few years before Ellery moves there and this book takes place, another girl went missing after homecoming and was found later, murdered. Also, both these crimes are unsolved. Things are about to get real. 

When I started seeing reviews for this book, I got excited. Everybody was loving it and the people I saw on social media were praising it. One line kept being repeated, The Last Line, OH MY GOSH! (plus all things similar)

That is when I started to get skeptical. How powerful could a last line be? Really though, how could a book that was fully completed with no loose threads (me, assuming it had no loose threads before reading it) have that powerful of an ending line? As a writer, I didn’t even know how it was possible to write one.

The book ends with no loose ends or things hanging, except for my jaw that hit the floor when I read the last line. Yes, my friends, it is that good and powerful and unexpected. I actually liked this book a little more than One of Us is Lying. I couldn’t figure out who the main suspect was. I couldn’t figure out who would have had a motive. The questions kept piling on top of each other and I had zero leads on who was doing what. (I might not make a good detective guys.) 

This book isa really great read. You should get it and take a look for yourself. Let me know how far your jaw hangs at the last line. 

*Her newest book, One of Us is Next is technically a sequel to One of Us is Lying but it is told in different POV’s than the first book. I don’t need to read the first book to understand the second and vice versa. (At least, from what I know I still need to read it guys.) 

Episode 12- Goals

Episode 12- Goals

Welcome back to Hasta la Pasta!

Today, I’m talking about goals, my goals, and things that are important to goal setting. I am also starting a new thing where I give journal prompts in each episode. Most of these will not be episode specific, I just make up journal prompts because my hope is that you can find a joy in journaling, or a joy in writing. As I’ve talked about on the blog and on the podcast, I want to share my story and I want to hear yours too! Sharing stories can change the world. 🙂