My Thanksgiving Paradise…

My Thanksgiving Paradise = Cozumel with Hubby & Daughters!

I mentioned that I did a cruise with my family for Thanksgiving, and this is what my actual view was on that day. So here is what I am thankful for at this time in my life:

  • My wonderful husband who grounds me, makes me laugh daily, infuriates me and challenges me, but mostly just loves me absolutely and totally unconditionally. He’s my biggest supporter and I have never doubted how much he loves me.
  • My beautiful amazing daughters who hug and kiss me daily, teach me patience and kindness. They are the biggest joy in my life and are the reason I get up every morning. I am in constant awe of them both. They have the biggest hearts.
  • My fabulous mother. She is strong, even though she sometimes thinks she’s not. She is my confidante and my other biggest supporter. She reminds me constantly that I can do it, and I’d like to think that because of her, I can.
  • My hard-working father. In the best way possible, he is stubborn and strong. I’d like to think that I get those traits from him. His bark is worse than his bite, and I love him for it.
  • My yen sister (or maybe it’s yang). We could not be more different if we tried. We certainly do not always see eye-to-eye, not even 50% of the time, but I know without a doubt, we have each other to lean on, we just need to reach out. We have been through so much together, seen each other at our best and worse…and with only slight judgment.
  • My friends. My insane, intelligent, funny, kind and salacious friends. They make me laugh uncontrollably and are there when I need them most. From all different backgrounds, somehow we compliment each other. Without them, I think I would be more lost than I feel sometimes.
  • My family. Yes, I mention family as collective, since there are some I have not mentioned here. I believe family is the biggest teacher in my life. From family, I have experienced disappointment, anger, abandonment and heartbreak. But each of these have given me yet, another hurdle, to overcome, and for that I am grateful. Because of these, I have also experienced opening myself to others, personal triumphs, forgiveness and perhaps someday, I will have peace.
  • Lastly is my faith. I am not one to wear my religion on my sleeve, but this time, I am making an exception. Without God, I would be lost…totally and completely in despair. His presence in my daily life provides me the strength I need to move forward, to forgive, to heal and to be the best version of myself.

I do not have the perfect life. I do not have the perfect husband or kids. And God knows that I am not perfect. So I am thankful for all of the imperfection in my life!

~Tonya

Catching Up…

I have not been as good as I intended when it came to this blog, so I figured what better time than the holidays to get a move on it. (I should seriously be shopping or something…)

I had the most amazing Thanksgiving! My husband and I took our daughters on a cruise to Progresso & Cozumel…BEAUTIFUL! It was the first cruise for the rest of them, but not for me (although honestly, my husband was in the Navy, so he’s kinda done one. Lol)

I had the best sleep ever and just lazed around…that is, when I wasn’t with the girls or in the casino! I even ran into an old friend from high school there…unfortunately we only recognized each other on the last night, but it was still nice to catch up. My girls made new friends, ones they hope to pen-pal, and I had the most awesome “BUTTERFLYING” shock….Colleen Hoover was on my cruise! Talk about surreal!!

I was in the casino on the first night and saw her, but thought no way, that’s NOT her, and went about my business. So my second (or third, I lose track) night, I was playing a game (much like a stupid arcade game where NO ONE wins…ever) and this woman walked over to me to ask me about the point of the game. At this point, I totally had to fan-girl-it! I looked at her…

“I’m gonna be a dork, but is your name Colleen?”

She looks at me a little scared…”Yeessss?”

“Colleen Hoover?”

“Yeesss? How do you know my name?”

ME…all fan-girl….”I’ve read your books!!”

OMG!! It was so awesome…I think I embarrassed, no I KNOW I embarrassed, my husband, but I didn’t care. I asked if my husband could take a pic of me with her and she happily obliged! However, it wasn’t til later that I looked at the pic and it was all blurry! WTBUTTERFLY!?! (Thanks honey!) So, I naturally did what any fan would do, wait. I waited and waited and hoped to see her again to get another chance at a pic. Luckily, on the last night, I saw her and asked to retake a pic and held myself a bit more together. I told her how much I loved her books, how amazingly well they are written and how all of us are eagerly awaiting her newest book “Hopeless.”

So….Thanksgiving RoCkEd!!

My last night on the cruise and I get to chat with Colleen Hoover!

Naturally, Charlie…

Naturally, Charlie – S.L. Scott

I recently had the opportunity to read S.L. Scott’s first published novel, Naturally, Charlie, and I am so glad, because I really did enjoy this book. I am so excited for, because she has said on her FB page that publishing a novel has been a life-long dream. Congratulations on recognizing that dream…and doing it SO AWESOMELY!!

Okay, back to the book…To be honest, the reason I was intrigued with this book was the cover. It was just so bright and carefree, I had to look into it…which then lead me to read the synopsis and I just had to know more. Naturally, Charlie follows the meeting of Charlie Barrow (girl) and Charlie Adams (boy).

Charlie (G) is coming off of a recent breakup from a high-society man she was engaged to who broke her heart. Charlie is stoic, beautiful, talented and stubborn, which both flaw her and make her real. She has faced disappointment from people in her life and doesn’t want to make that same mistake. Before she can move forward in her life, she needs closure on her past.

Charlie (B) is a writer who has turned his back on high-society family expectations and moved to the city to pursue his dreams. Charlie (B) is gorgeous, kind, sexy and determined. Having lived a life of wealth, he wants to make his own way to create something of himself independent of his family name. In doing so, once he knows what he wants, Charlie has the patience to see it through.

While on the subway, one exiting and one entering, the two Charlies share a fleeting, but significant moment that leaves them fresh on each others’ minds. It is only after Charlie (G) is dragged for a night out with her girlfriend that she formally meets Charlie (B) and learns his name and other things they have in common. Each Charlie is interested in the other, but as destiny would have it, Charlie (B) has agreed to a date with Charlie’s (G) friend. However, destiny doing what she does best, throws them into each other’s lives when they need it most. Heartache and a shoulder to cry on, lead the Charlies to help each other through the toughest of times and leads to a friendship that both desperately need.

Naturally, Charlie is a love story that is told from the perspective of both Charlies, which I loved! I loved knowing what they were thinking, and the lengths they would go to in order to keep the other as part of their lives. Tragedy, friendship, attraction and destiny weave a tale of the Charlies that is both touching and frustrating…and has you rooting for them from first glance.