Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fav Reads of 2018

Y'all, 2018 was a good year for books. I surpassed my reading goal for the year (and devoured six books in ten days over my Christmas break! :)) Today, I'm sharing my top-five favorite fiction I read in 2018 and my top five from the TBR pile for 2019.

Favorite Books I read in 2018:

5. Things I Never Told You by Beth Vogt

4. The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

3. A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

2. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

1. Katherine Reay. Yes--not a book, just an author because in 2018, I read everything she's ever written (so far!), and I can't pick just one favorite (Dear Mr. Knightly and Lizzy and Jane and The Austen Escape and The Bronte Plot and A Portrait of Emily Price)

Books I'm excited to read in 2019:

1. The Rancher's Unexpected Baby by Jill Lynn (release date: January 15). (Spoiler alert--I already read this and loved it, but it's not out for all of you until TODAY--Jan 15--so go get a copy! :))

2. The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (release date: May 14)

3. Moments We Forget by Beth Vogt (release date: May 7)

4. The Memory House by Rachel Hauck (release date: April 2)

5. Summer by the Tides by Denise Hunter (release date: May 21)

What about you, friend? What do you recommend that you read last year? And what books are on your TBR pile for 2019?

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Top Nine of 2018

Happy New Year, friends! I couldn't figure out how everyone was posting their top nine in a single photo on social media, but I wanted to share mine with you:

We went to San Diego in March for a conference and found $13 lobster! I was completely freaked out to eat it, but I love this picture because it reminds me that my precious hubs makes me brave. (p.s. It was delicious!)

We lost Charlie in April, and I still miss him. He was an incredible dog. We didn't rescue him; he rescued us! 

We went to Charleston in June for our 10-year anniversary.

My hubs always makes me feel special on my birthday, but I especially love the faith he has for our family. 

Giving my thank-you speech for the ACFW Genesis Award was definitely a highlight of 2018.
We took our annual family trip to Wimberley, and this was one of my fav pics from the weekend. Canyon's face is priceless. (Don't worry, Doc got Canyon a telescope for Christmas. :))

We spend as much time with our nephews as possible, but our day at the Corn Maize may be one of my favorites in 2018.

Our only TTU Football game of 2018 (and a disappointment at that)--but my family is my favorite. I'm so glad I have a sister because I'll always have a friend.
I don't even know how to caption this. We spent a lot of time at Caprock Canyons this summer and fall. Camping. Hiking. Disconnecting from the world and connecting with our maker. I can't put into words how grateful I am for this man. I will follow him always. 

How was your 2018? What're your top nine pics--or memories?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Every December, we take a break from the blog to focus on our families and refuel for the new year. From the Brandenburgs--including Rizzoli--we hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Check back in January for new posts--and in the meantime, catch up on old posts:

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Holiday Giveaway - Sign Up Now!

Calling all subscribers! I am getting ready to send out my December newsletter in a few weeks. Are you signed up?

In it, I’ll share some writerly updates, AND I am giving away TWO fun holiday books—A Cliché Christmas, by Nicole Deese, and Falling like Snowflakes, by Denise Hunter.

I’ll pick two lucky winners from my list of subscribers, so if you’re on the list—you’re in the drawing! And if you’re not, trust me—my newsletters may not be awe-inspiring or earth-shattering, but these lovely authors are.

The drawing will be held on or after December 3, so be sure to sign up now by going to my website and entering your email at the top right corner. 

Monday, November 12, 2018


We talk a lot about different things you can do to improve your marriage, like communicating, developing good financial practices, and prioritizing marriage and family time. To tell you the truth though, none of those can be as powerful a force in your marriage as prayer. There is just no substitute. I want to address a few areas of prayer for you marriage today.

First, pray with your spouse. This sounds simple, but very few people make it a point to do this outside of praying for meals and true emergencies. I was inspired by one of my good friends and brother in Christ a few years ago who makes it a point to pray with his wife and kids every night before bed. At first it was awkward for him. He didn’t feel that he was “good” at it, but in reality, his family respected him immensely for it. I also didn’t feel that I was that good at it. I’m not great at using all the “Christianese” expressions in my prayers, but God hears them. I know He does. I see the results.

Next, pray for your spouse. Make this a priority in your life. You love this person more than anyone else on the planet. Pray for them! Pray they have a good day. Pray for protection. Pray for health. Pray for the things that you know need to change. There is no better way to see change in someone’s life than to pray for it. You don’t have to be eloquent. Just be fervent.

Lastly, and this is not repetitive: Pray for your marriage. God knows your marriage better than either of you. He knows what is needed to change it in a great way. Pray for that and believe it will happen. He will work miracles!

So, in case you haven’t gotten the message here, prayer is an important pillar of your marriage. I told Laura that would be a short blog because I could really sum it up in one sentence: Prayer will change your marriage. Period.