Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day 2019

I wrote this on my Tumblr about a year ago. I don’t know where the words came from, but this is one of the easiest things I’ve written. And the hardest thing I’ve shared on any public platform. I
I’ve had this sitting in my drafts for a couple weeks now. I’ve struggled with deciding when to share this. I thought Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day would be a good time to share it.

Having disabilities is something I’ve always struggled with talking or writing about. I prefer to ignore my disabilities when I can. It’s part of how I cope. I also never know how people will react when they find out I’m disabled. And I’m scared of finding out so I stay quiet.

Maybe this will be the only thing I write on the subject. Maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll share more of what it means for me to be disabled. Maybe I won’t. For today it’s enough to say I have to say I have Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. Hopefully, what I’ve written below can help someone else:

Puzzle Pieces

People with disabilities, both visible and invisible, physical and mental are like the odd-shaped puzzle pieces that you find in puzzles with a thousand or more pieces. People look at those pieces and wonder what the hell they’re good for, or how on earth their going to fit. Sometimes these pieces look like they should fit in a particular space and so people will try everything they can to make the piece even to the point of almost breaking the piece before realizing it’s no use and in complete frustration they toss the piece aside.

People tend to get really frustrated even angry with people who aren’t typically -abled and just like those odd shaped puzzle pieces they toss us aside thinking, mistakenly, that they don’t need us.

People  don’t know what to do with us. They don’t know how to handle people different from them. They wonder what the heck we’re possibly good for. Trust us, we all have wondered that at one time or another. But believe it or not, someday you’re going to need people like us. People like us bring a whole different perspective to the table. We can bring ideas and new ways of doing things that you normal freaks have have never thought of.

You may not know it. You may not even want to admit it, but someday you’re going to need people like me to complete your picture.

I honestly don’t like being “non-typical.” I wish I was normal and have ever since I was little. Most, if not all disabled people struggle with accepting themselves. But maybe we can learn to accept ourselves together. Being odd-shaped puzzle pieces isn’t what we wanted, but it’s what life handed to us, so let’s go out there and rock it to the best of our odd-shaped puzzle piece ability

#CebralpalsyAwarenessday2019

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The Memory House Review

 

 

This is my review for The Memory House by Rachel Hauck. It was published on April 2, 2019. I was given a copy through Netgalley from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

 

Goodreads Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a new captivating novel of two women whose lives have been destroyed by disaster but find healing in a special house.

In the spring of 1953, Everleigh Applegate is happily married and newly pregnant. But a tornado sweeps through Waco, Texas, taking her hopes of a bright future with it. Seven years later, widowed and childless, she is living with her mother and older than her years. It is not until she runs into an old high school friend, Don Callahan, that a small spark of hope for what life could be is rekindled. However, a secret Everleigh has kept threatens their happiness and future.

Beck Holiday is a tough, angry, New York City cop. Her father’s death on 9/11 took not just her father’s life but many of her memories as well. She learns that she’s inherited a house from an Everleigh Callahan—whom Beck apparently knows but cannot remember—in north Florida, and her suspension from work because of her anger issues leaves her with time to make the trip to figure out why. Upon her arrival, she meets Bruno Endicott, who clearly remembers her. Beck must work to regain her memory, face her anger, and open her heart to love.

Connected through a beautiful house in ways they will both come to understand, both women must find the courage to face the truth about themselves and their past in order to truly love and be loved in return.

 

Review

 

The Memory House is a story that is gray, and messy, and I mean that in the best possible way! Rachel Hauck is skilled at taking two or more separate stories from different time periods, weaving them together, and somehow manages to do this flawlessly.

This book broke my heart within the first few chapters. The sudden and tragic death of Everleigh’s husband Rhett made me put my device down and walk around my house for a couple hours on the verge of tears for fictional characters!

This another one of those books that tackles touchy subjects that Christians shy away from including a pregnancy by way of a one-night stand for New York cop Beck Holiday. Oh, and did I mention she’s pregnant with her boss’s baby? Yeah. It’s that kinda messy. Just how I like it!

Both main women in the story, Everleigh and Beck are dealing with extreme pain and loss, though for different reasons:

Everleigh has lost the love of her life to a tornado and struggles to love again.

Beck is dealing with amnesia due to the traumatic loss of her dad on 9/11 and stuck on how to handle the arrival of “Baby Girl.”

Both women are tied together through the Memory House, the home of Everleigh passed down to Beck. I can’t really talk about the house specifically and why it’s so special without giving anything away. Read it for yourself!

Both women are also tied through the two men who love that back to life. I want a Bruno, please! Again, I can’t say much because spoilers!

If you’re looking for a good book to pass the time, this is it.  Just make sure you have some tissues handy. You’ll need them! I love Rachel’s writing, and can’t wait to read more from her in the future.

 

 

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey Review

This is my review for Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner. It was published on May 21, 2019.

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

~

Summary

After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the “forever” way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It’s a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Bethany Turner is back with more of the heart and humor readers love. Anyone who enjoys a good romance or binges romantic comedies on Netflix will devour this delightful story.

 

My Goodreads Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

~

My Review

Bethany Turner is one of the best authors that the Christian book scene has ever had.    I love how she tackles tough subjects that most Christian authors (in my experience) are too scared to touch! This time she tackles the scenario:

What happens when two abstinent Christians have sex?

It’s been a topic that I’ve been curious about for a while, and I thought she handled the subject well.

Even though the main topic of Wooing Cadie McCaffrey is serious, the story still manages to be a fun, light-hearted read as well.  Will and Cadie didn’t feel like fictional characters, they were real. They were friends I was cheering on throughout the entire story.

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey is heavily influenced by rom-coms and pop culture. But even if you haven’t watched rom-coms extensively or aren’t a Barry Manilow fangirl, you’ll still enjoy it.

As someone with no relationship/sexual experience myself, it feels wrong for me to address  the sexual part of this story. But I will say this, I love the grace that Cadie’s parents showed her when she finally told them what happened.

Oh, and the part where Will gave Cadie an empty ring box when she was expecting a proposal wasn’t funny. And, yes, I did fume about it for a while!

I feel like I’ve spoiled enough for people. If you want to know what happens, you’ll have to read it for yourself. This title is available wherever you like to buy books.

 

 

Pretty In Punxsutawney Review

This is my review for Pretty In Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton. It was published by Blink on January 15, 2019.

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

~

Summary

A Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from author Laurie Boyle Crompton, Pretty in Punxsutawney tells the tale of a girl willing to look beneath the surface to see people for who they really are.

Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss. After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.

Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.

 

My Goodreads Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

~

My Review

This was a fun, light read. At first, I thought it was going to be your typical girl-gets first-boy-she lays-eyes-on kind of story. To my surprise, it wasn’t like that at all! It’s a fun mix of the movies Groundhog Day and Pretty In Pink. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen either of them. The plots are briefly explained throughout the book. It also has an important message about not judging people through stereotypes which was my favorite part of the entire book!

I found Andie and her mother relatable with how they think that their life’s problems will be solved by watching movies together. One movie, however, Pretty In Pink seems to be at the root of all Andie’s problems. She watches it the night before school starts and this seems to to cause her relive the same awkward first day over and over again. It was funny when she cycles back through how she goes to great lengths to get rid of the stupid movie!

She thinks the best way to escape the never-ending cycle is through True Love’s Kiss and does everything in her power to make it happen. When things don’t go as planned, romantic endeavors take a back seat to overcoming high school social boundaries instead.

I loved seeing Andie hanging out with the different social groups and finding out what makes each group tick. She learns that her fellow students are more complex than what high school stereotypes make her believe they are. She learns that everyone is more alike than they are different. (Did I mention  that this was my favorite part? I did? Ok. Moving on.)

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Tom and Andie. I was hoping something would happen between them from the start and was happy with how things turned out in the end. (No spoilers! Read it yourself!)

To sum it up, Pretty In Punxsutawney was very enjoyable. This was my first time reading one of Laurie Crompton Boyle’s books and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.