There’s No Place Like Home ~ Chapter One

There’s No Place Like Home ~ Chapter One

You know that saying, “There’s no place like home”? Ol’ Mr. Webster defines home as:

1a: one’s place of residence

2: the social unit formed by a family living together

3a: a familiar or usual setting.


Here’s a little glimpse into my residence, my setting, my family…

Our Border Collies are sprawled out on the floor – finally tuckered out after a day of herding kids, chasing balls, and pestering each other.


Our oldest son, my dark-eyed mini me, is lounging on his tummy, chin in his hands, and feet slowly circling in the air – he is completely absorbed in the movie we’re watching tonight.

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 Our middle ninja-jedi boy and his favorite stuffed animals are curled up beside me and stealing my popcorn. His infectious laugh never fails to bring a smile to my face!

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 And then there’s our littlest munchkin. He fought valiantly, but sleep has finally won out over family movie night. Resting against my husband – his peaceful little face tells me that he is happily residing in dreamland.

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 I turn my gaze up to my Beloved, but I find that he is already smiling across the couch and over two kids at me. The one whom I love shoots me a wink and a look that gives me butterflies. My heart is nearly bursting with joy – there’s no other word for it!

Suddenly I sense it – a word bubbling up inside me. This encompasses everything that I have been feeling, yet hadn’t been able to put my finger on – until now. This is home.  HOME. My refuge. My sanctuary. My place to shower love on my people, and to be loved in return. THIS moment – right here and now – I can say with tears glistening in my eyes – there really is no place like home.

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 My Yellow Brick Road has led me through deep valleys of loneliness, betrayal, incredible heart ache, divorce, illness, and searching. I have also encountered the glorious paths of motherhood, friendship, rapture, butterflies – oh the butterflies, promise, hope, healing, new beginnings, and a love that I had never known possible. I would love to share with you how it came to exist in my very own not-so fairy tale, but to get there we need to start at the very beginning – I hear that it’s a very good place to start!


~ Our Story ~

There’s No Place Like Home ~ Chapter One

 Letter to the Other Woman ~ Chapter Two

 The Nightmare ~ Chapter Three

 Meanwhile, in Afghanistan ~ Chapter Four

 With this Ring…Saying Goodbye ~ Chapter Five

 A Letter to a Graduate ~ Chapter Six

 Over the Miles and Years ~ Chapter Seven

 Someone Like Him ~ Chapter Eight

 In the Quiet ~ Chapter Nine

 A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten

 Healing a Little More Each Day ~ Chapter Eleven

My New Friend ~ Chapter Twelve


(All photos, with the exception of the Instagram pic of our dogs, were taken by my fabulous friend Joanne Funk ~ NZ Portraits by Joanne)


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The one with what I’m into (July 2013 Edition)

I know that I’m the brand new kid on the blogging block, but at the end of the month I’d like to do a little recap of all the happenings around this neck o’ the woods. I always look forward to reading the other “What I’m Into” blog posts from the seasoned veterans, and I’m excited to finally get to link up my own little news! Ah, July – are you over already? I don’t know about you, but this month flew by for me!

Threads – I’ve been wearing the heck outta my new ruby slipper TOMS! I’d hemmed and hawed for quite a while about giving in and trying a pair. Issues with my hip have kept me from wearing my beloved heels and wedges this summer, and I decided to give in and finally buy a pair of shoes based solely on comfort. Gosh darn it, a girl’s gotta have cute shoes too – and these fit the bill! After a few weeks of sporting these beauties I have to say that I’m a complete convert! I love what the TOMS company stands for – and so far, I am completely satisfied with their product! I think I may have more TOMS in my future…

Instagram Ruby Slippers

My Beloved and I went to visit family in Texas over the July 4th weekend, and I was in desperate need of a new swimsuit. My last one was older than two of my kids – and it made me feel like a nun. It just wasn’t cute or updated – and if I’m going to strip down to the bare minimum, I at least wanted to feel cute doing it! I searched and searched – I wanted THIS Audrey Hepburn-inspired suit, but – alas! it was sold out. *Insert pouty face* I eventually turned to Mecca – aka and found this beauty – in red, of course! I’m not brave enough – yet – to post a photo of myself in a bathing suit. Trust me… it’s so cute that I actually look forward to wearing it again! It’s a summer miracle!

Reading – This month I actually got to read several books! I was on a sort of bed rest earlier this month after I had a little procedure on my aching hip. Here’s a little round-up of the books that I tackled…

The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times, by Jennifer Worth – I’m a huge fan of the BBC series, and this book was even better than the show! Jennifer Worth takes you into the East End of London, into the bedrooms of women delivering their babies, and into  her life with the nuns of Nonnatus House. Heartbreaking and beautifully written, I can’t wait to read the others in the series!

How to Be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran – It was interesting, but not exactly my cuppa tea. Maybe I’ll give it another whirl someday.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – This girl cracks me up! I loved reading about her childhood and her climb to comedy royalty as a writer for The Office! I could actually hear her voice as I turned the pages – it was like having a one-sided conversation with a old friend!

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, by Shauna Niequist – I plan on writing a longer review on this gem soon, but I’ll leave you with this…Buy this book. Now. As in right this second. Equal parts essay/memoir/foodie diary/cookbook/sharing a coffee with a friend. I can’t even deal – it was that good!

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson – This book couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve been getting together with two good friends on Thursday evenings to talk about this book. Sally and Sarah Mae offer us a peek into their mentor relationship and tackle many of the reasons behind why moms often find themselves feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, weary, and desperate. It’s going to be my new go-to baby gift! Maybe I’ll tackle a longer review on this book as well – it’s too good to fit into an itsy bitsy review like this one!

On my nightstand as we speak –

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children, by Wendy Mogel Ph.D.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag: A Flavia de Luce Novel, by Alan Bradley

Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton

The Keep, by Jennifer Egan

Decoded, by Jay-Z

(You can see all of the books that I’m reading over on Goodreads…it’s like being in a 24/7 book club!)

TV – I finally jumped on the Scandal bandwagon. Oh my stars and garters – this show is like crack! Sometimes a girl just needs to sit back and watch drama that isn’t going on in her own life!

The boys and I have been watching American Ninja Warrior on Monday nights. They are in “training” to become ninja warriors themselves, and they like to cheer on the athletes taking on the giant obstacle courses. These guys make it look so easy!

Movies – My Beloved and I took our minions to see Despicable Me 2 this month. Quinn (5) – “My favrotist part was when the ‘Spicable Mes played their fart guns!!!” Yeah, that kind of says it all.

I also made my way through Anchorman this month. Classic Will Ferrell – grown up (immature) humor, but it made for a nice movie date at home with my Honey!

Music – I’m all about the new song by The Civil Wars lately. Are you eagerly counting down the days to their new album like I am?

What I love

Austin, TX

Austin – home away from home 🙂

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Being part of a wonderful extended family

Austin TX family picture

Sharing meals with my loved ones

Spending time with my Beloved and our furry kids

Our people kids aren't the only ones excited to have Dad home!

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Yummy drinks

My honey totally gets my love language 🙂

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Baby pictures

Ummm…Brotherly love? #somethingsneverchange #tbt

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Special “treat” from my littlest little

"Mommy, guess what? I have a treat for you!" ~Quinn

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Faves from around the Interwebs

Rachel Held Evans knocks it outta the park!

And again!

Sad Dog Diary – You’ll laugh until you cry!

Malala Day at the United Nations – I have a new hero, and she’s half my age!


What about y’all? What are things that you’re into this month? What’s on your nightstand? I’d love to hear back from you – and please check out HopefulLeigh for more What I’m Into goodness! 🙂







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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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