I’m buying a house!


Keller Williams Realty

On Tuesday I will buy my first investment house in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I’m beyond excited! I was slightly nervous when I hadn’t heard when the closing date was, and was quite relieved to hear from my title agent.

My son Seth and I are flying into Pittsburgh Tuesday afternoon, and will be in town for at least 4 weeks as we rehab it. It was built in 1926 and needs a complete remodel.

I will be posting before and after pictures here as we restore the beauty of this home.

Excited for the weekend…



I’ve had a stressful six weeks, and I am so ready for General Conference (where the leaders from the LDS Church speak to us) on both Saturday and Sunday!

Relaxing at home with my family as we listen to inspired talks that inspire me to keep going, and to keep trying.

One of my favorite quotes is from our living Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson: “Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed.”

I can’t wait to feel uplifted, and hope you will join us! Click on lds.org to watch.

Investment Home

Last week my sons and I drove 21 hours to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in search of purchasing an investment home. We spent a great deal of time in the town of Freedom where my cousin Kevin lives with his family.
I found a beautiful home for $76,ooo that didn’t need a lot of work, but the price was too high for our budget. My heart and soul REALLY wanted to buy that house and keep it as a rental home for extra income.


Photo Credit: Berkshire Hathaway Preferred Realty

Yesterday morning I found a great real estate agent who works with investors looking for properties and actually sent me a list of homes under $50,000 while we were still on the phone. Both Jim and I combed through the list and hope that we can purchase one soon, and then fix it up and sell it for a nice profit. I have so many goals for this business and look forward to finally buying one.

Please pray that I find my first profitable home!

I Don’t Remember

My goal is to write more consistently, and Ann Dee Ellis is an author who offers writing prompts on her blog Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Click here if you are interested in joining us! Today’s prompt is: I don’t remember…

I don’t remember a lot of my past because of the brain fog of fibromyalgia, a condition that makes the nerves in my body ultra-sensitive along with tender muscles throughout my body.

I also forget books I’ve read unless I read it over and over and over. The memories are in there, but I can’t reach them. It’s similar to the notifications that Microsoft computers give when you the computer says file not found, or this file does not exist. Sometimes I think of the memories I can’t remember, such as conversations my husband and I have, or watching something I’ve seen on T.V.

That’s a major reason why I blog, post pictures on Facebook and Instagram, etc. It makes it so much easier for me to scrapbook and write in my journal.

I Remember When

Ann Dee Ellis is an author  who also started a memoir writing group and encourages writers to write. She gives prompts 3 days a week and then we write for eight minutes. Please feel free to join in!

Here’s my eight minute attempt today: 

I remember when my husband and I met my two sons, Seth and Noah, in July of 2005. Seth was an adorable four-year-old with a huge smile, and Noah was twenty two-months yet he looked like he a one-year-old.

They were living in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area with foster parents. I remember the day my case worker called me and informed Jim and I that we were chosen by the county case worker to raise these boys after they viewed our home study (think lots of paperwork and interviews with case workers about your life history).

We met them on a Saturday morning at their foster family’s home along with their caseworker, Sarah. Jim and I instantly fell in love with them and felt an instant bond, like they were our boys and they had always lived with us. I felt a maternal love where I wanted to protect them and even apologized for some of their bad, bad behavior, as if this couple were watching our children. Actually, in essence they were watching them for us since we took them in and eventually adopted them.

My heart was filled with love and hope of finally starting our family with the love of my life.


Vacation 2016

My family and I were on a fun yet relaxing vacation for eleven days. We went to Kansas, Illinois, and Missouri.

Lawrence Kansas

Above is my son Seth at the beautiful town of Lawrence, the town where brothers Sam and Dean Winchester from the show Supernatural grew up. As I suspected, they never actually filmed in Kansas, but the block where they film the pilot episode of their fictional house actually resembles this town well.

Seth at Carthadge

Seth posing in front of Carthage Jail.

Above is the historic Carthage Jail in Carthage Missouri where the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred on June 27, 1844 by an angry mob. We toured the building and stood in the room where Joseph and his brother Hyrum were shot.


Nauvoo Temple at night.










We watched the Nauvoo Pageant about the Mormon Pioneers in England who converted to the Gospel and traveled to Nauvoo Illinois to live and prosper.

We then drove to St. Louis and rode in a elevator/incline up to the top of the famous Arch.

St. Louis Arch

Our final destination for a week was in Branson Missouri at the beautiful Westgate Branson Woods. My sons went swimming everyday, and made friends with some of the other kids. That was awesome because while they were having fun, Jim and I were able to spend quality alone time all day. It almost felt like we were newly weds again!

Go Kart Fun Two

Noah and Jim having a Go Kart race. We were so proud of Noah overcoming his fear of how loud Go Karts are when you have sensitive ears. And he proved that he is a natural driver.

Birthday Surprise

My husband surprised me with a trip to Galveston, Texas for my birthday on June 30th. He booked a hotel room at a beautiful hotel that he knew I long desired for called the Hotel Galvez.

Hotel Pool

This hotel was built in 1911 on an island that has so much history with some ghost residents that I changed the location of my paranormal novel series from upstate New York to Galveston. We swam in the beautiful pool and after we finished taking our showers, I couldn’t help myself. I took the elevator up to the 5th floor and searched for the legendary suite 501.  The story claims that a young woman stayed in this suite as she waited for her fiance to return from sea and when it was reported that his ship sunk and all lives were lost, she became extremely depressed. She hung herself on the fire escape much to the horror of her love who returned to the hotel looking for her.

We had such a nice time together where we could focus on being together and relaxing. I felt pampered and loved. If you ever visit Galveston, click here to find out more about the Hotel Galvez.




I took this picture of my sons with their cousins at my parent’s house on New Year’s Eve, the day after my mother-in-law’s funeral in December of 2009. They live in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area while we live in Texas.

Cousins in PA

When my brother (on the right) and I were growing up in Queens, New York, we saw our cousins every other weekend. They lived in Long Island, New York, about sixty miles east of Manhattan, and we took turns meeting at either our house or theirs. I wish that my sons could see their cousins often like they did when we still lived in Pennsylvania. It makes me sad to think that they haven’t seen each other in four years, so I’m working on finding a way for us to visit them soon, because time goes by so fast.

Life Lessons

As my kids grow older, parenting them gets more difficult. I’m grateful that my husband and I have the time they need to help them navigate this adventure we call life.

As parents we have learned SO MUCH compared to when we first met our boys in 2005, and although these lessons have been tough parental growing pains, they have been exactly what we need to become better people.

I’ve learned how to read people and know when they are either being sneaking or lying, or when something is bothering them. But it is so hard, oh so hard for me to help them every single day instead of giving in to my anxiety for them.