Living with Life Insurance


Experiencing the lose of a parent is hard at any age. I never thought I would lose my mother at the age of 58. She was young and had so many years ahead of her. The unexpected happened when she was diagnosed with glioblastomia. It's an extremely fast growing brain cancer.

From the time of her diagnosis to her death was only 18 months. For years my sister and I implored our parents to get medical and life insurance. They didn't. By the time Mom was diagnosed, it was too late.

They had to rely of the generosity of family to cover the funeral expenses. Their medical debt was astronomical.

For as long as I have been married, my husband and I have had life and medical insurance. It is a non-negotiable. We don't want to burden anyone else with our expenses. It's the grown-up thing to do. It's the responsible thing to do.

My mother thought she had many more years on this earth, and her planning reflected her beliefs. Please don't make the same mistake as my parents. Get life insurance. Get medical insurance. They are necessary evils.

You never know what the future holds. Hopefully you will not have to use your life insurance for a very long time. Just in case you do, you will have the peace of mind that it is there.

If you would like more information on choosing the right life insurance for you, please check out this article from Reviews.com.

Planning ahead,

Amanda


This is not a sponsored post.

Book Review: I Want My Hat Back


It's no surprise that I visit bookstore and frequent the children's section. After all, I'm a children's writer. The best part is finding books that make me laugh out loud. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen is such a book. I almost think it appeals to adults more than children. 

The end of the book is unexpected. If you know someone that needs to good laugh, is having a bad day, or is constantly misplacing something, you will want to check out this book. 

Bear has lost his hat, and he asks everyone in the forest if they have seen it. He finally finds his hat, but then the culprit is suddenly missing as well. 

Add this hysterical book to your children's reading list. You'll love it too.

Happy Reading,

Amanda

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7 Things I've Learned From 15 Years of Marriage

On June 22, 2001 the doors to the church opened. The sun was setting behind me, and a halo of light filled the auditorium. It was the day I married my best friend.

After the fifteen years, too many moves to count, three children, and all the ups and downs in between, I've learned a few things.


Don't do the math, but I married at the ripe, old age of 19. I know! I was a baby! Kevin and I basically grew up together. The best part; we grew closer instead of growing apart. We have a lot more to learn, but here are a few things that make our marriage work so well.

Communication
Talking to one another is the number one reason we are still happily married. Without communication, I wouldn't get what I want. Our house would be in shambles if we didn't talk to one another. You have to talk about everything. Feelings, bills, raising the kids, the best part of your day, and the tire pressure all have to be discussed. Communicating is key!

Picking Our Battles
Sometimes the best way to communicate is to not speak at all. Kevin does this thing where he changes up the beginning of words to sound like something else. To me it's the equivalent of scrapping your nails against a chalk board. At first, I made a big deal about it. Now, I try to let it go. If changing up the English language every once is a while is the worst thing my husband does, then we are doing alright.

Learning From Regrets
If you are starting out your marriage and do not have children yet, then please read this post. We made some major oops early on in our marriage. If we could go back, we would. The good news is we can learn from those ignorant years and not have anymore regrets. You will make mistakes. Your marriage will be defined by how you overcome them.

Defining Roles
Have I ever mentioned that washing dishes is my favorite thing in the entire world? No? That's because it's not. We decided early on in our marriage that we needed to assign roles. When we are sick or see the other needing help, we happily jump in. For the most part, we have our own household duties, and it keeps the peace.

Kevin is responsible for the trash, paying bills, cooking, yard work, and the cars. I handle pretty much everything else. The roles have changed through the years, and we adjust when life throws us in the thick of it. Take on certain responsibilities, and adjust when needed. So, I do the dishes with a smile.

Sex
Have it! Find out what each other likes, dislikes, and the heck nos. You must talk about coitus with your spouse. Oh, and have lots of it. You both need it.

Doing Things Together
We are two different people, and we like different things. I love reading, and can spend countless hours at the bookstore. Kevin enjoys fishing. When we go to the bookstore, he looks at magazines about guns or tech stuff. On fishing outings, he baits my hook so I don't have to touch the slimy, wiggly worms. We look for ways to enjoy the other person's hobby.

Love and Respect
Whether I'm talking to the kids or in front of a group of friends, I always talk my husband up. He deserves respect. The more respect I give him, the more he strives to earn my respect.

In return, he isn't afraid to show me love. He gives affection without hesitation. Love and respect go hand and hand. The more respect I show my husband, the more love I am given. It takes two giving their all to make a marriage work.

I could write a book about everything I've learned in marriage. It's beautifully hard, and wonderfully challenging. What would you add to the list?

Still in love,

Amanda

Etsy: July 4th Party

Can you believe July 4th is around the corner? We found out last year, that despite being in city limits, we can have fireworks! I know it's crazy, but it's also fun.

If you are planning a party, check out these great ideas for keeping the party going until the fireworks display.



Try a different door hanger this year. Welcome guests with an adorable wooden door hanger from Need More Heart.


Don't forget to send out invitations! After all, you do throw the best parties. I love the rustic and patriotic look of this invitation from Adrian Marie Designs.


Whether you make a photo booth or rent one, remember to print out these cute photo props from Surprise INC. We do a photo booth for our New Year's Day parties, and it's always a huge hit.


These patriotic coozies from Pretty Penny & Co. pull double duty. Let your guests pick out their faves. The coozies will keep their drinks cool during the party, and they can go home as a party favor.


What an unique idea! Restored by Ryan can build you a huge yardzee game. It's Yahtzee on a grander scale. Get everyone outside and interacting.


Serve up your best dish on a custom platter from Mine By Design Studio. The platter can be used for Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and July 4th. You gotta love a multipurpose platter.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

Amanda

Planning Our Summer Vacation


I love to travel! I don’t have a passport, and I don’t want to be too far from my children. But I love to travel. One day I will get a passport. I promise!

My hubs planned our honeymoon all by his lonesome. He did a fantastic job, by the way. I didn’t know where we were going until we headed out in our rented Ford Focus. We went to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina.

At first I was disappointed. I wanted to go to the beach. After we arrived, I quickly changed my mind. We loved every minute of it. My husband wanted to take me to the beach, but it wasn’t in the cards. So, fifteen years later, we are headed for the beach. This will be our first week long vacation since our honeymoon. Do I have to tell you how excited I am?

We are going to Key West. I know it’s a crazy party town, but I have always wanted to go. People keeps saying we will be uncomfortable, but I plan on giving my undivided attention to my man.

Here are the things I’m looking forward to.
*The beach
*The sites
*Eating without being interrupted
*Going to the bathroom without someone following me
*Reading a book
*Fruity drinks
*Wear a bathing suit
*Not being asked 5,387 times a day why, why, why

Honestly, I love my children. We just need a vacation. My sister is a saint for watching my babies for a week. You rock, Rachel!

We plan to relax, but we also plan on seeing what Key West has to offer. Check out some of the items on our itinerary.





If you know something we must do or a must eat at restaurant, I’d love to hear about it. Have you been to Key West? Did you love it?

Amanda

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