Monday, April 14, 2014

Sequins & Twinkle-lights | Twenty-Three

I turned 23 last week, on Thursday.

I was expecting to feel old. I mean, fifteen-year-old Julia envisioned that I would be married, with two children, the perfect little house, and driving an aquamarine VW Bug by now.

You know what? I don't feel old. I feel YOUNG, vibrant, colorful, fresh, and blessed-blessed-blessed. (The last one needed repeating for emphasis.)
I'm unmarried, yup, but I have a savior who cherishes and loves me tenderly. I don't have children yet but there are sweet little kids all around me at work and church. I live in a gorgeous log home with two marvelous parents and two handsome brothers who are becoming charming gentlemen before my eyes.

The past month, I've been out and about so much for one reason or another that there hasn't been two days together that I've been at home all day! It's crazy! It's hard work! But it's fun. :D I love 'doing things' and I've certainly done my share lately.



So what did I "do" for my birthday? Ah - well, on the actual day, I enjoyed a delectable dinner with my family of the best. lasagna. ever. And I had my sweet friend Allison M. over and we watched Persuasion and drank chamomile-lavender tea and ate homemade strawberry cheesecake and she created a show-stopping hairstyle for me, which she then replicated two mornings later, when in the evening, we both attended ... an English Country Dance BALL.

Yes. I went to a ball. It was thrilling and lovely and splendid! *happy sigh*

And this... is what I wore...
I really did feel like a princess.

Hugs and love to my wonderful mom who finished my dress just how I wanted it!
 See? There they are. The azaleas, right on time for my birthday. God telling me "Julia, you are precious to me, and don't ever forget that." :D

And just a FEW pictures of the ball - I have way more, and videos besides, but that will have to wait until I can edit them all! :D
Delightful chitchat - this is just in one small spot of the lovely barn.

Twinkle lights and polished floor... (this is only a fraction of all the dancers that were there)



And now... *drumroll please*... 23 things I've learned in 23 years:


1. A smile fixes {nearly} everything.


2. Always check to see if someone left the parking brake on (really, we live on a hill...).


3. Mom and Dad give THE best encouragement and counsel. period. 


4. Strawberry anything, anytime, anywhere, for the win. And Chocolate. Yes.


5. There is always a silver lining. Look for it. (In other words, be grateful. There is always something to be thankful for!) 


6. Do not, under any circumstances, buy a piece of clothing without trying it on first, and hang on to the receipt for at least ten days in case of buyers' remorse. Also - shop thrift stores! One gal's leftovers are another's gold mine. 


7. Drink lots of water, eat lots of fresh fruit and veg, and go on long walks in the sunshine whenever possible.


8. Take zillions of pictures, write in a journal, and make a million memories. The best moments in life deserve to be remembered. 


9. Stay true to your standards, faith, and convictions, you won't regret it. Don't let the world tarnish your shine!


10. Music can turn a dreary job into a dance par-tay.


11.There are a terrible lot of shop assistants with flirtatious manners out there, but do not let it ruffle your feathers. You're holding out for a real gem. (Perhaps Mr. Collins has a cousin.) ;)


12. Brothers make great friends and shed valuable insight on occasion. Also, they are hilarious. Respect and honor them, and never let the sun go down on a disagreement. 


13. Do not be superstitious (see what I did there? #13) or fearful. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. He's already got your story written out so beautifully, even if you can't imagine what the next plot twist will be.


14. Find your best color (mine is peach!) and wear it whenever possible.


15. Embrace the gifts and talents you have, and work to overcome your weaknesses. There is always room for improvement, but there is only one amazing, unique, and wonderful you. 


16. Always be prepared. Bring a sweater, pack a lunch, wear sunscreen, read up on the subject, practice beforehand, do your research. It pays off big-time. 


17. There are inevitably going to be people who are jealous, bitter, angry, rude, unkind, unfaithful, and annoying. Ignore them, and forgive their foibles. Worrying about what someone else thinks of you is not worth your time.


18. Work HARD. Play HARDER! :D Be amazing and awe-inspiring, if you can. But always be kind, gracious, and humble. You are a mirror that reflects the image of Jesus Christ.


19. Never, never, never give up, keep calm and carry on. :D


20. Do something enjoyable, something you love, something inspiring, something refreshing, every single day. Have fun! But don't forget to take some time to be still, rest, and soak it all in. 


21. Spend as much time as you can with family and friends. They are priceless. So answer their emails, letters, texts and phone calls, and listen when they talk. :)


22. Try not to spend your entire life scrolling through Pinterest. ;) 


23. God will always come through, and he is literally the only thing you'll ever need.


I should totally make that into a tag. :D If anyone wants to write their own list of things they've learned in their own number of years, I'd love to read it. 


Love to all my blog readers!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"And Oh, You Electrify My Soul..."

WARNING: PRETTY FLOWER PICTURES AHEAD ;)

I've begun to not take blog post titles that seriously. :D They don't have to perfectly describe the post like a newspaper headline! :) (FYI: The title is a line from a Natalie Grant song that I got on iTunes recently. The last half of the line is ... "and you're bringing the dead to life!" Love that victorious note in there!

 So yeah! Look at me, coming through on a promise! I did go out and snap some shots of the beautiful spring blooms... it just happened on an unexpected day off instead of Sunday. It was raining so hard on Monday that they canceled all of the events at the Rock Ranch.

On the one hand, I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to go to work, I love that place, but on the other hand... yay for not having to work with muddy ponies!! :D Feels like I dodged a bullet with that one! ;)

 You know... my post title does go with this post. Looking at these pictures electrifies my soul with some sparks of awe at the grandeur and majesty our Creator displays even in the tiny veins of a dogwood blossom petal. My God, how amazing you are!
 I will admit, there is a hint of a photo filter in these pictures, I about gasped when I clicked the button whilst editing them and saw the result. WOWZA.
 My faithful readers are welcome to pin these to Pinterest, but please don't take them for anything else. (You'll notice I actually watermarked them this time!) :)
Noticed this little fellow and got right in his face for a close-up, marveling at how he matched the flower center exactly!
 I hope my grandma Pat is seeing this blog post - wish I could show her our sweet GA spring season in person, she has always had a great appreciation for flowers!

Oh... and we also have azaleas.

I know!! Aaaagh, I love them so much. I will take more pictures as soon as they hit peak bloom, there are only a few at present.

My faves are these "Peppermint Azaleas". They look as if they have a bright brushstroke on each crisp white petal!

Take care, lovelies! I shall write again soon...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sunshine Sprinkles

Hey guys!

Whew, what a week!! So much sunshine, fresh air, getting out and working that my body is still trying to catch up with the pace. My brain is top-notch, I LOVE going places and talking to people and smiling at little kids and just doing things. But when you do them non-stop every day, it takes it outta ya. :D The spirit is willing, but the flesh isn't as buff as it thought! LOL. :P

Seriously though. The Rock Ranch? A ton of fun, people.


The Pony Rides are probably the most physically demanding job I've done at the ranch. The endless walking in circles isn't bad, but the lifting of kids onto horses' backs is tough because I'm not used to it. I'm built very strong (A good Dutch girl, Jah!) but those particular muscles don't get used that much. Today I encouraged most of the riders to use the stirrups and give me "a good jump" to help hoist themselves up, which seemed to be a much better way of going about things! :)

The horses have been a bit grumpy as they're getting back into the swing of things - I would be too if I'd come off a nice winter of doing nothing at all and then I had to start a routine of carrying squirmy, noisy kids around for 4 hours. But we're getting the kinks worked out pretty well! :) 

Yesterday I got to work with my brother, which was nice. We're usually working in separate places on the ranch, as he usually works food and I work events. And it's awesome having someone close at hand that you know you can totally rely on. :) Today I worked with a new friend and she and I just chilled and chatted when there weren't any kids wanting rides. All the people who work at the Rock Ranch are really nice, it's amazing. They always get tons of feedback about their "WONDERFUL" staff. :)  


I got VERY sunburned this week when I was watching the giant jumping pillow, so the next day I got some heavy-duty sunscreen (and used it!!) and wore my enormous rice-paddy-worker hat. It did the trick, I didn't re-burn! I was able to stay in the shade for the most part too, which helped immensely. 


The shade I stayed in happened to be the steps of "Miss Nancy's Boarding House" - one of the fine establishments of Tiny Town. It's an actual little village, constructed in miniature, just the perfect size for your average 6-year-old, and full of tiny furniture and props. The fire engine has tiny firemen's uniforms, the church has tiny pews and a tiny Bible on the pulpit, the dress shop has tiny accessories and gowns, the diner has tiny play food and dishes, and the theater has a tiny stage. And the tiny jail seemed quite popular, as the place was apparently rampant with tiny thieves that needed "locking up" by their gleeful friends. 
SO. much. fun. 

Yes. I did explore each and every single building while I was turning on the tiny air conditioning units in each one that morning. Can you blame me?? I just wished I was still that small so I could enter each tiny place without ducking down under the 4-foot door-frames. :D 

Tomorrow I've got more work to do and then Sunday (after I play bass, that is) I get to crash and rest. Hopefully I'll pop outdoors for a few moments to capture some photos of the SPRING that is happening at my house while I'm away... delicate pink dogwood blossoms, cheerful violets, baby mint-green leaves everywhere, and even the very first Azaleas... which, like clockwork, always arrive in time for my birthday.

'Til then, TTFN, ta-ta-for-now!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Heart Songs

Hello Darlings!

This week looks exceedingly packed. I am working almost every day, and tomorrow (Sunday) we have an Ultimate Frisbee game and I'll be playing bass guitar for the morning worship service - did I ever tell you the story of how I became a bass player? I'll have to write that sometime. It was hilarious. :D

Anyways. I love it when life revs up like this and the days are jam-packed, a whirl of crazy color and music and laughter. It makes my heart dance.

The only problem with running here and there, to and fro, up hill and down dale, attending this gala and that garden party, is that in all the happy cacophony of noise, sometimes that still, small voice gets drowned out. :(
(ugh. The writer in me cringes at the amount of commas in that last sentence!) ;) Back to my point!

God wants you. Relationship, not reluctance. Communion, not carelessness. Prayer and praise, not procrastination. If you spend a little time each day with Him, life suddenly gets a whole lot sparklier. It's like tuning up your instrument... the song rises and swells until beauty bursts into every corner and cranny and the stress and worries all get squeezed out.

(Random photo of the Hillsong United concert we went to a few months ago, because it was overwhelmingly amazing)

My resolution for this next craaaaazy week is to do *something* every day that brings God and me closer together. Quality time with my father, savior, first love, and best friend.
Hopefully that means taking a few minutes to open the Bible app on my iPhone right after I wake up to sunshine pouring in my windows...
Having a few ongoing conversations with Jesus while I'm standing out in the middle of a field at the Rock Ranch watching exuberant kids on the giant jumping pillow...
raising my hand to lift His name high when I have a second in-between strumming a guitar string, or singing at the top of my lungs while I vacuum the living room carpet. :D

Being a believer doesn't have to be complicated, you know. Sometimes the best relationships in life happen when it's natural and unforced. There's still a choice involved, and it takes an effort on your part... but it's a two-way street. God meets you in the moments you turn to Him. :)

So be encouraged! Take some time to "be" with God this week, whatever that looks like! :)

Love,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How Sweet It Is: {Blooming}


*waves* Hey there!

Hi Everyone!

I know, right? It's been FOREVER! I haven't blogged in way too long. Mostly because I just kept putting it off, but for a few other personal reasons too. (Since that sounded more mysterious than I planned on - I was thinking that my one previous boyfriend might still be reading this blog, but I've decided I don't care. It's my blog and I'm going to blog on it.) ;)


I've been doing so. much. lately. I don't even know where to start, trying to get caught up on posting about things. Oh well! I'll just keep typing and see how it goes. :) The biggest and most wonderful thing? I'm blooming. Where I'm planted. As in... I'm actually REALLY happy about everything in my life right now. I've been having fun and enjoying my family and friends and reading good books and crocheting soft, gorgeous things and cooking great food and dancing and singing and laughing.

**insert big, huge smile**


AND LOOK AT THIS......!!!!

I had the incredible blessing of walking into a thrift store and finding this gem. Namely: a dress, that will be THE MOST PERFECT THING EVER to wear to the English Country Dance Ball I'm attending the weekend of my birthday. Which is next month. :) 
And it came with a wrap of the same pink satin that my genius mother can whip up some lovely wide straps with (which will be just the thing for my modest tastes).
And it was only $20. 
*SCORE!*

It looks much better ON, btw. Right now it rather resembles a flattened flounder at the top, but I assure you that when I'm wearing it it flatters my figure instead. Lol! 

Le Lace Closeup:

I have actually been really blessed in the area of finding modest, pretty clothes lately. ROSS actually had some gorgeous and modest and inexpensive dresses the last time I looked, and I ended up falling in love with (and buying) three! I think some fashion posts might be in order. ;)

A couple months ago, my family and I discovered IKEA.

*cue screeching tires sound effect*

HOLY MACKEREL. If you have never been inside an IKEA, get thee hither forthwith. Seriously. It is a wondrous land that is full of beautiful and contemporary and imaginative and fairly priced home decor, laced with the delicate scent of Swedish meatballs, cream sauce, and lingonberries.

'Tis where I found my new bookcases. :) (at last, my books breathe a sigh of relief as they no longer have to jostle with each other for elbow room, and get crammed in sideways on each other's ends!)
Yum and yay. I love them. 
I've been trying to earn a little extra money (even as I scatter it hither and yon like some spendthrift, on bookcases and dresses) - so I've been doing some special things like the Sweetheart Sale I did for Valentines' day on my jewelry stand:


Just today, actually, I went and babysat for a precious young couple from our church who have the cutest little one-year-old!! He's got blond hair and blue eyes and the most winning smile I've ever seen on a toddler. Also, their house is just too cute for words. I'll take a house and baby like that anytime you want to bring them along, Lord! ;)

And THIS precious one is Owen James. I had the opportunity to do his newborn photoshoot the week before last and his mommy said I could post photos on my blog. :) (But I didn't have time to watermark it so dude, if you steal it, may God have mercy on your soul.) :P
 And last but possibly most exciting, we started a connect group for the young people in our church called "Faith and Frisbee"! Daddy does a fifteen-minute devotional and then we have a game of Ultimate. It has been a blast, and I'm loving it!! (now to uh, actually get in shape so I can show these whippersnappers a thing or two.)

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed that little glimpse!! Let's see... before I go (and I hope to be back posting soon, but I'm not promising anything) I'm also going to be a bridesmaid in September for the first time ever, for my incredibly sweet and godly and amazing friend McKenzie, and this spring I'll be working the pony rides at the Rock Ranch pretty regularly. And I'm planning to be at the GHEA convention in June, so if you're there, look me up! :D

Oh yeah! Yesterday my brothers, mom and I went to see the movie "God's Not Dead." WOOHOO!! It was totally awesome. God is NOT dead, he's surely alive, and he's the lover of my soul, my closest friend, and the creator of the universe who is completely in control of my destiny and future. Heady stuff. :)

Love & hugs, friends! If you've missed me, drop me a comment and I'll reply! ;)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Life as a Ranch Hand

Howdy Ya'll!

I'm so sorry I've been so scarce with posts as of late. If you could walk a mile or two in my shoes, you'd understand why I haven't been blogging... when you have two big projects going at once plus a new job, finding time to blog is a little difficult! :D

At the beginning of this month, I was hired on as a ranch hand at the beautiful Rock Ranch in The Rock, GA. Owned by Truett Cathy (founder of Chick-fil-A) the ranch is a popular tourist destination and has tons of family-friendly activities. It's definitely a fun place to work!

Check out this video to see what I mean: (I'm in it! See if you can spot me... oh, ok, I come in at 1:51) ;)



 That was actually my first day of work, running the bounce-house and the extremely popular "corn box"... who knew wallowing 2 feet deep in corn was so much fun? (I'll take the kids' word for it, thanks...) the next week I assisted in the kitchen all morning, making coleslaw, wrapping burgers, and filling drinks for a company picnic that was being hosted in Truett's Barn... then the last half of the day I helped out with the pony rides!

I took these photos while the horses were on their break for 45 minutes... the rest of the day they were walking in circles, attached to a carousel underneath an open barn structure. The kids absolutely loved them and it was so much fun seeing their little faces light up as some of them rode a pony for the first time in their lives.



The pretty mare there is Cherry. I think she may have been my favorite. :D

The only downsides to this otherwise delightful job are that your arms and legs quickly tire from hefting the kids onto the ponies and walking in endless circles, and that every so often you have to stop and shovel muck when the horses need to 'take a dump'. :P

I'll be working the pony rides all day tomorrow for the not-so-spooky halloween festival, which I'm looking forward to! Sadly, I can't think of a cute DIY costume I could wear that would be pony-rides proof. If you have any quick suggestions, leave them in the comments section... there is a $50 prize for the best employee costume, after all! :D


(and I promise it won't be so long before I post next. I have some awesome redecorating to tell you about!)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall Fashion? I think YES.

No doubt about it. Autumn's nearly here. While we may not have actually crossed the calendar date that says "first day of Fall" ... everybody knows it. Pinterest is exploding with pumpkins, apples, cinnamon, wreaths, boots, and halloween everything. I didn't realize how many halloween boards I was unintentionally following! (Yeah. I've been clicking "unfollow" on all of those. Sorry, ya'll, but ghosts, spiders, and witches are not what I delight in... why would we try to make something 'cute' out of such horrid things? But that's a rant for another day...)

One thing I love about living in the south is that while most of the year is warm, we do get a nice cool, crisp fall season if we're lucky blessed. :D This means we get to dig out the sweaters, scarves, gloves, hats and boots that have been waiting all year. AND we get to update our look a little bit with some layers and warmer wear...

How about this fab new fall line from eShakti.com?


Oooh, some of that stuff is CUTE. Almost makes me wish I had darker coloring so I could pull more of those pieces off. ;) I'm definitely in the "Spring" category when it comes to complexion. Light and warm. :)

If only I had more time to gab about how much fun our Fall Cleaning project is becoming... Today we dusted down the log ceiling and walls of the Master Bathroom with brooms, and I completely cleaned and reorganized the under-the-sink cabinet, drawers, and linen armoire. It feels so good to get the house really clean! :)

Hope your days are sunny and bright as we head for chillier weather!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Overcoming




Dear friends,

I am sorry to say my engagement is over. After I returned home from our trip, it became more and more clear that the relationship was not going to work. In the best interests of both hearts involved, we felt that it was necessary to call it off. Thank you for your understanding that this is all I am able to share.

As you can imagine, the last couple weeks haven't been easy for me... but to my great surprise, they have been easier than I would have imagined. My family and friends have been so amazingly loving and supportive. Instead of going under or drowning in the depths of despair - I discovered that I'm still me. I can still smile and laugh, and I am still blessed.

God has given me so much. He loves me tenderly as his child, and I fully trust in his perfect plan for me. He knows my future and I know it's going to be more wonderful than I can even imagine.

Even if I can't see what's around the bend... I still believe it's a beautiful road to be traveling on. :) And I can honestly say that even if what's ahead are hard lessons to be learned, I know it will be good. I have already learned so much and grown in grace through this experience. Perhaps that's why the Lord allowed it to happen, hmm? :)

My heart has healed. It's not broken. And really, seeing myself stay so strong through this has been eye-opening. I didn't know I had it in me. I know it's God, because I couldn't do it in my own strength.



^ This song started playing on the radio yesterday and it was the first time I'd heard it... wow. My heart leapt for joy inside me... the words resonated so powerfully with what I've been going through. And right then and there I (raced to my laptop and bought the album on iTunes) claimed it for myself. Yes! I am an overcomer

As I wrote in my journal the other night... now I'm rediscovering my sparkle. There is beauty and happiness waiting for me to reach out and take hold of it. I have some delightful projects in the works... including crocheting a beautiful pink-chocolate-and-cream afghan for my mother and overseeing a complete redecoration of our house... making it look fresh and updated, as thriftily and DIY and Pinterest-inspired as possible. :D 


Keep me in your prayers, if you would. I appreciate it. :)

Love & Blessings,



Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'd Say, My Dear, That You Were in Need of a Project.

Via Pinterest
Hey Readers!

I can see you wrinkling your brows as this post pops up in your blog reading list... "Who is this person again? I can't remember who she might be.... Oh! Oh yes, now I remember. That's the girl who hasn't blogged in forever!" :P

All I can do is shrug and say "I'm sorry!" :)

Since the GHEA convention, life has been just grand and full of happy things, but I haven't been diligent about blogging. That has been shelved in favor of more exciting summer pursuits. We're getting TONS of fresh produce from our garden right now and have already made several batches of mouth-watering, downright-delicious, sizzling summer salsa that is chock-full of ripe tomatoes... as well as blanching beans, pickling cucumbers, frying breaded squash slices, and making blackberry jam.

BUT. I was talking to a really really good friend yesterday and they asked me if there was anything I was working on.
To my complete surprise, I couldn't name anything! I usually have at least ten projects whirling through the air like so many spinning plates (like that one circus act!) but right now I didn't even have one.

Not a good realization, when one someday hopes to be likened unto the industrious lady of Prov. 31! :D

This has made me take stock of what I've been doing with all my time lately. Even with everything that's been going on and the usual household chores, cooking, dishes, laundry, exercising, and sleeping, there are hours of my day that aren't spent in any useful pursuits.

One of those time-suckers is definitely Pinterest. I'll admit it. I often spend a couple hours a day (stretched out in many 15-minute increments here and there) pinning and re-pinning pictures. It's a lot of fun. But is it really that important? Um.... NO. So one thing I'm going to try is to only check my pinterest feed once a day and spend only a few minutes on it. We'll see how that goes!

That being said, I thought about it and realized I do have some projects awaiting my attention! Some of which are:

  • Setting aside goods for a YARD SALE... Not only will that help raise some funds for our upcoming summer vacation - it will also help me clear out some of my possessions. I have too many clothes and need to pare down some of them, and thinking about the future makes me realize I've just plain got too much stuff. :D If we were going to move, I wouldn't want to cart all these things around with me!
  • Sewing my 'butterfly dress' ... I found some really sweet fabric at Jo-Ann's a couple of months ago that was sheer white with peach butterflies sprinkled on it. Mama and I are going to work together to get it sewn into a lovely dress, over-top of some white muslin. We also will be sewing a new peach swimsuit for me, since the one I made last year is now way too big for me. A good problem! :) I like being slimmer and feeling fit. :)
  • Looking for a coat - I need a new winter coat, the one I've got now is very nice but I've had it since I was 13 and it is beginning to show a little wear! I'd love to find a wool coat in a nice shade of warm caramel brown that comes down to knee-length, and now might be a good time to find one on sale.
  • Mark's Senior Photos... My brother Mark is graduating from homeschool High School this year, and I'll be doing his senior portrait shots to send out with his graduation announcements. That should be a lot of fun!
  • Writing! I haven't opened up my Microsoft Word docs in a really long time, and I think I'm ready to get back to working on some of my novels. I glanced through Ashburn the other day and it's really made me want to work on the sequel. :)

And... blogging. :) I've missed it and I want to be a more faithful blogger... writing at least a couple posts every week. :)

What are you working on?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Love My Daddy

Happy Father's Day!

I have the best Daddy in the world and have been firmly convinced of this fact for my whole life. My sweet Mom is the best mom ever too, but this day is all about Dads... I love you, Daddy!

:D He's wonderful. 

My father is a man who loves his family and cherishes us. He is always there when we need him. He's a kind, sweet man, who leads us in the paths of righteousness and is committed to sheltering and providing for us as the head of the home. 

Daddy loves his garden, going fishing, spending time outdoors, and kissing Mama in the kitchen. :D  

I love him so much. 
Happy Father's Day, Daddy!
I'll always be your little girl.

Love,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Season of Change - A Book Review

The Story of Two Young Stepsisters Comes to a Bittersweet End in the Final Book in the Sisters in All Seasons Series

“Anybody who’s in a blended family and has a daughter who’s 12, 13, or 14 years old really needs to read these books.”—Lynne Ford, WBCL-AM “Mid-Morning”


season of change.JPGBrought together by their parents’ marriage two years ago, Diana and Stephanie have overcome a near fatal car crash, school suspension,  wild wolves, and even helped solve a crime—all while “trying” to appreciate each other’s distinct differences.

In SEASON OF CHANGE (Zonderkidz; May 2013; $10.99), things have finally settled down for the teens. Their friendship has strengthened, and the usually reclusive Diana has finally begun to open up to Stephanie. So when they discover their parents are going on a mysterious weekend getaway to “work on their marriage,” they worry that their now happy union will be tested.

While staying at Diana’s grandparents’ lake house, the teens decide to take their minds off family turmoil and focus on having a good time together.

Their plans are foiled, unfortunately, when Stephanie’s mom shows up unexpectedly to pick her up for the weekend.  Meanwhile, Diana struggles to make sense of a crush she’s developing for a boy she thought was just a friend.
With the sisters apart and their parents’ marriage possibly on the rocks, the two learn that they care for each other more than they realized. What will become of their friendship if their parents split?
Kline concludes this charming saga with a bittersweet ending that will have devoted readers reaching for tissues and hugging their families a little tighter. SEASON OF CHANGE is proof that the bond between sisters is truly unbreakable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Williams Kline has written several books, including the first three books in the popular middle-grade series,Sisters in all SeasonsSummer of the WolvesWild Horse SpringBlue Autumn Cruise and Winter’s Tide. She also authored Write Before Your Eyes, the Princesses of Atlantis, and Eleanor Hill. The latter earned the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award. Kline is the mother of two grown daughters and lives in Mooresville, North Carolina, with her husband. www.lisawilliamskline.com

What I thought:

This story was the last in a series, so some of the references to past events escaped me, but it wasn't too hard picking up where the other books left off. I didn't love this book but it wasn't awful either. I liked reading the scene about Stephanie learning to knee-board behind her step-grandpa's boat, it reminded me of the time I learned how to knee-board with some friends of ours in Florida. :) This story was mild enough for most teens to read, with nothing overly objectionable, although I didn't really enjoy reading about all the dynamics of these blended families... though I realize this is the unfortunate norm in many households these days. I did not think the author did a super job of wrapping everything up (especially considering this is supposed to be the last book in a series!) but the writing style was smooth and engaging.

Blessings,