A Look Back at 2021

Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog!


Hope you had a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends. We invited our sons' sister and her boyfriend to spend Christmas Day with us for the first time. It was a fun day for our family.


Holiday Traditions is the theme for December

Even with new guests celebrating with us, I kept the traditions we have been doing with our kids for years. With my kids being from a previous marriage, our Santa doesn't show up until 2:00 PM on Christmas Day. This came out of the fact that our kids would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning with their mom and Christmas Day with us. So Jim and I spend Christmas Mornings setting up Santa's arrival and enjoying a cup of coffee together.


I kept my stockings tradition alive and well. This came from my childhood and when we woke up Christmas morning, we would check out our stockings first. As we got older, we and could do this if we were awake before our parents. So, we unwrapped gifts, emptied our stockings and upped our normal game by adding a red table cloth and linen napkins to the table for dinner.


2021 year in review

2021 started out with the word of the year being ALIGN. My goal was to align what I was doing with my purpose and mission. So, over the course of the year, what did I do to ALIGN?

  • I hired a business coach to help me get started. We talked through strategy and worked through some roadblocks I had.

  • I set up different themes to base the monthly content on which created some consistency in what I was posting each week..

  • I picked books to review each month that went a long with that month's theme. Check out my blog post Teen Challenge - Books I recommend as Great Gifts for Teens for the book list and links to reviews.

  • I hired a website designer and had the website redesigned to realign me and what I was doing to my purpose

  • I hired a virtual assistant to help me align my social media posts with my purpose and to create consistency in the digital images

  • I created and posted my 300th blog post in December.

In addition,

  • Shawn's Way, the second book in The Way Series, was published on June 4th.

  • I participated in Deep Valley Book Festival's virtual book fair in March and an in person one in October.

  • Had an eBook sale from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.


What is coming in 2022?

2022 will start out with a new word for the year. It will be CULTIVATE. Why CULTIVATE? My plan is to intentionally invest time and energy in my mission and purpose and to further encourage continued growth of my platform. I planted the seeds while I was aligning in 2021 to build on some things I found were important while I was on the journey through 2021.


Email Marketing will start in January

One of the things that I noticed was I haven't been interacting with my followers as well as I could be. To improve on this, I decided to send a weekly email to say hello, give an update and give you an opportunity to respond to the emails so we can communicate. If you aren't on my email list, please sign up through my website or email me and I'll get you added.


A third book in The Way Series?

The Way Series, my two book series of coming of age novels for teens and young adults, has a third book in the works. To find out more information about the third book and what goes into the process of writing, editing and publishing a novel, sign up for my email list and you'll those updates.


Mentor and Resource pages

These two pages were new to my website on November 1, 2021. They are going to develop into the Mentor platform that will complete the three pronged approach I am taking on my mission and purpose. Seeds were planted during 2021 and I am looking forward to seeing how these areas develop.


Happy New Year!

Wishing you a happy and safe ringing in the new year. Looking forward to the new year and the next phase of my journey to help teens and parents come together to help them become the best they can be. What are you looking forward to? Please let me know in the comments below.


The Way Series - Coming of Age Novels for teen readers

This series provides a great way to start some tough discussions with your teen about hard-hitting topics like peer pressure and bullying.


The series starts with The Hard Way, a story of peer pressure, and how one student's "friend" points him toward mischief that quickly turns into real violence in their most harmful “prank” yet. This prank lands a few of the boys in juvenile detention, including Paul and Josh, two of my main characters.

Their story is continued in Shawn's Way as Paul and Josh are dealing with life after juvie, which has led to other serious consequences. While Paul wants to get his like back on track, Josh is just angry and decides to take it out on an incoming freshman, Shawn. Shawn's Way will hit hard for far too many students (actually 1 in 5), that have dealt with or continually deal with bullying as part of their every day life.


Follow this link to the books page of my website to pick up your copies. The Way Series.


Have a great week!