Yesterday was a day we will never forget! When I Pray for You hung out in the top 10 for much of the day on Amazon and then in the evening flew to the top of charts. It is current sitting at #3 of all books on Amazon – ahead of bestsellers Michelle Obama and Rachel Hollis. What in the world!?
The book did so well that Amazon inventory is temporarily out of stock, as is Target.com. Here’s the thing – lots of stores are carrying When I Pray for You. If you like to shop in stores, both Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble have it in stock. Your local independent bookstore might also have it.
Buy When I Pray for You Online
You can also find When I Pray for You online at the following places:
Wal-Mart: Free 2-day shipping on purchases of $35 or more. Order a book or two, along with some home essentials like toilet paper, toothpaste and soap and you’ll be set!
Barnes and Noble: When you go to the site, sign up for their email list to get 15% off one item. Free shipping on orders of $35 or more.
Books-A-Million: Get $10 off a $50 new release purchase with the code NEWFEB2.
Dayspring.com: Free shipping on all orders of $50 or more
Many, many people have shared that they have bought a copy of When I Pray for You for each of their children, or have ordered extras to have on hand for baby showers, graduations, birthdays, etc.
Of course, Amazon is still an option to order from – just know that you might not get your book until later this month (right now the site says in stock on Feb. 24).
Thank you, thank you for your incredible support. We were overwhelmed by so many emails and DMs from people who have already been impacted by the book. Story times across America filled with tears, love and sweet prayers. We are humbled beyond words.
Filed Under: Family
This post is sponsored by the #righttodesire campaign to bring awareness to female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder.
I remember the night I was nursing Ezra when the Huffpost article appeared in my feed. I clicked on it and there it was: diastatis recti, a tearing that happens in the abdomen, often after multiple pregnancies. It described all the symptoms I was having – low back pain, shortness of breath, the mommy pooch. I thought I was just tired from three little kids and had a pooch because of those three pregnancies.
But it had a name. And knowing that name provided me with something I could talk to my doctor about. It gave me confidence. It empowered me.
As I shared last month, I am writing a sponsored series with Right to Desire to bring about awareness of another name – hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Be sure not to confuse HYPO with HYPER. Hyper means too much, and hypo means too little. I’m talking about hypo — women who have little to no sexual desire.
Symptoms of HSDD
If you are wondering if you might have HSDD, consider these symptoms:
- You experience low sexual desire no matter the type of sexual activity.
- Your lower sexual desire or lower interest in sex is bothering you.
- Your level of sexual desire or interest in sex has decreased.
- You were satisfied in the past with your level of sexual desire or interest in sex, but no longer are
The key components of HSDD, including low sexual desire and related distress, can negatively impact so many important areas for women including personal attitudes, such as body image and self confidence. This can then lead to interpersonal difficulties, such as feeling less connected to a partner.
Multiple studies show the brain controls desire differently in women with HSDD vs. women with healthy sexual desire. Brain scans show markedly less activity in areas of the brain that are important in sexual response for women who suffer from HSDD. I never realized that desire resides in the brain, although that makes total sense. For some women, their brains may be working against them when it comes to sex. I like the way the doctor explains it in this super short video:
Find a Doctor Who Understands HSDD
If HSDD is something that connects with you, I want to encourage you to broach this topic with your primary care physician or OBGYN because the reality is that many doctors aren’t introducing this topic on their own. Or, if you’d rather get immediate access to a doctor who truly understands HSDD, the Right to Desire website offers a telemedicine component, which gives you access to a doctor right from the confines of your home. I love telemedicine!
The Right to Desire website has a lot of other great info about HSDD as well. I really like the simple quiz it offers, which is a great start. They also just launched a funny video that brings levity to this serious topic (don’t watch with kids around).
I hope that for some of you, reading about HSDD is like when I read about diastasis recti. It’s that a-ha! What I am feeling has a name. I am not alone. And I can get help for this.
Because you are NOT alone.
Win a $250 Amazon Gift Card
Tonight at 6 pm CST, I’ll be joining the Mom It Forward team for a twitter party about #RighttoDesire. Get more info here. You can win a $250 Amazon gift card. YEOW!
Filed Under: You
This post is sponsored by Regions Bank, member FDIC. All thoughts are my own.
2019 marks my 13th year blogging. I started blogging in 2006 as a way to connect with out of state family and to share various scrapbooking projects I made. When I got pregnant in 2007, the blog took a natural turn to me writing about motherhood, baby Elias and products I loved. As I invested more time and financial resources into this space, it became apparent that I needed to begin monetizing the site so that it was a profitable.
The Mom Creative is still a passion project for me, but it is also a business. This site costs thousands to keep up and running, so monetizing it is important!
If you are looking to make money as a blogger/online influencer, here are ten tips for doing it well:
Diversify your income: Don’t put all your eggs in one monetization basket. I’ve known bloggers invest nearly exclusively in one revenue stream, only to have something change, like the Facebook algorithm, and they lost thousands of dollars. Some of the ways I monetize are through affiliate links, sponsored posts, ads, courses, and spokesperson contracts.
Stay true to your brand and passions: Never take money for something that isn’t totally aligned with you and your platform. Doing so will alienate your audience and make you feel icky! I only say yes to brands that I love and believe in because the trust I have earned with my audience is more important than a paycheck.
Treat your platform like the business it is: If you are monetizing your platform, then it is a business. Treat it as such. Be professional with your clients (if you work with agencies/brands), send invoices on time, track your expenses and income, etc.
Plan for taxes: This is definitely part of treating your platform like a business, but it is so important that I wanted to give it its own bullet point. Self-employment taxes are no joke! It is critical to plan for these taxes and pay them on time. Read this article for more about planning for self-employment taxes.
Invest in your business: From technology to continuing education, if you want to continue to grow, it is important to invest in your business. These investments can also help with self-employment tax write-offs. Some of the ways I invest in my business include web development, blogging conferences, tech tools, and social media support.
Budget for a variable income: In my 13 years as a blogger, I have learned that it is very important to budget for a variable income. Some months will be more lucrative than others. You will definitely have clients that pay late. Certain months will be more lucrative than others. Read this article for more tips on budgeting when your income is different every month.
Pay attention to metrics: For a lot of people, numbers aren’t fun, but is business, they are necessary. It is important to pay attention to things like clicks, conversions, and traffic so that you know what is resonating with your audience, what is financially lucrative, etc. Make sure to keep up with your metrics so that you can make smart decisions for where to invest your energy.
Remember, online work is not one size fits all: Just because someone monetizes one way, doesn’t mean that same tactic will work for you. Be willing to try new things, but also recognize that not all monetization strategies are a fit for everyone. For instance, I have a friend that does a lot of work consulting with other bloggers. People have asked me to do the same, but because of my day job and other priorities, consulting isn’t a fit for me.
Network with other influencers: One of the biggest benefits of working as an online influencer are the people I have met. Networking has resulted in contracts with brands, smart business advice, and dear friendships. I am involved in multiple Facebook groups that have helped me with my business, including Courage to Earn, Permission to Hustle, and That Pitch Life.
Be generous: My biggest piece of advice is to be as generous as you can. Share people’s content and good news. Introduce contacts to others that would be a good fit for a brand. Host giveaways to bless your audience. Donate goods to organizations in your community. The old saying is definitely true – what goes around, comes around.
Working online has been one of my life’s greatest privileges. I am humbled every day that people visit my website and engage with me on social media. I am also extremely proud of the work that I produce, the relationships that I have cultivated, and the way that I run my business. Thank YOU for reading this post and being a part of this community.
If you are an online influencer, what would you add to this list? Or, do you have any stories related to the tips shared above? If so, please leave a comment.
Thank you to Regions Bank, member FDIC, for sponsoring this post. Regions Next Step resources can provide you the financial know-how to clarify your goals and take positive strides toward them: because when your confident about your financial decisions, your money goes further – and so do you. Next Step insights offer advice, guidance and tools to help breakdown any financial target into manageable and achievable steps. Visit www.regions.com/nextstep to find insights, tools and other financial wellness resources.
February marks a big month for our family because Matthew’s new children’s book When I Pray for You releases on February 19!
If it’s possible to pick a favorite of Matthew’s children’s books (this is his third), When I Pray for You is my favorite. I have cried nearly every time he’s read it.
When I Pray for You celebrates the dreams, hopes, and longings parents pray over their children, and shares with the little ones how much care and concern a loved one feels for them. It opens with a mom praying over her baby and as the book progresses, the child grows and the prayers change. It is a poignant, powerful read.
From the moment I saw you,
I started to pray.
Big prayers and small ones have sent God’s way.
I prayed you felt safe,
full of joy and content.
When I whispered “I love you,”
you knew what I meant.
Trust me when I say this is a book you will read to your child again and again. It is a book you will want to own and for the next two weeks, the publisher is offering a special free gift for preorders that you are not going to want to miss.
Preorder When I Pray for You and get Matthew’s book When God Made Light for free (including free shipping)! We have been doing book launches for more than a decade and I truly think this is the most awesome incentive. TWO BOOKS for the price of one, with free shipping on your gift.
Here’s how to get your FREE book.
Preorder When I Pray for You on Amazon ($9.55 + free shipping if you have Prime), Target ($8.73 + 5% discount and free shipping if you have a Red Card), Barnes and Noble ($11.46) or Books-A-Million (11.99).
Fill out the form on this page for your free copy of When God Made Light. You will need to include your order number for When I Pray for You, so keep that handy.
What’s next: On (or about) February 19, you’ll receive When I Pray for You from the retailer you ordered it from. Your free book will ship by the end of March from Waterbrook. Your book will NOT come from the retailer you bought When I Pray for You.
This offer is only available through February 18 and is limited to one book request per mailing address/household.
I really hope you will take advantage of this preorder offer. I am 1000% sure you are going to love this book. It is a book that you will want for your kids and you’ll want to gift for baby showers, birthday parties, graduations, etc. It is SO, SO beautiful.
Filed Under: Frugal Living
Over winter break, Elias, Adeline and I stayed at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville for a hosted one-night staycation to experience their new Soundwaves water park. We were so grateful that Opryland invited us to come. Because we usually stay at AirBNB’s, it was such a fun experience for the kids to stay in a hotel, especially one as beautiful as Opryland.
About SoundWaves in Nashville
First, about the waterpark itself. SoundWaves is currently an indoor-only water park in Nashville, that includes a multi-waterslide tower, FlowRider® surfing, rapid and lazy rivers, pools for kids and adults, rock climbing, VR experiences, restaurants, private cabanas and more. Essentials like locker rooms with showers, lockers, life vests for kids and inexperienced swimmers, towels, and a restaurant are also available.
With its modern design, it truly is an upscale experience. I have been to many waterparks over the course of my life and have never experienced one as beautiful and well-thought-out as SoundWaves. Palm trees are throughout and the 80 degree temperature makes you feel like you are outside. The park also includes floor to ceiling windows and skylights, flooding it with natural light.
Music is definitely a part of the SoundWaves experience, with a mix of pop and new country throughout. The music is tailored to the different areas, such as upbeat pop for the waterslides and more easy, down-tempo songs for the lazy river. I really thought the music added a lot to the environment. I loved it.
In May 2019, SoundWaves will open an additional 106,000 square feet of outdoor attractions, including a 315,000-gallon wave pool with a massive LED screen, kids pool with a multi-level play structure, adults-only pool, restaurants, private cabanas and more. This opening will make it the first upscale indoor/outdoor resort water attraction in the U.S., featuring four acres of attractions and amenities. We cannot WAIT to go back.
Currently, you can also visit SoundWaves if you stay overnight at the hotel. I did some research and found that Davidson County residents can receive discounts up to 40 percent off by registering here: www.GaylordOprylandResidents.com. You could also save money buy bringing food for your hotel room (our room was equipped with a mini fridge). SoundWaves’ policy says no food or drink can be brought into the park, though I did see a few families who had snacks in their bags.
Our Favorites at SoundWaves
Honestly and truly, we loved freakin’ everything. If I sound like I am gushing it is because Gaylord Opryland’s SoundWaves exceeded my expectations in every way. One of my favorite parts of SoundWaves is that its size is perfect to get the complete experience. When we visited, we didn’t find it overcrowded, which meant that, while there were lines, we never waited long – even for our favorite slides.
The most popular ride is the FlowRider, a ride the simulates surfing. When doors opened at 11, this was the ride most people went running for. Know that you need to sign a release to ride it, so that takes a few minutes to do on an ipad. You only need to do it once for the duration of your time at SoundWaves. Elias, Adeline and I all loved it.
One of the things I was most impressed with about the FlowRider was how attentive the staff were to making sure every person was prepared for the ride.
The kids and I all had different staff and every single one was kind and thorough. It really made what was already a great experience even better.
Groovin’ Lagoon Activity Pool
Adeline LOVED the rock wall, which was in the “Groovin’ Lagoon Activity Pool.” I think she walked across it half a dozen times. Also in that area was a lilypad rope walk, which Elias crushed.
The park has two rivers – a traditional lazy river that you enjoy in an inner tube and the “Up Tempo Rapids River” which is a river with a strong current that you swim in. The Rapids River was unlike anything I have ever experienced at a waterpark. It was super fun and we did it no less than a dozen times.
The waterslides were also awesome. We did them again and again, screaming with joy over and over.
The park also has an excellent kids play area called “Quarter Note Cove.” Though at 10 and 7, Elias and Adeline loved it, going down the slides and enjoying being drenched by the bucket dump.
How to Maximize Your SoundWaves Visit
I’ll be honest, we were really not prepared well for our stay in terms of how to maximize your Gaylord Opryland SoundWaves visit in Nashville. I hope by reading this post you will be! When we stayed SoundWaves was open 11 am – 8 pm (according to what I found on the website, during certain times of year they open at 10 am instead of 11 am). You can visit the park as soon as you check-in, so I would recommend checking in as early as possible, so you can enjoy a full afternoon/evening at the park. We didn’t plan for this (we assumed the park would open at like 9 am) and checked in at 6:30 pm. Big mistake. By the time we got through a very long check-in line, it was after 7 and the kids decided they didn’t want to get into swim suits and do the park for what would have amounted to 40 minutes.
Because of the extremely late opening time of the park, we were awake for HOURS waiting for it to open. This was frustrating as a mom of young kids, since our reason for coming was the waterpark. Had I done better research, we would have definitely planned our schedule differently to have enjoyed it the day we checked in. I really think Opryland needs to reevaluate the opening time to be competitive with waterparks like Great Wolf Lodge, which open at 9 am.
A line started forming for the park around 30 minutes before opening.
You are given wristbands to enter the waterpark, but here is the important thing to know. Wristbands deactivate at noon (unless you are staying another night at the hotel). That’s right. So we checked in the night before and only had essentially an hour at the park before our bands would deactivate. But, here’s the catch! As long as you stay in the park, you are fine to enjoy everything. Just don’t plan to leave the park to check out or go to a restaurant, then go back in because your wristband won’t work.
We checked out at 10 am and had the bellhop hold our bags. We took a bag into the park with a change of clothes in it and planned to eat at the restaurant within SoundWaves. We stayed from 11 – 4, got dressed in the locker room and then departed the hotel.
Recap: Check-in early and do the park in the afternoon/evening. The next day, plan to stay in the park as long as possible without leaving because your wristband won’t work for long!
I hope this helps you as you plan a visit to Gaylord Opryland’s SoundWaves in Nashville. It is a remarkable waterpark. Visiting was an experience my family won’t ever forget. My kids proclaimed it to be the best indoor waterpark ever and are begging to go back.