The Day I Got Dressed Up as a Book

It’s here!!!! I remember seeing this dress on Facebook and thinking how it was so out of my reach. Little did I know that God heard even that small cry of my heart.

Alright, I’m being a little dramatic over a dress. But it’s not JUST a dress. It’s a reminder that in just over TWO WEEKS I’ll be at the ACFW conference in Nashville – another miracle. I didn’t think I’d be able to go. Like I also didn’t think I’d ever afford such a cool handmade dress from Etsy.

Well, once realizing I’d be able to spend a whole weekend SANS KIDS in a nice hotel for the sole purpose talking/thinking/hearing about writing (THANKYOUJESUS), I wanted to find a dress for their gala night. I thought one of my casual dresses would work, but a few texts with my author (also conference-attendee) friend Betsy St. Amant confirmed my fears: I only had day dresses. I needed a NIGHT one. Gosh, I hadn’t worn one of those in years.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was looking forward to shopping. But in the back of my head, I still had that picture I’d seen on Facebook – “the dress that got away” (’cause I was too poor for it lol).

So with my faith like a mustard seed, I looked it up on Etsy, juuust in case there’d be a crazy sale or something. Guess what – there was!! And get this: there was only ONE left. In MY size. I just about died. (and prayed my heart out it’d actually fit)

Now I’m happy to report that I have received the dress and yes, it does zip all the way! :D

book dress

It has a passage from “Wuthering Heights” (please forgive the kids’ bathroom dirty mirror :)

I CANNOT WAIT to actually enjoy a gala dinner at the conference this time. On the two I’ve been to before, I was too nervous to have any fun at all. The first was during my first conference and I’d been feeling self-conscious throughout the whole weekend (plus I was 6 months pregnant so I felt huge).  The other was in 2012 when I won Genesis in the Contemporary Fiction category – and I know, that’s awesome, but I was PETRIFIED. So afraid of either losing or winning (’cause then I’d have to get up there). Plus I had a baby to go back to in my hotel room, so it’s not like I could party all night.

This time I can!! Wooohooo (though the thought of sleeping sounds more exciting to me). Even if I don’t, I CAN lol. I’ll have no baby (or milk) in, out or around me anymore. Not complaining about those days, but they did keep me from being completely present in the moment. But this time, nothing can stop me. I’ll be there, selfie-ing and twirling my “book dress” (as I affectionally call it) around. Should be some nice footage for my Youtube channel!

Speaking of which, have you seen my latest video? It’s not writing-related, but still fun, if I may say so myself :). Check it out:

Writer friends – will I see you at the conference? And everyone, have you ever bought a piece of clothing that meant so much more than the actual thing? Please let me know in the comments (just click on the number next to the title).

Hope y’all are having a great Summer,




Happy First Week of Summer!

How’s yours so far? Keeping cool? We’re trying, although in Texas that means more trips to Target and Chick-fil-A than we can afford :).

Wish I could say I’m an outdoorsy mom who doesn’t mind melting in 98 degree weather all day at the park. But instead, I’m on the hunt for as many air conditioned activities as we can find. We did start a tradition of going to the pool in our apartment complex on weekends (when I have David’s extra hands to keep everyone safe). That was even more special last Sunday, while we celebrated Father’s Day.

Speaking of Father’s Day, I also posted another video earlier last week, thinking about those of us missing a daddy right now (or loving someone who does). Please check it out and share with anyone needing to feel wanted (don’t we all?).

As always, if you click on the little *SUBSCRIBE* button I’ll be forever grateful. Numbers help a lot, especially when you’re starting out, so I really appreciate y’all’s support!!

Hope you’re having a fun Summer so far,



What do You Think of Subscription Boxes?

During my last pregnancy, in a desperate attempt to think of something other than how uncomfortable I felt waddling around a toddler and a preschooler, I signed up to the now extinct “Mommies First.” Every month I’d get a couple treats for myself, along with at least one for the kids. It was awesome, totally worth the money.

But somewhere along caring for 3 children, I stopped needing an automated reminder to take care of myself. Now, if I need a treat, I’ll go get it, thankyouverymuch (not as often as I’d like, of course, since I have kids to feed). Knowing I’m done having kids has helped me see myself beyond motherhood – which I think is part of the purpose of these boxes for moms (or women in general).

So on my birthday month, I decided to be extra nice to myself and try out a subscription box again. I like that Mommy Mailbox lets you order a single box without auto-enrollment. They also post the box’s contents so if you really must, you can see what you’re getting.

I did a video on their still-available June edition. Check it out! When you’re done, please be a darling and click on that subscribe button :).

How I Changed My Mind About Food

I never used to think about what I ate. The idea seemed too far-fetched to me – like a waste of time that could’ve been spent eating :). But I forgot to make the connection between what I put in my body with the way my body – and emotions – reacted in return.

In my latest video I talk about the mind shift that changed it all. When I realized I could take charge of my own health, and actually become the person I was supposed to be. Check it out, *SUBSCRIBE* and share it with your friends who might be going through the same!

My Girly Day With Author Betsy St. Amant

You know that friend that you can text whBlog postether you’re having an existential crisis or just a random thought?

As an introvert (a Brazilian one, so that means I have no filter, but I’m still an introvert), I don’t have too many of those. It’s a huge miracle I got married because I need a LOT of alone time. And it takes a very special person for me to be willing to share my lazy Saturday in Barnes & Noble with.

Well, one of those select people in my life happens to be also one of my favorite authors! I don’t think she knows this, but I still get slightly starstruck whenever I see Betsy St. Amant in person. Then I remembered we’ve texted enough about the grossest sides of parenthood and remember this life-sized Barbie is indeed human :).

This great friend drove three whole hours to celebrate the last day of my birthday week with me. We had a just-because makeover at the Hair Bar and Sephora before ending up in our natural habitat: the bookstore, of course.

If you haven’t read Betsy’s books yet, you’re SO missing out. They’re warm, fun and so insightful about human emotions, just like her. I’d start out with her latest – Love Arrives in Pieces – about a former beauty queen rebuilding her life after heartbreak.

Now here’s a little video of our adventures that day! I’d love it if you opened it up on youtube clicked on the red “subscribe” button. It helps me out a LOT (and it’ll let you know whenever I have a new video).

Talk to you more later!



Check Out Our Youtube Channel!

This blog is being revived today for the purpose of…..***drum roll***

Introducing the Hush! Mom’s Writing youtube channel:

Don’t forget to hit SUBSCRIBE!!

Talk to you again very soon,


Purpose for the Imperfect

home alone

Read this post before you think this! :)

I was obsessed with Home Alone when I was little. Watching it is probably one of my most vivid memories of Christmas growing up.

Funny thing is, back then I identified with Kevin – now, watching it again after all these years, I of course feel for the mom.

Can you imagine the trauma of making such a mistake? Forgetting your child behind as you fly out of the country? In a time when there were no cellphones?? I’d never forgive myself. Probably spoil him rotten so much afterwards that he’d be the 40-year-old living in my basement.

Guilt is pretty much part of the package in being a mom. There always seems to be something we could’ve done better if we only were better. Thing is, we’re all imperfect people, much like our kid.

In the Bible, when we read Luke’s version of how Christmas came about (and some really interesting stories after that), we realize the most flawless mother in the world probably wasn’t imune to it either.

Imagine that. Mary gets the angel visit saying God decided she’s about to be a single mother (which, if it would get people talking today, imagine back then) – that is, until Joseph finally got an angel visit himself. Instead of kicking and screaming, she graciously sings a song of praise. How’s that for perfect?

Time passes, she has the baby, and then another 12 years go by. Anyone has had an AMAZING experience with God, only to forget about it once life gets in the way? The story from Luke 2:41-51 hints that maybe parenting a holy child wasn’t necessarily a walk in the park. Actually what happens resembles a lot the Home Alone movie!

Mary and Joseph are traveling with a large group of family and friends – and since they have a well-liked 12-year-old boy, they’re expecting him to be socializing. They’re expecting one of the people they trusted to be watching him.

So this goes on for an entire day (can’t you see it parallel to the McAllister family flying to Paris??), until they realize, wait a minute – where’s Jesus? (cue to Mrs. McAllister screaming “Kevin!”on the plane.)

They go back and look for him for THREE MORE DAYS until finally finding him with the teachers of the temple.

As a mom, I imagine how desperate Mary must’ve been at this point. I mean, God gives her, oh, just the Savior of the whole world, and then she loses him?? What kind of a mom am I? , she might have thought. Maybe God chose the wrong person.

It makes me chuckle how, when she finds him, Mary scolds her son (as we all would have if our kid disappeared on us, no matter how wonderful they are). While she’s there busy scolding GOD, Jesus very calmly reminds her that she should’ve known He would’ve been in his Father’s house.

Another thing that intrigues me is that  Jesus’ parents couldn’t understand what he meant right away. I wonder if maybe they’d already gotten used to seeing Him as more their boy than really God’s son. I’m sure deep down they hadn’t forgotten what He was, but in the heat of the moment, maybe the grandiosity of it slipped their minds.

How often does this happens to us too? In life’s everyday’s inconveniences or mistakes we make, we forget we’ve actually been called to do what we’re doing. That if you’re a mom, God has appointed that child to you just as He did Jesus to Mary – and no, He does not make any mistakes.

This Christmas, my prayer for myself and all the moms I know is that we won’t live in fear as if it all depends on us being perfect. That the fact that we’re human does not take away any of the glory – or, as the world likes to call it, magic :) – of what God’s given us. And just as Mary did once she found her boy, that we’ll treasure all these things in our hearts.

What to Do While You Wait

Hi! I feel like I’ve been making YOU guys wait for a new post for awhile :). Sorry about that. I had to take a little break to focus on other projects.

One of them was preparing for the ACFW conference! This time I didn’t have to travel, but that also meant I could only be there for a day (since there were still kids waiting for me at home). But still, I had a TON of fun catching up with people I usually only interact with online.

Among the many perks of going to an acfw conference: new friends and new shoes!

Among the many perks of going to an acfw conference: new friends and new shoes!

It’s hard to go back to the “real world” after conference. You go from a high of being surrounded by people who inspire you, to back at having to inspire/push yourself.

No one will be there to check whether you’re investing in your writing or not. Only YOU will know – well, you and God.

I’ve discovered that it is actually more important to maintain a Bible-reading/praying routine than a writing routine. Because after you take care of that essencial, everything else you need will come naturally.

Case in point: yesterday, with a big sleep-deprived headache, I braved through my next Bible chapter while drinking coffee and trying to keep 2 of my kids from killing each other.

I wanted nothing more than to close and go watch a silly video on youtube. Ear phones sounded like a dream. I wasn’t in the mood for reading about how Paul was stranded at sea – not that it wasn’t a good story, but it just seemed too heavy of a subject for my drowsy morning.

Chapter 27 of Acts describes how the boat that took him as a prisoner to Rome got caught in such a bad storm they gave up all hope of being saved. Paul encouraged them, saying he had a vision that God would allow all of them to survive. He did say, though, that “unless these man stay with the ship, you cannot be saved” (verse 31) – so they went as far as cutting off the lifeboat and let it drift away.

He also told them to eat, instead of being afraid of running out of food. Not only they ate all they wanted, but they even lightened the boat by throwing grain into the sea. Soon after that they reached land.

When I read this story, I didn’t have the presence of mind to see any connection to my life. What did that have to with ME? I just needed caffeine. And a nap.

But today, as I woke up more rested, the meaning of it just came to me. This chapter is the perfect manual guide on what to do when we are waiting.

When we feel stranded – not knowing when or how we’ll reach any destination, let alone the one we want. And mind you, the people in the boat were far from perfect: only prisoners and people hired to kill the prisoners if necessary.

Still, God saved them all – if only they would believe He could.

This shows us the 3 basic steps we need to take while we wait (which is an ACTIVE thing to do, not passive!):

  1. Stay on The Boat – fix your eyes on the Place where salvation will come from;
  2. Cut out Temptation to Get Out of the Boat – even if it looks as necessary as a lifeboat in a storm;
  3. Lighten up, and enjoy the ride! – Am I the only one who loves it that eating was part of the plan? :) And just like they threw the grains into the sea to lighten up the ship, we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow either – because we WILL reach our destination.

What about you? What do YOU do while you wait?

Work Out-Motivation Killers

blog postIf you read my last post, then you’re aware of my trying-to-get-fit journey. If not, well, not much to tell lol. I’ve only been at it for a month, BUT as I’m working out every single day (missed only one), I’d like to share what’s kept me motivated.

I’ve tried to do this many times before. And I always thought that the reason why I didn’t stick with it was because I wasn’t a naturally fit person (whatever that means). But now I’m so excited ’cause I think I really found my groove.

Speaking of which, one thing I discovered is that EVERYONE has a “groove” – meaning, we were all made to MOVE. Now, we don’t all move the same way (or have the same preferences/abilities), but contrary to my previous belief, no, none of us is called be a couch potato :).

Turns out I was getting distracted by these workout-motivation killers:

Guilt – When you go “I’d better work out ’cause I’m fat,” instead of “I want to work out ’cause I know I can look better.” See the difference? Movement isn’t punishment, but a reward. Every time you set out to exercise, think that you’re giving a me-time gift to yourself, instead of a bitter beat-myself-up session. No one wants to go back to that!

Comparison – When you start obsessing over keeping up with your super fit friend who’s been at it for years. First of all, what got them there might not necessarily be what will get you there. For them jogging might be what makes them stronger, but for you might be sports, or dancing or whatever. Just try stuff out to find your thing! And don’t even think of comparing your body to theirs. Like that cheesy but true saying goes, “don’t compare your behind the scenes with someone’s highlight reel” (or your fat after a month of working out with someone’s years-long developed muscles).

*little update: on my last post, I said I’d gotten into running, but now I’m much more into strength training instead. I go light though – just 15-20 minutes every morning – but afterwards I feel ready to take on the world. I also try to go on a self-defense class once a week (another thing I had NO idea I was going to like – which is why it’s so important to experiment out of your comfort zone!).

Anxiety – When you obsess over results. I bought a scale and became frustrated whenever I worked extra hard and saw I’d gained a pound that day, or felt as bloated as ever. I started to feel down until I prayed and God reminded me of why I was doing this. The reason I decided to have a healthier living was, first and foremost, to FEEL healthier. Instead of rushing to weight myself every chance I could, I needed to stop and smell the endorphins lol. Just to be able to enjoy the day with my kids or spend days without feeling a debilitating sugar high is a reward in itself. Once I stopped letting the number on the scale dictate my mood, THAT’s when I started noticing changes (probably like that concept that if you watch the water on the stove it will never boil lol).