Life and Death Brings Full Circle (Book Review)

I feel as though I have come full circle here on this blog.

My very second blog post was written on August 17, 2008, over 7 years ago. Guess what it was about?  I titled it I CAN read fiction! (Click on title to read the post…it’s not long, very short.) In summary it was about me devouring the Twilight series. (No groaning allowed 😉 )

Spine of Life and Death FamilyBringsJoy.comStephenie Meyer released a 10 year anniversary edition of Twilight last week. Guess I was 3 years late finding it. I’m glad because I was able to read all the books in a row. It would have been very difficult to wait in between books to see what would happen next…especially between New Moon and Eclipse.

Anyway, included in the 10 year anniversary edition is a bonus book titled Life and Death, subtitled Twilight Reimagined. I had no idea what to think about this. Stephenie changed Bella into Beau and Edward into Edythe. It was a gender swap. However, it doesn’t mean all she did was change the names. Edythe and Beau are different personalities. I read some reviews the day it came out. Reviewers were bashing Stephenie saying all she did was change the names. This is not true. The beginning of Life and Death does start the same as Twilight, but there are changes to the story along the way. For example, Twilight is all about a love triangle between Edward, Jacob and Bella. There is no love triangle in Love and Death. Jacob’s character has a double in the reimagined version named Julie, but there is hardly a relationship between Julie and Beau. They are basically acquaintances. That is the only spoiler I will reveal. Except, hear me when I say this: THE ENDING IS NOT THE SAME AS TWILIGHT.

Life and Death familybringsjoy.comPersonally, I felt in a sense, it was ALMOST like I was reading Twilight for the first time again. I’m sure it helps that it’s been 7 years since I read it. However, again, the change of the genders does make it different. Interestingly enough, even though there is no relationship between Julie & Beau, there wasn’t as much exchange between Edythe and Beau as between Edward and Bella…not as sappy. I like sappy though. It was still good. I believe any true Twilight fan will appreciate this bonus book. I wasn’t expecting it, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I will forever be grateful for the imaginary world of Twilight. It has opened my world to fantasy fiction…an escape I love. Somehow, though, I’m not sure there will ever be another series like Twilight in my lifetime. I have yet to find one in the 7 years since reading it.

Thank You Stephenie Meyer,

Helpful Ways to Encourage Fitness

I’m running again!

It’s a good thing, because I can’t fit into any of my clothes. I can’t stand going shopping for new clothes if I have to go up a couple of sizes. Boo!  I don’t care how cute the outfit is, if I have bigger hips or thighs or whatever…it doesn’t look good on me.

Weight gain doesn’t usually make for the best of running circumstances. It’s harder to run pulling that extra weight along. But, I have some helpful strategies I’m using I thought I would share.

  1. Run when it’s cooler.  You might be thinking duh! Well, it makes a huge difference. It was in the 60’s this morning and it felt heavenly! The hotter it is, the more difficult the run…at least for me.
  2. MUSIC! I’m going to share a few of my Pandora stations I’ve been listening to lately that carry me through: Alternative Endurance Training Radio, Dance Cardio Radio & Summer Hits 2015 Road Trip Radio.
  3. NingXia Nitro fbj44 familybringsjoy.comYoung Living’s NingXia Nitro! This dietary supplement has become a staple in my home. Nitro contains naturally occurring caffeine and Bioenergy’s D-Ribose to support athletic performance and endurance. Bioenergy Ribose supports physical performance, recovery and increases overall energy reserves. (These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Young Living products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.) Speaking for myself, I know it has helped me with my running among other things, but for this post we are talking about running/exercising.
  4. Fitness fbj44 familybringsjoy.comYoung Living’s Fitness Oil. The INFUSED Fitness™ Inspired by Oola essential oil blend has been specially formulated to uplift, energize, and give you the inspiration to set and achieve your strength and fitness goals. I added a roller ball to this oil bottle. This way I can roll it on quickly before I leave the house to go to the gym or run outside. I’ve seen a difference when I use this oil.
  5. Have a mantra. Today’s mantra was “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Sometimes it might be “I think I can” repeated several times.  It’s good to have a mantra to recite when you feel like stopping. When I recite my mantra in my mind over and over while running, it helps me pull through times when I want to quit.

It’s difficult mentally when I remember how I used to be able to run many miles without stopping. Running is easier when you realize mind over body matters quite a bit. I was happy when I was able to run a certain path without stopping today. It’s good to celebrate small milestones along the way. I’m telling myself, if I could do it once, I can do it again. Good self talk and praise is very important to keep you going, not just today, but for many days of future physical fitness.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to go to Young Living’s yearly convention. Something presented to me in that convention has changed my thinking about daily exercise.  A doctor, Olivier Wenker, asked:

Slide from YL convention

Yes, I was at the end of my chair wanting to know the answer:

30 minutes a day

Ta da! Isn’t that awesome?!  So on the days I’m not running much, when the majority of my exercise is walking, I don’t feel bad. I’m doing something very good for myself. Hubby always says, “some exercise is ALWAYS BETTER than no exercise.” So even if I’m not losing weight or inches, I am REDUCING Alzheimers, progression to diabetes, cancers, hip fractures, anxiety & depression (big one for me,) arthritis pain, and premature death.

Otherwise, I love the following graphic I found on pinterest:

no matter how slow you go you are still lapping everyone on the couch

P.S.: You can read all my posts about running by clicking on the category to the left sidebar (towards the top) called “Running Brings Joy.” 😉

P.S.S.: You can purchase Young Living products through me by going to or click here to be directed there.

Walking & Running Bring Joy,

Old People Music

wrapped gifts for my mom

This last weekend was heavenly. Many of my family members, including both sets of parents came to visit us this weekend.  I can’t begin to explain the joy it brought me to have everyone here. I would find myself smiling as laughter wafted through the house. The main reason which brought family in town was […]

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I’ts My Birthday & I’ll Cry If I Want To


I’ve been on this earth now for 45 years.  It’s surreal.  I’m kind of having a hard time with that today. It’s not really because I’m closer to 50 than 40.  It’s not the age thing.  It’s the lack of celebrating thing.  I like Birthdays.  I like to make birthdays special for the people around […]

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Audio Books Rock

I have a confession to make. I’m an audio book junkie. Yep, that’s all. I’m still alive.

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Teaching Your Children How to be Financially Successful

Teaching Your Children How to be Financially Successful

I came across a very intriguing post recently.  So much so that I feel it important to share on my blog today.  The post is titled Will Your Child be Rich or Poor? 15 Poverty Habits Parents Teach Their Children.  The title alone definitely peaked my interest.  I immediately wanted to find out if I […]

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