Monday, January 26, 2015

Winner and life right now

And the winner of the $25 Starbucks card and a copy of your favorite Paige novel goes to....

Christine Whitman-Benzenberg!

Yay!! Please email me at and I will get those to you!!

Here's what we've been up to lately:

1. Playing. Playing. Destroying my house and playing.

2. It is finally getting nicer outside, so this is about to change but when it's super cold, Parker wears his pajamas 97% of the time. The other 3% may or may not be when he's in the tub. I am not telling. Thus the fact that almost every picture is of him in his jammies. ;)

 3. Jon and I started the #Whole30 diet this morning. This was my snack when the boys were down for rest/nap time today. I usually have chocolate chips and/or Craisins or something else sweet. Morale is low. ;) Technically, you aren't supposed to have snacks but I get a small pass for nursing. Morale improved a little on finding that out but plummeted yet again when I realized what that meant. ;)

4. I am about to start another deadline and I keep finding other things to do so I don't have to start. "Oh but I MUST clean out my kitchen cabinets RIGHT NOW before I start the deadline!!" "Have you SEEN my laundry room?" "Yikes, the backyard..."

5. The Maya Davis series is getting a makeover! I'm soooo excited about the new look and I can't wait to show the covers to you!!

I have SO much catching up to do on here and it's just overwhelming. But in the meantime, here's what this little one has been doing on an hourly basis and I just think it's about the cutest thing:

Hello? from Erynn Mangum on Vimeo.

Ha!! Love both my chatterboxes. ;)

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Contest time!!

Happy Saturday!! I decided it is time to do a little contest!! Y'all have been SO wonderful in your sweet comments about Match Made  - a HUGE thank you to everyone who has read it!!

So here's how the contest is going to work: First, be sure you like my fan page on Facebook ( On January 24th, I'll post a picture of Match Made's cover onto the fan page. For every share, you'll be automatically entered to win a $25 Starbucks gift card (that's a lot of macchiatos!) and a free autographed copy of your choice of one of the Paige Alder books!! Want to up your chances of winning and already read Match Made?? Share the photo and then leave a review - good or bad - of Match Made on Amazon or Nook and then come back here and leave a comment letting me know you did that and you'll get your name in the hat twice. :) I'll draw the winner on Monday, January 26th!

Yay!! Good luck everyone!! And thank you for playing! :)

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Partying like it's 1985

Well, guys, I'm thirty.

Ha!! We had the best time doing a little 80's party with my family on Friday night and then having just a fun, low-key day on my actual birthday. I got spoiled rotten with presents, I got to go shopping without the boys for a little bit the next day and it was really just a much needed weekend of rest after such a crazy, hectic and insane December!!

Some of my favorite moments of the weekend:

My mom threw a 1980s birthday party for me the day before my actual birthday on Saturday and it was hilarious. :)

My brother, ladies and gentlemen!! :)

Love my parents' Top Gun outfits. :)

Ha!! These two are just fun. :)

I heart my sister.

 My dear friends Shannon and Eric came as the Reagans - hilarious.

There's really not a better sight on your 30th than these amazing donuts. Those ones on the top left are chocolate covered red velvet.

Parker got his first taste of donut and shared my opinion. ;)

The boys gave me a few presents and then we spent the rest of the day just relaxing around the house. Nathan and I built a few things, including this little "snow digger-mobile". ;)

I even had a little bit of down time while the kids napped and got to hang out with my favorite guy. :)

Then we got the kids up and dressed and headed out for a little shopping and dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and gelato (which is Parker's new favorite thing. Ha!).

Such a wonderful day!

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Saturday, January 17, 2015


Today, I enter a new decade. Today, I turn thirty.


I didn't start blogging until part way through my twenties, so I thought it might be kind of fun to go through the last decade and do a very brief highlight of what happened each year.

20 - I was taking writing classes and quietly writing Miss Match when I was supposed to be editing a suspense novel I'd written earlier. It ended up taking over and I took Miss Match to a writing conference that year and left it with an editor with a hope that gradually faded as time went by and I didn't hear anything. Highlights for this year? Spending time with my amazing family - I will forever cherish the Worst Movie Ever nights with my sister, the late night talks with my brothers and the sweet times with my parents. :)

21 - After a birthday on the beach, I went to Colorado, met my now-dear friend Melanie who worked at NavPress as an acquisitions editor and she called later to offer me a contract on the series. My dream of becoming an author was coming true! This year was also when I started working as a youth intern at my church - hands down my favorite job I've ever had (well, my favorite job that has taken place outside of my house!). My highlight of this year was going to writing conferences with my mama - we had the absolute BEST times there staying up late and eating out at places like the Cheesecake Factory. :) :)

22 - This birthday has special significance to me. My birthday this year fell on a Wednesday night which is when my parents hosted a college Bible study from our church at their house. That night, we had a visitor come to the study. His name was Jon. :) Best birthday gift I've ever received. ;)

23 - I spent my birthday planning a wedding and preparing to take a group of high-schoolers on a winter retreat. We got married in March, Jon graduated in May, I quit interning and started working at a tea room part-time while writing almost full-time during the summer, NavPress signed the Cool Beans series in September, we bought our house in November and adopted a husky puppy in December. It was a busy year. ;)

24 - We spent the majority of this year working, writing and most likely sleeping because we were married without kids. ;) We decorated the house, went out on dates and just enjoyed each other. The highlight of our year came at the end of October when we found out that my 25th year was going to grow our family by one. :)

25 - I spent my 25th birthday throwing up with terrible morning sickness and spent a good amount of the first part of this year reading What to Expect and researching everything imaginable about pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood while trying to cram in a deadline for Sketchy Behavior before July, when the best part of our year happened and our goofy, adorable Nathan was born.

26 - I don't remember very much about 26. Ha! It was spent in a cloud of Desitin, burp rags, baby food and diapers. I had one baby but felt like I had ten and I was so stressed about his schedule and nursing and milestones that I could barely see straight. So God was very good and gave me this amazing group of moms who had their heads on right and we called ourselves the Lunch Bunch and basically adopted each other. Those women were my highlight that year. NavPress also signed the Paige series this year and I added a couple of deadlines to my already harried brain. ;)

27 - This was a hard year. In May, after a year of trying, I found out I was pregnant again and we were completely overjoyed for this little one and for Nathan to be a big brother. Two months later, we lost our sweet little one and we were crushed. It took a long time for that wound to heal. But Jesus was good and God was faithful and we ended the year closer to Him than we started.

28 - Right after my 28th birthday, we started fertility treatments and spent the first part of the year spending lots of money with nothing to show for it. We stopped trying in May to take a break for the summer and to spend some time enjoying Nathan's third birthday in July. Two days before he turned three, I found out that I was shockingly expecting again and the highlight of our year came a couple of weeks later when we saw that beating heart on the ultrasound and heard our doctor say the words that brought tears to my eyes - "baby looks great".

29 - I spent my 29th birthday downing milkshakes all day because it was the only thing that stopped the awful heartburn that I had around the clock with Parker's pregnancy. After a few times trying to come early, our silly, precious Parker was born exactly one week before his due date in March and kicked off this amazing, wonderful year that has been the absolute best one of my twenties.

And so here we are. Thirty. One wonderfully sweet husband. Two adorable, crazy boys. A precious family and wonderful in-law family. Eleven novels and seven novellas. A house busting at the seams with toys, laundry, loud laughter and lots and lots of blessings.

The twenties are a weird time in life. I bought my first alcoholic drink and my first bottle of anti-aging moisturizer this past decade. I got paid as a single college girl to watch other people's kids and I now pay single college girls to watch my kids. I started off with this vague dream of someday being a real writer and not really knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up and now I hear at least eight times a day what a certain four year-old wants to be when he grows up.

The verse that completely covered my twenties was definitely Isaiah 41:10 - "‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’" I wonder what verse will become dear to me this decade??

So thankful for the dear family and friends that God has given me over these last 30 years. Can't wait to see what this next decade holds. :)

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Parker is ten months old!

I just can't even.

Our sweet boy is ten months old!! He is loud, silly, animated and loves loves LOVES to be a part of anything that's going on - whether that's playing, wrestling, laundry or eating. If we are doing it, he wants to be right there in the action. ;)

He's wearing mostly 12-month clothes though he still has a few 9-12 that he can still fit into. Such a big, healthy boy! We are so blessed.

This month had a LOT of busyness for us with the holidays and Parker was such a trooper! He stuck it out through quite a bit before he would finally let us know that he'd had enough and was ready for some Mom and Parker only time. ;)

He's still very attached to his mama, adores when Dad gets home and his favorite person on the planet is his big brother.

He is saying "Mama", "Dada", "Bubba" and he can wave hello and goodbye, clap his hands and loves to slap tables. ;) He is a crawling machine - that kid is EVERYWHERE. He pulls up every .07 seconds and has started walking along the couch or wall. Walking is coming for us SO FAST and I'm just not ready for that at all!! Our house is officially gated again. ;)

Parker loves to eat! He loves sweet potatoes, bananas, chicken and he is a HUGE fan of cheese!! He isn't big on sweets - we've let him lick off ice cream spoons and he makes a terrible face. He much prefers veggies or applesauce. He still nurses about four times a day.

Sleeping... Sweet Parker is finally doing a little better. We started the month with him getting up on average two or three times a night to nurse and about a week ago, we cut him off from night time nursing and after a rough adjustment, he's started sleeping MUCH better. I think more than anything it was just habit to wake up to eat because he would barely start nursing before he would fall back asleep. We had a rough early morning last night but all in all, he's doing much better. :)

Parker is sweet, silly, affectionate and curious. And we just absolutely adore him!!

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