Monday, July 27, 2015

Mind of Her Own by Brandmeyer



Mind of Her Own by Diana Leslie Bandmeyer was a delight to read. In fact, once I really got started in it, I finished in a day or two. The style of writing is easy to follow and descriptive. I enjoyed the story of Louisa/Jazz, even though some parts of the plot were a easy to see coming.

Louisa is the picture of perfection in regards to being a stay at home mom. She has a tidy home with tidy children. She is struggling with her relationship with husband who is busy trying to obtain partnership at his law firm. Very quickly in the story, Louisa receives a bonk on the noggin and forgets who she is. When she does remember herself it turns out her name is Jazz Sweet, a novelist living single and fancy free in Florida.
Jazz tries her best to live up to the standards that Louisa has created for herself, but fails over and over. Jazz and her family begin to struggle with how much they enjoy each other more than they enjoyed Louisa. Brandmeyer does a good job of expressing that struggle.
 The story encouraged me to think about my own personal life decisions. Am I letting the past dictate whether or not I enjoy my family and home today? Should I let go of events that have hurt me in order to become more of my true self?
Overall, Mind of Her Own is a great book. I wish that it would have taken a little longer to wrap up. It felt a little too tidy at the end or maybe compressed. The struggle was resolved a bit too quickly for me. But as I said, it was a fun, fast read and it really got me thinking about my own choices in life.

A copy of this book was provided to me by Tyndale House Publishing. The opinions expressed are my own and are never required to be positive or negative, they just are.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Daze

I'm on Facebook. Sometimes I think that might be a mistake, but I go there, I check things, read about people I know, write down stuff. I see what others are sharing and it's mainly all the fun stuff. You know the water parks and vacations and things of that nature. And I'm over here thinking, "Well, we made it out of the house for groceries this week."
It's not that we've been awfully sick or busy, though those things have been occurring. It's just been a lazy kind of summer for us. I see it flashing by in other people's posts on Facebook and I think that maybe I should go do something fun with my little tribe. And instead we end up spending the day playing with Legos or watching way too many episodes of Good Mythical Morning or How It Should Have Ended. Quite honestly, I think this summer could have used a few more naps so far, but I've only got today to deal with.
I guess what I'm saying is that LOTS of things have been happening this summer, people have had babies, got new pets, learned out to drive, got wet in public pools, but for the most part, we've been doing nothing much. Just hanging out, not really taking advantage of the 90 degree and below weather. I haven't even been working in the yard. It overwhelmed me with its minutia this year, so I decided to let it become overgrown so that I could have a big project again.
Maybe summer isn't supposed to be all kinds of adventures and endless evenings on the deck. Maybe it's just supposed to be for us. Because honestly, that what's it's been, just a little bit of nothing on endless repeat. And I kind of like it.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

101 Things Every Girl Should Know by faithgirlz



One of my favorite sections in magazines growing up was the advice column. I even read a great deal of Ann Landers, though I had no clue as to what most people were griping about at the time. 101 Things Every Girl Should Know is a great compilation of the most pressing questions girls have.

It covers everything from homework, to etiquette, to self care. And it's not just a list of answers, it's full of colorful and fun photographs, several different fonts, and additional tips beyond the big answer.
My favorite is "How to Make a Birthday Cake From Scratch" which has directions for a two layer cake and frosting. It could just be all the fun sprinkles on the cake that make it look so fantastic.

If you have a young lady in your life that is interested in finding some answers, this is a great book, it will probably help with questions she didn't even know she had.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer is Almst Here!

You wouldn't know it from the weather today, but summer really is almost here. I'm pretty sure that winter is done for the time being and spring is being her normal self, which is basically that of a pre-menopausal woman, complete with hot flashes and restless legs.
I was okay with the listlessness for awhile, but it's starting to cause an itch. We've been recovering from the end of all our "school year" activities. It amazes me that even though programs are for homeschool kids, they still manage to follow public school schedules.
We've been reminiscing over our home buying experience lately. Today is the one year anniversary of the offer being accepted and the mad dash to close by June 30th. On Saturday, we pulled out some roots of overgrown bushes that we cut out last year. We decided to get some more tools to help us before attempting all the other roots that we need to remove. Friends have told us that we can use some of their stuff that will make the job "much easier." Considering that we did the first two with a shovel and some loppers, just about any tool will make it easier.
Once that project is completed in probably another month or two, it will be time for me to finally decide what to do with the front yard beds. Why did no one mention that yard work never ends?
In other news, I'm in a personal period of discernment. God created a pretty big void for me to just be with no pressing responsibilities. I'm hoping that He speaks into the void and lets me know what I'm supposed to be doing with myself. Until then, I guess, I'll be out digging in the dirt.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Centralia by Mike Dellosso





First off, I should probably tell you that I love the Bourne Identity movies, all of them. I've watched them all several times and have enjoyed them all. Now, the books, I was never able to get past the first chapter. It's been a long time since I tried, so I don't really remember why at this point, but I was a little sad that I didn't enjoy them as much as the movies at the time.
With all that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Mike Dellosso's Centralia. And I'm a little disappointed that I have to wait until 2016 to read the next installment! 
The story starts out with Peter Ryan awaking and looking for his wife and child, who he assumes have left early for the day. But after a phone call to a friend, he discovers that they were in a car accident two months ago. Ryan has an intense feeling that something isn't right and after discovering a note from his daughter that leads him on a journey to discover them, the adventure begins.
Ryan weaves his way through a seemingly never ending web of lies that he has been told and believes. He continues searching for his wife and daughter, knowing deep within him that they are alive and that finding them will help answer all of the questions that  keep bubbling up.
The story is fast paced and full of twists and turns. Ryan's faith plays an integral part of the story and ultimately becomes the key for the answers he's been searching for.

Highly recommend this book, especially if you're into government conspiracy theories or action mysteries. It's a great weekend read!

A copy of this book was provided to me by Tyndale Publishing House for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Redo Your Room by Faithgirlz! and Girls' Life Magazine



I've got a tween living in my home. My sweet little girl that was perfectly happy with pink comforters and no window treatments is growing up. This book was a perfect answer to her desire to make her room her own, without much monetary investment on my part.
One of the things that I really liked about this book is that it's not just about making over your room, but how to clear your space for new things and how to start conversations about changing your room with your parents. 
The projects are all very cute and relatively simple to complete. There is a lot of washi tape involved as well as creativity. We won't be using all of the projects, but there are enough of them to make the book worthwhile.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

It Happens

Since my last "real" post in October, we got pregnant! Yeah! And had another miscarriage. Boo! 
Mostly, after I tell people the second part I add "It happens." People seem a little shocked, maybe I'm a little shocked but I rest in the reminder that this thing that I'm going through isn't totally unique, miscarriages happen. 
Yes, me, my particular circumstance is unique, but the reality of it is quite common, especially ladies my age. I feel for those couples that for one reason or another are going through fertility treatments and having miscarriages. It seems doubly painful to be paying for this type of grief on top of everything else that happens. The medical system should refund time and money when infertility treatments end in a miscarriage.
Anyway, that's not my story, it's an aside. Much easier to get worked up over other people lately. Probably because this pregnancy brought a little postpartum with its miscarriage. I'm working through it and it is hard work some days. Add in some PMS and I'm sure my family is just delighted to see my head hit the pillow some nights. 
I have a hard time writing it, but God is good. I want to say still good, but the truth is that's never been in question. God has been constant, it's me that waivers. It's always been me that's been in question. Am I going to have faith that God is good? Where am I going to put my hope? Can I love myself and be selfless at the same time? I waiver, but God's constancy is there, helping me to stand in the constant waves. Lately, I've felt a little trapped in the undertow with my head underwater. Learning that it's okay to feel that way, I haven't lost my foundation. I'll wash up, the tide will turn. My rock is constant. The walls may have fallen in the storm, but the house still stands.