Broken Goals, Glorious Plans – the “starving time” of summer

I remember a time when I decided to write daily…to read news articles, blogs, and novels. I created a huge summer reading list for myself – both fiction and non-fiction. I was excited and confident about the goals I’d set for the months ahead. It was a perfect summer project, and I needed one. Then I found out I was pregnant. Every time I tried to read a single sentence, my eyes closed, and I awoke some time later to a closed book, my place lost, and an incredulous 10-year-old. “Mom, you were out,” he said. “I came in here
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Governed by the Memoir

I love a good memoir. They’re raw, funny, sad, and real-ish. I say real-ish because memoirs are given more creative liberty than autobiographies. No one actually remembers all of those conversations, and sometimes what we remember isn’t exactly what happened. However, memoirs are based on truth, or at least the truth according to the individual writing it or according to how the individual perceived it as truth. Sounds vague, right? But the thing I love about a memoir, not only me but we as Americans love, is that the memoir is the embodiment of experience. Here in America, we worship
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Rules of Civility Book Review

Amor Towles‘ Rules of Civility, set in the late 1930’s to early 1940’s in NYC, is a descriptive portrait of life at the end of the depression. The novel depicts how people were influenced by financial crisis, how some continued to live lavishly, and how others’ lives were ruined because of what they lost during the depression. But the book isn’t just about finances, it also centers around the relationships between men and women from different classes as they struggle to find good jobs, love, and adventure in life. I picked this book up for two reasons: I’m a sucker for
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The Dinner Book Review

I’m not exactly sure where I heard about Herman Koch’s The Dinner, but for some reason it hit my Summer Reading booklist. Tyler got it for me for our anniversary, and I read it within 5 days. This may be one of the most white-collar, psycho books I’ve read, but it sure sucked me in. The gist of it is that the whole story takes place at a high-brow restaurant in Amsterdam, where two brothers and their wives are meeting in order to discuss their children’s recent behavior. The story delves into the brothers’ past relationship with each other, their families,
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Let’s Be Honest – Grouchy Mom

I’ve been chewing on this quote from Kevin DeYoung’s book, Crazy Busy, for over a month now. “We go day after day, crazy month after crazy month: worried, upset, anxious, troubled, fussing, worked up. Every stain, every school project, every dirty sink, every surprise guest, every surge of responsibility becomes a cause of great panic. To paraphrase Titus 3:3, we live as slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in chaos and envy, hassled by others and hassling one another.” I am so guilty of this type of busyness. Every time E spills something, every time I have
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Bringing Up Bébé Book Review

I went into reading Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman with high expectations. I’d read reviews, seen it on others’ book lists, and had friends suggest I read it. I actually wasn’t disappointed. Druckerman uses wit, good experience, and an honest approach – sharing struggles and shortcomings in her own parenting. The book explains the spoken and unspoken French parenting techniques she observed while living there with young children. She starts with pregnancy and goes through early elementary school. Druckerman bases her findings off 2 philosophers, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Francoise Dolto, both highly-acclaimed by the French parents and psychologists. They both
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Knausgaard’s ‘My Struggle’

Has anyone out there been hearing about Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard’s 3,600 page, 6-volume autobiographical-novel (is this a thing?) called, My Struggle? In German, it’s ‘Mein Kampf” (sound familiar?). Germany and England wouldn’t even use the title because of how provocative the name. I’ll be honest. I’m skeptical. But a lot of other authors and bookie-folks have been skeptical as well and then couldn’t put the volumes down. In his native-Norway, they’ve even had to declare “Knausgaard-free days,” where people can’t talk about it. Seriously? This is crazy. After listening to this public radio interview with him, I’m quasi-interested, though I doubt I
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Homeschool Summer Fun in Charlotte

Even though homeschool is out for summer, I still have E on some form of schedule for three reasons. Prevents boredom Keeps him brushed up on math & reading Gets us outdoors & doing more stuff Because Ethan’s only sibling is 4 months old, it’s pretty easy to understand why he could get bored easily. Baby Mah-tin is plenty of fun, but not the ideal playmate for an almost 10-year-old. I’ve tried to make the schedule work with Martin’s naps, which can be pretty difficult, but I find we can get out and about once a day. Some days we
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2014 Summer Reading List for Ethan

I chose some classic books, some mysteries, and some just plain fun books for Ethan to read this summer. The best thing is that some of them have movie versions, which we will be watching for Family Movie Night. Ethan is currently between 3rd and 4th grades. Ethan’s Summer Reading List The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle The Tower Treasure – Hardy Boys Book 1 – by Franklin W.
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Let’s Be Honest – Sugar Addict

I’m addicted to sugar. We don’t regularly keep cookies or ice cream in our house. I’ve been known to throw away a mostly good box of Oreos, and we regularly throw out Halloween, Easter, and Christmas candy because we never finish it all. We even have tried to cut back on sugar by only have dessert one night a week. Yet, we’re still addicted. I get that crash and burn feeling later in the afternoon and I typically feel like I need something a little sweet after each meal. Tyler and I will hide sweets and than pull them out
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