Mar 7, 2018

Pop In Post- Quick Book Recommendation

I'm just covered up in work this week, but I wanted to tell y'all about a wonderful book that I just devoured the last couple of days-

Everything Happens For a Reason: and Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler.  It's a memoir of her experience living with terminal cancer, and reconciliation of that diagnosis with her faith.  That sounds depressing, but I promise it's not!

Here's the blurb-

A divinity professor and young mother with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis explores the pain and joy of living without certainty.

Thirty-five-year-old Kate Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke, and had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart after years of trying, when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, chugged antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.

As she navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, Kate pulls the reader deeply into her life, which is populated with a colorful, often hilarious collection of friends, pastors, parents, and doctors, and shares her laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must change her habit of skipping to the end and planning the next move. A historian of the "American prosperity gospel"--the creed of the mega-churches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough--Bowler finds that, in the wake of her diagnosis, she craves these same "outrageous certainties." She wants to know why it's so hard to surrender control over that which you have no control. She contends with the terrifying fact that, even for her husband and child, she is not the lynchpin of existence, and that even without her, life will go on.

On the page, Kate Bowler is warm, witty, and ruthless, and, like Paul Kalanithi, one of the talented, courageous few who can articulate the grief she feels as she contemplates her own mortality.

Go read it!!

Mar 1, 2018

Thoughts on Thursday- SHOP TIL YOU DROP!!!!!!!

Y'all.  As I get back into blogging, I must admit I am bored to pieces by a lot of my blogs that are in my feed.

I've talked about this before, but I would love to read a post that doesn't include any directives on what to buy, buy, buy.  Where do people put all these dresses and shoes? Where do they wear all of it?  I don't understand.  Or, possibly if I wore something other than yoga pants and a fleece 4 days a week, I would! Ha!

Maybe I just get grumpy during a ShopBop or Nordstrom sale.  Maybe it's because I like to shop, so I don't need someone to tell me what to buy.  Maybe it's because I like to read about people's lives outside the dressing room.

I think the problem is that I feel like I am being sold a falsehood.  Affiliate linking and undisclosed sponsorship/partnerships have become so pervasive that I feel like so much social media is just an advertisement. "MUST HAVE!"  "MY FAVORITE!" products rotate monthly or even weekly, and suspiciously appear on a variety of bloggers' want lists simultaneously.

Now, to my social media friends who have posted about this sale or that sale.  Don't be angry at me.  I love you!  I just want to read more you and less RewardStyle.  I love hearing about someone's (non-sponsored) latest workout, or amazing dinner, or supper club, or new curtains in their living room.

 Just not a million pictures of them in a dressing room with cute dresses that I should go grab right now!  Because I'm not going to drop everything, scurry out of my office or the school pick up to drive over to LOFT.  Let's be real- they have a 40-60% off sale every other day.  I will live if I don't add another super cute drop waist poly blend dress to my wardrobe this minute.

Tell me a funny story about your three year old.  Tell me about the fun party you went to this weekend.  Then once a week or so, tell me about your latest purchase.  An actual purchase, not just something you tried on then never wear again.  Something you just tried that you can't affiliate link.

Bring back reality!

Well, maybe I shouldn't go down the anti-reality rabbit hole of "curated" images and false presentations of perfect motherhood and children, amazing bodies and effortless, well everything. . . y'all will hear me ranting for days!

Anyway, I guess I just miss the blogging days of yore.  This grandma better go put in her teeth and chill in my rocker some.

Feb 23, 2018

Five on Friday- Kids' Favorite Things

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you are more cheerful than my crew when I attempted to take a picture at 5 PM yesterday evening during their long requested viewing of the new Pinkalicious show!  You would think I'm above such amateur moves.

 Another day, another attempt to get three kids to look at me.

Scooter rides on the greenway have been our jam all year, but with the nice weather they've been more frequent.  I try to explore a new section to keep things fun.  And there are a couple of cool playgrounds along the way.  We saw 7 turtles and 2 ducks in one section on Tuesday, then played at a new playground.  Then had Chick Fil A for dinner.  Everyone was very happy.  Including me, because I got to sneak in a 2 mile power walk under the guise of kid activity.  And because I like to see turtles too.

We made an executive decision to take the kids to Japanese steakhouse (their favorite) on Saturday evening last weekend. It was a great diversion to the nonstop rain.

 Dell Harper "I think tonight might be the best night ever!"

Tommy was a little scared of the fire, but then got in his baby groove.  Deeds was too busy eating to fool with any photo ops.

3)  Audible Books (for Children)

Our favorite diversion in the car of late?  Audiobooks!  We got several Junie B. Jones books on CD at the local library.  The kids are obsessed!  Deeds says "I'm ready for JUNEYBEEJONE now!", after his initial reluctance due to the fact that he couldn't see anything. Warning- the books do use the s-word (stupid), so we have to talk about how Junie  B. says that but we don't, etc.

I must admit, I am enjoying Miss Junie B. and her kindergarten travails very much.  Far better than Kidz Bop or Kids' Place Live.  That Lorenzo Llama makes me want to tear my ears off.

4)  Little Hoot Designs
I always brag on my friend Colleen's clothing business, but she just really knocks it out of the park!

 Love this model!

Here's some stuff from her latest show, which I shamelessly pulled from their instagram (@little_hoot_designs)

 I ordered this entire outfit for DH.  Y'all- the prices are great, and you can feel good about letting your kids just play.  Or go to school.  Or eat food with impunity.  Or at least without following them with a bottle of oxyclean.
This is Deeds' favorite shirt.  He refused to take it off during this modeling session, then got snot all over from the ensuing temper tantrum.  I bought it, and it's still his top requested shirt.

And their appliqu├ęs are fantastic as well!
Those bloomers are enough to give me baby fever!

I did nab these bloomers for Tommy.  Those fat little legs need to be on display at all times! Here's the website-

5)  Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

So I've been struggling to try and read DH chapter books, since we read books together with Deeds at night.  I'm trying to squeeze in a chapter of one of my childhood favorites- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.
There are a few illustrations (by none other than Hilary Knight of Eloise fame), and each chapter stands alone.  We are both enthralled!

So that's it for me- we are headed to a beer and Girl Scout cookie pairing fundraiser for the Girl Scouts tonight, then I get to have a GNO with one of my best friends from Georgia who's coming in town this weekend from Charleston.  I can barely contain myself!!

Finally, again, thank you all so much for the encouragement and kindness.  I was reviewing documents while Tommy took his bath, and the kids got extra screen time last night.  I started to feel bad, but then remembered we're all in this boat in one way or the other!

Linking up with the Five on Friday gals!