Tag Archives: reading

Year Of Fiction 

Most of my reading from 2012 to 2016 was non-fiction. How to be a better mom, blogger, baker, editor, believer, survivor, wife, organizer, teacher, cook, budgeter, dresser, copywriter, DIYer, friend, and the list goes on. 

So I declared 2017 as my Year Of Fiction. 

For 365 days, all my book choices would be fiction. 

Last night, I read 35 pages of a dear friend’s sci-fi manuscript. It was love at first page. 

I’m also currently reading a few mysteries, several classics, a novel about post-Civil War California, and rereading some short story collections and poetry anthologies. 

I’m obviously still reading my fair share of non-fiction with Graham, but all my silent reading time has been a lovely escape. 

What’s on your reading list this year? Might I suggest Sense and Sensibility? No Year is complete without a dose of Austen. 

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Coffee with Chesterton, Flannery, and Fforde

“Graham is crying and begging me to read this to him. I keep explaining it’s for grownups. He just doesn’t understand. Poor guy.” I posted this to Facebook.


Phenomenal book. Not for children. At all. Couldn’t be edited enough for little ears or little souls. It’s been an ordeal since last week. Graham wants the Humpty Dumpty Gun Book. I can’t and won’t acquiesce.

I ended up commenting that I wanted a coffee date with Jasper Fforde, Flannery O’Connor, and G.K. Chesterton. Is that an unrealistic goal? I know that two-thirds of them are dead. With the Lord…or in some sort of sleeping state until the dead in Christ rise? I go back and forth on this. When Graham presses me about Papa Bob, I say he is safe. That the Bible says 100% that Papa Bob is safe. And 100% that we will see him again. Anyway, I want coffee with these people. My friend says, “Unrealistic, you have three kids.” I was laughing so hard I was crying. Because it’s the truth! Even if I could gather living and dead authors at Starbucks, I couldn’t get away to go see them!

But let’s say I could. I would get a super large {I like to use obnoxious size names just to make the baristas think I don’t deserve their pricey brew}. Sumatra. Black. That’s my favorite at home. Sometimes I put a splash of almond milk in it, but usually black. I would sit down with my literary heroes and say, “Talk at me.” I don’t even want to converse. I just want to listen to brilliant, creative people make my brain flex.

This would be my mom vacation. As I caffeinate myself, just use big words. Or big concepts and little words. Or read your own writing. Or an encyclopedia. Or those jokes off Laffy Taffy wrappers.

A friend and I are going to get my first pedicure. I had my toenails painted for my wedding day. They were so bad I had to redo them. But I am going for a real pedicure. At a real salon. And we are going to Starbucks. Where I will drink a coffee not brewed at home. And if this friend really loves me, our literary trio will be there. Because I know she would also just pull up a chair and be talked at for an afternoon.

Two word nerd moms whose husbands will have our children. We may just faint…even if zero dead or living authors join us. Because pedicures, coffee, and talking at one another conversing will be bliss. I am already giddy thinking about it. And maybe Jasper Fforde will find himself in a Southwest Missouri coffeehouse. A girl can dream.

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My Favorite Reads From 2014

In 2014, I made it a personal goal to read more for enjoyment. I was tired of every book containing crinkle pages and fewer sentences than a Mark Whalberg research paper.

I am a bookworm, but pretty picky. If I don’t like a book after 50 pages, I abandon it. I ditched Divergent and never looked back. Unless I am reviewing a book…which requires me to finish it like a plate of nasty meatloaf and just keep.moving.forward until I can write the review…I have no issues dropping stuff into the library return and moving on. I have deleted many unfinished books from my Kindle app. No shame.

Last year, I read quite a few books that didn’t have chew marks on them. Here are the ones I recommend.

Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval and Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Surprised By Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being A Mom by Lisa-Jo Baker

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters {caveat: there is a lot of language and other grown-up stuff…he’s a detective for goodness’ sake}

Say Goodbye To Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, & Restore Your Passion For Life by Crystal Paine

The Club of Queer Trades by G.K. Chesterton

How To Be Rich: It’s Not What You Have. It’s What You Do With What You Have by Andy Stanley

More or Less: Choosing A Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinaburger

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The Paradise War: Book One in the Song of Albion Trilogy by Stephen R. Lawhead

A Sense of the Resurrection: An Easter Experience for Families by Amanda White

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith



So, in the words of Ignacio, “Go! Read some books!”


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Thoughts While Alone With Chickens

As I was picking apart three roasted chickens with my bare hands, my mind wandered. I tend to do that when everyone else is sleeping and I am up in a silent house. Sometimes, I feel like Caroline Ingalls. Well, with an electric roaster. I am raising two Lauras and a Mary. But my Mary can’t speak. She can’t read.

I was reading at Adelaide’s age. It’s a double standard that I don’t think twice about my 5-year-old boy wanting to choose engineering solutions and incessant building over the written word. He can spell his own name, knows his alphabet, and knows some of his sounds. It will come in time. I am not worried at all.

But Adelaide. She’s my little homebody. With all she misses out on, I am grieved that she can’t escape into another world without help. She says her alphabet from a to q, with xyz thrown in at the end, the same way she counts from 1 to 20 or thrashes her head from side to side for minutes at a time. It soothes her. It’s repetition.

Will she ever know what those letters can do? Will she ever pick up Little House in the Big Woods? I don’t know. I will read it to her. Pull her out of her own world, back into mine, and then hope that we can travel together.

But it doesn’t matter if she can’t understand what I am saying. I read to her in the womb when she could hear, but not understand. I read to her as an infant. Words dancing out of my mouth. The cadence of it all fascinated her.

She may never be able to do it on her own. I am preparing for that possible reality. I will continue to share with her the stories of little Laura and her family. Fun, games, back-breaking work, fear, times of plenty, and struggle upon struggle.

Life is similar now and then. So many differences, but I am sure that Caroline was up, mind meandering, thinking about the futures of her children. Motherhood is picking the meat from chickens. Messy. Necessary. Buried in the task. But oh so rewarding.


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