Read With Me Wednesday: Moms’ Night Out

 

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Well, real life caught up with me last week and I missed our first discussion. I hope you popped over to Essie’s Blessings to chat with her last week! (and pop over there today as well to share your thoughts.)

This month we are reading through Moms’ Night Out and this week we are discussing chapters 4-8. Why such short readings? Well, we wanted a “book club” that all of our mom friends could participate in. Sometimes a book a week or a book a month seems impossible for a busy mom. But eh, a few chapters. . . less than one a day? That is doable. So join us. There is no pressure. We won’t test you on the material! But, we would LOVE for you to join the conversation and let us know what you think.

Today I’m going to talk about the enormous pressure that we moms put on ourselves. Thanks to social media, we tend to see everyone’s highlight reels. This becomes even more bothersome when you feel like your life is one long blooper reel.

Consider Allyson’s thoughts after she had a meltdown after the frustrating non-dinner on her moms’ night out:

Was that a moment? Did she just have a “moment” in front of everyone in the restaurant? She’d come to fix that problem. To fix herself, and what had happened? Instead, she’d just made a big mess. Now there would be no dinner. Now there would be no conversation. Now there would be no unplugging. Allyson’s breaths came short, fast. And this . . . this was worse than mascara on her eye. It was worse than her meltdown in front of the newlyweds. She’d lost control in front of her friends. She was getting worse, not better. How could she return home worse than she started? Sean would be so disappointed, and then who knew what tomorrow would bring? Yet another failure to heap upon all the other ones.

Poor Allyson. She felt so frustrated and guilty over the failed dinner that she was unable to laugh it off, or casually come up with a “plan b”. She put all kinds of pressure on herself to come up with the “perfect” moms’ night out. When there is a kink in the plan, we as moms need to be able to seamlessly switch gears. There is a sort of fearlessness that needs to come with motherhood.

Last year we had the perfect birthday party planned for the twins. We put a deposit down on a party at the gymnastics studio. I had cute cupcakes ordered. I bought a car full of balloons. When we arrived at the gym to set up. . .the building was locked. Our reservation was never fully noted. I had to think fast. So, a few phone calls later to parents, and we moved the party  a few miles north to our church. It was not what I envisioned. It was not what I had planned. Inside I was seething with frustration. But I HAD to be nimble. My little girls were only going to turn four once, and I had a dozen preschoolers to entertain.

It ended up being a great birthday. The girls had fun, their guests had fun, and we actually saved quite a bit of money!

I could have had a meltdown right there in that icy parking lot. (I totally wanted to!) But that was not going to solve anything. I could have given in to embarrassment–because yes, it was totally embarrassing to have to call all of those parents to give them a last minute change of plan. I took a deep breath and did what I needed to do for the happiness of my daughters.

So, what about you? What has hit home for you as you have been reading this book? Have you had a meltdown like Allyson’s? What situations have you had to come up with a “plan b” on the fly? Share in the comments and join the conversation!

Read With Us Wednesday: Obituary Society

Read with UsWednesday So, Essie and I both spaced out yesterday’s post! Oops! I blame recovering from Christmas break.

It was fun to wrap up The Obituary Society, and this gem of a book did not disappoint. I am always a fan of quirky family dynamics.

What I most enjoyed though, was the mood evoked by this book. The one thing I would add to our Mid-Century Modern Rambler would be a front porch for sitting.

After bringing out the tea, they sat on the wooden steps, Juniper leaning into Max’s right arm, Lila resting her head on his left shoulder.  Lila sighed as she sipped her hot tea, thinking how little she cared about what other girls her age were doing, and imagining many years of front porches and steaming tea and club meetings with miniature cakes.  And if a hint of Old Spice mingled with cinnamon wafted past her nose, she pretended not to notice.
And now that you have finished reading with us. . .head over to the authors Pinterest board to check out some of her inspiration (and find the recipe for Maid of Honor Cupcakes! ( I think I have a new assignment for the resident baker of the house!)
Did you miss out on this book? Want to read through the next book with us? Starting next Wednesday we will be discussing  Moms’ Night Out. I loved the movie so much that I had to own it on Blu Ray–and I watch it about once a week, still laughing and crying. I look forward to laughing and crying through the book with you guys.
This book should be available at your local library, though I picked up mine at Amazon (I’m the queen of the late fee–cheaper to buy up front!) We will be discussing Chapters 1-4 on Wednesday!

Read With Us Wednesday: “The Obituary Society”, Week 4 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

Read with UsWednesday

We are hosting a low-key, short attention span book group here on my blog and over at Essiesblessings.com. A few weeks ago we dove into The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall. We know how busy moms can get, so we did not want to make you read a book all at once. . .though some of you did! We broke the book into five chapter hunks that could be read in a week while nursing a baby, or hiding in the bathroom, or reading right before falling asleep.

This week we are discussing Chapters 16-20 and the plot is thickening. Lila is going through some big changes, and while she is feeling more settled in Auburn. . . . Some things are making her feel very UNsettled. She also finds herself confused about two handsome men in her life, Max–whose ex-wife has suddenly appeared on the scene, and Asher, the handsome attorney who seems to fit into Auburn just as awkwardly as Lila does.

One of the scenes that stuck with me was when Asher takes Lila out to dinner–in the middle of a wheat field. As they eat, he toasts (with strawberry Snapple): “To being somewhere you never expected to be, and having no idea where you are going.”

That simple statement sums up my life. When I was growing up in California, I often visited my Michigan relatives, and imagined I would one day live in one of the two states. Marrying a Michigan boy seemed to cement that fact. And yet, here I am in North Dakota–a place that was never, ever on my radar. And, as much as I could live out the rest of my days here, I know that as the wife of a pastor, the future is always a mystery.

Chime in! Have you been reading along? Do you have suggestions for our next read? What statement has touched you the most? And make sure to pop over to Essiesblessings.com. She has a few sick kiddos today, so she may not get her post up until later, but you will want to join in on the conversation over there as well!

 

Read With Us Wednesdays: “The Obituary Society”: Week 3 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

Read with UsWednesday

I don’t know about you guys. . . But I’m really enjoying this book. And I’m glad Essie and I decided to pick bite-sized chunks each week. When I have time to read, I read voraciously, but with the Turkey Trot last week, I have not had much time at all! With the Turkey Trot came a long-awaited visit from College Kid, which ate up some time as well. I took the last two days off of work to catch up with life (and laundry!). Then, last night I had a child fall ill, so my time off has been extended, as well as my laundry load! (Just a note. . .my Maytag Bravos washing machine took care of all of that yucky laundry without any trouble!)

And now, back to our book!

If this is your first time here, we are reading through The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall, and it can be purchased for Kindle. We are reading along with Essie of Essie’s Blessings and you can join the conversation over there as well!

This week we are reading chapters 11-15, and the plot sure is thickening. We are finding out just how spunky Lila is as she deals with her grandfather’s house. I think she has way more resolve than I do!

Today’s quote to discuss is:

“Don’t you think this old house might be more trouble than it’s worth?” [Asher] asked.

and Lila’s answer:

“Sometimes things that are the most trouble are the most worthwhile.”

How very true. Our family has had our fair share of trouble in the past few years. Many of my long-time readers have read of them. However, I just don’t think I would trade those troubles in. They are a part of who I am, they  are a part of our family’s heritage. Some of my past troubles are a cautionary tale of how I will choose to parent our children.  I’m a walking billboard for, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I think that some of my troubles have enabled me to be more empathetic of those going through their own struggles. In other ways it has hardened me, as I am kind of a “pull yourself up and move on” kind of girl. No wallowing allowed.

I guess that is what I enjoy about Lila. She does not have to stick around, but she does . . . creepy house and all.

Chime in! What are your reactions to the reading selection this week? What troubles have you been through that have proven to be worthwhile? Leave a comment here, and make sure you head over to Essie’s Blessings to chime in as well!

Read With Us Wednesday: Week 1 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

 

Read with UsWednesday

Welcome to week one of Read With us Wednesday. I’m teaming up with Essie at Essie’s Blessings, and busy moms around  the country are teaming up to read manageable, busy mom chunks of a book once a week and stopping by to discuss.

We just started reading The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall. It was free when we began this project, and, as of this writing, is a very affordable $2.99 Kindle edition.  This week’s discussion is based on chapters 1-5.

Here is the publisher’s description:

When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.

Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like its a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone?

In these first few chapters, we are introduced to Lila, her great-aunt Ada, and Lil’s newly deceased grandfather, Isaac. If you have not begin reading yet, the writing is very engaging and you should be able to catch right up.

What stood out for me was when Lila was in Ada’s home and in her grandfather’s house, I was flooded with memories of my grandparent’s home. So that is what we will discuss today!

What memories do you have of your grandparent’s home? In our current society, where families live spread across the country, and our mobile society in which people rarely live in the same house for fifty years anymore, will our children miss out on those same “Grandma’s House memories”? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Also, stop over to Essie’s Blessings and check out the conversation over there as well! We’ll be reading chapters 6-10 for next week!