Sunday, February 15, 2015

Still Life by Christa Parrish | book review

I just got finished reading Still Life by Christa Parrish. I suppose this is the part where I write a synopsis of the book. But anyone can do that. In fact, here is a well written one from the publisher.
Ada escaped her family’s self-enclosed world to elope with a mysterious stranger. Five months later, she’s a widow in a strange new world. 
Ada was born into a fringe religious sect named for her father, The Prophet. But her lifelong habit of absolute obedience was shattered when she fled the family compound to elope with photographer Julian Goetz.
Katherine Walker’s marriage was a sham. She and Will rarely spoke without yelling—and never touched. Her affair brings her both escape and guilt. 
When a tragic plane crash takes Julian from Ada and exacerbates Katherine’s sense of shame, both women become desperately unsure of where they belong in the world—until the devotion of an artistic young boy conspires to bring them together. 
From award-winning novelist Christa Parrish, Still Life is a cunningly complex work that captures themes of abusive religion, supernatural love, and merciful escape. It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt called to a drastic change—or tried to hear the small whisper of God’s voice.
I picked the book based on the title and cover art. I firmly believe you can judge a book by the cover. The cover to Still Life, however, is deceiving; there aren't any twin lens reflexes featured in the book! Camera nerd comments aside, I did enjoy this book.

Well, not at first. At first, I read a chapter or two and put it down. But since I was given this book (compliments of BookLook Bloggers) in exchange for a review (not necessarily a positive one. I'm allowed my own opinions), I knew I had to finish it. So, I plowed on. I found myself drawn in by all the characters. The chapters go back and forth from the perspective of Ada, Katherine, Julian, and Evan (Katherine's son) and I love the way their lives intertwined.

Even thought it took me a few chapters to get into the book, I was a little sad when it was over. I'd grown fond of the characters and want to know what happened next with their lives! I'm thinking of looking for more books by this author. I enjoyed her style of writing and would love to read more of her books.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Birthday Resolutions

The New Year always brings changes. And with it, a desire for a fresh start. I've felt that really strongly this year. Especially, I think, because I just turned 30 a couple weeks ago.

My resolutions, they're more like birthday resolutions. Because it was shortly after I turned 30 that I started to put them into practice.

If I had to list out my resolutions nicely, I'd say that they were: to be more grateful and to be more thoughtful.

But, in my head, I have a long list:
  • be a better housekeeper
  • wake up earlier
  • go to bed earlier
  • read through the bible
  • spend my time wisely
  • spend money wisely too
  • be a more supportive and respectful wife
  • find my emotional validity
  • be a more balanced mommy
  • spend less time on my phone
  • remember to have (yummy) dinners ready for the family to eat together
  • connect with my friends
  • blog more
  • not feel guilty when I don't blog on special days
  • document our lives
  • run a 5K (or several 5Ks)
  • etc etc etc

Well, so, that's all a little overwhelming.

I've started utilizing the Peaceful Mom's weekly planning method. Every Sunday night, in my journal, I write out some goals for five categories: personal, people, passion, purpose, and projects. You can read more on her blog, but it really helps me think about my week in the bigger picture. I think that will be much more helpful, in the long run, that year-long resolutions.

I've also decided to try (again) keeping a planner. For a technology addict, I sure love putting pen to paper. I got one from the Sugar Paper for Target line of super cute agendas. I started using it on the 29th of December (the first day in the planner) and I'm a fan so far. I'm hoping this will help me with quite a few items on my list.

I made up this graphic on New Year's Day. It's good quote to remember. Do you sometimes feel like giving up on your goals (say, one like, be a better housekeeper) because you've made too many mistakes? I do! And hopefully, I'll put this quote in a place where it can remind me that tomorrow is a new day. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 14 of 2014

Yep, this guest post had more than twice the hits that Jojo's birth story had! And for a good reason. Emily is an excellent storyteller. So click that link and then click through to her blog. Especially if you're a mom. If you're pregnant, go through the archives to the beginning of the blog. It's definitely something you'll be able to relate to! :)

I really enjoyed making this list because it was fun to look through the archives. It made my heart ache for my itty bitty baby Jojo, though! It has been a year full of blessings! And today he is one year old. Oh my goodness. My heart is so full!

Well, happy new year's eve! I hope 2014 has been good to you all and that 2015 will be even better!

Monday, December 22, 2014


So, I'm doing this breakout session on Clickin Moms called "The Art of Authenticity." It's about capturing "authentic, honest moments." This resonated with me because I'm trying to get better about documenting our life and I want these photos to be REAL.

Tie that in with the fact that I want more photos of me with Joseph (more than just iPhone selfies!) and I have found myself inspired to take self portraits. 

So, one morning were listening to Christmas music and a song came on--I don't remember which one--but I just had to dance around. Joseph actually likes it when we dance around. He snuggles and makes happy noises. It was mid-song when I thought, "Hey! This is the kind of photo I would love to have of me and my mom! I'm making this happen!" I grabbed my camera, put it on the bar and angled it using the lens cap. Set the timer and, there you have it. :)

After this, it was nearing nap time and we always always read books before bed. Another self portrait opportunity. 

These photos are not perfect. They're not posed or lit particularly well, but they are memories. And I'm so glad I have these two photos.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

early morning reading

Joseph loves to pull all the books off his shelf. The really cute thing about it, though, is he likes to sit among the books and find ones to flip through. Brown Bear has always been a particular favorite.


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