When I was little, I absolutely adored reading. I would finish my schoolwork and then sit in my bed and read the afternoon away. Fiction was my favorite, with autobiographies were a close second.
Now that I'm a wife and mom of a full-blown toddler, I don't the luxury of long, drawn-out, uninterrupted time that I did in the past. More often than not, I have to bypass on reading in order to get tasks done, or my eyes are just too tired to put effort into a book. After a few months of reading nothing, I decided to discipline myself and kick it into gear. Yes, discipline. Make time. At the moment, my favorite way to read these days is in my front yard during naptime (with the monitor, of course). Having the sun on my shoulders and a cold iced tea in a tumbler with lots of ice is my idea of a perfect reading scenario.
The act of reading has changed a lot since I was a kiddo. Books are still a big part of my reading, but for light reading, I've stacked my GoogleReader with tons of blogs ranging from photography, style/fashion, to regular moms who blogs about their life.
Here's are the books and blogs I'm reading right now:
>> Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequiest - I picked up this book a long time ago and I'm currently re-reading it. I love the descriptive, tangible way Shauna writes about her life lessons she's learned along the way. This book is a memoir. It helps me. Re-orients me. It causes me look for the little things to appreciate in life again. Sometimes things get a little crazy over here and the details get lost in the shuffle.
“But this is what I'm finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I'm waiting for, for that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets - this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.”
>> Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic - Oh, y'all. Y'all. Did this book come at an ever perfect time. I got it as a recommendation from my friend Brittany. Here's the truth: Motherhood is hard. Really hard. And it's even harder when you have a toddler who is getting disciplined constantly, has needs, and emotions all over the spectrum, but can't necessary speak full words to communicate. It's very easy to get a defeated attitude when nothing seems to be working. This book is both and encouragement to me and a HUGE attitude check. This is a must-read for all mommies, in my opinion.
“God treats us with great kindness as we fail daily. He takes the long view of our sin- knowing that every time we fail and repent, we grow in our walk with Him. It is easy for us to accept this, because our sins are, well, ours.
But our children sin against us, annoy us, and mess up our stuff. We want to hold it against them, complain about them (if only to ourselves), and feel put upon by their sin. We have a much harder time accepting that every failure from them is a wonderful opportunity for repentance and growth and not an opportunity for us to exact penance.”
“The more children you have the more you need to be pastorally minded. Look to each of their souls and their needs. If you are focused on upkeep of the house and the schedule, as long as your child is not interrupting that, you don’t worry about it. If you are being a parent who is pastorally minded you will stop whatever it is that you are doing to go see how your daughter is up in her bedroom. Has she been quiet lately? Was that a faint door-slam you heard in the distance? Find out about that. Did one of your kids seem a touch off as they went outside to sit in a tree? Don’t let that go. Be a pastor to your children. Study them. Seek them out. Sacrifice the thing you were doing to work through minor emotional issues.”
Kendi Everyday - This girl. She is stylish, smart, and hilariously witty. This is probably my favorite style blog out of all the others out there. I love all of her daily outfit posts. Her blog series on learning how to Work Your Closet is so easy to implement and helps you find your personal style with what you've got. This blog is MONEY.
Natalie Norton - Natalie Norton is a photographer from Arizona who has a wonderful sense of writing. She's currently vacationing with her family in Hawaii and has been taking the most incredible photos of her kids on the shores of Oahu. I follow her blog, Twitter, and Instagram. (Haha. Overkill?) My friend Sarah introduced this blog to me a few months ago. Actually, she encouraged me to read Natalie's journey through losing her son, Gavin, to pertussis in 2010 on her old blog. I read through her entire blog tag "Baby Gavin" one afternoon and cried. And cried. And cried. She writes all of her daily emotions, anger, confusion. It's a heavy read, to be sure, and I would recommend starting from the beginning, when he was in the hospital... but so good. So, so good.
Rockstar Diaries - Um. So. Basically? I'm obsessed with this cute little family from Washington D.C. Naomi (the mother and writer) makes me want to wear bright lipstick every day and take photos of my little babe at every corner. And go to cool museum and play in fountains. And master a top knot. Love love LOVE this blog.
And just because I know you came here for a photo, here's one I took of Rowan the other day :)
This girl is my heart and my soul. My reason.
What are you reading lately?