2013 Reading List

I didn’t set any specific goals for reading this year like I usually do, but reading is still one of my favorite things to do. I usually find that I’m either watching a lot of television (or television on DVD) or reading a lot of books. But I’m never doing both. I’m an “all or nothing” kind of gal.

I read about 16 books in 2012, and a good chunk of that was the Twilight saga. (Sorry, not sorry.) If you’re not on Goodreads, you should jump on board and you can follow me there. I love finding book recommendations from friends via Goodreads. And it’s a great way for me to look back and remember what I read.

This week, I’ll post the books I read in 2012 with some small reviews, but I’d like to regularly post reviews of the books I read in 2013. I think it will help hold me accountable for reading the books I’ve purchased.

For 2013, I plan to read the books I’ve purchased but haven’t read yet, and add others to the list as I hear about them and as friends recommend them.

So far on my list, I have the following books:

The Expats by Chris Pavone

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

The Good House by Ann Leary

Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington

Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (This book has been on my “to read” list for the past three years. Eep! Maybe I’ll get it done in 2013)

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

I also plan to read Sophie Hudson’s new book, the Paris Wife, the new installment in the Divergent trilogy, and Nora Roberts’ Inn Boonsboro series.

As you can see, my taste in books is a little eclectic. I like some teen fiction, I like plain old fiction, I like great non-fiction and biographies – as long as I’m already interested in the subject.

What books do you plan to read in 2013? I’d love for you to leave suggestions for me and for others, too.



what’s been missing

On January 1, 2012, I committed to read the entire Bible in a year. Our church gives us a reading plan every year in October so we can pray and prepare to commit to this year-long process.

I rarely use the word proud to describe how I feel about anything I’ve done, but I am proud to say that I am still sticking with it. I’m right on track. It’s a great plan that has me reading two Old Testament chapters and two New Testament chapters at a time. Sometimes I don’t want to put it down.

In addition to this reading plan, I also do a daily devotion out of the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Whenever anyone asks for a devotion recommendation, this is it. The sense of peace that I feel every day just from this devotion is indescribable. It somehow always manages to have a short message that is exactly what I need to hear for the day, and gives some recommended scripture reading.

On Monday, June 18, we had a house showing. I’ve stopped really getting my hopes up, and have really started to feel a little bit like, “what’s the point?” But when we have a showing scheduled, we clean and pick up and mow the yard and do our best to make the house smell great. We give it our best shot.

And then after every showing, I dwell. And I worry. And I start going through the “what ifs” and it’s just a ridiculous cycle. I am rolling my eyes at myself, believe me.

So I called my mom on Monday and I was talking through all of this with her and I’m sure she was rolling her eyes at me. And she said, “Have you read your Jesus Calling today?”

“No,” I said.

“Hang up and go read it. Then you can call me back if you want to.” My mom always has an answer for everything. Usually a right answer for everything.

So we hung up and I ran upstairs to grab my copy of Jesus Calling. And the words on the page for June 18 left me breathless.

via Sarah Young

“Concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you. If you trust that My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, you can relax and enjoy the present moment.”


My hope and my future are rooted in heaven. In heaven. Not here. Not in this house and not in our future house. In heaven.

And. AND! What am I doing trying to predict the future? Why do I continue to waste time wondering who is going to buy this house and who will put a house on the market that will one day become ours?

Why do I spend time anticipating the future for anything at all?

So what’s been missing?

Despite spending time every single day in God’s word, and feeling Him with me as I go through my day, and being committed to my faith…

My prayer life is seriously lacking.

I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to keep myself from getting distracted and I don’t know how to quiet my mind. This is why I removed Twitter and Facebook from my phone. I don’t need anymore distractions.

And while I love Jesus Calling, I want to feel that peace all throughout the day in my conversations with Him that aren’t read in my favorite devotional book.

I used to pray in the car while I was driving. With my eyes open, of course. But my car time was my quiet time. This was three years ago when my car was a quiet place.

I spend a good bit of time praying for other people and other families. But not enough time praying about the every day stuff and praying about the things I can’t see. Certainly not enough time praying about this move and the preparations being made for our ultimate landing spot in this process.

How about you? Do you ever feel like you have almost all of the pieces coming together?

What’s missing? What is your best advice for carving out time for prayer and quieting your mind for that time?



the boy mom’s bookshelf

I have a thing for other boy moms. If I hear someone say that they have all boys, I want to be her friend. I want to pick her brain and share stories and laugh and cry and sip Diet Cokes. I just think there’s something that boy moms share.

And today I wanted to share what our favorite “boy books” are. I’ve had to learn a lot of this stuff along the way. Some of my favorite books for Hudson and Hayes were some of my favorite books. But there are a lot of great books for boys that I’d never heard of before having my own boys.

We love to read books, so please chime in and let me know what your favorite boy books are. And if you’re a girl mom, go ahead and list your favorite books, too, so the other girl moms can find them in the comments.

In the beginning, when Hudson was a baby, we read Goodnight Moon about 10 times a day. He loved it so much and still sometimes asks for it. He knew it by heart. Hayes’s bed time book is Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?

The Little Blue Truck is our current favorite. Our boy book flavor of the week, you could say.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon, and How Do Dinosaurs Go to School (and there are many more of the How Do Dinosaurs… books that I’d love to add to our collection)

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo, not to be confused with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which is also a great book that we love

The Matthew Van Fleet books are all great, but we love Dog and Heads

Two great lift-the-flap books are Elmo’s Big Lift and Look Book and Little People Let’s Go To The Farm

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake (We have all of the books in this series, but these two are Hudson’s favorites)

Of course we love Green Eggs and Ham and my childhood favorite, The Cat In The Hat Comes Back

Eight Silly Monkeys

The Jan Pienkowski books were favorites of mine as a kid, even though the pop up illustrations are kind of scary. Hudson loves Dinnertime and Little Monsters

This Is My Tractor is lots of fun and has a little button that makes a tractor sound. Fun!

We also love all of the Karen Katz books and the Fiona Watt “That’s Not My…” books for babies. And Hayes’s current favorite book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

So, boy moms, what are you favorite books? We need more animal, dinosaur, and transportation books. And girl moms, share your favorites, too!




Oh yes. I’ve been bitten by the bug. The Twilight bug.

My days, when not chasing a toddler and a preschooler, have been completely consumed with reading all about Bella, Edward, Jacob, and the Cullens on my Kindle app on my iPhone.

I’ve been staying awake until 1:00 a.m. reading under the covers.

I’m eating my words here. I swore I’d never read Twilight. I’m just not “into” vampires.


So what? I’m loving it! Loving. It.

I finished New Moon today and I’m eager to get started on Eclipse.


p.s. I’m on Team Edward.

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