Small Animals by Kim Brooks | Better Together Book Club November 2019 Selection {A Motherhood Book Club}

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A New Motherhood Book Club

We had a wonderful start with our brand new motherhood book club and had our first discussion and guest speaker last week! I am planning on sharing some of our discussion topics when I return from vacation but for now, you can read more about our first book club meeting HERE on Instagram. You can read more details about the book club in my blog post HERE.

November 2019 Better Together Book Club Selection

Small Animals by Kim BrooksWhile many of you are too far away to participate in person, a lot of you have shared an interest in following along! We are excited to announce our second Better Together Book Club selection, Small Animals by Kim Brooks.

This book made my top books of 2018 list HERE, I discussed the book topic HERE and shared my full book review HERE. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts!

October 1st, 2019 Book Releases {New Book Publications}

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October Book Releases:

It’s October 1st which means we are starting a great month of new book releases! If I were a book, I would like to be published in October because not only is it the best month ever but it is my very favorite time of the year to read! There are so many awesome books coming out during the next few weeks and before the holidays when new book releases tend to slow down a bit until the new year.

Now that we are back into regular routines because of the school year, I am trying to get back into some of my weekly blog series too. I always love sharing new book publications and so here are some I am excited about today!

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Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky was released today and Reese’s Book Club just announced it is their October 2019 book selection! I love that it is going to get so much attention now because this topic is so important.

While we have learned a lot as the years have gone by, figuring out the daily logistics of life with work, marriage, kids and household tasks is a constant juggling act. Fair Play both takes on and tackles the topics of the mental load, second shift, emotional labor and invisible work that in the 21st century still cause a great imbalance in many families ‘ home lives.

Fair Play was a 5-star book for me and was such an awesome conversation starter in our own marriage. The book is relatable while also having a proactive approach to managing household/family/life tasks while also balancing your own goals and desires.

You can read my full review of Fair Play HERE.

It is also one of the upcoming book choices for our Better Together Book Club and I can’t wait to discuss it more then.

Gen The Bookworm

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Can you believe I just read The Tattooist of Auschwitz two months ago?! It was on my TBR list for a while but when an ARC of Cilka’s Journey arrived in my mailbox I knew I needed to prioritize it ASAP.

Cilka was one of the characters in The Tattooist of Auschwitz and I was interested to learn more about her. Cilka’s Journey is a powerful story that was inspired by the true to life experiences of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Cilka who ends up in a Siberian work camp after being charged as a collaborator for “sleeping with the enemy”. This novel is not an easy read as it confronts the issue of rape during wartime.

While this story does focus on the atrocities that happened to Cilka(and many others), it also shares the heroic efforts she was a part of. Cilka has a compassion for others that guides her through the toughest of times and this part of the story was both heartbreaking and utterly compelling. How Cilka chose to use the gifts she was given to help others was so powerful and a reminder of the beacon of light in humanity even in the most horrific of times.

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Your Turn by Dr. Tyra Manning

“Writing my stories helps me remember the good times and the worst of times, and offers me the opportunity to understand them. Writing and celebrating my stories helps me heal. Hindsight gives me many gifts: clarity, acceptance, forgiveness, and new perspectives on past experiences. I am not unique in having lovely and sometimes sad stories in my repertoire. Sharing our life stories teaches us that we have more commonalities than differences. It brings us closer.”

-Dr. Tyra Manning

I love anything that helps remind us that we are more alike than different. I have always been a big fan of sharing our stories because it can help us connect and also help us feel less alone.

Your Turn is a guide and collection of personal essays that demonstrates how to share more effectively and find meaning in the ups and downs of our lives. Manning shares her own personal stories while also providing writing prompts to encourage you to start sharing too.

Thank you to Book Sparks for sharing an advanced copy with me. 

10 Year Wedding Anniversary! {Wedding & Honeymoon Memories & 24-Hours Away in Stowe!}

9.19.09 Wedding Memories…

Daria Bishop Photographers(Wedding Photos by Daria Bishop Photographers)

Last Thursday we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary!  It was a regular work and school day for us so we went to a 4:45pm pizza dinner with the kids followed by ice cream at the Scoop and then called it a day.

 

dinner with kids

Anniversary photo by our 9-year-old! We did manage to get away though…

On Friday we headed away for a 24-hour escape!

Stowe, Vermont weekend

We got married in Stowe so we have always liked celebrating up there every year. We have managed to make it there 9/10 years so that is pretty good! It is close by but feels like a whole different world and has so many special memories for us. We, of course, had to stop at Cold Hollow Cider Mill on our way! I love cider donuts but I don’t like the ones with sugar sprinkled all over them so these ones are my very favorite!

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We got married at Stowe Mountain Lodge, which is now The Lodge at Spruce Peak. Our wedding was one of their very first ones because they had just opened in 2009 so it has grown and changed so much since then!

Stowe, Vermont weekend

I like to act like I am a tourist when I am in Stowe (actually all of the time really…) and so I totally made Lucas pull over so I could take the iconic Stowe shot. We also took lots of selfies at our wedding ceremony location.

The Lodge at Spruce PeakWe didn’t have big plans which was exactly what we were looking for! These days, our lives feel like go, go, go, all the time. I know this is just part of the stage of life we were in with our kids, but downtime is a special thing right now!

We had lunch on the patio and then read by the pool with our Kindles. It was amazing! Our kids had school on Friday which is why we decided to go up then because it allowed us to need a little less childcare help and a weekday is always a little quieter up there so that was nice!

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

We had dinner and then read our Kindles by the fireplace, Facetimed with the kids and were asleep by 9:30! Regular routines are hard to break but it was lovely to have zero demands from anybody!

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The next morning we were up by 6:30 so we found some coffee & maple lattes and had a relaxing morning.

Stowe wedding

After breakfast, we said “goodbye and see you next year!” to our special spot and headed off to meet our boys at their fall soccer jamboree. Our friends watched the kids for us so we could go away which we are so grateful for!

And just for fun, here is what we were doing 10 years ago right now…

St. John

We were on our honeymoon in St. John USVI. We rented a villa and a jeep for the week and it was just the best. Maybe for our 15th anniversary, we will go back there! I am also very proud of these honeymoon “selfies” because I took them with my little Canon digital camera! We definitely did not have iPhones back then…

St. John USVI

We had the best time exploring, snorkeling, eating lots of delicious food and reading(in the shade!) See, some things never change, ha!

honeymoon in St. John

Thanks for letting me reminisce a little! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. <3