Read This Book!!

I’ve been hearing about Jim Gaffigan’s book Dad Is Fat for a while and just recently picked up a copy.  I’m so glad that I did!  It is hilarious and heart warming and rings so very true!

Jim and his wife Jeannie have five kids.  Yup, five.  And they live in a tiny apartment in New York City.  They had all five of their babies at home and practice attachment parenting.  But even if none of this sounds like you, that’s okay!  Because the parenting difficulties in the USA are pretty much universal regardless of your actual method of parenting, this book will be funny to almost every parent out there.

Gaffigan is a funny guy, in fact, he’s a stand up comic.  But he’s not your run of the mill raunchy comic, he’s someone who is truly hilarious, but you don’t feel like you need to clean your ears out with soap after listening to his act and he brings that brand of hilarity to his book.  He talks about the funny things his kids do, the annoying things his kids do, the dumb things he does, and about what an amazing woman his wife is.  One of the great things about this book is that while it’s funny and he does complain about his kids, woven through each story is such deep love for his children.  Sometimes in this culture that we live in, the dumb, useless, uninvolved father is all that we see, but Gaffigan shows us that it is possible to be a completely flawed human being, yet still totally in love with your kids and involved in the day to day happenings of their lives.

“Of course, I don’t think I’m God, but I am a little godlike to my children.  This is what I’m going to miss the most.  Even though they don’t view me as the tyrant I’d hope to be, to them I’m all-powerful: I’m their creator and provider.  They love me and kind of fear me.  They want to be in my arms when they are scared.  They want my forgiveness after they’ve done something wrong — ‘Daddy, are you happy at me?’  They want to be with me. I know this won’t last.  The expectations have been set too high.  It’s only a matter of time before they are totally disappointed when I fall off that lofty pedestal and they realize I’m just a giant kid myself.  It’s at that point I’ll run into some dad with a toddler gazing at him in wonder, and I’ll say ‘You’re going to miss this.’ And he’ll say, ‘Hey, aren’t you the Hot Pocket guy?'”

So help Jim and Jeannie get a bigger apartment.  Buy this book.

The Gaffigans

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Time to Celebrate

With Mommy and Daddy

This gallery contains 19 photos.

We were able to have Jane’s birthday party on her actual birthday at a park practically across the street from our house, and celebrated with close friends and family.  Before I had a child, I always thought that first birthday … Continue reading

{One Year Old}

This post is long overdue for two reasons.  One, I just haven’t had a good chunk of time to sit down and write it.  And, two, I’m in denial that my baby is now a year old.  How did this happen?

At the dentist.  She's fine... for now...

At the dentist. She’s fine… for now…

Our sweet girl is more and more a toddler everyday and precariously close to walking by herself, although she is very particular about how she will walk.  She wants to hold on to a finger from each hand while we walk behind her and complains emphatically if we deviate from normal.  We did two weeks of swimming lessons this month, and although she didn’t totally love them, she does enjoy being in the water if I’m holding her.  We also had a pretty traumatic first: a dental/surgical visit.  I have known for a while that she had a lip tie, but started to suspect that she had a posterior tongue tie as well, so we traveled to Lakeland to see a dentist who uses a laser and who doesn’t use general anesthesia.

P1110987Height: 29 inches (50th %-ile)

Weight: 22 pounds, 12 ounces (75th %-ile)

Head circumference: 47 cm (95th %-ile)

Happy Fathers' Day!

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Shoe size: 3

Diaper size: 4

Clothing: Mostly 18 month, some 12 month

Sleep: Well, we started and stopped night weaning because it was hugely unsuccessful.  I think we gave it a good try, but she just isn’t ready and no one was getting any sleep.  So we’ll try again in August (probably).  She wakes up hourly until we bring her into bed with us, and then it’s usually every 2-3 hours until 7:30 when she’s up for the day.  I know this sounds ridiculous.  It sounds ridiculous to me, too, but we actually do function pretty well, even with interrupted sleep and I love waking up to her every morning.  She has tried to give up her morning nap, but I’m not throwing in the towel yet!  I love that she takes two naps a day and I’m no where near ready (and neither is she, really) to go down to one.

20140524_113031Periodically I get asked if I will do things differently with the next baby and my usual reply is that I’m sure I will.  I’m not married to anything but my husband, and we will do what works best for our family as our family grows and changes.

janeNerinMilestones: She says doggie, daddy, book, ball, Tracy, bye bye, and hi, and she can sign please, more, food/eat, and all done.  We are working on asking for things nicely, and she does a good job (for a one year old) of saying please.

Challenges: Night weaning and getting her to actually put food in her mouth instead of on the floor!

Celebrating Stephen's graduation

Celebrating Stephen’s graduation

Successes: We have navigated this first year of parenting without killing each other (haha! but really) :)

A “Yes!” Marriage

When I was in college, I read the books For Women Only and For Men Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and was able to glean some insight from them, so when the opportunity to read The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference by the same offer, I was on board.  For starters, it was a quick read and offers practical advice.  Our marriage is in a good place, but I know to “never say never”, so to protect and safeguard our relationship is always wise.

The book isn’t full of rocket science, it’s a lot of common sense.  However, Feldhahn does say that it’s okay to go to bed angry sometimes (something I’ve known for years), contrary to much popular advice today.  She gives a lot of statistics about happy and unhappy marriages based on her research, and even says that the divorce rate in the USA is nowhere near the 50% we’ve always been told, but is actually closer to 30%, and that close to 80% of marriages are happy.

Whether you’re in a great marriage or you’re ready to call it quits, this book is a good refresher.  And although I wouldn’t say it’s full of secrets, it is full of practical applicable advice.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Winner, Winner

Jen!  You are now the new owner of your very own copy of Reasons My Kid is Crying!  Please e-mail me your address and I will mail your copy post haste!  Congratulations!

A Shattered Image

I have this beautiful image of myself of a mother that exists only in my head.  In this image, I am put together (something I have never been), who makes exercise a priority, who has a clean house, who spends daily time in the Word, who is always nice to her husband, and who practices attachment parenting so beautifully that the Drs. and Mrs. Sears call to get tips.  In this image, I am always present with Jane, never paying attention to my cell phone or computer unless she is sleeping.

And then my daughter wakes me up for the 472 time and I lose my mind.

Or I spend all day trying to get her to nap, and am wildly successful.  For 45 minutes.

Or I get bored of walking her around the house for the umpteenth time and check Facebook and Instagram.

Or I get through a week and realize that I haven’t even opened my Bible.

Or I realize that I was short with my husband.




The image is shattered daily.  But I think that’s a good thing, because even though I’m not spending much time with the Lord, He still finds ways to connect with me.  Humbling me.  Showing me that I need Him.  Showing me that I am no one’s savior.

Reasons My Kid is Crying {A Review}

I recently picked up Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke because I knew it would be a quick read.  Greg is is author of the Reasons My Son is Crying blog who turned his blog into a book.  It’s a really cute book that I’m sure I will come to appreciate more as my daughter grows and her tantrums with her.  The more ridiculous and dramatic the picture and/or story in this picture book, the better.  It really was a quick read; I finished it in one nursing session, but it is one that I will be able to pick up and browse again and again.

The publisher sent me a second copy by mistake… so what does that mean?  A giveaway!  Leave a comment below (any old comment will do), and I will randomly select a winner on July 11.  But, if you don’t win, pick up a copy for yourself at!

I received this book for free through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

To Do List

20140627_193516I am a very task-oriented, performance driven person.  So sometimes I have to write myself a “to do” list so that I have goals for the day and I can give myself a sense of achievement.  Sometimes I will even add things to the list that I already did, just so I can cross them off (see last three items on list).  Even so, I will still usually put off the most odious task (see only item left to be crossed off).

I felt pretty good about my day yesterday because I crossed most things off of the list, only to add a whole new sink full of dishes after I made hummus.  Oh, well.

Side note, I learned how to take a screen shot yesterday!  Thanks for teaching me, Katie and Brian!!

Seasons of Tomorrow {A Review}

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall is the fourth and final installment in the Amish Vines and Orchards book series.  I read books two and three and absolutely loved them, so I was eagerly awaiting the publication of this book.  While it sometimes made for choppy reading, I loved that Woodsmall was able to wrap up so many intricate story lines in this volume.  We finally see resolution in the love triangle of Samuel, Rhoda, and Jacob, and ultimately forgiveness freely given in several characters’ lives.

You can read an excerpt of the book here, and learn more about Cindy Woodsmall here.  To grab a copy for yourself, check out Amazon!

BloggingForBooks-125x125I received a copy of this book for free through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.  You can rate my review here.