GIVE ME ALL THE BOOKS
I’m coming for you, Texas! Blake & I are on our way home from NYC to our babies this afternoon, & I can’t wait to kiss their little faces. I used to have major anxiety about returning from vacation—like the kind where you get ulcers in your mouth. I would anticipate these times of rest & fun, but then it would be over, & I would struggle with transitioning back into reality. It’s hard to believe considering I live an incredible reality. But when your mindset is to achieve & go-go-go all the time, your vacation gives you an escape—a chance to be satisfied in the moment. This was a red light that made me realize I needed to switch some things up in my life because you should be excited to come back home. Number one change. Lighten up. Achieving is good—but the cycle of living for the achievement steals the joy & the journey. Number two change. Gratitude. It’s not to say I wasn’t grateful before, but audibly voicing gratitude or writing it down makes all the difference. When you’re away on vacation, sleeping in & doing whatever the heck you want, it can be a shock to your system coming back to alarm clocks & obligations. Daily gratitude is everything. A sunrise you get to witness. A hot cup of coffee. (Go ahead & sprinkle some whipped cream & sprinkles on top.) Food in your fridge to make your kids breakfast. A car with a tank full of gas (or the money to refill it). A good book. These are all little, daily things that could easily go without recognition or even feel like a chore. But perspective is everything, & a grateful one makes all the difference.
Speaking of a good book, now that it’s starting to cool off outside (maybe?…come on, Texas), there’s nothing better than curling up in something cozy with an anticipated read. If you’re in the market for something new for your bookshelf, here are a few recs!
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
This was the first book I read after Collins was born, & it was the perfect mix of comic relief & Tina Fey being a boss. I borrowed this one, but I feel like I need to go buy it so I can read it again. It’s a great one if you only have short snippets of time to read.
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan is hilarious. Here’s a YouTube clip for proof. His stories will have you rolling, & will leave you feeling solidarity in the world of parenting. He even talks about the painstaking process of applying sunscreen to your kids—my arch nemesis of summer.
Of Mess & Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
Jen Hatmaker is a master of taking the single thought of making the perfect stew & the single thought of white supremacy & meshing it into one cohesive book. Some chapters leave you laughing your head off, & some leave you with some big questions to consider. All of her books are top notch, but this is her latest.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
When I set up my desk at home, I wrote a quote from this book in big letters & put it on a clipboard for my eyes to see daily. Elizabeth Gilbert takes the struggle out of creativity & reminds us being creative isn’t just for the select few.
Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
I always think this book is fiction because it reads so much like a story, but it is in fact a memoir! I haven’t seen the series, but I’ve heard the first season follows the book to a T. The 1950’s storyline has you rooting for Jenny, a 22-year-old midwife, as she encounters women from all sorts of backgrounds in England & helps them deliver their babies. It will also make you super thankful to deliver your babies in the 21st century.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Now, I have seen this movie, & it’s beautiful. I definitely recommend reading the book first, but even if you’ve already seen it, go read it! In post-World War II London, Juliet is connected to a society in Guernsey by letter. As she corresponds with one of its members & then visits them to write about their story, she is both captivated by the society’s characters & torn by the stories they share.
Space at the Table by Brad & Drew Harper
A heavier read but still easy to follow, this memoir is written by a father & son. The father is a conservative pastor, & the son is a gay atheist. This book isn’t about taking sides or discovering the right answer—it’s about listening & learning to love despite magnificent differenes.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
A memoir, Bryan is a young lawyer who establishes the Equal Justice Initiative, a practice to defend the poor & wrongly condemned. The book’s main case follows Walter, a man who has spent over a decade on death row for murder. There are other cases sprinkled throughout the chapters, too. Think of it as a cousin to To Kill A Mockingbird, but for adult eyes only (although a Young Adult adaptation was just released this month!). Plus, word on the street is it’s being made into a movie, so get ahead of the game & pick up your copy.
Cookbooks (This totally counts as a genre to read!)
Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson
The recipes & party tips are perfect for hosting, whether it be for 4 or 30 friends. Her recipes area all vegetarian, but I promise you won’t leave feeling hungry. Plus, the pictures & illustrations are gorgeous.
Celebrations by Danielle Walker
Danielle Walker is the brilliant mind behind this cookbook that includes a menu for each holiday. Each recipe is gluten & dairy free with specifications given for even more exclusive diets. Don’t let this fool you—there’s nothing restrictive about these recipes!
Whatever genre you’re feeling, I hope you find yourself tucked away on a couch, front porch, or coffee shop with a few moments between you & your book. Happy Reading!