The first time I remember rolling with laughter after Collins was born was over a book. She was two months old, & I had taken her to my mom’s house for the three of us to spend the day together. My friend, Karly, had loaned me Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants. It was a slow start at first—a page here, a paragraph there. But then I got sucked into Tina’s world, & I had it with me always for any spare moment I could find.

That first kid is a doozy. Some people who have multiple kids say they didn’t realize how easy they had it when there was just one toddling around, but I wouldn’t go back for one thousand dollars. The first kid changes everything. Everything is new & a first & you’re always on your toes wondering how long this season will last or if you’re doing it right. At least that’s how I was. So when I got outside of my own little bubble & immersed myself in Tina’s, I felt a warm brightness—a long, therapeutic breath & a minute or possibly longer where I wasn’t thinking about feeding & sleeping schedules. I was sitting on my mom’s couch in the living room when I laughed out loud. It was a jolt. Oh yeah, I like funny. I appreciate humor & wit, & I’m a smart human.

That laugh changed everything because it served as a reminder how important feeding my soul is. So now, over four years later, if I get into a funk or feel stuck in my own head, I’ll check in with myself—are you reading a book that makes you laugh & think?

Reading takes you outside of yourself & connects you to the world around you. Reading empowers. Reading teaches. Reading sparks imagination. Books remind you of what is already true– You are smart & creative. Your thoughts matter. Your voice matters. Books remind you that you have a voice.

Reading reminds you you’re not alone— a good story connects you not only to the characters in its story but also makes you more empathetic to the people in your own life. Books reveal all of the layers of the human spirit that often don’t make it into quick conversations & social media posts. Books make you laugh—or they can make you cry—those are healing, too.

There’s a Barnes & Noble in the shopping center where I run some of my errands, & I walked around last Monday, looking at all the books. So many books. I started getting overwhelmed thinking about all the books I would never get to read because there just isn’t enough time on this planet. And then I thought What an amazing problem! We have access to so many wonderful books.

The thing is, I get how nutty this time of year can be, especially if you have a tiny baby to figure out. But I think books help. It doesn’t have to be 50 pages a night—there won’t be a test or paper at the end. Getting out of your own head is a game changer, though. Laughing is good for you. It’s why I remember that laugh on my mom’s couch. That laugh was like a piece of chocolate– soothing, enriching, & filled with happy.

And while I’m a fan of reading actual paper books, audio books count, too!

If you’re looking for a light, funny, easy to pick up & put down book for the holiday season, check out one of these:

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon (lots of pretty pictures in this one, too)

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham

What’s one of your recent favorites? Happy Reading!

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