2017 Bibliography

2017 was not a great reading year for me in terms of volume. I had a goal to read 100 books, but fell way short because of pregnancy, motherhood, and finally coming to terms with not finishing books I didn’t like. I ghosted two book clubs and sometimes went weeks without reading anything longer than a tweet. 2018 is already going better so far, but I still want to set realistic goals and only read books I love. I don’t think a book club works with how busy I currently am, but I would love to get out of my reading comfort zone by participating in some book challenges. We’ll see what 2018 brings!

1 star – You Can Skip These

  • Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
  • Crosstalk – Connie Willis

2 stars – Meh

  • History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
  • The Circle – Dave Eggers
  • Something In Between – Melissa de La Cruz
  • Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

3 stars – Good to Pass the Time, but I Wouldn’t Recommend

  • What Light – Jay Asher
  • Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot – Bill O’Reilly
  • Once and for All – Sarah Dessen
  • Rejection Proof: 100 Days of Rejection, or How to Ask Anyone of Anything at Any Time – Jia Jiang
  • Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder – Claudia Kalb
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald – Therese Anne Fowler
  • A Study in Charlotte – Brittany Cavallaro
  • The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
  • The Assistants – Camille Perri
  • 99 Days – Katie Cotugno
  • The Sun Is Also A Star – Nicola Yoon
  • Bunheads – Sophie Flack
  • 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows – Ann Brashares

4 stars – Really Liked These, and They Kept My Attention

  • Turtles All the Way Down – John Green
  • The Distance Between Us – Kaysie West
  • The Magnolia Story – Chip & Joanna Gaines
  • Rilla of Ingleside – L.M. Montgomery
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – John Tiffany
  • Worth the Wrestle – Sheri Dew
  • Eve and the Choice Made in Eden – Beverly Campbell
  • Being Sixteen – Ally Condie
  • It’s Not Summer Without You – Jenny Han
  • Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch
  • Longbourn – Jo Baker
  • Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls – Lauren Graham
  • The Light Fantastic – Sarah Combs
  • Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality – Donald Miller
  • Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick

5 stars – Page Turners that Made me Weep when They Ended, which I Have Since Recommended to Every Person I’ve Met 

  • The Names They Gave Us – Emery Lord
  • A Quiet Heart – Patricia Holland
  • Changed Through His Grace – Brad Wilcox
  • Hey Natalie Jean: Advice, Musings, and Inspiration – Natalie Holbrook
  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Han
  • The Romantics – Leah Konen
  • Dear Mr. Knightley – Katherine Reay
  • The Infinite Atonement – Tad R. Callister
  • Rainbow Valley – L.M. Montgomery
  • Continuous Conversion – Brad Wilcox
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3rd & 4th Trimester GBOMB

Well, it’s been a minute. We have six months of catching up to do, so let’s just jump in!

Good

– We had a baby! Everything from my delivery experience to her sleep schedule is basically perfect in every way. We were at church yesterday and I could hear the people who were sitting behind us whispering, “Look at that cute baby! Look at all that hair, and her chubby cheeks. She’s so perfect!” I just wanted to turn around and join in because I know, right?! Being her mom is the closest I’ll ever be to feeling like a celebrity.

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– I had heard about “mommy wars,” but feel so lucky to only be surrounded by really supportive women who are honest about their experience with motherhood. Recently one of my coworkers asked me if I was getting enough sleep, and I said I wasn’t, but that it was my fault because I stay up late reading on my phone when I should be sleeping when my baby’s asleep. She said, “It’s because you never get any time to yourself when she’s awake, so then you want to spend some time alone when she’s asleep.” It was such a relief to hear that. I’m not irresponsible, I’m just recharging my introvert batteries!

– I was so worried about going back to work after my maternity leave was over, but everyone has been so understanding and flexible. Also, I am nerdy about managing projects.

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– Seeing Tyson as a dad is seriously the coolest. I always knew he’d be a good dad, but their bond is really beyond what I could have ever pictured. I’m so glad my little girl gets to grow up feeling secure and loved by her dad.

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Bad

– People were not exaggerating about how hard the last few weeks of pregnancy are. You’re huge, and in pain, and the only sleep positions that are comfortable are the ones you’re not allowed to be in. I tried to be positive about it because I felt so blessed to even be pregnant, but I’m disappointed in myself because my negativity got the best of me a lot. And wouldn’t you know, I already miss it!

– I’ve been hormonal before, but the mood swings I went through after delivery were something else. Also, postpartum hair loss is for real.

– I feel guilty about not loving nursing. I wish I could go back in time with the resources and support system I have now and tell three day postpartum me that she was going to be okay and that her baby would be okay and that fed is best.

– It turns out all of the cliches about parenting are true, and babies really do grow up so fast. There are already so many things she used to do that she doesn’t do anymore, and even though she gets more fun every day, it still breaks my heart a little bit when she stops doing something we loved. For example, I was not prepared for when her little hands stopped being in tiny fists all the time. Don’t even get me started on her growing out of clothes. </3.

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– Tyson has been so busy this semester, and sometimes it feels like we only see each other in passing. At least we still have all of eternity, right? 🙂

On my Brain

– I’ve been struggling with knowing how much of my baby to share online. The internet adds a layer of complexity to everything in life, and it’s no different with parenting and privacy. How much of my baby is mine to share? I try to put myself in her teeny tiny shoes. Would I like to be able to go back and read about what I was like as a baby, complete with pictures and cute anecdotes? Sure, that would be so great! But the problem with the Internet is that once you release something into it, it’s no longer yours, and I worry about what would happen when those pictures and anecdotes were no longer mine. I’ve made my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter private, but sometimes watching Law & Order SVU makes me want to drop off the face of the Internet forever. At the same time, I don’t want to be overprotective. Where is the line?

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– One of my least favorite things is this:

Random person with one kid: “How are you doing?”
Me: “Good, just a little tired.”
Random person with one kid: “OMG, you don’t even know what tired is. Just you wait until you have kids!”
Me: *blinking guy meme*

But wait.

Random person with two kids: “How are you doing?”
Me: “Good, just a little tired.”
Random person with two kids: “OMG, you don’t even know what tired is. Just you wait until you have two kids, you’ll never sleep again!”

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According to  this formula, does it mean that Octomom is the only person who actually knows what tired is? Of course not! I know what tired is. I’ve pulled all nighters to finish a paper. I’ve woken up at 3 am to feed my baby. I’ve stayed up until 1 am looking at cat memes online. I wish we could all just stop invalidating everyone else’s experiences with being tired. Everyone’s tired. Just let people be tired!

– I’d been struggling with feeling like I wasn’t serving enough until I realized that there are seasons to everything, including what your discipleship looks like at different times in your life. There was a time when my discipleship looked like baking cupcakes for baptisms and taking multiple Institute classes per week. Right now, discipleship looks like rocking my baby to sleep and reading gospel books on my phone after everyone has gone to bed. Seasons, right?

I’m hoping the next season of my life is one in which I can make time to update my blog more often ;).