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Month: May 2015 (page 1 of 2)

What I’m Reading: May and June 2015

We’re in a busy season.  Caleb is deployed, still.  Meanwhile Hadden and I are just a few weeks away from our move to Ohio.  If you’ve ever moved across the country, you know how much work is involved.  There are endless To-Do lists.  And if you’re ever done it without your spouse and with a two-year-old in tow, well, I’d love to know how many grey hairs you earned!

This seems like an unlikely time to be doing extra reading, but that’s exactly what I have been doing.

Since he’s given up his nap, I’ve instituted “quiet time” for Hadden.  Each afternoon he plays in his room for 30 minutes or so while I regain my sanity.  I usually consider using that time productively, to clean out a closet, make a phone call, or write.  But each afternoon I find myself curled up with a book (or my iPad, for kindle reads).  Late at night, with Hadden asleep next to me, I do the same.

In this busy season I’ve been craving silence and stories.  I don’t have many words of my own to share right now.  There hasn’t been enough time to process all of them.  But I still need them.  I love escaping into someone else’s story and to sit in (relative) silence for a half hour feels like a luxury.  (Let’s be honest, when I read during “quiet” time, I still get interrupted a few times and I hear bumps and talking from the next room so it’s not actually silent!)

As always, I have been reading lots of blogs and articles.  But today I’m sharing the books I’ve read during the past month and which books I’m reading next.

WhatI'mReading-

FINISHED:

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

I’ve read two of Niequist’s other books (Bread & Wine and Bittersweet) and loved both of them.  I was expecting to love this one as well, but, to be frank, I didn’t.  This was Shauna’s first book and it felt like it.  I wish I had started with this one and then moved on to the others.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

I’m never sure where I land on the Young Adult genre and this was no exception.  I enjoyed it, but it’s not one I would think to recommend.

Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin

I skimmed over a few parts, but overall I loved this book.  The former-psychology-major in me loved reading about her research and her experimentation.  And, always the mark of a good book in my mind, I’ve been thinking back to specific parts and bringing it up in conversations.

Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells by Matthew Gallatin

I LOVED this one.  Like Happier At Home, it has kept me thinking long after I finished it and has sparked good conversations with others.

This One is Mine by Maria Semple

Since I liked Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (also by Semple) I figured I would like this one.  I was not expecting it to be so racy.  The overall plot line kept me interested though!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I read this last year, but thought it was good enough to re-read.  I’m waiting for the sequel to go on sale so I can read it too!

IN THE QUEUE:

Wearing God by Lauren Winner

Oh, how I love Lauren Winner’s writing.  I’ve read and re-read her other books since I was first introduced to her seven or so years ago.  My mom sent this, Winner’s latest book, in a care package and I’ve already liked the few pages I’ve read.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Friends recommended this and then it went on sale for Kindle so I snagged it. I know nothing about it, which sometimes is the best way to start a book.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Since I loved Happier At Home, I’m guessing I’ll love Rubin’s original book!

  • What have you been reading this spring?  Have any recommendations?
  • Have you read any of these before?  What did you think?
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Memorial Day Post Round-Up

On Memorial Day, we honor those who have died in service to our country.   Today I don’t have anything profound to say.  Instead I’m sharing a few of the articles that I’ve read or website I’ve visited as I’ve been thinking about this day and preparing to explain it to my son.

As A Nation, We Have To Remain Worthy Of Their Sacrifice

Weekly Address: Honoring Our Fallen Heroes This Memorial Day | President Obama

Like generations of heroes before them, these Americans gave everything they had—not for glory, not even for gratitude, but for something greater than themselves.  We cannot bring them back.  Nor can we ease the pain of their families and friends who live with their loss.

But we are the Americans they died to defend.  So what we can do—what we must do—is fulfill our sacred obligations to them, just like they fulfilled theirs to us.  We have to honor their memory.  We have to care for their families, and our veterans who served with them.  And as a nation, we have to remain worthy of their sacrifice—forever committed to the country they loved and the freedom they fought for and died for.

Honor the Fallen Database | Military Times

Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn

A Letter to My Children on Memorial Day | Bronwyn Lea at Huffington Post

For while I don’t understand and can’t condone the reasons for all the wars the U.S. has engaged in, I now know that Memorial Day is not about the politics of war. It is about the individuals and families I now know by name whose fathers, brothers, sons and daughters have traveled far away in our service at great cost and at great risk to themselves and their loved ones. I have now sat with a friend whose father was killed in Lebanon. Memorial Day honors those who have fallen.

At Dover Air Force Base, Bringing Home The Fallen With Grief And Joy | Rachel Martin at NPR

“I’ve heard that wail from a father, and the picture in my mind is the father of a Marine, and the transfer case has come off the plane and it’s been put into the vehicle. It’s been closed up. We’ve saluted. And the vehicle starts to pull off and the honor guard is marching behind. And this guy reaches out — I can see it — he just reaches out like this, and he just screams, for his son.”

I hope that you take time this weekend to remember those who lost their lives, to thank their families, to visit a cemetery, or to explain the weight of Memorial Day to your children.

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Honest Talk About Deployment

I get asked this question all the time:

“So…how is deployment REALLY going?”

And I usually respond, “It’s been fine.  We’re ready for it to be over, of course, but it’s been going well.”

That is the truth.  It HAS been fine.

But there have also been times when it hasn’t been fine.

Today I’m trying to find the balance between honesty and complaining.  I’m not trying to win the “Who Has It Worst?” game – I don’t even want to PLAY that game!  But I do think it is important for people, especially civilians, to know what military families go through during a deployment, although I certainly don’t claim to speak for all military families.

So here’s how deployment is REALLY going!

 

 

So...how is deployment REALLY going-  -- honest talk about deployment

 

If you’re new to my blog, here’s a quick summary of our story: My husband, Caleb, is deployed for the first time.  Meanwhile I’m home with our two-year-old, Hadden, and handling all the details of our move from Nebraska to Ohio.

Most days I am grateful for how well we’re doing.  Hadden and I stay fairly busy, which keeps both of us happy.  I am a meticulous planner, especially with the details of our move, so I keep things going by making many lists every day.  We are able to talk to Caleb fairly often, but that doesn’t work out, Hadden and I look at pictures of him or watch videos that he’s recorded.  I’ve tried to avoid extra stressors, have been learning to let things go quicker, and have been more in-tune with Hadden’s feelings and needs.

So, see?  We’re fine.

 My kid is fine.

Except that the first time we went on base after Caleb left, he kept calling to all the “dada’s” he saw.

Except that he panics when I walk into another room, thinking I’m leaving him.

Except that he cries for his daddy at night.  And sometimes in the morning.  And sometimes in the afternoons.

Except that when Skype cuts out unexpectedly, he stays there and keeps calling “Dada!  Dada!” and then collapses into tears when I tell him that Daddy can’t talk anymore.

Except that if he sees me crying, he’s started to come over, pat my head and sweetly say, “Oh, mama.  Da da da.” because of how often I do that to him.  (And that’s a lot of talking for a child with apraxia for speech)

I’m fine.

Except that I cry far quicker than I used to.

Except that I haven’t been able to do any honest writing because I haven’t wanted to give myself space to think and feel.

Except that I see how much Caleb is missing of our son’s life and it makes my heart hurt.

Except that I’m an angry mama much faster these days and have had to ask my son’s forgiveness for snapping at him an embarrassing amount of times.

Except that if I haven’t heard from my husband at “regular” intervals, I check the news, just in case.

Except that for months now I haven’t been able to “tap out” of parenting responsibilities when my chronic pain flares up or I’m in bed with a migraine.

Still…I consider those to be very, very small sacrifices in the long run.  

And that is why we’re doing fine.

Connect with me on Facebook to see more posts and stay updated on our deployment journey!
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