Hi friends! So sorry for the tardiness of my book club post, but May was so incredibly busy with work, Lucketts, and prepping for my Houzz tour that I just didn’t have time to read the May book until the beginning of June. But I’m all caught up now and ready to share my thoughts on both May’s and June’s books.
For June we read Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong by blogger Sophie Hudson.
Katie selected this book and it’s not my normal type of selection. I gravitate towards literature, or if it is going to be a memoir, it’s got to be something super quirky (like The Glass Castle.) So I admit it was a struggle for me to really get into this book… Sophie’s writing style is humorous and light, and very southern. Her humor is self-deprecating which I can totally appreciate. Her story is sweet and uplifting, and acknowledges that marriage takes hard work and can sometimes be a struggle. She is, to me, a completely relatable human being. So in the end I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The message is clear, that home is in fact where your people are- you build your home around them, no matter where it lands you. It did have very strong religious undertones (well, not really undertones, because it’s not like they were hidden!), and that was a bit much for me. (I am a Christian, but I am a very low key Christian!) I think I would recommend it to people who might be feeling a little lost, or struggling at home, and looking for a reason to it all, but I don’t think I would recommend it to my mom or mother in law, who have very similar book-reading tastes to me.
For June, we decided as a group to read a self-help book. I can’t tell you the last time I read a self help book. Years ago, I started The Happiness Project and never finished it. I would really like to pick it back up and start it all over again. When it came to my selection I turned to trusty facebook and asked friends to recommend books for me since I don’t delve into this genre a whole lot. My good friend Kim of Newly Woodwards recommended Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!
Kim always writes amazing posts featuring monthly goals of bettering herself. She is a woman who has a very good head on her shoulders, and whom I admire as a mother, wife, friend, and woman in general. When I looked up Hands Free Mama, I was sold…. it was exactly what I felt I needed in my life, especially at this moment. Owning a business is hard work, and people expect you to be in it 100% of the time. But I also have this blog, my friends and home life, my dogs, fitness, and most importantly, my family. I often feel like I am in over my head, and drowning trying to get it all done, and constantly tied to the phone or computer as work or blogging beckons me. I know this must sound familiar to so many of you, because in today’s day and age, technology keeps us all connected, but sometimes it keeps us too connected. It feels as though there is no escape. This book helped me start to step away a bit from all of that, and helped me refocus on the little people that are the most important in my life. I am taking baby steps, but I am happy to say that I am making so much progress thanks to this book. Emmy and I selected a new book and I’ve been reading a chapter aloud each month, something I hadn’t done in a long time. When she was in camp two weeks ago and I had just Sawyer, it was a great time to get work done, but I spent time with him and took him on a special miniature golf date.
(Luckily we did not need an attendant to retrieve for us at all!)
Emmy and I had an hour long pastels drawing session last week. What you can’t see in the picture is her label on her Statue of Liberty…. “Stachue of Libety.” Had I not taken the time with her, I would have missed that.
I did all of these things while other projects or work was waiting in the wings, while the house was dirty, and I let it all go to spend quality time talking, playing, and listening to the people I love. The biggest step for me has been letting go of the mess around me…. I am embracing summertime especially and letting the kids be a little messier. While I could make time to have them clean while I dust and vacuum, I could also use that time to cook with them, read with them, play with them, eat dinner on the porch and then relax outside and talk with them.
(Notice the bag of potting soil we left out after planting sunflower seeds, the chalk on the porch…. it’s not picture perfect, but what I see is togetherness and happiness).
Pardon all of the interspersed phone pictures, but these were moments captured when we were just having fun, not staged or styled…. just spending time together.
I know I am talking more about myself than this book, but I want you to understand how life-changing this was for me…. it was exactly what I needed. Sometimes work can wait and the world won’t end. Sometimes you can ask for deadline extensions and the world won’t end. Sometimes the house can be dirty, complete with furball tumbleweeds, and the world won’t end. But Sawyer’s and Emmy’s childhood will one day come to an end, and that is something I do not want to miss.
I strongly recommend this book and am even trying to get Chris to read it. I have several local friends who are starting it after I raved about it. And I am definitely going to be ordering Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More.
For July, Kirby has selected First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen, a book written by her neighbor, Charlie Lovett. I am excited to dive into this one as I am a huge Jane Austen fan!
And check out their self help book selection reviews:
I hope you will join along in reading this with us! What is on your summer reading list? I’d love to hear more great recommendations!
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