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Book Review: 15 Years of War + Giveaway

Growing up, each summer I would visit the library weekly and walk out with a huge stack of books taller than my head.  I would curl up on my window seat and read hours upon hours each day taking myself to far off fantasy worlds that only existed in the books I read.

My daughter, now 13, is a mirror image of me.  She begs me to take her to the library weekly because the 12 books she checked out last week have all been read through at a speed record pace.  It’s incredible to see her enthusiasm for reading is stronger than mine ever was.

As I got older, though, those fantasies were substituted for the real world, and my time for reading books was given up for dishes, laundry and all of the other “real fun” things that keep a family in working order.  I began to live Cinderella’s lifestyle, without the glass slipper.

But I still enjoy picking up a book or two each summer, though I now carefully select them, instead of grabbing stacks off the shelves like my former youthful self once did.

I was extremely excited to read 15 Years of War, not because I have a penchant for military novels, but because Kristine Schellhaas‘ life mirrored mine, but in a parallel dimension sort of way.  Kristine and her husband Ross, are a military family, as are we, but they are Marine (unlike our alternate universe of being an Air Force family).  They, like us, were married in 2003 (see the similarities).  Another interesting quirk about our two families was I spent 5 years of my childhood in Boise, Idaho, as did Kristine.  That window seat where I found my love of reading was in the same town that Kristine and Ross fell in love.

There is a saying that the military is a small world, and I truly believe that.  There are 318 million people in the United States, yet, at one point in my life, Kristine and I may have actually been at the same grocery store when I was nine years old.  And nearly 25 years later, here I am reading the story of how two people endured two wars, countless moves, training exercises, loss and love.  It was an incredible story, but that’s not the half of it.


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Breaking Busy Book Review

Why Am I “Breaking Busy”? {A Book Review}

Anyone who knows me, knows the word “busy” is banned in my presence.  Its a four-letter word that starts as an excuse and ends in an eye-roll.  Everyone is busy.  Sorry, we all are.  You are no more busy than I am, so please don’t make it sound like you are.  Its the choices we make to fill the space in our 24-hour lives that make the difference.  I choose not to say “I’m too busy to help you,” or “sorry I can’t do that for you, because I’m too busy.”  Because frankly, if you really mattered to me, which you do, I absolutely would.

I recently read an amazing book that put all of this “busyness” into complete perspective.  It examined why we are doing what we’re doing, what we’ve said yes to and why, and whether those are things we actually want to be spending our time and resources on.

If you are tired of being “all things, to all people,” read on to see what I thought of Alli Worthington’s book, Breaking Busy, How To Find Peace & Purpose In A World of Crazy.


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that time… she read seven books in seven days

When your daughter is grounded from all electronics, she is bound to resort to one of two options: sit and stare at her wall for hours or read books. I got lucky that Mini Me wasn’t about to be bored. But a new responsibility has fallen on me during her recent incarceration: shuttling her to the library every week to refresh the stacks of books.

Since I have such a voracious reader, I thought I would put together a nice mother-approved reading list that still is “cool” enough for a middle schooler.  Here are our recent “picks.”


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that time i… read a book in 2 days

I am NOT a fast reader.  I wish I was.  I wish I could zoom through books like my daughter (she’s a 250-page a day girl).  Unfortunately, it just takes me awhile to process, think, and comprehend the subject matter.  Throw in a non-fiction book, and that just sends me into snail speed.

So when I received this book by Jessica Turner, I knew it would take me awhile to get through.  I decided to schedule my reading when I had some “free” time in my schedule [read: when I would be stuck in an airport terminal for a few hours in between travelling].  What surprised me was that despite the subject matter, this was a quick, and helpful read. (more…)

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Glitter and Glue: A Book Review with Perspective

I am one of those moms who “never has time to read” or at least I tell myself that.  It has been at least a year since I read any book for pleasure. I’ve read books for my job, but we’ll just say, they weren’t necessarily fun.


So I decided that this summer. I would start taking my daughter to our community pool and start reading real books.  And the first one I read was a surprising find.  I can’t remember where I came across it, but I was so glad I found it.


Have you ever read a book at the right time in your life?  Like that book jumped off the bookshelf and into your arms because you needed to read it.  That it would change your life?


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