Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Book Club: July

Yay, yay, it's book club day! We loved getting to read The Fringe Hours with you all and chatting along the way. What a fun format! We might have to do that again in the future! We have a super fun summer read (by one of our favorite southern writers) planned for July, but first as promised our final thoughts on The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner.

Carrie Beth's Review: 
I had been wanting to read this book after seeing a lot of people post about it on social media.  I wondered what the hype was and wondered how I could make more time for myself.  As a stay-at-home-mom without a "real" job I often feel like people thing I have all the time in the world, but that just isn't the case. I might not go into an office at set hours each day, but that also means I have no childcare, no housekeeper, no nothing. It is all on me and I'm fine with that.  I choose to be a mom and make my kids my first priority. However, it can be a crazy, busy, and thankless job at times that is  constant.  It's 24/7 and that's why I think it's so important to find some time for yourself, no matter when that time is.  I will say, now that my kids are a little older it is easier for me to make time for myself.  They are more independent, not as needy, and happy to play by themselves so I do take advantage of that and see how "me" time has evolved over the years.

I loved how Jessica Turner talked about finding pockets of time in your day to do things that make you feel better as a person and to really fill you up.  Not just to find more time to get more tasks done, but to spend that time really being productive in a way that serves you.  I loved that she talked about finding time that works for you.  I am NOT a morning person.  At all.   I have tried.  For me, nights are MY time.  After everyone is asleep and the house is quiet, that is my time to do things for myself. Sure, I might throw in a load of laundry or pick up dishes in the kitchen, but the majority of that time is spent doing things for myself.  That's when I check social media, which might seem mindless and just a waste of time to some people (like my husband), but for me, it makes me happy and in turn fills me up. I love staying connected with friends in that way.  It's also most often when I blog.  Before this blog, I still had my personal blog and while some people might not understand why it makes me happy to stay up late posting pictures and writing recaps of our weeks, it is something I do for me.  I love looking back on all of the memories and I know my children will one day treasure the blog books and memories I am documenting of our lives.

Lastly, I'm awful at saying no and I know that is something I should work on.  I love to be involved in my kids' schools and sports and because I'm a stay-at-home mom I feel it is my obligation to do so.  However, I often find myself feeling stressed out, over committed, and constantly rushed.  I want to just be able to enjoy my kids and this season of life, without always feeling like I have a million things in the back of my mind that need to be done.  I was hoping this summer would be a little bit of a break since school is out, but I've somehow found a way to over-commit us all in a way that makes the time fly by instead of feeling like a relaxing and lazy summer. I do think that after completing this book I will be making a conscious effort to only say yes to the really important things, to make time for not only myself, but my family, and to only fill my time with those things that will truly bring me joy.  You know the funny sayings Happy Wife = Happy Life and If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy are really true. If I'm stressed and overwhelmed I know I take that out on my kids and my husband, and that isn't fair to any of us.  I'm hoping to really start choosing joy in my own life to make the other people around me happier and more joyful as well!

Jen's Review: 
Saying "no" to things was actually one of my New Year's goals. While I have somewhat gotten better at this, I have largely failed. I often say yes to something or volunteer to help out even when I consciously know it's going to be slightly overwhelming for me. During the school year our schedule was tight, and if anything out of the ordinary came up - watch out! Our whole schedule got thrown off and things began to stack up on one another. Not the most fun for anyone involved. Speaking with friends I know this is a common problem for many moms.

As I read Fringe Hours, I realized I whole heartedly believed in Jessica Turner's philosophy, and somewhat already actively did some of her suggestions. I realized where I had little pockets of time and would use those to do things that were fun for me. If I am driving in the car, I would call to catch up with one of my friends quickly. If I was sitting in carpool for over half an hour, I would read a book or a magazine. If it was time to exercise, I would turn on my favorite mindless television shows I had recorded earlier and enjoy two "me" things at once.

Following Turner's advice, I wrote down all of the things I am "in charge of" and realized where I can outsource a few things so that I can find some wiggle room in my routine. I also realized where our family can say no to a few things and actually enjoy our time together rather than rushing from place to place to fulfill each commitment. Hopefully we've made some changes for the long term, and will see instant stress relieving results.

Now to discuss: What did you think of Fringe Hours? Have you found little pockets in your day to get in some "me time"? What are some things you wish you could spend more of your time doing?

July's Selection: Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews

From the Back Cover: 
Greer Hennessy is a struggling movie location scout. Her last location shoot ended in disaster when a film crew destroyed property on an avocado grove. And Greer ended up with the blame.
Now Greer has been given one more chance--a shot at finding the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town. There's one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino--which will be perfect for the film's climax--when the bad guys blow it up in an all-out assault on the townspeople.
Greer slips into town and is ecstatic to find the last unspoilt patch of the Florida gulf coast. She takes a room at the only motel in town, and starts working her charm. However, she finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thinadeaux. Eben is a born-again environmentalist who's seen huge damage done to the town by a huge paper company. The bay has only recently been re-born, a fishing industry has sprung up, and Eben has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his. 
Will true love find a foothold in this small beach town before it's too late and disaster strikes? Told with Mary Kay Andrews inimitable wit and charm, Beach Town is this year's summer beach read!

February | March | April | May | June |

Happy Reading!

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  1. Okay I seriously need to write down the names of some of these books.. so I can pack them for the beach and hope to read at least one. ;)

  2. I really enjoyed last months book club. Great book to re-read every so often as a good reminder.

    1. Yes! It's tough to think of "me time" sometimes with constant to do lists, and busy schedules - so a great reminder to go back to occasionally. Thank you for reading along!


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