Monday, October 4, 2010

Book Review & GIVEAWAY!: Love and Respect for a Lifetime

I recently received  a copy of Emerson Eggerich's Love and Respect for a Lifetime to review, and I immediately thought of some of our best friends, who are getting married at the end of the year.  Literally- the END of the year!  Their wedding is December 31st, and really, what better way to start out 2011 than as husband and wife?  I decided that, unless the book was horrifically awful, or I disagreed with some of the principles, they were going to receive my copy as a gift.  I'm happy to report that they'll be getting a copy!  

I originally thought this was going to be an actual book... you know, lots of paper pages covered in words?  It's not.  It's more of a gift book.  In fact, it would make a perfect coffee table book, because each page contains a tidbit from the original  Love and Respect book, and someone who just picked it up and read a page would still get good stuff out of it.  In fact, I can see how you would thumb through and be inspired to purchase Eggerich's original classic.  Anyhow, it's very attractive and would make a great wedding or anniversary gift... or perhaps for Valentine's Day, if your sweetheart is the book type!

Eggerich has been speaking about marriage and counseling couples for decades, and that is very evident as you glean from the wisdom contained in the pages of this book.  From observations he's made to stories from couples he has counseled, the reader is sure to find a new thought that can immediately be applied to any type of relationship.  Yes, the book is certainly geared toward married couples, but I feel sure that even a single person could gain a new perspective toward the opposite sex, and how to relate in non-romantic relationships. 

So, bottom-line, I recommend it.  In fact, I might pick up the original Love and Respect- I'm thankful for Eggerich's wisdom, and have already applied some of his principles to my marriage.  

Would YOU like to receive a copy of this book, too?  Well, guess what- you can!  The publisher accidentally shipped two copies for me to review, and I have been given the green light to give the extra copy away, here on my blog.  

To enter, simply comment on this post.  No complicated extra credit, though I'd be honored if you'd be my friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.  I'll randomly choose a winner Friday, October 8th, sometime after noon.

I used a random name generator, and the winner is... Heather!  Congrats!  Keep your eyes open for a package from me!

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Let me be upfront in saying that I don't endorse the language in this video, but I think the message outweighs it.


Sounds like it should be a new reality TV show where stay-at-home moms compete to iron trousers and diaper babies and cook dinner in record time. I had better be careful- I don't want to feed that monster. There's enough "reality" garbage on TV as it is.

Mompetition refers to this unspoken war among all moms. We try to justify our decisions, and in the process, end up slinging mud all over our potential "mom friends". As I watched this video, I groaned, because good grief- I know I'm guilty. No matter how hard you try to be neutral and not judge others, when you have such strong convictions on things, it's really hard not to be critical.

We all have equal access (for the most part) to the information that is available for researching anything and everything related to child-rearing... from nutrition to naps to vaccinations to discipline, it's out there, and it's up to us to read and digest. Some of us tend to read it all and become self-proclaimed experts, while others are perfectly content to be an ostrich and just do whatever we're told or whatever seems natural. Either way, when we come across someone who has made different choices, it seems like the only reasonable reaction is to stand up for what we have decided is best, even if it means knocking down that other mom.

There are certain things in child-rearing that I am passionate about, and I therefore have a very difficult time not judging people who do things differently...

... when I see a child chowing down on McDonalds, I wince.
... when I see an infant drinking formula from a bottle, I groan.
... when I hear that a mother is following the CDC recommended vaccination schedule, I shudder.
... when I see or hear of a mother angrily spanking a child, my eyes tear up.

But you know what? I've not walked in their shoes. I don't KNOW why the other mom has to feed her child junk- maybe she lost her job and all she had was a gift card for McDonalds. I don't KNOW why the other mom isn't breastfeeding her baby- maybe she suffered from breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy. I don't KNOW why the other mom is "loading her child with toxins" by fully vaccinating- maybe they are missionaries and moving to a third world country. I don't KNOW why the other mom is "beating her child"- maybe she's told him over and over, but he still ran out into the street.

So yeah. It's true. I've been a mompetitor. But my new goals? Compassion. Empathy. Because really, we need each other... we need our mom friends... we need to walk this road of mommyhood hand-in-hand with those who have gone before and those who are just beginning. Let's do this together.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Map - A Book Review

Several months ago, I received a copy of David Murrow's The Map to review. As a dutiful book reviewer, I took it with me on a long weekend vacation, and set out to conquer it in a couple of sittings, which is typical for me.

As I started to read, it took a bit to get "hooked", but eventually, I found myself engrossed in a tale of a man's journey. It possessed all the great mystery/action elements, and, though the book was intended for men (oops, didn't realize this when I offered to review it) and certainly geared toward the male gender, I was truly enjoying the story.

And then, everything changed.

Surprise! The whole real-life journey? Yeah, it's not really true. It's just fiction. While it served its purpose of drawing me in, I felt betrayed, lied to, duped!

I found the rest of the book difficult to read and understand, as it seems to talk in circles. I won't spoil it, in case you plan to read it, but I truly feel that Murrow (while honest in his attempt) is looking WAY too much into the Bible and trying to create a "new" theory. He's not the first author to try and find something hidden in God's Word, and I'm certain he won't be the last.

Bottom line: Between the lie that comprises the first half of the book and the complications of the second half, I can't recommend this book in good conscience.

... perhaps if I were a man? Probably not...

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren

I read this quote today, posted by one of my "fan pages" (or whatever they're called now) on Facebook. I'd say Ms. Loren hit the nail on the head! There's just something about being a mom that doesn't let your mind ever rest or fully disengage. You're always thinking ahead.

As an infant, those thoughts revolved around Caleb's next feeding- for my life truly did revolve around his eating "schedule" (perhaps routine is a better choice of word, since we didn't utilize any type of schedule?). If I needed to go somewhere or do something, I had to "tank him up" and run out the door, because within a couple of hours, he'd be ready for more. OH, and no matter how many bottles of milk I pumped, he refused them. Preferred his meals directly from the source. I'd be lying if I said that was an annoyance or troublesome- some of my best memories come from remembering that little face with milk dribbles on the chin, resting peacefully on my arm, and knowing that I alone provided him with all he needed in life. So this responsibility, this blessing of nursing him truly did dictate the what, when, and where of my life for months.

As I've transformed into the mom of a toddler, my thought patterns have changed, as well. Sure, I still ponder thoughts of "when will he be ready to eat again?" and use them to shape my day, but as his mobility has increased, I've developed a sort of sixth sense for always knowing where he is. Most of the time, I need to have my eyes on him, for curious toddler hands have a way of finding anything they shouldn't touch. As he grows, he's discovering all of the things stashed away on tables and countertops, no longer safe from wandering eyes and hands. Subconsciously, I always know where he is and what he's doing. Even on the rare occasion that we're apart, I still find myself "keeping eyes on him" out of habit. A month or so ago, Caleb stayed with my inlaws while I went to my annual eye doctor appointment. For the first time, having my eyes dilated caused vision disturbances and a major migraine. So, I came home for a few hours- alone- and waited on my hubby to come home from work. That was the first time I'd been by myself in the house for more than five minutes since before Caleb was born! It's second nature- I kept looking for him and reminding myself that he wasn't here.

So yep, it's true. The brain of a mommy doesn't have an off switch. I love it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back in the Blogging Groove

So now that we're past the holidays, I'm back in the blogging groove. Honestly, it just took a "what's up with your blog?" to make me realize that people are actually paying attention. Ha! And here I thought I was the only one reading my posts.. (Thanks Felicita)! I had fun customizing her blog header, and so it got me in the mood to give mine a bloglift!

Life here in the mommy 'hood has been interesting as the boy is cutting what appears to be approximately two gazillion teeth (mostly molars, possibly an eye tooth as well?). He ran a low-grade fever for about half of our vacation to Indiana, and has been Mr. Cranky since we returned. I feel badly for him, because he is usually SO happy... so I know he's got to be hurting if he's grumpy. Not helping matters is the fact that I'm also sick, which causes a patience deficit on my part... and in turn, guilt for not being more patient with him when he's in pain.

Lesson of the week thus far? Take each day as it comes. Each sunrise is a new day, a clean slate, and a chance for opportunities unknown. Even when it seems like the same cloud is parked over your head for several days in a row, take heart and know that this too shall pass.

...and just think of the steak he'll be eating when all those teeth come in.