Where did it go? That blast of heat and stickiness that nearly sucked me into its dazed glaze…yes I am talking about summer and yes I realize it is definitely still embracing us, but the kids are back in school and as far as I’m concerned, summer should be strappin’ on its sandals and dumping that last load of 100 degree days into its knapsack. See ya next year! Sure I adore the soft, balmy nights and the recent breezy mornings we are basking in over here but when the school bell rings (I mean, really, who starts school on August 1??! My kids do.) Mama is back in session.
So what does a stay-at-home mom do with ALL this free time?? Yes, fellow homestead CEO’s I am rolling my eyes. Who’s kidding whom here…we know all what it takes to hold the fort down, peg the tent ties, motivate the troops. Alright, so that said, after the daily routine has awakened and wiped the sleepy eye corners: the kids are fed, made presentable (milk mustaches wiped and cowlicks licked) and scooted out the car with backpacks larger than their own weight supports, the traffic has been skillfully evaded (or tolerated) and your feet are safely back through the front door, AND after the bustle of to-do’s for the day there may just be a few moments to spare for that ever-coveted spot on the couch (you know the one the kids wrestle over even though there are like six other cushions?), rocker or backyard patio for you and your long lost companion…the book you have promised to start, continue or (finally) finish. Oh. you know the one who has been patiently waiting for you to put down the art supplies, washcloth, to-do list, cell phone, baby(!), and pick it up again. Settle down for some Q.T., a little R&R and some much needed You time.
Maybe I am just speaking for myself here, but I feel incredibly blessed to have some alone time (although I have squirted some tears these past few weeks over a big-girl backpack walking away from me, a real BIG boy starting sophomore year and looking more and more the age I still think I am at times, and the beginning of many ‘firsts’). I am also a little under six weeks out from delivering my third babe and I am trying to squeeze in every bit of time to myself with things that make me feel, well, like me. Reading, writing, staring off into space….That being admitted, I have a stack of excitement, adventure and insight just waiting for me to plunge in. So far this summer I have been able to finish some tales worth mentioning, but be prepared many of these have been sitting on the shelf or moved from bag to nightstand over many months and are not necessarily new releases, just good reading. So here goes, here are my pickin’s for the last days of ‘round the clock kiddies and a few more that I am reaching out to in fall’s much anticipated arrival.
Top Six of Summer…Plus What’s Lined Up on the Nightstand
A story of extreme pain, honesty and true humanity; every tender shard is written with such precision and poetry it is a tale not to be put down until it says so. It would be a great read for the darker months but the writing is so well-crafted any time of year works.
Every Woman’s Marriage: Igniting the Joy and Passion You Both Desire
By Shannon and Greg Ethridge
Just finished this one up (started it late last fall…it’s not a race!) It is a wonderful primer if you are seeking intimacy and true connection with your spouse. Be warned: this journey is more about the ladies instilling these practices into their daily routines and heart checks…there are a couple of men’s selected readings in the same collection (Everyman’s Battle Series). This really has begun to help me think as more of a team, not as my spouse as competition or a nuisance (even when his socks Still don’t make it to the hamper!)
This is a super-slim read that is just a great reminder of how important it is to foster discovery and creativity in ourselves, to nurture ourselves, even and especially in the thick of parenting. I found encouragement and great ideas in the pages and also felt connected and warranted that overwhelm is experienced by everyone at times; it doesn’t get me a Big, Fat Fail badge if I feel like I’m teetering, after all.
Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media
By Liz Lamoreux
So this one is simply just a field guide into expression through creative means, something my mind and soul need to thrive in a blessed, yet sometimes chaos-laden reality. With so much running around and schedule setting I need to get outside of myself and create. This book inspires me to take pictures and capture words on paper and feel great about doing it. Very fun to go through.
I am in the thick of this one and I can’t say too much because it is actually up for review but it is a collection of short stories (most linked and a few unrelated). The writing is descriptive and polished, the characters are alluring and the pace is just my speed. If you enjoy quick reads (about twenty or so pages of story at a time) you may want to peek at this new writer’s work.
Ok, so we mostly all know the story, but I love to relive some of my best memories through the retelling to my own children. Sometimes it just feels great to get wrapped up in some kind of “Terrific!” A bonus is when you find that old cat hugging the teddy bear bookmark from the third grade book fair, yours, that is.
Living Write: The Secret to Inviting your Craft into your Daily Life
By Kelly L. Stone
What Your Son Isn’t Telling You
By Ross & Shellenberger
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
I am really trying to get back on the reading for pleasure train (not just a whizz by morning commute) and can see that I need some good fiction on my list (I am taking recommendations at this point). So let’s capture these last late nights of light and grab a great story…they’ve been calling us.
Sky Sanchez is a native Sacramentan. She writes, blogs, substitute teaches and tutors and is always on the lookout for one more job to add to her bursting at the seams schedule. When she is not at her computer or flipping through writer magazines, she is on all fours summoning her unicorn abilities for her three and a half year old or plugging in one half of the ear buds from her thirteen year old son’s iPOD, usually followed by “Ya, I like that, but turn it down.” She shares a partnership, both in business and by law, with her best friend and biggest fan and proofreader.
She writes for the Sacramento Book Review and the San Francisco Book Review, and contributes to Sacramento Talent Magazine and Stories on Stage blog. She also scribbles out her own blogs at epicureanpc.wordpress.com and skysf.wordpress.com.