Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mid Week Book Talk | 04

It's a little hard for me to choose which book to talk about this week. But I think we'll have to go with my most recent finish, Stand-Off by Andrew Smith.

This weekend is the WAR for Literacy conference in town and Smith is our keynote speaker this year. The WAR conference is designed to be a free conference for teens that explores Writing And Reading (WAR). There are sessions on favorite books, writing poetry, screenplays, using social media, etc. The last two years the keynote speakers were Chris Crutcher (Crazy Horse Electric Game) in 2016 and Ellen Hopkins (Crank) in 2017.

This year we have Andrew Smith, author of award winning Winger and its sequel, Stand-Off.

Stand-Off by Andrew Smith

Stand-Off follows Ryan Dean West, a 15 year old senior at Pine Mountain, during his final year of high school. After a junior year full of pain, frustration, love, and heartbreak, Ryan Dean struggles with anxiety and fear of what may come. Coach M moves him up to the stand-off position on their rugby team and makes him team captain, but that responsibility might prove to be too much for young, Ryan Dean. To top it all off, he is assigned to live on the Freshman floor of the dorm with a 12 year old! Even with all of these challenges, Ryan Dean still has his girlfriend, Annie Altman, by his side.

After reading Winger last year, I had high hopes for Stand-Off. I was hoping to read more about his anxiety and how he copes with it. I also wanted to read more about their rugby team and Ryan Dean's final year of high school. And I think that was the biggest let-down. The novel takes place over the course of a few short weeks at school. Smith only covers one of the rugby matches in the season, which leads me to believe that the book couldn't have covered more than the first six weeks of school, tops.

My Goodreads review was this:
A nice story about Ryan Dean and his time at Pine Mountain. I definitely preferred Winger, but Stand-off was a nice tribute to Ryan Dean growing up and dealing with his anxiety following Joey's death. Unfortunately, in all 401 pages, only the last 2 talk about the end of his senior year and what his future might hold. Stand-off was severely lacking in rugby stories, unlike Winger, and it almost made Ryan Dean seem more like a little kid than the first go-around.

All-in-all, read Winger and make sure to read Stand-Off because it wraps up Ryan Dean's story, a little too nicely.

Happy Wednesday!

*Post does contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated from any purchases you make, but at no extra cost to you*

Monday, March 19, 2018

You are the best

This is a huge, heartfelt Thank You! to everyone who has reached out to us this week. We feel so loved and are extremely grateful for the kind words and prayers.

Like I wrote last Monday, we know this isn't the end of our story. We continue to believe that Lewis will be a big brother one day and we thank you for joining us in this journey. And until then, it is my desire to help support you if you're experiencing a miscarriage or longing for that sweet little babe. I'm all ears.

Monday, March 12, 2018

On Healing...

This is a post I prayed that I'd never have to write. Many of you were around during my pregnancy with Lewis. You prayed for us and you celebrated with us.

When I wrote a few months ago about changes in our lives, many of you contacted me and said you were sure I was going to announce a pregnancy. And my goodness, how I wish you had been right. The alternative is oh, so heartbreaking.

The reality is that 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage at some point in their life. And we don't talk about it. 1 in 4. I'm still not sure how much I'm ready to talk about it. But the more we talk about loss, the less stigmatized it becomes. The more we talk about it, the easier it is for other women to find support and healing.

I was pregnant one week. And the next, I wasn't.

It's still fresh and we're still raw. But we know this isn't the end of our story. We are praying for our rainbow and cling to our hope in Jesus that He will fulfill the desires of our hearts.

During this time, I've been loved on and supported by some women close to me. Some know what it's like to lose a baby you desperately love and want. And others who know how our heart aches for that baby we'll never get to hold.

If you have ever experienced a miscarriage, I am here for you. My heart breaks for you.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Five on Friday| SALE!!

Guys! The TOMS sale isn't over yet! They've extended it through Sunday! GOGOGO!

Okay, but now there are a few more awesome deals that you should take advantage of. And you can still use Ebates on a couple of them or even better, Amazon Prime! And we're linking up with April over at Smidge of This for Five on Friday.

one | Children's Place
It is one of our my favorite stores to shop at for Lewis. They have skinny jeans that aren't just skinny, but they're also long enough for him. That's HUGE, folks! And right now, they're having a giant sale. I mean, BIG.

And I also found out last night that our local store is leaving the mall. *all the sad eyes*

But still check out the sale.


Seriously. This is awesome! Plus, you can get 4.5% back from Ebates. Click here to sign up. When you sign up and spend $25, I get $15 and you get $10 back!

two | Old Navy
We love, and I mean loooove Old Navy. It's awesome for mom clothes, dad clothes, and especially Lewis clothes. Like TCP, they have jeans that are long and narrow for Lewis AND their one piece jammies for kids are awesome! They're long and narrow as well. Even better if you can score a sale...,14964481,HP_TOC&clink=14964481#pageId=0&department=166

2% back from Ebates!

three | Walmart--play food
I've been eyeing Walmart's play food section online for months now. Seriously. Months. Ever since Lewis got his own kitchen... So here's what I'm thinking..

Food & Sweets Tea Time Toy Food & Dish Playset w/ Plates, Utensils, & Food 

Learning Resources New Sprouts Fresh Picked Fruit and Veggie Tote 
Plus up to 10% back with Ebates

Kyle and I wear slippers around our house, all year long. So we got a pair for Lewis too. These things are awesome! There's room for him to grow and they're not terribly expensive at only $8.99. Plus they're on Prime!

The one thing we don't like is they get covered in so much dog hair since the puppies are shedding like nutso right now. Oi, the awkward time between winter and spring.

I've been waiting for these to drop down below $25 for the last year! Last week they were on sale so I snagged a pair. I've only heard great things so hopefully they'll be awesome for us too. I'm thinking easy outside summer shoes, splash park shoes, pool shoes, etc. They're still under $25, so check em out here if you're in the market!

No Ebates on the shoes or slippers. :( 

And as always, check out the Five on Friday link-up and have a great weekend!

Happy Friday!


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