Monday Confessions: Odds, Ends and some book reviews!

Today started at 6am with a child poking my arm saying "Mommy I peed the bed...." My first thoughts were not nice needless to say. This day has been trying since the moment my feet hit the floor. My flesh is apparently very weak today, but here I am. It's time for Monday confessions! 

1. I am just tired. I guess I sort of live tired but it's seeping deep into my bones today. 

2. My husband drove off to work (accidentally) with one of the car seats still in his even if we wanted to go somewhere today it wasn't going to happen. Don't you dislike the "stuck" feeling?! Just thankful that today is not the day with the kids dental appoinment or a photo session :)

3. I have slight "back to school" depression as a teacher this year. I always love my class, it's just the obligation of it and juggling babysitters, etc. I am looking forward to meeting the new gang next week though and hoping it's another great group of creative students!

4. I am currently digging Luke Bryan's new album, Crash My Party. You can of course purchase through itunes but if you are old school like me and your rocking mini-van still takes Cds....go get the album at Target for $9.99 with some extra songs on it! What's your fav summer album? 

5. Did I mention the Luke Bryan is good friends with these guys?! They're back for a new season on Wednesday nights on A & E. Don't miss the fun...last week made me cry!


6. I have had a handful of great non-fiction reads that I just wrapped up this summer, that I would love to share with you.

I read Phil Robertson's Happy, Happy, Happy. It's written as his memior but in sort of a fun "here's how to be happy, happy, happy" tone. I really enjoyed the read! He certainly doesn't shy away from his mistakes, his triumphs or his passion for Jesus. I think he's a great example of God using an unlikely character to share his message. Here's a guy who left a promising football career to go hunt ducks...and it went very well for him. He now reaches millions on a weekly tv show where he consistently shares his love for Christ (and makes us laugh...A  lot!). If you enjoy all things Duck Dynasty, you will like this read. 


    On a totally different/deeper side, I just finished an amazing memior called Son of Hamas, by Mosab Yousef. It's the first hand account of the first son of one of the creators of the Hamas terrorist movement in Palestine. First, I must say, this book gave me an education. As many Americans born in the 80's, I have vague memories of things heating up in Palestine with Yasser Arafat but it was sketchy at best. I was in college during 9/11, so that's much more in my memory. Yousef's accounts of his life, terrorist life both inside and out of prison was very eye opening. I literally stopped reading one night and said to Matt, "as absolutely awful as terrorist acts such as the Boston Marathon are on U.S. soil....Israeli's and Palenstinians grew up every day with these sort of atrocitites happening in and around their' homes. I cannot imagine living like that." I truly can't fathom living under constant conflict. 

One thing I treasure about books is their ability to transport you to places. This book transported me to Palestine and gave me eyes into a world I knew nothing about other than US media reports (and lets not pretend that those are reliable). I also was enraged at the US Governement at different points. I don't understand our trillions in debt, yet we send money for guns in other countries....I digress but it's still disgusts me. Anyhow, the absolute beauty of this story is that it is yet another unlikely character to serve God. Yousef tells his tale of first encountering Christians and his long journey towards becoming one. I am so thankful for Yousef writing this book because he lost everything in doing so....yet he gave Americans/Christians/the World a view into a never-ending conflict in the Middle East. I really do think every American should read this book, especially Americans who claim Christ. We need to better understand our Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters. 



In a totally different direction, I read Wild: From lost to found by Cheryl Strayed. It was yet another real life account of a young woman who had lost it all, including losing her mother to cancer. This is an honest and raw tale of a woman trying to figure out what living her life should be all about. I kept thinking she was either super adventurous or just crazy because "with no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone." 

Here's what's interesting to me though...she has no relationship with God other than calling him not nice words. It was an interesting perspective for me to read into the thoughts of someone walking through life without the grounding of faith in Jesus. She had a rough story. The roughness never bothered me though, it was just her life. I felt sad at times though because she fulfilled that age old saying that "hurt people, hurt people." She needed healing and in a way, she found it on the trail. A good read!

Last on the recent list but certainly not least, was Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship and Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll. This was a good thought provoking read that I picked up and put down for a while. I generally like Mark's comical yet harsh truth style, but he's not for everyone. I think that he and his wife approaced this book though out of a genuine love for people and wanting to see more healthy marriages out there. I do think it's an honest and valuable look at what makes marriages work (or what makes them really crumble). I find myself mulling quite a few things over after reading it. I do think it's appropriate for anyone from the engaged to those who have been married for decades. 


Had enough of me yet friends?! Maybe I should just start using my Good Reads account and stop bugging you all?! Hope someone checks out one of these books and enjoys it!

As for photography...yes I am still a photographer :) Just been in a different season this summer! Here's a project I am working on now for a stylist friend....isn't she a beauty?!