Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Club Questions

Just checking in with my peeps! How do you like the book so far?? Or if you are finished..did you enjoy it? Below are some questions to ponder on about the book. I'm a literary geek so I love dissecting a story and thinking about the whys and the what ifs. If this isn't your thing, no biggie! I have friends that just want to read a book and give the yay or nay on it and be done. I also have friends that wait for the movie! ha! (MB)

1. One of the themes in Where We Belong is what happens when we keep secrets. Discuss the reasons people keep secrets. Describe the secrets in this book and the reasons various characters had for keeping them. Do you think secrets and lies are one in the same? How do the characters in the novel accept or come to terms with the secrets they’ve kept or the ones that have been kept from them?

2. Who lost the most because of secrets: Conrad, Kirby, or Marian? Conversely, who gained the most when the secrets were exposed? Who do you think is the most honest character in the book?

3. What do you think of the secret Marian’s parents kept from her? What do you think that says about their marriage and their respective relationships with her?

4. Why does Kirby decide to find her birth mother? Does she find what she is seeking? How would this book have been different if Kirby found her mother working in a blue-collar job in the suburbs? How would this book have been different if Kirby had been a boy? Do you think that Kirby’s disappointment in her parents at the beginning of the book is justified, or is she simply experiencing typical “teen angst?”

5. Kirby and Marian both change over the course of this story. What are the most significant ways they’ve changed? What risks do they each take? Was there any decision or action you disagreed with on the part of Marian or Kirby?

6. What is your opinion of Peter and Marian’s relationship with Peter? Did you want their relationship to succeed? Do you think Peter was unfair to Marian—or overly harsh in his judgment of her? Do you think Peter loves Marian, or does he simply love how perfectly she fits into his well-managed life? Who did you like more—Peter or Conrad? How are the two men alike and different?

7. Discuss the issue of forgiveness in the book. Which character has the most to forgive? Do you think Conrad will ever be able to fully forgive Marian? Has Marian forgiven her parents? Has Kirby forgiven hers?

8. What role did Marian's friends have in the book? Were they influential in shaping either her identity or her decisions? How did Marian’s secrets impact her friendships?

9. What would you describe as the turning point in Kirby and Marian’s relationship? What do you see as the turning point in Kirby’s relationship with her mother?

10. Are people more influenced by their genes or their upbringing? How does this question relate to the events in the novel? How do you think the various characters in this book might define family?

11. Was Marian a sympathetic character? On balance, did you have empathy for her or feel frustration with her? Do you see her decision to give Kirby up for adoption as selfish or noble?

12. What is the role of motherhood in this novel? What do you think of Marian’s mother? Kirby’s mother? Do you think Marian will have a family of her own? If so, do you think she will be a good mother? Who do you think is the best mother in the book?

13. Discuss the importance of fathers in the book. How are Kirby and Marian’s fathers alike and different? How are their relationships with their fathers different than their relationships with their mothers? Do you think mother-daughter relationships are more complicated than father-daughter relationships?

We will go into a bit of discussion at the beginning of February, but feel free to leave comments here!

I hope all is well and you are enjoying the first Book Club read! Tomorrow, I'm going to post some thoughts on our non-fiction selection. A Return To Love is a life changer!!! I'm excited to see who read it!!

Talk Soon!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What my kids taught me about my parents

Oh, that sweet bundle of beautiful joy.

You see their face and its as if the skies have parted and the angels are singing.
That would be the beginning of the process.
This is where God made them so perfect you are completely sucked in by their beauty and little perfectness that you fall head over heels in absolute love and adoration.
This is all to prepare you.

There will come a day when that sweet infant turns into a little person or teenager and they aren't looking so cute when they throw a tantrum at Hannaford or slam their bedroom doors and all you have is that undying love that you felt from that first moment that literally saves their lives.

This is the plan people.

You need that first moment, trust me.

You may be just starting out, I have teenagers.
I have experience.
You may or may not agree with all my "parenting" thoughts, but I promise you, the universal love for a child always saves their life at least once.

I was having a rather tough day with these three wonderful adolescent/teenage children of mine when I had a HUGE light bulb moment.

I wanted to throat punch all three of them.
**as a disclaimer, I've never throat punched any of my kids, physically. Mentally, many, many times.
** I've never head punched, arm punched, leg punched or mouth punched or any kind of punched them either, but if I did, they may have had it coming.

shall we move away from the violence and continue on....

I sat those three little cherubs down and started a rant:

"Why am I expected to always do the right thing, have all the damn answers, make all the right decisions!!??? You get to act like jerks sporting overly priced jeans and $150 sneakers while I sacrifice my needs in my Goodwill sweatshirt to keep you fed and clothed and housed and expected to do it with a damn smile on my face!! You have the excuse..I'm a teenager, my brain is still growing and I'm supposed to know how to do everything perfectly, simply because I'm your mother!!!"

Now, this is where the big 'ol light bulb went on.
One of the most important epiphanies of my life, just came screaming through.

I realized ridiculously late in life that ......
OMG, my parents are effing human!! Which in turn meant, they aren't perfect and God never intended for them to be, or for me to be.

All those years of being pissed off for things they may haven't done, in  my eyes, "right" was absolutely not their fault!
I was amazed at that second that I had held my parents to such high standards that no human being could ever reach for MY WHOLE LIFE.
Simply because they created a human.

I expected them to have all the right answers, to make the right decisions and when they didn't, I emotionally held a grudge without even realizing it.

What's the big deal, you ask?

That moment, while I wanted to strangle those kids of mine, 5000 pounds of emotional, unforgiving baggage that I had carried around for years, slipped right off my back.

Knowing my parents as un-perfect human beings was one of the most amazing releases of my life that I didn't even realize I needed.

That terrible haircut I sported in 4th grade that I'd blamed poor Mom for.....not her fault.
She probably had a coupon or something for a new place and the woman butchered it, just trying to make ends meet. (that's the romantic story I made up). Now that I had thought about it that way, along with the haircut I was also sporting shiny braces that saved my social life and being referred to a rabbit my whole life. I've had two kids with braces, I can appreciate the sacrifice, the haircut is forgiven.

My heart felt light and the love I had for my un-perfect new parents filled me up completely. Just like me, they didn't know how to do this parenting thing perfect either.

This moment held me responsible for being the un-perfect teenager, that turned into an un-perfect parent without placing the blame card in my parent's laps anymore.

It sounds so simple, but so many of us are still carrying that baggage. We all have something in our past that make us believe our parents "damaged" us. These moments probably did damage us in one way or another, but not purposefully.

I definitely believe there is a special place in hell for parents that hurt their children, neglect them or don't provide for them. I'm not talking about these assholes.
I'm talking the kind of parents that wanted to do everything right, with a smile on their face, every single day, holding themselves to that same standard, but in no way ever could. Not because of lack of want, but simply because they are human. Just like you and me.
 God made us all this way.
The biggest lesson you can take from this, is you not only forgive your parents, but you can go ahead and forgive yourself as a parent as well.
No matter how hard you try, you are going to mess up. It's ok.

You are human.

Talk Soon,

A Heavy Heart

I'm not going to write much heart is heavy. A dear friend of mine lost her sweet 8 year old little boy this morning. He was a fighter. Eight years of touching people's lives and reminding them of the things that matter most in life. Please pray for strength for the St. Clair family during this extremely difficult time. Rest in peace Big! Thumbs up! xoxo
Talk Soon

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hey guys! So happy you linked here to join my book club! 
Here's the deal...
Like every other book club, we will have a selected book each month.
Since I always have two or three going at a time, I'm going to throw out a non-fiction option as well
if anyone is interested in reading both. I'm trying to set up a chat room for us, so we can discuss the book, life, etc. I know myself, if I waited to post the first book until it was done, we wouldn't start reading until next month!! There will be a large assortment of genres. I read EVERYTHING! 

This month's book is a light, easy, fun read. I felt we should start with a little girly fun!

I don't read a ton of fluff, but Emily Giffin would be one of my faves!

I just know you will enjoy this!

My non-fiction option for the month is one of the most influential books I think I have ever read.
Life changing, really. If you are looking for positive change in your life, this book is what you need!

Oh, one last thing!! Over to the left, you see that gadget that says "subscribe"?
Could you please, oh please put your email address in there? Two things happen, You don't miss a post and I can send you a book club newsletter! I don't share anyone's email! Ever! Honestly, it really pisses me of when my email is handed out when I'm not aware of it! 

Ok! Enjoy the book, or books and I will be in touch with all kinds of fun stuff this week!

Talk Soon,

Friday, September 21, 2012

Whatcha Reading? Review...

I just finished a wonderful book that I must admit, I bought only because I adore the circus and the cover was bad ass.

This literary delight was very different from most books I read. I was not left disappointed for a second!
The details were written so well that I not only could picture the circus, but I was left wishing The Night Circus would pop up in my town.

I fell in love with the characters, the story line and didn't want it to end.
I give The Night Circus a 4 out of 5 stars!

I would recommend it to all my friends!
Go check it out!!

Talk Soon

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Whatcha Reading?

I am a lover of books!!

I tend to have three or four going at a time. Reading is my escape, my dearest love and my favorite hobby.

I want to start a new series of posts here......

Books I've read and why they soar or suck.

I'll start this week with a book I read a while back. A wonderful, dysfunctional, somewhat memoir.

If you like to laugh your way through a book, like, out loud, this one is for you. (as long as F bombs don't cause you to cringe)

You will enjoy this, I promise!

Jenny Lawson AKA The Bloggess had me laughing out loud all the way through it!

I could actually relate to some of the bizarre stories she shares in the book and I can guarantee we would be BFF's had we gone to school together.
I was all about waving my "Odd Girl" flag after reading this literary treat!

For even more of Jenny, go over to her site and laugh your ass off some more!

the bloggess

(F bombs don't bother me at all, by the way)

Talk Soon,


What an amazingly LONG three weeks! Parties, baby showers, weddings.....aaahhh.

I've found that when they are all crammed together like that, I feel like I've jipped my guest of honor.
This last Saturday, we literally ran from one event to another.

We had Michael's grandmother's 90th birthday at 11, a dear friend's birthday Pig Roast at 1 and a wedding for two very special people at 6.

ALL of these people mean the world to us. Believe me, would have been much easier if I could rank importance if there was an Uncle Norris who picked his nose and drank too much brandy was on the list, no such luck.

We attended all three, we even changed clothes in between, but I forgot my very own favorite lesson that day. Be present. Live THIS moment.

It saddens me that I, the queen of preaching, forgot to just be where I was and stop letting the thoughts of where I had to be later get in the way.

I can honestly say, there was one moment that I couldn't help but be present on Saturday.

You've all heard the phrase, "took my breath away."
Yeah, well, that never happened to me until my dear friend M came around the corner in her wedding gown.
It was like the wind had been sucked right out of me.
She was ABSOLUTELY beautiful.
As soon as I made eye contact with her, I cried.
I've been to a million weddings, I've seen a trillion gorgeous brides. This has never ever happened to me in my life.

If I was allowed one present moment that day, it was an amazing one.

Thank you all, for inviting us to celebrate your days with us!
We are so blessed with wonderful friends and family.
My heart is full.

Photos tomorrow, I PROMISE!!

Talk Soon,