Just Write {147}

August 5, 2014

Elsie had a fever. It came on fast, out of nowhere. She’s so strong, so feisty, a listless look doesn’t fit on her. But there she sat with her shoulders hunched forward and her eyelids heavy, her cheeks flushed. I felt her forehead and said uh oh, here we go. When she gets sick, she gets sick. There’s a good chance she goes so hard for too long, ignoring the discomfort of tired muscles, a sore throat or a headache, whatever her body is saying. That’s what most of us do. Until we crash. We do this in so many ways. So I held her in her bed and “kickled” her back, combed my fingers through her fever-sweaty hair. I sang twinkle twinkle, her favorite. Then her raspy whisper cut through the dark, I love you, Mama. I love you too, My Elsie. ::: First there was the boom-crash and then the tinkling […]


I’ve been binge reading again, and I love sharing books with you. Today I want to tell you about another book written by a Midwestern (MINNESOOOHTAN) woman, Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew. You guys, read this book.   Hannah, Delivered is about midwifery, natural childbirth and allowing your soul its own rebirth again and again, through pain. It’s about trusting the process, surrender and truth. I could howl like a mama in labor over the way I enjoyed…devoured…this book. I’m fascinated by the things of childbirth, the ways our bodies know, the ways our medical system is broken, the ways women belong to themselves and each other. There is so much to learn and that knowledge is often born (pun intended) of story. Hannah’s story is a journey through the powerful mystery of births, and the path of a woman seeking answers and redemption. Two things that so often cannot come to life, take a […]


{Disclosure: I am being compensated for sharing my thoughts on this book, but the thoughts remain all mine and true.} I suppose I’m biased, but there’s something extra magical about books written by Midwestern women. Susan Gloss, a Madisonite, is no exception to this. She tells a beautiful story of the connections between women, our connections to history and how it comes alive through vintage items, and redemption. Stories of redemption make me feel alive, and I love that this book held surprises after the pain and angst, with an ongoing theme of what it means  to trust another person, even when trust seems too hard. This story takes place in Madison, Wisconsin and is rich with the imagery of that beautiful and folksy yet eclectic city. The main character, Violet’s, business is built on a passion for the stories behind every item in her vintage shop and a love for connecting with […]


    The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman You guys. I cannot stop thinking about this book. Simply telling my husband about the plot had me choked up and had him riveted. This story of right and wrong will have you changing your mind about whose side you’re on over and over and over, which isn’t an easy feat to accomplish in story-telling. We think we know. Right is right, right? Well, read this book and tell me what you think!     Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout Here’s another story of right and wrong that will pull you through its pages with poetic prose and a longing for one man’s happiness. Can one keep faith through life’s hardest challenges? What does it mean to love and lose or never love at all? What does love really look like? A pastor fights for his happiness amidst much gossip and confusion. Peace […]


Ready for Air by Kate Hopper

October 14, 2013

My love affair with Kate Hopper’s first book, Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers is clear–I mention it often. It is a book for every writing mother to carry with her through the years, a resource filled with valuable advice and encouragement. Now, Kate has released her memoir Ready for Air, and it is a beautiful example of what a mother can do when she “uses her words”.  Kate’s daughter was born prematurely and needed to stay in the NICU, battling for life. So many families have experienced this painful journey, waiting and hoping, fearing and waiting. Kate writes beautifully, with humor and candor, of her own painful struggle to accept life’s terms when it came to the wait; to motherhood’s harsh introduction. One of the gifts that Kate’s book brings is an opportunity for every NICU to carry this book, to give to parents who are sitting in the struggle, waiting, watching the monitors, […]


Sun Shine Down

October 7, 2013

  Of course I could relate to the particular excerpt I’m about to share with you. Motherhood surprised me in so many ways, and for so many of us it is the very way that we come to the end of ourselves to begin again. Especially if our babies come along with needs beyond what we had imagined, only feared. Please welcome my friend, Gillian… ::::: An adapted excerpt from Sun Shine Down, a memoir, about a pastor’s wife and missionary’s human reaction to having a baby with Down syndrome:   One night after four or five glasses of wine, I climbed upstairs from the basement in search of Polly. The house seemed to be in a dream state. My head was swirling, and I swallowed often, forcing the acid from the wine crawling up my esophagus back down. The light above the kitchen sink highlighted my path into the living room; the glow […]


I still read non-electronic books most of all. I love to read, so much, flipping paper pages and taking in stories. Memoirs and fiction are my favorites. Sometimes, I’m up too late and Morning Heather is then mad at Night Book Lover Heather, but it’s worth it. Below you’ll find what I’ve read recently. For more on me, books and thoughts on books, I’m on GoodReads.   1  Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Semple I love this book. I love Bernadette, her confusion and spark, her wit and her love. I love how the author pulled this together and I love that I couldn’t put it down. 2 The Expats by Pavone This book was a page-turner, but honestly, I didn’t love it. I like it, yes, because the author is a great wordsmith, but as for plot, I thought it went a bit overboard with the “secrets” theme. 3 Room by  Donoghe I […]