New Moms, You're Doing a Great Job

Did you struggle with your kids this morning? How about on Sunday morning? Do you ever feel like you'll never be anywhere, especially church, on time and looking... normal? You're not alone. Gretchen at The Wright Place shares her memories of being a new mom and trying to get to church -- or anywhere. Do you remember being that new mom? ...more
@Thoa Tran Thanks Thoa, your comments are right on! We are usually our own worst critics...I ... more

Noticing the Extraordinary Universe

There are times when we take a step back from our lives and really look around us. When we do, we notice things -- really notice things -- and that changes how we see everything. Noticing those things can change our world. In John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel's father shares his observations about the universe and life. ...more
Wow! Extraordinary, me? Well, thanks, if I do say so myself, there are some things that whisper ... more

Promises and Unholdable Things

Sometimes in life, and love, we don't always know what we are getting into when we start something. That's frequently been true in my life and it was true for the characters in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. A support group led to friendship and love for the characters, but it wasn't all that they thought it would be -- the good things also came with the unholdable things....more
I promised to love my husband when we married. Love itself, is an unholdable thing, if love is ... more

Why Do We Write?

John Green's The Fault in Our Stars made me think a lot about memories and why we feel the need to write. I think if you ask most bloggers -- especially those that blog about their lives and families -- they'll tell you that they write to remember. By capturing our lives in print and images online, we preserve memories so that one day we can take them out and try them on again. We can see where those moments still fit and where they bust at the seams. ...more
I underlined that "co-rememberer" quote in my book too! I loved it and I think it very true. I ... more

Which Books Do You Love?

One of the things that I loved most about Hazel, the main character in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars was her love of books. I was also envious that she had one book, An Imperial Affliction, that she loved above all others. There are many books I love, but there is no one book that I love above all others. ...more
Thanks for such an excellent discussion question! My favorite book as a jr. high kid was A ... more

Love, Colin and Other Drugs

One of the things that I found the hardest to read in Claire Bidwell Smith's The Rules of Inheritance was not her mother's death. Or her father's death. Don't get me wrong, it was difficult to read about their deaths. It was also difficult to read about her addiction to alcohol. But it was her relationship with Colin that I really found the most difficult -- her beautiful, flawed relationship. I wanted her leave but I understood why she stayed. We don't always love things that are good for us. ...more
Yes, I used to work too hard to be friends with others, even when we had little in common. I'd ... more

Then and Now

Claire Bidwell Smith's memoir The Rules of Inheritance isn't just about grief. It's also about knowing yourself -- knowing who you were, who you are and who you might become. Sometimes the person we were simply can't fathom the person we have become. ...more
This was my favorite part of the book. Not surprising because I'm a happy endings kind of gal ... more

Should You Stay? Or Should You Go?

There were a number of times in Claire Bidwell Smith's memoir, The Rules of Inheritance, where she was faced with a seemingly easy decision -- should she stay? Or should she go? It's a decision we all face at some point and we all know that though the question is simple on the surface, deciding what to do is rarely simple. ...more
Like others who have commented, I'm not one to spend much time looking backwards in the tiny ... more

This Is Part of Our Narrative

At times during her memoir, The Rules of Inheritance, Claire Bidwell Smith tells herself, and us, that a moment is part of her narrative. When it's something that she wants to remember, when it's something that she wants to feel, she marks it for remembrance. While I don't think it's anything that I've consciously thought of in that exact way, I knew exactly what she meant when she said it....more
I understand the concept of personal narrative well. I consider some of the moments of my own ... more

Have You Been to the Magic Room?

The big moments in Jeffrey Zaslow's The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters might remind you a bit of an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. The bride enters a special room with what she hopes is the dress that she will wear at her wedding. When the dress is right, it's a powerful moment. One that I have not experienced. ...more
I'm very late to this discussion! I thought I'd replied already, but I guess it was a ... more