Relax and Dream!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

As part of my adrenal recovery, I am supposed to relax. I am supposed to take time out throughout the day to put my feet up, read, calm down and rest. You can imagine how hard that is to do (especially this time of year which is chock full of end of year parties, activities, field days, baseball playoffs, swim lessons and meets and two of the peanuts b-days quickly approaching). Nonetheless, I am trying to really take it easy. Plus, I am exhausted.

So I thought I'd share some of my favorite books and TV shows (next post) of late. I would love to hear your recommendations in the comments. I always run out of things to read.

Books

The Help by Kathryn Stockett~ LOVED this book. I have yet to meet a person who did not. This is truly one of the BEST books I have read in years. I missed the characters when I was finished reading it.

One reviewer succinctly describes the plot:

The Help is about a young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interested in the plight of the black ladies' maids that every family has working for them. She writes their stories about mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks of working in white families' homes, all just before the Civil Rights revolution. That is the story in a nutshell - but it is so much more than just stories.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See I just finished this last night. I really liked this book a lot. I learned a lot about a historical and sad time in our country and how the people of China were treated. I thought the character development was very good but the novel ended very abruptly. I would definitely recommend this book. Amazon describes it...

For readers of the phenomenal bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love--a stunning new novel from Lisa See about two sisters who leave Shanghai to find new lives in 1930s Los Angeles.

May and Pearl, two sisters living in Shanghai in the mid-1930s, are beautiful, sophisticated, and well-educated, but their family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl’s parents arrange for their daughters to marry “Gold Mountain men” who have come from Los Angeles to find brides.

But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel’s Island (the Ellis Island of the West)--where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months--they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she’s pregnant the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.

A novel about two sisters, two cultures, and the struggle to find a new life in America while bound to the old, Shanghai Girls is a fresh, fascinating adventure from beloved and bestselling author Lisa See.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova ~ I really, really liked this book. It is about an accomplished psychology professor at Harvard who discovers she has early onset Alzheimer's. It is so well written. I suggested this for book club and almost everyone really loved it.

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan ~ Loved this book. Love Kelly Corrigan. I want to be her real life friend. This book is non-fiction (but it reads like good fiction) and it chronicles Kelly's journey through her own breast cancer with two very young children and a wonderfully supportive husband. At the same time, her beloved father is battling cancer. This is a story about family, life, hope, and joy. I just LOVED it. In fact, I plan to go buy myself Lift (her newest book) today as an early Mother's Day gift to myself:)

Here is a little video of Kelly's that I really love. Watch it. I am telling you. It is a message that most women in our stage of life really need to hear. I know I did.



I have a couple of friends who are pursuing their dreams and I'd like to introduce them to you.

My real life friend, Cathy and her friend started a really cool website called A Day's Outing. A Day's Outing helps you find fun attractions and activities in your own neighborhood or when you are traveling. It is a really great website (you have done a great job, Cathy!) Go have a look.

Another real life friend, Nickie also started a neat website called Hip Moms Go Green. My friend is definitely a hip Mom and she and her contributors offer great suggestions for living and eating green. This site is full of great tidbits.

Finally, a dear friend of mine, Daleea is fulfilling her dream of adopting another child. It has not always been easy. Daleea confided her wish to adopt again to me three years ago when we first met. But she had quite a few obstacles to overcome. Well, she prayed, worked hard and had faith and her dream is finally coming true. It has been amazing to watch her hopeful tenacity. She has never given up.

Daleea has worked SO SO hard to raise funds for her adoption expenses. I have blogged about her bracelets before. Now she is selling adorable stationary to raise the rest of the money they need to complete their adoption. Please go check out Bella Blush Designs or the bracelet site to help Daleea and her family bring home their daughter. A little bit from you can go a long way to help a family adopt.

I am so proud of my friends for daring to chase their dreams. They inspire me.
What are you dreaming of?

18 comments:

  1. I love Kelly Corrigan too! I actually haven't read The Middle Place yet. I just read Lift. It is a quick read and a touching book. I also l-o-v-e-d The Help! Did you hear it is being made into a movie? I am wondering who will play the various characters. Happy Reading!

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  2. Thank you for the book recommendations! Our book club is always looking for the next good read (we just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - VERY good!)

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  3. Kim - I have read all of these books too :). Still Alice really scared me!! I kept thinking of all the similarities I have sometimes with forgetfulness.
    Glad that you are able to 'somewhat' relax - take care!!
    Thanks for the other sites too - off to check them out.

    xo

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  4. Kim thanks for the book suggestions! My oldest daughter called me last night and was asking "what did I want for Mother's Day"! I think I have solved her dilemma! I gonna suggest "The Help". I think I would enjoy that!

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  5. I have wanted to read the Kelly Corrigan book for sometime...I'm glad you liked it...I think I'll pick it up shortly. Kim, what kind of books do you like...I have tons and would love to share some with you...nothing better than a chair with a footstool, a nice tall glass of iced tea and a good book...sounds fab...and its dr ordered so even better! By the way, I just checked out your friend sites...how cool!
    Norah

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  6. Thanks for the great book recommendations!

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  7. I am so glad you are following Doctor's orders and taking time to relax. I am praying you will be healthy and well soon friend....
    Thank you so much for sharing about our adoption fundraiser to bring our Isabella home and for your sweet words.... what a blessing you are.
    I am off to visit your other friends sites too.
    God bless you and hugs to your Peanuts and Dave... oh, how we miss you all....

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  8. I have been into memoirs lately. I loved the book Kabul Beauty School and another called White Masai.

    Liked the video you posted. My profession is teaching and I love it and am good at it. But my real dream is to open a wedding cake bakery. I have a name for it and I know exactly what it will look like (in my head!!)My grandmother lit that spark in me when I was a young girl. I don't know that I will ever have the courage to take that leap!

    Amanda

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  9. So happy to hear you have been relaxing and reading. I have The Help on my waiting list at the library. I also have The Postmistress in case you needs some new suggestions. Have a great night :)

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  10. Have you ever read "I'll cross the river" by C. Hope Flinchbaugh? It is about a woman in North Korea fighting to feed her starving children. I read this while I was in missionary training and it was so powerful. You should really look for it.....it changed my perspective on how the Lord pursues us. I never realized how much He does. It was fiction but I believe even more now if we are listening...He is speaking.

    I am REALLY praying for our sweet Daleea and that she raises all of her money. I have a bracelet and she sent me some cards the other day...she is a jewel to me...I just adore her;)

    Hope you get to relax some each day.....praying for rest for you sweet friend!

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  11. Kim,

    You are so sweet to blog and give info when you are not feeling so well.

    Thank you.

    And, I hope you will get feeling yourself again very soon. I am sure this whole thing is very frustrating.

    Lea
    xo

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  12. Kim...thanks for all the reccomendations I LOVE the Hip Moms Go Green website already!! I will add some of those books to my list too!

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  13. i've been wanting to get the help but it is always checked out. i just got a great stack of books myself that i can't wait to dive into.

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  14. OH, The Help is on my list for this summer!! I just got "Sarah's Key" from a neighborhood book club to read - can't wait to see how it turns out - thanks for all the good recommendations! I see myself beside a pool in a few weeks (summer IS coming to Iowa!)

    I am inspired by you & by your friends who are chasing their dreams! Tonight, my dreams are pretty realistic - that my kids would behave until their Dad gets home from a business trip to help me out :) Since they are now tucked in bed and the house is quiet - things are looking pretty good..

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  15. I hope you are feeling a little better these days? Relaxing is hard to do when your a mom...I understand that.
    Thanks for the book recommendations...I love summer reading (in my spare time) Daleea is so talented!!! I will check your friends sites out..it's so fun to pursue your dreams : )

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  16. Hope you are feeling better!
    And relaxing taking care of you! Thought of you just this week and hope that all as going better!
    thanks for the helping of the others trying to adopt internationally too!

    you look pretty although you may not geel the best you do always look so wonderdul! Hugs!
    Cindy

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  17. Hope you are feeling better!
    And relaxing taking care of you! Thought of you just this week and hope that all as going better!
    thanks for the helping of the others trying to adopt internationally too!

    you look pretty although you may not geel the best you do always look so wonderdul! Hugs!
    Cindy

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  18. Catching up on blogs after the loss of our computers. Last week I took a girl trip to Charleston..LOVE that city! On a Plantation tour the guide mentioned the book The Help...I really wanted to remember it to read it but totally forgot about it until I read your post...thanks for reminding me! Hope you are finding relaxing times in the midst of busy mom life!

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Thank you for your kindness.