life Reading

5 on Friday

September 20, 2019

1- Reading – I just finished Daring Greatly, my morning non-fiction read for the past few weeks. I liked it. Is it crazy to say I think I am already pretty vulnerable, though? I particularly enjoyed the parts about parenting and avoiding shame (in yourself or triggering it in others) at all cost.

I will probably move onto Jean Chatsky’s Women With Money next, though I will have to see if the library will let me return & re-borrow it as I am out of renewals. There doesn’t appear to be any hold list, so . . . hopefully this is a thing?

I have Pachinko and The Most Fun We Ever Had on reserve (the latter has a hold list but Pachinko is already on the way! I have a flight coming up so I need to get my novel situation in order. I haven’t been reading anything electronically lately. Just preferring paper . . .

2- Photo Books – Check out Lagliv’s post about photobooks! I have a similar method but do not do the personalized yearly book the way she does (impressive!). I tend to go the “better done than perfect” route with my books and I still love them, and find Shutterfly’s “auto-fill” method to be pretty efficient (I think go back and edit, but easier than manually placing each pic!).

In past years, I’ve ended up behind but this year is an exception as I did both 2017 AND 2018 in a fit of productivity this March. So I’m caught up! But if you need inspiration, definitely check out her post.

3- On that note, instead of doing an overdue photobook (like usual), I plan on doing a SUPER early holiday card this month — maybe even a Thanksgiving card. We had professional photos taken over the summer so it will be easier than usual to select images, and I want people to have our new address. I always dread rushing through this in December and realized — why not just do it way early? (Recognize another viable option is not sending cards at all, but I like receiving them and so . . .)

4- Posting daily has been an interesting exercise. I don’t think it’s sustainable long term, though. Who knows; maybe I’ll go for another streak one day. But probably not in October. I appreciate your comments though — I am glad it has been as fun to read this often as it has been to write!

It has definitely increased the traffic around here, too

5- Workouts. I ran 4 miles yesterday and the last one was like pulling teeth (and I walked part of it). I don’t know if it’s just because I run much less than I used to or because I am OLD, but man — I don’t know what happened to my endurance! I definitely have slightly better strength than I used to (though feel like I am plateau-ing there too, with 8 + 12 lb weights on my BB workouts).

But it’s hard to bust through a plateau when I feel like I’m just working hard to stay where I am, fitness wise. It doesn’t REALLY matter – I mean, exercise isn’t my job. But I was thinking of training for a half marathon this fall and miss the feeling of improving, running faster, feeling stronger. I also keep trying to get myself to try some more ‘advanced’ Beachbody workouts and then chicken out because hey – the regular ‘Fix’ ones are still hard! Maybe this is just 39 . . . .


  • Reply V September 20, 2019 at 8:09 am

    I love the frequent posts!!! I wish you could always do them – but I get it, LIFE gets in the way ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Amanda September 20, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Yes you can return and re check out a book again. Take it to the circulation desk when you check out and ask to return/check out. I’ve done it many times. If they say no, then return the book and immediately log into your account and put it on hold again. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I think the humidity definitely plays a role in endurance if you’re running outside. This time of year (July-Oct), my power walks seem much slower (and take more energy) than in the FL winter months.

  • Reply Erica S September 20, 2019 at 8:57 am

    I do enjoy your frequent posts, and I am definitely engaging more. Perhaps it’s easier to digest the shorter posts with one theme/focus, and respond to that, than a lengthier post with lots of different ideas.

    Ah photobooks. my goal is to have photobooks from our last 3 vacations made by November so that I can focus on the 2019 book in December. I will read that LagLiv post at lunch today.

    Where are you in your cycle? that could also be affecting your endurance/heart rate/training capacity.

    • Reply Erica S September 20, 2019 at 9:50 am

      Also I loved Pachinko! It is so well written and I learned a lot from it.

  • Reply Heather September 20, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Just wanted to comment that Pachinko is the best plane read. That’s all ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Ana September 20, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Pachinko is great. I’m actually reading her earlier book, Free Food for Millionaires and its definitely a bit too ambitious and meandering—she is covering EVERY SINGLE THEME IN THE WORLD in this incredibly long book. I like the characters enough to keep reading but I’m ready to be done with it.

    DO IT. Just try the harder BB workouts, if its too hard, guess what, you can quit and do another one! Or modify the heck out of it!

    I started running again this week after a whole year focusing on other forms of cardio and strength and OMG. Like what’s the point of all the barre and strength training if I can barely get my legs to carry me 2-3 miles at a moderate pace without wanting to die?

    And finally, all this talk of photobooks is making me feel like I should be doing them? Should I feel guilty about never ever having made a single photobook or even printed out photos for an album for my kids? I think I know the answer but LagLiv’s post made me feel definitely like a less-than-good-enough mother in this arena.

    • Reply Laura Vanderkam September 20, 2019 at 10:57 am

      @Ana – Pretty sure making photo books is not required for good parenting/a happy childhood. BUT! Another solution: We made the 12-year-old do the photo book this year. I can’t say I entirely agree with the photo selection, but I am happy to have this task off all adult plates around here. Maybe one of your boys can tackle it? Shutter fly can do auto populating so it is pretty easy to do fancy layouts.

  • Reply omdg September 20, 2019 at 9:26 am

    I love the frequent posts too. People really do read more if you post more regularly (and if you respond to comments). Totally hear you on the exercise inertia. The feeling that it takes so much effort to stay where I am makes me feel like it’s not worth it sometimes, but it so totally is. When this happens I try to remember the wise words of a former mentor who told me that every day you are getting older and closer to death, so if you stay the same level one day to the next, actually that is improvement. Sobering, but true. He was around 40 at the time he said it, so I bet this is what he felt like too.

  • Reply omdg September 20, 2019 at 9:30 am

    I also want to echo what Ana said about LagLiv’s post on photobooks making me feel like a shitty mom. Actually, what put me over was one of the comments saying, “You’re such a good mom!” Um, no. If you were a “good” mom, you’d be spending time WATCHING your children with your EYES (not through a lens) and PLAYING with them instead of taking pictures all the time and making wasteful photo books. That’s the uncharitable version of the story, at any rate — I don’t actually feel this way. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply LL September 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Ouch. I promise that snapping a few pictures with a phone on outings does not preclude watching with eyes or playing and interacting. Everyone has things they do that they enjoy and gifts they enjoy making and giving, and none of them should have any impact on how you feel about your own watching and playing and mothering.

      • Reply omdg September 20, 2019 at 3:17 pm

        Really? I said I didn’t actually feel that way… We take lots of pictures too. Sheesh.

        • Reply Lynn September 20, 2019 at 8:06 pm

          Hi, I have not commented on your blog before but wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading it since I discovered it through BOBW. A belated note on skin care: must-dos are sunscreen, every day, and exfoliation. The latter removes dead cells to promote new skin cells and also allows products to penetrate. Also good is nighttime restoration with retinol or prescription retin-a. Lag Livโ€™s posts on skin care per her dermatologist have good info.

          • Sarah Hart-Unger September 20, 2019 at 9:06 pm

            Thank you Lynn! I have a sample of โ€œExfoliKateโ€ headed my way so we will see how that works out!!

  • Reply KGC September 20, 2019 at 11:10 am

    I’m a lurker and feel like I don’t know all of you frequent commenters well enough to chime in but I will anyway! Solution to photobooks: chatbooks! I started doing them once I had kids and realized there is no time between work and parenting and running and commuting (ugh). They import directly from your instagram (but I think you could set it up to do it from your photo roll in your phone if you don’t use instagram) and every 60 pictures, it sends me a notification that I have a book to review. I breeze through it, exclude any pics I don’t like, and then click ‘print’ all from my phone. A few days later, a bound hardcover photo book shows up in the mail.

    I have the subscription service (so it automatically puts a book together every 60 pictures) and upgraded to hardcover, so it is $15/book. It imports my instagram photos and captions (but not comments) and I have autonomy to delete or move things around if I want (but I don’t because that requires more effort/time than I have). If you don’t want subscription, I think you can also just do individual books up to 200 pages. I have decided that this fulfills my want for photobooks, but with the minimum effort required on my part. The books are great, high quality paper, and we love looking at them. Bonus – I have them auto-ordered in triplicate so that whenever I send one to print, two additional copies automatically go to my inlaws and parents. Winning all around!

    I would love to be as dedicated to photobooks as SHU and LagLiv (or my own mother) but…I’m not. Catbooks has been a very satisfying compromise between beautifully curated personalized books and no books at all.

  • Reply LD September 20, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    I LOVE the idea of a Thanksgiving card…. on so many levels.

  • Reply Nikki September 20, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    I have often done new years cards as a result of running behind on holiday card planning – a Thanksgiving card would be the opposite and very reflective of your terrific planning skills! Also – I second the chatbooks recommendation above and bonus that it helps validate Instagram posting when you know that it’s actually helping you make progress towards receiving a perfect little photobook in the mail soon! I also upgraded to the hard cover option and now have such a cute collection of photo books perfect for little hands to flip through.

  • Reply Bethany Posner September 21, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Could you share the photographer you used for your professional pics? I’m coming down with my family for Thanksgiving and we were thinking of doing them there instead of in cold Maryland. Thanks!!

  • Reply Gina September 22, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    I have the same issue with library books sometimes. When there’s no one on hold, and I think it can finish it in a day or two, I just return it late. I figure less than $1.00 in fines is still less than I’d pay to buy the book & a more environmentally friendly solution as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, I’m always happy to support the local library ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Katie September 24, 2019 at 11:01 am

    The Most Fun We Ever Had is AMAZING!! I just finished it and basically am in mourning for the characters who are pretty much my family now.

    I need to look at Pachinko. Free Food For Millionaires is one of my all time favourite reads, so no doubt I’ll be one clicking it!

  • Reply k September 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    I enjoy the frequent posts! They feel more real and less heavily edited than you see a lot of bloggers do, which is fun.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 27, 2019 at 7:14 am

      Heavily edited these posts definitely are NOT (but mine never have been!)

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