Reading is one of my very favorite things in the world! This list could go on for ages, but here are some of my top favorites:
-The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. Cliche and bandwagon-y, I know. But I was astounded at how much I loved these books. I just got the two that I didn't have in hardcover for Christmas. I've defended the vampire thing on this blog before, so if you think it's evil, simply don't comment on this post. :) But this is a great example of how reading can provide an escape and such a "scope for the imagination" as Anne Shirley would say.
-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. If you're going to read a classic, this is a great story.
-Alabaster Doves by Linda Holland. These are true stories of women martyrs of the faith. It's actually not depressing; it's extremely inspiring. It's not your typical history, but it leaves you educated.
-The Ashley Stockingdale series by Kristin Billerbeck (includes What a Girl Wants, She's Out of Control, and With This Ring, I'm Confused). These are hands-down some of the funniest books I've ever read. They're Christian fiction, by Kristin has a wonderful, engaging writing style that everyone can relate to. I was reading this on a plane and laughed out loud. Embarrassing but worth it.
-The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. If you're not familiar with Corrie Ten Boom, who hid Jews from the Nazis and survived a concentration camp, you must read this book immediately. It's our responsibility to learn about and remember the Holocaust. The most inspiring thing about this book--and what keeps it from being totally depressing--is Corrie's unbelievable faith and relationship with the Lord, even as a Jew.
-Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Probably my favorite book (I can't believe I'm committing to one). It's by far the most life-changing one that I've ever read. It retells the book of Hosea in the Bible, which I personally was not familiar with. I want you to read this book if it's the last thing you do. It's THAT good!
If you end up reading any of these books because of my recommendation, please tell me what you think after you finish them! Of course there are a million more, but this gives you a pretty diverse list.
How long did you breastfeed? I hope that is not TMI but I have a 6 month old son and I am trying to decide what is the best time to wean!
Definitely not TMI! I planned on nursing Evy for one year and no later (personal choice). At 9 months, she really started to lose interest. I tried everything to get her to continue, and I even plowed through because I thought it was a phase. But when it ended up causing me incredible stress and made her frustrated, we just ended up fighting with it until we were both exhausted. So, at 9 months, we stopped nursing. I had one emotional moment where I cried and felt sad. However, it ended up being the perfect timing, and we're both so much happier now. I didn't resent nursing, and it was something that I felt was important. However, it was not the end-all be-all. I felt that if we got past 6 months, anything extra would be a huge bonus. I think it was actually the best that she weaned herself. I wasn't "taking anything away" from her, and there was no turmoil. It was pretty gradual, without me even meaning to. We would start using a bottle if she was particularly fighting it (that was our last resort), so to go completely to the bottle was not a big change. My mom told me that a baby will usually give signals if they're wanting to stop, which is exactly what Evy did. Now, I do believe that at some point, you need to be the parent and make the decision. For us, it was 9 months. Find the balance between doing what is best for your child and also what works for you and your family. Of course, email me if anyone wants to talk more about this!