Friday, November 16, 2018


fiction, nonfiction, reading, Goodreads, Kindle reads, Kindle, I recommend, read, books,

If you know me you know I'm a reader.

And right now I'm in the fight of my life when it comes to books.

My hands are full.

I have SO many books I want to read, and yet, I keep ordering/buying/borrowing more.



Here's what's on my nightstand currently.

And you know what? If you and I are friends on Goodreads? These might not even be on the Currently Reading list. I'm just THAT ridiculous, friends. Really.

Also - there are affiliate/referral links in this post. Which means if you use them to purchase the books I'm recommending I'll make a few pennies, which ultimately wind up returned to my world as more books.


read, reading, amreading, Michelle Obama, Becoming, nonfiction, First Lady, Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads, bestseller

Y'all. Everyone and their mother is reading this book right now. Michelle Robinson Obama is America's forever First Lady. She's a powerhouse and then some. And she's opening up and so so real in this book. I'm not that far into it because I literally went to the bookstore on Wednesday and got my copy of Becoming because I needed it immediately. Although now I'm considering buying the audiobook, even though I have never ever listened to an audiobook before. Sigh. I miss Michelle. And that husband of hers. 

read, reading, amreading, fiction, Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads, series, Kerry Lonsdale

The third book of Kerry Lonsdale's Everything series, I finally got around to breaking into Everything We Give last week. Have you read books one and two? You really must. Just grab the whole set while you're at it. I'm NOT a series reader. This one is a must.

Janelle Hanchett, Renegade Mothering, read, reading, amreading, nonfiction,Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads,

Janelle is a friend of mine. I'm not even sure how we met. I mean, I know it's through Facebook. Because we haven't actually met in real life yet. But I adore her and I am so excited to finally get my hands on her book. I'm Just Happy To Be Here is her story.  Find out more about her on her blog, Renegade Mothering. Then go buy her book.

read, reading, amreading, fiction,Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads, Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi

This book is on my Goodreads list. I'm partway through and I actually borrowed this from the library and they took it back! So now I'm waiting. And I'll either buy it for myself at some point, or it will come back around from my holds list. Children of Blood and Bone is a different kind of read for me. And I'm really enjoying it. I wasn't sure I would, which is why I opted for the Kindle borrow. But it's fantasy and young adult, and yet not, and so much more. Find out for yourself.

The Proposal, read, reading, amreading, fiction,Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads, Jasmine Guillory

My copy of The Proposal is literally sitting and waiting for me. It's going to be the perfect read after all of the heavy stuff I've been shuffling through of late. I ordered it for my November Book of the Month pick. Yes. I have a Book of the Month membership. Yes. I'm a little book crazy. Fine. A lot book crazy. *wink* But this one looked so good I had to get myself a copy. You can buy it on Amazon, just like everyone else. Or you can join BOTM yourself and get a free book by using this invite!

Okay, y'all. I need to go to bed 'cause I'm exhausted. But I figured I'd get this post up before I crash and burn. Sleep well. 

Also, who am I kidding? I'm going to be reading before I close my eyes. It's just a matter of deciding which book to pick tonight. Which would you choose? 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


connection, community, connections, friendships, family, relationships, emotional ties, fun, laughter, kids, children, blogging, life

This morning I was catching up on Instagram Stories.

I like to see what my friends are up to, and yes, some of these people I watch and check up on I do consider friends. Not just blogging boos or celebs that I keep an eye on, or expert chefs and the like.

And I caught some clips of Kita in the Dark with my friend It's Really Kita.

She was talking about community.

I told her that I thought she just gave me the prompt for my next blog post.

And so here I am.

The part of her story that jumped out at me first was the mention of the dreaded ole' emergency contact.


When your kids are in school you have to give an emergency contact. For my daughter, her father and I are already on there, so when I have to fill in that slot? I struggle sometimes. Kita said she was asked for like five. FIVE, y'all.

That's completely ridiculous.


I have enough trouble with one.

And it's not that I don't have one friend I could trust to pick up my daughter in an emergency.

I do.

I have several.

Truly. I do.

Don't believe me?

Meet Kate. 

She has saved my backside or helped me and my kiddo more times than I can count.

And I have neighbors. And friends. Really good friends.

This isn't a pity party for Andrea. I promise.

But I have friends who have their own kids. Their own families. Jobs. After school activities. All the things that might leave them unavailable to run across town - or farther than that - to pick my daughter up in case of emergency.


This leaves me reflecting on my community.

And for so many of us? Community = family.

My family is 500 miles away.

My blood family.

My *sisters* are scattered across the country.

My sorority sisters.

My former in-laws are 1000 miles away.

They can't be the emergency contact any more than my own mother, brother or sister-in-law could be. Although sometimes? My brother is who I put down for myself.

He may only just learn that if he reads this post. But yeah. He's who I would want called if I needed him. (Love you, bro.)

It's really hard when your emergency contact was your spouse and you're no longer married.

It's an interesting 'cross that off the list' kind of experience.

But for my kid?

I know I have amazing friends who would not only pick up my daughter from school, but keep her til I got to her, take her wherever she needed to go - and do the same for me. Just as I'd be more than willing to watch friends' kids and keep them at my house for as long as they needed.


That's my community.

I told you.

I do have one.

But that said?

I'm missing so much.

Because so much of the rest of my community?

Lives right here.

In my laptop. In my phone. My iPad.

On the internet.

My community is you - and you - and you.

And you over there (I see you!).

And some days I wish we could form a huge commune where we could sister-wife one another and take care of each other's kids and they'd run from house to house while we all made a big dinner and sat outside at night sipping whatever it would be that would warm us from head to toe on the outside because inside we'd be warmed by the connections and community we had right there in front of us.

And that might be the sappiest paragraph (or really long sentence) you've ever read on this blog.

But I mean it.


I want doors to swing open and coffee brewing and wine bottles in the fridge and pasta on the stove or cookies fresh from the oven or pizza arriving at the door and happy faces and full bellies and all that is right in the world.

And the other part I wish for? Is that my daughter could not just have her Girl Scout friends and her classmates and Kate's girls, and the cousins she has both, 500 and 1000 miles away.

But that she could have additional connections. Extra ones. Like Carla's daughter, and Erin's twins, and Shell's boys, and Charity's daughters, and Danyelle's daughter, and Nichole's kids, and Kita's kids, and Ivy's daughter, and Tiffany's kiddies (because she lives too far away and she and I barely get to see one another, let alone get our kids to meet up!) and I could go on and on and on because I'd want to include all of the children I've watched grow up over the years. Each and every one of them.

Because that, my friends, is community.

There is an old saying (I sound like a granny!) that the OG Bloggers, which I'm barely a part of, but at the same time, I think I surfaced in the second realm (realm? regime? something?) - somewhere in 2009 - that goes like this:

Blogging friends are real.

And it is 110% accurate.

And you can't beat that.


It's an incredible thing, no matter where you find it.

Lean on yours when you need to.

They'll do the same in return sometime.

That's what it's all about. [Go on, I know you're singing it.]

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


thoughts, emotions, questions, politics, dating, connections, community, finding friends, relationships
image from pixabay

Part of our conversations.

Part of who we are.

Part of what we need.

For how else will we get to know one another?

If not for questions?

How many do we ask when first introduced?

What's your name?

Where are you from?

What's your sign? (Does anybody ask that anymore?)

What do you do?

What do you like?

What are your interests? Hobbies? Favorite songs? Books? TV shows?

Who do you root for? (Sports teams. Goodness. So so important then.)

And now - in today's world?

What do you believe in?

What do you stand for?

What makes you raise your voice?

What makes you stand up for others?

What do you think of the current administration?

What are your beliefs?

Who do you support?

What are the mantras you say to yourself to get through each day?

How many tears have you shed?

And for who [is it whom? maybe. either way...] did you shed them?

Who do you root for? (This means something totally different now.)

What do you stand for?

What will you fall for?

So many questions.

So many answers needed.

Friendships eliminated. Facebook or otherwise.

Family members ostracized. And rightly so.

Morality in question.

This is so so much more than a heated discussion over Thanksgiving dinner, y'all.




So please.

Ask the questions.

Don't be afraid.

Share your answers.

Take that stand.

Fall if you have to.

But please.

Ask the questions.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


thoughts, emotions, relationships, connections, how we speak to ourselves, self-love, self-care, community
image from Pixabay

I'm sitting here watching The Voice, and it's interesting that the title for my post is Voices.

I'm sticking with the one word titles for November. Though I'm obviously off the daily posting thing.



They represent so much.

What voice do you use when you speak?

How many voices do you have?

I'm not talking about the voices in your head (and let's not get all mental health oriented here, we all have them, our inner voices that guide us, I'm not referring to anything you need to worry about, promise).

I'm talking about the voices you use when you speak.

What voice ...

When you speak to your partner. Your spouse. Your boyfriend. Your girlfriend. The person who represents that significant other in your life currently. However you refer to them.

What voice do you use when you speak to them?

Is it the one that is harsh? The one that slides out softly? The one that gives them the benefit of the doubt? The one that is automatically accusing? Which one do you use?

What voice ...

When you speak to children. Your sons. Your daughters. Your nieces. Your nephews. Your neighbor's child. The children of your closest friends.

What voice do you use when you speak to them?

Is it the one that shows them they are safe? The one that scares them into silence? The one that makes them laugh? You know the one - that sweet little laugh that you wish could be bottled up and brought out whenever you feel sadness. Do you bring that laughter out of the children you speak to? What voice is it that does that? 

What voice ...

When you speak to your friends. Your colleagues. Adults you pass at the grocery store. In the street. At the coffee shop. The people who wait on you. The people who stand in line behind you. In front of you. 

What voice do you use when you speak to them?

Is it one that shows them they are seen? One that shows them they are just as entitled as you are to be where you both sit or stand? One that enables them to feel comfortable enough to smile slightly if you make eye contact with one another? 

What voice ...

When you speak to yourself. 

Yes. I know. I mean it. 

When you speak to yourself. 

Do you listen? 

When you speak to yourself. 

Do you automatically believe what you've said? 

When you speak to yourself. 

How long does it take before you find yourself saddened? 

When you speak to yourself. 

What voice do you use?

We have so so many voices. They all matter. Each and every one holds an impact over those we come in contact with. 


The most important one we have.

The most important one we use. 

Is the one we use when we speak to ourselves. 

Hold on tightly to that thought.

And the next time you find that you're being hard on yourself.

Stop and ask. 

What voice am I using?
And why?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


love, friendship, connection, emotions, emotional, therapy, sharing pain, crying, laughter, dating, comfort, thinking, processing, memories

Emotions are tricky, aren't they?

We go through days.


Feel as though we're flying high.

On top of the world.

We rely on others.

Feed off of them.

Our emotions often echo those of the people around us.

Especially when we're empaths.

Yes - that really is a thing.

We have these gut feelings.

We follow them.




But we sometimes shove it aside.

Consider ourselves irrational.


Because emotions, they are so so tricky.

They can change in an instant.

A heartbeat.

A few words.

Mere minutes.

(I can tell you just how quickly if you actually want to know.)

And you find yourself falling.

Even when you knew.

You knew it wasn't permanent.

You knew things were changing.

You knew that it wouldn't be a forever sort of thing.

But damn it, if those emotions didn't get in the way.

And let you anticipate.



Freaking hope.

And dream.

And then.



On overflow.

Ridiculously so.

Even as you talk yourself through and remind yourself.




Deep breaths, y'all.

Today is an emotional day for many of us.

Social media is overpowering.

People reminding us to vote. Telling us it's horrible if we don't/didn't.

Then telling us it's totally okay, we can do whatever we need to do.

It's a privilege.

A right.

And yet.

Painful for so many.


They flare up, friends.

And it's okay.

Because even when we know.


That they are going to?

They can still knock us on our ass.


Hang in there.

And if you need a place to share your emotions freely? Reach out to me. I'm here.

I'll hold you. Laugh with you. Cry with you. Listen to you.

I'll listen as you pray, or I'll pray with you.

I'll wish for all the things you wish for.

I'll hold your hand.

I'll share my emotions as you share your own.

Those tricky little f*ckers.

Each and every one of them.