Residency: Chapter One (We’re Fine)

September 23, 2015


Whenever someone asks how residency is going, I just throw my shoulders up in casual despondency because a) I don’t really know and b) it’s easier than maneuvering an adult conversation on student loans. The same goes for questions about potty training, book deals, baby weight, and monochromatic nail art. I’m an expert shrugger. Put that on my résumé.

This week Austin started two more weeks of night shift which would be fine if night shift didn’t turn me into a sea witch who texts, “I think I should go back to grad school” at 2am. I guess if we’ve learned anything over these past three months, it’s that we are still learning how to do this and that nights apart are the worst. Silver lining: Netflix! Take-out dinners! Manically ordering area rugs online!


There are good rotations, too. Ones where he’s home for dinner and I’m free to pursue my dream of eating a Panera sandwich alone. Mostly I live my life in tiny blocks of time; two good weeks here, four bad weeks there. Oh look, a whole weekend! Ask me on a good day and this is really no different than any other 9-5 job, minus the hours of studying and crippling debt.

It’s really fine.

What surprises me the most is how easily we’ve fallen into a new rhythm. There I was, so afraid of changing our fragile little life, but as it turns out–we’re as flexible as Kim Kardashian’s vacation schedule. We can make it work.

Last night I took the kids to the library to blow off some steam despite rumors that libraries are for reading. Austin was working, and without him the evening hours stretch out longer than a bad episode of Gilmore Girls. As the kids read quietly/reenacted scenes from Gladiator, I made small talk with a dad in cargo shorts who said, “I just don’t know how you do it. I really don’t.”

I could only shrug.

We’re doing it, just like you and them and everyone else. One shrug at a time.


Book Review: Her + Why Not Me

September 21, 2015

I don’t have a lot of rules for myself when it comes to books and reading. There are no genres I won’t touch or read exclusively. I care even less what or how you read. You want to read vampire teen fiction? Zombie novels? World War II historical fiction? Knock yourself out. You want to skim read? Skip chapters? Read the last page of Gone Girl? Whatever floats your boat, baby.

I do think the best way to start a book is to know nothing about it, which is why I never read Goodreads reviews or plot summaries beforehand (and why my book reviews are spoiler free). Going into a story with a clean slate and an open mind is just better for everyone.

This idea is particularly important for thrillers and suspense novels. One of those for you today, plus the total opposite of a suspense novel: A sequel and memoir by one of my very favorite comics and women.

Happy reading, friends.


1. Her.


If You’re Looking For: Thrills, Complicated Novels, Amazing Writing

If You Liked: The Girl On The Train 

My Review: Here is what I want to tell you: This novel is exquisite. Reading it is like slow-eating a piece of rich, dark chocolate. Every little observation about motherhood and friendship is to be savored, relished, enjoyed. As each chapter switches perspective, it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill and warmth of the human experience. Harriet Lane is (truly) brilliant!!! Here is what I don’t want to tell you: There’s a good chance you will hate this book. Like really, really hate it. It’s one of those books people love to toss out the window because of a very important detail. My advice: If you choose to read this book, I encourage you to focus on the writing rather than the plot. Feel free to send me an an angry/confused/indignant email at 2am when you’re finished.  4.5/5 stars.

Their Review: “Never have I seen the angst and vulnerability of early motherhood so vividly portrayed. Harriet Lane explores the “tyranny of domesticity” and the almost primitive bonds that link women to their children and also to other mothers. HER is at once funny and terrifying. I read it in one sitting and when I was finally able to put it down, my heart was pounding.”― Ann Leary, author of The Good House

Quoted: “I found the final plot twist unsatisfying, as plot twists often are: nothing like life, which – it seems to me – turns less on shocks or theatrics than on the small quiet moments, misunderstandings, or disappointments, the things that it’s easy to overlook.”


2. Why Not Me

why not me

If You’re Looking For: Humor, Essays, Memoir

If You Liked: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Yes Please, Bossypants

My Review: My review of this book is as predictable as Donald Trump’s hair in a windstorm– you know exactly where it’s going to go. I loved this book with my whole heart. I loved it so much that once I finished it, I started it over again. If you are a fan of Mindy or funny women or millennial humor, I don’t know how you could possibly not love this book. Don’t read this book if you are A) the opposite of me or B) a heterosexual male who only enjoys filthy comedies and war movies (basically the opposite of me). 5/5 stars.

Their Review: “Hilarious…Kaling knows her strengths, and plays to them brilliantly…Aside from that effortlessly conversational tone and her pitch-perfect humor, Kaling’s biggest strength here is curatorial. She gives us the candy we came for – the advice, the anecdotes, the straight talk on body image – but sprinkles in something extra.”— Entertainment Weekly

Quoted: “People’s reaction to me is sometimes “Uch, I just don’t like her. I hate how she thinks she is so great.” But it’s not that I think I’m so great. I just don’t hate myself. I do idiotic things all the time and I say crazy stuff I regret, but I don’t let everything traumatize me. And the scary thing I have noticed is that some people really feel uncomfortable around women who don’t hate themselves. So that’s why you need to be a little bit brave.”


Favorite Books

All Book Reviews

Up Next: Tell The Wolves I’m Home + Luckiest Girl Alive

Friday Snacks {9.18.14}

September 18, 2015


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Five Links To Read

What We Can Learn From Kim Davis And The Pope + Your Child’s Eating Habits: A Breakdown (Literally) + The Worst Day Of My Life Is New York’s Hottest Tourist Attraction + Who Said It: Donald Trump Or Lucille Bluth? + I Love Nancy Myers


One Thing To Love

These cards for mamas.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.43.12 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.46.08 PMBecause every mama needs the reminder from time to time.

Use the code “KBAER15” for 15% off anything in the shop through the end of September!


One Truth For The Week

there's always hope+

Happy Friday


Thank you to everyone who shared Internet gems. You make Fridays better.

50% off your Snapfish order.

Curated Tweets [Volume 4]

September 16, 2015



When You’re Feeling Lost: 11 Quotes To Help You Through

ZoraThere are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Zora Neale Hurston


cherylThe useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.
Cheryl Strayed


3I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.
Melody Beattie


The Bhagavad Gita–that ancient Indian Yogic text–says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.
Elizabeth Gilbert


toniI’m sure you have been told that this is the best time of your life. It may be. But if it’s true that this is the best time of your life, if you have already lived or are now living at this age the best years, or if the next few turn out to be the best, then you have my condolences. Because you’ll want to remain here, stuck in these so-called best years, never maturing, wanting only to look, to feel and be the adolescent that whole industries are devoted to forcing you to remain.
Toni Morrison


steveYou can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.
Steve Jobs


marthaIf your life is cloudy and you are far, far off course, you may have to go on faith for a while, but eventually you’ll learn that every time you trust your internal navigation system, you end up closer to your right life.
Martha Beck


MYou can find energizing moments in each aspect of your life, but to do so you must learn how to catch them, hold on to them, to feel the pull of their weight and allow yourself to follow where they lead.
Marcus Buckingham


ALWe begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be.
Anne Lamott 


RBLearning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.
Ray Bradbury


CSI’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.
Cheryl Strayed


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