Fall Reading List – 2017

I blinked and summer is behind us.  Booo.  But never fear, there is fall-foliage, crisp mornings, and chilly evenings that all make it a perfect time to curl up with a good book.  I’m excited to share with you my fall reading list for 2017!

Fall reading list for 2017.  What I'm reading this fall.

Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do – Chris Guillebeau is best known in travel circles for having visited all 193 countries.  However, he’s been able to build a remote worklife and his lifestyle is intriguing.  I’m most interested in his chapters on entrepreneurship and building a loyal following.

Mother of God – Mother of God is the Madre de Dios, a region of west Peru where the Amazon River begins its course. Paul Rosolie, the author, was only 18 when he left to explore this vast jungle.  You know they say that readers make the best writers, and I’m hoping that reading this travelogue will help me as I write about my travels (albeit I don’t plan to have any anacondas on my trips).

So Happiness to Meet You – From the publisher, “After job losses and the housing crash, the author and her family leave L.A. to start over in a most unlikely place: a nine-foot-wide back-alley house in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s poorest districts, where neighbors unabashedly stare into windows, generously share their barbecued rat, keep cockroaches for luck, and ultimately help her find joy without Western trappings.”  Just released in July, this is sure to be a fascinating read!

The Power of the Other – From the publisher, “Popular wisdom suggests that we should not allow others to have power over us, but the reality is that they do, for better or for worse.”  Ahhh, preach!  “Combining engaging case studies, persuasive findings from cutting-edge brain research, and examples from his consulting practice, Dr. Cloud argues that whether you’re a Navy SEAL or a corporate executive, outstanding performance depends on having the right kind of connections to fuel personal growth and minimize toxic associations and their effects.” From Dr. Henry Cloud, author of the popular Boundaries, this is sure to be a helpful book!

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World – I can’t think of anything more exciting than a trip around the world, which, in 2017, doesn’t involve much drama, thanks to efficient airplanes and affordable travel options. However this trip takes place in 1899!  Two women, both leaving from NYC, try to break the record for the fastest trip around the world.  Nellie heads east by steamship and Elizabeth heads west by train. I can’t wait to dive into it!

Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys – Folks, can I just say, raising boys is hard?  Especially the strong-willed one that questions EVERY. LITTLE. THING.  I’m always open to new wisdom, and this book came highly recommended.  It will make a great addition to my fall reading.

What are you reading this fall?  I’d love to know!

PIN THIS:Fall Reading list for Fall 2017. Books to read in 2017.

The Friday Five- April Life (not the giraffe, the month)

Hi everyone!  I haven’t done many posts lately on what I’m reading or our family life, so I thought I’d do a general post for my #FridayFive!


My grandma passed away a few weeks ago and although she was nearly 99 years old, it’s been a sad time. It’s weird to think that that generation, which was a huge influence in my life, is gone and there’s only my parents left.  Has anyone else felt that?

Anyhow, Sunday night my parents were over and  brought a box of letters I had saved from when I was an exchange student.  The box contained probably 20 letters that my Gran had written.  I laughed and cried for an hour!  She was a such a hoot.  These letters will continue to be precious to me.

That leads me to #2…


After my other grandmother passed away 3 years ago, I made a pact that I would journal and write more.  The written word has such a profound effect on those who are left behind.  Seriously, we found a journal entry from my grandma that said she had babysit me when I was about 10 months old and I was “such a good baby.”  That made me cry for a week! (#Iamacrier)

I’m going to journal more about life – anything from the kids to blogging to arguments between me and Mr YT. Haha. I figure that someday these will make me laugh and reflect.

AND, from a business perspective, having a written word to look back on is SO helpful.  I’ve written down so many blog topics and completely forgotten about them less than a week later!

Love this quote from a Copyblogger (yes, a blogger’s blog):

“In my experience, creative people need journals. They’re the greenhouses where we grow ideas. And the laboratories where we practice fiendish experiments.” ~Sonia Simone

I don’t have a green thumb, so my journals will serve as my greenhouses. 😉


Since the move, I’ve been slack about reading.  I read on Instagram (and I don’t remember who’s feed) that every time you wanna pick of your phone and browse social media, pick up your book instead.  I tried this this week and it was so productive!!

Here’s what I hope to get through this month:

Mindset – I’m about a third of the way through.  This is some heavy psychology stuff, so you can’t just skim it.

City of Refuge – A fictional novel about two families dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Highly recommended as something to read before visiting New Orleans (we leave at the end of this month)

The Secret of Midwives – I rarely read this much fiction, but I just can’t turn down a book on midwifery written by an Aussie. 😉

The Magnolia Story – I jumped on the bandwagon (and already finished this).  I adore this couple, but didn’t love the book. Don’t worry, I still wanna visit Waco.


The house.

So did I tell ya’ll that when we bought our house we bought one where we wanted to paint and/or change EVERY SINGLE ROOM?  Since we moved I’ve painted the 1/2 bath, the dining room, the homeschool room, and the foyer… hey, that means there is only 7 rooms to go!  ha!

Is painting the worst chore ever? How do people do this for a living?

What could be worse is actually PICKING paint colors.  I’m so indecisive.

Do you paint or do you hire someone?  I know we should just try to hire someone but I’m so cheap.  So instead I save the money and whine for DAYS.

THIS. This is “wedding white.”  Which I thought looked cream.  But it’s white.  The end. #firstworldissues


You know I can’t end a post without talking about travel.

The Yoder Toters have a busy season coming up:

New Orleans, Marietta, Fort Wayne,  and staying in a CABOOSE in Hocking Hills – which one would you most like to read about?

Are you planning your summer vacation?

I love this post from Shalee at Shalee Wanders- Eight Other Travel Bloggers to Inspire Your Wanderlust

I’ve gotten to meet a few of these ladies and they are the real deal!  Tonya from The Traveling Praters has become my blog guru & I’m so thankful!

Happy Friday!!  Have a great weekend!

My Summer Reading List (2016)

summer reading list 2016

Here’s what I’m planning to read before Labor Day arrives!

My Summer Reading List:


Mom Enough– from the writers at Desiring God, this is a compilation of 24 essays from young mothers.  I’m excited to read it.  Right now it’s only $2.99 for Kindle.

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood– I’ve checked this book out a few times, but never taken the time to read it.  The reviews are glowing, and it seems like it will make me laugh.


A Praying Life– Sadly, I know my prayer life isn’t where it should or could be.  I’m hoping this book will help me to make it more of a priority.


The Kite Runner– I know I’m about 12 years late to the party on this one.  My friend urged me to read this book ions ago, but I just picked it up at Goodwill for 50 cents, so what better time to delve in, than now?


Biking Across America– Paul Stutzman lost his wife to cancer and it spurred him to quit his job and hike the Appalachian Trail.  This follow-up book covers his next adventure.

The Road to Little Dribbling– Bill Bryson is pretty funny, and I can’t wait to read more about his adopted country, the UK.

Personal Growth

The War of Art– I’ve heard so many good things about this book from podcasters and bloggers, it’s time I check it out.

The One Thing–  I read this book in late 2014 and it was excellent.  It’s worth a re-read.

Living Forward– Michael Hyatt was a guest on Dale Partridge’s podcast a few weeks back, and the two convinced me that I needed to read this book.  I’ve even requested the book-on-CD for my husband so we can talk about it together.  Michael Hyatt has made a profound impact on me- check out his blog HERE.

What are you reading this summer?  I don’t read much fiction.  Is there something you’d recommend?

Stop the Mom Shaming

Taking time away doesn’t make you a bad mom

It was November 2010 and I was visiting my Aussie bff in London.  We’d taken a day trip to Paris on the Eurostar.  It was nearing the end of the day- we’d climbed the steps at Sacré Coeur, eaten a crepe, and tried to figure out those free-standing Parisian toilets.  Ha!

I was waiting outside the loo for Briony when I heard an American couple next to me.   We made small talk.  I don’t know how it came up but I said something about being away for my baby for the first time- a 10 month old.  The lady, probably in her early sixties, made her opinion known.

“You need to go home and be with your baby.”


Little did she know that I hadn’t slept more than 3 hours at a time for 10 months.  I’d nursed until I was raw and then my sweet little man would spit it up all over me.  I’d change my clothes sometimes three times a day.  I didn’t have time to rattle these statistics-  Share about the colic, the YouTube videos of a vacuum sound that would soothe him enough just so I could take a break.  Her judgment was known.

Paris was not where I should be.

Mom shame 2

Mom shame 3

It appears that since the dawning of the social media craze that we’ve all become experts on parenting & motherhood.   Try going on Facebook to make a comment about vaccinations, breastfeeding in public, the cry-it-out method and you’ll see that most covet their own opinion more than their own friendships.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned in 6 years of mothering:  It’s a crap shoot. 

We align our parenting with our convictions, we pray, and then we hope for the best.

I love psychology authors like Brené Brown.  From Daring Greatly, “You can’t claim to care about the welfare of children if you’re shaming other parents for the choices they are making…our job is to make choices that are aligned with our values and support parents that are doing the same.”

Obviously she’s not talking about BAD parenting: drug abuse, child abuse, etc- she’s talking about the majority of us, the ones that are TRYING HARD- figuring out ways to get our little ones to sit still through church, pulling our teenagers away from their screens, or trying to make our grocery budget stretch so we can take the kids on some fun outings, or godforbid homeschooling. And we wonder why we have Mom guilt?

In her follow-up book, Rising Strong, Brené adds, “Shaming other mothers is not one of the million ways to be a great mom.”  Ohmygoodness, YES.

I’m not trying to shame the mom that shamed me.  I’m sure she was just remembering the sweet times with her babies (and not the sleepless nights and endless days).  Maybe she didn’t realize that it was exponentially cheaper for me to visit my friend when she was living in London versus Australia.

I’m hopeful for a world where we chose our reactions to moms a little better.  Remember–they probably are trying their best.  And taking 7 days away after 10 months at home does in no way equate to being a bad mom.

For further thought?  Would she have ever said that to the father?  NO way!