On My Shelf: The Thinnest Air

The Thinnest Air by [Kent, Minka]



Do you self care? What do you do to take care of yourself? I have always been an avid reader but recently with the addition of kids and lack of free time in my life it has become an even bigger focal point in my life. It started out as me trying to be a good example to my children, showing them that reading can be fun and entertaining. Then it became a challenge between me and my oldest son, creating book goals and healthy competition. Now all my boys have reading goals for the year ending with a book date to Barnes and Noble with mommy for new books and treats. But just as importantly reading has become a way for me to do something just for me, without any restrictions and indulge myself in whatever I want. I read over 100 books last year and am trying to do the same this year. I love to lose myself in a story, imagine the scenes in my mind and live vicariously through the characters. So “On My Shelf” will be posts regarding my reads. You can also find my bookstack and audible books on my instagram profile and Goodreads profile. Without further ado, here is my first review. I am a huge fan of thrillers/mysteries/crime books in general. This one had me staying up late saying just one more chapter, biting my nails trying to figure it out, and crying when it was all said and done. Meredith Price has it all: posh life, adoring husband, strong and protective sister until one day she is gone. Poof! Vanishes and leaves no clues as to what may have happened to her. The story is told from the perspective of Meredith and her sister Greer. Each chapter back and forth with Meredith telling her past leading up to the day she disappeared and Greer telling her story from the present, the days following the disappearance. I know some people do not like the back and forth style of story telling, I however really like it. It helps keep the mystery going, feeding you bits and pieces of the characters.  One thing for sure, I really liked the character development and story telling. As you read you find out that Meredith’s perfect life may not be so perfect and we all have secrets that we keep from certain people in our lives. In the end life is never as it seems. I love when the writing is so good you can picture the entire story in your mind. Play it out step by step and imagine the characters in your own unique way. Minka Kent’s story telling is just that way. It flowed between the 2 story teller’s so effortlessly I never felt lost or like I couldn’t follow the story. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read who loves a good who dunnit. This is my first time reading anything by Minka Kent and I am now going to go and look up some more of her work.

Have you read this book? Is it a TBR for you? Share your stack in the comments!

If you would like to get see this book on Amazon, click here.

To see more about the author Minka Kent, click here.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed this free copy from Thomas & Mercer publishing after I requested it on Netgalley. All thoughts and comments are my own.

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Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Grey’s Anatomy fan. Giant. I’ve watched the show since day 1 and it’s the only show I actually watch when it airs. I have also rewatched the show from beginning to end several times, it’s my thing.

Last nights episode was once again controversial and well done. There was the Jo Wilson my ex is an abuser issue, there was the cop (who btw we don’t see so we don’t know the skin color) who shot an innocent black kid, and we had April questioning her faith. All of these upset people so much and I honestly don’t get it.

It’s current in our society today. Women are learning to use their voice and stand up for themselves. Jo finding her voice and choosing it to move on with her life was a wonderful thing. April finally realizing the world is not a beautiful place and God’s will isn’t always purposeful was so well done. She was tested and tried and in the end it appears she is in a dark place but I don’t think it was done poorly. Lastly and the one most people have issue with, is the cop thing. I would like to pint out a few things that I think try to show this as a non racist issue. 1. We don’t know the race of the cop that shot the kid 2. Racist is a term none of the doctors used in fact they explicitly emphasize the word bias 3. The part where Bailey talks to her own son about how to respond to police was beautifully done without ever saying one bad word about police.

Now those that saw it might say I’m not reading between the lines here and that’s true, much was implied. However, I think a lot of what you “saw” is based off your own bias. It was overtly racist if that’s your go to in these situations. Jackson talking to the officer and explaining we all have bias, it’s human nature” and therefore we can correct it was such a wonderful and valid point. This isn’t a race issue it’s a bias issue and one that once we all face and admit we can slowly change. I don’t want to give too much away in case you didn’t see it. Buttonwillow was wonderful and I think everyone needs to take to heart the words spoken in that moment.

When Bailey is explaining to her son how to behave when stopped by police, it was heartbreaking. Heartbreaking because people I know and love have had that exact conversation with their child(ren). If you watch that and think it was over exaggerated or unnecessary, you are not seeing things from a POC perspective. It was done with respect for her sons life and innocence and the respect for officers in that they are not all bad. That there’s no reason to to color his judgment on all cops. If you think POC aren’t or haven’t had that conversation with their kids, your head is in the sand. It wasn’t in your face. No one said anything horrible about police. No one states anything regarding corruption or racism. It was a great perspective and I thought is was beautifully presented.

When I started reading people’s responses my heart sank. I mean they could have done this in a totally biased, religion, man, cop hating waiting and not once was that done! Not once!!! And yet that’s all people saw. That is what their perspective is when these issues are brought up. And that not only speaks volumes about those people but about the bias we project on societal issues.

If you haven’t watched please do. And don’t let your own personal bias color your perspective. I strongly believe in the good of police. I appreciate all they do. I am not hating on anyone or any religion. I believe in women finding their voice and rising against those that seek to hold her down. I don’t understand why women stay with abusive men but I don’t blame them. Nothing they did or could do would be deserving of the abuse they endured. I am spiritual, I may not whole heartedly believe in any particular religion, but I don’t begrudge someone who does.her persistence in her belief is admirable but people do struggle to keep the faith. I have. I have several times. Seeing what I have gone through was comforting. It was relatable, for the first time ever for this character, at least for me.

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One Week

You guys I have one more week home then it’s back to work. Up until now I was fine. I actually was a little happy that things might get back to normal because they have felt so off. Not in a bad way- I mean snuggling with my new baby has been amazing my extra time with the older kids is always awesome. But it all of a sudden hit me.

It hit me that I won’t get snuggles and kisses whenever I want. I won’t get to rock him to sleep and hold him for as long as I want. I won’t get to snuggle up under the covers for nap number 1 of the day. And that, that makes me start to feel so sad.

I on the verge of tears. This is my absolute last baby ever and my baby time is almost up. He will be 3 months old this week and I just feel so much. I know he will be in good hands, he will be with my mom, but my god I just want to take him with me. I want to go to work and take his pack n play and snuggle him when I need it. I want to look over from the phone when dealing with a tough customer and warm my heart at the sight of my beautiful baby. Ugh this is the 4th time I’m leaving a baby and it just might be the hardest. My poor soul feels a little empty just thinking about it.

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On my Shelf

So keeping with our goals for 2018, I have already started reading. Admittedly I am behind I mean I should at the very least have one book under my belt but I’m trying to get the baby back in schedule and the holidays have really thrown me. So I am not sure home much I plan to share about my book reading, I know some books I have no problem talking about but there are others that well… they are fun reads and not quite as serious about sharing.

I’m also looking into reading challenges, not just for me but the kids as well. I want to make this fun and I want to make it something we can do every year. I also will be sharing their shelf and what they are reading now. Obviously it will vary and won’t always be current since they are all at such a variety of reading levels. I just bought our journals today. I went real simple with them and as we use them I will make notes to make sure if we do this next year we can change and keep what we need to. I grabbed some simple composition books at the store and I figure we can use pens, pencils, crayons even pics if we want.

My first read of the new year is from Amazon First Reads. The book is free to me as a prime member. I have to admit I have read quite a few books that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise and I’m glad I did. This is one of those books. I have not read anything from this author and I’m still in the just getting started phase but so far I like it and there’s just enough going on to keep me reading.

As always I have several books on my shelf. I can’t just read one thing at a time. I read the way I eat… according to mood. I have a romance book on the kindle shelf and a new James Patterson on the real shelf as well. But for now I’m good with Not Perfect. Hopefully I will be done by this weekend. What are you reading? Do you complete book challenges? Which ones! I need help with this!

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And my word is..

It’s that time of year! Time to overhaul your life, make grand plans and think of all the things you’ll never do but promise you will so you can yet again not measure up to expectations. And of course pick your word! The one life changing, completely inspiring all encompassing word of the year.

While I sort of did all these things. I feel like my word should be vaguely. I vaguely recall wanting to change, I vaguely recall trying, I am creating resolutions and inspiration, vaguely. I didn’t want to set myself up for disappoint. I mean geez it’s day 1 of a new year and of course I feel all the woo hoo new year new me inspiration but how am I to know what’s going to happen. How am I to know how much I can achiever this year without knowing even a little what this year has in store. I mean last year I started the year getting accidentally knocked up… this year I’m going to have a teeny tiny human dictating my life. It’s kind of out of my hands and I’m kind of just winging things at this point waiting for the next thing to blast me. So my list is more of things that make me happy, less of me if possible. I mean I know I need to lose quite a bit of weight but I figure if I aim low anything extra will motivation to continue and if I barely make it then I’m still good because I did it! Expectations low and value high!

My word is ME! So many times I read, hear or see women telling themselves remember your why. And so many times it’s their kids or pics of them younger and thinner. And while there is nothing wrong with those I want to change and grow for me. I want to read more because it makes me happy. I want to write more because I feel better it makes me feel better about what’s going on. I want to craft more because I like to be creative and crafting brings me peace. I want to yell less because I want to be a better mom. I want to be the best mom I can be and build stronger relationships with my children for me and them. I want to get outdoors more and do more of what makes us happy. I want to lose 20 lbs so I feel more comfortable in my own skin. All these things benefit the people around me I care about most but more importantly they benefit me the most. I want to be happy and I want to do more of what makes me happy. My reason why is me and so my word is me. To remember I am why I am doing these things.

The kids set goals as well. I don’t pressure them to set all kinds of resolutions and talk about how to become better. I usually just search for New Years prompts for kids and go from there. This year we set reading goals. We did that last year and everyone met their goal and was rewarded with a Barnes and Noble date with mom.

Callen: wants to read 40 books. This year we are all keeping book journals to remember what we have read. No making them write more than the title and author but giving them the space to be creative and do more if they so choose. He also wants to make 1 new friend and learn how to cradle (a wrestling move)

Caleb: wants to read 50 books, with a book journal. He didn’t want to create any more goals for the year.

Aiden wants to read 100 books and keep a book journal. He is still pondering creating more goals.

And in case you were wondering I purposefully used the word goals instead of resolutions. Again keeping expectation light. What are your dreams, goals, resolutions for the new year?

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The Great Plague of 2017

Oh man we got hit. It all started last Thursday when Callen threw up as soon as he got home from school. Here it is a week later and every kid, including the baby has gone through it. Matt and I are holding steady but my stomach has been cramping for 24 hrs now. I keep thinking if I barely eat then maybe just maybe I can squeak by. I’m also super thankful my kids all have pretty good immune systems because they got over it quickly. Even poor little Grey caught it but championed his way through. It’s the final push before Christmas and we have so much to do. Baking, wrapping, hell I still have shopping to do!! But I will get through it and it will be over before we know it. Why must time pass so quickly?

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New Hair Who Dis

I did it. I hated every god damn second of it but I did it. I cut Moochie’s hair. Ugh kill me now.

He is of course super cute and he is still my wild and free spirited child but his hair! His hair is basic AF and does not match his personality what so ever. It’s like when that corporate guy you see on Wall Street all polished and clean cut is the same guy you see in the bar tatted up and drinking everyone under the table. It’s just off.

I didn’t do it because of family pressure, I didn’t do it because it’s how “a little boy is supposed to look” because honestly that stupid logic makes me hate it even more. I did it because Moochie really wanted to do it. He wanted to try it he said. He told me he wanted to be like his brothers and when he said “mom it will grow back” I couldn’t say no anymore. And damn it if he isn’t handsome as all get out. I still don’t like it. I must say it’s way shorter on top than I asked for. I wanted it a little longer and messier on top but like he said it will grow out. So without further ado I give you the new Moochie Man, clean cut and almost respectable.

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Greyson James

The biggest story from 2017 was the discovery that I was pregnant. God there was so much I wanted to write and couldn’t find the words to say how overwhelming this was. Shocked does not begin to describe how I felt. I had taken a test on Friday but it was negative. By Monday I knew I had messed up the test and I was pregnant. I just knew, I always did. While at one time I did want a 4th child after the crash I honestly lost all hope for a fourth. Then one of those down moments in my marriage led to us struggling money wise and i knew we couldn’t afford another child. So early in the morning I snuck into the bathroom and took the test. And I cried. I cried so many tears and I was scared. Scared what Matt would say, scared what we were going to do and scared about how this was going to affect my other kids. So I wiped my face and woke up Matt. His reaction was not what I was expecting. I expected shouting, I expected him to be angry, I mean I was upset surely he was. But I got none of that. He wasn’t over joyed but he seemed just fine. I asked. I said those words. I uttered that phrase and I’m so sad I felt I had to but I did. I was hoping and praying he wouldn’t say yes but I had to know his honest thoughts and that only comes with an honest question. Thankfully he said no. No to not wanting this baby, it never came to mind for him. It wasn’t ideal but this baby was loved from the moment we found out. I know that seems weird but I was all kinds of irrational in the beginning. And it started from that moment. I have so much more to say but this was hard enough.

2017 started with a test and it is ending with love. Because Greyson is here and we didn’t know what we were missing until he came along.

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Bruises and Bumps

I’ve been quiet for a while now. Writing is my therapy but you can’t always just lay it all out there. To say the past couple of years has been trying is the understatement of a lifetime. I am black and blue or at least emotionally I black and blue from the curve balls life has been pelting me with.

One thing I can’t completely confess is the ups and downs of my marriage. While we seem to be more down than up lately some things are best kept private. I’ve never been one to think you can solve marriage woes by blasting them to everyone and anyone who will listen. I will say reminding ourselves that this (marriage) is supposed to be permanent. That we went in saying divorce was never an option doesn’t make it easier. It doesn’t mean you trust you will move on and find that up or high again. But we’re in it and we’re working through it.

There’s so many times I wanted to jump on here and write about all the good. Because there has been so much. Middle little Caleb has been dominating the wrestling mat winning Reno Worlds and earning a spot on team Cali Gold. Aiden has grown up so much and yet stayed little in the most surprising ways. Parenting him has been hard but he is a good kid and I trust one day it will all click into place. Callen has been as wild and free as ever. He started kinder and is thriving! He can read and I swear it’s amazing every time even though he’s my third kid, it will never get old. But the most wonderful part of the past year has been the surprise 4th smith boy added to it family in October. Obviously I will be posting about all of that separately and I didn’t immediately because when I say I was shook when I found out I was pregnant well, that would be the 2nd understatement of a lifetime. We have been so very lucky to have Greyson James come into our lives and end 2017 on a positive note.

So with all that I say welcome back self. Here’s to new adventures and new stories.

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Why Hello Old Friend!

It’s been a while and so much has happened. But the need to write was, is, strong still. First up, I am getting ready to head into maternity leave. That’s right I’m preggers! It was a total surprise and it took me a very long time to wrap my head around it. We kept it a secret for the longest we ever have and then I had told the most important people in my life and after that it was like oh well.

I won’t say it has been easy. We were not in a place to have another kid financially or emotionally. We are still rebuilding our lives after losing so much when the drunk driver hit us and changed our world forever. But we are survivors, not victims. We overcame the fear and uncertainty of the situation and let the joy and blessing that this is take over.

The c section has been scheduled and on October 12th we will welcome our 4th Smith boy into the clan. I for one and am tickled to have another boy. I thought I would be upset as this will truly be our last child and I was very upset when I found out Callen wasn’t going to be a girl. But there was a calm and peace going into the ultrasound. I knew it. I had this feeling that I am just destined to be a boy mom and I am okay with that. I am good at that. I love being a boy mom.

Oddly enough people still ask if we are going to try for a girl and I still laugh like a crazy person. I mean, no we don’t want/need a girl and we weren’t trying for a 4th let alone a girl. We got this and we are good. I guess some people just can’t imagine life without a daughter but I would probably think the same if I met someone with all girls. I am at the point where I both can’t wait for this to be over but don’t want this feeling to end. Last night he was very active and was keeping me awake. I didn’t mind, instead I laid there and tried to soak in every single movement and cement it in my brain. I know this being the last, that I will miss it and cherish it and cry when it’s over. I do have to say the part that wants me to hurry up to the finish line is my hip. The pain is awful. I feel like I did months after surgery. My knee is bugging me and my whole leg is pretty swollen everyday. I can’t take anything for it so I just have to get through it. It’s hard not to think of Frankie Kalle right now. This pain is because of him, his decision to drive when he was 3 times over the legal limit. I won’t lie part of me is building that anger again. Anger that he is ruining part of this experience for me and anger that we had to struggle to financially figure this out and stress over it. But I keep telling myself he isn’t worth it. He isn’t worth my time and energy. Greyson, this baby is and to not let that man steal my joy of this moment. To push it down and survive it like I am the pain. Because in the end I will have the blessing of a baby and he will still only have himself and the knowledge of what he did.

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