Book Review: “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Bob Hostetler

My son loves to read (almost as much as I do) and was so excited when I told him we got to review a book together. We spent the past week hovering by the mailbox and when this sweet story finally arrived, he was all too eager to dive in!

It’s not often that you want a book to lull you to sleep. But this lovely, little bedtime story aims to do just that!

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” is a beautifully illustrated, rhyming book that is the perfect way to end the day with your littles. Using some reverse psychology, young listeners are challenged to keep their eyes open — even if those eyelids are feeling heavy! Written by Bob Hostetler and illustrated by Mark Chambers, this “silly bedtime story” is sure to be a hit for toddlers and preschoolers alike.

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January 2019: Reading Challenge Reviews

The first month of 2019 is drawing to a close and I can’t help but wonder where it’s disappeared to in such a hurry. So far, January has been full of cozy blankets and the remnants of my Christmas candy — a month of sugary fingers and good books.

This year’s 2019 Reading Challenge has started off to great success (the Facebook group has more than doubled in size) and my to-be-read pile grows longer daily. It’s a happy problem to have more books on your wish-list than you could ever hope to read. This year, I’ve decided to log my 52 books here on MommyMannegren. In addition to my reviews, I hope to jot down a few other suggestions for each of the categories if you’re looking for ideas for yourself.

Here are my January choices:
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Stuck in the Devotional Rut

**Post originally appeared on the Christ City Church blog in 2015 as
“When Devotions Aren’t Pretty.”**

Sitting on the porch under a soft, golden-hued sunrise, a woolen blanket draped around my shoulders, a steaming drink in hand and an open Bible in the other – this is what I’ve always dreamed of.  Like a childhood word-association game, this is the image that floats unbidden to my mind whenever I hear the words “morning devotions.”

This mental picture could have very easily been plucked off someone’s social media account. It’s flawlessly filtered, cropped, and splashed with cringe-worthy hashtags like #sunrisewithJesus. The epitome of an Instagram photo, it has somehow attached itself to my ideals of what devotions should look like. And since my devotions, in reality, look nothing like this, it ends up being yet another sobering reminder of my shortcomings.

I’ll be the first to admit that this past year of motherhood has rocked my devotional time (and not in an awesome party-rock kind of way.) It seems as if each day slips away in a blur of busyness, leaving me feeling exhausted and drained. It’s easy to flip on Netflix and tune out. How many times have I raced through my devotions, viewing it as simply another item to cross of my daily to-do list? How many nights have I fallen asleep before gathering the strength to grab my Bible off the nightstand table?

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Lopsided: Breastfeeding without Judgement

I’m lopsided.

And not just “a little.”

This isn’t the first time it’s happened either. It seems to be that when the milk comes in my babies immediately turn up their tiny noses and deem one side to be of “sub-par quality.” The quintessential picky-eaters from birth.

When my daughter was born, she struggled to stay latched. Those first few days were anxiety-riddled as her weight decreased and her diapers dried up. It didn’t matter that I had a full and healthy milk-supply. It didn’t matter if I used a nipple shield. One side was simply boob-non-grata.

It was exhausting.

It was stressful.

I felt like a failure.

And it took me three times as long to feed.

And so I quit.

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