>Books, Books, Books!

>Just finished this book, by one of my favorite bloggers, Mary Ostyn, aka “Owlhaven.” This book, “A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family” is like a cross between a long conversation with her and an in depth extension of her blog.

Mary has long been one of the women/blogs I check in with, daily, if possible. Her family is a great example of a successful large household. Even better, they are a family built by birth as well as adoption and she too has a love for Ethiopia. So, no surprise, great connections for me there. But the bigger picture is that Mary is a real mom. One who has the normal ups and downs and successes and failings, one who I can relate to. She says she’s not a “supermom” in the usual tabloid sense of the term. And maybe she’s not. She’s better. She’s a real mom, who is in the trenches, trying her best and has been for a good while….and therein lies the charm.

This book is an easy breezy read. It is not fluff though, it is full of good ideas, many I hadn’t thought of before. Yes, she is extra good at putting in a huge garden (Which both inspires me to find my spade and also to a bit of jealousy) and then canning it all up. So, maybe a bit of that is just not gonna happen here in my house…. However, the low key practical, thoughtful ways of running her home and caring for, loving and living with her big family is very much an inspiration for me. I am thinking about good new solutions around here in our busy house as well.

The book is organized into easy to find chapters, you could skip around if you prefer that mode. But I read the book straight through in a day (ok, I’m a pretty darn fast reader). It is not only tips and tricks, it is also thoughtful reasoning behind her stances on issues and ways of doing things. Helpfully, she admits that she is not an uber organized gal by nature, which makes me like her all the more. I tend to drop books by uber organized gals by nature, since I am alien to them and will never be that. But she has found a middle ground and that is where the treasure lies in this book. It’s for real moms. And not only real moms of very large families (And I admit, I am sliding into that category, but still, I remember the smaller days), any size family can find some connection moments in this book.

It’s an easy happy read for the start of spring. Pick it up, be inspired, get a deeper glimpse into a popular blog mom’s real life: the how’s and why’s, the what worked, what didn’ts. It might inspire you to try something new….for me, I think I might need to learn a few new card games. And this might just be the year to really put in a garden, I’ve been dreaming about one….
She says she is no “Supermom”…but I suspect she’s got at least a cape in her closet somewhere!


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