Book Review: "Of Mess & Moxie"

I have to admit when the book club choose this book I was not thrilled simply because of the religious background of the author. I was concerned about it being preachy and unrelatable to real life.

I was wrong.

Hatmaker speaks about true life and is extremely relatable as a mother, a woman, and as a creative individual. There are moments that are preachy and feel like she is on her soapbox, but those moments do not make up the majority of this book.

A phrase she uses often throughout the book (which I think would be a killer hashtag) is “Mama tried.” This really communicates the essence of this book. Hatmaker’s mission, I feel, is to not stress yourself out as a mother, a wife, etc. its ok to not always operate at 110% all of the time.

I was not sold on this book, I’ll admit, till Chapter 8. Although she is definitely on her soapbox throughout this chapter. She speaks the truth. In this chapter she stresses the importance of love in the religious spectrum.

“You can love someone with a different ideology, different religious conviction, different sexual identity, ideas, background, ethnicity, opinions, different anything. You can love someone society condemns. You can love someone the church condemns. You have no other responsibility than to represent Jesus well, which should leave that person feeling absurdly loved, welcomed, cherished. There is no other end game. You are not anyone’s savior; you are a sister. Love is a genuine solution (…) the solution to almost everything that is broken.”

Yaaaaassss. Girl.

She continues this soapbox in Chapter 12 and I am here for it. Can we make this a PSA?

Her book includes brief “how to” sections which, although humorous, I was not a fan after about the second one. They became predictable. However, there are some recipes that I’d be down to try. Specifically “Aunt Carol’s Crunchy Salad” on page 157 which includes ramen noodles and a vinaigrette that has brown sugar AND Tabasco. Intrigue.

Chapter 17: Bonus Mom really spoke to me. It reinforced the “It takes a village” mantra and encouraged women to depend on those women (some mothers, some not) to help raise our children into well-rounded individuals. Its definitely a chapter I want my closest girlfriends to read and I hope that we can become that tribe for each other and each other’s children.

All in all, it was a good read (or listen – Hatmaker read it on Audible). I don’t think it will be a staple in my library, but a good book to pass along in my Free Little Library and maybe the next reader will get more out of it than me.

  • My hope is to read one book a month and review it here. #newyearsresolutions

Two Years, Forever to Go

Krystal and I celebrated our two year anniversary yesterday (April 15th). Although there were many big milestones none really compare to getting pregnant with our daughter. I even asked Krystal last night what her favorite part of year two was and she said, “pretty much anything to do with the baby.” I ditto that statement. Our milestones included downsizing and moving into our adorable flip house, retrieving, transferring, and getting pregnant on our first try using reciprocal IVF. We’ve had our struggles this year, but they pail in comparison to how incredibly privileged we are and continue to be.

With me being 9 months pregnant we kept it pretty low key but still managed to toast to year number three, eat some chocolate covered strawberries, and watch our wedding video. Surprisingly our gifts to each other were extremely similar and both kept with the cotton tradition. She gave me this Mommy & Me robe set to wear while we are in the hospital and I gave her a robe for skin-to-skin while we are in the hospital with this a custom tag I found on Etsy from ShannahJSmith. (I’ll wait to post pictures of my robe till our sweet peas arrival.)

Needless to say we are anxious for year three since we get to welcome our little one into the world.

One Year of Happily Ever After: Part 2

The day of our actual anniversary was spent brunching, watching our wedding video,  exchanging our anniversary presents, and paddle boating. We stayed with the traditional anniversary gift; paper. Our coordination for gifts is impeccable! There is always a little piece of … Continue reading

One Year of Happily Ever After: Part 1

Before we get into all the mushy stuff of celebrating our anniversary lets re-cap our first year of marriage with a few of the highlights.


We celebrated a weekend early by taking a road trip to San Antonio. We splurged and stayed at La Cantera Resort & Spa and adventured at some tourist spots that we hadn’t been to.

Krystal and I have made it a goal in our first year of marriage to branch out, go on adventures together, and just generally do fun stuff. Since we are typically boring home bodies sometimes this is a stretch for us. We had a blast having new adventures in San Antonio, some we hadn’t experienced in years and some brand new.

We are adults so the is a perfectly acceptable breakfast. Don’t judge us!

I hadn’t been to the Tower of America’s in years and Krystal had never been. And the opposite was true for the boat rides on the Riverwalk so we become tourist Sunday morning.

Krystal would like me to state that I didn’t not take her to the zoo… in the 60 degree weather. Also, I was an extreme tourist with my new selfie-stick that drove Krystal insane but at the end of the trip approved she the purchase. I will say it is pretty bad ass and worth the money if you are searching for the perfect one. I can’t wait to use it in Cancun and it will come in handy on trips that are just us two.


A New Adventure

As many of a you are aware, Krystal has been looking for new opportunities in regards to her career. As a search for a new path began we were very narrow minded in the possibilities a new job could mean for us and or lives. As the search continued we allowed ourselves to branch out and consider new cities, and even new careers. This resulted in many applications in the Houston and San Antonio area and two applications in the Corpus Christi area.

As fate would have it months after a application to a job in Corpus an interview came along and then another and then another. As of a few weeks ago Krystal was offered a job at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi. Krystal and I mulled over this offer, talked every aspect through, went to the people we always go to for advice our family and friends and have decided to accept the offer. That’s right, we are moving to Corpus Christi!

The part of leaving our dearest friends and family behind is gut wrenching. The part where I have to leave my students, my kiddos, brings me to tears instantly as I think of not seeing them everyday. However, there is so much for us to look forward too, living close to Krystal’s family, living closer to my Dad, Mother and Grandparents, having to many babysitters to count for the dogs and hopefully our future children. This is a new adventure and journey for us or as my Dad would say a new season. A season of which we are very excited and sad about, but one that will bring with it new challenges and joys.

What does this mean? Well, Krystal and I will again be doing long distance once she starts her position at the end of February. The wedding will still happen in Houston on April 15. We will spend our first few months as a married couple apart (I don’t want to think about that yet). I will move to Corpus after the school year ends in June. We will begin the process of moving our things and renting our house after the wedding. (Any volunteers to help or reference to the house would be greatly appreciate)

We thank each of you for the support and encouragement you have already showed to us and the friendship and love you will show to us in the future.

To new Adventures!

Krystal and Madison