Weekend Reads and Listens · Work · Writing

Weekend Reads and Listens

I had planned to craft this post last week when I was in Washington D.C. co-leading a group of 22 college sophomores around our nation’s capital.

We left the hotel every morning by 8 a.m. and usually didn’t settle back in for the night until after 10 p.m. (I am just going to assume my students didn’t go back out, no need to know if I am wrong now that everyone is home safely.) I plan our days down to the minute, so we can experience as much as possible in D.C.

Despite the crazy schedule, I thought without twin toddlers to attend to, I could wake up early, do some writing and still have time to eat breakfast before our full days. But then I remembered I was tired — so, so tired. And old — so, so old. This was my fourth year leading the trip, but it was the first time I really felt my body aching. I would close my eyes on the Metro and picture someone rubbing the soles of my feet.

Speaking of the Metro, I must thank whatever forces aligned in the universe that we got out of D.C. the day before they declared a complete shutdown of its metrorail system to investigate safety concerns. The Metro is the second largest transit system in the country, so this is no small action, and it is what we used to get around town every day. According to this article, they found 26 issues, some deemed severe enough to be considered “showstoppers.” And I don’t think that’s a compliment.

Alas, I am home, the students are home, and we are all back to our suburban sprawl and complaining about how we don’t have any good public transportation. So without further ado, a few articles and other picks I have bookmarked now that my body has regained feeling.



My current before-bed reading is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. As someone who identifies as a writer, I probably should have that card taken away for not having read this book yet. And I’m still taking my time getting through it. There is so much wisdom in it. I’m making a concerted effort to truly reflect upon what I am taking in (assuming I haven’t fallen asleep in the middle of a paragraph).

I’m also loving this article about Fredericksburg, TX, being the “New Napa.” Fredericksburg is a little town in the Texas Hill Country. It’s quaint and picturesque, known for antiques, galleries, and of course wine. I’ve done a girls weekend there and it is a wonderful place to visit. Plus we purchased some wines that aren’t distributed outside of the area. This was my favorite should you ever come across it. I don’t think I will be changing my blog name to Journey to Fredericksburg anytime soon, but I’m glad the area is getting more attention.

Speaking of attention, there has been a lot of buzz on my Facebook mom groups about Chicago White Sox player Adam LaRoache , who quit the team and his $13 million contract when he was told he could no longer bring his son to work with him. The response has varied between chastising the White Sox organization for being anti-family and applauding LaRoache for putting family first. I liked this response by the Washington Post “On Parenting” editor Amy Joyce. As she said, I don’t fault him for his privilege. He has every right to make the decision that is best for his family just as we all do, even if for most of us our options are much more limited and nuanced.

Finally, a couple of reads from a writer with an impeccable flair for capturing life and living with both thoughtfulness and humor. Just kidding, they are written by me! But I hope you will still check them out over at HuffPost Parents and HuffPost Women.

I know there is a lot of debate in the writing world surrounding the merits of being published on The Huffington Post since they do not pay their writers. In full disclosure, my articles, even the one that was featured on HuffPost social media, did not grant me any new subscribers to my blog. Now that could be an indication to me that I need to step up what people see should they click over to Journey to Napa from another site, but also that the gift of “exposure” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Still, I was honored to have a story accepted on the site and I will continue to use the platform until Arianna Huffington kicks me out.


I’m keeping busy with the usual jukebox of podcasts I’ve previously mentioned on these posts. If you’re not sure how to get on the podcast bandwagon, this post by Nina Badzin is a great place to start.

Finally, when I’m not podcasting in my car, it usually means my vehicle has been overtaken by some little dudes with big demands. My threshold for kids music is surprisingly high, but I still prefer the ones that sound like indie rock. My favorite is We’re All Young Together by Walter Martin, who is a member of the band The Walkmen. Not only do I love listening to the music, but it has become one of my go-to baby gifts.

That wraps it up for now. Hope you have a great weekend! JB is out of town, so I will just be sitting here at home praying the boys don’t see this as an opportunity for a coup.



8 thoughts on “Weekend Reads and Listens

  1. I just got back from a few days in DC. Funny! Your trip sounds cool but holy moly exhausting. Wow!

    thanks for including my post!

    And re: Huff . . . I have written there and other places for free. I stopped writing there long ago more because the promise of exposure is very much not true if they don’t include your post on Facebook. And since they get TONS of articles a day, they cannot put everything on FB. All the ones that do not get a social media boost wither there quickly, which is why no click backs to your site. I don’t mean this is a diatribe about why you or others shouldn’t write there . . . just that people should have their expectations in check. Sounds like you have figured that out though! Some other places to consider syndication: Bon Bon Break, Mamalode, BlogHer, and look for other ideas at Beyond Your Blog. The sites are smaller than Huff, but the reach can be much bigger for you!


    1. Thanks Nina! Not a diatribe at all, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts about HuffPost and the other suggestions. I actually just uploaded my first syndicated post on BlogHer and need to look into the others. Hope you enjoyed your time in DC and got to see some cherry blossoms (we always just miss them)!


  2. You are a brave woman to tackle DC with college students! Thanks for the great recommendations. I’ll definitely give them a look and read.


  3. I drove through Fredericksburg a few years ago on one of our family road trips. Such a cute town! I use to live in the Metro DC area – and I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to be with out the Metro for even a day. And I’ve never experienced a lot of traffic from my HP articles, but it’s still nice to have that badge. Congratulations. Off to read them now…


    1. I’m so glad you have been able to experience the charm of Fredericksburg! It’s really a treasure in somewhat boring (though lovable) Texas! Thanks for checking out the HuffPost pieces, Like you say, it really is nice to have it in the portfolio and a varied set of eyes reading your work, even if it doesn’t result in more traffic to your own site. Thanks for commenting!


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