Book Review: Her One Mistake (Heidi Perks)

“You know you can trust me.”

Six words. One moment in time. Two lives changed forever.

Harriet is a mother like many that is nervous to let someone else care for her child. When her best friend, Charlotte, promises her all will be fine, she nervously trusts her friend to take care of her baby girl. She trusts that her daughter will return home safely, that surely her good friend would never be careless with someone else’s child. Harriet pulls up to her house to find a world of her nightmares awaits; Alice is gone. Police have nothing. And this eerily connects to a previous child kidnapping.

or does it?

Something more sinister is going on here that will rock everyone’s world. Someone goes missing. Someone dies. And someone loses the life as they know it for better or for worse. The author cleverly leaves the decision up to you. Do you walk away from this book feeling relieved? Or do you walk away feeling unresolved?


This book was 4 stars for me. It had delicious twists and turns and one epic, jaw-dropping shocker. It was better than I had anticipated and I fully recommend reading! As for what I didn’t like? I felt the ending did not quite match those twists and turns felt throughout the book but still good and worthy of a 4-star review. I love that she didn’t tie it all up in the end with a nice, neat bow however it still left me with a feeling that it could’ve been so much more. I’m not knocking the author because it’s clear she is more than capable. The ending just didn’t fit the book for me but it was definitely worth the read. If you read other reviews, some absolutely love the ending as not everyone has the same taste.

My only other issue is the title. I still cannot quite figure out what her title is referring to but don’t let that steer you off course. It still fits, but not quite as well as one would like.

Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’m Thankful You Tried

It’s a constant battle between ourselves and the government; who is in charge? Who gets to run what and who gets the say over what should, could, won’t and will be done? 

I believe there can be good in what the government provides for those in need but so often they find themselves caught up in so many rules and regulations that they end up hurting those they aim to help. 

Thank you, but….

Some of you may already know from previous blogs that my son is right where he should be in some areas, well above average in many, but significantly below average in speech. He will be 2.5 years old on Christmas Eve and he cannot say even 15 words. There’s only a handful of words he can say in full without dropping the ending. 

Through the government, bless their hearts, you can get free therapy for your child. In Tennessee, once they age out at 3 years old, they can no longer be provided this service. You can hire a professional speech therapist but sometimes that isn’t even an option (financially) for some families. 

We started this free service back in September (if not sooner). We’ve met over and over and over again with various different people that work in this system and I couldn’t tell you who is who or where they work or what part they play. 

They ask the same questions.
They get the same answers.
They watch Jackson play with the same toys.
They watch how he interacts and it’s…you guessed it… always the same.

 Nothing but wasted time and paperwork, it seems. Meanwhile my son continues playing with children who cannot understand why he won’t talk. They ask their parents in front of us, “why won’t he play?” or “why won’t he talk?” or “He doesn’t talk. I don’t know why.” and my favorite one yet, “I think he speaks Spanish”. (Jackson has his own language and it honestly does sound like a foreign language.)

I’m thankful you tried.

Now, I’m not really upset with the therapist and the case workers. I know they’re swamped. I know they’re underfunded. I know it’s a very thankless job a lot of times. I feel for them. I see you. I hear you. I’m not angry with you. 

What I am? Is a mother who desperately wants her son to tell me what he’s thinking in a way that I can understand. I’m a mother who wants to be able to respond to my son so that he knows I’m interested in every word that touches his lips. I’m a mama bear who’s trying to stay patient and kind because you’re not the ones keeping my son from progressing. 

So while I’m thankful you tried – you’re still trying – to get my son the help he needs, I’m sad to see a good system with good people and good hearts falling short. Maybe there’s no current way to fix it. Maybe this is the best it can be. I sure hope not. I sure hope there aren’t other people out there like us, waiting 5+ months to get any sort of help, knowing they’ll be aging out in 6 months.

I plan to write whomever I can about this. I don’t want other mamas and their cubs to have this hanging over their hearts as well.

If you happen to have any information about this, advice or just encouragement, please feel free to comment below.

Thank you, lovelies. 

Whether You’re Right or Wrong, You’re Not the Mom, but You Can Be My Friend. (Tips on Encouraging vs Preaching)

Recently I was talking to a friend about routines with children. I realized that I wasn’t fully informed on the subject to be able to efficiently and respectfully share my opinions and what I’ve read on the matter in a way that was as helpful as I had intended it to be. This ended up making me sound pushy and I absolutely hate that. Mother-to-mother, we should never judge one another, right? 😉 I never want another mom to feel judged because there is no “one way” of raising a child. 

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Continue reading Whether You’re Right or Wrong, You’re Not the Mom, but You Can Be My Friend. (Tips on Encouraging vs Preaching)

Spotlight Blog: “Keep Drama to Yo-Self”

Story #3: Keep Drama To Yo-Self

 

I played a gig in Mississippi a few weeks ago with an amazing cover band called Downtown Band. We showed up to the gig and started unloading as usual when someone realized that the trombone player Eric was gone. We figured he was in the bathroom, and kept setting up.

Continue reading Spotlight Blog: “Keep Drama to Yo-Self”

I never needed words then…

You are sound asleep.

You should be. You earned it. You worked hard today even though you didn’t feel well.

You followed instructions. You stacked blocks. You retrieved toys you’d thrown. You ran wild, kicking a ball and giggling along. You hugged for the joy of hugging and you cried when you bumped your head. (You were brave though. You thought hard if it actually hurt.) 

You listened when timeout became a real threat. You pushed boundaries and respected them. You asked for snacks and asked for toys. You let yourself be you and that was enough, always enough. You concentrated when she hid something under a cup and moved them around, always picking the right cup. This is not average for your age. You have no idea how smart you are.

You had no idea we were testing you for speech issues and never cared that you seemed to be behind. Why does it matter? I imagine you’d say. Look at how good I am at everything else. Isn’t that enough?
Continue reading I never needed words then…

…The Nashville Mom (part VI): The Finale

Photo Credit: Travel & Leisure

Well, here we are for the last time!

Welcome back!

To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about. And now it is coming to an end. 😦

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.

In case you have missed any, we started back on May 14th, 2018 with The Nashville Mom series. Here are all the blogs leading up to this one:

(1) – The Nashville Life through the eyes of The Nashville Wife

(2) – When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (Part I)

(3) – …The Nashville Mom (part II): a blog for Brave Women with Adult Issues

(4) – …The Nashville Mom (Part III): Dreams & Goals (embrace, prepare)

(5) – …The Nashville Mom (part IV): Advice for SAHMs in a New City

(6) – …The Nashville Mom (part V): Becoming a stronger version of yourself through community and connections with others.


Quick Recap

We ended last week with Part V, talking about making connections and nurturing those connections; loving ourselves and in turn loving others. We talked about how to not feel isolated and alone…

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I have been in Nashville now for 4 years this September. I still feel isolated and alone at times, especially being a SAHM. I have often wondered if this feeling will ever go away considering my personality type (aka I love to work and get out!) and I’m honestly not sure if it will.

I learned a while ago now that I had a decision to make: what made me happier? Staying at home with my son and no longer working or working (part-time or full-time) and seeing him half the time? There were obviously pros and cons and I decided to be a full-time SAHM. I chose the isolation. I chose to make that isolation as small as possible and, it seems, so have the rest of these women!

*side note: I am not saying anything regarding whether or not deciding to choose isolation verses working is right or wrong. There IS no right or wrong. Everyone has to decide for themselves and for their family what is best. 🙂 

So how does one that chooses this way of life in Nashville (or ANY city really) go about making the isolation smaller?

Let’s see what these other Nashville Moms have to say about this. Let’s finish out the last of this series by creating a community and helping each other to grow out of our loneliness.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #6

 “What did you do to make Nashville feel like home?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“I loved Nashville from the beginning, so that wasn’t hard.  I don’t know that I did anything super specific, other than just get out and enjoy the city- Cheekwood, the zoo, The Frist, whatever.  Nashville has SO much to offer!

Bonus: One other thing, although you didn’t ask- get financial ducks in a row.  Starting out a music career isn’t as financially stable as a lot of other jobs, and sometimes requires some financial investment.  The last thing you need in a new town with a brand new career is money fights.  Get your debt under control, have some savings in the bank, and talk OFTEN about your money, where it’s coming from, and where it’s going.”

– Martyne Palmer

“Still in the process. We are currently renting a hotel room until we find jobs and housing.”

– Heather Abbott Burback

“I’m not sure it’ll ever be “home” but it’s a good place for now. It’s inexpensive, quality of life is better because we have more disposable income. It’s cheaper here to pursue our dreams and save then move somewhere we really love then struggle somewhere else financially and never be fulfilled.”

– Allison Klein

“Again. Friends. They are my family now.”

My follow up question: Did you guys explore the city together? Find new places to hang out with each other? It’s so much easier with someone else, isn’t it? lol

“We have done quite a bit of exploring. We mostly go where other people recommend. We actually ended up moving to Mount Juliet because my husband tours with Charlie Daniels often. He’s pretty much the only person we knew before moving here so that’s why we chose this particular town. Charlie lives here, too. We love it here so much. We never imagined that Nashville would be where we settle down. But even if something happened and Scott stopped playing music for some reason, I’m pretty sure we would stay..”

– Vicki Mason Brown

“The primary thing that has helped me to not feel alone or isolated is joining the Nashville Moms Facebook Group.  I have found one SAHM that lives in my area so we can schedule play dates. I would love more SAHM friends but with working and watching my little guy I am pretty complete having the one friend to call on days that we are home alone all day.  We go to the Cornerstone indoor playground about once a week and occasionally on the weekends we find other activities.

I absolutely love Nashville! My husband is much happier here and is finally finding the musician connections he has always wanted.  We feel like people in Nashville are much more understanding of the musician lifestyle and that it is treated more like a career and less like a hobby.  Since my husband is much happier and I have found my own small place here we are truly happy.  We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. 

In conclusion, it is definitely hard to get settled but its totally worth it.  You have the same issues in any city with making friends and adjusting to being a couple with a child but if the ultimate goal is music you can find your place and make your own happiness!”

– Jamie Angsten 

 


 

 

Copy of ...people in Nashville are much more understanding of the musician lifestyle that it is treated more like a career less like a hobby.To those that are married or in a relationship, I feel like when either of you are getting to do something you love and like Jamie said, it’s taken seriously, that in and of itself creates community. Because there are so many others doing the same thing and wanting to always be around others who share their passion. You can actually find that connection, that lack of isolation, in the passion of your significant other. Basically what I’m trying to say is it doesn’t have to be in your circle that you find your isolation getting smaller. You can unite with those in someone else’s circle to find that connection, too.

Even better? You can find life and friendship and communion in BOTH circles.

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To the ladies who helped me with this blog, it has been an HONOR sharing your thoughts. This has been a fantastic project for me and I really hope it’s reached others as well.

Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!

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Photo Credit: Working Mother

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…The Nashville Mom (part V): Becoming a stronger version of yourself through community and connections with others.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

Welcome back! To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about.

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.


Quick Recap

We ended last week with Part IV, talking about making it happen while giving yourself some grace.

Do your bestI struggle with this one, personally. I have a lot of battles in my head (I promise I’m not crazy.) I see other moms making friends, being outgoing, seemingly living the highlife of being a Nashville Mom. Living the dream.

However, (a) what you see on FB or Instagram is not always what it seems and (b) it doesn’t matter. I just need to do my best and give myself some serious grace. What matters is that my husband is happy, living his dream in this beautiful city. What matters is that my 2-year-old is happy, knowing he’s loved by his family and friends. And for me? I matter. I need to do what makes me happy, too. I need to do what needs to be done, what works for ME, to not feel alone or isolated here… as a musician’s wife… as a  Nashville Mom.

With that said, let’s see what these other Nashville Moms have to say about this.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #5

 “What did you do to not feel so alone and isolated?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“I found girlfriends with no kids that could come hang out at my house.  When the hubby is gone for long stretches and I’m “stuck” at home with the kids, I make the after bedtime hours as fun as I can- game nights, movie nights, whatever.  Bring the party to me!”
– Martyne Palmer

“I still feel that way sometimes but I’m hoping that since we are in a new city we will start to meet new people and find our groove. “
– Heather Abbott Burback

“Made friends, joined Facebook groups, networked, put myself out there, found a job that could get me new friends. I didn’t isolate, I put my son in a great in-home daycare. He is thriving…enrolled him at Waldorf. Just doing as much as I can to make sure [everyone] is getting what they need (including me!)”
– Allison Klein

“I decided I was going to be all-in on making friendships.”

My follow up question: Was this hard for you to do? I’m basically an introvert. Once I meet someone, I am suddenly this extrovert. It’s the getting out of the house, taking that first step that’s hard for me. Did this come naturally for you?

“This really does come naturally for me. I do have some anxiety when it comes to social settings, but like you, once I get there, I’m fine. Of course as women, we tend to worry about what other people think of us not only as women, but also as mothers and wives. But if you find the right people that just love you for who you are, those worries tend to disappear.”
– Vicki Mason Brown

 

“The primary thing that has helped me to not feel alone or isolated is joining the Nashville Moms Facebook Group.”
– Jamie Angsten

(This is a snippet of a larger summary she wrote that I will post in the last of the series.) 

 


I feel like no matter if you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, we all need friends. We all need community.

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As an introvert, I can tell you first hand it’s hard. But with practice, the more you do it, the more comfortable it is to do. It’s so very scary at first to join groups, go meet new people, but when you do? You find that connecting with others that share your story tends to cause our hearts to bloom and our souls to flourish. We grow & become stronger versions of ourselves.

So as hard as it is, go out there! Whether you’re a Nashville Mom or someone that moved to Nashville (or hey – ANY new city!!) for whatever purpose… try and branch out. Start a blog and meet new bloggers! Join a FB group. Find something in your niche and see what happens. Just don’t isolate. Don’t live your life without community. You are wonderful and others should see that… 🙂

I’ll leave you with this…

 

When we love ourselves, we tend to love others.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

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…The Nashville Mom (part IV):  Advice for SAHMs in a New City

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

Welcome back! To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about.

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.


Quick Recap

Part III ended with some of the best advice I have ever heard…

STHE NASHVILLE WIFE Support. Embrace. Dream. GRateful. Prepare.upport. Embrace. Dream. Grateful. Prepare

I think I may even print out my own blog graphic, frame it, and remind myself of this every single day. If you’re in a new city for any other reason than for your own purpose, find yourself some support. Embrace your new life. Dream bigger things. Be Grateful for what you have and oh my goodness PREPARE! For what’s ahead, for what’s to come… mentally, physically, financially, you name it. Job well done, ladies.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #4

 “If you had one piece of advice to give a new SAHM in a new city, what would it be?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“Find your moms.  Join a moms bible study, book club, mops program, whatever.  Get you some girlfriends STAT.”
– Martyne Palmer

“I’m that mom so I guess what I would say to myself is reach out. Find your community whether that be at a church, a gym etc but you have to put forth an effort. 
– Heather Abbott Burback


“Join Facebook groups, find a school you like, find a good MDO program to give yourself a break at least once a week! ”
– Allison Klein

“Jump all in to your community. Find a moms group and a church. Make all the friends you can, find your tribe, and love them well. 
– Vicki Mason Brown

Jamie Angsten basically combined this question along with the next (and the last) 2 questions of this series. It’s a GREAT summary of advice so I have decided to wait and post it at the end. I will give you a great snippet, though!

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I feel like the overall arching theme here is MAKE IT HAPPEN! We have the choice to be miserable or to be happy. This is OUR life and we live it so vastly different than everyone else around us. It can take a long time to find your happiness or for some, it can be a quick turn around. Try not to place big expectations on yourself in that area.

Do your best

My counselor – yes, I am in counseling. The best decision I ever made – said one time before, “You don’t seem to give yourself much grace. I wonder what it would be like if you gave yourself as much grace as you give to others?”

I do wonder. So let’s keep that in mind.

Give grace to others and be gracious to ourselves.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

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…The Nashville Mom (Part III): Dreams & Goals (embrace, prepare)

Before We Start…

This is by far one of my favorites in this series. It’s something I wish I had read when I first got here. So if you are a Nashville Wife or a Nashville Mom – whatever that means to you – please read this one! If you don’t read any others, just don’t miss this one. These ladies have some seriously valuable advice here.

PS: This does NOT just apply to the music industry. If you have moved somewhere new for someone else, this could easily apply to you, too!

Now, let’s begin…

Welcome back! To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions. 

That is what this series has been about.

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story. 


 

Quick Recap

Part II ended with Being Brave and wanting to deal with Adult Issues. Needing our own purpose and space, despite how much we love our kids. Making our loved ones a priority by making sure our needs were being met, so as to not create resentment or jealousy within ourselves.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

 

Question #3

“If you had one piece of advice for someone moving to Nashville because their spouse is a musician, what would it be?”

[Spouse could also be anyone
with whom you move for]

Here’s what they had to say:

“SUPPORT.  Sometimes it feels like they get to “go out” and have all the fun, but it’s their job- and they can only do it well as long as you have their back.  Encourage them to go out.  See them play as often as you can.  Ask about gigs, auditions, band mates, etc.  Just like you would a day job.  They’ll be more successful and love you more for it.” – Martyne Palmer

“Embrace it. Moving comes with new adventure and even though there might be some hard times it can be really empowering as well. Starting over in a new place can be refreshing. ” – Heather Abbott Burback


“Make sure you’re also pursuing something important to you because a relationship isn’t always about one person’s big dreams & goals. We have dreams and goals, too. ” – Allison Klein

“Enjoy the perks! Gratefulness creates immense patience.”

My follow up question: Would you be willing to elaborate? Such as what perks are you referring to? I love what you said, Gratefulness creates immense patience. I feel like this comes from something learned. I’d love more elaboration on it if you don’t mind? I know I’m asking a lot of questions 

Bob Goff says that gratefulness creates immense patience. 😉

 I guess it just means that the more you think about how grateful you are for the things you have, the more patient you are [when] those things frustrate you. By perks, I mean all of the fun stuff! We get cool tickets to concerts, events, and dinners. We get to rub shoulders with some pretty cool people and we get to have a lot of date nights! We have so much fun together when my husband is in town and we miss each other like crazy when he’s traveling! It works for us.” – Vicki Mason Brown

“My one piece of advice would be to save money.  We had moved here and had originally saved a good amount of money but as we were both unemployed for a couple months and moving into a new home it was more expensive they we originally intended.  However, once we both started working it evened back out but it was something we were not expecting as we were always so stable financially and neither of us wanted to rush into a job we were unhappy with. It all worked out but it does take time to get working, settled in a new home and making new friends.”  – Jamie Angsten

There hasn’t been a question answered yet that has THIS much diversity in the responses. I. Am. LOVING. this one! I feel like each one could potentially be it’s own blog post! I’ll say this, as I was reading their responses, it reminded me a lot of what I wrote about in The Nashville Wife (or Husband). I truly wish I had seen their responses first! (It sure would’ve been nice to write a blog based on what I learned through them verses what I learned through experience haha!)


So what have we learned from this? Some key points that, I think, is the best way to end this blog. So many little words speak in such a loud volume… theres no need to fill this space with more sound.

 

THE NASHVILLE WIFE Support. Embrace. Dream. GRateful. Prepare.

 

We have dreams & goals, too.

Allison Klein