If We Were Having Coffee: Fall 2020 Catch-Up

If We Were Having Coffee

If We Were Having Coffee: Things I’d Tell You

It’s hard to believe that the last (also first) time I did a post like this was the end of April. It’s been more than SIX MONTHS, y’all! They went by in a blink.

Since it’s been a bit, let’s do another check-in. Grab yourself a hot (or cold!) drink and let’s do a bit of catching up, friends.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that we just recently started school. My oldest is doing e-learning through her high school, and so far it’s been a mixed blessing. It’s not like homeschool– her teachers are doing live classes. She thrives on individual attention and a relationship with her teachers, though, and that’s not easy to establish online (not to mention that her teachers are all juggling the extra work of in-person and online students).

She’s a really motivated student, and right now that’s sometimes translating into an intense perfectionism that makes for really long homework sessions. She’s also lonely (understandable) which means that I spend a lot of my evenings with her, just being present and available while she works on homework. I love having that one-on-one time with her which we often don’t get during the day with the littlest awake, but it makes for really long days, so by the end of the week, I’m exhausted.

My littlest will be doing some “enrichment” activities at home that we’re calling school time. She’s two, so it’s really just more for structure and fun since we aren’t doing a lot of outings right now. My mom is taking this on and it’s honestly so amazing. She’s super creative and patient, so I think (hope) this is giving her a meaningful way to engage in all of that plus teach the littlest lots of new things. I would seriously be losing my mind right now without my mom.

If we were having coffee, I would say that since my last update, my family has made hundreds more masks. Right now, we’re making them to give to my daughter’s school and other community members.

Honestly, it’s been incredible to have something we can physically do that feels useful. We can help people, even if it’s in a small way. A book reviewer I follow on Twitter recently shared that she’s a preschool teacher with few PPE supplies and worried about her safety at school. To be able to put a package together for her and send it off felt so good.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m still having trouble sleeping. Between the pandemic, hurricane season, the election, and all the extra hoops to jump through for safety, sometimes I just can’t get my brain to shut off. I hate it. Not only does it mean I’m losing sleep, but then I’m snappy and irritable with my family. And then I have guilt for all the snappiness and irritability and inability to just shut off my brain and sleep.

Audiobooks seem to help. Listening to a story focuses me long enough to let my brain rest and helps me fall asleep.

Meditation also helps. I recently read a couple books about it, one that I reviewed, and another that I haven’t reviewed yet on Christian meditation. It has helped SO much to have a physical practice that calms and centers me. So that’s been good.

If we were having coffee, we’d have to talk books. I recently read WHERE DREAMS DESCEND by Janella Angeles and I’m still completely in love with it. It’s got so much to love– an incredible story world, unforgettable characters, and totally swoon-worthy romance. I also thought that FOREVERLAND by Nicole Kear was super cute. It’s about a girl who runs away because her family is splitting up, and she decides to live in the theme park where her family once took a fun family trip. I’d want to know what you’ve been reading and what’s on your list that you can’t wait to read.

If we were having coffee, you might want to know how some of the things I was planning to do in my last coffee post are going. I mentioned wanting to start up my Bookstagram account again, which I have done. I’m a bit hit-and-miss with posting still because life has been very chaotic. But I feel like it energizes me about books and my blog and reading, so I’m really excited to keep doing it.

I also mentioned wanting to do more list posts on my blog. I’ve done a few (I’ll list them at the end of the post in case you want to check them out), and have a few more in the works. I’m really excited about my debut novel lists. The MG Debut list is up, but I’m still wrestling with the YA list. I think I need to break it into two lists, and I just haven’t figured out how I want to do that. By what I’ve read vs plan to read? By genre, like Contemporary vs Fantasy? I’m not sure yet, but there are WAY TOO MANY for just one list.

I also posted a huge list of #ownvoices Asian-Inspired Fantasy, which was super fun to put together. I’ve read lots of the titles on the list, but found so many more to add to my reading list.

  • 14 Middle Grade Debut Books
  • 8 Most-Anticipated YA Books Coming in August 2020
  • 26 Asian-Inspired Fantasy Books to Read if You Love Mulan
  • 20 Best YA Titles of 2020
  • Best Middle Grade Books from 2020
  • 12 YA Books I Can't Wait to Read Coming September 2020

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that some of the books I’ve read this year have really challenged me. I read one that cast a bit of shade at adult reviewers, and I’m kind of embarrassed at how much it undermined my confidence.

I had a whole blogger identity crisis where I was like omg, am I a complete weirdo and need to just stop doing this and start one of those lifestyle blogs where I review books sometimes but also post about, like the kids, and do product reviews, and I don’t even know, fashion or something? Honestly, I love those blogs and follow some really incredible ones, but that is so not me. I don’t think I’m at all interesting enough to be the subject of an entire blog. Ha. But seriously, no.

For now, I’m still here doing my thing. I’m trying to be more sensitive to the others in the YA community, and to step outside my shell a bit more and post some personal stuff, which is super hard for me.

So that’s pretty much my life over coffee.

If we were having coffee, what would you say?

Tell me about you. What’s been happening that you’d want to share with me over a cup of coffee? It can be bookish or personal or just totally random. Leave me a comment and let me know how you are.

The List Posts

Best Middle Grade Books from Spring 2020

26 Asian-Inspired Fantasy Books to Read While You Wait for Disney’s Mulan

20 Amazing YA Books Out Winter/Spring 2020

8 Most-Anticipated YA Books Coming August 2020

12 YA Books I Can’t Wait to Read Coming September 2020

14 Middle Grade Debut Books You Need to Read This Year

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

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