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Showing 1-10 of 83 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 145 reviews
on May 6, 2017
As a new empty-nester also learning the fine art of simultaneously embracing and letting go, this book truly resonated with me. Each chapter is filled with gems of wisdom I could relate to. I partially regretted it wasn't on my Kindle so I could high light passages I wanted to review later at random. Then again, I might have spent all my time highlighting the whole book so it was just as well I had a hard cover instead. I thought the simple subject matter would lend itself to be an easy breezy book to read. I don't know why but it is a very slow read. Everyone in my book club felt the same way. It's almost better to just read one chapter a day, like a little meditation, where you can let it all sink in. Sometimes I needed several days to get through one chapter and the chapters aren't very long. Don't know why I couldn't stay focused. Maybe she just goes too long into her descriptions and your mind starts to wander. For that reason, I can't give it 5 stars. I am not everyone will want to slog through it all and reap the rewards. I'm glad I did. I would still recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon June 12, 2010
The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir by Katrina Kenison is making me feel extremely guilty right now. My girls are testing my patience lately....the usual kid stuff - not listening, not doing anything that I ask, fighting with each other.....and then I read Kenison's book and I am reminded to remember the simple things in life. Kenison doesn't try to act like her family life is perfect, either. Her boys are growing up and there is the usual rebellion that teenagers subject their parents to. She fondly remembers the boys' growing up years, perhaps wishing to go back to the years when her sons were smaller and needed her more.

This memoir shows a family who is transitioning to an empty nest, who has moved to a new home, new town, and is making new friends and finding their way. And most of all, in this book Kenison shares her own fears and worries for her children, something mothers everywhere will be able to relate to. Reading this book may not give me all the answers about how to raise my own children, or how to not lose my patience with their constant bickering, yet I feel like I did get something out of this book, that Kenison's own admissions were helpful to me. That her ability to share her feelings help validate my own.
Kenison has written one other book, Mitten Strings for God that I will be looking for, and I look forward to any of her future work and finding out what she and her family are up to.
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on May 18, 2017
This woman is not in touch with reality. Giving this book one star is generous. This story shows what a really bored wealthy woman with average morality goes through in her life. Whoopi-do. My entire book club of gals disliked this book. Most refused to discuss it and many of them were what I would describe as average wonderful ordinary ladies, which the author thinks of herself as. Yet, are ordinary women so obliviously complaining about the challenges of choosing to place their children in $47k a year private schools? If those are your issues or circles, read away. Or this book may serve well as a bathroom reader. Don't forget the poo-porri spray because this book will make you want to poop.
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on May 3, 2014
In today's society we feel the pressure to succeed. To "keep up with the Jones' ", to have it all, be all. We are looking for the next big thing in our lives. All the while overlooking the blessings of the common, ordinary happenings. Simple things like having all members of the family present for a meal. We take that for granted. As my own children are coming of age, learning to drive, first jobs, friends that want my child's attention - learning to let go with grace. This is what we are raising, tomorrow's future generation. Yet we need to reassure them that success truly is having the bond of family. Everyday happenings are the tradition of family. The Gift of an Ordinary Day reads what most of us think internally. Yet externally we strive for society's complex living. Contentment can be found in the mundane. Katrina Kenison writes that the beauty of life can be appreciated in our "ordinary days".
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on April 8, 2013
I really enjoyed this authors book "Mitten Strings for God" and was excited to read this book. Mitten strings is written in the early years of her parenting journey and is not a chronological perspective but rather snippets of their lives during those young years. This book picks up at a later date- when her oldest son is entering high school and continues a chronological journey through the high school years.
I loved Mitten Strings for its light and simple message of simple living (specfivally as it pertains to child rearing). I struggled at times to read this book because the emotional content was heavy and her searching/ mid life questioning seems sometimes endless. However, after taking the full book in context, I have a true appreciation for her journey and that of all parents who face life after children. The reality of reinvention or rebirth is meant to be slow and sometimes hard so that we appreciate what comes out on the other side.
Thank you for an interesting and honest view on this stage of life.
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on March 20, 2010
I purchased Ms. Kenison's first book several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed reading about her relationship with her sons and the affect modern life has on everyday practices. As I don't read written word easily, I listened to her own voice as she described sitting in a tree with her Mother as a little girl and the many experiences she holds onto with her sons. Upon finishing the book, I purchased 12 copies to give as gifts at a women's retreat I hosted a few month's later.

I am a Mother of 2 sons who struggles with the same heart pulling experiences and thought the story offered a wonderful version of this life we're living.

As with the first book, I am again compelled to offer up this collection as well to Mothers going through the same mid-life events that give me pause.

I listened to the book's dreamy cadence spoken by the writer and cried more than once to the parallels in my life. Hopefully, it will give me the same courage again to view my life with glasses not of rose color, but all the colors I can see. And bring me closer to my boys.
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on October 18, 2010
I'm grateful to the independent bookstore owner who recommended this title in the store's newsletter. It is a beautifully written memoir for mothers who are facing the empty nest and wondering if they've done the "right things" for their children. It's a reminder that nothing is ever perfect, and that our lives don't always unfold or work according to plan. Like Kenison, I cherish the small moments of motherhood, and often regret that our culture keeps us so busy that we can't seem to slow down and savor the gifts we have. Or that we're always reaching for some huge goal that won't ultimately fulfill us after all. Kenison's lights the way for those who need these reminders.

That said, as much as I love this author's gorgeous writing, there were many times I doubted the wisdom of uprooting her family while her boys were reasonably settled in a good neighborhood and school system. She was very honest about her reasons for doing so, and admitted upfront that it wasn't an easy decision. But it wasn't a decision I would have made for my family -- at that particular stage in life. (I would have waited until the children were off on their own -- but this isn't my story.) Even so, the family's move to New Hampshire provided the tension this memoir needs, so it nonetheless made for an interesting read. I had to keep turning the pages to find out what happened and how her boys adjusted.

I do think it could have been edited a bit shorter, as other reviewers have indicated, but it was a lovely read and I will gladly recommend it other midlife moms.
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on January 18, 2013
The book is a personal diary and is a litany of the growing up of the family. However it neither gets captivating nor does one becomes engrossed in the journey of the family thru life. The writing is mundane, trite with casual observations and has limited insight without meaningful experiences or insights.

The author possibly had a memorable journey thru life while bringing up her family, however based on reading the book the reminiscences do not evoke the same for the reader. The power of observation is thin, and life experiences described very boring without being relevant.

She wrote a memoir that does not jell and it is difficult to finish hence I would not recommend wasting money on this book.
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on April 28, 2011
First, when talking about this book, I always make a point to say that the title, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir, is a little misleading and might deter potential readers from selecting this book. This isn't just a book for mothers no more than it is just a book about children. I have no children myself and yet I have personally read this book through five times now, cover-to-cover, and it has become somewhat of a second "bible" to me. I simply pick it up, open it to any given page, and read. The book gives comfort like a sanctuary and not only offers a respite from your own personal daily life but also makes you feel that you have a friend within the pages who has walked down the same path with you. From the struggles of raising growing children and moving households (including an extended stay at Mom's and Dad's house in the midst of it all!) to job loss, sick friends, financial worries, the loss of pets, and finding mice in your cabinets(!), all the while trying to find some space for yourself to reflect, to dream, to wonder, this book talks to all of us in some way, depending on your own individual place and time in this world. Buy it for yourself, your friends, your Mom. It is truly a one-size-fits-all gift!
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on January 25, 2010
The Gift of an Ordinary Day is a beautifully written memoir about the inevitable changes that come with raising children. Kenison reflects on her life of raising two sons, one of whom is on the verge of leaving home for college. She makes us aware that though the days of bringing up children may seem endless, they are not; we must treasure what is ordinary, for it is fleeting. As Kenison writes about her family's move from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, her sons' adjustments and adolescence, her project of building a new home, she presents her world through a contemplative lens. Her moments help us remember our own as we live through her ups and downs and her quest for the spiritual understanding that leads to joy and acceptance. This is a must-read for anyone who is a mother, but fathers should not be left out. Kenison has opened her home and heart to her readers in this exquisitely written story.
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