Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected

I finished the book bloom in two days. It's written by Kelle Hampton a famous blogger and photographer that I've followed for the last two years. I had a lot of thoughts on the book and figured I'd share. If you read or are reading the book, I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave your commentary in the comments section below.

-I bought the book. I don't buy books, but I wanted a hard copy of this one because I enjoy looking at the photos and re-reading sections.

-I was disappointed she edited the birth story of Nella from the original she posted on her blog. (If you're new to her story this link will fill you in).

-I was anxious to hear how she and her husband met, a story she saved for the book. I was a little disappointed and surprised that that part of her story was so ordinary and that she was brief. There weren't many details on their dating/marriage relationship.

-I was shocked by how many stories she shared that were never written on her blog: Nella gets RSV, her husband is told to relocate (out of state) or lose his job, a cancer scare, 3 miscarriages, her parent's divorce, her insecurities with raising a child with special needs, her worries about the future, etc. She leaves out most of her struggles and heartache on her blog.

-It was nice knowing how her story ends (since I read her blog), but learning the other details that she didn't discuss on the blog. It was a little bittersweet too because her baby and Andrew were a few weeks apart. Both of our babies are toddlers now!

-I was curious as to why religion doesn't play a part in her life, especially considering that many people who go through tough circumstances lean on their faith. I found it sad that her past experience with her church led her away from belonging to a church.

-I think she is sincere. A lot of women criticize her for not being "real" or her pictures being "too perfect" or faking her happiness. I believe she is happy, that she makes a concerted effort to be happy. "We can choose to be afraid or we can choose to live. And I choose to live. Because an increased likelihood of having your heart broken also carries with it an increased likelihood of finding yourself the happiest you've ever been in your life."

-I worked with special needs students heavily (mostly children with autism and DS) and some of the parents were so angry. Angry at their child's disability even years later. I was scared of working with parents like this because they took much of their frustration out on teachers and the school system. I couldn't quite fully understand their anger until I read this book and could see first hand how much grief and anxiety these parents carry around.

-Really liked that she ended the book where she began; in the room where her daughter was born. When they go to revisit her friend says, "I swear the room was twice this size." "Because what happened in that room seemed to big to fit into that space."

-She talks about her life as "before and after" her daughter's birth and diagnosis. It really had a profound effect on her and her outlook on life. She talks about how everything was different after her birth: running into old friends, going home to see the welcome sign she created before she left for the hospital, before she knew.

Overall, good read with so many inspiring quotes. If you like reading her blog, you will enjoy the book. This was one of my favorite quotes "No matter what, there's always a new day, a clean slate, an opportunity to begin again and vibrantly live out our 'one wild and precious life.'

12 comments:

  1. I just read the birth story on her blog. It was so raw. I haven't read the book, nor do I know if I will, maybe when I'm married and pregnant, but for now, I don't know if my heart could handle it. I can completely understand how she leaves so much pain out of her blog (I do that too), but maybe that's because her blog is her happy place, except for when she really needs support from the online community. Does that make sense?

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    1. Agree! I should mention that she had healed so much since her daughter's birth. She has accepted her daughter with so much love. She's in a much better place since she wrote the birth story :)

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  2. MJ, great book review. I liked how you really shared your thoughts and didn't just skim over it. I wonder if an editor told her to condense the birth story.

    This topic of making a blog a "happy place" hit home to me just this week. An acquaintance of mine scolded me by email for making my facebook pictures and statuses and blog posts too picture perfect, judgy, unrealistic, a cake walk, and discouraging to other moms. I wrote back that we have different reasons for blogging. My style of blogging is like a vacation scrapbook on the coffee table. You are not going to walk into someone's home and look at their vacation pictures and see them share the heartache of losing a friend to suicide. I also think of my blog as a thank you note to our Savior. "Thank you for giving me this time with my family, thank you for our firstborn baby, thank you that our kids are healthy." How can I take up my time grumbling about the day to day, when God has taken me as His child? If an acquaintance really wants to know what I struggle with, become my friend, send me emails, ask how I am, and see me in real life. As far as the stage I am in right now with the girls, motherhood does seem like a cake walk. They are sleeping 14 hours at night and easy to take care of day to day. After over a year of nursing, I now have a break! They are a joy and precious gift even with their sinful nature. I would say I struggle much much more with being homesick (and I start to cry). That is raw and that is the pain that I carry day to day even though we have made great friends here. And from time to time on my blog, I do mention how much I miss back home. And from day to day, I also struggle with keeping up motivation to keep this house in order, having dinner made exactly at 5, and laundering my husband's shirts. If my blog is at all discouraging to mothers, then by all means stop reading it. I am huge believer in getting rid of influences that bring you down. I am very particular about who I facebook friend and what their statuses are like. I hide people even if they are nice if they are discouraging and complaining. That brings me down.

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  3. I used to read her blog, but then stopped after awhile for reasons I don't want to say(I don't like being negative:)

    Didn't read the book. But I FELL IN LOVE WITH NELLA when I first read her birth story. Seriously one of the most exquisite little babies I've ever laid eyes on.

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    1. I'd like to know what you honestly think :) I don't agree with everything she does either, so no worries.

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  4. can you not publish my prior comment? I feel bad saying anything bad about anyone!

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    1. sorry about that! i leave comment moderation on so i can approve comments and be sure to get them :)

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  5. I don't know who this is and haven't read her blog, but it does annoy me when people accuse bloggers of being "fake" because they express their happiness and don't focus on the negative.

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  6. The books never showed up. I have confirmation from Amazon to my purchase, but not data aside from that. Ugh. I am even more curious to read "Bloom" now that you have posted it.
    Glad you enjoyed it!

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  7. I do read her blog from time to time and cried when I read the touching and honest story of her second daughter. Not too many women would put in print their disappointment for the world to read. Her pictures are stunning and I am sure I would enjoy the book.

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