The Middle Matters. An Earnest Book Review.


“Because grilled cheese without the middle is just toast.”

– Lisa-Jo Baker, The Middle Matters

Having been a fan of Lisa-Jo Baker since Surprised By Motherhood, I was thrilled to receive her recent book to review.  Lisa-Jo has an amazing way of storytelling that takes your life, intertwines it with hers and once you put one of her books down, you feel forever connected.  The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Good On You definitely delivers true to Lisa-Jo form.  It is honest, loving, filter-free and raw; when I read that last line of the final page, I closed the book and again, felt connected forever.

This book consists of truth-telling letters/essays to the middle parts of Lisa-Jo’s life; from the middle of her muffin top, to the middle of her failures.  She shares stories of motherhood and marriage that will leave you in tears; laughing tears, sad tears, happy tears and realizing you are not alone tears.   Lisa-Jo takes the hard parts of life and makes them bearable, especially when you know someone out there has experienced the same.  I love the idea of building villages by sharing our stories, this book was made to build villages; villages made up of all of us here in our middles.


I remember as a teenager Chicken Soup for the Soul books were all the rage, they were the books I read at my beginning – I love food so this will be a food metaphor – Chicken Soup for the Soul was like my appetizer in life and The Middle Matters is the main course, right in the middle of appetizers and desserts.  It is a hearty helping of comfort food that is necessary in this middle life of ours.  A warm serving of exactly what we need to remember, the scale is not the boss of us and we are the boss of our own emotions.  It brings delicious satisfaction to read Lisa-Jo’s words and know that she has been there too sister, and together we can all get through it.  This middle part is not always easy, often quite busy but is so worth remembering.  She reminds us not to rush through the middle just to get to the end, we must finish our main course before the dessert.  Slowing down to try and see the days as they pass is totally worth it.  Worth every moment.  Lisa-Jo dedicates the book to her late mother whom she says taught her: the harder the moment, the greater the story.  I love this.  Let’s savor those hard moments so we can share great stories with our fellow and future middle mamas.


This book is one I wish I could buy for every woman I know, whether in the beginning of the middle, the middle of the middle or the end – we all need a book like this.  The Middle Matters is everywhere you can buy books, get out there and grab one for yourself and a few girlfriends!

Stay tuned to my Instagram for an (extra)ordinary giveaway next week!!

x. earnest mom.

The Middle Matters is published by Waterbrook and Multnomah and is on bookstore shelves now. I received a free advance reader copy for my honest opinion.


Bookroo Shares Their Holidays Favorites!

Hello my earnest followers! I am SO excited to bring you this wonderful guest blog written by one of the co-founders of Bookroo. If you aren’t familiar with Bookroo, it is a parent based company who’s passion is to bring literacy to all children through their monthly (and very cost effective) subscription box. Enjoy and have an earnestly wonderful holiday weekend.  Be sure to check out my exclusive discount code for all your holiday book shopping needs!


earnest mom.

Don’t you love this time of year? The weather is turning cooler, though we haven’t yet had to slog through three months of ice and sleet. Instead, we eagerly await the first snowfall that will blanket the world in white. Then it’s time to bundle up, grab the snowman accessories, and head outside for an afternoon playing in the snow. Once our snowman is crowned with his black top hat, we head back inside to warm up with a warm cup of hot chocolate, cozied up on the couch sharing some of our favorite holiday children’s books.
Which books are those, you ask? Well, we’re glad you did.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

While we love the illustrated movie with its wonderful, memorable songs, we also love the original storybook. With creative illustrations and rhymes that only Dr. Seuss can craft, we love seeing the grumpy old Grinch discover the true spirit of Christmas.

The Polar Express

Beautifully illustrated, this magical story by Chris Van Allsburg captures the nostalgia and warmth of the holiday season like few others. Train rides, falling snow, warm lights, and jolly people combine to make this a Christmas classic. (Following up our reading of the book with listening to Josh Groban’s “Believe” especially puts us in the holiday mood.)

The Wild Christmas Reindeer

A favorite from my own childhood, Jan Brett’s The Wild Christmas Reindeer provides us a lighthearted holiday favorite that teaches a lesson I’ve always appreciated: it’s better to be kind than bossy. Along with enjoying Brett’s distinctive illustrations, we like the Advent calendar provided on each page showing how the elves are busily preparing for Christmas.

Next to reading our favorite Christmas stories, holiday shopping is another favorite activity of ours. Not, as the Grinch so eloquently learns, so that we “get.” Instead, we look forward to the holidays as a time to share thoughtful, meaningful gifts with others.
We hope Bookroo has a place on your list of meaningful gifts this year. Few gifts, if any, are more impactful and long lasting than the gift of reading. At Bookroo, we celebrate the gift of reading all year round, but we especially like to share and celebrate it during the holidays.
And a Bookroo box makes a delightful addition to any pile of presents under the tree. Lovingly wrapped in beautiful wrapping paper, your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or friend will be thrilled to unwrap our hand-selected books this Christmas morning. And when you choose a three- or six-month subscription, your gift will continue to bring excitement and develop a love of reading in your little “roo” well into the new year.

We hope this holiday season brings you wonderful opportunities for giving meaningful gifts, playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, and enjoying good books! If you’d like to gift a Bookroo box, follow this link to save $4 on your purchase.  

Happy holidays from all of us at Bookroo!