Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dinner with the Smileys review and giveaway!

Sarah Smiley, a Navy wife and mom to three boys knew military life was not easy, but when her husband was up for a deployment, she dreaded the year ahead. When he deployed to Afghanistan, the idea to have someone take his place at their family dinner table once a week was quickly put into motion. 

The Smiley boys and their mom hosted politicians, teachers, Olympians, and family friends, each with a different lesson for the family as they pushed on without their father and partner. What originally sounded like a crazy thought turned into an amazing experience for everyone involved.  

Sarah gets incredibly real in her book -- military life is hard. When you're the spouse of soldier, life often gets put on hold and families must rearrange their realities to become peaceful about deployment. That being said, peaceful does not mean happy! No one was "happy" about Dustin's deployment. The boys each suffered from their father being gone in his own way, and Sarah ends up overwhelmed, lonely, and burnt out. It's all poured out onto the pages... I dare you not to cry and hurt with her. 

As most of you know, Aaron is Active Duty Air Force, though currently on a controlled tour here in the D.C. area. That means, unless something major were to happen, he won't deploy until this tour is over. I'm a lucky woman. This controlled tour was such a blessing in this unsettled time in the world and reading Sarah's words brought me to tears many times. I have yet to experience a deployment as a mother and I know the time is coming. Seeing the bravery exhibited, not only by Sarah, but by her boys, will certainly be a comfort when Aaron does have to spend time overseas. 

This book is not simply a quick read for military spouses to know someone out there feels their pain, nor is it simply about dinners with a lesson. Anyone can benefit from reading what real families go through when a spouse is away at war and can learn from the lessons taught by each of the dinner guests. Some are small lessons, but others hold big emotions with a big impact. I felt honored to share in the Smiley family experience and want all of you to read this and feel it too. 

The amazingly sweet author, Sarah Smiley, has offered a copy of her beautifully written book to one of you! Just leave a comment on this post by Sunday night and I'll draw a winner Monday morning. 

If you win, please share this book after you've read it. Its content is so important for so many families and Sarah's story deserves to be shared.

You can find Sarah on Facebook and Twitter

23 comments:

Janan Massett said...

Count me in! Sounds like a good read :)

Catherine said...

This is on my summer reading list!

Nana's Journey said...

I read the book on my kindle and loved it. Sarah writes so you feel you are right there with them, sharing the highs, the lows and everything in between. I learned about the military life and being from Maine I also got to see the people who came to dinner in a different way. This is definitely a book to have and to read over and over.

Emma Vitale said...

I would love to read this!

Barb A. said...

I have been keeping up with many of Sarah's stories through a mutual friend, and am anxious to read the book as soon as I get a copy and have some time to sit and enjoy it leisurely. Her writing has brought many smiles, tears, and laughter --- although I've never met her, I love her already. :)

Tiffany said...

This sounds like a great book. I would love to own a copy. Regardless, it is on my TBR list :)

Susan said...

This sounds like one my sister would really like. Her husband is a Naval officer and was deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months. They've got 5 kids, so it was tough on her, but she did great. If I win, I'll definitely share this book with her :)

Jes Hindley said...

Oh, I believe that even if I don't win this book I will purchase it. WIth The very real possibility of Craig leaving in Oct for a year brings this book even closer to my heart.

Mirriah Vitale said...

I would love to read Sarah's story! I need an inspiring, "real" book in my life right now. :)

chele1818 said...

YAY!!! pick me pick me !!!!!!!!!

rhonda said...

Loved this book don't enter my name just telling people how great it is

Teresa said...

I grew up in a military family. It is not an easy life, even when your family member is not deployed.

I'm looking forward to reading this

Kerry said...

Looking forward to checking this out!

Ashley said...

I would love to win this book - I loved reading Going Overboard!

Michelle Valliere said...

I can't wait to read this.

Beeliever said...

My husband is a Navy Seabee. He deployed to Palau when we were dating and then has been in the Reserves since we've been married. He deployed to Iraq when our first born was five months old. We now have three boys (similar personalities to the Smileys). I've loved following on fb. My husband has not had to deploy again but has drilled out of state for the last 8 years. On his last travel to Alabama, he bought a book when his flight got delayed. I recommended Dinner with the Smileys and he had already ordered something on his phone. He told me I could order Sarah's book on my phone, but I am holding out for a hard copy. I want to share the pictures with our boys. The photos are amazing! We have moved this year and had many transitions so I am waiting for things to settle when I will have time to sit down and enjoy her book. I love her style of writing. I relate most to all of those every day moments she talks about. When my husband was deployed, sure holidays were tough, but even tougher were all of those little every day moments.

Robin Edwards-Fowler said...

I am an USAF Vet and Widow. I would love Sarah's book. I need some joy and laughter in my life and know I could find it in her words. I followed very closely in The Bangor Daily and look forward to her stories every week.

Melissa Franklin said...

Can't wait to read it!

M. said...

I've purchased 3 signed copies of Sarah's "Dinner with the Smileys" thanks to the Briar Patch in Bangor Maine and all have been given as gifts(lots of birthdays in June in my world) but would love to get a signed copy of Sarah's book for me. Wouldn't hurt if the boys John Hancocked it too! Please and thanks for considering me! P.S. Loved the book - great summer read.

Denise N Baker said...

I would love to win an autography copy of Sarah's book. I first came across Sarah's column on Military.com when she was transiting from FL to ME and loved her writing style and humor. Loved that she shared her life and that of the rest of her family as so many people have no idea what it is like to be a military family let alone a military wife/mother. My son has been Navy for 16 years and recently married. I would love to share your book with them.

Moose Patrol said...

I appreciate Sarah's willingness to share her life with her readers.

Becca W said...

I have enjoyed Sarah's past books, and am looking forward to reading this one! Thanks for the opportunity to get a signed copy! :D

pinerun20039 said...

I am calling The Bria Patch book store and get a authgraphed copy of Dinner with the Smilies. I can`t wait to get it now that I have been exposed more then just the newspaper (Portland Press Herald) I was so taken aback with her interview this morning (7/14) on WPOR I just wish that I had known that she was in S Portland yesterday as I would have been there.