Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Send Ebooks (or Other Docs) to Your Kindle/Kindle App

If you are at all involved with the blogging world, you've heard of ebooks.  Instead of purchasing print versions of books, you can often buy it as an ebook for a little cheaper.  Bloggers also offer ebooks as incentives to sign up for newsletters, as a bonus to those who pre-order their books, or to  share their expertise without having to go through the formal publication process.

I will admit that I've largely not seen the purpose of ebooks until just recently.  The main reason?  I've downloaded most of them as PDFs and then they've just sat there on my desktop.  I spend too many hours on the computer already that the idea of being chained to my computer to read is unappealing.  My first choice is still to read a physically real paper book, but I am perfectly happy reading an ebook on my Kindle Fire or, most often, the Kindle app on my husband's iPad - especially if the book is free, much cheaper, or only available in digital form.  

So, when I found out there was a way to email a PDF ebook to my Kindle app (and that the process took only seconds), all my problems were solved!  In case you would find this as useful as I do, here are the quick and easy steps for emailing a document to your Kindle reader.

The following directions will work with the following document types: Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX), HTML (.HTML, .HTM), RTF (.RTF), Text (.TXT), JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG), Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW), GIF (.GIF), PNG (.PNG), BMP (.BMP), and PDF (.PDF)

1. Go to Scroll to the bottom of the page. Under "Let Us Help You" at the right click on "Manage Your Kindle".  (You may have to log in at this point if you haven't already.)

2. From there, click on "Personal Document Settings" located in the options along the left under "Your Device and Settings".

Notice I have some ebooks that I sent to my library recently. The "author" comes up as the email address I sent it from.

3. Check that your email address is on the "Approved Document E-mail List".  Only emails on this list are able to send documents to your Kindle/the Kindle app on a device.  If yours in so there, you can add it by clicking on "Add a new approved e-mail address" at the bottom.

4. Now, take note of the email address* for your device.  If you have multiple devices (for example, I have a Kindle Fire and an iPad with the Kindle app), you may have a different e-mail address for each one.

5. Go to your email and send your ebook/document to the Kindle email address* associated with the device you want it on.  The subject line can either be left blank or you can type "convert" in the subject box if you would like to convert to document to Kindle format. Then just attach your document and press send.  You can have up to 25 attachments in one email so if you have many ebooks sitting on your computer, you can transfer them together in one email.  (You can also send to up to 15 separate emails to get them to all your various devices at once.)  

Once you know the email addresses for your devices, you can send documents anytime starting with the last step!  There are also several other ways to get documents onto your Kindle/Kindle app, including USB and an app on your computer that would allow you to right click on a document and choose "Send to Kindle".  For more information on your other options, see this info on or this helpful blog post

If you are looking for some books to fill up your Kindle, there is a HUGE Ultimate Homemaking Bundle that goes on sale today. (Affiliate links below.) My sweet friend Haley's ebook, Feast, is one of the ebooks in the sale and if it is any indication of the quality of books involved, it's well worth the $29.97 (for over 80 ebooks!).

Don't get caught up on the word "homemaking" - these books are not all about the best way to vacuum but about what truly makes a home - marriage, health, homeschooling, working from home, motherhood, food, finances, pregnancy, faith, and more.  Even if you were only interested in the books in a few of the categories, you'd be getting well over your $30 worth and filling up that Kindle with a library of books to reference in your future homemaking.

To see a list of the books included and to purchase your copy, click here or on the button below.  There is a Kindle option for a little bit more but now that you know how to send the PDFs yourself, save the difference and use it toward putting some of the ideas in these ebooks into action.  This sale is only six days, so be sure to purchase your copy by April 28th.  Oh, and check back here tomorrow because I'll be having a giveaway for everyone who purchases through my link!  

*IMPORTANT: Documents sent through the Kindle Personal Documents Service are delivered over Whispernet. Amazon charges a small fee ($0.15 per MB) for Whispernet delivery. To avoid this fee, change the address to instead of  This will ensure documents are delivered over Wi-Fi, which is free!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pregnancy Loss Resources: A book about the science behind miscarriage

Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth about Miscarriage by John Cohen

Coming to Term is a different type of miscarriage book - it's purpose is not to comfort women or share personal narratives and coping strategies; instead it explores the scientific research behind miscarriage which, in it's own way, can be a comfort to those who have experienced pregnancy loss.  The author, John Cohen, is a journalist who, after having gone through his wife's multiple miscarriages, noticed that doctors seemed to have very few concrete facts about miscarriage and set out to discover the scientific truth behind miscarriage himself by piecing together the scant medical research on the topic.

I read Coming to Term after my first miscarriage and was a bit ambivalent about it; after having a second miscarriage soon after, I'm grateful to have read it.  Knowing some concrete facts about the causes of miscarriage and some of the potential treatments kept me from losing hope after my second loss.  I still often repeat to myself the statistic that Cohen shares: a woman who has a history of repeat miscarriages - three or more - still has a 70% chance of carrying a pregnancy to term without medical intervention.

Perhaps the biggest lessons to be learned from this book is that miscarriage is more common than it was once thought, it is largely still a mystery, and most miscarriages cannot be prevented.  Those are some tough facts to face for women that want answers and treatments, but can also be a comfort to know the truth, especially to the many men and women who are told conflicting, outdated, and non-evidence-based information from various medical professionals.

In additional to the hopeful statistics for future pregnancies, the two additional pieces of information that I have felt most useful to me are: 1) Research shows that approximately 50% of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, which couples have no control over.  These losses are, essentially, just "bad luck" and do not raise the risk for future miscarriages. 2) Blood clotting disorders cause a significant number of miscarriages and the use of heparin and aspirin during pregnancy has been shown to raise the chances of successfully carrying a baby to term.  Because I read this book, I was able to ask my doctor about testing for blood clotting disorders; I will be tested in a few months.

I would caution women from reading this book right after a miscarriage.  Give yourself a few months to heal and read some of the more compassionate experience-sharing books first.  (I recommend After Miscarriage and Angels in my Heart.)  I found Coming to Term at times to be very difficult to read because it approached miscarriage in a clinical way.  In addition, there is frequent reference to abortion (there are some very strong links between abortion and miscarriage research), fertility treatments that do not respect the dignity of life, and surrogacy, all of which bring up ethical/moral issues and may be difficult to handle soon after a loss.

A consumer-focused view of parenthood runs throughout the book, though it certainly isn't the author's focus or even his intention; he simply includes stories of real couples, many which unfortunately include elements of this.  It is worth reading this book for the valuable medical information they contain; however, make sure you have healed enough and are prepared to be confronted by these issues.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    I bought into the Frozen hype. Now I want a refund.

    I feel like I am the last person to see Frozen, however, if that person is actually you: Warning! Spoilers abound!

    I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but I bought into the Frozen hype.  David and I have been wanting to get our hands on a copy since it came out on DVD, but it's been all but impossible to find at a Redbox until this past weekend.  We were just as excited to watch it ourselves as we were to show it to Lucia.  

    Big mistake.  If I had watched it expecting a Disney movie, I probably would have enjoyed it tolerably well, but I was expecting the Disney movie of the year decade century and I was sorely, sorely disappointed.  So much so that as I stayed awake the last few nights with a sick toddler, I couldn't help wondering exactly what I found lacking in the movie. 

    1) The "You Can't Marry a Man You Just Met" storyline seemed contrived and a bit too obvious. I heard so many people saying, "Finally! A realistic Disney movie!" Realistic? Might I remind you of the anthropomorphic snowman? Or the character that controls wintery weather? Who watches a Disney movie for realism?  Isn't the whole point of fairy tales (and Disney movies are the fairy tales of modernity) to teach morals through the use of a fantastic story? They are supposed to get kids thinking and analyzing in order to find the moral.  But, apparently, it's much easier these days to just have the sister of the main character say the moral pointblank.  Unless the moral of the story is actually "your older sister knows best".  In addition to feeling like this "fairy tale rewrite" was a little forced in order to please the modern woman, it's also not a consistent message throughout the film (see #2 and #6).

    2) Hans must be evil because Kristoff is good. If we're talking about realism, let's talk about this love triangle.  In real life, it's not unusual that a woman might be interested in two men, but rarely is one all good and the other pure evil.  But I guess that's where people stop praising Frozen for being realistic.  As soon as I saw the love match-up between Anna and Kristoff, I knew that Hans would turn out to be the bad guy.  Not because anything in the movie suggested that, but because I knew Disney just wouldn't make a female character choose between two good guys. You can't marry a man you just met, but you still have to marry your one true love.  I was hoping that Anna would actually have to make a choice and that there would indeed be a new and exciting departure from the classic Disney princess model.  But apparently the only thing that has changed in princess relationships is a longer dating period.

    3) "She's my sister. She'd never hurt me." I saw a meme of this going around facebook a while back with friends tagging their sisters as a sign of the sisterly bond. Did they see the movie? Elsa does in fact hurt Anna, which would be somewhat understandable if it were done on accident (the ice in the heart was an accident after all) but she sent a snow monster after her. And then later Elsa was so upset to find out that Anna was dead. Well, it very well could have been that snow monster!  Anyway, this movie is touted as so new and unique because it's sisterly love and not true love's kiss that saved Anna, but that ending was pretty obvious from early on in the movie though, wasn't it?

    4) The bipolar snow queen was too much for me. One minute, Elsa is running away from her kingdom in tears because she revealed her powers, scared her subjects, and could have killed them. A moment later, she "let[s] it go" and changes herself from a modestly dressed princess to a sexy snow goddess complete with a slit up the leg.  She spends her childhood hiding from her kingdom and the sister she loves in order to protect them, then quickly changes into an angry, bitter witch.  Then at the end the movie, she is back in her kingdom frolicking with others - even though she was just enjoying herself living free in isolation.  The mood swings are a bit too drastic.  Even if I don't care that Disney movies are realistic, the emotions of the characters should still make sense for the fantastic situations they are in.

    5) The trolls seemed unnecessary. The role of comic relief was already taken by Olaf. And Kristoff. And Sven. And they seemed to undermine the whole "You Can't Marry a Man You Just Met" moral as "love experts" who wanted Kristoff and Anna to marry right away. I did agree with their advice that you can't change a person and that no one is perfect, but that was just another romantic love lesson that was being shoved into this movie that was primarily about sororal love. 

    6) We rented Turbo last week and it got more play in our house than Frozen. Lucia just didn't like it. She didn't ask to rewatch it once, whereas we kept Turbo for days because she was thrilled to watch it over and over.  They are different types of movies, but Lucia enjoys the traditional Disney princess movies - one of her current favorites is Sleeping Beauty - and some more story driven cartoon movies like The Prince of Egypt. Frozen just did not keep her interest. 

    That said, I appreciate that Disney has seemed to revive an interest in making music-filled movies based on classic fairy tales. I just think they would do a bit better if they kept closer to the original story lines like they did in the past. I couldn't see any resemblance of Frozen to it's supposed influence, Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen".  Other than the snow, of course.

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Please excuse me while I kiss the sky throw everything into one post.

    Is anyone else looking to Easter with great anticipation?  This Lent has left me exhausted and I'm somewhat nervous to find out what the intensification of Lent through Holy Week will bring.  So will you forgive my lack of blogging prowess and accept this meager recap of some Holy Week resources, favorite links, recent going-ons, answers to Kendra's questions, all set to some lovely photos of our Saturday at the park?  This post might be a bit too busy, just like me.

    Holy Week resources:

    Favorite Links:
    In Defense of Fanny Price: Why You Don't Like Mansfield Park as Much as You Should (Carrots for Michaelmas) - I read Mansfield Park as part of a book group both Haley and I are a part of and after reading this post, found myself liking Fanny (and MP).
    What to Say Instead of Praising (Aha! Parenting) - I made a chart out of the "instead of"/"try" phrases and it resides on our fridge. I am so ready to quit with the "Good job!" ad nauseum.
    Age-Appropriate Chores for Children (Flanders Family) - I'm quite tickled that "bake cookies" is listed as a chore and that Lucia is old enough to carry firewood.
    For when you're having an "I'm not enough" week (Lisa-Jo Baker) - Encouragement for moms in the trenches.
    The Bookish Mum: Reading to Feed Your Soul and Intellect (Fountains of Home) - The first post in an exciting new series by Christy. 
    Stop Saying God is Good (Miss Elainious) - God's goodness is not conditional. Period.
    A Man of Peace: Fr. Fans van der Lugt, SJ (The Jesuit Post) - Lessons from the life of a Jesuit killed while caring for the people of Homs, Syria.
    Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Get a Tattoo (but Having a Baby is Fine) (the ugly volvo) - Your laugh for the week. You're welcome.  (In case your wondering, my formal stance is both pro-tattoo and pro-baby though resoundingly anti-baby tattoos.)

    Recent Going-Ons:
    Lucia threw a pair of panties into the pew in front of us at Mass yesterday.  So, that happened.  

    Lucia always says, "What's this guy?" when asking what anything is. A shoe on the floor: "What's this guy?" Daddy gets home: "What's this guy?" 

    She also calls inanimate objects "little guy".  As in, "Don't worry, little guy. I protect you." (said to a wooden spoon)

    She calls the one year old I watch twice a week, Mary Margaret, "Little Buddy", "Pal" and even says, "Mary Margaret is my sister. Come here, sister." 

    Her favorite new lovey is "sugar bear".  Nope, not a cute nickname, it's an actual clay brown sugar bear pilfered from my kitchen. The success of the enormous toy industry is amazing considering that children rarely play with actual toys.

    My parents will be here on Good Friday! They helped us move out here (the first time we moved here in July 2012) and my mom came out here for a week to help me after Lucia was born, so this is the first time they'll be here without being put to work.

    We started learning Creighton (a method of NFP) in an attempt to find and fix the causes of our miscarriages a few weeks ago.  It's gone pretty well so far.  I had my first follow-up this week and my instructor thought I seemed to know what I was doing.  There was a little part of me that was afraid of flunking out.  Not like that a possibility but I'm the queen of weird irrational phobias.

    1. What time do you prefer to go to Mass? 10:45 on Sunday morning. We get to sleep in late, David usually makes a big breakfast (early enough for us to still have an hour fast before Mass), and Lucia does much better than the Sunday evening Mass. (Panty toss was at the Sunday 5:30pm Mass.)  A fun bonus is that this seems to be the Mass where all the parishioners we know attend.

    2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold? I may be one of the only people who thinks living in Phoenix sounds like a good idea.  I love hot hot hot weather.  I HATE being cold.

    3. How many brothers and/or sister do you have? I have one brother five years younger than me.  Fun fact: I remember people always telling my parents how cute it was that we called each other "brother" and "sis".  We still do.

    4. If you were faced with a boggart, what would it turn into? Nancy Pelosi? I'm totally not saying that to get political; the pictures of her with her "crazy eyes" that make the rounds on the web give me nightmares.

    5. Barbie: thumbs up or thumbs down? Big thumbs up! I had tons as a kid. I'm not opposed to Lucia playng with them if she wants, but the poor girl is going to have to get by hand-me-downs with the misshapen heads. (When  your brother pulls the head off and you try to put them back on, they never look the same. They're always a bit more smooshed and round.) To make up for the weird heads, I do have some neat clothes sewn by one of my grandmothers. She passed away when I was in high school, so she never got to meet Lucia and I think it will be neat to watch Lucia play with the Barbie clothes she made.

    6. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say? Don't talk badly about your spouse to anyone. Just don't.

    a birthday party photo bombed us

    Finish out Lent strong, my friends. Don't get caught Lent-handed!

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Our Song

    Originally posted 3/20/12 as part of the link up at NFP and Me. Revived today to link up with Camp Patton's Wedding Song Dance Along (and because the blog's been pretty silent this week).  

    What's your song? Share a video if there is one.
    My husband and I have two songs.  Neither one is a traditional "love song" if you really listen to the words.  Early on in our dating relationship, our song was "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (from the movie "Once").  

    Our first dance song at our wedding reception, "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon, has since replaced it as "our song".  

    Did you always have a song or did you have to find one?
    "Falling Slowly" became our song naturally because we watched "Once" together early in our relationship when it was shown one Friday night as part of my university's independent/foreign film series.  Because the lyrics are more about a breakup than about enduring love (the song ends with "I paid the cost too late, Now you're gone"), we didn't feel it was appropriate for a first dance song.  So we had to find a new one. 

    Why did you pick this song?
    In short, because it was a little different and a song we both agreed on.  When I realized we needed to find a first dance song, I put together a short list of about five songs I was thinking of using.  Some of the songs I found online in lists of "good first dance songs", like "Fools Rush In".  Others were my personal favorites ("La Pared" acoustic version by Shakira).  "Use Somebody" was playing a lot on the radio at the time and I was very drawn to it every time I heard it.  David ruled some out right away (he didn't want to dance to a song in Spanish because most of our guests wouldn't understand it) and we were left with only a few.  In the end, we picked "Use Somebody" because it wasn't a typical first dance song but still had a beautiful meaning.

    What does it mean to you?
    It plays on the radio once in a while and it always melts my heart to hear it.  We took a few private dance lessons before the wedding and practiced over and over to that song, so it represents us learning to dance together which was really fun and exciting as we prepared for our big day. It reminds me of being held tight in my husband arms and having him learn to lead me.  Dancing is a really great metaphor for marriage, really. 

    How has the meaning changed since you first chose it? 
    I think we realize now more than when we first got married how much we need one another in our lives.  Especially now that we have a daughter, there are many moments when the lyrics "I could use somebody right now" rings true.  Somebody to share my life with.  Somebody to share in the happy moments, the difficult time, to split the household chores with.  And David is that perfect somebody for me.  Marriage isn't all about love and romance (although it's about that too), it's often about support and just having someone there next to you. 

    Won't you share a picture of you two dancing? (Doesn't have to be a wedding picture!)
    I tried to explain the song to our dance instructor before we met her, but she hadn't heard it before.  She seemed a little nervous when we brought it along and she first heard it since it was rather upbeat, but she was able to choreograph a little entrance to it and teach us some basic steps and turns to use.  We really shocked our friends and family that we were doing "fancy" dancing.  I love this picture because you can see the look on David's cousin's face in the background.  Explains it all!