Two parents challenge one another to find balance between work and family life. Their stories are both uproarious and poignant as they raise children and strive to leave their mark on the wider world. Filled with tender moments and plenty of laughs, Here Be Dragons recounts the adventures of a family trying to stay afloat, and offers a life raft to the rest of us in choppy waters.
Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh is a mother, teacher, and dog lover-an above-average cook and below-average housekeeper. Both a dancing queen and a brick house, she is an avid reader of cooking websites, fitness magazines, and articles that promise she’ll lose weight fast. Annmarie earned her National Board Certification in English Language Arts, holds a masters in urban education from Yale University, and has been a beloved teacher at half a dozen high schools from Florida to Seattle. She has taught Shakespeare to gang members and sung lullabies in a wilderness detention center. Annmarie’s writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, New York Observer, and on National Public Radio.
Ken Harbaugh has flown reconnaissance missions off North Korea, researched war crimes in Afghanistan, and deployed in response to natural disasters both at home and abroad. He co-founded The Mission Continues, an award-winning nonprofit that empowers military veterans to find purpose through community impact. He is currently the president of Team Rubicon Global, an organization that provides veterans around the world with opportunities to serve others in the wake of natural disasters. Ken’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and the Yale Journal of International Law. He is not as funny as his wife.
Annmarie and Ken live in Los Angeles, CA with their three children and an assortment of dying houseplants. Follow them at DadvMom.com, an online community dedicated to the proposition that couples can love one another and their children at the same time. Mostly.
Hands down one of the best books I have ever read. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend that you go buy it now….I mean right now! It should be given out to newly weds, new parents, 2nd 3rd 4th time parents, grandparents and everyone in between. There is something within these pages for everyone.
There is so much that you can take away from this book, so much happening that with each page you find something else fascinating. Whether it is their hilarious adventures as parents or their ability to know what they want as navy pilots and counselors for juvenile delinquents. It made me laugh, cry, shake my head yes (so many times!) that I felt like I knew these people. I related and it was a breath of fresh air, knowing that I am not alone in the crazy cyclone of a parenting world. I have been that new mom with no friends, I’ve attended the awkward gatherings to meet other new moms and I have left the house in sweatpants smelling of baby formula and puke. I’ve been there….and to know that someone else has too, well that makes me feel like a normal human being.
As soon as I finished the book, I was ready to dive into it again! Annmarie talks about Jane Eyre in this book, “It is said that for a work of literature to be deemed a “classic” it must elicit a new response in us each time we read it.”. I believe it…..I believe whole-heartedly that as I read through it a second time I will get something even more amazing out of it. It is so inspiring and hilarious.
Reading this book was like sitting in the same room as Ken and Annmarie, I felt like I was there listening to their life stories and their wisdom over a cup of coffee. I feel like I know these amazing people and they are people you would want to know. They are driven, they help others and they find the things that they are passionate about and they pursue them. They live life to the fullest even if their kids don’t always cooperate. They describe everything in such detail that I felt like I was there on the small boat named “Marlon” while they caught crab, hunkered down in a tropical storm awaiting the sound of a new born infant, or kite-surfing in shark infested waters. There is always an adventure.
Amazing book! I have already recommended it to several friends and I recommend it to you now!! Buy links are listed below! Also check out their website www.dadvmom.com!
I am so thankful for Annmarie giving me a copy of this amazing book to review!! You guys are amazing authors and I feel so lucky to have been able to read this book!
Favorite things from the Book:
- Their list of Nuns and Cans of Parenting:
- Adventures Are Worth The Mishaps
- Love Ruins Plans
- Happiness Is Cheap
- Imbalance Is Balance
- Talk To Strangers
- You’re Not The Boss Of The Applesauce
- Change Your Socks
- Every Storm Ends
- Never Sail Into A Harbor You Cannot Sail Out Of
- “Ken and I were foolish to believe we knew best. We were never the boss of that applesauce.”
- “We stopped steering, stopped plotting our course, stopped planning for the future, and simply held onto one another while we waited for the winds to blow themselves out.
- “I still felt bonkers a lot of the time, but so, it seemed, did a lot of other parents.”