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One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both
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One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,355 ratings  ·  301 reviews

Pursue your passions, love your family, and say goodbye to guilt—pipe dream or possibility?

Work and family, individuality and motherhood, the creative life and family life—women are told constantly that they can’t have it all. One Beautiful Dream is the deeply personal, often humorous tale of what happened when one woman dared to believe that you can have it allif yo

Kindle Edition, 237 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Zondervan
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Jessica It might be a little more funny if you're a mom, but this book is mostly about her following her calling, loving where you are and God's graces. :)

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 ·  2,355 ratings  ·  301 reviews

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May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, owned
Confession: Jennifer Fulwiler's radio show is not for me. I've distanced myself from her content over the years even though I used to love her blog. I didn't have high hopes for this book, worrying that the aspects of her show that bug me would be amplified and that the magic of her blog writing had been pushed aside for new opportunities.

She has an incredible gift for writing, though. This book was SO well written. It's funny, and heartfelt, and suspenseful. I knew many of the stories within fr
May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I understand Jennifer Fulwiler's point and also understand its appeal, but it still doesn't sit right with me. Not 100%.

First, the humor. I'll be the contrarian and say that I just don't find her attempts at humor successful. She uses a very predictable pattern of self-deprecation which in the end feels false to me.

Secondly, I don't agree with her message, and I've spent a few days trying to pin down why and what it is. I think what it is - it ultimately feels very self-centered to me. As if t
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I know this is an unpopular opinion but this book was incredibly disappointing for me. I absolutely loved Jenn's first book. Loved it. But reading a book about her writing a book was just...boring. It felt more like reading someone's journal. Same thing again and again. It wasn't particularly creative or interesting. I pushed through in hopes of it getting better but was let down. It was just a "meh, I started reading this so I have to finish it" kind of read. Her other book had me so engrossed ...more
Lindsay Wilcox
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, religion, memoir
Jen is such a delight, and so is this book. Ever since I went back to church and started pursuing my career, with the hope for marriage and family as well, I’ve wondered if a churchgoing, rule-following (so to speak) Catholic woman can really “have it all.” Sadly, my conclusion was “no,” and I’ve lived my life accordingly... but at the moment, I have neither. Jen’s book makes me wistful for the life that perhaps I could have had, but it also gives me hope that my dream doesn’t have to die. I mig ...more
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's vulnerability in every chapter this book, and that's what makes it resonate with readers, no matter how much you have (or don't have) in common with Jennifer. While she brings plenty of the dry wit she's (deservedly) famous for, she also brings the wisdom -- the lessons she has had to learn as a woman, as a mother, and as a professional.
Read my full review>.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. I think she and I would be friends if our paths ever crossed (and maybe they do in some way - we have a lot in common.) Several book clubs were reading it so I decided to give it a whirl to see if it was right for another group I'm in. I walked away feeling like she was a little nuts, had WAY more health issues and WAY more help than most Moms in my circles. (I don't really have any family or friends that don't have their hands full who were willing to babysit ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading more books that might be called "personal development" books this year - and honestly, I am not sure if this fits into what most people would view as personal development or not - that being said, this is THE BEST book I have read for my own personal development this year. I remember following Jen's blog during the time covered in this book, so the stories themselves were not new to me, but her reflections on that time are amazing. I love the idea of a "blue flame" - a passio ...more
Other than being practicing Catholics, Jennifer and I have next to nothing in common, yet I've been reading her blog for years and also read her first book and was intrigued by her whole conversion process. This book was a book about writing a book and the struggles she faced to write that first book. It's interesting how she and her husband rationalize needing help to take care of their kids while also being staunch NFPers (who don't seem to understand how it works or do it well...guess it's ha ...more
Summer Sterling
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm rather torn on this review. Fulwiler is an excellent writer, but reading her account of her family's day-to-day lives was like watching a train wreck. "God" didn't bring all of those pregnancies, sex did, and if it's okay now to practice Natural Family Planning, I don't understand why she couldn't have practiced it while she had so many deadlines and health issues looming. I'm surprised anyone in the home ever had clean underwear, and yet the mess, chaos, frustration, fears, illness, financi ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Entertaining, well-written and easy to read. The issue with the content that I have is this: the author claims throughout the book that there are many people she encounters that she thinks are telling her something that is a sign from God. But there are many people throughout the book who are telling her to be responsible, use birth control, stop having children, etc. but she fails to see that as a sign from God? Can anyone imagine what our population would be like if everyone birthed all childr ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Feels like a series of blog posts

This book wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t particularly compelling either. The author seems to be living a fairly ordinary life so a whole novel was a stretch for me. Luckily, I bought it on sale.
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Reading this book left me feeling lighthearted and happy. I laughed a lot and cried tears of joy. It was a fast and easy read. I think every parent can relate to at least one crazy experience the author had as a parent.
Jaime K
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jen - though really, her husband - has described this a book about writing a book. but this is so much more than that.
It's about the reality of her life, from her second child on. Her struggles with children and pregnancies; difficulties with how to balance her passions with motherhood; financial issues and the love of her family.
It's less about writing and more about what she learned about being a mother and a wife over the years. Yes, it coincides with the writing of her first book, but that'
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
So many mixed feelings about this book. As a working Catholic mom, I went into this book a bit like a cat being plunged into a bathtub. That is, to say, I found the very description of it to be off putting. Why does it feel like every career woman is described, in a negative connotation, as a "workaholic"? That said, I felt strangely called to plod through this, hoping and perhaps even praying for some nuggets of wisdom or an "aha!" moment. I was ultimately left disappointed. It reads as one wom ...more
Fulwiler's book was just what I needed after reading another woman/mom-focused title about big dreams, motherhood, work, etc. I like Fulwiler's writing a lot and felt inspired by her story. Knowing that her faith is so central to her (read all about it in Something Other Than God, her first book, a great memoir of her conversion), I wished that she had discussed her faith more in this book. It's not absent by any means in this one, but it wasn't as central as I had hoped. One major takeaway for ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
I loved everything about this book. I'm pretty convinced that if there were a "which Catholic mom are you?" quiz, my result would be Jennifer Fulwiler. I related so much to her interest in writing and to her very real and down-to-earth approaching to raising children, and so many parts of the book made me laugh out loud either in recognition or surprise. There were also several emotional sections that brought an unexpected lump to my throat. I'm not a big re-reader, but my book club is reading t ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, motherhood
This funny, fast-paced and relatable memoir about balancing raising a family with personal passions was a perfect fit book for me. I devoured it. I loved how this was a true memoir; her story without the lessons she's learned preached at you... which is a departure from most faith/Christian Living memoirs I've encountered lately. Although I'm not a huge Jennifer Fulwiler fan--I don't follow her on her other platforms--I will continue to read any book she ever publishes.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Had a few interesting parts. Nice to read about so many people helping someone achieve her dream. I do hope she remembers to pay it back to society. Probably not an author I would want to meet. The whole world of writing for a living is very interesting. I would guess there are many people whose lives are parallel to this story at the beginning, but they are not as lucky to catch a break. It seems like her children paid the price for her career instead of her career enhancing her parenting.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read that gained momentum as it went along. The book was more relatable than I expected - I thought it might only appeal to those with specific personal passions to pursue, but it was very relatable because Jennifer Fulwiler is unpretentious and approachable. Fulwiler also offers important insights that can apply to a broad audience.
Ann Warren
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really, really enjoyed this book. As a mom of young children struggling to find purpose amidst the chaos, this book spoke to me in a way I didn’t expect it to. A lot of lessons about letting go and letting God... I also enjoy her writing style and humor. Other books in this genre tend to come across whiny and/or annoying, and this was a refreshing read!
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much! Laughed out loud many times and teared up in a few places too. I am glad now that I read this before I read her first book. Now I know the process she went through to write that first book and will appreciate it more. Hope there is a third book soon.
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars. When your plane is 3 hours delayed and you're stuck at the airport, it's easy to finish the book quickly! I followed Jen's blog before her books came out. This is an entertaining and sometimes familiar romp of her life.
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a great read! Very moving and very funny at the same time. I rarely laugh out loud with books. This was an exception.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I don't understand why this is so popular.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
So, having sworn that I was going to ignore the siren lure of new books between now and Christmas, I have done it yet again and downloaded Jennifer Fulwiler's second memoir. Yes, I have the self-control of your average wild dog at a butcher's.

Sadly One Beautiful Dream is not quite as good as JF's first book, but to be fair, it would be hard to live up to the drama and intellectual gymnastics of her conversion. This book focuses rather on her day-to-day existence and, in particular, on her attem
Jeff Miller
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now I wish I had read it as soon as it came out. I have always enjoyed her writing style and this books starts out strong and stays there. She details the aftermath of her and her family embracing the Catholic faith and the subsequent decisions they made as a family to live out the faith.

She came from a family where she was a surprise baby, one that was not initially open to having children. Her own thoughts fell along these same lines when she got married. She details how she and her husband ca
Jennie Louwes
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
You can have it all, as a woman and as a wife and mother, if you're willing to have and do it all imperfectly. If you're willing and able to start, and stop, and do things disheveled and find happiness within the chaos; you can have it all!

I liked this book. It was a good and timely read within the chaos of my own life. Having birthed 4 children in 4.5 years I understand well what having back-to-back children looks and feels like. Jennifer Fulwiler does this whole mothering thing justice as she
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book addresses a swing of the pendulum that I think I have also noticed in my own thinking, in my community, in the media, mom blogs, etc.: Western culture clearly devalues the family and motherhood, promoting radical individuality and the pursuit of self-fulfillment in its place, particularly for women in the past decades. To correct this false ideology, the Church speaks out rather frequently, upholding the beauty and importance of motherhood and the family. Then, women are left to figure ...more
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-moms
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What do I Love about this book? I love that it’s not a how-to or instruction manual for how to “Have it all.” Instead, it’s a personal story about how Jennifer & her family found a way to live out their calling as a family & follow their dreams and how they realized that both are part of God’s plan, but that plan might look a little different than our traditional ideas of homemaking or career success. It’s inspiring, but not at all preachy. I like that in her story she points out examples of wom ...more
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Jennifer Fulwiler is a mom of six, a standup comic, and the host of a daily talk show on SiriusXM. She’s a bestselling author whose new book is Your Blue Flame: Drop the Guilt and Do What Makes You Come Alive. After being told that there wasn’t an audience for standup comedy done by a minivan-driving woman from the suburbs, she self-produced her own tour, which is selling out venues across the cou ...more

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