My kids had to wear their winter coats this morning and you would’ve thought I was asking them to don every item of clothing in their closets. It’s been unseasonably warm around here for several days, even to the point of shorts. For them, not for me.
Yesterday a woman in my small group said that one of the two national bakeries responsible for Girl Scout cookies didn’t make nearly enough. They base their numbers on sales from the previous year, and apparently we needed a lot more cookies this year than we did last year.
It kind of makes sense, that collectively, we would need more comfort food right now.
The world is really weird right now [see previous weather report], and in this divisive climate where we’re bombarded daily with another report of something terrible, we all need some good news. Or at least some lighter news. And so I say it’s time for a What I’m Into post. Let’s share some of the fun things we’ve been enjoying so far in 2017, friends. Let’s celebrate the good things, even if they seem few and far between. It might just be that, when we start listing them out and adding them up, we find more than we expected.
Some real-life goings-on in my life:
- Annalyn is playing basketball. She says she loves it, and for now, that’s enough. For now, I’m keeping a lid on my inner coach and encouraging her to simply do her best and have fun with some new friends. And starting to save up for a goal to put on our driveway, because all of a sudden I’m dying to play a game of HORSE.
- Adrienne has started going to a new daycare. She cried the first few days and refused to go to her Sunday school class that first week, but now she’s gold. She tells me about all her friends and her teacher tells me about how she made it up the climbing wall all by herself. And she’s only been sick twice, THANKYOUVERYMUCH germ-sharing classmates.
- Adrienne turned three. And like a switch was flipped, she is VERY THREE. Still precocious and clever and adorable, she has added arguing and screaming and hitting to her repertoire of kid tricks. We’re working on it.
- I attended IF:Gathering and sold Mercy House merch. I’d never attended a local IF event, but this year my church hosted one and asked me to help. And I’m so glad. The event was lovely, and the speakers were incredible. Lysa Terkeurst, Bianca Olthoff, and Jill Briscoe especially impressed my mind and my heart. I had the privilege of leading discussions at my table, and I know I’m not the only one who was moved by IF. I also had the opportunity to man a table of Mercy House products and share the organization’s story that’s become so close to my heart.
- I became an aunt. You know what’s fun? Surprising your girls with a spontaneous road trip in the middle of the week to visit their new baby cousin! Neither one of my girls is quite sure how pregnancy and babies work yet, but they know for sure that they love babies. Baby Harper is all they’ve talked about for almost three months now!
- I joined Weight Watchers. Again. I think it’s going to work this time. It has to work this time.
- My precious Maggie may be dying. She’s my cat, but she’s believed for 15 years now that she’s my baby. I don’t really disagree. But she’s getting old and not looking good and not acting normal, and it’s the circle of life but the circle of life kind of sucks.
- I had coffee with an old friend. I didn’t take a picture of this one, although in hindsight I obviously should have. A good friend of mine, one I’ve known since I was in third grade, moved back to town last year. We’ve done the “we should get together and catch up” thing for months now, and a few weeks ago, we finally did it. I was nervous for some reason, but our visit was just delightful. We’ve both lived a lot of life since the last time we saw each other, and it was good to reconnect. I hope years don’t go by before our next visit.
What I’m Reading:
- Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon – I had put off reading this one, even though so many people I knew were raving about it. But I shouldn’t have. This YA novel about a girl who, due to health problems, can’t leave her home was fantastic. It’s a romance, but it also has a lot to say about family and relationships. I read it in just a day or two.
- Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken – I haven’t finished this one yet, and I’m not sure why. It’s a great book about time travel, but for some reason it is hard for me to get through. I remember taking a while to get into the first one, so I’ll be curious how the third book in this trilogy reads.
- My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows – THIS BOOK. You guys, this book is BY FAR my favorite of the past year. It’s a YA historical fantasy that has the feel of The Princess Bride, and the story is told by three different points of view written by three different authors. It’s funny and clever and original, and I loved it.
- Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton – I’d been looking forward to this one. It wasn’t nearly as good as I’d hoped. I wanted something in the vein of the Fixer books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This just wasn’t quite it.
- Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter – This was the third in a trilogy of YA books about children of diplomats. It was interesting but I didn’t enjoy this series nearly as much as Carter’s Heist Society or Gallagher Girls.
Other book-related updates:
- Annalyn’s teacher is reading the first Harry Potter book to her class, and of course Annalyn is loving it. I love it, too, because it means we will read the next couple of books together this summer.
- I’ve joined the Book of the Month club. If you aren’t familiar with this, it’s a subscription service where you get your choice of a selection of books each month. And it’s awesome. I’ll have more to say about this soon. (And it’s going to include a giveaway, so stay tuned!)
- I’ve set a goal of reading 12 classics before I turn 40 next December. First up and waiting on my Kindle is Tale of Two Cities. I’ll keep you posted on this goal, but in the meantime, tell me what classics you think must be part of this reading project. (I’m working off this list I made the last time I set a goal of reading more classics.)
- Two books I contributed to came out in January and February. Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement is the first book from the (in)courage community, and The Heart of Marriage: Stories That Celebrate the Adventure of Life Together is a beautiful collection from my friend, Dawn Camp. Both are great reads.
- Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts is a paperback! Get your copy here.
What I’m Watching:
My DVR grows more full every day, as I avoid the dramas I love but can’t stomach right now. I’ve got more than a dozen episodes of Suits, Madam Secretary and Jane the Virgin waiting for me. Those are three of my very favorite shows right there, but when it comes down to how I want to spend my down time, I just can’t pull the trigger on anything serious. Instead, I watched the entire first season of the One Day at a Time reboot on Netflix, and I rewatched the entire series of Samantha Who? on Hulu.
The only current shows I’m watching are sitcoms that make me laugh (Speechless, American Housewife, New Girl, The Good Place, Superstore) and procedurals I watch with Mark (NCIS, Scorpion, Blue Bloods, Sherlock). Although, for the record, I resent leaving Sherlock in that not-stressful category after the outrageously creepy final episodes. *shudder*
I have, however, watched four – COUNT ‘EM, FOUR – movies in the theater over the past couple of months. What?! That’s unusual for me, and also? Super fun. Here are my quick reviews:
- Trolls – Had I basically seen the whole thing, thanks to repeated viewings of every single trailer with my kids? Sure. Was it delightful anyway? Yep. Good message about happiness, super catchy songs, and it entertained both my girls. Two thumbs up.
- Moana – A little slower paced than Trolls but still really, really good. And I’m not just saying that because of the scene (FINE. SCENES.) that made me cry. I’m also saying it because, “brave and strong like Moana,” is now a frequently used phrase in my house, and I love that.
- LaLa Land – I got to see this movie with friends. No kids. Friends. In the theater. Guys? Ryan Gosling could’ve sounded like Pierce Brosnan, and I probably would have given it two thumbs up. As it happens, both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were decent (though, let’s be honest here, not great) singers and dancers. And the song she sings at the end? CUE THE WATERWORKS.
- Hidden Figures – ALL THE THUMBS UP. I took Annalyn to see this, and I am so glad. I’m glad we have art like this that can support or even start significant conversations about race and gender and equality and this is why you need to practice your math facts. This movie was well-written and well-acted, and I hope it gets a whole bunch of awards at the Oscars this weekend.
What I’m Listening to (and some videos):
Mainly I’m listening to a lot of Spotify and Pandora. But I’m also all about podcasts right now. My favorites are The Popcast with Knox and Jamie (duh. of course.), Sorta Awesome, The Lazy Genius and The Lazy Sisters, The Simple Show, and The Babysitters Club Club. I’ve even got Annalyn listening to the rated-PG podcasts, although Adrienne still asks me why we’re listening to the robots talk instead listening to songs.
Do you know Melissa Radke? I don’t know her personally but I sure wish I did. Until THAT DAY, I’m settling for watching every video she shares. Because every video is hilarious or moving, and either way I end up in happy tears. You’re going to want to watch for her posts.
In case you missed them, my recent posts here and there:
- I Returned My Instant Pot and I’m Not Even Sad
- What to Watch When You Can’t Handle Any More Drama
- God With Us – (in)courage
- I Took My Daughter to Hidden Figures and This is What She Said – Mom Advice
- Family Goal Setting Revisited: When It’s Hard to Follow Through – JellyTelly
- My Child Has a Crush! What Do I Do? – JellyTelly
That’s what I’ve been into the past couple of months. Now it’s your turn. Please tell us in the comments: What have YOU been into?
As always, this post will be linked up with Leigh Kramer and the What I’m Into community.
Getting close to the end with a pet is SO hard. I hope the time you have left together is wonderful!
Hidden Figures is my favorite movie of the last several years. I hardly ever have time to go to movies, and I’ve already seen it twice.
Thank you, Brenda. :) And I can’t wait to see Hidden Figures again!
Holy Crapballs – the church parking lot road rage video made me laugh so loudly, I SNORTED. Amen and Thank you!! :) Loved reading your post here friend. I too absolutely loved Hidden Figures. And even though the cynical performer in me couldn’t handle Ryan and Emma’s singing in La La Land, I ended up loving it, and now listen to the soundtrack more than I thought possible–who knew??! Oh, and I must thank you again for the Essential Oils and Gilmore Girls video brainstorm idea–if it weren’t for my convo with you, it wouldn’t have happened, and I’ve had a lot of viewers write to me and tell me they loved it – so I wanted to thank you for the inspiration! Oh, and I finally enrolled in Emily Freeman’s Create & Complete course, so look out! I’m trying to get the podcast started, and I’m so going to email you and beg you to be my first guest!! :) Love and Hugs friend! (And sorry this should’ve-been-an-email-turned-into-the-longest-blog-post-comment! :)
Haha! I love the comment-turned-email-update!! :) You know I am always up for a podcast chat, so just let me know when!! And innnnnnteresting about listening to the La La Land soundtrack! Every time I hear Ryan Gosling singing (I think Pandora or Spotify plays clips of him singing in a commercial?), I want to yell, “Drop your jaw!” He sounds like his jaw is wired shut! Ha. :)
Wayfarer is definitely worth sticking with, imo (and it’s actually not a trilogy, just two books, so you’ll get the ending of the series in Wayfarer. I was pleasantly surprised by this.)
Agreed! And I was going to point out the duology not a trilogy thing too. Though I think there’s room for Bracken to follow some of the characters in other ways.
Huh. I’m always so surprised when anything is NOT a trilogy! :)
I have less than 100 pages left, and I’m determined to get through it. I really like it; it just doesn’t make me race through like a lot of YA books do. And I”m glad to know that it’s all wrapped up in this one!
So over the last year and a half, I read a bunch of classics. I loved Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and Rebecca from your list. I kind of hated Vanity Fair, plus it’s super long. I would pass on Les Mis because it’s really long too. Fahrenheit 451 is goid, and short. Was Brave New World on there? I really liked it too.
Thanks for the recommendations! I have Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights on my Kindle already, so they’ll probably make the short list. I feel like I’ve read Fahrenheit 451, but maybe not. Short is always nice. :)
I love your taste in basically everything. My sister shared the Walk off the Earth cover with me this month, and I love it so much (plus everything that just came out on Ed Sheeran’s new album). I also have heard so much about Nicola Yoon recently, and I can’t wait to check out her books. My Lady Jane is definitely going on the to-read list too. Good luck with the classic challenge – I read A Tale of Two Cities last year and adored it much more than I expected Otherwise, my favorite classic to recommend is The Count of Monte Cristo.
Yes! I’ve heard great things about Count of Monte Cristo. I’ve never even seen the movie, so it would be all new to me. But if I remember correctly, it’s crazy long, right? Maybe not – or maybe it’s worth it! :) I’ll keep you posted on what I read!!
(Hit reply too soon…) I also wanted to say that I hope you enjoy My Lady Jane as much as I did. :)