On the Nightstand:
I'm still working through several of last month's books and I've added one new one. This is slow going but this week I really decided to commit and I've read twenty or so pages outside each evening while the kids played. It's hard to find the time, but reading is so important to me and I'm so trying to make it happen.
Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning
This is such a wonderful devotion. Rarely a day goes by that I don't underline something from the day's reading.
No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life by Jill Savage
This book is great because it's super fast reading. I can't really finish it up, though, because I'm reading it with a group and we do a chapter a week. The discussion take WAY longer than the reading :) Anyway, I usually read it during naptime the day of our meeting. It's quick and it's perfect because everything is so fresh.
Fresh Power: What Happens When God Leads and You Follow by Jim Cymbala
This took me awhile to get into. It's very anecdotal and sometimes that's interesting but sometimes it gets repetitive. I'm glad I'm reading it but I'm still not sure I'd necessarily recommend it. That said, it does have some really excellent points alongside the powerful (though sometimes redundant) testimonies, like how Sunday morning is still the most segregated time in America and how if this is what grows the church then the growing is grieving God.
I've loved this so much. It's just some really good insights into the way children's minds and hearts work and I think Fred really knew what he was talking about and has some valuable things to share.
Annie and I finished Hitty, her long read aloud and it was so enjoyable. It's told from the perspective of a little doll who gets handed off in various ways to different owners and as you go through it you learn quite a bit about different cultures and time periods in the United States (mostly- she has a few travels elsewhere). This kind of thing is right up my alley and AP enjoyed it a good bit.
I went on an Amazon spree (the best thing you can do if you're going to go on a shopping spree in my opinion) and got a big cart full of books. These two came per the recommendation of my two best readerly/writerly friends.
Y'all. Y'ALL. I went to the movies. I actually wen to the movies. Peyton found out about this one day showing and he was home and sick(ish) but recovery and told me to please go and he'd get the kids to bed. What a guy!
I've literally never gone the movies alone in my LIFE but for this? Of course.
So I ate popcorn for dinner and watched strangers share their stories about my favorite storyteller. The older I get the more I care about stories- the ones that belong to other people and the ones that belong to the four of us. One question the filmmaker kept asking was "What does Springsteen do for you?". There are so many answers for me, but the most important may be that he inspires me to write (and live) a better story. It was a really good night.
On the Small Screen:
I've kind of taken a sabbatical from The West Wing. I've just been doing other things. I hope to pick it back up next month, though.
In My Ears:
I shared a playlist pretty much comprised of my favorites from my monthly playlists over the past almost year the other day. It's really, really good.
Around the House:
We've made a few changes pretty much for the express purpose of keeping our wild man safe and his momma reasonably unstressed.
First of all he was climbing out of his bed like the little monkey he is, so we had to make some quick accommodations. Peyton figured out how to set up his crib so it functions as a toddler bed of sorts until we can get the real thing. So this is his makeshift set up until October (and a trip to Ikea):
Honestly, I'm in love with it- Peyton says it looks like a tiny day bed. I've always been a little obsessed with this quilt. The kids have been laying on it in the floor for years, but I decided months ago I'd use it to right before we transitioned him out of his crib- to make him feel more like a big boy. It's a soft gray blue (but not baby blue) with little white geese and sort of terra cotta colored piping. It's just so soft and cool and sweet. One of Minnie's wonderful friends made it years ago and it's super special because it's one of the few things of mine and Cookie's that he's been able to use, being a boy. I think it's the perfect transition between his bunny baby bedding and his ABC big boy bedding.
Also, I took the coffee table out of the living room after he FLIPPED THE EVER LOVIN' THING OVER. At first I thought the room looked a little bare, but after just a few days I had decided I *love* the extra space to play/walk/live in.
In the Kitchen:
We've done a few fun salads for Summer Salad Challenge. We made this Caesar one that wasn't terrible, but wasn't unbelievable either:
But we also made this one. It's a lemon thyme grilled chicken salad with some awesome Feta dressing. It's very simple and just delicious.
I made my dad's homemade spaghetti sauce and it was wonderfully tasty.
One of my favorite things about Mick is that, in his sixties, he decided to take up cooking. And he cooks/creates recipes like the engineer he is- adding and altering things by minuscule amounts. He's been tinkering with his chocolate chip cookies for about four years. I can't wait until the day he bakes with Annie and Bud and I get to tell them this man helped design Apollo spacecraft with equal precision.
In My Closet:
I normally hate strapless stuff (I just find it irritating), but I found this dress at Target last Summer and it was too cute to pass up:Also I'm showing you my shoes at awkward angles because while I consider myself so not vain and put make-up less pictures on the Internet I just can't show toe pictures. They weird me out in general and it's compounded by my being pretty insecure about my own.
This is another favorite. I busted it out for the Fourth:
And this is my go-to outfit for the CPC and movie theater and other places I know will be frigid. It's great because it's like a nice soft blanket, but it's lightweight enough I don't fry on the way there.
In Their Closets:Probably two of my favorite smocked things this Summer:
I'm bought this onsie on a whim at Target because I loved the colors and the crab. I got so sad because I realized he's pretty much at the very tail end of onsie age (and I've never even liked onsies!):
And sweet girl is at the tail end of bubble age for sure. She's really much happier in a dress (because they look like princesses, not because she's more comfortable in them) but we got some Jasmine and Aladdin Little People and to my surprise she decided to wear shorts/bubbles by her own initiave because Jasmine wears pants!
Last one, but how can you not love wearing your sock monkey/moo cow house shoes?:
Well, I told y'all about my Amazon spree already. Here's what arrived in my mailbox for me:
And for the kids (per another friend's rec):
I just about have everything bought for the kids' NYC room. I explained to AP a few weeks ago that when we move we won't be able to take just a ton of toys. I asked her if, instead of toys, for Christmas she'd like some "decorations" for her new room. Her eyes lit up and she was so excited. I don't want to give too much away, but here's a sneak peak:
On My Heart:I've been thinking a lot lately about where specifically (neighborhood/borough) we'll wind up in after we move. Peyton and I are taking a trip, just us, to check things out and I really hope it's not as overwhelming as it could potentially be.
In My Prayers:
- I'm really, really praying over the aforementioned trip. That it will be nice and relaxing and a wonderful time for us (we've never left Graves together for more than a few hours), but more than that the the Holy Spirit will give us clarity in where our family would best call home come January.
- I'm praying for Annie's little school as the the school year draws near. That He will guide her teachers and guide us in educating her.
- I'm praying for a good friend who is struggling with a lot right now, that her burden will be lightened and she will be encouraged.
On the Calendar:
Whew! These first few weeks of August are INTENSE. We have the big (week long!) trip coming up as well as several meetings, a sewing class, and some other fun activities. I think things should slow down the second half of the month.