Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May Happenings

This is my favorite header in awhile. I hardly ever repeat backgrounds, but I had this one a LONG time ago (like before I started doing my headers this way) and I loved it. I thought it would be fun to give in another go. Next month I'm going to try to use some pictures from my real camera!

May is going to be AMAZING, I'm pretty sure. Spring is finally here and the cherry blossoms are blooming and there's so much beauty and hope filling the city streets.

April has been hard for some reason. Some of it was specific things and some of it was just more like the blues. I gotta be honest and say that if I make another header and we're still wearing jackets, I may lose it.

But onto full of beauty and light and love MAY--

- My two closest momma friends are coming up in a couple of weeks to spend a few days. Ashley is so great at planning trips, so she's actually figured out most of what we're going to do. Everything she has down looks like so much fun and it's going to be so wonderful to catch up with two of my favorites. Peyton's off that weekend and we're going to spend a couple of nights here and then a couple in a hotel in Manhattan. What a treat!

- Then later in the month, my best friend of oh, fifteen years, and his precious wife are coming up. I haven't really planned out what we'll do yet, but I know we'll have a blast showing them around and just doing fun, laid back stuff.

- We're going to a cook out on Friday at one of the churches we've been attending and I'm really excited about that. I think we're also going to an event at the Brooklyn Historical Society this weekend.

- May is also mine and Peyton's birthdays. I'm sure we'll order some special take out =)

That's all I can think of right now. I'm so excited about seeing friends from home!

Here are last month's goals:
1. Continue to read regularly. I did pretty good with this. I finished up a couple of books and started a new one. 

2. Get back into a routine of regularly backing up pictures on the external hard drive and Flikr. I've started, but I'm not back into a routine yet. Needs to happen.

3. Make the kids' birthday celebrations special and intentional. More importantly, make sure we are intentional in our Easter celebration. Easter was great, but we really could have been more intentional. We read and talked with Annie a good bit and showed her a clip from a video version of the Jesus Storybook Bible, but we didn't dig as deeply as I would've liked. Their birthday celebration was very simple (we gave them some small gifts, went to see the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History, and took them out to eat), but they had a great time.

4. Take pictures with my "real" camera at least once a week. I did slightly better, but not what I would have liked. Keeping it on the list for this month. 

5. Sing a psalm regularly (I hesitate to say daily, but we'll try) with Peyton. We discovered this site and I really meant to take advantage of it more. I failed miserably at this one. I'm going to repeat it, too, because I want to this to be a priority.

This month's goals:

1. Take pictures with my "real" camera at least once a week. Keep up/beef up this practice. 

2. Sing a psalm regularly (I hesitate to say daily, but we'll try) with Peyton. I'm going to give this a go again and see if we can do better!

3. Prepare and plan for friend visits. Basically just get everything clean and ready and also get a rough itinerary together for when Ellis and Minda visit.

4. Cook three times a week, minimum. I've been doing better with this, but it's always something I struggle with.

5. Settle on and order a toddler carrier for Graves. It sounds crazy (I mean, he is three!), but I think it will be so helpful going down the steep subway stairs and doing buses and such. I just can't have him not in a stroller/on me when I'm by myself with both kids, but even the umbrella stroller is difficult to deal with in the subway stations that don't have elevators (which is most of them). It's really hard to carry the stroller and him and be mindful of Annie. When we're just walking in the neighborhood, I'm sure I'll still use the stroller, but when I use public transit, I think this will be a better option.

6. Change over mine and the kids' closets for Summer. This is not as big of a process as it was in Mississippi because we don't have near as much stuff here (I left about half my wardrobe at home- and will probably get rid of all of it when we move back). It'll still take some time, though, obviously. I'm going to leave a few warm things for chillier days, but y'all if I can't change over my closet until June, I don't know what I'll do.

Here's to May, a month bathed in friendship, a month where we'll enjoy old friendships and hopefully form new ones. May we remember we are a relational people, look into the eyes of strangers on the sidewalks, and celebrate the humanity we find in the bustling Brooklyn streets. 

This month I'm linking up with Hayley at The Tiny Twig!
The Tiny Twig

What I'm Into: April

On the Nightstand:
I finished two books this month. That's pretty good for me right now. Oh and I started a Goodreads account! I'm keeping up with most of the kids' reading there, too.

Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 

Always the perfect words. 

Immersion Bible Study: Psalms- J. Clinton McCann
I'm almost done with the chapter about "Marching to Zion" which correlated well with Easter. I have one more called "Establishing Justice" which I can't wait for. I need to be deciding on a new Bible study to do next. Suggestions? 

Finished- it was so good. The little nuggets are so insightful and I enjoyed it. I'll probably read another similar one by him at some point. 

I thought this one was great. The chapter on fathers was really interesting. For example, it stated how research shows that fathers playfully "rough housing" is really good for children's development emotionally. It gives them a certain security and helps them bond with dads and they come to trust their fathers through it, which opens the door for great father-son/daughter conversations and helps build healthy relationships.

Real Sex- Lauren Winner
I finally started this one back and I think it will be great. I'm already really enjoying it and I just finished chapter one. It seems like it will offer a sort of unique perspective, but also be very faithful to what I think Scripture says about sexual ethics. 

Mockingbird Magazine
I got this at the conference I attended and I'm enjoying it so much. It's about pop culture and faith and ordinary life analyzed. 

On Their Nightstand: 

This book is so poignant and beautiful. It's about a man caught between his love for two countries. It resonated so much. That last line on this pagemakes me tear up every time. I know in my heart this will be true for me- that the moment I'm in one city I'll be homesick for the other. I also know we'll return here now and then, when I can no longer still the longings in my heart. (If you know our story, you know that these feelings are the second biggest surprise of my life.)

Big words and big concepts. We loved it and had some great discussion! 

On the Shelf:
Finding My Way Home: Pathways to Life and the Spirit- Henri Nouwen 
Still need to start this one recommended by Peyton. 

At the Theater (or from the couch):
I attended another free screening at the Brooklyn Historical Society. It was the fourth of a four part series (I got to attend two) and it was called Slavery By Another Name. It showed how forced labor continued in the South long after the civil war, largely based on a system of "convict leasing". After that, there was a discussion on the problems within the current criminal justice system. The whole film actually wasn't shown at the screening, so I need to watch the complete version. 

On the Small Screen:
Same thing as last month.

The West Wing- I've been watching some, but it's going slowly. I like it that way, but I hope Netflix doesn't decide to remove it!

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit- As always, intrigued.

How I Met Your Mother- We've watched some more and it's a nice refresher from more serious things. 

In My Ears:
I put together an April playlist and it's amazing, if I do say so myself. 

Around the House:
I decorated for Easter (really, really small!) and we finally got all the boxes moved to the storage unit, so I've been able to really finally pull the apartment together.

I'm going to put up pictures of the whole thing soon!

In the Kitchen:
I made two new recipes this month! I made this pasta with roasted vegetables and then these cilantro avocado enchiladas. Neither was like a new favorite or anything, but they were both pretty good.

I'm also OBSESSED with this chicken salad from Trader Joe's. SO good!

In My Closet
Y'all, I busted out my Spring tennis shoes! [I'm so ready to bust out my whole Summer wardrobe.]

And I enjoyed wearing this coat last week. I hardly wore in Mississippi because it didn't look Winter-y enough. If the week before the calendar flips to May isn't the perfect time for a lightweight powder blue coat, I don't know what is.

In Their Closets:

You wear corduroy and flannel to the egg hunts when it's forty eight degrees. 

But we've had a few warm days. Look little shortalls! I love seeing their sweet legs! 

And Annie's gotten so much wear out of her beloved Jelly the Pug dress. Also, these rubber soled denim Mary Janes from Target? I think they're our most well-worn shoes to date. I guess some of that could have to do with the increased amount of walking she's doing! [Sidenote: Who needs a double stroller? Perks of having tiny kids, I guess. They seriously rode a few blocks like this. Funny sidenote: they wouldn't have made it one of it were reversed. Annie does not like people up in her space. Graves's live language is physical touch, I swear. Doesn't matter of you're holding him or he's holding you, it's his favorite.]

A runner up for most worn item this Winter would be these gingham pants. They're SO soft and have an elastic waistband, but I think they look much nicer than jeans without being quite as formal as a jon jon. Perfect with a smocked dino panel (and about a million other things!). 

In My Mailbox:

Fun mail. I'm missing the announcement party and I'm so sad about it, but you better bet we'll be at Conrad point in our Matron of Honor/flower girl/ring bearer duds! 

In My Cart:

You know, it was time for some new jewelry and I thought the middle of my face would be the perfect place. 

This is one of the very few pairs of Sun Sans I've bought new in my five years doing this gig (thank you classy consignment sales of Jackson, Mississippi!) and I think the *very* first pair I've bought for Graves (AP gets a white, and usually a red, pair each year and I always avoid the Sweetheart style intentionally so we can pass them down). No doubt about it, Bud would be in babyish whites again this year, but a strap broke towards the end of last Summer. So here are our neutrals. A part of me is so absurdly excited over his very first tan pair! 

These replaced the well-worn denim mary janes! 

And look at those big boy shoes!

On My Heart:
This week has been hard as far as missing home and missing my people at home. I love this city more than I ever thought I would, but there's been a tug this week especially and I've just been thinking a lot about Mississippi. Then we had a huge scare with Annie and tonight we heard gun shots in Brooklyn for the first time. The good news is that all four of us were safe inside. The bad news is that it was pretty close to the co-op. I just feel really emotionally drained.

In My Prayers:
- The program in the South Bronx that we've been helping out with weekly is on the school calendar, so I'm sort of wondering what would be a good place to serve during the Summer.
- We're still working out where we'll go to church and it's something I actually need to spend more time in prayer about.
- I felt a little more settled today- for some reason I've just been so stressed- and I'm praying that the soul peace will continue, irregardless of circumstances.

On the Calendar: 
Y'all, Carrie and Ashley are coming up in a few weeks. I'm so, so thrilled about seeing some of my dearest friends and enjoying the city with them! And then, the last weekend in April, Ellis and Minda are coming. Best friend overload- I could not be more excited. I'm over the moon!

What a great month and I'm looking forward to another one!

As always, I'm linking up with Leigh. Go check out some other What I'm Into posts!

What I'm Into  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Scare in the City

Sunday night Peyton met me at Calvary-Saint George's after the service and took the children so I could go to a gathering after where they discuss the intersection of culture, faith, and the arts. Fascinating, yeah? I was exhausted from the day, but excited to go. Peyton still had to twist my arm a little to go. I went and enjoyed it, but an hour later, when the designated time we had said we'd meet arrived (my phone was dead) I was ready to go. It was really, really interesting but I was just tired. I had done transit to both our churches by myself with the kids for the first time that day and it had me physically and emotionally drained.

I stood outside for ten minutes maybe and even though it was a Spring night, the temps were dropping. I was very much relieved when I saw my two tiny people and one big person coming toward me. As they got closer, I realized that AP was wailing. Peyton quickly grabbed my arm and whispered that he was about to tell me something, but that the reason she was crying was because she was afraid to tell me. "Don't overreact" he whispered. I swallowed hard, terrified, and braced myself. My first thought was, "thank God all three of them are standing here". 

"Annie almost got hit by a car."

I swallowed again and grabbed her. I sat her in my lap, whispered to her that she was okay, rubbed her soft hair and stroked her delicate cheeks, and told her over and over that I wasn't mad. We sat on the steps of Calvary-Saint George's for awhile, just like that. Graves said "quiet down, Annie" and we told her it was fine to cry. It's a forever New York memory, I'm sure. 

While we were sitting and hugging and consoling, I got the story from Peyton. Apparently, Annie had been walking/running/dancing a couple of yards ahead of him. 

[When we got here, I noticed that pretty much all kids her age did that. There was no holding hands with kindergarten aged children. I didn't judge them, truly I didn't, but it blew my mind. Well, we soon realized that she quickly picked up on where the crosswalks were and stopped at them on her own accord. She was very observant about traffic across the board. Finally, she's just generally an almost overly cautious child. So, we became those parents. Honestly, we'll probably go back to not making her hold our hand, but I do think we'll stay a little closer to her. For the record, Graves will be in a stroller or a baby carrier until he's fourteen.]

Anyway, they were on a quiet street with little traffic. They were coming up on a parking garage and Peyton called to Annie to stop twice. She didn't hear him and at that point he saw a car about to turn in right as she got close. He YELLED at her to stop and she froze, paralyzed, in the car's headlights. 

It's very easy for me to think "What were we doing wrong?" (I say we because it could have easily been me) and question if we should have ever given her that freedom. Ultimately, I think she was a little too far ahead than she should have been, I think Peyton should have raised his voice sooner, and I think she needs to work on a) not having her little head in the clouds b) staying closer and c) recognizing parking garages like she does crosswalks (our fault for not explaining better). When we discussed it, she said she saw that the bar was down and thought that cars couldn't come out or go in because it was there, but she knew it was a parking garage and we also know she didn't hear Peyton the first two times; she wasn't disobeying him. 

It's also easy for my mind to go the place where I question what the Hell we're even doing here. There is a lot that's hard here, but one of the hardest things for me is the fear for my children's safety. This usually presents more with public transit that with pedestrian/automobile issues, but in both cases it's just different what I have to be vigilant about that I never thought about in Mississippi. 

I will say that I've been surprised by my reaction, or lack of reaction. I held it together so well that night and even in the hours and days following, I haven't gone into that pit I know I would have a few years ago. A lot has changed since then but often it takes something like this to make me fully aware just how much. Something I became aware of this week too, though, is that I really think that it was God's provision for Annie that I'm at the point I am with my anxiety. 

Because she's had a hell of a time processing this. 

It's mainly about how guilty she feels. She got so upset I told Minnie about "the scary thing" and asked her if I ever did anything "bad" when I was little. My mom told her of course, but that it was a mistake and really wasn't her being bad. Then my mom asked her if she thought Graves was being bad when he fell in the lake and she said no, that wasn't like running in front of a parking garage. Then, most heartbreaking of all, she told my mom (and me, multiple times all day) that she was going to cut her hair and wanted us to call her by a different name so we wouldn't know she was the one who did the bad thing. Honestly, I would think she had some major issues, if I hadn't felt/didn't feel things the exact same way she does.

But she's also scared and told me that she wanted to hold both mine and Peyton's hands when we got outside and that we can go to Calvary-Saint George's but not back near that parking garage. 

I say all the time that the hardest part of parenting is the emotional resources it requires. And even with all that this year has required physically from a parenting perspective, even with all Graves requires physically from a parenting perspective, that's still the most exhausting part for me. Especially with her. 

But it's also such an honor and privilege. It's no small thing to me that I get to be the one, the very first one along with Peyton, to walk through the hard things with her. 

I pray so much that God will give me strength for the task at hand. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Letter to (Five Year Old) Ann Peyton


Being five is already tough! Today you almost walked into a car pulling into a parking garage; and you daily have a brother who wants more of your attention and desires less of sharing his prized possessions. All in all however the past year has been more than a joy. I’ve been privileged to watch you grow into the quiet, silly, and thoughtful young girl that you are. You’ve grown by bounds in your reasoning skills and your independence is well deserved. 

We trust you to walk along these Brooklyn sidewalks quite a bit ahead of us and have confidence in your ability to stop when necessary. You’ve developed quite a love for your brother over the past year and the two of you play so very well together. I’m certain he grinds on your nerves at times, but he is certainly your prince at this point. You’ve also taken to our new city so well over the past few months. In fact your transition to this place went quite smoothly. You’ve loved exploring new playgrounds and you draw us maps to used while navigating the subway (though we’d be quite lost if we tried to make do with them). It’s a joy daily to see how you develop into a little girl. 

 You’re our adventurous little explorer who loves to ask why about nearly everything, but you actually listen to the answers we give you. I love that with you why isn’t a meaningless habit you regurgitate, but an actual pondering that comes to a proper conclusion when your line of thought is (temporarily) worked out. I hope that learning and playing continue to bring you such joy; and my earnest hope is that they go hand in hand. 

Papa (and Momma) 

P.S. Your top is a 3T and you're wearing my old ballet skirt that I wore in kindergarten. Your bed has a bunch of random quilts and blankets on it because we were washing your sheets. You set it up and of course chose this outfit yourself. I (Momma) wanted something more polished for this birthday picture, but this all so "you" right now and, after I thought on it a little, I figured it was best this way.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tunes for the Month: April

I've mostly gotten settled back into all the old things that were important to me at home, but there have been a few dangly little things I've not had the motivation for. Such as monthly playlists. Anyway, I'm back at it and couldn't be more excited. I don't have the same oppurtunities to indulge- at home, I mainly listened to them in the car- but I'm finding new points in the day to enjoy them and I've really been loving it.

Anyway, onto the list! A good many of these are songs that resonate as far as the move, a handful are from Bruce's new album, and then there's that sprinkling at the end that I always get just from going line by line through Peyton's library.

1. Home- Phillip Phillips
Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home
I love this one. It speaks so many truths and just comforts my soul. I listened to it a lot right after we moved and it was perfect. 

2. Home- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

I'll follow you into the park, through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I never loved one like you
Moats and boats and waterfalls, alley ways and pay-phone calls
I've been everywhere with you, that's true
Laugh until we think we'll die, barefoot on a summer night
Never could be sweeter than with you
And in the streets we're runnin' free like it's only you and me
Jeez, you're somethin' to see
Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I'm with you
 listened to this one a lot around the same time and scribbled "Home is wherever I'm with you" on the kitchen chalkboard. On the hard days, it's good to have the reminder that home is really my people, much more so than my place. And my three favorites are right here. 

3. New York City- They Might Be Giants 

We met in the springtime at a rock-and-roll show
It was on the bowery when it was time to go
We kissed on the subway in the middle of the night
I held your hand, you held mine, it was the best night of my life.
'cause everyone's your friend in new york city
And everything looks beautiful when you're young and pretty
The streets are paved with diamonds and there's just so much to see
But the best thing about new york city is you and me
Oh my gosh, I can't take it. I adore this one. I love the happy feels music and I again, I love the message. I relate it to all of us, but of course mostly Peyton. It's another reminder- this time, of how I want to experience the city. I do not want to take for granted what a magical place I live in. 

4. Mrs. Robinson- Simon and Garfunkel
And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey
These next couple actually came from a playlist curated by Megan. I think, because I was listening to it so much around the time, from now on I'll always associate it with Mockingbird. I've possiby never heard the gospel of grace shared so powerfully and one of the big idea of Mockingbird is the blurring between the secular and the sacred. So while I realize it's a secular song, that constant repetition of "Jesus loves you more than you will know" is GOOD. 

5. Here Comes the Sun- The Beatles
Little darling
It's been a long, cold lonely winter
Little darling
It feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right
Little darling
The smiles returning to the faces
Little darling
It seems like years since it's been here
Perfect song for the long awaited Spring, yes? And for New Yorkers, both native and transplant, I can say i feels like it's been years. I can also say that on beautiful warm days, the smiles returning to the faces, are noticeable and it's just a beautiful phenomenon after a long, cold season.

6. Long Time Comin'-Bruce Springsteen 
Out 'neath the arms of Cassiopeia
Where the sword of Orion sweeps
It's me and you, Rosie, cracklin' like crossed wires
And you breathin' in your sleep
And you breathin' in your sleep
Well there's just a spark of a campfire left burnin'
Two kids in a sleeping bag beside
Reach 'neath your shirt, put my hands across your belly and feel
Another one kickin' inside
And I ain't gonna fuck it up this time
It's been a long time comin', my dear
It's been a long time comin', but now it's here
It's been a long time comin', my dear
It's been a long time comin', but now it's here
For months leading up to the move, this song was in my head. Just the chorus about how it's been a long time comin' and now it's here. I almost couldn't believe it. Some days I still hardly can.

7. Frankie Fell in Love- Bruce Springsteen

Good morning, good morning
The church mouse is snoring
News is out all over town
Frankie fell in Love

Einstein is scratching

Numbers on his napkin

Shakespeare said, "Man, it's just one and one make three
Ah, that's why it's poetry"
World peace's gonna break out
From here on in we're eating take out
She ain't gonna be cooking for the likes of us
Somebody call mama and just tell her
Frankie fell in Love
This is just a favorite from the his new CD. The first line is my favorite, about the church mouse snoring, but the imagery is playful and catchy throughout. 

8. Just Like Fire Would- Bruce Springsteen

500 miles I have gone today
tomorrow it's 500 more
outside my window the world passes by
its stranger than a dream
and just like fire would
I burn up
just like fire would
And just like fire would
I burn up
These next three are songs I listened to in the month that I was still in Mississippi and Peyton was up here. The following two spoke powerfully to me, but this one resonated, too. Often I just felt so tired and drained and the "five hundred miles" Bruce sung of seemed accurate. More accurate still was how much life felt like a dream at that point.

9. Hunter of Invisible Game- Bruce Springsteen
Well I woke last night to the heavy clicking and clack
And a scarecrow on fire along the railroad tracks
There were empty cities and burning plains
Honey, I'm the hunter of invisible game
We all come up a little short and we go down hard
These days I spend my time skipping through the dark
Through the empires of dust I chant your name
Honey, I'm the hunter of invisible game
Strength is vanity and time is illusion
I feel you breathing, the rest is confusion
Your skin touches mine, what else to explain
Honey, I'm the hunter of invisible game
Now pray for yourself and that you may not fall
When the hour of deliverance comes on us all
When high hope and faith and courage and trust
Can rise or vanish like dust and dust
Now there's a kingdom of love waiting to be reclaimed
I wrote a good bit about this one here on the NYC blog and though Springsteen's songs often have this effect where they come to mean incredibly different and amazing things to me at different points in my life, I think this will always remind me of the search for our elusive brownstone. But more than that, it will always, always, remind me of this idea of a kingdom of love waiting to be reclaimed. For some reason, and I honestly think the Lord impressed it on my heart- that was such a soulful period for me- I got this idea in my head that there was a kingdome of love we'd reclaim in the city. And I think we did. I think Peyton and I are more in love than we've been since probably a month into our marriage and I think we've both experienced a sort of internal spiritual revival that's in large part based on a gospel of love for the Lord and love for man. 

10. This Is Your Sword- Bruce Springsteen
At times there are dark, dark must cover the earth
This world's filled with the beauty of God's work
Hold tight to your brawn, stay righteous, stay strong
When the days of miracles will come along
Now this is your sword, this is your shield
This is the power of love revealed
Carry it with you wherever you go
And give all the love that you have in your soul
In the days of despair you can grow hard
'Til you close your mind and empty your heart
If you find yourself staring in the abyss
Hold tight to your loved ones and remember this
This shield will protect your secret heart
The sword will defend from what comes in the dark
Should you grow weary on the battle field
Well do not despair, our love is real
I shared a few powerful lyrics here, again on the NYC blog and before we left I scribbled the line "Do not despair, our love is real" on the kitchen chalkboard (seeing a theme here?). I had been laying on the floor crying, depleted and confused, and when I finally let go of control I felt this huge peace. We didn't get to live where I wanted and it took a few days to process that and these words helped.

11. Annie's Song- John Denver
You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again
Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
Come love me again
This is the point where I just scoured Peyton's library. I used to play this song on the guitar, never dreaming I'd have my own "Annie". I think it's so beautiful and so heartfelt. And yeah, John Denver is the dorkiest. I know and I don't care. 

12. Another Saturday Night- Cat Stevens
Oh, no another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody
I've got some money 'cause I just got paid
Now, how I wish I had someone to talk to
I'm in an awful way

Pretty awful song, but I'm a big Cat fan and it's catchy. That's all. 

13. Another Sunny Day- Belle and Sebastian
Another sunny day, I met you up in the garden
You were digging plants, I dug you, beg your pardon
I took a photograph of you in the herbaceous border
It broke the heart of men and flowers, and girls, and trees
Another rainy day, we're trapped inside with a train set
Chocolate on the boil, steamy windows when we met
You've got the attic window lookin' out on the cathedral
And on a Sunday evening bells ring out in the dusk
I love Belle and Sebastian and I think the imagery here is neat and different. I feel like you can feel the sunshine in the garden and I love the little play on words (digging plants and I dug you- corny, but clever). Then I think you can feel the rainy day with the train set, hot chocolate, bells, and attic window. It love music that brings me into the moment, you know?

14. Ants Marching- Dave Mathews Band
Take these chances
Place them in a box until a quieter time
Lights down, you up and die
Driving in on this highway
All these cars and upon the sidewalk
People in every direction
No words exchanged
No time to exchange
When all the little ants are marching
Red and black antennas waving
we all do it the same
we all do it the same way
A reminder not to live like this. It's easy to do and I know people seem think that this hurried, no words to exchange is pretty common here. In my experience, it hasn't been. New Yorkers are direct and politely blunt, but they're also so happy to help you and are friendly in an authentic way, which I love. Also, it's just quintessential DMB, which makes me feel young and good. 

15. Anyway You Want It- Journey
Any way you want it
That's the way you need it
Any way you want it
She loves to laugh
She loves to sing
She does everything
She loves to move
She loves to groove
She loves the lovin' things
Because it's fun. That's all. 

16. Anyone Who Isn't Me- Dottie West and Kenny Rogers
When you made love to me tonight
I felt as if I'd died and gone to heaven
And if that's how it feels to die
Then lay me in your arms, I'm through with livin'
I'll get down on my knees
And thank the good Lord up above
That I'm the lucky girl you chose to love
I didn't even know this one, but I listened and I liked it. It's way beyond cheesy, but sweet and I liked the music, so it made the list. Plus, it's been awhile since I've enjoyed country music. 

17. The Apartment Song- Tom Petty 

Oh yeah I'm alright I just feel a little lonely tonight
I'm okay, most of the time

I just feel a little lonely tonight
I'm not sure, it's kind of a downer. I think I just liked the music and if it's a good Tom Petty song, I add it. But yeah, depressing. I mean, it is about a tiny apartment. So that's cool, I guess. 

So that's what I'm enjoying this month. I'd love to know what your favorite tunes are right now!