Friday, August 29, 2014

What I'm Into: August

This month is sort of like May- I feel like I don't have as much to share as far as what we've been eating, watching, and reading. I realized that, just like in May, we've had two different visitors and so we've just been focused on other things. To our immense delight! I also decided as I was looking through my phone pictures from the past month that I wanted to add a new section to these posts (Around the City). 

On the Nightstand:
Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 

As always, it's just so great. It really is hands down my favorite devotion book I've ever done. So often it's just the words I need. 

Immersion Bible Study: Mathew- J. Ellsworth Kallas
Truthfully, I haven't gotten very far in this. One of my goals for this month was for Peyton and I to do our Bible studies together and discuss. That happened more than it has in the past few months that it's been a goal, but truth be told, I didn't really get very far in it myself. 

I've started this and am about halfway finished. It's actually a really fast read (while still being quite powerful) and I've probably only sat down with it three or four times, but I knocked out twenty pages really quickly each of those times. 

On Their Nightstand: 

We made it through our ginormous stack of library books we got towards the end of last month (it's been so busy we haven't been back)!
Our favorites:
- I loved The Chicken-Chasing Queen from Lamar County. It's CLEARLY a book very much inspired by the South. If you can't tell from the cover, you will be able to by the first page. It's a cute story about a little girl who chases chickens and the charm is in how vividly the author writes, her wonderful use of rural Southern dialect and colloquialisms, and the word pictures she paints.
- I got The Monster Who Lost His Mean specifically for Graves and he really enjoyed it. A little monster loses his "m" and can't be mean anymore and he ends up becoming a great friend to human children who celebrate his kindness. It was really clever and sweet at the same time.
- Annie LOVED The Great Big Book of Feelings. It was one of my picks for her because I'm trying to really help her learn to identify and name her emotions in a more grown up way. I had no idea what a hit it would be, though. We read it multiple times.
- She was also a big, big fan of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World. It showed children from different cultures all over the world in their different attire. It was really interesting!
- I also picked up this specific Bible for children, because, while we have a plethora of children's Bibles, I was captivated by the illustrations in this one. Every single page was full of people of color. Which is, you know, what first century Jerusalem and ancient Israel were full of. That said, I was a little disappointed by the text. Nothing heretical or anything, but it was choppy and short and didn't flow as well as I would have liked it to. 

On the Shelf:
Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World- Nish Weiseth
I added this to a recent Amazon order, just because I couldn't not. Nish founded A Deeper Story, one of my favorite blogs of all time and she's a pretty great storyteller in her own right. Can't wait for it.

At the Theater (or from the couch):
I only watched one movie this month:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty- Peyton said it best on Facebook, if you like movies that inspire romance (not romanticism) about life this one is for you. It basically follows a guy who has a pretty boring day to day existence and is constantly living in a fantasy world of what his life COULD be like. He ends up going on a truly epic real life adventure and it's just really captivating. The cinematography and soundtrack are FABULOUS and the plot line is interesting without being too complex. It was also neat in that it's a (secular) movie for adults that is rated PG. Peyton and I don't get too worked up over that, but I know to some people it's an area of conviction. It had VERY little language, no sex, and the only violent scene (I remember) was a fanciful interaction involving a Stretch Armstrong figurine. AND it wasn't remotely corny.

On the Small Screen:
...and hardly any TV. In fact, nothing but my standard Nightly News. 

In My Ears:

My August playlist

Around the House:
Nothing interesting. It got deep cleaned twice for the visitors. That's about it. 

Oh and this:
It took a great deal of strategizing, but I figured out how to get the fancy new double, the faithful old single, the incredibly functional twenty dollar umbrella, our four cleaning tools I pared it down to in February, and the ironing board in our coat closet. Plus, as a bonus, quite a few coats. Pretty sure it's my biggest #tinyspacegiantlove achievement to date! [More on the fancy new dble later.]

In the Kitchen:
Again, not much worth sharing. I've been cooking all our old staples. Both times we had house guests I cooked:
- Italian chicken with roasted broccoli and orzo
- Tacos
- A delicious seasoned roast from Trader Joe's with potatoes (once with cabbage, once with brussel sprouts). Worth noting- it gave directions for the oven and the crock pot. I cooked it in the crock pot and it was falling off our forks to die for. I cooked it in the oven and it was so tough and chewy it was almost inedible. I hate that it turned out great for my mom and awful for our sweet babysitter/friend from home who I would rather impress ;)
- I also cooked spaghetti while Claire was here and we've had fish and BBQ chicken. I've decided I really don't like the fish we get from the fish market here, so we may just take a break from it or try to find it elsewhere.

I can't take any credit for these, but gosh are they good. Peyton likes to bake with the kids. I married a good man, y'all. 

In My Closet:

I love this shirt dress. It's like a very lightweight denim with tiny pinstripes. I seriously probably wear it almost weekly in the Summer. 

While Claire was here, Peyton and I went out on one really nice date. This is one of my favorite dressier dresses. It's SO easy and comfy and it looks dressy, but still fun to me with a silky feel and polka dots and ruffles. 

Again, this dress is so wearable. I've had it forever, but it's so easy. I like that it's a little funky and I usually wear it when I want to be bright (a festival, concert, ect.). I have this awesome jersey knit sweater thing (it's not really a sweater because it feels like a t-shirt) and that worked perfectly over it for one of our trips to Coney Island. 

This was Cookie's old dress and while I love it, I've haven't ever found the right occasion for it. I love a print, but with the puff sleeves and short length, it's a bit much for a lot of almost thirty year old mom occasions. But seeing Rock of Love on Broadway? SUUUUURE. 

Romper room! This was another fabulous investment from the kids' section at Target (mine, AP's came from the toddler section). It's so comfy, but cute. I like it when I'm not in the mood for a dress but want something more than a pair of denim shorts.

In Their Closets:
Annie hasn't worn this dress a lot this Summer and I don't know why. I love it. So simple with just the pink gingham and green seersucker straps. It's a favorite and I've been making up for lost time this month! 

I adore this jon jon! They traced their bodies in children's church and one of the sweet helpers decorated Graves's outfit! 

Can't go wrong with Babar! I'm going to be so sad when he truly outgrows it (soon!).

Superman in his slipper sneaks! 

This is another favorite dress of Annie's that she hasn't worn that much. I guess she's mostly just worn rompers except to church. Anyway, I love the big plaid and rick rack. And I've gotten to where I adore Graves in shorts and a t-shirt like that with his Saltwaters. Good thing because I think we're only doing jon jons for church next year. 

In My Mailbox:
An invite to a shower for my sister that I can't go to, a flyer for a consignment sale in Mississippi...ugh, living the dream can be hard somethings. 

In My Cart:

While Claire was here we went to a street fair and there was a booth with smocked kids' clothes(?!?). Some of the best prices I've seen for new stuff. Annie loved the blue dress on the left and it was so cute how she was "shopping" along with me. I do NOT love it (I don't think it's heinous, but I never would have picked it). But Peyton had just been talking to me about giving her some autonomy in picking out what she wears (like what to buy, not from her closet). So we got it. It was just $10, but it was $10 I really didn't want to spend. But afterwards it felt so good knowing she had picked out her very own dress to buy and take home for the first time.

This past weekend at the Flea, I wandered over to a booth I like and had bought a few things for the kids from last August on our trip. I checked tags and was SO excited to see "made in the USA". I called Peyton (he had taken the kids home to potty) and he said be sure to ask about the actual fabric. I was a little discouraged but did and the lady working told me "Yes, we care a lot about fair trade practices, too". I visited with her some and found out that she designs the patterns and that this is basically their "outlet" store at the flea ($56 knit dresses marked down to $25). Annie arrived back at the flea and I shared with her what I had found, held them up to her, and started eliminated. She had a favorite "Cinderella" dress that wasn't necessarily my favorite. Anyway, the lady said "I'll give you a good deal". She ended up just giving me a knit top and the dress she saw Annie admiring. Then she totaled it up to be $150 and said "we'll do $120". So we have part of the kids fair trade duds for Fall and I'm even more of a lifelong fan of Winter Water Factory!

Peyton bought me these great old lady glasses at the Brooklyn Flea and I was ecstatic! 

This is the BIG one and it wasn't even in any "cart" (of ours)! Peyton got home from a Trader Joe's trip last week and he had a four hundred dollar stroller he found on the sidewalk with a "please take me sign". We washed the cloth parts, Lysoled, and (because he's paranoid) sprayed for mites. The seat in the back is really for a little baby but Peyton (who is the primary double stroller pusher) thinks it's SO smooth and easy to push. Also: (this is so Peyton) he told Annie "I would have never spent that much money on you and Bud, but this thing is great". SweetieMcFrugal.

Around the City:
This has been such a fun month! I'm really sad to see Summer go! Some of our favorites this month: 

We love this place. The kids are OBSESSED and it just feels like such a quintessential New York Summer activity. They do a (really awesome) free firework show every Friday in the Summer and we pretty much go weekly for it. Since we're there EVERY week we let the kids pick one ride each time. When Claire was here, I did the huge orange roller coaster. When Minnie was here I showed her and she screamed hysterically and said "Oh my Lord! You are a MOTHER." Hahaha. 

There's just so much to explore! Annie and Graves look like a little country boy and girl to me in this picture, but they are right in the middle of Manhattan. The park is so pretty and I don't think we'll ever find all it's treasures! 

This place has some amazing themed playgrounds (Slide Mountain and Sandbox Village pictured below). It's also got some great eats, a beautiful view of the bridge and the Manhattan skyline, a pop up pool (which we never did take advantage of) and a roller skating rink (didn't get to that either). 

So another thing that the piers offer is a two dollar round trip ferry ride on weekend to Govenors Island. Another really cool place! There are TONS of food trucks with really eclectic artisan treats, a mini goof course, tons of green space, different historical demonstrations, and a "hammock cove". Plus this mindblowing treehouse! 

The Cloisters are part of The Met. It's way, way up in Manhattan but it's worth the trip. The grounds themselves are just lovely and it's all art from the Medieval period brought to America years ago. There are also gardens that are replicas of those from that time in Europe. Really beautiful and interesting. It was sort of a bucket list item for Minnie so Annie and I took her up there. Notice the unicorn slaying tapestry.

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is currently featuring a "block lab" exhibit. There are so many different kinds of blocks of all different sizes. Annie has loved it even more than Graves, who is an avid block builder. It's a nice air-conditioned (unlike our apartment) venue. 

A little al fresco dining in Brooklyn at Habana Outpost. Seriuosly. So cute. So good. So kid-friendly. And beautiful sunshine. Nothing not to love. [Really good guac and fish tacos, truly amazing roasted corn.]

Peyton and I also walked around our block while Minnie was here and stumbled into Maggie Brown. We sat in the "yard" which was pretty perfect. It's not exactly Southern food, but it's good "home cooking". I got a fish sandwich, which I shouldn't have done, but it sounded interesting. And the fried pickles were a little spicy but good. Overall, I just loved the atmosphere. 

On My Heart:
- Minnie left this week and having her hear made me miss her (and home!) so much. I've been thinking about October and how emotional I know our visit home will be. 
- Peyton and I have been talking a lot about the future- if/when we'll have more children, schooling for the two we do have, career possibilities for Peyton, the prospect of moving out of the suburbs and into the city once we get back in Mississippi, and a few other things. It's a lot to think about!  

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying about October. That the trip won't be super stressful and that we can make the most of our time in Mississippi. 
- I'm praying over Cookie's upcoming wedding, and (much!) more importantly, marriage.  
- Honestly, I've been praying over silly things that have me worried (not even in an fear/anxiety way but more in a just stressed out way)- "Lord, if this (seemingly silly, inconsequential thing) happens, please help me to let it go and not focus too much energy on it". 
- Henri (Nouwen) is talking a lot about "peace" in his book and I've been thinking about peace- peace abroad the every day tragedy involving ISIS and Israel/Palestine, but also on American soil in regards to Ferguson. I want my heart geared toward peace in every way possible and the only way that will happen is by prayer. 
On the Calendar: 

It looks like September is going to be supper low key, which is great because October will be busy with a big trip home! 

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

What I'm Into


Rebecca said...

I love that pinstripe dress! Dresses are my favorite article of clothing because they're just so easy! Those old glasses crack me up! You look great in them!

Anonymous said...

Living far from family is hard and visits home can be both great and difficult. I feel for you!

I need to look out the Nouwen book, it sounds really good.