Thursday, March 31, 2016

What I'm Into: March


On the Nightstand:
I read nearly nothing this month. Here and there in my two favorite devotionals, but that's IT. Pitiful. I'm going to try to pick it back up in April.
Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 
The Mockingbird Devotional: Good News for Today (and Every Day)- Ethan Richardson, Sean Norris

On Their Nightstand: 

Magic Tree House Series- Mary Pope Osborne
Annie loves these books! The main characters are named Annie and Jack (Jackson is Graves's middle name and he was originally going to be "Jack"). The first one was her first chapter book to read all by herself and she literally started it during rest time and finished it that day! A friend recently said that Annie is a "go big or go home kind of girl"; that when she loves something, she LOVES it. That is such an accurate assessment. Several days later at naptime she got mad at Graves so she spent the whole time alone and I wouldn't let her use the iPad because she had already used up all her screen time. So she just decided to read THREE Magic Treehouse books. I really, really hope she doesn't burn herself out on reading. A few weeks ago, she got upset because she read that the next one didn't come out until the Fall. I showed her the copyright date (1995) and explained a bit about what it was and she felt better!

Monsters Lover Underpants- Claire Freedman 
The other day while I was gone, Peyton read the kids this book and then for a craft they made construction paper underwear (that they uses as bookmarks). Graves LOVED it. They are both at such fun stages!

On the Shelf:

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms How We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead- Brene Brown

Um, still didn't finish so goaling it for this month!

At the Theater (or from the couch):
Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope
So, I told Peyton I'd watch these things at some point with him and he's showing them to Graves, so now seemed as good a time as any. It's not really my thing, guys. I could have almost gaurenteed as much, but I knew Peyton really wanted me to give it a shot. However, there is one aspect that I sort of enjoyed. I'm sure anal about movies- I rewind, turn on the subtitles, and pause them so Peyton can clarify things. But because I was so not invested in it, I was a lot more relaxed about it.

On the Small Screen:
Show Me a Hero
By the end of the series Peyton was not all that impressed. I loved it, though- the plotline was interesting and I felt like it was artistically well done, but mostly what drew me in were the characters.

The West Wing
I'm enjoying watching it again. I was rereading some OLD posts and apparently I've been working on this series since like 2012 or something. I need to go see how far back it really was. It's nuts that that's the case because I LOVE it, I'm just not great at prioritizing TV shows, especially if Peyton isn't watching with me.

In My Ears:
I broke out Wrecking Ball recently and the kids have a favorite song now- Death to My Hometown- which also happens to be one of my favorites. Graves literally wants to just listen to it on repeat over and over. 

Around the House:
We finally finished ups the sunroom! We got everything hung and I put fresh sheets on the swing!
 I love the hymn calendar and Annie's little vintage chalkboard desk in the corner!

In the Kitchen:
I've actually been cooking more than ever. Just simple meals- parmesan tilapia, tacos, that sort of thing. But I'm proud of myself!

In My Closet: 

More of the same!
 Goodness. I love color so I have no idea why I'm wearing so much black and gray- except that well, that's what fits. I'll be ready to enjoy other options soon!

In Their Closets:
Easter outfits!
Gosh- Bud's first time to wear a jacket. I can hardly handle it. And the bird dress wouldn't have been my first pick- I really prefer something a bit more classic- but I loved the color and it made Annie SO happy. So it was worth it a hundred times over. 
 Also, I still love this little raincoat so much. She's worn it for a good couple of years and I think it's adorable.
Love how she also dressed Midnight for the rain and purposefully wore a dress with umbrellas on it! 

I totally let him wear this to Sunday school and church one week and it made him so happy. And honestly, I think it made the tons of older people we church with happy, too (sidenote: there is nothing like sharing a pew with a kind, gracious older person who has raised his or her own four year old boy). At the end of the service, Stan (the preacher) was saying the benediction right beside us (we sit on the very back row for obvious reasons) and Graves walked right to the edge and held up a stuffed manatee the way Rafiki holds up Simba in The Lion King. Annie asked me that day why everybody says "you've got you're hands full!!" Haha. Also, those things on his wrist? He calls them his ear tuffs. I think he's gotten pretty immersed in his role as Midnight's papa.

I mentioned this but Graves recently outgrew his church shoes. I found some precious white Oxford shoes that I had bought ahead but they're hard and slippery and understandably he's sort of over that. I asked him what he'd like for his church shoes (I'm trying to do that more!) and he said red Converse. Surprisingly, they go with most of his stuff and the atmosphere at Northside is pretty casual. So now he has regular tennis shoes (that he calls his "play shoes", which makes me smile), still a little big Star Wars shoes, too small Crocs, and Converse for church (and wherever else; they wash so easily). Annie still has about nine million pairs, but this feels like another good step. I really like the concept of a "uniform" and when we phased out the jon jons this season we sort of accidentally stumbled into a church uniform for Graves- he had about three button up shirts and several pairs of pants (either thin corduroy or flannel gingham) that I could mix and match. The converse and suspenders made the outfit, though. And he had a couple of sweaters/sweater vests to wear in lieu of the suspenders when it was cold. I really loved how well it worked!
 In My Mailbox:
Nothing too exciting except a check for subbing =)

In My Cart:

I finished up the kids' Summer wardrobes! 
I've been really trying to give the kids (especially Annie) more wardrobe autonomy. This was decided after MANY tears over Graves having so many animal outfits and having only a few herself. The injustice of gendered clothing! Anyway, she finally calmly asked me one day (she's getting so self-aware and really good at articulating her desires) if whenever it was time to get her new clothes could I look for animal things. It was much easier to just shop online and take her to Target with me and I'm not even doing consignment sales this season. Y'all, who even am I?!

Around the Town (and At Home):

We had a really low key month and I was very, very grateful. The kids have both been playing soccer and we squeezed in some other fun stuff, too!

Peyton and I went to see Governor Kasich speak! Since the debates have basically turned into episodes of the Jerry Springer Show (I liked you, Marco, until you started making those locker room "hand" jokes I made to my guy best friends in like eighth grade), this was such a breath of fresh air. The incredible icing on the cake was hearing a Republican presidential candidate speaking of us being "centers of healing" and "centers of justice". I'm exhausted and hormonal and easily give to emotion in general, but it made me teary.

It seems like Annie gets so stressed and anxious on Peyton's days off and like she can never have enough of his time and attention (which is ironic because she has WAY more time with her father than most six year olds). She just gets really worried we won't fit in the things she wants to do- and they're mostly small, easily doable requests. But a lot of times we do get to the end of the day and have neglected to fit them in. Last week, she even protested going to the Children's Museum (which she loves!) because she was scared she wouldn't have enough time to play pretend at home with Peyton. So, we've been trying something that helps manage my days. It's worked really well- I think she loves a list as much as her momma! 

 We had so much fun with the last one, we had another Beanie Boo party this month! This time the birthday party was for Sugar Pie (the unicorn Beanie Boo). The kids got up that morning and immediately started crafting. Then they packed the trunk of the Mazda full- paper crafts in gift bags, other stuffed animals, and already blown up balloons and we celebrated at my parents' house. Annie was so excited to include more guests this time. Oh, and Sugar Pie is the second to youngest Beanie Boo and Annie and Graves are working hard on helping her learn to walk and say new words. Annie said Midnight would have to be in charge of her flying lessons, though, since we humans have no idea how to so that. We don't have any parties in April which I'm kind of grateful for because we need to plan hers and Graves's. And in May, "Foxy" (their youngest) and Peyton have birthdays within a day of each other so Annie is planning a joint party. She's done a great job already of thinking up commonalities between Peyton and a baby Fox (apparently, they do have a lot of similar interests).

And we've been playing outside a lot more! My chair was in a position where I became genuinely hot after about five minutes. It was the happiest I've been in some time. 

Gosh, I love this crew so very much!  It was so much fun to have the Howies over for dinner. The kids and the grown ups had a blast! 
We made a couple of day trips to Granny's! 
And unfortunately, I made a midnight trip to the hospital for some bad abdominal pain. I was a little dilated and our girl is super low. But they didn't pick up any major contractions on the monitor and the tests came back with results that showed it wasn't preterm labor so I got an IV of fluids and got to come on home.

At the Schoolhouse:
School was great this month! Even though we had some extra business with soccer and I had a rough week one week (with the abdominal pain), we've been doing a lot of fun projects and busting through some math and English lessons!

On the Blog:
 I felt like I got in a lot of catch up posts (Weekly Happenings and Weekly Smorgasbord) but I also gave myself permission to just write some. I want to- NEED to- do that more.
Sidewalk Supper- This was my first post in a long time where I just sat and wrote about an experience. It was nice to do that again.
Just Out Back- Our yard has grown to mean more to me than I ever thought it would and it was time to write about it.
Darkest of Nights: On Fear and Peace and Welcoming People in Their Pain, Sin, and Disbelief- Whew, this post was hard to write but it means so much to me. I'm so grateful for the people in our lives who have loved us well and pointed us to the Cross.

On My Heart:
- I've actually been thinking alot about writing lately and about this space. What I want- and as I said, need- from it. Now that I'm getting closer to being caught up with the posts that are less creative, I really want to try to invest some time in ones that are.
- April may be kind of a whirlwind. Or it may not. Who knows? I'm determined to enjoy it even if I'm not very comfortable.
- I have a pretty big decision coming up in the next couple of weeks and I've really been thinking a lot over what is best for myself individually and for our family. 

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying for my own health and sweet Sister Baby's. Not to be dramatic, but this pregnancy hasn't been the easiest. I'm so ready to meet her but she needs to stay put awhile longer!
- As I mentioned, I'm praying about some big decisions for our little family.
- I'm praying for our trip to New York- that Peyton and I will be refreshed and that it will be a time of growth and relaxation and that the kids will do okay here with their grandparents.
On the Calendar: 

April is going to be so fun with both kids' birthdays and mine and Peyton's trip to NYC. I can't wait!

What I'm Into

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