I’m one day late, but I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I was into in July. I’m still tweaking the way I format these posts and what sections I include. I had so many great links I wanted to share that I considered making them a separate post and focusing on books here, but I stuck with it for now. I also decided to add two sections: one for a quick recap of things we experience in our new home and one about what I’m most looking forward to next month.
I’m convinced that half the enjoyment and appreciation of my life comes from both reflecting on what passed and anticipating what’s next.
As I thought about what to include here, I kept thinking, “Not much happened this month…” but truly, a lot happened. We had several visitors: both Evan’s parents and my sister Kelsey stayed with us for a bit, and one of Evan’s UCF coworkers visited with his girlfriend on their way through MI. I celebrated my birthday, and we crossed a few more restaurants and Western Michigan to-dos off our list. We are making slow but steady progress on our Summer Bucket list.
We’ve also been wrestling hard with homesickness, which seems to kick-in whenever a visitor leaves or when something happens back in FL that we wish we were around for. I remind myself that we only moved a few months ago, and that maybe just like in Inside Out (which I saw for a 2nd time this month), we don’t have to resist sadness, but just sit alongside it some times.
All that said, here’s some of the best of what July had to offer:
Read & Reading:
About Go Set a Watchman:
Why I want to read it and why I hesitate to (I will read it but only after I reread To Kill a Mockingbird, and I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it. I will probably read it from a writer’s perspective, thinking of it as TKAM’s first draft, and considering how Harper Lee got from GSAW to the book we all treasure so much.)
About Work & Worth:
An alternative to believing in yourself (Seth Godin)
The noun and the verb (Austin Kleon)
Reevaluating how we define “good days” (Design for Mankind)
My new mantra has become, “I am not an airplane.” (Sarah Mackenzie)
According to Strengthfinders, three of my strengths are learner, intellection, and input. That’s great, but I always need reminders that practice is learning, but learning is not practice.
Ahh, here they are again: those pesky ideas about Sabbath and rhythm and work that just won’t leave me alone.
The hard parts of writing and mothering. “Girls, we are way beyond living easy. We get to live grace.”
Verdana for the win.
I’m thinking about who my yes people are. (Honestly, it was pretty easy to figure out, and that’s something to be grateful for.)
A voice for the voiceless. “A tired trope, isn’t it? a voice for the voiceless. The problem with this is, of course, that so few people are actually voiceless. The problem isn’t their ‘voicelessness,’ it is that we are not listening. We don’t value their voices and so we do not listen.”
My book reading has been slow this month, but I finished Daring Greatly (Brown) and State of Wonder (Patchett). I’m currently working my way through First Impressions (Lovett), Offshore (Fitzgerald), The Glass Castle (Walls), and The Jesus Way (Peterson). So much for only reading one book at a time this summer. For my birthday, I received Pioneer Girl and the Puffin In Bloom editions of Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. They are the most beautiful books I own, and I love them.
For Ian: We’ve been listening to Seeds Family Worship. This is basically Bible verses, word-for-word, set to music. I love the idea that Ian is hearing and learning Scripture. (And it is far less annoying than nothing by Laurie Berkner songs all day long!)
I am anxiously awaiting a new Mystery Show episode. If you haven’t started listening to this podcast, it is so great. I recommend you start with the Britney episode and then listen to Belt Buckle.
I really enjoyed listening to Jess Connolly on The Happy Hour. Since I heard that episode, I often tell myself, “I am taking myself out of the running.” It’s become a new mantra of sorts.
Around Grand Rapids:
-For July 4th, we braved the crowds and went to the beach! We drove out to Grand Haven and finally saw Lake Michigan from the Michigan side (as opposed to from Chicago). It really is just like people say: a white sandy beach with waves. You might as well be looking at the ocean. The only exception was the COLD. It was easy to spot the Floridians because we never even took off our cover-ups. We also went downtown for fireworks on the 4th, and it was a pretty impressive fireworks show!
-We finally bought an annual membership to Meijer Gardens, so we’ll be taking advantage of that more often. Ian loves the children’s garden there: going in and out through the little child-sized door (he cries when you finally drag him away from it), splashing in the fountains, playing with the boats, and climbing around the treehouse.
-We’ve eaten at The Mitten Brewing Co., The Omelette Shoppe, Wolfgangs, and Hopcat. (Food Network Magazine rated Hopcat’s french fries as among the best in America, and I must say: they are pretty darn good.) Ian was obsessed with the jam at The Omelette Shoppe (some kind of yummy, house-made cherry jam.) He kept dipping pieces of toast into it like ketchup and saying, “Mmmmm.”
-I finally got a Mitten Pop from Love’s Ice Cream, which had been on my Michigan bucket list. So yummy, but mostly just fun.
-We barely squeaked it in yesterday at the end of the month, but Ian and I went blueberry picking with our neighbors. Last night, Ian was running around like a crazy person saying, “I want blueberry!” over and over again.
What I’m Looking Forward to in August:
Bringing Evan along for more blueberry picking, celebrating both Evan and Ian’s birthdays, meeting Evan’s coworkers at a lab BBQ, spending almost two weeks in Florida, celebrating Amethyst & Glenn’s wedding, hopefully signing Ian up for swimming lessons, more prenatal yoga. So much good stuff, guys!
Here’s to a wonderful August.