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Showing posts from 2019

At the Library - May through September 2019 Reading

We had another baby in May (SO much more on that later) and blogging has obviously taken a back seat, but I am still reading for pleasure and have managed, in my sons first four months of life, to complete these 8 books!  Y'all, I remember a time when even completing 2 books a year would have sincerely sounded daunting, much less with a newborn.  If you want to read more, you can find the time!  Take stock of your days and see where you are wasting hours.  For some of these, I listened to the audio book while I was pumping or watering the garden.  
Rather than give you an individual breakdown of each of these books, I just want to report I found them all incredibly enjoyable.  A total cross section of a food memoir to a psychology deep dive to nature centric novels, I would recommend them all in different capacities.  



At the Library - April 2019 Reading

This book impacted me deeply - Brene Brown's insights into vulnerability and courage were astounding in so many ways.  I am still processing it all, but I find it coming up in conversation often, which shows how applicable it is to any and all people.  
I fully intend to read (and purchase) every other book she has written, as I believe I would refer to them often and I am so grateful for the research she has done and the impact it has had on many.  I also have on my to-do list to watch her Netflix special and TED talk.  
I cannot recommend this book enough.

The first of two books I read for book club this month, this one left me tired at the end of the journey.  I often felt like the subject could not catch a break and there were parts that were really difficult to read.  However, I liked the unpredictability of it and I liked that it wasn't all buttoned up and felt raw and realistic, even if some of it was far fetched in theory.
Since reading this I have heard it mentioned …

Practicing Delayed Gratification

Delay of Gratification is defined by encyclopedia Brittanica as the act of resisting an impulse to take an immediately available reward in the hope of obtaining a more-valued reward in the future. The ability to delay gratification is essential to self-regulation, or self-control.
Bill and I have been discussing this idea quite a bit lately.  How our culture has become a culture of immediate gratification.  If we want something, we buy it.  Everything is available at the tip of our fingers.  When birthdays or the holidays come around and I am asking what people would like, no one needs anything, they just want more things or more stuff.  Some don't even have anything they want because they wait for nothing.  We purchase to excess.  We cannot fit our stuff in our homes and they take over our garages.  One of the biggest items looked for in new homes in storage.
However, this goes well beyond material possessions.  If we want something specific to eat, we just go buy it, or even bet…

A Penny For Your Thoughts - On Insecurity and Looking Back

I have felt compelled to write about something lately, and been shying away from it, which is not my typical style.  As I look back over my life, I have recently realized that I finally feel like "enough".  I know my worth is in the Lord and I know I am beautiful and worth people's time, but that has not always been my story.  Far too often from the ages of 12 to 30, I defined my worth by whether someone was interested in dating me or not and after I got married, whether people "liked me" and wanted to be my friend or to hire me.  Was I pretty enough?  Interesting enough? Worth someone's time?  Talented enough?  Smart enough? etc...
Recently, as pictures pop up in my Timehop (an app that shows pictures taken the same day as far back as it can reach through social media and the camera roll on my phone), I distinctly remember feeling like I was either fat or unattractive in most pictures.  I remember being embarrassed of my pants size.  I remember wearing to…

In the Nursery: Whole Hearted Parenting Manifesto

I recently finished a book by Brene Brown titled, DaringGreatly
It really moved me, and I am definitely still processing it.
At the beginning of the book I wasn’t resonating deeply with the topic of vulnerability, as most people will tell you I am an “open book”.  I will answer most questions without holding back and love to deep dive into good conversation.  However, what I came to realize through her many examples is that we all wrestle with vulnerability, guilt and shame throughout this book even if is more momentary than constant.  I gleaned SO MUCH from this book that I did not anticipate, and I thought I would share this Parenting Manifesto that she put right at the end of the book.  I am printing it and framing it for our nursery, as I think it communicates some deep parts of my heart cry for parenting my kiddos well.

I hope this resonates with someone else as much as it did with me.  
I needed these words to remind me that parenting is not a checklist, it is a lifestyle.  …

Planning Ahead: Sunshine and Summertime

I am guessing I have a similarly titled post every year since I started blogging if I were to look back because right around this time every year I start day dreaming about all the things I want to do and eat and enjoy when summer hits.  I have been compiling a list to share, and this year I will be on maternity leave all summer long, so I can't wait to delve in with my sweet 2 year old daughter and new baby!

I am also focusing on making this list toddler friendly and attainable for me to do (sometimes with a bit of help!).  My hope is this inspires you to make your own summer list and mix it up a bit to enjoy all that summer has to offer!

1. U-Pick farm for strawberry picking
2. Take out Laventinas Pizza and Beach Sunset
3. Attend an outdoor movie
4. Park Picnics with friends
5. Drink a beer on the roof top at Ballast Point Long Beach
6. Spontaneous pool days
7. Go to a baseball game
8. Throw a Bastille Day dinner party
9. BBQ/Bonfire nights in our backyard
10. Bake a fruit pie …

At the Library - March 2019 Reading

March was a tougher month to complete books for me, but complete them I did!  Excited to share these 3 books that made me laugh, cry and think.  I would LOVE any and all recommendations that you all have to share.  What books have impacted you like Just Mercy did for me?  Any series you recommend?   What other comedians memoirs have you read and loved?

This book will stick with you... I'm not even sure what to say about it.  It broke my heart.  
You follow a lawyer who represents people on death row or sentenced to life in prison who were unfairly sentenced or are flat out not guilty.  Honestly fascinating cases and lots of things about the justice system I was not aware of.  Lot's of really sad stories and people that had me feeling lots of emotions.  It left me feeling hopeless, but also grateful for a greater sense of awareness on the issue.  I would love to know what to do when I read a book like this and how to act.  It feels wrong to move on with my life but also like t…

My Girl

Sometimes I try to get into her mind and figure out what she is thinking.
Her world is so free. 
Picking flowers and walking barefoot through grass completely thrill her.
When she looks at me with those big eyes I melt.
She is so beautiful.
She lights up my life.
Does everyone feel this overwhelmed by motherhood?
Like it takes their breath away in the best way.
Being her momma is one of my greatest joys on this earth.
So grateful that God entrusted me with her sweet soul.



In the Kitchen: Curried Lentil Soup

You guys, I am a sucker for curry, so it should come as no surprise that this recipe for curried lentil soup was made two weeks in a row in my house.  It was the perfect blend of spicy and creamy!  We added way more kale than the recipe calls for (at least double) since it can handle it, and it sincerely warmed my heart.  If you are into the idea, give it a try.  Super easy and flavorful!  You won't regret it :)

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil) 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced 2 tbsp tomato paste (or ketchup) 2 tbsp curry powder ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes 4 cups vegetable broth 1 400ml can coconut milk 1 400g can diced tomatoes 1.5 cups dry red lentils 2-3 handfuls of chopped kale or spinach salt and pepper, to taste Garnish: chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) and/or vegan sour cream
Directions
In a stockpot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat and stir-fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion is translucent, a coupl…

Constantly Processing

Does anyone else feel like their mind is constantly spinning, processing, and attempting to improve?  I am gonna give you a glimpse of what is going on in my brain lately...
As I near the end of this second pregnancy and pass through another birthday, I can't help but ponder every little thing I do.  Is it worth my time and energy?  Should I be investing in anything I am not?  What am a doing that I should drop?  What am I not doing that I should add on?
I want to get back to being creative, but my minimalist mindset feels like creating for the sake of creating is wasteful (even though I know it is not)... I want to teach my kids to be creative for no reason so why do I struggle with it so much myself?
I have been pondering if "routine" is really best for us/me.  I think it has benefits for sure, but I am just feeling like everyday of my life can feel like ground hog day if I get too set in my routine.  Don't you think it is best to change it up a bit?  But the fami…

At the Library - February 2019 Reading

I am happy to report that I completed 5 books this month!  Really loving this pace and working on a couple more as we speak.  My brief reviews are below, and yes, we are still on track with our Bible reading :)

Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain is a household favorite of ours.  Crude, dry, sarcastic and really compassionate.  He saw the world in a really unique and his writing style, while slightly offensive, is also very captivating.  This book was the first I have read of his, and I already have another in my line up.  If you have ever worked in the restaurant industry, I'd highly recommend it.  It captures the essence of so much and it made me laugh out loud multiple times.  Five stars to be sure. 

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - This was a recommendation of an old friend and I liked it, but I didn't love it, but I recently realized it was the first in a series, so perhaps I need to read the next couple books.  I also listened to the audio book, and I…

Other Neighborhoods: Pictures from Maui

I realized that I never shared pictures from our trip to Maui back in September, so I thought better late than never!  What a beautiful place and what a wonderful time we had as a little family of three.  So much delicious food, gorgeous weather and quality family time 😊  We can’t wait to go back!














"I Could Never Do That"

Lately, I feel like every time I tell someone about something positive I am doing – reading more, deleting social media intermittently, practicing sabbath, watching less TV, delaying gratification, etc… their first response is… “Oh that’s so great! I could never do that.”I cringe Every.Single.Time.Because in reality, they CAN make any changes they find important, they are just choosing not to.Why is that a gut reaction response?Personally, when I hear someone making a change in their life I run it through a filter of “Should I be doing something similar?Do I feel convicted about what they feel convicted about?” and then I ask them questions about what led them to that decision.
I think the first time this started bothering me is when I went to Uganda and Rwanda for a month back in college.Most of the time I was there the bathroom situation was a latrine, which is essentially a very deep hold in the ground with four walls around it.No electricity or plumbing.When the hole fills up, th…

At the Library - January 2019 Reading

These are the books I finished reading in January.  Personally, this is a huge deal for me.  I cannot remember the last time I finished 3 books in the same month, but the really good news is that I am already on pace to do it again next month!  In fact, I might even complete 4 or 5 if I can stay on track.  Honestly, most of what it takes for me is not watching tv anymore really.  Finishing books gives me the largest sense of satisfaction and gives my mind a wonderful escape into new worlds.  Much more so than finishing a TV show!  I am currently on a search for what is best for me, not just what is easiest.
I would like to be committed this year to reporting my monthly reading on here as a means for accountability (and fun!), and while I am talking about accountability, I will be telling you in December that this year I completed reading the Bible.  Bill and I started a program to read the Bible in one year and we are committed.  One month in and on track.  They say it takes 3 weeks …