Monday, July 7, 2014

Books 2014


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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman (recommend)
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp (recommend)
Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos (a re-read)
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale (Weird and creepy, but I kinda liked it)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
Every Day by David Levithan (An interesting idea that I think I enjoyed)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun
The House Girl by Tara Conklin (I think I liked it)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (too me a really long time to read, but pretty good)
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight (thriller, different to read as a parent)
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (I saw the movie trailer and decided to read it. Really long read and totally not worth it. Don't recommend)
Grimm's Fairy Tales by Wilheim Grimm and Jacob Grimm (read aloud to Sam)
In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen (felt like a very grownup book, I wouldn't necessarily recommend)
The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald (read aloud to Sam)
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay (read aloud to Sam, which was an odd choice)
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose (don't recommend)
Dorthy Must Die by Danielle Paige (Fun start to a series, easy to read)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (read aloud to Sam)
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (I didn't like as much as her more young adult books, but still easy to read)
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (kept me hooked to find out what happened)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (good read although a little depressing)
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue (I wouldn't recommend, but I struggled with Room too)

26 books so far. I'd kinda like to get in 52 this year, but we'll see what happens :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bright Sadness

It's sunny and beautiful and we are doing a day trip to Greensboro to celebrate a birthday. During this Lent time, our church is doing a Bright Sadness blog with devotionals and I've seen lots of "things to give up" blogs as well. Back in college, my friend Annie and I used to always give up chocolate or sugar. It was really hard for us, but it was nice to have accountability. This time around, I love the idea of giving up being envious, comparing ourselves to others, being a people pleaser, etc. What good ways to focus on being more like Christ.

Monday, February 3, 2014

One year

We had Sam's first birthday party this past weekend (with family and Bible Study and Life Group friends), and his real birthday is in a few days. It's been both a long and a short year. Part of me feels like it flew by, while another part has seen all the changes he's gone through, and totally believe that he's nearly a toddler. We really intended to track his developments month by month, and while I've written little notes throughout the year, we haven't really gotten anything much on the blog. It's been an amazing, challenging, blessed year, and we've laughed so much. I understand mommy guilt now, appreciate our marriage more and more, and still feel like a child myself sometimes. It's both exciting and scary to realize what a big role I get to be in Sam's life. I've been reading a few parenting books that a good friend recommended and so glad I did. It's really inspired me to remember pointing Sam to Christ, to be a good example, to know that hard times are worth it, and keep giving the glory to God. The future looks bright :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Change needed, again


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Today was a bit of a tough day. (And this right here, it's going to be a rant. Take that as fair warning. If you're not feeling it, you can skip the other paragraph, it's more uplifting.) I felt like I just kept missing. Sam's first nap was an hour later than I was expecting (based on how long he had been up and his behavior). After lunch, I knew I needed to leave the house, so Sam and I headed to Target, but we left before I got everything on my list because Sam was crabby, although he normally likes errands. I saw an old roommate and was weird with her. Sam doesn't fall asleep for his second nap until 2 hours later. I spent a lot of time listening to him cry over the monitor, cramming chocolate truffles, pretzels, and other things I found lying around the kitchen (somehow missed the apples) into my mouth. After several trips of lying him back down, trying to read or rock to him, and continuing to try to keep those little hips from turning so he could get on his knees, he finally fell asleep. And I'm left feeling a little empty. I've been blessed to be able stay at home, and I love it, but sometimes it's hard realizing most days are going to look similar. The things I check off (taking care of the dogs, feeding Sam, laundry, keeping parts of the house clean, picking up toys, errands, etc.) are things that will be repeated the next day and the next day. There's not a lot of evidence that I'm doing things, much less whether I'm doing anything well. Sometimes I really struggle to not find my identity here, in being a stay at home mom. Sometimes it's really busy and sometimes it's a little boring and sometimes timing is just off. I meant to do some work on the laptop, but I missed my window and Sam is fixated on pressing the buttons or slamming it open and shut. I was going to blow dry my hair, but Sam's up and he's currently afraid of loud noises, and you just can't hold a baby while you blow dry your hair (if you can, I'm impressed). On a more serious level, I've let my head be busy and noisy. I keep music on, and think about the now and the future a lot. Basically, I've really started sucking at praying and it makes me really sad. There's sometimes where I realize, just pray about it, and I almost don't know how. I don't really know how to explain it. So that's where I'm at. Pity party over, I have an amazing, hard-working, supportive husband who listens to me better than I could have hoped for. I have a beautiful little boy who makes me smile every day. There are these two fluffy dogs who follow us around and trust us. And I want to work hard for my little family. I want to point them to Christ, to be the heart of the family, and bring the peace that can only be from God. I want to be a part of my extended family, our community, and an authentic friend. I desire to get past my funk, this day, and to move upward and onward.

And God's mercies are new every morning. He can transform us by the renewal of our minds. We don't need a new year or a new week to get started. We don't need to detox, we just give it all to him.  Thank the Lord that He will forgive us, that He is waiting and that He is so good.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Books: Final of 2013


The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (a happy ending!)
Allegiant by Veronica Roth (acceptable ending to a trilogy, but not perfect)
The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
Champion by Marie Lu
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) Still cruder than HPs, but a good read
Winds of Salem by Melissa de la Cruz
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
Deadly by Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars book...)
Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond (I really struggled with the first few chapters, it was really hard to get past the generalizations and bitter diatribes against "today's parenting" and "1960s psychologists", and advice of "What would Grandma do". But after that there was some good advice, about discipline, keeping a long term goal in mind, and keeping marriage first. I would recommend.)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)

53 from before, 10 now, 63 for the year.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Waking moments


Today, my friend started a cool thing. She started a facebook group of women whose goal it is to give God the first fruits of our morning and to keep each other accountable about it. This Christmas season, I'm seeing through things with new mother eyes. Sam doesn't really understand things yet. He likes pulling the ornaments off of our Christmas tree, but he doesn't know why it's there. We light more candles, we have special songs, we have more things on surfaces, but he doesn't know why.
I love the Christmas season. I love that it's Jesus' birthday, and I tear up at so many songs now that I didn't before, but I also love the general cheer of the season. I want to make sure that I don't get caught up in sharing that with Sam and miss any opportunity to share with him the real reason of the season (in the future). Thanks to Sam's grandmothers, we have some awesome books to read to him next year and a nativity to play with. 
This season, I tried to plan gifts a little early, to get safe decorations up, to play the music when we could, etc. to make the most of each day. Of course, I would also be determined to be nice and caring and next thing I know, I gave a snotty tone to my husband, got stressed over something small, or some other thing. I can't do all this on my own, but I try too often. Even knowing and accepting things don't have to be perfect, too often I can't help by try. Most of the time I don't know what I'm doing, and I wish I would stop and pray and ask for help, but no, I jump in impulsively. And I think I need a change. A reminder on how to focus and where to focus. Thinking about making the first 15 minutes of my day all for God is encouraging. And challenging. But mostly exciting.
So this year, from the One who gave the best gift, I'm going to try to give back my waking moments. :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Faith


So, another family reunion at the lake trip and a girls trip behind me, I've been so thankful for the people we've seen and the friendships that we have.  Sam got to spend time with his great grandparents through J's mom's side. I got some refreshing time with two other beautiful women. The trips have been so different that it's hasn't been too overwhelming, but it is making time fly by faster. 
Last night we talked about encouraging in Bible Study. Just a few positive words can change a mood, change a day. It was mentioned that it's important to take the opportunity to encourage other if you become aware of words that would do it. And our author noted that the most important encouragement is that which encourages our Faith :)