Good Things

How about a fun little post about the good things?

I picked up Mint Chocolate Granola from Aldi’s today and omg, on top of some vanilla yogurt it’s like an Oreo blizzard except I can pretend it’s a little healthier.

I need healthier right now after trying to do a workout from Rosary Workout on Youtube and realizing I’m really, really, really out of shape.  We’re doing a weightloss challenge at work as well and I’d like to at least see a little downward trending by the end in June.

We’re still in the middle of the Great Bathroom Project of ’18, but making steady progress.  Makes me realize that however much I love to look at fixer-uppers on  Cheap Old Houses, I have no desire to actually do renovation work.

This popped up in my feed recently and it actually did get me thinking about my kids summer vacation and all the things I loved about mine growing up.  Now granted we did summer camps and things, just like my school-aged son will do this year, but they were less “STEM Applied Particle Physics Camp” and more like “Hey, y’all let’s do arts and crafts and occasionally go to the pool Camp”.  I’m actually really excited for Henry to be old enough to do day camp this year – he’s doing Boy Scout camp for 4 days, and Vacation Bible School and then 4 weeks off and on of camp through our after-school program.  They have a week field trip, pool days, library days and lots of time to do little projects and just play together.  But it was a good reminder that for the rest of the time it’s okay to let the kids watch movies,  and veg out and have nothing more Pinterest worthy than a bottle of bubble solution and a Slip n’ Slide.

My kids love this music video.

A Reading Challenge

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This year is my year of books.  According to my Goodreads account, I’ve finished 40 books so far this year.  I would like to take this moment to thank the creators of Audiobooks and Overdrive, I couldn’t have done it without you.

Since I’ve been reading so much I’ve also been thinking about what I’m reading.  I do read primarily for a bit of an escape and pleasure, so I love my good YA and fantasy and historical romance, but I’ve been trying to push my boundaries too.  One way I’m trying to do this is by being more aware of who is writing the books I’m reading while also trying to expand my understanding of experience I have not, and probably will not (whether to do to time, place, privilege, etc.) experience.

One spot that is becoming more and more important to me is in my religious and spiritual readings.  Now let’s be clear this is not saying that men and women who look like me do not have important messages to share to our Church body – race, ethnicity, culture, gender, etc. does not discount ANYONE.  It’s just that working in ministry has made me more aware that the voices readily available are primarily Caucasian.  Yet a quick Google search shows that the Church in America is at least 40% non-white.  So that got me thinking that if I’m to really experience the Church in writing, the authors I’m reading should mirror that as a good first step.

I not only want to understand their experiences, but I also want to know revelations they bring to the table from those experiences.

Thanks to my friends over at FemCath I’ve got a good start on a booklist here on Goodreads.  Do you have anything I should add?

 

 

Corners of Home

Corners of my home today. We’re in the middle of some renovations and a major purging session so things are messy and piles up all over the place. We’re a light fixture, a mirror and fresh coat of paint away from being done with the upstairs bathroom and making progress with the basement. Bye bye wall to wall 40 year old burnt orange indoor/outdoor carpeting! My dad is doing the work as a year or two of birthday and Christmas gifts rolled together, he’s done so much and it’s so great. This 40 years old, hardly ever updated house has had a few fun surprises.

I’ve been working on purging closests and finding ways to better fit our space and I’m nearly there. I have a few days off at the end of the month and have grand plans for the last of the piles in the mudroom and basement closet.

The plan is to be more “a place for everything and everything in its place” around here. It already feels so much better upstairs.

Shelved

I thought we should take a moment to talk books, I haven’t caught up on my reading list in a month or two, but first can we all take a moment of silence to appreciate this book shelf from Bluestockingbookshelf on Instagram?

My little collection of 6 of these Penguin editions is looking a little lonely.

March saw me break my crazy reading streak – with the spring break trip and then going almost right into the holidays I just did not get through as much as the previous months. I am up to 33 books so far this year, which is crazy. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the things that triggered my anxiety and depression when I was pregnant with my oldest was being told I wouldn’t be able to finish a book for about five years. It was soul crushing and when my son was born I became determined to prove them wrong. Reading has become one of those self-care things for me – it’s something I need to do to keep my head in the demands of being a working mom. So I hope no one looks at lists like this (I’ve had years where I’ve barely gotten through a book a month) and feels bad – it’s just the thing I do, not a thing all moms have to do.

I had one book that was abandoned in this set, “A Curious Beginning” by Deanna Raybourn. It was just so, so bad. I like a little light, frivolous reading, but this just had nothing redeeming and I let it go after about page 50 or so.

I didn’t tackle anything really heavy this month and almost all of it has revolved around the Lunar Chronicles. I’m almost done with “Winter” (I had to return it with about 1/4 of the book left to listen to and am waiting my turn to get it back to finish), and I read the second volume of “Wires and Nerve” and the “Stars Above” story collection. I really appreciate out fleshed out her characters are in their backstories – while the books are silly in some places, it’s probably the best YA I’ve read in a while.

I finally read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” which I enjoyed, but I think it was a case of waiting too long and hearing too much hype. I liked it, but I was expecting more so it felt like we only got to know the characters on a very base level. I think I would have preferred if once the girl got to the island the letters would have given way to actual prose so we got a little more meat in the storytelling and experience. Since it was a series of letters it was literally being told “this happened, then this, then this” and I wanted just a little … more. It does make me want to see the movie just for that reason – to experience the story rather than being told it.

I’ve got a bunch of books I’m working on right now in my queue for the next update – including finishing “Winter”, Marissa Meyer’s take on the Queen of Hearts in “Heartless”, “The Glass Town Game” about the Bronte siblings, one of Ratzingers’ Jesus of Nazareth books and I finally got ahold of “Caroline”, the look at the Little House on the Prairie books from the mothers POV.

What’s on your shelf (nightstand, bookbag, passenger seat of your car, etc.)?

March Madness

March is over!  That month went by really quickly thanks to the holidays and our little spring break trip.  I was looking at my April schedule and enjoying its blankness, but then little by little I started remembering a thing here, another even there and once again – a busy month is at hand.

As I said in my last couple of posts I gave myself permission to just let the cards fall where they might for the Easter holiday and I think that was just what I needed.  I did actually manage to get over to Church for a few minutes of adoration on Thursday, and we spent Friday dying Easter Eggs and even managing to read an Easter book and do a little craft.  I went to Mass at my hospital Easter afternoon after work and while it wasn’t the most moving Mass I’ve ever attended there was definitely something special about being surrounded by the sick, the recovering, the people trying to heal or learn to heal – we even had a new little baby in a stroller.  It was quite the mix in the dozen or so people there.  The room where it’s located is right underneath the LifeFlight helicopter pad and nothing drives home the truth of a weekend about death and resurrection that hearing one of those take off during the consecration.

The kids got their Easter baskets and a little indoor egg hunt when I got home and for the first time, I tried not to worry about what others were doing and just rolled with it.  This year’s baskets were filled with little dollar store toys, a bunch of chocolate and a movie for them to share.  It was nice to relax and just enjoy it.

I turned on Rend Collective’s latest album on Spotify while I made dinner and ignored the rustling of candy wrappers.  While it was playing a song from “The Porter’s Gate” popped up in the shuffle and I was blown away.  It’s on Spotify and I highly recommend both.  Porter’s Gate “Establish the Work of Our Hands” was really uplifting after ruminating more and more about being active in my faith and after just having spent the day serving rather than celebrating.

I didn’t get to see Jesus Christ Superstar, but I’m hoping it might play again or come out on DVD soon enough so I can enjoy it.  Though I must say I was having a good chuckle at all the people who somehow got the impression JCSS was a “family show” and got into a tissy about it being, well, what it is.

Ben and I snuck away Saturday night to watch Ready Player One and I think it should be called Ready For My Refund.  We actually walked out of the theatre only an hour into the movie.  It had deviated so far from the original book it was unbearable to watch.  In fact, I turned to Ben only twenty minutes in and said: “I’m so mad I could leave right now”.  And I sat through the entire Avatar the Last Airbender movie so I consider my tolerance for bad adaptations pretty high.  We had to go get a beer and cheese fries and do a lot of nerdy venting in the car to get it all out of our system.

And so now it’s the Easter season – we still have time to get a fancy clothes picture, and our parishes Easter Egg hunt isn’t until… May.  Yeah.  So I figure I’ve still got time to get through chapters we didn’t cover about the Passion and Resurrection in our RE book and do the other Easter craft I have stashed away.  It’s also nearing the end of the school year so we’ve got a Fun Fair, Music Concerts, Boy Scout Meeting and so much more filling up our free time so it will be an adventure!