Twitterature for Nov 2014

Hey, lovely friends! I was going to wait and share these with you next month, but then I went and finished another book, so I thought, why not? Here’s what I’ve been reading in the last month in concise tweet-like reviews.


Parnassus on Wheels
by Christopher Morley

A quirky, endearing novella about a middle-aged woman who buys a bookselling wagon on a whim and heads out on an adventure. This was a quick and delightful read. (I bought the Kindle version that came with The Haunted Bookshop, which I haven’t read yet– as of now it’s only $0.99 on Amazon!)


 


Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell

My love affair with RR books continues… this one sucked me right in, and reminded me how much I loved college, and how powerful reading & writing can be. (Plus, super cute love story of course). I can’t get enough of her books.


 


This Is Where I Leave You
by Jonathan Tropper

Great family and cultural (Jewish) dynamics here, but wowsers was it a bit graphic compared to what I’m used to reading. You know how they say guys are always thinking about sex? This book backs that statement up… and then some.


 


Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
Edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

I checked this out from the Prime Kindle lending library months ago and finally finished it. I really loved it, and it was great read and digested in small, inspiring chunks.


 

New this month:

Finding God at the Kitchen Sink: totally loving this blog-like devotional

Sense & Sensibility: last book for our book club!

Someday, Someday, Maybe: a novel by Lorelei Gilmore, I mean, Sarah Braverman, I mean Lauren Graham!

and several more than I’ll tell you about next time!

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Thanks, Anne, for the fun linkup.

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10 on 10: November 2014

by gidget on November 11, 2014

in life is beautiful

The 10th was a good day. A smooth homeschool morning, a relaxing afternoon with Gigi at her science co-op (I’ll tell you more about that soon), and us hanging out by the beach. Then it was off to skateboarding class and dinner at home with my parents.

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More glimpses of the loveliness of life over at Rebekah’s blog

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life around the table

That’s where we belong, it seems– around the table. -Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine

I’m thrilled to be sharing my heart a little about life around our humble table today at one of my favorite new blogs, The Common Table, as they kick off their monthly series, Stories From the Table.

It’s not an heirloom by any stretch.

It’s a not-real-solid-wood, on-sale Swedish model that my husband put together, and after just a few years, I already can’t scrub it back to its bright white color.

But this table, with its hodge-podge chairs and its scratches and scuffs is truly the center of our tiny home.

Read the rest over at The Common Table…

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reflecting on the life poetic

It’s hard to believe the #write31days challenge is ending. Part of me feels like it whizzed by and part of me is tired of trying to tie my almost-daily posts together in a cohesive fashion (although that part was a lot easier than simply being consistent).

I didn’t quite write for 31 days (it turns out I’m not alone in that), and my series definitely turned out differently than I expected. But there turned out to be a lot of  freedom there to really be able to write almost anything and fit it into my wide constraints.

The reason is simple. There really is beauty, poetry, rhythm, and grace everywhere. It’s all around us and in us, and the truth is, I don’t think I’ll ever be done looking for it or writing about it.

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Today, I want to wrap things up with something I’ve never done on my blog before, something a little special to inspire you as you journey along, looking for the lovely.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the beauty, when days are tough and we feel knocked down, attacked, wrung out. But even then, on the worst of days, we can remember that God never wastes our trials, and He is truly sovereign over us, working to bring beauty from the ashes. And that there is some lovely poetry.

This is my very rough version of Sovereign Over Us by Aaron Keyes.

Thank you to Aaron Keyes for giving me permission to share this song. And thanks to all of you for journeying along with me through this series. 

the life poetic

This is Day 31 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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girl's got resolve

Anyone who has a strong-willed child can probably relate to hoping that those character traits that challenge us so fiercely now might be used to accomplish great things later on in life.

I’ve been known to refer to my youngest as “stubborn,” “strong-willed,” and “more challenging than the first” (which says a lot), but recently I also feel like the Lord has given me a little glimpse of how her personality is actually a blessing.

I first saw this glimmer as I observed her secretly one day from the hallway outside her cracked-open door. She played in her room alone (a rare event in and of itself), and I suddenly saw her faced with what would have been a frustrating situation.

She had just spent several minutes meticulously picking up toys and placing then in a bucket she carried, when she tripped and spilled them all back out on the floor. Rather than melting down when all the toys spontaneously spilled back out, she proceeded to simply begin the job again, unfazed by temporary failure.

As I watched her, the word that came to mind was RESOLVE.

This girl’s got resolve– I kept hearing it in my mind like the Lord was revealing a deep truth about her little character.

It was a hopeful glimpse of how the Lord could use her strong personality. I’ve been noticing it more in her now the more I look for it. Sometimes, yes, she’s just an irrational three-year old, stubbornly throwing herself to the ground because she’s not getting what she wants. But other times, I see her unlikely determination, and I pray that the Lord uses this trait mightily for His glory as she grows up.

Since that first day I noticed her resolve, it’s a word that the Lord’s been revealing to me (for me) in more than one way as well. I think shortly thereafter it came up in a sermon on a Sunday morning, and my eyes were again opened to the power of a determined individual.

For 2014, the word I felt was pressed on my heart was perseverance, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Lord would use my daughter’s strong resolve to encourage me. So often I want to wallow in my exhaustion, when I know He wants me to push through and be productive in what He’s called me.

There’s a time for rest, indeed. But there’s also a time to be resolved and determined, and to persevere in the path where the Lord has us.

the life poetic

This is Day 26 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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sweet silent moments

Motherhood doesn’t offer us a lot of quiet moments. We steal them here and there, and even though I’m an extroverted person, I’ve come to relish in the moments when the chaos is stalled.

I get up early so I can make my coffee to the sound of the refrigerator’s low rumble alone, and watch the sun come up above the tree line silently.

I stay up late so my husband and I can finish our thoughts and have a complete conversation.

Of course, the silence is perfect only in small doses for me. Too long in the quiet and it actually becomes deafening to my untrained ears that are so accustomed to loud.

The best quiet moments are the most fleeting– I treat the littles to chocolate almond milk, and while they munch on their snacks we all gaze out at the fountain down below. We’re just together, and I take it all in, reading a few sentences and catching the napkins that almost blow away.

Moments later, of course, they’re off and running, both their feet and their question-filled minds. That’s fun, too. But it’s certainly special to soak in the rare moments with them of sweet silence.

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” 
― Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth

the life poetic

This is Day 25 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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music & beer under the lights

A night out, a bit late (kids asleep on the way there– oops!)

Good music under lovely strings of lights

Good beer, fresh on tap

Babies dancing, kids twirling, friends chatting

Supporting friends, supporting local business

Succulents chilling in friendly style

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Worth the 3-year old’s meltdown.

Worth the 20-minute drive.

Worth the cost of 2 beers.

Worth the late night out for 3 kids.

****

Live music, outside, on a warm night, complete with friends? Yes, please. Parenthood, you can’t keep us down.

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the life poetic

This is Day 24 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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don't stress about hospitality

As I documented one day in our life I stumbled upon a lesson I hadn’t really realized that I had learned.

From Instagram:

I’ve learned not to stress about getting ready for community group. I like to be authentic, and all-put-together-and-tidy is not me. These people are like family anyway… But no one likes to step on crumbs so a little pass with the vacuum is nice. Also, Hallee is having a ball and trying not to smile here. Brody is patiently waiting his turn. ;)

I read somewhere the difference between hospitality and entertaining– entertaining is all about me and what I have to show/offer, whereas hospitality is all about serving others.

There’s a bit of beauty in the pile of books in the basket and the stack of mail on the corner of an unused counter, because it’s a glimpse into real life, and it lets the authenticity of who we are as a family shine through. Turning on music (or baseball) and lighting a candle aren’t just nice touches; they too are expressions of who we are as a family.

I do try to clear off all the surfaces we’ll be using with our guests, but I’m not going to put on a facade that in our family every surface is clear and nothing personal is left out. Simply because that’s not us.

And also, I’m better able to serve my guests and welcome them wholeheartedly when I’m not stressing to the max right before they come over.

the life poetic

This is Day 23 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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Finding beauty in the mundane was definitely one of the goals of this month’s series, and the OneDay project with Hollywood Housewife, fit in perfectly with it.

I love day-in-the-life blog posts because we get to see a little more of the real life behind the curtain of a blogger or IG-er’s carefully curated screen.

Here are a few favorites from my day….

one day in our life

To see my entire day, search #onedayggh on Instagram!

the life poetic

This is Day 22 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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roasted corn soup

Last winter, one of our friends did a series of Sunday Soup Nights where she and her husband cooked a batch or two of soup in the crock pot and invited a mish-mash of friends and neighbors over to hang out over dinner together.

It was a yummy dinner-y version of my Ice Cream Sundays that I used to do at our last house. I haven’t quite gotten in a groove with something consistent like that since we’ve been in our current place, which has been, ack! almost two years.  But it was fun to sort of “pass the baton” and see another friend host regular community gatherings like that for a while, stepping outside their comfort zone, and welcoming others in with open arms.

One of my favorite memories of Soup Nights was the week when Brody’s birthmom randomly texted me that she was in our neck of the woods (she lives about an hour away) for the evening. I immediately invited her to join us at Sarah’s house for Soup Night. Seeing her there and connecting with friends from our little community just seemed so natural. Our kids love her (and so do we).

I don’t write about it too much but we’ve had an amazing experience with our open adoption. It was awkward and unusual at first, not surprisingly, but in the last four years we’ve grown to love our get-togethers with both of Brody’s birthparents. A spontaneous, natural hangout was particularly special though.

Five years ago, when we began our adoption journey, I didn’t know what to expect or what the future of our family held. Now, seeing where God has brought us so far has me convinced that this was exactly the path our family was meant to take. Sarah and her husband are in the early stages of their own adoption journey and I’m excited to see things unfold for them.

If you’re looking to cook up some hearty comfort soup for your own community or family, here’s one of my favorite soups that Sarah made for us.

roasted corn soup from GidgetGoesHome.com

 

yum, creamy roasted corn soup

Thanks, Sarah, for sharing this yummy recipe with us.

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Linking up with Beth’s Sunday Soup Night at Red and Honey.

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the life poetic

This is Day 20/21 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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