February was a complete whirlwind. Jay and I ran away for a week and went to the Dominican Republic. We stayed at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana, and it was completely amazing. Highlights: no sunburn!, boys were great in the loving care of their grandparents, deep conversations not about dishes or diaper rash, lots of poolside drinks and tasty food, sun, warmth, not having to make beds for a week. Slight bummers: lost my glasses in the Atlantic Ocean, ended the trip with a mild and unexplained rash because my skin is very sensitive and doesn’t always know how to be skin, missed my boys a lot and thought of them constantly. I guess that one’s more of a highlight than a bummer — it’s rare for me to have the opportunity to miss those kids. But I did, and, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
What I’m Reading
The Grownup, by Gillian Flynn. Flynn is the author of Gone Girl, as well as other twisted tales with mentally unstable characters. The Grownup is no exception. It’s actually a short story, so I started and finished this one while waiting to board our plane to Punta Cana. It’s a smidge forgettable, but that makes it a pretty quality vacation read.
A Summer Affair, by Elin Hilderbrand. I’m decidedly quite against infidelity in general, but I do enjoy a story about a poor, mistreated woman finding someone who really appreciates her and treats her the way she ought to be treated. This book… wasn’t that. It was a relatively happy and successful woman in a loving marriage who was also a mother of four and accomplished artist who started an affair with a man in town. In the end it caused them stress, yes, but (at least in this book) there were no outward repercussions from her dalliance. I read the book feeling bad about the husband and kids. I didn’t stop reading though… because, vacation.
Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst. I LOVED this. The book explores snacking and unhealthy eating and why we make the food choices we do. Do we snack because we are trying to fill a part of us that we should be filling with God? While I didn’t agree with every sentiment — God did make my taste buds love tasty things, and I think it’s OK to enjoy less-than-healthy foods from time to time — it did make me think of every time I craved tortilla chips, or beer, or super dark chocolate. I’m making a strong effort to think about those cravings even more, and every time I have one, to stop and pray instead of indulge. It’s a mini snack-fast (kind of). I highly recommend this book.
LeannePenny.com — a blog by my wonderful and amazing friend, Leanne. She started a “More Like Me” series for 2016, where she is exploring various areas of her life and her beliefs. February has been exploring sex from a thoughtful, Christian perspective, and it is so important. SO important. She is not shying away from potentially uncomfortable topics, and she has brought in some guest writers to share their stories. Worth checking out!
(I also restarted Harry Potter, because it’s my favorite series and I haven’t read it all in a couple years — gasp!)
What I’m Watching
First of all: yes, I started Fuller House. I’m a child of the 90s after all, and I’m pretty sure this is required viewing for all older millenials. It gave me a lot of the feels, as the kids say, but I haven’t watched past the first episode yet. I’m actually thinking about watching it with John, because I think he’d like it (and I’d have more feels).
I’ve also watched all of The Killing on Netflix. It was an AMC show for three seasons before it got picked up by Netflix for a very short final season. It’s a crime thriller, deep and intense, with rich characters and solid mysteries. I’ve neglected all other shows for this one (sorry, other shows!).
And I finally saw Star Wars! I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie I didn’t like (she said, before Jay started watching Episode 1 at home and she remembered Jar Jar Binks… shudder).
What I’m Listening To
If I’m being honest, I’m not listening to much. I’m behind on all of my podcasts, I now have Hamilton memorized to the point of not having to listen to it every second of the day, and Ev has really started loving music (hooray!) so most of my listening time is spent on Raffi pandora. However…
I’ve been feeling particularly more spiritual lately, more dependent on God, and whenever I feel this way, I listen to Rich Mullins. Growing up, my mom would listen to Rich Mullins while she cooked in the kitchen and I stole bites of food or the heat from the vent (by sitting on top of it and covering myself and the vent with a blanket. Looking back, I was a bit of a jerk — but aren’t we all?). His voice and lyrics are so tender, so vulnerable and perfect. No matter how old his songs are or how much my day tries to bring me down, God can speak to me through him. I’m currently loving A Liturgy, A Legacy, and A Ragamuffin Band, but everything is good, timely, needed.
Here’s a fascinating youtube video of Rich Mullins speaking at singing at a concert. When you notice his giant sweater, remember that the 90s were a different time.
Most Liked Instagram of February
Most Liked Post of February
10 things parents say (& what they really mean!) was my best February post (and almost best all time post!). Thanks for thinking I’m at least occasionally funny, it really does wonders for my self-esteem.
Phew, that’s a lot of February! I’m hoping March brings weather for outdoor running (which will improve my “what I’m listening to” section dramatically) and peace and love for all of us.