August 2013: What I learned and what I'm into

IMG_7562 Let's call this a month of self-discovery... I feel like my eyes were opened to myself in a few new ways... so let's link up with Emily again for a little monthly recap.

1. Summer, for all its glory and fabulousness, is quite exhausting. I am thoroughly looking forward to settling into a somewhat-regular schedule, including being home with nothing at all to do for more than one evening in a month's span (you think I'm exaggerating...).

2. I'm better at planning & researching than implementing & writing. So yeah, working on that.

3. I don't actually know what kind of writer I want to be. I'm  on the search though-- ideas are brewing and I'm going to see which ones seem viable.

4. I'm fairly new to the whole Meyers-Briggs thing. Some of my friends are really into it and I find it really insightful the more I dig. I think I am an ENTJ, but I'm not sure yet. I have been more thoroughly researching Gigi, though, and I'm fairly sure she is an ESFJ. Fascinating, this personality stuff.

5. I have over 40 books on my shelf that I haven't read. I think i'm going to take a nod from Leigh (who I'm linking up with below) and try to make a dent in those in the next year or so.


What I'm Into...

{linking up with Leigh}

Books & Reading

Yay, I finished some books this month!

Cold Tangerines (Shauna Niequist) ~ I really loved this memoir. Shauna Niequist makes me want to write memoirs and she also helps me realize that I don't have to have BIG things to write about; she reminds me of the beauty in the ordinary.

Nurture by Nature (Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger) ~ I'm marking this book as read even though I haven't read it cover to cover. I read through the chapters that help you figure out your child's personality type and then through the chapter about Gigi's type up through her stage of childhood. It will be one of those books we reference again and again though, as it was so eye-opening.

Divine Design (Mary Kassian & Nancy Leigh DeMoss) ~ We wrapped up our summer book study last week and the girls in my group and I were really blessed by this book overall. It combines a Biblical understanding of womanhood with the experience of both a wife/mom and a lady who has been single her whole life but has lived out God's design for women fruitfully in other ways besides marriage and parenting. We also did some wonderful inductive Bible studies that complemented this book; it was a great summer of growth for the women of our church.

Plan to be Flexible (Alicia Kazcuk) ~ A great homeschooling resource, more in-depth review coming later.

The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) ~ I read this back in high school, along with Fitzgerald's other novels, but didn't remember much of the story, and with the new movie coming out, I decided I wanted to re-read it as an adult. It took me way too long, mostly because I was reading it snippets before bed. So when I finally had a good hour on our drive up the mountains last weekend I was able to devour the rest of it in a large chunk. I recommend it that way because I had already forgotten details from early on that I had read months ago. But anyway, I did finally finish it, and just in time as Gatsby is coming to Redbox soon!

Victim of Grace (Robin Jones Gunn) ~ This book spoke to me and encouraged me in a huge way. I love a good memoir, but boy, this one was excellent. I read quite a few of Robin Jones Gunn's books in high school (although not her most popular series) and can remember them encouraging me in my baby walk with Jesus then. Now, as an adult and an aspiring writer, her memoir came to me at the perfect time.

_80_140_Book.872.cover As a storyteller, Robin is extremely gifted, and the way she weaves together the threads of God's grace in her life with stories from the Bible where she found kindred victims of grace is really beautiful. I love stories of how God takes the ashes in our life and creates beauty with them (as He did with our adoption journey) and Robin shares countless ways that He has done that in her life and in the lives of her family members.

As a writer, reading about her dedication to the craft, her calling and the roller coaster of publishing she has experienced was really eye-opening as well. This will be a book I re-read for sure, and I'm extremely grateful to Booksneeze for the chance to read and review it.


Gigi and I finally finished Farmer Boy and We also read the first Samantha book from the American Girl Doll Collection. I started a new "shelf" on GoodReads to keep track of our read-aloud books. Oh, and here's what I'm reading now.


I almost finished season one of Friday Night Lights, and I go back and forth with whether I will continue. I really like the family drama and am a sporty lady so that's fun, too. But it's a pretty big undertaking to start something with so many seasons when there are many other things I could be doing with my time (like reading!).

I've been absolutely loving The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, my first foray into YouTube series-watching. I saw Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy mention it and figured I better give it a try, Jane-ite that I am. I tend to enjoy P & P fan fiction simply because the storyline is so timeless. This one is a fun, modern take on the story with quirky characters and a creative format. The episodes are short -- about 3-5 minutes each-- so it's easy to watch a few without committing to an entire night in from of the screen.


I read the Harry Potter book years ago but never got around to watching all the movies. David and I borrowed the set from a friend and have made it through number five so far. We've been struck with how dark and scary they are-- like totally not for children at all-- but I really love the characterization. The casting was perfectly done in my opinion. Of course the best part of watching them all in succession is watching the characters grow from little kids to young men and women (and seeing their haircuts change, naturally).


Because this post is getting way too long, I'm just going to cheat here and say come visit me on Spotify to see what I've been listening to. Although I will say my brother recently discovered Sea Wolf because he liked the album artwork and I concur that it was a good find (I put Sea Wolf on my Mellow playlist).


Things I love

  • Still loving my Honest Company diapers, wipes and other products. Thank you for those of you who have clicked my affiliate link! 
  • Refrigerator pickles.
  • Grilled banana s'mores sundaes. Seriously.
  • An entire week of amazing sunsets.
  • The breeze in my bedroom.
  • My new patio bunting (you'll see it next week on Simple Mom!).
  • Community groups starting up for fall!
  • My new iPhone 4s (Siri! Better camera!).
  • My chubby baby nephew (so many rolls!!).
  • The Dodgers kicking butt.
  • Meeting friends' out-of-town parents.
  • Picking apples.
  • Beach camping & little waves.
  • Crafty girls' nights.
  • Swimming!


In the blogosphere

I'm loving the blog 3 Things for Mom. I was contacted by the editor, Lauren, to contribute a post (it'll be up on Friday!) and since then I've been thoroughly enjoying receiving the posts in my inbox for a quick read-- it's a truth, tip and find from a different author, three times a week.

You can see posts I've enjoyed by checking out the links on my Tumblr page. I occasionally post one on my Facebook page as well.

On the blog

If you missed it, I shared my homeschool planner with y'all and it's really working great (we had our first official day today!). And thanks for your kindness and encouragement when I bared my soul on a particularly hard parenting day. Coming this month, a little series on homeschooling (including what I learned way back in the spring at the fantastic seminar I attended) along with some Compassion-themed posts, and hopefully more!

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh
Affiliate links included in this post-- thank you!

Over at 3 Things for Mom...

Penny for your thoughts: contentment in the interim