Friday, January 23, 2015

7 More Apps I Recommend

I feel like I can write about apps we like, with some intelligence, as my husband works for an App for iPad. And yes, Open Table is an app we like. (LOVE). :-) So here are seven more tried and true apps for your smartphone, or other handheld device. I hope this helps you. Hit me up in the comments with some apps that YOU like!

1. Time hop

This is fun for tracking pictures from years passed. You can go to this day 1, 2, 3, and more years back. I had forgotten what we did for Molly's birthday last year, but time hop reminded me - on her birthday- about exactly what we did and where we went. I wouldn't think to look back without it.

3. 7 Minute Workout

This is fun and free, it's a good workout and easily accomplished, as it only takes 7 minutes. It includes all the basics... push-ups, abdominal crunches, wall sits, etc. If I don't do it every night, I do it every other night! ;-)

4. A Beautiful Mess

This is great fun for editing pictures and adding borders, text, fun phrases, etc. It's not free, but it's worth every one of those 99 pennies.

5. Keezy

I can't even explain this one's awesomeness. We've used it for a couple of years now, and it's fun for kids and adults alike. You can record yourself and mix and loop the sounds like a pro. Lots of fun for wasting time waiting in the car, and that kind of thing.

6. Bugs and Buttons/Bugs and Bubbles

This is a great app for kids, they learn counting, matching, sorting, and more. Once again, we've used this with four kids for probably going on four years or so. It is excellent, and tried and true.

7. Wunderlist

Stay organized and keep track of your to-do list and other reminders (and  collaborate with your honey do-list!) all in one place!

BONUS apps:

New Evangelization Rosary (iOS8) or Pocket Rosary (iOs7)

I've written about apps we like before! To read my first apps post, click here.

What do you recommend?
Go see Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum for more quick takes!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

PHFR big news+ the final quilt product

The finished and fully sewn quilt...I am trying to think of a name for this turkey. :-)

And since it isn't Thanksgiving, I hung it Turkey-facing-wall...
in the girls' room. I still need to add another binding to the bottom of the quilt, in keeping with the off-white binding on the top and sides.


I'm making progress on Middlemarch.  It is making me happy to submerge myself in an epic. It has been a while since I read a book this long.


I have a physical copy of Middlemarch, and I found a free version from iBooks (the app for iPad).  Everytime I finish a section on the iPad, I move the bookmark in my actual book. For some reason it is really good for mental endurance- I think it is the encouragement of having a physical reminder that I'm making progress.

I do have opinions about the book, but I'll spare you for now.

So, the same week our first kitty, Aranea, escaped, a couple of funny things happened.
  • I ate a 5 for 5 deal in it's entirety from Krystal at 10:30 in the morning
  • I had a severe craving for Pop-Tarts and asked Stephen to pick some up for me
  • I became very ill trying to make dinner three days in a row, and had Stephen pick up dinner two of those days
  • I couldn't get off the couch so I skipped church
So.... I'm not sure at what point during that week I started feeling suspicious. Not at all and yet all along, I think. Finally, on Sunday, I was very suspicious, because I hate missing Mass. I took a test after all of that and sure enough... I was pregnant. Bowled over. All in all I'm feeling ok. I'm a little over 7 weeks, and it could be worse. I think I spent a lot of time worrying about pregnancy, and now that I'm in the midst of it, that's why I feel like it could be worse. Maybe I am just really good at handling symptoms this time around? I am getting a TON of sleep, I know that much. Oh well. Knock on wood. I know it might be not-so-good any day now.

Like I said, I think that means I'm about 7 or so weeks right this baby is due September 8th, about a month after Anders' two-year birthday. Perfect timing, in my book. And yes, we will be the parents of five kids. I don't even know what that means. ACK! :/ :D  I can't really fathom it. What does that even mean, other than... every seat in our van will be occupied?   I guess it means that Anders will have another little brother or sister. So he won't be the youngest. And it means he'll have to share a room. And it means our house might start to feel smaller, but our hearts will feel a whole lot bigger. I slay me with cheesiness.

So all in all, we are all really happy. I'm also just a little bit stupefied. Did I mention that there is nothing sweeter or more cherished in the world to me than a newborn babe?!  I have been drinking a lot of this smoothie.  We told the kids last night, and this morning Madeleine asked, "Now do we have a new baby?"

By the way, I'm cross-posting today on The Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. Click here to read my article: What Do You Do When the Epiphany Chalk Means Nothing to You?

Go see Like Mother, Like Daughter for more photos of contentment!

What Do You Do When Epiphany Chalk Means Nothing to You?

What do you do when the Epiphany chalk means nothing to you?

I actually got in a teeny-tiny little fight about this with myself this year. Where do I draw the line when my ignorance clashes with expectation. There are so many traditions in the Catholic Church, and keeping up with them, for a convert, is like speaking another language. The tradition of the blessing of the chalk on Epiphany, for one. I had never heard of it, nor did I understand its use or purpose. Not eating meat on Fridays.  Or midnight mass. There are so many new things to get accustomed to as a convert. I remember when we were in RCIA.... the teacher brought up
Holy Days of Obligation.... crickets.
Receiving the Eucharist on the tongue....crickets.
Additionally, as a convert, it can be so overwhelming because there are so many people to know about that I truly knew so little about...  Who is Fulton Sheen? Father Robert Barron? Cardinal Dolan? I literally knew who the Pope was, and Mother Theresa, and that was about it.

So, what is one to do when you feel like singing the song, "It means nothing to me"? What do I do when I just feel like it's all too much?!

If you literally have no clue as to the what or why, here are five options, as I see it:

1. First, you can learn, grow, and get used to it. The first option is the best option. So what if you're a convert? That's not a good excuse.  You need to learn about it, so it does mean something to you.  You should have technically asked all of your questions in your RCIA like a good catechumen. But, as I know from experiencing an amazing RCIA in the D.C./Baltimore diocese, there is no way you would cover everything you need to know in a matter of months, even in the best RCIA class.

2. Second, give yourself time.  Just like starting a new school (I'm remembering my first week of college, here), there is NO way- even if you were the best of the bestest students in your orientation week- that you would know where every classroom is, or where to get the best ice-cream on campus, or who to take for English 101.  It takes time. I was blessed with a husband who jumped in with both feet, reading any and every book he could get his hands on that had to do with Catholicism. I did a little bit of reading on the lives of saints, but not much beyond that. With our faith, considering its richness, don't beat yourself up if you don't "get" everything. It takes time.

3. Third, give yourself grace. When the first two options just aren't cutting it, give yourself grace. If you've already learned twenty new things this week, and you've gone to twenty new events this month, and you've started twenty organizations this year, STOP.  REST. Give yourself a little break. Because all people everywhere- even Catholics- have a lot on their plate. And YOU don't have to be the one to do it all. That's what a community is for.

4. Fourth, take responsibility if and when you can. Since we are a body, every member of the body has a job to do. The big toe and the head are two very different parts, and yes, the head is slightly more important than the toe. If you are in a leadership role, (in your parish, or even in your home-- motherhood counts, of course, as a leadership role!) it would be irresponsible not to learn and grow and take up your cross, in time, when you can.

5. Fifth and finally, discuss it with your husband or wife.  If you are married, an issue can easily be cleared up with a conversation. If your conscience feels strongly about something, but your husband (or wife) seems extremely nonchalant about the issue, talk and pray about it.  Perhaps their nonchalance is a sign that God wants you to stop worrying about the issue for now.  A lot of times, my husband and I feel really differently about an issue, and after talking about it, we have a clearer direction on where we need to go and what we need to do!

So. There you have it. I think it's a mixed bag, and if you simple cannot incorporate all of the feast days, traditions, and prayers, I think it is ok. But next year, try to add in more of them. And as a responsible adult, it is your job to make sure your children are getting the support they need in their faith and in their personal journey of growth toward God. And as a faithful spouse, it is important to discuss the various options together as a couple.

To close, here is a good explanation of Epiphany in all its glory!  @ Aleteia

Cross-posting at the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers

photo credit
from here

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekly Minutiae vol. 8~ Planners and Birthdays

A few friends told me that they were excited about this link up! Please consider adding your link!  I'm still here, and I will still be here coming up. :-)I mean,  hey, I'll still be here, or a shoddy imitation of myself will try to show up, at the very least. ;-)

what we’ve been up to…

and molly’s birthday!

Strawberry cream cheese cupcakes. They were gone in .2 days.

 I can say they were good, so....mmmm. 

blowing out candles!.... and happy girl!

We thought the kids needed another cat, so we decided to go to the McKamey's Rescue Clinic to ask about cats/kittens who were up for adoption.  This little guy was actually the only kitten they had. He warmed up to us quickly. He is between 7-8 weeks, the same age Aranea was when we lost her. We got to hang out with him, and get to know him a bit, and I just had a good feeling about him.Then, they told us his story... the woman working at the clinic said "We usually don't mention the background details, but this story was so unusual, I had to tell you. He was a stray cat who fell through the ceiling, into someone's office... " ("He fell from Heaven!" we all joked. Harhar.).

My parents have a cat- also white, actually- named Princess Guinevere Luna, so we decided he needed a royal name. The kids love Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, so they picked Prince Caspian.

Our sad feelings are mostly completely gone, I think. So far he likes to conquer unknown territories... such as the "islands" known as under-our-kitchen- cabinets and behind-our-dishwasher and behind-the-washer-and-dryer. (yes. imagine the worst... unscrewing the dishwasher and removing it to find him hiding behind it). He is also affectionately known as Mr. Sneaky.

So I guess you could say it all fell into place. :-))

Also of note in the special/fun planner.

I love my planner.
while we're on the excruciatingly cheesy level

It has stickers, holidays, a place for notes, and a place on each page where you can tear out your lists- to do lists and shopping lists- or what have you.

This is my second year using it, and it’s just so pretty and useful, I don’t think I could go back. It's also carried at Amazon, but I bought it at Hobby Lobby, as it also carries all kinds of fun things you can use to decorate it, if you OR your kids are into that kind of thing.

funny things they say

Frances: (holding a book about bugs) Pretend that this praying mantis wanted to be a human, so he prayed and asked God to make him a human, but he still had the head of a praying mantis.
Me: that is very kafkaesque, frances.
stephen: Yes, it is!

madeleine: I am the keeper of all the fairy secrets. (the girls are in love with The Secret of the Wings on Netflix).

frances: Do we have any candy canes?
stephen: No, they’re all gone. But we have cough drops.
frances: (running) YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
madeleine: (running) yay!!!!!!!!!!

first grader (or I should say SEVEN year-old) jokes:
molly: (at the dinner table) Y-o-u e-a-t f-e-e-t (delirious laughter) Those were my spelling words at school today. E-A-T F-E-E-T.

Anders: Sock. Sock. Sock. (I think he meant to say "First Graders ROCK.")
This just makes me really happy... 

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Friday, January 16, 2015

On the Romantic Spirit in Breakfast at Tiffany's (And Why We Shouldn't Romanticize Hollywood)

After recently re-watching and re-reading one of my all-time favorite American stories- Breakfast at Tiffany’s- (no no no I'm not talking about the song Breakfast at Tiffany's) I’m left feeling like the romantic spirit of Audrey Hepburn, which is so beautifully epitomized in the movie, is something to highlight. Her happy personality and charismatic sweetness are just lovely. She's clever without being annoying; she's sassy and sweet. And her cheerful optimistic idealism? Let's talk about that.

{By the way, if you're interested, just a minor note on purchasing the novella: I checked Amazon, iBooks, and Google Books ( now called Google Play), and it's cheapest on the iBooks for iPad, at 2.99}.

1. Romanticism: Can We Trust It?

I must admit I’m a bit skeptical about romanticism, in general. Lots of things are easy to romanticize, like eating chocolate cake, or smoking, or drinking, or doing other things that kill you, without the full effect or the full impact of the consequences present in mind. It would be easy to romanticize lots of things... having lots of kids, living in the South,  my years as an attendee at Westmont college. Westmont was actually the place where I first read the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's.

But all of those things have nitty gritty negatives. And if you can pardon me a diverging, Westmont was everything a person would want to idealize, actually: a school by the beach, near Hollywood, in a well-to-do neighborhood… and yes, my roommate and I had some shining moments. We learned to surf, we attended The Price is Right, and we visited a famous photographer in his fancy home.

 Yes, easy to romanticize.  Easy to have unrealistic, idealistic notions about such a thing.

 But to be honest, the time I spent there were some of the darkest days of my life, because of my involvement in a ministry to the Juvenile Hall (see this movie profile, the movie based on the true story I'm discussing here).  When that level darkness and sin hits us, the ideals come crashing down like waves at the beach. Can you hear me now? Yes, Hollywood can be icky.  Romanticism.... can we trust it? No, not really.  I got burned by romanticizing Hollywood... very burned. And yeah, it takes a while to shake that kind of a feeling.

2. And yet, we can still be Romantics... in some ways.

 The movie, despite all of my bad experiences and post-traumatic stress, is a happy place for me. It starts with a scene of Holly having “breakfast”- a croissant and a cup of coffee- “at Tiffany’s”- she’s actually just peering in the window, gazing at the jewelry while she eats her breakfast.  It's lovely.  She’s dressed to the nine’s. Her hair and makeup look professionally done (and not just in the for-the-movies way- part of her character in the movie is that she likes to go to the salon). Later we find out why.

Although we think of a romantic as merely an emotional person, or someone who gets caught up in the passion, imagination, or personal introspection, I think it is something more than that. To romanticize a situation means to make sweeping claims, to gloss over the hum drum or the inconvenient, to override the negative with a delicious wave of oftentimes sentimental sweetness that can pervade fear.

In Holly Golightly, we see the negatives and the positives to this sort of mindset. The guy, "Fred," in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is an odd sort of guy. Maybe he got burned by romanticism like I did, but he seems hesitant toward Holly Golightly- at best- because he doesn’t seem to know  how to be romantic, or how to tell Holly that he loves her. He’s not the wooing, romantic type, although he is a writer in New York City… what could be more romantic than that? But he’s actually rather stiff.  Holly, in contrast, makes the romantic personality quite appealing.

3. Holly's romantic edge draws us in

Holly is romantic about money. There is a scene with an accountant, where they review all of her expenditures for the last month. The accountant finally makes the official proclamation: you could write a book about this.... and it would be a tragedy! This is certainly not the highlight of Holly Golightly’s character, but it keeps her cheerful nonetheless.

Additionally, she is romantic about men. She thinks "Fred" looks like her brother, and so that's the springboard once they meet, and they’re automatically friends. She lays her head on his chest, on their second meeting, mind you, and takes a nap, and assures him, “It’s ok, because we’re only friends.” It sounds racy, but there honestly couldn’t be a classier movie. She thinks she can just wave off her ex-husband with a few stories of letting animals go free in the wilderness. She thinks she can run away to Buenos Aires to get married. Even though she is impulsive, her freedom says "I don't care what you think about me, and I'm going to lose sight of the negatives." She'll fiercely cling to her ideals no matter what.

 4. She's a dreamer, which is ok.

 This conversation speaks for itself.

Holly Golightly:You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Fred: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Fred: Sure.
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

Holly draws us in. And despite her hairy flaws, and bad days, she's really quite appealing.

5. The nature of her romantic edge is sweeping.

 Holly Golightly isn't just romantic about money and men. She is romantic about life. An ardent idealism accompanies her love for Tiffany's. She wants the best of everything- she wants a diamond, though she thinks anyone younger than forty shouldn't wear diamonds because that would be tacky. She feels things deeply, and at times has almost wild emotions. She climbs into other people’s apartments through the window at all hours. She sobs in the cab ride scene, near the end of the movie with Fred. She copes with the pain of life by grieving, and even sometimes partying her blues away, and when she feels like it, she throws her cat out on the street, because she doesn’t want to belong to anyone anymore, not even her cat.

6. Being a Romantic is actually adorable (admirable?).

I won’t spoil the plot for you. I won’t tell you if she gets her cat back. However, I would argue that while the first two aspects of being a romantic are not so good, being a romantic about life is something that we can effectively all learn from. The first two are helpful in some regards, but also can be damaging or could have a deep negative impact. But being romantic about life, in general? In this movie, it’s classy; it’s inspiring. That's why we love romantic movies. And I think Audrey Hepburn's character in particular, and especially in Breakfast at Tiffany's, speaks to something inside of all of us.  Sometimes it is not only right but important to gloss over details of our past, because it helps us deal with painful memories, and honestly I think it helps the people around us to open up when we let go of the past. It helps others to soften in their rigid, fearful ways. Although she claims to be the one who doesn't want to belong to anyone, her fears and her vulnerable emotions teach Fred how to actually love her, and actually love life, and actually love other people.

7. Being a Romantic brings out good in others.
The redeeming part of the narrative of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is that Fred, our narrator, doesn’t know how to be romantic, but Holly brings it out in him. And via Truman Capote and the director Blake Edward's genius, and really good acting? Breakfast at Tiffany’s, like many really good movies and TV shows produced in Hollywood, brings the romantic spirit out in us all.

 I'm not saying Hollywood is without its underbelly of crime and other disturbances, but what I'm saying is, we can all agree- the world over- that movies like this keep our spark alive, and just like my love for this movie and novella, that's something we can keep coming back to again and again.

 Have you read the novella or seen the movie? What do you think? Any other Audrey Hepburn fans out there?;)

Linking up with Kelly and all the lovelies at This Ain't The Lyceum

Thursday, January 15, 2015

~PHFR~ Let's Talk About Sewing + An Article at RH


My new favorite activity is working on sewing this quilt, while listening to JJ Heller.  Or, listening to JJ Heller while I cook dinner, and watch the kids, and clean the house.

Sewing it has made me think about why I started sewing, and the people who inspired me along the way.


(Having butter coffee and listening to music while sewing, now that is happy.)


Accompanying this picture of a crooked seam, I want to talk about two sewing books that make me happy, and the one that makes me ... grumpy.  Actually, I only have three sewing books in mind. The first two are golden. They are:

Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter 
Simple Sewing for Baby by Lotta Jansdotter

These books are fun, classy, and filled crazy-full of inspiration and happy feelings. You will learn a lot, and you will be inspired to start sewing or continue sewing- with vigor.  (Trust me!!!)

And a book that I didn't love, because it would have to fall into the "cheesy and filled with lots of unnecessary filler and bad advice" would be
We Love to Sew by Annabel Wrigley
now... the only redeeming thing about this latter book is that she gives the advice in the first chapter to "sew like a snail...."

which would have come in handy on this seam, if I had read it in time. :0)

Also, speaking of books.... although this is a little off-topic for sure. Have you heard of Neil Gaiman?He wrote (and is probably most famous for) Coraline, which- if you saw the Tim Burton film you know- was delightfully creepy - about an intelligent girl who finds an alternate world underground, which is a sinister and idealized version of her own life.  Also written by Gaiman is the book I just finished, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  (c. 2013). And it's not super-creepy, upon further reflection. Now you must know that I get creeped out really easily. I can tolerate Tim Burton because he's slightly creepy, but also just so obviously really, really talented and can make strange things weirdly appealing. Gaiman's writing toes the line between real and believable fantasy really well. He mixes monster-like beings with real life happenings almost effortlessly, and somehow you can really relate to the main character, unlike many sci-fi books where it's more about all the robots and how they fight, fight, fight, the end. No connection, sorry. This actually feels like a believable real-life story, and the fantasy elements are first-class; read: they just make it cooler, rather than being distracting. It would make a good beach read (Gaiman would probably shudder, sorry) because it isn't too long or overwhelming, and it draws you in like an absorbing novel should.

Oh, and it isn't archaic.  So that's nice.

She wore her hair in this up-do high ponytail the other day, and a random young mother asked if she could pick her up when they were playing at the Mall Play Area. She was like, "She is just so cute, can I pick her up?!" And I was like, "Um... uh....Lady, I don't even know you!" not so many words. ;) I think I just said, "Well...." and scooped her up and hurriedly walked the other direction. But she didn't mind; she followed me and told me how cute she was a few more times. Oh the joys and wonders of stranger interaction + children.  What would you do in that situation?

I have an article over at Real Housekeeping today! Click right here to read it: Tricks and Tips For Beating the Winter Blues As a Stay-At-Home Mom.

Also, if you missed it last week, I did the link-up that didn't exist.... my PHFR Book Talk. :-)

I can't wait to show you the finished product on this quilt! I think you will find it hilarious.

Go see Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pictures of contentment.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekly Minutiae vol. 7~ Little Lost Kitty

This week started out pretty chill, and by that I mean 7 degree weather. We put all of the Christmas decorations in the attic somewhere in the middle of the week, but the Christmas tree was gone by Monday.
As I mentioned, we had something sad happen that none of us saw coming… our kitty went missing on Tuesday. We loved that little kitty so stinking much. I already wrote about it here. I saw responsibility and pet-love in our kids that also went missing the day she did. So so sad.

On Monday we rested and I had my usual loner coffee date while our babysitter came to watch the kiddos. I read the O magazine and got my planner caught up.

I baked nine mini loaves of that Buttermilk Banana Bread (with blueberries!) and we were surprised by a playdate for Molly on two days of her Christmas break. I think I could have done 7 and had enough batter (I replaced 2 of the bananas in the recipe with blueberries, which turned out really tasty, but there wasn't as much batter this way), but I shared some of our loaves of bread with the mother of her friend as a Thanks for inviting her along.
Here's the recipe I used... from The House of Smiths

Here she is. So sweet and still little! 

Aranea the kitty would try to get out the door every time we left the house. I think at some point Tuesday morning, she slipped out while I was carrying groceries and some other stuff from our car in through the front door.  So yeah. I started worrying a little after lunch. We tried banging things all around, hoping she was sleeping a long time. Then we started hunting around the neighborhood, just hoping someone would find her. Our neighbor said she heard Meowing on Tuesday morning, and meowing from a tree, so she must have tried to get back in, and then wandered up a tree. The funny thing is, we never heard a cat meow. We left food and blankets on the front and back porch that night, just hoping. No words.

I went for a long walk looking for her after Stephen got home, then he went for a long walk himself. We posted it on the neighborhood email board, and we checked with the nearest animal shelter and Humane society.  I got a bit of sewing done in between tears and prayers and talking to our kids, who were devastated.

Our house miraculously cleaned itself (kidding) and I prepped a bit for a little girls’ seventh birthday.
Did I mention she is an art fanatic? She especially loves drawing with gel pens.

I am so thankful for this guy, for my friends and all the support we have in our community. It’s a great thing, especially when going through hard times.
I thought we would have an artsy birthday party, but the first request was Frozen. I said no (no no no no no), we did that (at Halloween) already. So wish me luck as I attempt to carry out a Fancy Nancy Birthday party next week. ACK!

Funny Things they say:

Madeleine: Mommy, where's my pan-yo? (keyboard)

Madeleine: Frances, did you know that Jesus is Lord? It's because he's such good news.

(This video is on instagram, if this story is super-confusing)
Madeleine: “Mommy, I want to make a video!”
Me: “Ok, say something cute.”
(Practice round while Mommy attempts to record but does it wrong)
Madeleine:  “I love Mommy.” (I think)
Me: Ok, that’s sweet…. try again.
Madeleine: as clear as a bell “I love MOLLY.”
Me: I thought you said I love Mommy! (ensue laughter as I FORCE her {or she is obligated} to do a redo and say “I love Mommy” instead.)

Frances likes making up names while she’s playing with Madeleine…

Frances: Her daughter’s name is… Slezzlers. And pretend her name is… Lasagnarita, and her name is Brush. Hairbrush. And I tell her when I want her to brush my hair. So if you need her to brush your hair, just call her and she’ll be right over on the tiger’s cage on the seesaw.
Madeleine: Come here!
Frances: Why do you need her?
Madeleine: Because I need her to brush my hair.
Frances: We only do it one time….. so… bye.

Stephen was listening to Father Robert Barron and he said "distinctness," and Madeleine responded, very seriously: "He said stinkers."

Can I add some musings along with this Weekly Minutiae post? I want to talk about reading more books (as in, a certain number of books), for just a minute.

Some people have mentioned to me, "Don't worry about trying too hard with the reading thing. I went through that - wanting to be well-read/wanting to read more books/wanting to read a greater number of books- for a while, and it's not something you should pressure yourself with."

That advice is solid gold. I agree wholeheartedly and 100%. However, this is just where I'm at right now.  It does me good to have goals, and to push myself to reach those goals. For some people, running a marathon might be their goal of choice for the year. For others, a Whole 30. For others, no sugar or no carbonated beverages. These goals are kind of ridiculous because they're high-reaching. But no one says, "Oh don't run a marathon- that's nuts." Or, "Don't give up sugar, you shouldn't worry about that." So why shouldn't we support each other if reading more books is the Goal-du-jour? Let's do it even if people think it's stupid.

It's a link-up!
weekly minutiae (min-oo-shuh) updates, funny things they say, photo dumps, not a reveal-all necessarily, but  a "blogging is fun" type deal with all of the fun trivial details that make life fun and/or interesting.