Monday, May 25, 2015

Monthly Recap vol. 21~ May 2015 Some Good Reads, The Funny Things They Say, and Just Generally Catching Up

Ah, Spring, how I love thee...

Welcome to the Monthly Recap... where I share from our last month on the last Monday of the month! I hope we're all awake today, this lovely Memorial Day, because this is going to be rather long. Sorry! ;) Will you be able to follow if I don't include numbers? ;)

I have news! I have a new page on my blog- My Articles By Subject. Go see! It was a little time-consuming, but I'm so glad I finally did it. :-) So many of my CM and RH articles feel lost since they're not at this place, and since they can't have a proper place in my cloud, but I feel like at least for now, I've remedied that problemo.

Sure, Madeleine turned three (you can read all about it here (PHFR~ Madeleine's Birthday!)
but the big thing is, she is now completely potty-trained (actually, she has been for a while- yes we've only had one in diapers for some time!!!;), and one of the things I wanted for her was to be able to go with Frances to Tuesday morning Reading Circle. It is basically just a sweet organization run by some amazing women every Tuesday,  where they do crafts, read books, play, and in some cases learn how to read. Sort of a cross between a library Storytime and Sunday School (without the churchiness).  It is really cool program, because the parents can drop off their kids for a few hours (for free!), the crafts are awesome, the bookmobile visits them every year, and I know that they are in very good hands. My Mom knows the woman in charge through their involvement in another ministry here in town.

Anyhow,  I wanted Madeleine to go. So I had just gotten them these dresses at BabyGap, and thought that with matching dresses, she would be motivated to go. Well- guess what?! It worked the first time! She went, and kept talking about it, and was so proud of the craft that she made, and she said that she loved it. The second time around, I tried to get them to go. I didn't dress them alike, and Madeleine decided she was scared and wouldn't go, unless Mommy stayed with her. Nope, not going to happen. The third week, I dressed them alike again, and guess what? She still wouldn't go.  Two days later, she actually turned three. So I thought on the fourth week- this is our week! I'm going to *make* her go to Storytime, matching dress or not. Guess what?

It didn't work. :-( 
;-) of course it didn't. IRL, people. IRL.

Other than her birthday, we spent a lot of time with family this month. We were with Stephen's side for Mother's Day, and my side for the day before Mother's Day/My Dad's Birthday/early Memorial Day.
Ahh.... Going to the river for my Dad's much fun! ;)

Books Read this month....

Orthodoxy(by G.K. Chesterton (reread) Like St. Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset, this book needed to be reread, as it is one of my very favorites. Ahhhh. There are so many quotes, quips, and one-liners. He was truly a master of the paradox, and "The Paradoxes of Christianity" is my new favorite Chesterton essay. So good. I was able to reread almost half. But May still isn't over!

Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmer's Markets  This is simply a cookbook, but it focuses on shopping your local farmer's markets, a little motivational push that personally, I needed! I'm trying to eat healthier this pregnancy/season, because otherwise I know I would burn out, so this book is great inspiration on that front.

I also read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. This is a very beautiful, well-written novel. And it is entertaining and hard to put down. However, I did almost put it down a few times. It's kinda long (over 500pages), and really, if it weren't for the unbeatable prose, she crosses the line (for me) in her portrayal of Christianity, at times. It seemed an integral part of her storytelling is the meeting of two primitive worlds: the worldview of a Baptist missionary family from the South, and the Congolese of a small village. It is set in an important time in the Congo's history: when they became independent from Belgium and America. I wondered however, at times, if her attitude isn't just a little lost, you know? The father in the book is certainly not portrayed kindly or fairly, in my humble opinion. But I did keep on going, and I'm very glad I did.  I would recommend it for anyone who appreciates literary novels, but read it with your guard up, as always, when it comes to books like this. Also? Her portrayal of Africa (based on real-life experiences from her childhood) is like opening up a National Geographic, and someone really, actually explaining to you what is going on. Which is just cool. Have you ever opened those magazines and thought: What are these people thinking/feeling/doing and why are they all malnourished and bloated?  Now you'll know. You'll get it. And you might want to go hunt an antelope or something. Also it will make you feel spoiled to be an American (missionary ...or not).

Eleanor & Park made it to MMD's "Un-put-down-able" list... which, of course, made me want to read it. I found this book witty and charming. But like Beautiful Ruins, I feel like I can't really recommend it without saying to read it with your guard up. As a thirty-something looking back at young love, I found it smart and wise. It was a humbling look at interracial relationships in our generation, and what makes people fall in love. But in terms of letting the younger set read it, it's a little graphic in parts.  I agree that this would make a really great beach read/Mom's Summer Reading book for its entertainment value + smarts, and for that reason I would read this author, Rainbow Rowell, again. For further reading and discussion, here's an online discussion of Eleanor & Park (via

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I kept hearing good things about this book, and it was something I felt like I needed to read. While I loved the characters, and the world she created was so believable- and really, I couldn't put it down (I finished it in one weekend) I will warn you: there will be tears, and they will be ugly. That's really I can say about this one, unfortunately. If you read it, let's have a conversation and share tissues/issues.
**SPOILER** This book deals with a very controversial moral/ethical issue... one that will leave you (if you're anything like me) not a little bit angry. On the one hand, it's good to know about. On the other hand, I was shaking by the end of the book... and not in a good way.  I'm glad I read it, because I understand the issues at stake better, but oh heavenly days, was it ever heavy. I have more thoughts on the issue, but like I said, you can't really discuss it without spoilers. It would make a great book club read for that reason, though.

I read the last two books in a 48 hour time period. But I skipped church altogether, so, that is *not* recommended (also, I was pregnant, but still).

I actually didn't do too much in the way of watching this month.  I decided to declare May the G.K. Chesterton month, so I was focusing on reading... as much as I could;)
Father Brown continues to be an ongoing project... I've read 2.5 so far. I know- not that great, but May isn't over!;) And hey! Chesterton has things to say about the aforementioned ETHICAL ISSUES. He has things to say! More on this at a later date!;)

Watching and Listening (and Eating)...

Far From the Madding Crowd looks very good... but like I said, I've done very little watching lately.
"House of Cards" continues to be "our show," (that would be , me and Stephen) but it's rather dark, so we're unsure if we're going to keep going with it.
"She and Him" has a good new album.
I was doing a listen/compare/contrast of The Magnetic Fields and The Magnetic Zeroes, and my loyalty still belongs in college (can you guess which one I mean)?

Just to clarify, The Magnetic Fields have more matter, with less art. But the first volume of their 69 love songs is still good (and Stephen and I both enjoyed these discs before we were ever married- fun fact#357).

Finally...we have been eating well.

I have unofficially declared July to be "NaNoJuMo" which obviously, is National Novel July Month... and I know that makes sense... 'specially since I'm doing it alone. ;) But... here me out... I just know that with a baby due in September (she'll be 2 months old at the beginning of November), NaNoWriMo is probably definitely out for me this year.  I was not a little bit bummed out when I figured that out.  But- but! NaNoJuMo to the rescue! You know what that means.... I can make my own rules. Maybe this is a terrible idea?! Maybe not?! We'll find out when I finish the novel (crosses fingers!) ;)

Frances (overlooking Molly's playing of Minecraft) Is this supposed to be the best house in the history of history?

Molly: (reciting a rhyme that her best friend made up at school about POP)
sprite was walking through the town,
coca cola knocked him down.
dr pepper picked him up,
now we're drinking 7-up.
7-up got the flu
now we're drinking mountain dew,
mountain dew fell off the mountain,
now we're drinking from the fountain.
fountain broke, now we're back to Ch-err-y coke!

(I just had to write that down. I honestly am so impressed that her friend {really, actually, truly} made that up.)

Madeleine: Daddy... last Christmas, Yo-Yo was a girl. um...?

(Based on hearing me and Stephen telling stories about when we were little....)
Madeleine: I remember when I used to be old. I learned how to go potty!

Stephen: I think Yo-Yo fell in the toilet.
Me: No.
Stephen: Oh, wait. There's wet footprints all the way upstairs. Ok... no. It was the bath (Still full from the kids' bath the night before).
Me: (all the feels) That was a a temporary state of emergency right there.
Me: (drying him off) Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

(and just for the record, Yo-Yo has had a real bath before).

Remembering... when Frances was 2:

Frances {talking about going to the family reunion with Grammy and Gramps:}:
"I'm excited about Molly's family reunion! I.....I'm excited about my family reunion."

Madeleine: uh-oh. uh-oh. uh-oh.
Frances: "Madeleine, there's an uh-oh on your window..." (in the car)
(later at dinner) "Madeleine, there's an uh-oh on your tray."

It was raining, and Molly said from bed, "It's like a rainforest out there..." and Stephen overheard Frances saying from the bunk below, "Molly, it IS a rainforest out there."


LC Hudgens said...

I read Eleanor and Park a year or so ago. I thought the look into the life of a teen with a rough homelife was super powerful. I let my 16 year old read it but discussed it with her.

Tacy said...

I don't know what it would be like with teens, but I think that's a pretty good approach!!;)