Monday, June 6, 2016


Happy, happy 14th birthday to our third-born kiddo, second-born daughter (who I was CERTAIN was going to be a boy!), big sister to 3, little sister to 2, almost-a-high-schooler Lydia Joy. LJ is fabulous and we are so thankful that God blessed our family with her 14 years ago today. I pray that this year ahead brings her many new adventures and experiences and times of learning. She is great and we love her lots!

At 14, Lydia is in to theater (she was in all 6 of the plays during her middle school career), her friends, church, hammock-ing, Frappuccinos, watching Gilmore Girls, taking walks, school (she is a top-notch student), Trout Lake Camp and Miranda Sings. She is a sweet, thoughtful girl who often makes me laugh. She is a great friend and a good sister (most of the time!). I'm looking forward to seeing what the year ahead will bring for her as she moves to high school.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

On my stack

If you know me well, you will know that I love, love, love to read! I always have a book or two that I am working on. Also, I love to listen to audio books when I am running, so most of the time I've got one on my phone that I'm listening to as well. Not to mention the never-ending stack by my bed of "to read" books. So, this is the stack I'm working through lately.

Here go my thoughts. From top to bottom. Enjoy!

And It Was Beautiful by Kara Tippetts. Kara (pastor's wife, author, blogger, mother-of-4) died in March of 2015. This book was put together after her death, I believe from blog posts over the years as she struggled with cancer. She had written two books before this one and I appreciate her writing and am looking forward to reading this one too.

Savor by Shauna Niequist. I ADORE Shauna and her writing. I have read everything she has written. A couple of her books I've read 3 or 4 times! Savor is a daily devotional book and I love it! It is how I start each morning (well, honestly, once in a while the morning gets away from me and I have to play catch up the next day . . . or the day after that). I got it for my birthday last year and am truly "savor-ing" it. I can't tell you how many days I have opened it up and it has said so precisely what I really needed to hear on that specific day. And many mornings I want so badly to read the next day's entry, but I (usually, anyway) restrain myself. You won't be sorry if you pick up a copy, I promise! P.S. Shauna has new book coming out later this year that I am looking forward to enjoying as soon as my (pre-ordered, gifted by the same friend who gave me my copy of Savor for my birthday) copy arrives in the mail!

Roots & Sky by Christie Purifoy. I haven't connected so deeply with a book since reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. And if you know me well, you know that it pretty much the highest compliment that I can give. Christie is doing for my soul the same thing that Sara Groves' music does. The book is wonderful and I am really, really enjoying it and taking my time. I'm already sad that it is nearly over. The subtitle is "A Journey Home in Four Seasons" and it is her thoughts on life and seasons and change and home, following a move her family made from Florida to an old farmhouse in Pennsylvania. I love it!

Giddy Up, Eunice by Sophie Hudson. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed Sophie's other two books as well as her blog and her podcast. She is hilarious, while also conveying deeper, meaningful thoughts. Giddy Up, Eunice did not disappoint and I enjoyed each and every page. It tackles the subject of the importance of intergenerational friendships among women, christian women in particular. It explores more deeply a few friendships from scripture that crossed over generational lines. I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader's copy of the book. It actually comes out this week, so get your hands on a fresh-off-the-presses copy for yourself!

Life Together in Christ by Ruth Haley Barton. This is the book that I am working through with my fabulous group of "Bible Study" girls. (We are a cross between a traditional Bible study and a book club with more significant depth of material, and always focused on spiritual formation). Those three ladies are so dear to me and love me so well, even through my hard, gross stuff . . . but, back to the book. I have really enjoyed it so far. We are a little more than half way through and it has some challenging material, but it is (almost always) good to be challenged and pushed a bit. The books subtitle is "Experiencing Transformation in Community" and our prayer is that that is true of us. It gives you a great model of how to have a keeping life with Christ in the company of others.

Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell. I know almost nothing about this book, but what I do know is that it was HIGHLY recommended by a friend of mine who has recommended books to me for years and not let me down yet . . . so I'm trusting this one will be a winner. I requested it from the library and it just came in, so I'm excited to get started.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I just finished this one over Memorial Day weekend. It was LONG (771 pages!) and there were times that I wanted to quit. But more than I wanted to quit, I wanted to know how it ended, so I stuck it out. I was glad that I made it and it saw it through to the end. The plot was interesting (although, personally, I think it could have been just as interesting with fewer pages!) and I appreciated the diversity of characters and the character development. Not the best book I've ever read, but not bad either. If you enjoy art or art history, it might be right up your alley since the overarching plot involved a stolen painting. It is a good read as long as you don't mind a decent amount of bad language, a bit of violence and murder, a pinch of gruesome detail and lots of drugs! It won a Pulitzer Prize, so there's that too.

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline. Another friend recommendation that I requested from the library that just came in (don't you hate it when all your books come in at the same time . . . when it rains, it pours, I guess!). Looking forward to reading this one as well. A novel. A thriller. A page turner. Every once in a while I love a novel that keeps you up late in to the night because just can't put it down. I'm guessing that's what this one will be.

A few that I have finished. A few that I am currently working through. A few that are up next. What are you reading lately?

None of the links are affiliate links. I get no benefit from you reading the books or not reading them. I just wanted to let you know what I'm reading and enjoying lately in case you might enjoy it too. All links are to Amazon, although there are a million other places that you can buy books. Also, I can't read e-books. I need actual pages made of paper to turn. I know that's not as convenient as just carrying around your thin, light e-reader . . . but, that's how I roll!