Saturday, August 20, 2016

12 Things I learned this summer

1. The Avett Brothers still rock my world.
Have you heard their new album, True Sadness? It is so good! Squeeee! It is folk-y and moody and blues-y and rock-y and beautiful. There's even some yodeling, y'all. This is some good stuff.
I love that we've been following them for over 13 years and that we "knew them when." I love that they're local (from Concord, NC, baby!). I love that mine and David's first dance at our wedding reception was one of their songs and the last song played at our reception was one of theirs, too.  I love that we've been to see them in concert almost a dozen times and that we still love listening to their music. I love that this is one more beautiful part of mine and David's history together.

2. I have amazing willpower. I don't always use it, but when I do - it is freaking amazing!
We did Whole30 back in April. I'm on day 18 of my second time through. I feel so much better when I eat fresh fruits and veggies, cut out the dairy and sugar, and lay off the grains and alcohol. I'll admit it's not the most fun experience and going out to eat is a nightmare, but it feels so good to exercise that willpower and have some restraint. I've found a load of great recipes that I have in my repertoire and can pull out at random. I feel like every time I do this I'll get better at it and reinforce in my own mind that I CAN do it. Eating healthy is the new ice cream. Or something like that.

3. I truly love what I do.
Just see this post if you're wondering what I'm talking about.

4. I enjoy a challenge.
See #2, first of all. But also, one of my business partners posted a challenge to use our face regimen every morning and night for 30 days. And I only missed ONE night! If you challenge me to something, especially if it's something I love and believe in, then I will do it. Also, I need reminders. My brain sometimes forgets about things.
My 2016 Reading challenge is another example of enjoying a challenge. I'm almost finished, but I need a few reminders to help me along the way. Phone reminders are super-helpful, btw!

5. Erin can never be replaced.
Our babysitter graduated in June and left for NC State last Saturday. Her first day of classes were yesterday. (She did well, btw.) Before she left, I took the kids over to say goodbye and to give her a little something. Xander almost cried. The boy who never really seemed to care when or if Ms. Erin was coming over, broke down in tears the week before she left when I told him I was going to the store to pick up a going away present for her. She has left a big impact on my kids. And I'm so thankful we had that time with her. Now I'm working on finding another sitter. Not another Erin, but another sitter. Cuz Mama needs her date nights!

6. I love eaudiobooks!!!
I don't know why I resisted for so long. Actually I do. They are not always the most user-friendly. However, when there was a book I wanted to read and I couldn't find it at the library on disc, but it was an audiobook, I decided to try it again. And now I'm hooked. I can listen to it anywhere - while I'm cooking, doing dishes, in the car, walking from the parking lot, shopping. It's fantastic. I highly recommend checking it out at your local library. I use hoopla, one click digital, and overdrive mostly. Fan-freaking-tastic!

7. Frozen watermelon is the bomb! (And frozen grapes make me happy, too.)
So, if I could have a popsicle while on Whole30, I might. A fudgsicle? Even better. However, I'm not allowed to have sugar. But you know what makes a great substitute? That's right. Frozen watermelon. It's cold, it's sweet. It's yummy. We've been eating frozen grapes for awhile now, so this just adds a little variety. :)

8. It's not so bad reading a screenplay after all.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Who's read it yet?? The format wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I just wish I could get into their heads a little more. I'm not even halfway through, so no spoilers, please!

9. I really don't like scary things.
David and I started watching the show Stranger Things on Netflix. It is so creepy. I had a love/hate relationship because I really don't like being scared. But I do love an intense, interesting story. So to make my way through it I just talk to the TV and tell the characters all the stupid things they're doing and why they shouldn't do them. David laughs at me. I'm thankful for him because he could easily have told me to shut up or resisted watching with me, but instead he chooses to laugh.

10. Camp Mimi and Camp Grandma get 5 stars! (Reviews by both me and my children)
The kids favorite camp this summer was their week with their grandparents. They really cherish each other. I think they all had fun (although everyone was exhausted by the end of the week). My kids and their grandparents are making memories that will last a lifetime. I don't take that for granted and  I realize just how blessed we are. Also, there is really something to be said about getting some time away from your kids. I love my kids and I enjoy them immensely, but after a week away from them I enjoy them even more! This post shows just how much fun David and I had while the kids were away.

11. Who knew sparkling water was good?
I don't really drink sodas anymore. The only time I do is if I have to share a drink with David (and most of the time he's willing to get tea for me if it's available) or if I'm mixing a little something else in it. (My favorite mixed drink is Diet Dr. Pepper and coconut rum, FYI.) However, since I can't have anything except water, tea and black coffee while on Whole30, I've gotten kinda bored with it and wanted something new. A colleague of mine brought in some lime flavored sparkling water (mostly because she's pregnant and needed something for indigestion) but offered one to me. I figured I could have it so I might as well try it. And guess what? I actually like it! I don't like seltzer water or any soda water that's unflavored, but I really like the flavored ones! And they're naturally flavored, so - Bonus! My faves are lime, black cherry and lemon. I don't love the coconut one, surprisingly.

12. It's okay to ask questions and not always follow the rules - even self-imposed ones.
Man, this is a hard one for me. I'm a question-asker, but also a rule-follower. I'm not a yes-man, but I don't buck up against the system too much. But let me tell ya, as I get older this is changing. I want to know why and what for and what's the purpose and who's involved. I want to learn more for myself and not just take everything at face value. I am still struggling with the church thing - not so much because we haven't found one, but I'm more cautious, skeptical and firm in my opinions. I'm not as easily swayed as I once was. I've been reading the book, Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey and it has rocked my world. I'm going to go back and read Jesus Feminist next. Also in my queue is The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle. There are so many things that I think we Christians have gotten wrong. So many things that, if the disciples and Jesus were living on earth now, would make them sad or angry or both. I don't know y'all. And I don't think I'll ever know all the answers, but what I do know is that Jesus commanded us to love God and love each other. So, right now, that's what I'm going to do.

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