This is the part of the month where I get to look back on what I ate, read, watched, listened to, loved, and whatever else, thanks to Leigh Kramer's link-up. It's fun; you should try it!
- Ricky and I celebrated eight years of marriage. We found a great babysitter using Care.com (which I must say is a great option for people who just moved thousands of miles and gave up two amazing babysitters back home) and went to see Over the Rhine in Alexandria, Virginia. It was such a treat. I already professed my love for Over the Rhine in last month's post, but they are truly amazing to see live. Some people sound better on their album; not them. They absolutely fill up the space with the most gorgeous, full sound and it feels like an otherworldly experience.
- I've been going to the gym twice a week. This is a big deal. There's a gym within walking distance of our house that offers two hours of childcare per day, so really it's a win-win for us. The kids get excited to go see "gym buddies" and I get to work out on a regular basis. I'm starting small as to not scare myself away (that's how these things work for me), but I'd like to move up to three days eventually. It feels good.
- I've been writing more. I have a new project in the works that I'm really excited to share.
- We're looking for a church community. It's been slow-going, but there are few more on my "list" that I'd like to try out. Honestly, the sheen of living in a new place is wearing off, and I'm feeling the loneliness more acutely these days. We have a little joke about our new town--when we can't find something, it's just "hidden in the trees" because, well, there are just so many trees here compared to the desert we came from. So, I hope that our place, whatever it may be, is simply hidden in the trees and we haven't found it yet.
- I so enjoyed the memoir When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman. I laughed, cried, and nodded all the way through it.
- I took my time with All is Grace by Brennan Manning with John Blase, processing the difficulty of his story . It's a sad book, in a way, but also one of the most encouraging things I've read in some time. Grace is a mystery we try too hard to explain, I think. I have some more thoughts on this book that I'm trying to form into a post.
- I'm in the middle of The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church by Greg Boyd. I've wanted to start reading some of his books, and this seemed a good place to start. I hope to have some thoughts to share on that too. He addresses things that have bothered me for some time, but also challenges some preconceived notions that I realize I still have. It's a stretching read.
- Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist, which comes out next week, is definitely on my list for November and I've also been wanting to read Carry on Warrior by Glennon Melton.
I'm back in a good cooking routine, making dinner every weeknight and usually one big meal on the weekends. When I was working night shifts earlier this year, I pretty much lost the will to cook; there was just no enjoyment in spending the time, and cleaning the mess, unless maybe I had a long string of days off and a wee extra bit of energy. I needed things to be as simple as possible. So, it's been nice to rediscover the catharsis of stirring, tasting, seasoning, and smelling at the close of the day, as the sun sets, or the thrill of throwing something in the crockpot at ten in the morning and knowing dinner's done. My favorites this month:
- Butternut squash lasanga made using a sauce with pureed cooked squash and thickened milk, with lots of warm spices.
- Pasta with the same sauce from the lasagna, with Italian sausage and cooked spinach, sprinkled with parmesan. Better than mac & cheese, in my opinion.
- Sweet and Spicy Chicken Drumsticks and oven roasted broccoli--just cut up a head of broccoli, toss it in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and shredded parmesan, and roast on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or so. Even the kids devoured it, much to my happy surprise.
- Tiny Desk Concerts! Do you know about these? I recently discovered them and think they're so fun. My favorites so far are: Basia Bulat, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, The Civil Wars, and The Lone Bellow.
- This time of year, I just want to watch the Harry Potter movies. Ricky and I did the closest thing we could to a marathon by watching all of them in about two weeks. We may have been a little giddy about it.
- We also discovered the show Scandal. It's a fun political drama that's pretty well-written, even if the central romantic relationship is kind of ridiculous. Anyway, it's a good watch-together show.
- We've been having living room floor picnics and introducing the kids to "old" movies on Friday nights: E.T., Disney's Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp, Robin Hood, and Home Alone (which was pretty inappropriate for our kids. I did not remember some of that stuff. Oops.) I want to do The Sound of Music, but I don't know if they'll sit for it just yet.
So that's my October. How was yours?