I’m so sad that summer is coming to an end. I always experience a touch of melancholia during the final days of my favorite season, and this year feels particularly hard as it highlights just how quickly my little guy is growing up. We had a wonderful summer together, and I’m excited about the fun memories we’ll be making in the upcoming seasons, but I can’t help but feel that time is shooting by much faster than I can keep up. Luke continually reminds me that all I can do is embrace the good memories while they are here, and I’m thankful for this little corner of the internet that allows me to document some of life’s bright moments. Here are just a few of the things that have been part of my August.
On My Bookshelf. . .
I’ve been plowing through the audiobooks lately. Some noteworthy titles have included Nick Hornby’s Funny Girl (good, but not great); the first installment of The Penderwicks (absolutely adorable); and E.L. Konigsburg’s The View from Saturday (wonderful, and I can’t imagine how I’d managed to miss this one until now). I’m currently listening to The Power of Habit and am finding it fascinating. Check back in a few weeks for my Quick Lit post, where I’ll be sharing full reviews of these books.
A few weeks ago I started Lisa Genova’s latest novel, Inside the O’Briens, which is about a family’s experience with Huntington’s Disease. Unfortunately the lending period on my digital copy expired before I could finish the book, so now I’m back on my library’s wait list. . . . Like Genova’s other books, Inside the O’Briens is heavy but powerful, and I hope I’ll be able to return to it quickly.
As for nonfiction, Luke and I are currently reading The Business of the 21st Century, by Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. The book explains the business of network marketing, and we were introduced to this book by friends of ours who have found success with the principles Kiyosaki describes. I’m not totally sold on the idea yet, but I am definitely intrigued.
Courtesy of Netflix. . .
We’re still working our way through Friends (currently on season 4), and I’m still waiting to be impressed. . . . We finally wrapped up our Chuck marathon, and I was quite satisfied with how the series ended. (I’m always relieved when that happens; I hate it when a previously beloved show ends poorly . . . *ahem* . . . Lost.)
After Chuck, we dove into the final season of Glee. When Luke and I watch a newly released season of a show, we generally re-watch the previous seasons, but since Luke isn’t a huge fan of Glee we went straight to season 6. My thoughts on this season were similar to my take-aways from past seasons. I was disappointed by the show’s blatant agenda (particularly the Christian-bashing and normalizing of gender reassignment), but I was impressed with the delicate handling of some other tough issues, such as the treatment of mental illness and the portrayal of gays as having an identity beyond their sexuality. I didn’t love the storylines this season, nor did I care for the musical selections (too much 70s and 80s music and not enough contemporary songs). And yet, I can still say that I thoroughly enjoyed the show’s final season. The musical performances continued to blow me away, and I enjoyed the frequent reappearances of past characters. I also liked getting a glimpse into the characters’ future lives. I’m so sad to see this series come to an end and I wish there were more shows like it. My Rating: 4 stars.
What I’ve Been Singing. . .
“Good Good Father”: We sang this song in church a few weeks ago, and I’ve been singing it to myself ever since. The chorus says, “You’re a good good Father, it’s who you are // And I am loved by you, it’s who I am.” This message of grace is one that I need to hear daily, and the words to the song are serving as a good replacement for the self-flagellation that usually runs through my head.
“Snuggle Puppy”: Sandra Boynton’s adorable board book has been a recent favorite with Charlie. If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s about a Mommy dog (Daddy dog?) singing a song to her/his little “snuggle puppy,” and a majority of the book is the song itself. I’d been trying out a new tune each time we read the book, but could never settle on a melody I liked; so I looked the song up online, and sure enough, there’s an actual tune that accompanies the words of the book. Now I sing the official song when I read the book to Charlie. . . and countless other times throughout the day. I’m glad he likes it, because I sure do!
New to My Closet. . .
Nike Revolution 2 Running Shoes: My last pair of tennis shoes was more than five years old and long past due for a replacement. I purchased that last pair at a specialty shoe store (back when I actually used running shoes for running), and after spending at least twenty minutes with a specialist who scrutinized my feet and my gait, I was presented with a pair of neon blue shoes. At the time, I was dismayed that this “perfect match” didn’t come in a more subdued color, but over the years the neon grew on me. . . so much so, that when it came time for a replacement pair, my main requirement was that it incorporate a fluorescent hue. I found these latest kicks on Amazon. I tend to shy away from making clothing purchases online, but the price was right, the reviews were good, and Amazon’s amazing return policy eliminated the risk factor. Fortunately, I’m loving these shoes; my only complaint is that I wish they were a bit more colorful. My, how the pendulum has swung!
What I’m Wish-listing. . .
A Wooden Activity Cube for Charlie: Luke and I have been putting a lot of thought into how we want to handle toys in our family. This post about a minimalist toy policy appeals to our recent less-is-more sensibilities, and we would like to apply a similar approach to Charlie’s toys. However, fewer toys means that the items we do bring into our home need to be of higher quality—both in material, and their capacity for entertainment. These types of toys are surprisingly difficult to find, but my search has led me to the amazing world of wooden activity cubes. These toys are pricey, but their durability and versatility make me think that buying one would be a worthwhile investment. Don’t tell Charlie, but I think I know what Santa will be bringing him for Christmas!
My Latest News Source. . .
theSKimm Daily E-Mail: The Skimm is a daily email that delivers the latest news headlines in a fun (often snarky) format. The Skimm trends pretty liberal, but I’ve come to expect that from the media. And while it’s not for those who think entertainment and news should not be mixed, I personally have a hard time reading the news when I don’t find it engaging, so these quick emails have been a great way for me to keep up to date on what’s going on in the world. I have particularly appreciated the weekly interviews with the current presidential candidates, as I’ve been having a hard time keeping track of who the candidates are, let alone where they stand on various issues.
Fun Food Find. . .
Smoked Salmon Skewers from Costco: I craved smoked salmon my entire pregnancy, and now that it’s no longer off the menu I simply can’t get enough! I got these awesome skewers at Costco for a steal (just $10 for more than twenty kabobs), and they have been the perfect way to satisfy my seafood craving. They’re marketed as an appetizer, but I’ve been making a meal out of a few skewers alongside some cheese wedges, a giant salad, and a bowl of fresh summer berries. Sooooo delicious!
What I’m Excited About. . .
Charlie’s New High Chair: Charlie’s just about ready to start with solid foods, so last week Luke assembled the high chair we received at our baby shower. It quickly became apparent that that particular high chair (which we’d registered for) was not going to work for our little peanut, as the tray table was situated WAY too far away from the seat. (We should have read the customer reviews before registering, as they all complained about this design flaw.) We were unable to find any other chairs we liked at Babies R Us, so we did some research and found this Abiie wooden chair on Amazon. It wasn’t cheap, but the quality is amazing. I especially love the dishwasher safe tray cover, as well as the fact that the chair will transition with Charlie as he grows (it can even be used as an adult chair). Charlie has been hanging out with us now at meal times, and we’re excited to start feeding him food of his own in his fancy new chair.
I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading, singing, watching, or getting excited about lately. Leave a comment to share your August highlights, then head to Leigh Kraemer’s site where I’m linking up with several other bloggers to share what we’re into this month!