March is my birthday month, but it always ranked low on my hierarchy of favorite months (like, 10th or 11th low). That was when we lived in Southern California, and March didn’t offer much to differentiate itself from all of the other cool-ish, dreary-ish days of winter and spring. But I had a major paradigm shift seven years ago when we made Texas our home: seasons here in central Texas are not extreme, but they are drastic in comparison with the “seasons” we had in California. For the first time I understood why people from other places—people who had seen nothing but bare trees and brown grass for MONTHS—were so enthusiastic about what I’d perceived was a throwaway season.
March, being spring’s inauguration and the peak month for Texas wildflowers, has now inched its way near the very top of my month rankings. Here’s a look at some of the memorable moments that this March held.
|| READING LATELY ||
Charleston and I finished three books together this month, all rereads for me; he adored one, loved another, and tolerated the third, while I really loved all three. (It was especially fun to introduce Charleston to my favorite book in the Harry Potter series, then watch the movie—which we both liked, though both of us were disappointed by how much it differed from the book.)
In my personal fiction reading, I read two very well-written books—this friendship story and this complicated drama—that I enjoyed (if enjoyed is the right word? appreciated, maybe?) but had some issues with the content, and a third novel that had a great premise but fell short on literary merit. I also listened to two powerful memoirs from two Christian leaders I really admire; I came away from this with a greater respect for the author, and from this with a deeper connection to my own faith. Full reviews headed your way in a few weeks.
|| LISTENING LATELY ||
I really enjoy Laura Tremain’s podcast and loved her first book, so preordering her upcoming book on friendship was a no brainer—especially because Laura sweetened the deal with some awesome preorder bonuses, including a private podcast feed featuring more than ten intimate conversations with individuals Laura writes about in the book. I inhaled the whole bundle of episodes in a weekend! The conversations are startlingly transparent, and I appreciated Laura and her guests’ willingness to dialogue about the uncomfortable aspects of friendship that often go unsaid. Laura talks with childhood friends, coworkers, internet friends, real-life besties, and more, touching on the specifics of their own relationships (including past rifts and how they resolved, present insecurities, and more) and left me with a lot to think about in my own friend dynamics. The podcast definitely whet my appetite for the book, which releases next week. (Which means there’s still time to preorder if the bonus podcast series sounds interesting to you, too.)
Other podcasts that inspired and informed me this month:
Pints with Aquinas — Responding to Transgenderism With Truth and Mercy w/ Jason Evert
Honestly with Bari Weiss — Why Men Seek Danger
Verity by Phylicia Masonheimer — 104 | Bible Study for Your Learning Style
Raising Boys & Girls — Episode 97: Our Favorite Tools for Anxious Kids
That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs — Episode 445: Tim Mackie from BibleProject on the Gospels
The Natasha Crain Podcast — 25 || Navigating Culture with Grace and Truth, with Sean McDowell
John Mark Comer Teachings — The Four American Gospels | Preaching the Gospel E2
|| WATCHING LATELY ||
Acapulco — In this feel-good comedy, a successful mogul living in Miami shares his rags-to-riches story with his young nephew. Most of the story is set in Acapulco, Mexico, in the 1980s where we follow the story of hard-working young Maximo who is living his dream of working as a pool boy in the town’s grand resort. Maximo’s over-the-top stories from the resort, and the more tender ones from his family, are humorous and heartwarming. The show’s setting is such a fun one, with its vibrant 80s fashion and beautiful Mexican backdrop, and the characters are all very likable (which is something I don’t necessarily need in my books but do want from the shows I watch); Luke got tired of me saying “oh, he’s/she’s my favorite” because I just adored every character. Much of the show is in Spanish (with English captioning) and I loved this opportunity to refresh my own Spanish skills. If How I Met Your Mother married Jane the Virgin and gave birth to a Ted Lasso‘s cousin, Acapulco would be the result, so if you are a fan of any or all of those shows, I have a feeling you’ll love this. Extra bonus points for almost no profanity and romance scenes that keep things PG! Season 2 ended on a total cliffhanger, so I’m eager to see where things go in Season 3.
My Rating: 5 Stars!
|| LOVING LATELY ||
Bluebonnets are one of my very favorite parts of living in Texas, and they have been especially spectacular this year! They came a few weeks earlier than usual and have stuck around, and there are SO MANY! Stunning blue pools have appeared in every possible open field, more than I can remember seeing in our seven Texas springs. What a treat!
|| MONTHLY KID-ISMS ||
+ “Mom, there are two characters in Harry Potter with the same name: Madam—Madam Pompfrey and Madam Hootch.”
+ Luke: “I had a dream that we owned a house on the river.” Charleston: “Oh, cool, a houseboat?”
+ When I asked what made him sad: “In the future, when I ask girls to marry me and they say no. I wonder who I should ask first.”
+ “I’m sure not afraid to take an opportunity. Like I told Daddy, when a good opportunity comes, use it twice as much as a normal opportunity.”
+ “My tummy isn’t usually very hungry. But my tongue is always hungry!”
+ “How did God paint all of those houses? That was a lot of work!”
+ Whenever she’s mad at me, she pulls out her imaginary magic wand: “Bippity boppity boo, turn Mama into a bad guy!”
+ When the toothpaste fell off her toothbrush: “Oh no! I need more frosting for my toothbrush!”
+ Pointing to my gums: “Why are your teeth pink?”
+ “Alright, guys, listen. It’s mama’s birthday, so she gets to blow the candles out. And I did it too because I love her.” (Explaining why he “helped” me blow out my candles.)
+ Me: “I don’t have Lanyo’s mom’s number, so I don’t think I can text her for you.” Sully: “I know Lanyo’s number! It’s two. So can you text his mom?” (Lanyo is TWO years old.)
+ When I was trying to keep him awake in the car so he would nap when we got home: “I’m not sleeping! I’m just closing my eyes because they’re cold.”
+ “Can we just do the credits on Encanto? I don’t like the watching part ’cause it’s not my favorite movie.”
+ Me: “What will you be after you’re five?” Sully: “Six.” Me: “And what will you be after six?” Sully: “A lot of other numbers. And then Kalinda and I will be all done.”
+ Watching Luke from our front window as Luke got into his car, heading to the airport for a work trip: “Where’s the plane? I thought Daddy was going in a plane!”
|| HAPPENINGS & HIGHLIGHTS ||
I celebrated the big 3-9 on March 2 and, to be totally honest, it was not my best birthday. The kids’ behavior left A LOT to be desired that day, edging out all space for an uplifting celebration. But I got to blow out (39) candles on our family’s traditional Birthday Fro-Yo, and I was surrounded by my loved ones and virtually celebrated by loved ones from afar, so I can’t complain. And now the countdown to FORTY can begin, eek!
We had another big birthday in our (extended) family this month: our niece, Brooke, turned one! We got to join in the celebrations this past weekend for a darling One in a Melon birthday party that was entirely too cute for words. It’s hard to believe that Baby Brooke is a whole year old, but I also have a hard time remembering life without her here.
|| ICYMI: THIS MONTH ON THE BLOG ||
LIFE, FAITH, AND REFLECTIONS:
What I Learned This Winter About Decisions, Transitions, Restraint, and the Soul (Plus an amazing copyright discovery!) “I have been doing more of that resting these past two months, spending time in meditative prayer and slowing down my study in order to allow all that information to marinate. My theology will inform my connection to God, but it is no replacement for communing with Him.“
Faithful 03.23—The Big Reveal “We can lean into the knowledge of His faithfulness in the past in order to fortify our belief that He is faithful now and will remain so into the future.”
Saying Goodbye to Self (March Verse—Philippians 2:1-4) “He created us for community and inter-dependence, and this is impossible if we are so busy gazing inward that we forget to look up and out.”
Kalinda Joy & Sullivan Luke // Three-and-a-Half!
BOOK CORNER & FUN:
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“In March winter is holding back and Spring is pulling forward. Something holds and something pulls inside of us too.” ~ Jean Hersey
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” ~ Anne Bradstreet
“You can’t control the way the wind blows. You can’t control the way the currents run. You can’t control the way of waves. There is tender mystery in God’s ways.Lovers fail to love. People disappoint. Plans implode. Bodies struggle. Expectations go awry. Pain is all-encompassing and none of us are immune. You can’t control the way of waves—but you can control the way of your sail. You can turn the sail to fill with the wind of the Spirit, you can move forward in the current of His love, you can reroute through waves.” ~ Ann Voskamp
What are your thoughts on spring in general and March in particular: strong feelings? Ambivalence? What was a highpoint of your March this year?