I love reading Leigh Kramer's (and the linked up) What I'm Into posts. It's pretty fabulous to get recipe, book, and movie recommendations, as well as find out more about bloggers I love. I struggle with how much daily life to include on the blog, but I do know that I enjoy reading about the daily lives of bloggers I keep up with. So I am finally doing this. Plus it will be great to have this little monthly recap to look back on.
My main goal this month was to continue reading through the Bible in 90 days. I started in January and will finish in April. I generally use the YouVersion app and my iPad (often while nursing Liam). I love reading the Bible in big chunks and getting a bird's eye view. I'm learning so much about who God is and am overwhelmed by His desire to save His people. I'm in Jeremiah right now.
I'm almost finished with And Baby Makes Three. Its authors, the Gottmans, understand marriage and include helpful, positive exercises. This book has revolutionized the way I think about conflict within marriage, and it has explained the challenges early on after having a baby. I will recommend it (or at least share the big ideas!) when my close friends start having babies. It fascinated me to realize that usually couples have the same major issue for the entirety of their marriage (and you will
probably have some core issue with anyone you marry, though the issue itself will vary).
I checked out Dr. Sears' The Baby Book from the library, but I think I might buy it as a reference book. I wish I had read this book and had it on hand before Liam arrived. The practical advice (diaper rash, soothing fussy babies, etc.) is so much more helpful than the ideological advice on sleep in the main baby book I did read.
I finished The Rosie Project in January, but I still wanted to mention it. It reminded me of a funny TV show--it was very easy to visualize and love the characters. Plus the whole set up was fabulous. I smiled to myself often.
I read Clutterfree with Kids and loved it. I blogged about getting rid of stuff, and now I want to get rid of even more. I love the idea of living in a small, clean space. I saw these homes recently and was so intrigued. I now read minimalist blogs when I need inspiration.
I didn't want another sleep book, but things were getting desperate, so I finally gave in late one night and bought The No-Cry Sleep Solution for my Kindle (there was a long wait list at the library). While some of it seemed more common sense, overall I love Pantley's ideas. We started them and saw immediate improvement (although it was a lot of work). A week or so ago I was sick so we went back to co-sleeping so we could all get more rest. But I'm hoping to finish spring cleaning in Liam's room and then go full force with transitioning from co-sleeping (and hopefully moving toward sleeping through the night).
Currently reading: Watership Down
Right now, we're watching Chuck. Sometimes the individual episodes seem to have gaps, but the overall structure is impressive. I really do love the comic relief (And what's up with the one syllable shows ending in the "k" sound--Monk, Pysch, Chuck?).
We also watched Downton Abbey. It's becoming a bit more soap opera-ish (don't all shows gain more contrived drama by the third or fourth season!?). But I do love the historical connections and the characters. I love Isobel Crawley, as well as Tom Branson (I especially like his relationship with the Dowager Countess; she seems less intense with him than she does with anyone else). Edith has grown on me a lot as a character, and I still can't figure out why Mary is so extremely opposed to her. I'm also not entirely sure why Mary has so many admirers.
Recipes (my current obsession with The Pioneer Woman will be evident)
I made these Bierocks from Megan of SortaCrunch. They were delicious, and my husband loved them. We added BBQ sauce, terryiaki sauce, and pepper jack cheese to some. I made honey mustard dressing as a dip for the plain ones.
On a snowy night, we made this chipotle chicken chili (after walking to a nearby gas station in the snow to get some beer). It was complex and delicious.
Modern Mrs. Darcy's chocolate cake is so.so.good. I made it twice--one for Valentine's Day and once with coconut oil (for a dairy-free friend) earlier this week.
I love meal planning as long as I incorporate new, fresh, exciting meals. But I'm realizing I don't have to plan six-seven meals a week. My goal is now to plan four-five meals, and I'm trying to incorporate a few simple meals and leftover meals for the rest. Liam and I (mostly) enjoy our evenings in the kitchen, and Jon is really fabulous for cleaning up.
- I felt so refreshed after reading Sarah Bessey's "Practices of Mothering" series. I've heard she's making it into an e-book, which will be a must-read.
- In light of my minimalistic tendencies, I love this 704 sq. foot house and the owners' perspective.
- If you're having a hard time getting rid of stuff because it feels like you're losing the money you spent, this post on sunk costs from The Everyday Minimalist is really helpful.
- I loved this post on not keeping score in relationships (especially marriage). I remember reading once that we often use currency terms to talk about love, and I can be so calculating (mostly to make sure I "pay everyone back" for how they love me).
- I like this post from Becoming Minimalist (the author of Clutterfree with Kids) on why it is important to frame life-changing discussions in positive terms rather than negative ones.
- I have been skeptical about personality tests because it seems like people rely on the answers too much. But I was intrigued after Leigh Kramer started her Enneagram and blogging series. I began to read up on the types, but I didn't have to go far. The One described me to a tee: "Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment and impatience." Ones are always trying to justify their actions to themselves. But what challenged me was this point: "...Ones often persuade themselves that they are “head” types, rationalists who proceed only on logic and objective truth. But, the real picture is somewhat different: Ones are actually activists who are searching for an acceptable rationale for what they feel they must do." Enlightening and true.
Pilgrim Sandals Posts
- I loved sharing about my photo book process here and here.
- Though it's a long one, I worked on this post about sacrifice and self-care almost since I started the blog. It forced me to deal with lots of baggage I had with the word, "sacrifice" and think through why I was so tired of being asked by Christians to be more sacrificial.
- This post is from January, but it was a well-viewed post where I shared a few tips on selecting children's books for infants and Liam's favorites.
We took Liam swimming this month. My sister from Florida also visited, and Jon and I had our first night apart since being married when he went to see his family. Liam loves baby swings on a nearby playground, and we've gone for walks snow or shine. We've flung open windows and doors on the few sunny days; I'm holding on just barely, waiting for spring. I didn't realize how dire the situation was until Jon's announcement of 29 degrees this morning put me in a small funk. For the first time in my life, if snow is in the forecast, I feel a little disappointed (don't tell the ten-year-old me this!).
Liam has two new teeth just peeking through. His grin is adorable with his two pearly whites. We've also started back carrying in the Ergo, which Liam loves due to his fascination with cars.
Liam is off the charts, and the doctor said that big babies often are slow when it comes to gross motor skills. But two days ago, Liam finally rolled, and now he rolls all the time and can push up on his hands and knees. He seems unfazed by his newfound discovery. Our lives will really change when he becomes mobile. He's also started saying "ma-ma." The other morning, he woke up, looked at me, and said "ma-ma."
We've also decluttered extensively, getting rid of books and clothes. It's a great feeling. I've had my ups and downs with it, but I am now at a point where I don't feel like I have to keep everything. And I love clean surfaces. It's easier to keep the house clean with less stuff in it. I dream about (literally and figuratively) how little I could really live with. I also think a lot about spending money and materialism. The decluttering has really shaken me to my core in a good way.
My old Pinterest board was far too junky, so I now have one that is very, very bare bones, but I've started using it. So feel free to check out the 4-5 pins I have so far. I will keep adding to it, but I do value quality over quantity.