Whew! So the 31 days thing was super fun– possibly more content than I’ve written in the rest of the year, combined! I’m so grateful for the kind feedback I received from many of you. But my house is definitely showing signs of neglect and I absolutely cannot tell myself “The kids can always eat vegetables tomorrow” for ONE MORE DAY. So it is good for us all for me to get back into my usual routines.
I have so much stored up to talk about, I’m just going to do a big blitz of very short-shorts** (it’s still 80 degrees here, so it works!), and I will probably come back to some of these in longer posts in the coming weeks.
In my typical late-to-the-music-party fashion, I just discovered Sara Groves’ song “Painting Pictures of Egypt.” LOVE! It conveys exactly the wistful, nostalgic feeling I had when I wrote my post for Always Orange in September.
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend…
I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I’ve learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned
And speaking of great (old) music, I’ve also been loving Ellie Holcomb’s EP Magnolia. I got it for free on NoiseTrade…it’s not up any more, but there is a sampler currently available that includes some of the same songs plus a few more. You should check it out!
October was full of some really special occasions, including:
Jem’s First Birthday. We prayed so hard for that little boy to get here safely, and his actual Birth Day was a time of such JOY and RELIEF for us all. His first year has flown by, and it was sweet to be able to celebrate him with two family celebrations– a yummy cupcake dessert a few weeks early with Stephen’s family, and with pumpkin French toast at a birthday brunch with my family on the 12th.
And because I love all things fall, I’m officially making Pumpkin Birthday Pictures a thing for as long as we both shall live.
Did I mention that my whole family was together FOR A WHOLE WEEKEND? Ever since my brother and sister decided to follow their dreams all the way to the Land of Ice and Snow (aka Wisconsin), our days of all being in one room together are much more rare, and therefore much more sweet. We all attended several wedding-showery-type events for my sister Leslie, which meant lots of dressing up, delicious food, and photo ops: a weekend of complete family revelry if there ever was one. Heart. Overflowing.
Halloween, of course, was super fun. Abby wanted to be a cat, which was nice and easy, and Jem let me put him into a bee costume for long enough to take a couple of pictures. I didn’t get a great picture of him, so I’m keeping the costume out for a nice overcast day to try again. (Of course, I said that last year, too, and didn’t actually do it until the next April. So we’ll see.) But to celebrate we had some friends over to eat Mummy Dogs (or “Lazarus Dogs,” if the kids were around) and paint pumpkins and roll some yummy caramel apples. A good time was had by all!
Lastly, we spent a day at a historic Pioneer Farm in Austin. Be still my heart! This is my family, on a buckboard, outside of a general store. This is definitely one to cross off of my Mortar Board List. And yes, I wore a long skirt on purpose.
I didn’t read actual books one bit last month. But I kept up with my blog reading (Thank you, Feedly!) and enjoyed these posts:
“Not Just the Bad Things” from Challies.com– Surprisingly profound observation on the oft-quoted Romans 8:28, that I’ve kept thinking back to.
“Standards and Solidarity: 10 Ways to Give Your Children the Gift of Purity” from Like Mother, Like Daughter
“A Case of Mistaken (Sexual) Identity” from Crisis Magazine — Thoughtful, compassionate, practical way of looking at a sensitive issue: “The Church has the deepest memory of man. Just as Shasta needed the memory of his father and of the royal household of Archenland to know his true identity as a son of a king, all those who refer to themselves with a sexual identity other than being male or female are in great need of the memory of the Church to tell them the truth of who they are and what it means to be a child of the King of Kings.”
“The Mental Neat Freak” from Conversion Diary — Okay, this is actually from September. But I love the analogy of writing as clearing up mental clutter, and it’s helped me justify taking some time out from (some) evenings to sit with my computer and sort things out.
***As you can see, writing “very short-shorts” didn’t happen as I planned, so I altered the title of this post accordingly.