Summer Book Tag

Hey folks! My blog hasn’t been working from my computer, so I’m attempting to use my phone.

Tonight we finished up a great VBS at church which was fantastic and made for a crazy week! I had a wonderful class of 3rd and 4th graders and getting to hang out with them each night reminded me of how much I love that age group.

In about six hours I’m planning on leaving for a insanely quick trip to TN for a bridal shower for a wedding I’m going to be in this summer. And then? Well, maybe I’ll get to sneak some rest in somewhere. 😉

What have you been up to?

And because I can’t figure out how to actually upload the video from my phone, here’s a link….

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PUM9O3UrZ54

When Life Gets Busy… Read Books

This year I’ve not done a good job with keeping on top of book reviews. Not only am I behind in reading books for review, but I also keep forgetting to review the books I’ve already read.

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I just took the last 40 minutes or so to add ten more books to my Goodreads shelf and write miniature reviews for them. The hardest part of it all was trying to remember which books I’d actually read and when. And this, my friends, is one of the big reasons I write reviews in the first place. It’s kinda crazy to read a book and then six weeks later totally forget what you thought about it in the first place. Or, even worse, forget the book entirely.

Twenty-eighteen has, thus far, been a very strange reading year. I’ll go for weeks with barely making my way through a book, and then sit down and gobble up five of them in a week. (Ahem, like last week.) This has a lot to do with my life being super busy but also knowing that books rejuvenate me. So, sometimes life is crazy enough that I can’t slip much reading in, but then suddenly I’m like “Wait a minute, child. You’ll feel a lot better if you just set aside everything else – aka sleep – and breeze your way through a book.” And do you know what? I totally do feel better afterward.

The best I can figure (since I might have forgotten some books, #oops) is that I’ve read 48 books this year. We’re on day 188 of 2018, so that means I read a book approximately once every 3.9 days which is totally on schedule for what I’m aiming for. I don’t have any reading goals this year, but in the back of my mind I know I’d like to read between 80-100 books. That’s what I feel like I can easily reach while feeling well and actively living life. (Compared to the year that I didn’t feel well cause of health issues and I read 140+ books, which is kinda a lot of reading time.)

How is your reading going this year?

And now I’ve got to hit the hay while the sun’s shining – or something like that, anyway. 😉

My To-Do List for this Week: 
1. Teach 3rd and 4th Grade VBS
2. Mow forever and ever (aka, hang out with Chadwin the lawnmower)
3. Try and catch up on emails 
4. Cook for a small gathering 
5. An incredibly fast trip to TN for a bridal shower 

June 2018 In Review

What I Focused on in June:
1. A huge week at the retreat where I work
2. Eating/Being Healthy
3. Getting into the summer routine – Cutting grass, working evenings at the coffee shop, etc…

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Reading Update:
Fiction – 4
Nonfiction – 0
Audiobooks – 4

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Traveling:
I was only gone one night in June. My life has kinda exited the season of travel for the time being, but the adventures are still real and I’m quite happy with them.

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Goals:
1. Strict Paleo for 28 Days – YES {I might have been a day or two off cause of the retreat, but I should have factored that in. I count this as a total win.}
2. Clean Car – YES
3. Huge Week at Retreat Job – YES
4. Track Spending – NO
5. Write 7,000 WOrds – NO
6. Start Doing Bookstagram Pictures – YES
7. Keep Up with Cutting Grass – YES
8. Take The Rest of my Giveaway Stuff to Goodwill – NO

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What I’ve Been Learning:
– Prayer is super, duper important. And it’s incredibly nice to serve a God who actually answers prayers and cares about us. Yes, I’ve known this for a long time – all my life, probably. But this month it was reiterated to me time and time again as I saw God bless different situations and give very direct answers to prayer.
– How to stage Bookstagram pictures. I’ve been having so much fun with my Bookstagram account and for pretty much the first time ever feel artistic in something other than words. I wouldn’t consider myself to be really good, but I’m putting a lot of work into making the pictures actually work, and that’s rewarding.
– How to balance my thinking energy when it comes to various jobs. This last week was the biggest week at my retreat job since I started at the coffee shop last year, and I might have had several (several? haha) freak out moments leading up to the retreat because I didn’t have the dedicated prepping time that I generally have. But, everything worked out and it was fantastic and I’m really thankful for that.
– More problem-solving skills. Growing up being a problem solver was something that was praised in my family, and that’s helped me a lot as I get older. This month had some pretty good problem-solving moments.
– Why I haven’t had a garden for the last seven years. This year I’ve been feeling so nostalgic that I decided to plant a garden. Yo, folks. That was not quite the most brilliant plan on my part. Planting it was fun, but the upkeep? Let’s just say there hasn’t exactly been any of that going on. So, #oops

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Other:
– One of the ways I remember what happened each month is to look back through the pictures on my phone. June this year? Wow, folks. June was so incredibly long and packed full in the best way possible. I keep seeing and remembering more and more I did this month and it makes me feel slightly overwhelmed and very thankful for all that was stuffed into 720 hours.

– During the first half of the month, I had some pretty great impromptu hang out time with various family members, and that was delightful. I’ve been considering this my summer of memory making ventures, and so far the memories have been piling up pretty fast. ❤
– Storytime, folks: Two and a half years ago a writer friend I met through my blog was like “Hey! I know a girl named Kaitlyn and I think you two would get along great. Can I introduce you two via email?” I said “Yes” so introductions were made and sure enough, Kaitlyn and I became great friends. The only slight problem with our friendship was she lives three states and 750 miles away. But ya know, with some friendships eleven and a half hours of driving isn’t that huge of a roadblock, and so Kaitlyn came to visit last year. And then again, and then again. This June was the third time we got to see each other in a year, and that’s pretty epic. We volunteer at a week-long event together which gives us lots of bonding time over hard work, late night Veggie Tale songs, and exhaustion.
– This June was every other year’s May. Normally June is hot, tiring, and lovely, but, well, ya know, hot. But this year? I think May and June got confused and May was too hot, but June was probably the most delightful, beautiful, and perfect June I can remember.

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What was your favorite part of June?

My Favorite Bookish Names {Girl Edition}

Folks! This week is hugely busy with tons of work and lots of fun and so many memory-making ventures that I can hardly even keep track of them. Thankfully, I was able to slip in a vlog filming earlier this week so it could be ready today, but then I kinda had so much going on today that I forgot to post it.

But we have it now! So, enjoy! 😉

936 Pennies {A Pretty Cool Book, Folks}

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Find It On:
Amazon
Goodreads

Why I Choose This Book:

I try not to choose books solely on the cover, but goodness, folks! This is one of my favorite book covers ever. The colors, the design, the fonts, the title, all of it comes together perfectly.

Plus, as y’all know I like parenting books – even though I don’t have any kids. There are several reasons for this, the main one being that I really enjoy the thought processes behind how and why parents parent the way they do, and the other is I figure the knowledge will be helpful one day. 😉

What I Thought Of This Book:

This book was different from most of the parenting books I’ve read recently. It focused a lot more on what the parents do instead of what the kids do, and that was a pretty neat perspective.

The lady who wrote the book has three little boys, so we get to see life from the perspective of someone who’s still very much in the midst of crazy motherhood. She talks a lot about the decisions she’s made in order to be a more intentional mother, and how she’s been working at redeeming the time to pour as much into her children’s lives as she can.

The premise of the book is how parents have 936 weeks with their children from the time they are born until they are eighteen. When I first heard that number it sounded like quite a lot, but after pondering it for a little bit, I could see how it would feel like it was going by really fast. It’s so important as parents (and from my perspective as an older sibling/aunt/friend) to make sure that you invest in children and really use those weeks wisely.

Miss Eryn tells about different ways she’s learned to invest in her children, from having specific screen-free times of the day to getting outside with the kids, to taking time to read and cuddle. The book is really practical, well-written, easy to read, and lyrical.

I could tell Miss Eryn was a blogger. I’m not sure how to explain it, but her writing style was just very much the style of a blogger. It was beautiful, descriptive, peaceful, and somewhat wordy. Reading the book made me feel restful, like sitting on a porch swing and sipping lemonade.

Conclusion:

I’m not a mother, so I try not to have very many opinions (at least that I share) on parenting books, but I thought this one was pretty spot-on. 😉

*I’m thankful to have received this book for reviewing purposes

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Summer: Bring it On!

The sound of rain coming through the open windows creates a steady background hum in my cozy office as I sit down with my computer to blog. Everything I need to do this evening is done – Whimsy’s fed, 100 words are written, supper’s long over, my room is clean, and peace has descended.

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Summer arrived today with an expanse of gray skies, humid heat, and the promise of long, busy days. Every time I think of everything I have to do during the next few months I want to raise an eyebrow at myself in the mirror and ask “Really, Lyds?” To be fair, back when I signed up for the half marathon I had no clue what 2018 would hold, but I can’t exactly claim ignorance when I decided to plant a garden. No, that sprang from sheer nostalgia, and possibly the overly glorified idea of eating fresh, wholesome green beans right from my own backyard. Today was the first time I weeded it, and I’m fairly sure that if I hadn’t taken the time to coat myself with mud while pulling grass out by the roots, then before long the yard would have taken over that little plot of ground.

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Deciding to re-write all of Echoes during the summer months was a plan decided upon after I failed to accomplish the rewrite during the spring. And before that, during the winter. Each season brings a new mile-marker, loudly proclaiming the joy of new beginnings and happily-ever-afters just waiting to be attained. At least I have a cork board full of plot points and chapter breakdowns, so really, I should be all set.

Next to my bed, I have a towel folded up on the floor with four ivy plants sitting on it. Plants that I bought on a whim while visiting a greenhouse, even though all the flowers I’ve been gifted with during the past few years have endured long, slow deaths. Who am I kidding? Thier deaths were actually quick and sure – brought on by a lack of water and total forgetfulness from me. (Which is rather horrifying considering they were even named. Maggie was a darling mum from my sister for my birthday and Nathan was a bright tulip from a different sister at Eather time.) But somehow I decided this was the year I was destined to succeed in the indoor plant growing business. Willie and Mr. T (aka the ivy plants) nearly died once already, and the thought of keeping them alive for who-knows-how-long is another one of those daunting, yet exciting tasks I have to look forward to.

Weddings, birthdays, trips, bridal showers, retreats, family, friends, work, VBS, church, grass, writing, books, blogs, vlogs, walking, running, weeding, healthy eating, my life is a kaleidoscope, ever turning, ever changing, ever beautiful.

I’ve finally decided that as much as I long for routine, for the next few months maybe the only routine I’ll have is simply no routine. This summer is not only busy, but it’s going to be jammed-full of memories. And you know what? I’m excited.

*Photos taken by Hosanna