What I WAS Into ~ May 2014 : {The I-CANT-BELIEVE-SHE’S-STILL-BLOGGING-EDITION!}

whatimintomay2014 Well, HELLO blogisphere friends!

To say I’ve been quiet on the blog is a major understatement.

I’ve been writing a post in my head for WEEKS to share all the reasons why this space has been silent.

But the truth of the matter is, life is full and fruitful and though the main reasons for not writing lately have included buying and selling our house, getting settled in, working at church, and auditioning {& booking!} for musical theatre gigs like a maniac, that doesn’t even tell the full story.

Like so many other bloggers lately, I’ve been in need of some media REST.  (Micha Boyett writes about it beautifully here.  And Sarah Bessey practically takes the words out of my mouth through her own story here.)    When the exhaustion of keeping up with the Joneses mixes with a full plate, the thing that had to take a back seat for me in this season, was my blogging.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been furiously writing in my journal and on my laptop, and brainstorming idea after idea for this blog space, and my future dreams of writing e-books and print books. ALL THAT TO SAY, I think I’ve finally come up for air, so to speak.

I’m excited to share with you more of my creative adventures this summer, and I’ve decided to write about them in a way I’ve been wanting to do for some time.

So, while these last few paragraphs should no doubt have been their own blog post, I wanted to tack them onto a post that I have been meaning to publish for the last month. Leigh’s linkups are my favorite.  They help me chronicle my life and take stock of my personal journey.  They are also a favorite blogisphere resource of mine for the best recommendations on books, products, blogs, and more.

All that to say, here’s  my not-quite-finished, should’ve-been-published-weeks-ago,  hurried summary of May.  If you’re still reading, I can’t thank you enough.  I’m looking forward to actually linking up with my June recap post – sweet bejeebus, how is it already almost July?!?

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this spring in the comments!

{FYI:  If that long-winded spiel above hadn’t been in this post, the words below are where the  post originally began.  Thanks for obliging me, friends.}

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There are some months that feel like they have thrown you in the wash and rinse cycle {that was last month for me}.  Then there are some months that feel like they’ve tossed you into a ride on a tilt-a-whirl.  Welcome to my May.

We received glorious news that our house was in the process of being sold, and then, through a dizzying turn of events, we discovered we did not have a house to move into.

Though there was a tiny part of me that enjoyed the adventure of waking up to a new challenge or schedule everyday, I was overwhelmed in most areas of my life, and that unfortunately, included my writing and blogging.

I gulped large breaths of air into my lungs, hid my head in books when I needed to de-stress, and took solace in my sweet husband.  I also buried my head in the blogisphere sand, as I felt piles of guilt for falling behind in my goals.   I fell behind on a  deadline last month, which left me continually mortified and racked with shame whenever I opened my blog page to write.

There was real beauty this month, but the reality is, there was also the major stress of busyness.  I’m more than grateful that this month was full of the good kind of stress, but it also became apparent fast that this month was a short season where the blog had to take a backseat.

Blogisphere Beauties

Addie Zierman:  Why I Don’t Write About the Hot Button Issues 

{Amen, sister. Grateful that Addie wrote out my thoughts on this subject, MUCH better than I could.}

Another Addie Gem: Writing Is Hard  

{Yes Ma’m, that’ll Preach, Word-to-your-Mother, insert-wackadoo-exclamation here!  I am struggling to write good work on even the smallest level, so it gave me some solace that a writer I admire so much that just published a BRILLIANT AND AMAZING BOOK also has all the feels about this.  Addie talks about her upcoming book, writing it and and her writing process here – a must read.}

Sarah Bessey @ SheLoves Magazine: Chasing A Dream In the Midst & In the Afters 

{Sarah always seem to pull thoughts and dreams out of my head in her beautifully written blog posts.  Though I don’t have children, I resonate so deeply with her heartfelt story of chasing dreams in the midst and in ‘the afters’.  Another must read.}

Shauna Niequist: Less  

{As we pack up our house to move, I am forcing my packrat-saving self to purge, purge, purge.  These words of Shauna’s helped me do that.}

Anne Bogel at The Art of Simple:  Why I’m Still Reading Novels In The Age of Social Media 

{Though Anne doesn’t share anything in this post I didn’t probably already know, she articulated so much truth here.  Love this post, and Anne’s prolific blogging skills!}

On My Blog

I’m beyond embarrassed that I have fallen into even more blogging obscurity than normal this spring.    It started in April, and then I became so overwhelmed with our house selling and buying, and packing–that I feel as though I’ve fallen almost completely off the blogging grid.

 I am unspeakably grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Red Couch book club at SheLoves Magazine, and this month, I shared a discussion post for one of my favorite recent reads, Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly.

I just finished writing a discussion post for another favorite book, Soil & Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food & Faith by Fred Bahnson.  His book is a glorious read – I’ll hope you’ll join us at SheLoves next month! {And check out Leigh’s introductory post on the book – it’s fantastic!}   Here’s a bit about the book from Fred himself:

 

Riveting Reads & Such
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What I Read
Delancey by Molly Wizenberg

I loved Molly’s first memoir, A Homemade Life, and this one was just as good in my book.  (I may have even read this one faster than the last.)  Chronicling her journey into restaurant ownership with her husband, its personal, and lovely, and a quick read.  I loved her honesty about their journey as she helped her husband Brandon follow his dreams, and learned what she also needed personally for that dream to succeed.

People have been grumbling about the recipes in the book  (I suppose I do understand that its a little weird that she doesn’t include a pizza recipe, as their restaurant is a pizza joint.).  But I also get that, their recipes are part of their literal financial bread and butter so to speak, so it didn’t bother me.  I actually LOVED the recipes included in this book, more so that her first. Included are easy salads that are perfect for summer, pasta with vodka sauce and a slew of other dishes I’m excited to make (my best friend has my copy of the book, so I can’t reference them here).    Don’t miss this read–its perfect for summer.

A Year of No Sugar by Eve Schwab

Some people have taken issue with the title of this book, as it technically wasn’t ‘No Sugar’, but rather, no added sugar.  Told in memoir-style, Schwab details the year she and her  Vermont family swore off the sweet stuff.  They had cheat days each month (for special occasions, like birthdays), and family vacations.  {They went to Italy that year, and Eve only had one helping of gelato–a feat that would require Herculean patience in my book!}.  There’s lots of great information on sugar, and alternative sweetener options.  A fun read, and informative, too.

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith {The Nester}

This book really deserves its own blog post.  Like so many others on the internet, this book was one of my favorite reads of the year, thus far!

Myquillyn’s blog is one of my must-reads, and its the only decorating blog I read with any regularity.  The subtitle of the book is a resounding theme in its pages–”it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”–and its timely truth for us, as we are in a new house, and I am facing the daunting task of decorating.  Instead of dreading the process, Myquillyn’s book is helping me get excited to find my own way of expressing beauty and home in our living space.

What I’m Reading Now

Soul Keeping by John Ortberg, Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (really J.K. Rowling, can’t you drop the alias by now?), The Soul Tells A Story by Vinita Hampton Wright, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown,  & The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Dinner Club {Is it ‘dinner’ or ‘supper’ club? Anyone?}

IMG_1291 We had our last dinner club in our old house in May.  A few of our closest friends,  Frank and I have been getting together once a month to cook together, and {as Shauna Niequist so eloquently puts it} find some life and community around the table.  My in-laws have also been a part of a supper club for years, and were part of our inspiration.  We’ve only met twice, and we’re excited to get together on the 4th of July and break in our beautiful kitchen at our new place!

Other May Highlights

One of the last beautiful spring days this month, I enjoyed a peaceful morning in our backyard–journaling, reading and drinking my morning tea.  It was a glorious way to enjoy our back yard before moving into a different house.   IMG_1396 IMG_1449

We had 3 weeks to pack up our house!  I enjoyed going through my books, as I shoved them all quickly into boxes.

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We found the house of our dreams this month–a true Godsend.   I love the hard wood floors, and the beams on the family room ceiling.  We’re so excited to be moving into our home this summer!

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I hope that I am finally back on track with writing these monthly posts, and linking up with Leigh–because truth be told, they are some of my favorite posts to write. {Affiliate links, if used, support this blog – thanks!}

What were you into this spring? 

Soil & Sacrament – The SheLoves Red Couch Book Discussion

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My best friend used to belong to a community church garden, smack dab in the middle of suburban Dallas. On the weekends, I would accompany her to a small patch of soil that felt like an oasis amidst the commonplace suburbs and concrete. Though sometimes I would complain and grumble about the heat, (my tolerance for summer’s high temps and mosquitos bites is low), Janie usually shushed me in her calming way, and gave me a job by putting a shovel, a rake, or a pair of soft gardening gloves in my hand.

Sometimes we picked weeds, sometimes we tilled the soil and on a few occasions, I was lucky enough to be along during a harvest, when we would bring home tasty morsels, like Swiss chard, cucumber, radishes and tomatoes by the handfuls.

Despite my limited knowledge of all things gardening, (let’s just say, I’ve unfortunately killed more than one cactus) I always feel nearer to God when close to the Earth.

 Head over to SheLoves Magazine to read the rest of this post.  

Please join our discussion in the comments or on Facebook!

Daring Greatly – The SheLoves Red Couch Book Club Discussion

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Full Disclosure: I feel like one of the last women in America to read Daring Greatly.

Unfortunately, this is probably because my pride got the best of me.  To be honest, I thought I didn’t need to read this book.

“Daring Greatly?  Didn’t I do that for years as a professional actor?,” I thought to myself. “Isn’t the epitome of vulnerability giving of our talents out into the world for producers, directors and the like who then decide if we’re ‘worthy’?  Doesn’t ‘literally’ singing for your supper ‘count’ as daring greatly?”

Clearly, I had have issues–with pride and approval seeking, for starters.

Please join me at SheLovesMagazine to read the rest of this post, and join in the discussion!

Sacro Speco {Sacred Space} & Where I’ve Been As of Late

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Its been a busy and somewhat chaotic time in my life these days.  I have had such high aspirations–many of them for this blog–and they have, quite frankly, had to fall by the wayside this month, as my husband and I have worked feverishly to put our house on the market.  I’ve also been spending my writing hours on future posts and articles that were way more difficult to write than they probably should have been.  Add to that, a huge round of auditions {and stinging rejections}, and there they are,  plain as day, {though not very romantic}–the reasons for the cobwebs and dust bunnies on the blog.

All that to say, if you’re still reading, I can’t thank you enough.  Thank you for remaining part of ‘my tribe’, and being ‘my people’.  I hope these short spurts of Sacro Speco have spoken at least a tiny bit of rest and peace into your lives.  I’ve got ideas and hopefully some fun plans for this weekly space in the future, but for now, I hope this is enough.

I’ll be sharing more inspiration in all manner of ways in the coming weeks–grace and peace to you this Palm Sunday, friends!