I’m happy to link up with one of my favorite bloggers this month – Emily at Chatting At The Sky. She invited her readers to share what we’ve learned this month – from the profound to the trivial, and anything in between.
1. You can still find a way to thrive when you’re in a neverending state of limbo.
Our stay in the Midwest is continuing into the heat of summer, and I’ve found myself still in a state of limbo that started months ago, with no seeming end in sight. I’m happy to say I’ve finally stopped raging against it, and am doing my best to embrace my present by exploring my surroundings more happily than I’ve done for the last few months. From visits to my favorite bookstore, to my new best friends ‘the library’ and ‘ my journals’ (more on those later in this list), I’m grateful to learn again and again that blooming where you’re planted (even if it’s temporary) is always the best option.
2. I felt my British heritage in my bones when I realized most of the time I prefer tea to coffee.
Sometimes I’m just a little bit slow on the uptake. Though I love a warm light roast coffee with cream and sweetener on a cold fall or winter’s morning, my go-to drink of choice upon rising is tea with honey or agave nectar. I finally realized (in June? Go figure.) when I ran out of my favorite green tea this month, I was a little sad and grumpy to resort to coffee. I know, I know — truly 1st world problems, and the coffee purists among you (including my brother) are shaking their heads and saying ‘pshaw’, but I’m embracing my British lineage and claiming my tea with pride. (Either that, or I’ve watched too much Sherlock this month). Anyone reading who doesn’t prefer to learn the trivial about me, please keep reading–there’s got to be quality content in this post somewhere.
3. The world really does look more magical from the 69th floor of a skyscraper.
This is the place where there should be a glorious photo from the top of said skyscraper at night – full of lights and sparkles and a breathtaking view.
Sadly, that is not the case.
This shot, however, is the view from the ground up to said beautiful view. I took it at the end of a perfect summer night. The (somewhat microscopic) white spots are wedding confetti. My best friend got married this month in the tallest building in Dallas, and the view was spectacular. My hubby and I spent the evening laughing and eating and dancing whilst soaking up the ambiance with so much gusto that we forgot to actually take a pic of said view. But isn’t that the way its supposed to be? I’m sure the wedding photographers took breathtaking shots with their ginormous cameras, so perhaps I’ll be able to share a pic someday soon. This night in June was one of my favorites.
4. Benedict Cumberbatch has made Sherlock Holmes sexy.
Dear. Mr. Cumberbatch,
You, dear British bloke, are my new favorite talent crush. (Don’t worry, my husband knows-wink,wink). Your talent, your voice that smacks of Alan Rickman, your perfect characterization of Sherlock Holmes (and a Star Trek movie villain) make me smile happy. Please finish filming the new season of Sherlock as quickly as possible so my husband and I can continue to be captivated by mystery and good writing. And by the way – kudos to your mum – with that name, it seems you were destined for greatness – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be proud.
5. I could read Ruth Reichl’s books/words all day.
I have happily discovered a new favorite author this summer in the food writing world. A world reknown, greatly respected restaurant critic and writer, Ruth Reichl’s words make me unspeakably happy. I’ve taken to underlining her descriptions of food as part of my continuing self-taught writing education. I’m a few pages away from finishing 2 of her books, and I will be sad when there’s no more to read. She’s the first food writer I’ve read who writes paragraphs like this:
There was a kind of magic to champagne that old, a wine bottled before automobiles or airplanes or either of the major wars. A wine bottled before women had the vote. Watching the liquid come sparkling into my glass, I thought of all the years it had been waiting in that dark bottle, what a different world it was emerging into. I was drinking history; I liked the taste.
I also recently discovered Reichl’s twitter feed. She has over 200,000 followers, who like me, adore her simple and beautiful 140 character soundbites of moments in her life – usually shimmering with food-prose.
6. No matter how much pain and suffering you’ve encountered, losing family never gets easier to handle.
I am in the process of losing another family member to a wretched terminal disease, and my heart aches. Suffice it to say, prayers would be appreciated all around.
7. I heard a sermon preached by a friend (a woman) on the prophetess Miriam, and I learned that my head and my heart want to hear MORE of this type of truth-telling.
Truth be told, my heart and spirit have had some troublesome experiences involving church as of late. (NOT at my HOME church, in case anyone from there is reading these words). While all that situation is working itself out quite nicely (and that is why I will not elaborate further), I have been praying for the Lord to refresh my spirit and my soul in my current circumstances. I know he used this beautiful moment on the last Sunday of June to do just that.
8. When you’re out of shape in the heat of summer, water aerobics is the way.to.go.
Water aerobics, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? I think I took maybe one water aerobics classes years ago with my Mom at the gym, but I’d pretty much forgotten all about it. Enter my super-cheap summer gym membership with FREE water aerobics twice a week. Our instructor is a fun-loving New Zealander with bouncy dance music and a ton of energy. I took my first class this month, and I’m excited to go back. It was the craziest feeling myself sweat in the class, and not being hot. I was still crazy sore two days later, so I know I’m working hard. This heat-sensitive chica is sold – bring on the water and the exercise!
9. My journal and a stack of library books are my new ‘besties’.
June has been a month that has seen lots of journaling, along with lots of trips to the library in my world. I might have gone just a teensy-bit overboard with my library book privileges, as I’ve checked out any and all books that have recently peaked my curiosity. “We read to know we’re not alone”, says William Nicholson. Writing my own words out has been cathartic, and reading of travels and tales and beauty and wisdom is filling me up in the best of ways.
10. I actually like the taste of spicy jalapeno chicken sausage – who knew?
My best friend Janie and I had a blast spending an evening cooking this past month. She’s been planning a wedding for the past 6 months, so to just have some hang-out time whilst prepping veggies for Greek salad and making spaghetti with gluten-free rice pasta was sheer delight. We didn’t have a specific Greek seasoning for the salad’s recipe, so Janie made one from scratch. While carmelizing onions and sauteing garlic for the sauce, she also suggested a chicken sausage substitute. Thanks to Trader Joes, with their delicious products and uber-cheap prices, I discovered their spicy jalapeño chicken sausage is perfect for sauces, or to stand alone as a dish. I will for sure be adding it to my own list of ingredients in my recipe repertoire. Delish.
11. Though it sounds cliche, sometimes you just need to be reminded that there is always beauty to be found in your everyday if you’re willing to look.
Last summer at the start of June, my husband and I were ending a glorious bucket list trip to Europe in the streets of Paris. This year finds me in the heart of the Midwest, wondering where our adventures will take us next. I want to practice true gratitude in my present moment. I’m excited and committed to look for the beauty and the joy in the divine and the everyday, and last night was the perfect example. Sitting at home on a summer’s eve, with a bowl of perfectly sweet strawberries and white wine, next to the one I love–truly some of June’s finest hours.
What have you learned this month?