Bits and Pieces

I think this one is the ellipses edition…



So this is, quite possibly, the latest I’ve ever waited to file my taxes.  Living on the edge!  It wasn’t exactly my plan.  I had them 85% done in January until I was informed that one of my tax forms contained an error.  It took from January until April 8 to get it straightened out and delivered to me.  I have no idea why.  It seemed like one simple error to me.  But apparently it was more of a 2 or 3 month error.  Then we went away over the weekend and I’d wanted to do it on Monday but I stayed up until 3:30 AM working on several other jobs I needed to complete and I needed a login to one of Tahd’s accounts to finish it and he’d already gone to bed on Tuesday night, and here we are on the 15th just before midnight…

Maybe next year I should wait even a little longer…11:47?  We’ll see…


Tahd’s away again.  I’d forgotten this trip was coming up.  I think I blocked it out because it’s a short one and I figured it’d be no biggie.  Heck, I should be well practiced after the March he had.  You know…the eight whole days he was actually at home.  (I’m totally have a great attitude about it…)  And yet…I wasn’t.  I totally cried while we said goodbye.  Like, ugly, face-scrunched-up, totally defeated crying.  I didn’t even know it was coming.  I was just suddenly in tears.  Which was decidedly unawesome because I’m pretty sure it made him feel like a heel, which I completely didn’t intend, and I hate sad goodbyes.


Movies I Want To See (please prevent me from wasting 2 hours of my life and tell me if they suck):


Big Eyes
100 Foot Journey
About Time (again…I’m sure this one is worth it!)
The Imitation Game
Into The Woods
Theory of Everything
Woman In Gold


Do you know how hard it is to go to your annual exam with 2 toddlers?  And have to strip down naked, wear a floppy, sloppy gown that doesn’t close and have to chase a 1 year old around the exam room?  And not sweat buckets and feel totally mortified?  I’d wanted to talk to the midwife about what sort of risks I’d be facing if we decided to have another child.  I’m pretty sure she left and laughed and/or shook her head.  Or both.  Because, hello!  Crazy naked woman with the busy babies who don’t stop screaming might want another child?  #coughbadplancough


Have I mentioned I’m obsessed with the Duggars?  It’s not a closet obsession, per se, but I do think it’s highly incongruous with all the other areas of my life.  Like the fact that I have three kids versus 19 and I use birth control and I wear pants and short hair and am moderately liberal.  But I do love their show, and I love the idea of their jurisdictions and I’m going to figure out how to do it with a smaller family.  Why am I the one doing all the cleaning while everyone else plays, hm??? I need some help! And my kids need to learn how to do these things!


I’m going to bed without putting supper away.  Again.  Living on the edge.

What I Learned in March

Okay – full disclosure.  I read some of these things in other months but haven’t gotten around to this post.  So it would be more aptly titled, “What I Learned in March-ish.”  Is that workable for you?  There were a few super interesting things, at least to me!


Some fascinating thoughts on adult sibling relationships – “The literature on sibling relationships shows that during middle age and old age, indicators of well-being — mood, health, morale, stress, depression, loneliness, life satisfaction — are tied to how you feel about your brothers and sisters.”

This is quite possibly one of the sweetest videos I think I’ve ever seen!


I learned so many things in this post about tulips.  Like, did you know the stem of tulips keeps growing in the vase?  I had no clue!


so loved this article on educating kids. Alfie Kohn is one of my favorites!  I really think the state of public education is in disarray.  I thought that when I taught school 12 years ago (gulp!  has it been that long), and I think that even moreso today as a parent of a child in public school.


Did you know Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes?  That are supplied by the government?

What did you learn in March? Anything interesting?

So Many Books, So Little Time

I don’t even have words.  I’ve been waiting all week to try to find some, even a few drafts sitting in my to-finish box, but oh, THE WORDS!!!!! are not coming.


Instead, let me tell you about a few books I’ve read recently.  I know.  Words.  How can I read all those words and have nothing to say?  Really, I think I have a lot to say, but my nerves are a bit shot from crazy children and a husband being out of the country.  And let’s not forget that independent of them, I carry around my own sack of issues that I tend to trot out at the least opportune times (i.e. this week, a most inopportune time).

In summary, we’re all crazy, and I read a lot of books.  Can we leave it at that?

Interestingly, it seems like nearly every book I’m reading lately is in some way about grace.  Coincidence?  Hm…


First up, I’ve talked about Breathing Room over here, but I’m mentioning it again over here.  Best book I’ve read all year.  On my short list of best books I’ve read ever.  Worth every penny.  Go.  Buy it.  Breathe deep.

1.  I picked up All Is Grace by Brennan Manning on a whim. Actually, I think Shauna Niequist mentioned it in a recent blog post, and that was the whim.  I read a chunk of it while I was catching a few quiet minutes at the bookstore, and my general rule of thumb is that if I can’t put a book down at the bookstore, it’s probably worthy of coming home with me.  This one was excellent.  I haven’t read anything else by Brennan Manning and think the story might have felt even richer if I had, but it was even fantastic as a stand-alone.

2.  Scary Close was another whim, but I’m so glad I read it.  It’s not technical or dry.  It’s just a story with several super accessible lessons woven in.  I asked Tahd to read this one so we could talk about it.  Enjoyed and would recommend!

3.  Fight Back With Joy was on my list after I streamed some of If:Gathering and heard Margaret Feinberg speak.  I wanted more, more, more of her story, and here it is!  I’m about halfway through it right now, and it’s what saved my tukhus from complete rage and despair Wednesday.  This is another good one!

4.  I can’t remember where I’d heard about Disease Proof, but it came recommended as a research-based method to getting and staying healthy.  Not skinny, but healthy.  I expected to find some innovative approaches to wellness, but I came away disappointed.  It could be because I used to teach health so nothing felt very novel?  Not sure, but the book was quite common-sense to me, and I’d already read about a lot of the research he used to support his action points.  A good choice if you are looking for some simple, practical steps to take to improve your health, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

5.  When Gabe checked out Hunger Games from the school library, we told him we didn’t want him to read it until we’d had a chance to read it first.  I asked loads of mom friends and got incredibly polarized feedback, but when I read it for myself I felt like it was okay for him.  That, and I really enjoyed it!  I may possibly be the last person to be exposed to that series.  I purposefully stayed away from the movies and any spoilers about it because I’d wanted to read it, but just hadn’t had time.  Glad I finally did.  It was an enjoyable fiction read (and much better written, in my opinion, than Divergent, for what it’s worth).

6.  I tried to read Found by Micha Boyett.  I really wanted to like it, but I didn’t relate early on to her struggle, so it was hard for me to get into it.  Basically, her world was rocked by the way her spiritual life changed when she became a mother.  She felt distance and chaos.  Personally, I’ve found motherhood to heal more parts of my faith than it has caused struggle.  I thought about sticking with the book because I’ve heard great things about it, but I have so many things I currently want to read that I decided not to push through one I wasn’t connecting with at the moment.

I’m currently in the middle of A Wrinkle In Time, Writing Down Your Soul, and Parenting Without Power Struggles.  I’m also listening to The Dance of Anger.  As well, am I the last person in the world to figure out how to hook up my local library account to apps on my phone?  Hooray for borrowing ebooks!  And hooray that they take them away when the borrowing period is over so I don’t accrue late fees!

Not sure I’ll finish all of those before I move on to new things, but up on my soon-to-read list are these titles:

Playing Big, Small Victories, Make It Happen, This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage, Simplify, The Best Yes, On Writing by Stephen King, Love Does, and Surprised By Motherhood.  I need to pick a fiction book or two, also.  Perhaps Wonder, since Gabe has that and I’ve been wanting to read it for a while?

Have you read anything good lately?

17 Years

Of course I’m two days late because of course I overestimated how long it would take me, and of course I had technical difficulties that wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been out of town.  But here–late but predated, with a second song since the first was blocked in 244 countries, and imperfect but done–is a celebration of our 17 years together.  Love you, jetahdin! ;)


March Goals


Welp…once again, better late than never?  I set some goals for February a little late in the game, but I made a little progress, so I’m not horridly upset at being late.  Although, if you ask my husband I’m never horridly upset at being late, so there’s that.  Perhaps we shouldn’t bring that up.  Sore subject.  ;)

Here’s the rundown from February:

1.  Celebrate Valentine’s Day by doing something special || meh – wasn’t the best but I did try

2.  Lose 2 pounds || I think I lost one?

3.  Finish reading 2 books || I finished three!  Hunger Games, Breathing Room, and Nesting Place.  Oh – I guess I also finished Andy Cohen this month, so that’s 4!

4. Drink 10 cups of water every day || Not bad!  Perhaps not as consistent while traveling, but I’m satisfied with my performance on this.

5.  Go to bed by 11:30 at least three times || Uh…once, I think?  Maybe?  I would so benefit from doing this…

6.  Put together the January-a-day photos || I put together Project Life stuff but didn’t specifically do this.  Sort of a potayto-potahto situation, but I technically didn’t do this one.

7.  Take some detail photos || nope.  All kids, all the time.

In (what remains of) March, I hope to:

1.  Lose 2 pounds || I feel like I should run around chanting, “Big money!  Big money!  No whammies!!!” every time I go to get on the scale…

2.  Drink 96 ounces of water every day || surely if I’m drinking this much water, I’ll automatically be eating less chocolate?  As well, this is Dove Coconut Egg season, just in case you’d forgotten.

3.  Take the little kids to the museum || they haven’t been before.  They are going to lose their minds!

4.  Finish February Project Life || I love the idea of this project; my execution is s–l–o–o–o–o–w. I thought it was supposed to be quick and easy, right?  And yet, I spent 3 HOURS on one layout.  Something is wrong with this picture…

5.  Finish my Life Plan class by Donald Miller || started it, it’s great, need to get back to finish it

6.  Continue reading/practicing either The Unexpected Everyday or Emotional Photography || I don’t care which one and I don’t care how many exercises I complete – just keep going

7.  Set up a little renewal corner somewhere || I had this random idea to set up a little corner somewhere in the house with some of my favorite things and things that renew me.  Currently, I have a few books out in the kitchen, but I want to make an intentional small spot that feels like mine and makes me smile.

Maybe I should call these my Mapril goals?  We’ll see…

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