Category: What I’m Into

What I’m Into {Feb/March 2017}

 

It’s 1:00pm and I’m sitting at my desk in a very quiet house.

Normally I’m at work right now, but after a grueling couple weeks, I gifted myself a vacation day.

When I woke up this morning I named this day Sit-In-Bed-And-Read. I have a gloriously tall stack of books on my nightstand and today was going to be THE DAY.

Apparently I have an inability to enjoy a lazy day. After dropping the kids off at school, I decided to do just one thing from my to-do list. You probably can guess the rest of the story. It quickly became obvious I had misnamed this day. It renamed itself Catch-Up-On-Life. It’s morphed into a day that I am doing all of the things that “I’ll just do tomorrow.” Grocery shopping. Making dr. and dentist appointments. Fixing things. And a whole lot of internet errands.

But now I take a break in completing my to-do list to share all the things I’ve been LOVING this month.

First things first.

Books

We don’t purchase books very often, but this month we decided to grab each book in the Ordinary People Change the World series. In each book, kids learn about some ordinary person who has changed the world in a big way. They are well-written and the illustrations are on-spot.

Our book club launched this month, and we read Threading My Prayer Rug, a story about a Pakistani Muslim who moves to America and begins her adult life. It’s both eye-opening and funny, a rare mix. I’m learning about arranged marriages, Muslim faith practices, and what it looks like to move to America from a very different culture.

I finished up a couple books this month that I didn’t enjoy, and I even quit a book in the middle (gasp!).  No need to fear though- I have some other promising ones on the horizon. (more…)

What I’m Into {August 2016}

What I'm Into August 2016

Tomorrow is the beginning of a fresh school year.

This is a big year for us.

By 8:15a, all 4 kids will be out the door, headed to their learning spaces for the day. What in the world?! I knew this day would come someday. I dreaaaaamed of this day while changing diapers and cleaning mess (after mess after mess) and juggling playdates and tantrums and feeling the toll of pure exhaustion. I just didn’t know it was going to come so soon! While the oldest three will be in elementary school all day, the youngest Malloy will be attending an early childhood program where she will be able to extrovert to her hearts content.

What all this means is when I leave the house in the morning, it’s more or less going to look exactly the same way when I get home from work. Hallelujah! This means less cleaning and tidying when I get home, and more sitting on the couch snuggling, talking, and reading books at night.

Of course, this transition will mean more emotions, more feels, more neediness at night from kids who have been without their momma all day. So, now that I think about it, you should probably ask me again in 3 weeks how excited I am about this transition. (more…)

What I’m Into {July 2016}

What I'm Into July 2016

When I reflect back on this past month, I think “What I’m Into” can be summed up by one thing:

Gilmore Girls.

I’m in total fan girl mode. In order to be all caught up with my re-watch by the Gilmore Girl long-awaited-final-series-releasse, I need to watch 4 episodes a week. In case you’re considering a rewatch and want to start NOW, you’ll need to watch 9-10 episodes a week. I always knew my math degree would come in handy :).

But of course, a post about how much I love Gilmore Girls would be too much, so onto the other parts of my life.

June/July Highlights

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Extended Family. We live far from family and can feel the lonely that comes with that during certain seasons. One great thing about summer is the stretch of time to pack up in the van and head south. This summer was extra special because we all convened on my parents’ house. Believe it or not, this is the first time I met my youngest nephew (and it had been a long time since I’d seen the others!). This trip really couldn’t have gone smoother. The kids got along great. We had fun being tourists in a place we used to call home. We talked a ton and ate too much.

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Major league baseball. I grew up going to a baseball game each summer and up until this point, the kids had only gone to minor league games. When I found out that the Brewers were playing the Cardinals on St. Louis terf, it was the perfect time to go. Although the game almost got rained out, we had a blast. For the record, the Cardinals won!

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Tree Ciimbing. All summer the kids have raced to the tall climbing trees before their daily camp. If you look at the very top of the picture, you’ll see my two oldest kids. Each day they stretch themselves and climb a little bit higher. I think there’s some kind of spiritual journey lesson in that. I’m really proud of them for being brave and adventurous.

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Olbrich Gardens. I’m not really an outdoorsy person, but this place is magical to me. I love walking around and taking in all the beauty. Every since I was a small girl, I have loved willow trees. I would often daydream about reading under my own willow tree someday. I haven’t gotten one yet, but I’m still holding out hope. In the meantime, I can just come here whenever I want! The one above is a version of the willow called “scarlet curls”- oh la la!

Articles

Ideas for Women’s Ministry// Amy Simpson pushes women’s ministry outside of the box and encourages leaders to think harder about they whys behind the what… and then have the courage to do something different.

Mom Tiger Will Finally Lose Her S** on New Episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood// Please excuse the cursing in this post, and don’t let that stop you from reading this start to finish. I laughed. so. hard. And breathed a sigh of relief, knowing I was not alone in this battle.

25 Books to Read when you feel like the world is falling apart// Great recommendations on this list.

10 Ways to Soulfully Slow Down// “If I’m going to understand the meaning of delight, the joy of savoring the goodness all around me, and if I’m going to discover what it means to enjoy God, I have to slow down. I have to create space and room for delight, for celebration, for my soul to find rest and exhale. To let out a long sigh of relief and find a safe place to come out of hiding, free from incessant doing, and fill up once again.”

Books I’m Reading

Evicted.  The Sin of Certainty. The Gifts of Imperfection. Daring Greatly.

Podcasts

The Road Back to You … life through the Enneagram has been so fun for me to listen to on my drive to and from work. The Enneagram has played a special part in my faith journey, and I’m loving the opportunity to learn about the different numbers through the interviews they’re doing. I’ve listened to the interviews with Shauna Niequest and Mike McHargue, and have a new appreciation for 7s and 9s. I can’t wait to hear more!

I’m coming back around to Seminary Dropout again and have been moved to tears with some of the last episodes. This one with Soong-Chan Rah was a much needed listen for me. It reminded me that lament is a vital spiritual practice. And success-centered triumphalism is not what I want my life to be about. I forget that a lot.

Also, the episode with Jessica Kelley was a good one. I hadn’t heard of her before this, but after this interview, I immediately emailed the publisher and asked for a review copy of her book. I’ll be digging in and sharing my thoughts this fall.

My last favorite was an interview with Katherine Willis Pershey about spiritual practices on The Simple Show (episode 26). If I could find space to read for a few days straight, I’m pretty sure I’d gather up the books she’s written and find myself a place of solitude. She has a new book about marriage coming out soon that I’ll also start to dig into soon. Review coming this fall!

My June/July Posts

Raising Globally-Minded Kids (without traveling around the world)

Stitch Fix #2: Summer Lovin’ 

The Kingdom Work of Being a Dad

Wonderland (A Coloring Book Review)

What are you loving this month?? 

{And as always, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into. 🙂 }

What I’m Into {April 2016}

What I'm Into-4I’m sitting here at the computer in a sweatshirt, jeans and a big cozy blanket laying across my lap. My cup of steaming vanilla tea is warming me because I refuse to turn the heat on and warm up my 65 degree house. It’s 40 degrees outside even though we’re nearly in May.

It’s hard to believe that last weekend we were running around the soccer fields in t-shirts and shorts, eagerly talking about all the things we’re going to do now that we’re for sure done with winter.

My solution to all this whining? I’m going to rewind 3 days and pretend we’re still in 60/70 degree weather and tell you about all the goodness that comes along with warmer weather.

First of all, April means birthdays in our family. We got to celebrate the lives of two of my favorite people in the world: (more…)

What I’m Into {March 2016}

What I'm Into-2

He is Risen!

Easter (or Resurrection Day, as we like to call it around here) has become my favorite holiday over the past few years. It’s too easy for me to forget that this tiny portion of life here on earth is not all there is, and celebrating the empty tomb reminds me of the crazy hope I have that one day, this will all be made right.

Racism. War. Sex-trafficking. Premature death. Hunger. Bombings. Relational Strife. Competition.

It will all be made right. Praise. God.

In the meantime, we wait. And we gather together to remind ourselves of this good news each week. I used to kinda guffaw at people when they talked about how they needed to go to church on Sundays to “fill up their tank.” I thought, surely your tank can be full ANYTIME and why don’t you just spend time each day filling up on your own?

But, it’s true in the way that we NEED each other. We need to be reminded of the hope. Of the joy. Of the good news. Of God’s great love and compassion for us. Our human hearts have short attention spans, especially in particularly difficult seasons of life. I’m so thankful for community.

Amen.

On a totally disconnected note, I’m sharing some of my favorite things from this past month. How’s that for a creative transition?! 

 

Things I’m Loving Around the House

 

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Barney and Sons Coconut Green Tea // I’ve drank this coconut green tea everyday for the past 3 weeks. It’s heavenly.

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My Style Pinterest Board // I finally joined StitchFix because

  1. I have zero time to shop
  2. My clothes are getting pretty worn out, and
  3. When I do have time to shop, I have a hard time finding things that fit me well because I’m so short :).

We’ll see what they can come up with! In the meantime, I’ve been having fun creating my Style Board on Pinterest!

Easy Chicken Pad Thai // While this did take the hubby more than 30 minutes to make, it was delicious and used fairly simple ingredients.

 

Apps I’m Loving

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Avokiddo’s ABC Ride // My sweet Anaya is nearly three and can identify one letter of the alphabet. This has nothing to do with her intelligence (I mean, I’m guessing), but 99% with Jake and I’s lack of intentionality. Although, now that I think about it, buying this app still doesn’t reflect any real amount of intentional parenting on our part (“Here sweetie, play this game.”). Whoops. 🙂 Anyway, this is a good one.

 

Books I’m Loving

Carry On

Carry On, Warrior (Glennon Melton) // I know, I know. Why have I only just now read this fantastic book? The truth is- I tried to read it a year ago and couldn’t get into it. Looking back, I think I thought my life was going pretty good and I just couldn’t relate. While nothing horrible has happened since then, God’s been opening my eyes to how incredibly fragile we all are. Oh how we need voices like Glennon’s that will help us to see how much we’re loved, and remind us that living graceful, authentic lives where we don’t have to strive for this THING (whatever that magical thing is in our lives– I have lots of things, ugh) is actually better than having that THING.

 

Articles I’m Loving

Sometimes We Just have to Quit // “In high school, you’re successful because you take on and do so much. But that’s not what makes you a success — or even an interesting person — in adult life.”

How to Create Stunning Blog Post Title Images // While I obviously haven’t put this into practice, I like the idea. To the dry erase board!

My to-do list and my wish list // This shift in perspective is huge.

Pineapples and Flamingos // These free planner stickers are adorable and they remind me of warmth (please, spring temperatures, come soon!!).

5 Weak Words to Avoid and What to Use Instead // I need to write these on a post-it next to my computer. 🙂

The Magical Key to Doing It All // No one is doing it all. We don’t have to either. If you need permission to just slow down and do less, read this!

 

On My Blog this Month

The Gift Drawer: 20 Birthday Gifts for Under $10 // Gift ideas for all the elementary school kids in your life!

Tripping Our Way Towards Gender Equality // Parenting with an eye towards gender equality. As if parenting isn’t hard enough ;).

 

Today I’m linking up over at What I’m Into on Leigh Kramer’s blog!

What I’m Into {February 2016}

This month marked my first full month of working out of the home all day. We’ve been talking a lot about rhythms and babysitters and schedules and after-school pick-ups. Jake and I have texted more than we ever have, both to connect with each other… “you are never going to believe what I just read” and also to help smooth out the many transitions that speckle our days- “what time will you be home so dinner can be timed right?” and “hey will you grab the boxtops from the school office today at pickup?”

My window for hobbies and creative outlets is shrinking quickly. This month I’ve had to start sifting through all the “stuff” I did before working outside of the home all day.

Which ones are important? All of them.

Which bring the most joy? Um, all of them.

Which one can I not imagine NOT doing? Uhhhh. none of them?

Needless to say I’ve been awesome at figuring out new rhythms. 🙂

BUT whatever, all of that crazy work for another night. Tonight? I’m going to share all the little awesomes of the month. (more…)

Planner Stickers: Read. Pray. Scripture.

EC Planner Stickers

As I mentioned a couple months ago, I’m trying out the Erin Condren planner this year.

So far I’ve been bumbling around in it. I added a bit of washi tape this month to the bottom. I printed out some stickers for Feb and March to add for decoration. I made some of my own quote stickers with some of my favorite passages of Scripture and quotes from authors I love (Sarah Bessey quotes will be rocking my planner for the next 3 months!). Since the images aren’t mine, I can’t very well put them on here for the whole world to download, but if you wanna copy, message me on Facebook and I’m happy to email an unofficial copy your way!

In my search for what-fits-me, I decided I’d like some stickers that I can plop on my weekly pages that remind me what I can be praying for that week, what Scripture passages I’m on as I’m reading through the Bible, as well as some books that I’m wanting to read/needing to read that week. Especially when I’m using the kindle to read, I need the titles of the books staring at me or I find myself forgetting that I had even started them.

I couldn’t find stickers like these. None for free. One on Etsy but I didn’t really like the style. And while I’m no graphic designer, I decided to give sticker-making a try. And I love them! And because I made these, I can offer them for free to whomever my little heart desires… and I want to give them to YOU.

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DOWNLOAD STICKERS HERE

You can print them off on regular paper and glue them into your planner OR you can print them off on sticker paper, which is what I did. [Hint: I used this sticker paper and found it to be the most economical!]

What kinds of stickers are you looking for for your planner??

This post contains some affiliate links! 🙂 

November 2015 Loves

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Today I’m sitting in my in-laws house, happy and full of food and family. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, mostly because, well, food (duh), but also because the whole center of the holiday is focused on gratitude, family, and just hanging out.

November was a stressful month overall for the family. Jake finished his prelims and is now waiting on feedback from his committee. A favorable response would mean that Jake has moved from coursework to “All But Dissertation”– a huge step in the doctoral student journey. The sense of progress is mentally energizing for both the student and the family :).

We also had a couple birthdays this month….

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(more…)

October 2015 Loves

Okay, so perhaps this isn’t doesn’t exactly fit into my #write31days Soul Shaping writing challenge, but what we love shapes our souls, yes??

October Loves

This month I’ve spent nearly every evening writing. I thought taking the #write31days challenge would invigorate me and blossom me into a better writer. I was wrong :). I feel in need of a writing break and I have found that the increase in writing has meant less time for reading and other things that give me inspiration. Plus, who has time to edit and craft sentences when you’re just trying to crank them out?

So, whatever, it is what it is.

Onto my favorite things this month.  (more…)