Category: What I’m Into

September Loves (2015)

September Loves

I love the month of September, mostly because I love fresh starts and that’s always what September feels like to me. I’m also a huge fan of school, and even though I’m not in school anymore, the rest of my family is, and I feel so happy for them (even when they’re not). 🙂 (more…)

July Loves

July has been good to us, other than the NONSTOP sibling fighting (except when they’re not, and when they’re not, they are so sweet to each other). We’re working through it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

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Our best day ever was a Sunday afternoon when we went to the pool and spent the whole afternoon just having fun. The kids were incredibly happy and there wasn’t fighting for over 3 hours. I think it was some sort of Malloy child world record.

Next summer we’re buying a pool pass.

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May Loves

The kids only have a couple weeks left of school, and I’m getting totally antsy. It’s this weird stage of summer/but not yet summer. Jake’s finished with his semester, but the older kids are still in theirs. Is it summer? Is it not?

Anyway, onto May Loves. I love writing these posts! Not only do I get to share what I’m into with all of you all, but I think it also keeps me looking for the bright parts of my days and weeks.

Around the Webs

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My friend and some of his friends just started a kewl new podcast- The Bible Bites Podcast. For 20 minutes, they talk all things Bible. They are a super great group of people and I like this because I CAN DO 20 minutes. Folding laundry, running, doing errands, laying in bed before falling asleep. 20 minutes.

Motherhood, Transformation by Interruption (featured on Her.Meneutics). Sarah Bessey shares how interruption, specifically as it relates to motherhood, has transformed her. Interruption happens– but the question is, how do we let it move us? Towards grace? Or towards bitterness? Sarah chooses grace again and again. I don’t always, so this was encouraging to me.

The Moral Bucket List (NY Times) — what if our bucket list focused less on our external ambitions and more on our internal character? Whew, a good one.

On my Bookshelf

 

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I’m all up in a Harry Potter craze, bordering on slightly irresponsible. I may or may not have left household cleaning gone completely undone in exchange for a few more pages or chapters of reading through the Harry Potter series. I just finished book 5, and while book 6 is staring at me from my bookshelf, I MUST NOT START until I’m caught up on some other books and projects I was in the middle of before this madness began. It’s been a fun shared experience for Asante and I. He is going to read book 5, but stop there for a year or so (you can only imagine that he thinks that’s an awesome idea), because the content is just a little too mature for him at this point.

 

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Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church is the other book I’m working on. Rachel Held Evans shares her story of drifting away from the church (but not from Jesus), and how she’s found her way back. It’s a beautiful, honest story. Her writing has matured greatly since her other books. I mean, I’ve liked her other books a lot, but this one takes a step forward. I should have a full review up by the end of next week.

Family Life

 

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Jakey and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. Well, by celebrated I mean we did nothing fancy on the day of our anniversary. I’m pretty sure he was busy writing a paper for finals week and I feel asleep super early. BUT, a couple weeks later, our friends and neighbors offered to watch the kiddos while Jake and I went out to dinner. We went to a chinese buffet– we didn’t realize until we got there how perfect going there was! When we were dating “friends” for 3.5 years in college, we frequently went to this great Chinese Buffet in Columbia, MO called The Great Wall. This little date brought us back and made us laugh. 🙂 In a couple weeks we’ll be headed to Chi town for our REAL anniversary celebration- so excited!

We are SO close to being done with diapers. We’ve been diapering sweet baby bottoms for the past 7.5 years and I am happy, delighted, exuberant knowing that we’re on the homestretch. I even took Anaya out to Target in her undies- that’s how “almost done” we are. We’re good on daytime dryness, good on overnight and nap, but just got that, you know, other thing, to work on. After potty-training 4 kids, I’m convinced more than ever that potty-training is 95% child and 5% method.  

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Finally, our Life Group had a great going away party for our dear friends and neighbors, the Gonzalez’s. We cooked brats, ate Wisconsin cheese and did a lot of laughing, talking, and I may or may not have cried at the end. While them moving away is NOT something I love about this month, I do love that we have a really great Life Group who really loves one another. 🙂

Happy May! Here’s to a great summer for all!  

Linking up with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into party

April Loves

This month has absolutely flown by. Between birthdays, out-of-town visitors, and lots of schoolwork for Jake, we’ve had our days full to the brim.

April Loves

Two of my absolute favorite people had birthdays this month.

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Aly turned 6.

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Anaya turned 2.

IMG_7099We had a super fun party for Aly, invited some of her friends over for a woodland creatures party, and got her ears pierced. She rocked it; didn’t even flinch.

Anaya had no party, just a Curious George cake (above). Must be sad being the youngest and not getting crazy fun celebrations. When she’s older :). We got a slide for her room (consignment sale find!) and it’s the best gift ever. She (and Ada) have used it everyday. I like that it’s just one more way to be active when we have to be cooped up inside.

Three of my favorite PEOPLE came to visit this month.

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Denise and Calvin. They came up to help celebrate the birthdays as well as enjoy our Spring Break with us. We did a lot of outside walking, exploring, biking, basketballing (a word, right?!) and a little ice cream eating :).

My momma. She came up also to celebrate birthdays as well as help me wrangle the kids while Jake was gone to an education conference in Chicago. She made the time go by so quickly. We also did a lot of outside stuff- zoo, park hopping, picnic-eating. We were busy having so much fun that I didn’t take any pictures.

Stuff

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Have I already written about these? I don’t even know, but if I did they are worth a repeat. These brussels sprouts have changed my life. Delicious. Healthy. Delicious. Aly and I eat them warm or cold (we prefer warm) and we will eat them anytime, anywhere. Aly asked for brussels sprouts for breakfast the other day. I mean, how could I say no?!

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I do not shop for myself very often. If I have a few extra dollars in the clothes budget, it’s going to go to some clothes for the kids or for Jake. But, I realized that I really do need a few more pieces of clothes to replace some of my worn out clothes from my early college days (I’m not even joking; I keep clothes forever. If you see me on a regular basis, this won’t surprise you. Whatever. I’m a loyalist- I hang on to those I love UNTIL THE VERY END). All that said, I bought a shirt and dress online that I LOVE and FIT PERFECT. Dresses that fit me are kinda like unicorns- very rare. So, this dress in the picture looks like a super short dress. Well, lucky for me, because now I have a dress that hits just above my knee (I’m not even kidding).

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I found this adorable book garland decorating idea for a party, but I think I’m going to use it for my house  in the kids’ room or above our bookshelves. How cute is this?!

Articles

Daring to Love Your Neighbor: A great challenging article. Daring to love our neighbors may be one of the keys to the world we wish for.

Sometimes, Kids Don’t Need to Share: I think this is an interesting article. More than just the sharing issue, I think this brings into light the fact that we sometimes really rush for our kids be nice and generous and selfless and all of those fantastic qualities… at the ages of 2 and 3 and 4 and 7, without really taking into consideration that they are still learning and growing and their brains are still very much developing. Ease up, momma. The training is long- we’re in for a marathon, let’s not make it a sprint.

Love and Merit: On loving our kids unconditionally- really, and allowing their successes and failures to be completely untied to our deep, affectionate, obvious love for them.

I, as a white mom of two black children, do not share Baltimore’s pain. Instead, I grieve with you: Jen Hatmaker takes on a slightly different kind of writing, and really brings truth to an incredibly difficult, complex situation. I must admit that when I read my first book by Jen, I liked it, but I told my book ladies that I’d probably not actually be her friend in real life. My love for her has only grown since that time, and I feel like she’s been so courageous in using her platform of influence to not back down on the hard issues.

Today I’m linked up with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into. 

March Loves

March is a fantastic month. Perhaps the best month of the year…. because it’s my birth month! I’m now THIRTY-TWO, but it’s totally fine and I’m coping with all the emotions that being in your 30s brings (What have I accomplished? I still have so much left to do! How in the world am I still renting? How in the world did I end up with 4 beautiful children who are going to all be in elementary school in only a few short years?!). No biggie.

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My most favorite thing this month was my ultimate birthday date night. If you missed it, you can read about my epic 11 hour date here. It was so much fun and included all the things I love to do OR had been really wanting to do.

 

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Over at SheLoves Magazine, they’re in this huge Dangerous Women series, and it has been my obsession this month. I love it…every single post… and I love what it does inside of me and also, I know, inside of hundreds of other women who think that the good life is the safe life. Heck no, techno! If you haven’t yet, I double dog dare you to read these posts (which are my favorites):

 

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Last week Jake and I were finally able to watch The Theory of Everything, which is the story of the relationship between Stephen Hawking and his wife. I laughed, I cried, and cried some more. It is the best romantic comedy I’ve watched in a long time, and it was a perfect date movie- romance and science and geekiness. It’s in the RedBox.

 

 

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On Spotify I found a music compilation that is perfect for my afternoon work/play time: You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music. Ada has been spending half of her “quiet times” downstairs, and she has a few favorites on here herself.

 

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Finally, my Aly and I have spent some time on Pinterest together and it has been SO MUCH FUN. I can only see this leading to some really fun projects together. We’re brainstorming about her upcoming Woodland Creatures birthday party, and we’ve created this really fun board. Of course we’ll end up just using a couple ideas, but we’ve had fun discussing what we like and what we don’t like along the way.

 

 So that’s my March! What are some things YOU’VE been loving this month?! 

 Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into this month.

February Loves

February has been SO COLD here in Madison. I know Madisonites aren’t really complaining, but I’m not sure that I’ll ever get used to it. It’s kept us inside a lot of the month because neither Ada or I can manage to go out in it for very long periods without grumbling. Because we are SO COLD. Sweet Ada wakes up many mornings and says with a sigh, “Well, it’s still winter.” Yep, I feel ya, sister.

Okay, all of that, now onto my February Loves!

I’m kicking this list off with a couple articles I really enjoyed this month.

Educating Introverts: A rethinking, of sorts, about what it means to be an introvert in a school setting.

[Love Looks Like] 2:07 a.m. : While technically this article was published in January, I didn’t read it until February, so it fits right here for me. I think my favorite part may be this section:

We swore we wouldn’t become those tired ones in the middle of their life, living just a regular sort of life. We are meant for more than the ordinary! we bought the lie, hook line and sinker from the evangelical hero complex. Life was meant to be an adventure, filled with risk and romance. Love would look like this for us forever. Like we were somehow above or better than the minivans and mortgages, the tub scrubbing and sheet washing, like our clock would always be made up of bright mornings and late nights.

But here’s the truth: lifelong love is actually most built throughout the hours of the day, all twenty four of them, in the ordinary moments of our humanity.

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And while I”m reading these articles in the afternoons, I’m drinking Tazo Chai Vanilla Caramel tea and let me tell you, it’s like drinking ice cream to me. I just put in a little creamer and it’s perfect.

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Earlier this month I attended the If:Conference and it was a great experience mostly because of the people I was with (although the speakers were interesting too!). I think the If:Gathering altogether is a really interesting movement and I’ve been trying to figure out why it’s caught on so quick. Because really, what they are doing through this gathering is really what should already be going on in our local churches. Why do we need a group of women on a stage motivate and equip us ladies (through Bible studies) to go serve in our local communities? Is it not happening already in the local churches? Been mulling over that all month. Leave any observations or suggestions in the comments :).

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I feel almost embarrassed by how much I’m loving everything the Liturgists are putting out. I’m not sure I’ve been “all in” to something like this since The Babysitters Club back in my elementary years. The Liturgists came out with a new Meditations podcast this month. If you haven’t listened in at all, just start back at the beginning of their podcast feed and listen straight through. It’s… soul nourishing.

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FroYo. There is never a day too cold for FroYo. We took the kids out for a Valentine’s Day treat on a day that was bitterly cold and we all agreed – yes, it’s still delicious. (Can you SEE THE COLD IN THIS PICTURE?)
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Also on Valentine’s Day, my love made this cool graphic as a representation of his love for me. Geeky. And fantastic.

And last but not least, I LOVE that I got a new look here on the blog. Did you notice? A good friend from college, Amanda Iman, created this great graphic for my header and it’s just perfect. She’s an amazing graphic artist– check out her site to see some other projects she has worked on!

Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into this month.

My January Loves

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Kettle Chips, Sea Salt and Vinegar.

In case you missed my ridiculous Facebook posts about this, I ate a whole bag in two sittings on accident. The bags are small. 😉

 

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Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn.

I first discovered this brand at a PTO meeting, and a few days later bought 4 bags of various kinds. Gotta watch out though, some are healthier than others.

 

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Parenthood.

Tonight is the last. 🙁 I’m sad that my Thursday night routine will be over: snuggle in bed with my iced tea, brownie batter ice cream, and crocheting to keep me company while I watch.

 

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Melanie Shankle.

Also known as “Big Mama”. While I don’t read her blog, I have read her two books this month (Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room) and they are so hilarious!! I laughed out loud many times reading both of them. I recommend them! She has a new book coming out in April? August? I’m not sure, but I’ve already gotten on the hold list at my local library :).

 

One Day by Matisyahu.

This is my prayer, my dream, my hope. You know how sometimes you listen to a song and it just moves you? This one is it for me. We listen to this almost everyday, and Ada calls it “her song” (thankfully she doesn’t understand one of the sections of lyrics that are bit graphic) because she loves the chorus:

All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There will be no more wars
And our children will play
One day

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Valentine’s Day Projects.

The kids made them and they turned out so well!!! I included 4 exclamations, because, you know, sometimes projects don’t actually turn out that well at these ages (shhhh).

Linking up with….

What I'm Into