November Musings

img_3701When I started my blog this summer, I had good intentions of posting regularly. In no big surprise to myself, I have not blogged as often as I hoped. A fellow writer, Molly Flinkman, does a monthly blog post with a round up of what she’s written and read in the past month. I am going to try this out and see what happens. So, here goes!

//What I Read//

I love reading; but find myself going through spurts where I read non-stop followed by a dry season where I don’t read at all. This fall was mostly a “dry” season in reading for me, but I picked back up the last month and read five books in November (two were audio).

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
“When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.”

I really liked this book and would call it a romantic mystery. I’m not a huge fan of thrillers (i.e. being scared), so this one fit the bill perfectly for me. It kept me guessing the whole time and I was not right in any of my predictions. I gave this book 4.5 stars on Goodreads (if you could give half stars).

Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma’s Heart by Becky Thompson
This was a pretty quick read and it felt like Becky was talking right to you. She recently Skyped into our MOPS meeting and I enjoyed reading her book after “talking” to her in real life. I felt like I knew her a bit and enjoyed her story.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
“Set in a remote health-and-wellness retreat, presided over by a very intriguing and charismatic guru figure, Nine Perfect Strangers introduces us to nine different characters with very little in common. Each has a compelling reason for coming to the retreat. Some seek healing while others wish to be transformed.”

I have read all of Liane Moriarty’s books, I think this is her 6th or 7th one. This book was admittedly not my favorite; but it was still a good read.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
“Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.”

I don’t always enjoy audiobooks: my mind wanders and I suddenly realize I have not been listening and have no idea what’s going on. This audiobook was 15 hours, which makes it the longest book I’ve ever finished on audio! The narrator did a great job with the different accents and characters, which made it a really fun listen. This is a must-read/listen!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This book is our December book club pick of the month. I don’t remember reading it as a kid, and Rich and I listened to it on audio while we were traveling for Thanksgiving. It was a short audio and a good read. Rich was driving, which meant I had more distractions and didn’t listen as well as I would have if I was driving. He kept me in the loop with what was going on when my mind started to wander.

My goal for 2018 was to read 40 books and I am currently at 47 (thank you to the Goodreads app for helping me keep track!). I hope to get to 50 by the end of December, but I’m currently in another reading slump, so we will see if that happens.

//What I Wrote//

Since April I have taken four writing workshops; two of them were this fall and I took them back-to-back. The second workshop was “Writing With Purpose” by Coffee + Crumbs writer, Sonya Spillmann. I highly recommend it for those who love to write. She is offering it again in February; click the link above to see if there are any spaces left! You won’t regret it. During this workshop I wrote a couple essays which I am still working on, and hope to submit for publication sometime in 2019. I also wrote an Instagram post that I shared yesterday about finding my purpose in a snack filled world.

At the beginning of November, “Finding Myself in the Laundry” was published on Sweatpants & Coffee.

My latest essay “A Farmer’s Son” comes out tomorrow on Her View From Home. I have been nervously waiting for this to be published. Some essays I am more proud of than others, and this is one of them. I wrote this essay during a workshop I took this summer from “Mothers Always Write” and the workshop happened to fall during the first week of harvest. This year the first week of harvest started out with taking Rhett to urgent care two days in a row, followed by a week of sickness for the family. Let’s just say it wasn’t the best time to try and take a workshop! But when I signed up I had no idea the week would turn out that way. I’m always nervous to see the comments on essays I have written, and I would say I am more anxious about this one than others. I’m not sure if it’s because of how I feel about the essay or more that I worry people will read it wrong and make assumptions about me. Probably both.

//Final Thoughts//

Last year I discovered that Coffee + Crumbs accepts guest submissions twice a year, and they don’t accept many. I put it on my list of goals for 2018 to submit an essay to them. I wasn’t brave enough to write down that I wanted to be published on C+C, just that I wanted to submit something I felt was good enough to submit. I wrote an essay in April and I saved it all summer to submit in their open submissions in September. Patience has never been a virtue of mine. Submissions opened in late September and I clicked submit for the first time to C+C. To say I felt anxious was an understatement; then I had to wait. For over a month I waited to hear back from them. At the end of October I finally received an email: it was accepted! I don’t know when it will be published yet, sometime in 2019. It felt like such an accomplishment and I can’t wait to see it on their website next year.

//

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I can keep up with this each month (and maybe something in-between every now and then). This was fun – thanks for the inspiration, Molly!

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Mouths of (Farm) Babes

“What’s that sound?” my son asks. I put my hand above my eyes to block the sun on this already too hot May day. Looking toward where the sound is coming from, I don’t see the farm equipment that is in question. I give a quick reply thinking it will suffice, “It’s just a tractor.” My three and a half year old promptly says, “No, it’s not. It’s the wheel loader.” Within a few seconds, the wheel loader drives around the shop into sight. And yes, there is a difference between a wheel loader and a tractor. Just ask my son. I then wondered why he asked me the question, when he already knew the answer.

IMG_1232

Rhett wearing his dad’s jean jacket from when he was a kid.

I truly have learned that “kids say the darndest things.” And Rhett just might top the list. Now that the weather has finally turned to summer, we have been spending more time outside. One day Rhett was trying to get his Gator into the shed and he said, “Mom, where’s my hooker?” I paused for a moment, wondering if he had been watching some TV show that I would not approve of. I started looking around the yard, trying to envision the world from his point of view. I soon saw what I assumed was his hooker. His blue tow strap was lying on the ground, just waiting to be hooked up to his Gator. I smiled and felt a sense of relief that he hadn’t learned a new word that I would hope he would never say at church. Although there is still the risk he will be looking for his hooker at church. We will have to have a conversation that hookers are only for the farm and not at church.

There are some moments in parenting when you immediately feel a rush of pride and feel that you are doing something right. Starting at a fairly young age, Rhett would fold his hands and pray with us before meal times. He started doing it without any prompting, he merely was copying us by folding his hands at his highchair. As he has gotten older, he occasionally recites the prayers along with us. Due to my Lutheran background, I have always felt more comfortable reciting common prayers rather than praying “off the cuff.” This night was no different and we were saying the common table prayer. Rhett interrupted us and said he wanted to do it. I looked over at him in anticipation of what he was going to say. He bowed his head and said, “Come Lord Jesus, thanks for fixing the truck. Amen.” It was clear that he had spent the day at the shop with his dad and indeed they had been working on a truck.  

Rhett is already learning a strong work ethic, which can be a challenge when trying to get him to go to bed. There are many evenings when he doesn’t want to park his farm equipment and just wants to keep “working.” When I tell him it’s time to stop playing and go to bed he firmly tells me, “It’s my job!” I think his dad would agree that when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. For Rhett playing is his job, and it’s hard to convince him it’s time to call it day.

I started journals for each of my kids to write down funny things they say or do, and milestones along the way. I quickly realized that even though I think I’ll remember all the funny sayings, I don’t. Each year on their birthdays I write them a letter in their journal. I anticipate I will give them their journals on their 18th birthdays or when they graduate from high school.

What funny things do your kids do or say? Do you keep a journal for them?