Hello dear friends.
Are you completely blown away by the fact that it is August? I am going to be honest, I can’t handle it. Maybe I am the only one, but as soon as August rolls around, I look at the calendar, and immediately feel like the summer is over. Hubby and I have got so much more summer fun ahead, but the feeling that its flying by just seems to intensify.
If you cant find me, chances are I am in a corner taking deep breaths and doing my best to live in the moment and not think away the next couple weeks.
Anyway, lets catch up on July shall we?
So much adventure
Bobby and I were fortunate enough to get a few good trips in this month. There just isn’t anything quite like getting away for some rest and reconnection.
Over the 4th of July weekend, we rented an AirBnB in Neptune and spent a glorious 5 day weekend at the beach. We were beach bums by day, and little city explorers by night. We hit the boardwalk in Asbury Park, explored Red Bank and saw the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra perform in the park, and had my first authentic carnival style boardwalk experience at Point Pleasant.
It was a perfect way to officially usher in summer, to reconnect after a busy end to the school year, and to celebrate 5 years of marriage (we killed a lot of bird with that one stone). Also, we caught up with some college friends at the beach on the 4th!
A few weeks later we headed to Massachusetts for the Celebration Conference. Our network of churches gathers from all over the northeast to worship, pray, and celebrate! This one was a game changer for me. I received prayer and counsel from some of our very best friends, and really feel like the Lord used them to heal me of living offended at God, and began the process of healing some other places in my heart. It was nothing short of amazing.
Love and Marriage
We celebrated 5 years married this month. I still don’t quite believe its been that long. I’ll spare you any more mushy stuff, since you already got it a few weeks ago. We celebrated the day exploring Hoboken, drinking good coffee, eating good food, strolling and chatting and dreaming, all our favorite things.
Facial First Timer
July always ends with a weekend trip to Lancaster PA to celebrate the birthday of one of my very best friends, lets be real, she is one of the very best humans on this earth. This year we celebrated with good food, great coffee, encouraging conversation, and facials!
Both of us were first timers, and it was so, so good. We got the validation treatment at the Lush Spa in Philadelphia. The treatment space was made to look like an english cottage, it was perfectly comfy and homey. It was such a relaxing and immersive experience we both left feeling pampered, relaxed, and beautiful.
Bethany is one of the most thoughtful and generous people, and spending time with her is like water to my soul. It was a good day indeed. My only regret is that the time was so short.
I feel like I have a harder and harder time remembering the lows by the end of the month. I want to be authentic and not come across all rainbows and sunshine, but the honest truth is God has been doing a work in me to embrace positivity and hopefulness more and more. Praise Him! Thats not to say there haven’t been hard days, but those days weren’t caused by things I can summarize in quick post. Does that make sense?
Hubby had a couple grad classes cancelled, which is a mix of low and high. No class means he gets to hang out with me and the little man, but it also means more time until the finish line. So I guess its short term gain for long term pain. Womp womp.
Working for the summer hasn’t been bad at all (like I said, me and the little man have been spoiled with lots of Bobby time, and also the little man is so much fun), but saying yes to work has meant saying no to some other things and that has been a bit of a bummer. The largest bummer being missing my cousins wedding in Buffalo. Thank God for pictures right?
What I Read
Okay, I don’t want to brag or anything, but pretty much I am killing it on the reading right now. Full disclosure, audiobooks and a 45-minute-each-way commute have been a major factor in that killing, but books are books right? (I will mark books I did on audio with an *)
Shrill – Lindy West This book totally challenged me and I ate it up. I will admit, I was expecting the emphasis to be more on empowering women to have a strong voice in the world, and while there was some of that, there was definitely a heavier emphasis on body image. Lindy gave words for so many things I have experienced and really empowered me to unashamedly take up space in the world.
Girl Up- Laura Bates– This one caught my eye on the “new releases” shelf a the library. Laura writes to young women about sexism, mental health, sexual health and the like in a funny but direct way. I found her candor refreshing and wish that I had access to a book like this in my teens. I will readily admit there were some ideas I disagreed with, but I was so impressed by Laura’s ability to present all sides of an idea in a way that made space to decided for yourself. I think it could be a really helpful resource for parents of young girls as a way to start conversation about difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conversation.
When Food is Love- Geneen Roth Crossing this one off from my summer reading list. As always Geneen provides some great little nuggets to challenge you and open your eyes to the reasons why you behave the way you do. Of all her books I read, I struggled most to relate to this one, but the revelations it brought were well worth it.
The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath* Maggie Gyllenhaal reads this audiobook, and she did a fantastic job. I find audiobooks are a great way to get more classic literature into your life, if thats something your interested in of course. The Bell Jar was certainly interesting, and I can only imagine how groundbreaking it must have been for its time. If I am honest though, I wanted more from it. I enjoyed being let in on the story, getting a picture of a woman in crisis, but it felt a little impersonal, like I wanted more insight into her thoughts and feelings.
Hillbilly Elegy – JD Vance* Woah. This one really got me thinking. On a practical note, I really enjoyed the way Vance wove statistics and case studies with his own personal story, his writing is relatable and accessible. On a personal note, I was really challenged to have more compassion for a people group I easily put myself at odds with, and even place myself as superior to, especially because I found myself relating to and understanding much more than I anticipated.
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving -Jonathan Evison* Okay, full disclosure, I did not love this book. I picked it up because the Netflix movie based on it is one of my favorites. The book was SO DIFFERENT, and not nearly as funny or endearing. I don’t know if I have ever said this about any other book turned movie, but go ahead and skip the book, just watch the movie.
What I Watched
The Big Sick – find it in a theater near you and run, don’t walk to see this movie! It is heartwarming and funny and just. so. good.
Dunkirk – Hubby was so amazed by this movie, he saw it twice. It really is a powerful display of bravery and sacrifice and unrelenting perseverance.
What I Listened To
I don’t have much new to report here. Still loving Chance the Rapper. Andrew Belle released a new track I am digging, and it has me pretty stoked for the new album coming later in August.
Some Things I Loved
Lush Cosmetics – Okay I am so late to this one, I know, but their products are wonderful and it feels so good not to worry about rubbing harmful chemicals into my skin. If you have one nearby, the stores are so worth visiting, the employees are so helpful and you can sample any product your little heart desires.
What I am Looking Forward to
Our summer is going to close out with a bang! August is jam packed and we have so much to look forward to! Top on the list, visits from friends, a Wojo family invasion into New Jersey, and Callamari-Bishop family vacation!
How was your July? What are you looking forward to for August? What are some tricks you found for taking deep breaths and being present in the moment?