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because life is full of twists and turns

Month: September 2014 (page 1 of 3)

The best of the month: September



September was a fantastic month for us.  Really and truly fantastic.  The whole month led up to our vacation last week which just so happened to coincide with our third anniversary.

We spent a glorious week on the beach with my sister and her family.  I loved introducing Caleb and Hadden to the place where I grew up vacationing – I have so many memories locked away there, especially since I grew up moving and don’t have a home town or a childhood house to show them.

The end of the month snuck up on me since we were away, but I still wanted to share my favorite reads from this month.  Here they are!


Bill Hewitt with Heather Penney:  On 9/11, F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Was Prepared to Take Down United Flight 93

What went through your mind as you took off?

I was thinking this was the one thing in my life that I had to get right. I had already given myself up, knowing what my duty was.


An Open Letter To Fox News About ‘Boobs On The Ground’

And before you jump to the standby excuse that you were “just making a joke” or “having a laugh,” let the men amongst our number preemptively respond: You are not funny. You are not clever. And you are not excused. Perhaps the phrase “boys will be boys”—inevitably uttered wherever misogyny is present—is relevant. Men would never insult and demean a fellow servicemember; boys think saying the word ‘boobs’ is funny.


Danica Johnson at Everyday Feminism: How to Explain Feminism to Non-Feminist in a Non-Threatening Way

The common ailment that we, as feminists, must fight against is a deep ignorance about what feminism actually stands for – especially how feminism is rooted in equality for all people. And because so many people out there are uneducated on the subject, there’s a lot of work to be done.


Rachel Grate at Arts.Mic: Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write

Pennebaker believes this act of expressive writing allows people to take a step back and evaluate their lives. Instead of obsessing unhealthily over an event, they can focus on moving forward. By doing so, stress levels go down and health correspondingly goes up.


Brian Adams Jones at Task & Purpose: Sorry, The Presidential Salute Isn’t A Real Thing

There’s no regulation that stipulates presidents must salute the troops. In fact, for the first 192 years of our republic, it didn’t happen. None of the first 38 commanders in chief did it. And some of those dudes had some serious military experience. Eisenhower? Grant? I mean, Teddy Roosevelt was a war hero. Surely he felt compelled to click his heels together and cut a perfect knife-handed salute when he passed a uniform service member, right? Wrong. It was literally something that Ronald Reagan made up one day.


Elesha Coffman at her.meneutics: All Men Should Be Farmers (A satirical take on Christian gender roles)

The Bible teaches that all men should be farmers. Farming is their calling, and they are biologically suited to it.


Last night I wept.

I am a mama who has never had to question teaching my son to wave to police officers.  Until recently, I had never thought of them as a threat.

It is a world of privilege that my son was born into.  Someday I’m going to have to explain that to him and tell him that people are treated unfairly and inhumanely simply because of the situation and conditions into which they were born. Someday my son is going to awaken to a world of injustice that can’t be fixed as simply as Mama on one side and Daddy on the other.


So there you have it – my favorite reads from the month of September!  What are YOUR favorite reads from this month?

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Year Three


Three years ago today Caleb and I got married!  So much has changed in that short amount of time – Caleb commissioned into the Air Force, we’ve moved to two different states, I’ve started writing more seriously and (most important) we have a toddler!!

We’re on vacation right now, but last week I sat down to write about what I’ve learned in the past three years.




1.  Your wedding might not be the happiest day of your life.

…And I kind of hope it isn’t!  I hope that you’re constantly collecting “happiest days” or maybe “happiest moments.”  The happiest day of your life might just turn out to be a random Saturday where you wake up with your husband and your baby snuggled next to you and where you lazily spend the day running errands and walking to the park.  Or a road trip where you crank the radio up too loud, buy junk food at the gas stations along the way and engage in some tremendous conversations.

I hope that you randomly look up in the middle of a seemingly ordinary, average day and realize that these everyday moments make up the happiest day of your life.

2.  Things work out okay even if they don’t go according to The (All-Important) Plan

Having a baby ten and a half months after getting married?  Not part of The Plan.

Moving to Omaha instead of to Europe?  Also not part of The Plan.

But things worked out okay.  Actually, they worked out to be so much more than okay.  While I still think about what life would have been like if I’d finished my masters by now or lived somewhere exotic, I love this little life we have.

This lesson, I’m sure, is one that I’ll be ever-learning.  I always think that I can plan life out perfectly in my head, but God is continually teaching me that life will be okay and He will be faithful when my plans fall through.

3.  Being married to your best friend is AWESOME

I love being married to my best friend.  I am grateful that we actually enjoy spending time together.  I love that we text each other throughout the day just because and I like that I look forward to seeing him each day.  Sometimes we quarrel, of course, but we’re able to work through it and move on.

As long as my husband is in the Air Force, we will be moving every few years.  We live away from family and have to make new friends each time we move.  But I’m thankful that my two favorite people get to move with me each time!


Just for fun, here are a couple extra pictures from our wedding!








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Currently Reading: My Beach Picks

This week we’re on our first vacation since our honeymoon!  We’ve gone to see family or traveled to weddings, of course, but I don’t count those as vacations.  But we’re spending a whole week at the beach as a family and are absolutely thrilled about it!

Since I’ve known this trip was coming for a bit, I’ve been collecting books to read on our vacation.  Vacation is a chance to get away from the norm and I wanted books that fit that theme too instead of bringing serious non-fiction or anything I was planning to review.

Here’s what I was looking for when I picked out vacation reads:

1. Electronic

Because we’re flying, I can’t bring a stack of heavy books.  I rarely buy Kindle books since I read a lot of non-fiction with pencil in hand.   But before our last trip to my sister’s wedding, I bought a Kindle book on a whim and read it on my iPhone via the Kindle reading app.  I was surprised at how much I liked it!  I could read easily during our car trip and could pull it out for a silent, undistracting activity in the hotel room after my son went to bed each night.

2. Fiction

Again, I read a lot of non-fiction normally.  This year I was challenged to read  more fiction and have found that reading fiction renews my love for reading.  While I enjoy reviewing books and learning, I’ve missed the feeling of getting lost in a story.  So these vacation reads is about rekindling that feeling.

3. Breezy and Fun

Growing up, my mom would have called these “fluff” books.  At this stage in life, I’m having the most fun when I read fiction books set in current times and, occasionally, set in a dystopia.  What I don’t like to read (currently) is historical fiction – it feels too much like a school assignment from childhood.


This is what my app looks like now!  Books galore waiting to be read!




The best part is that I haven’t paid full price for any of these books!  Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy (the best blog for book lovers) keeps a great list of Kindle deals.  I checked that list religiously and was able to purchase most of these books for about $3-4.

Interested in hearing a little more about the books I’ve chosen?  Just look below and I’ll explain my choices!



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This summer I discovered Rainbow Rowell starting with Attachments and moving on to Eleanor and Park.  The books are fun for anyone to read, but since Rainbow is from Nebraska and sets many of her books in cities here, it makes it especially interesting to me.  I breezed through the first two books, so I’m expecting to finish this one quickly as well.


is everyone hanging out without me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Okay, so Mindy’s memoir isn’t technically fiction, but I think it will be a fun read.   And I’ve been wanting to read this book for a couple of years now.  I like Mindy’s work on The Office and The Mindy Project, so I think I’ll enjoy this book!


something borrowed

 Something Borrowed: Emily Griffin

This book I chose on a whim after seeing it on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s list of Kindle deals.  After re-reading the synopsis, I’m not sure I’m going to like it.  Thankfully, I think I only paid $0.99 so if I end up hating it, I won’t feel like I wasted money.


where'd you go bernadette


Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

It seems like every reading list I’ve seen in the past year included this book so it has been on my “to read” list for awhile now.  I can’t wait to dig into this one and find out if I like it as much as everyone else does!


veronica mars

Vernoica Mars and the Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

I’m a little late to the Veronica Mars hype – it was just this summer that I watched the show for the first time.  Admittedly, I binge-watched all three seasons in a few weeks and then ran out to rent the movie.

It makes me a bit nervous to read a book based on a TV series, BUT the author is the creator of the show, which gives me up.  Plus Anne liked it and I trust her bunches.


And I have one more book that breaks the rules listed above.

cold tangerines

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

I’m bring a physical copy of this non-fiction book.  Shauna Niequist is one of my absolute favorite authors and she always inspires me to write.   I’m looking forward to reading it in those moments when my phone is dead or when Hadden is using it.  My mom sent me this book for my birthday in August, but I have been saving it for this vacation!  This book is non-fiction and a little deeper than the rest so it doesn’t quite fit my “beach reads”, but I’ve loved both of Shauna’s other books so I’m excited to be reading this one.

So now I only have one problem:  how do I choose which book to crack open first??


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