What I’m Into (May 2017)

Well, THIS IS EXCITING. My book, A Different Beautiful, is currently on sale for JUST $1.99 for the ebook version! Grab for Amazon Kindle here or Barnes & Noble Nook here. This impactful message will inspire your heart, and it’s an easy read that is perfect for summer!

So, Evan and I are currently in the middle of a Whole30 for the month of May. We mostly were intrigued and wanted to try it, and our goals hinged on wanting to feel better in our day-to-day. I also wanted to learn more about food and preparing food. (Goal: ACCOMPLISHED. I feel like I’ve been living in the kitchen for the last 2 weeks.)

Based on feedback we’ve read and heard, we expected to feel a sort of detox at first and experience all different kinds of things as our bodies adjusted to this new way of eating, but we really haven’t felt much different. (Besides totally deprived.) It’s not difficult, but I’ll admit my interest is fading. As we continue, we’re really hoping that we’ll soon experience all of that energy everyone talks about!

I am wanting to dive into all the books right now, so I’m in the middle of a bunch and need to dial it back a bit so I can actually make it through and finish some! I just finished up kid literature Soar by Joan Bauer, which was wonderful! Highly recommend for kids in older elementary or junior high. I’m also in the middle of Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner, Charity Detox (which is a follow up to Toxic Charity, a book I really enjoyed and was challenged by), and Stretch by Scott Sonenshein.

Next up, I plan to read Shanghai Girls, which came highly recommended to me by my aunt.

Brenna continues her Berenstain Bears kick and hardly wants to crack open any other kind of book right now, and Connor is flying through the Notebook of Doom series. I pick up one for him at the library and he’s got it finished by the next day, so now I’m grabbing two at a time!

What’s on your reading list right now? Anything good I need to check out?

“There is nothing wrong with being disabled. But there is something wrong with society’s overall view of disability.” – So much YES to this post from This Little Miggy’s blog about the way the world treats differences.

“She had all these special needs and it became the status quo to shield her, to always be out in front of her delays. The hardest part for me now is not shackling her to them.” This post from Kayla Aimee for TODAY Parents will have you tearfully celebrating by the end. Just beautiful.

Bright shades, purple phone…not sure if she’s five or fifteen!

Indulging in a little batter from our pumpkin muffin baking extravaganza…

Evan and I got a night out with our good friends to see Garth Brooks in concert. Maybe the best concert I’ve ever seen! And such a great time with friends!

Purple and pink nails for summer…

Happy Wednesday – have a wonderful week of sunshine, dirt and laughter!

What I’m Into (April 2017)

With this absolutely perfect weather we’ve been experiencing in the Midwest, we have been outside every spare second – bike rides, swings, chalk masterpieces and walks.

We made it through spring break (enjoyed the lazy mornings and lots of togetherness…but oh, the togetherness) and joyfully celebrated Easter. There’s only a month left of school, and Connor’s first grade class has begun their ABC countdown for the last 26 days, landing on C for Crazy Sock Day today! In a couple of weeks, we have a big meeting with Brenna’s IEP team to discuss the transition to…KINDERGARTEN. She couldn’t be more thrilled and continues to ask nearly every day how far away August is!

Today, I’m rounding up what I’ve been into this month – what I’m reading, links I love and favorite family moments…

(that time I sat outside with both kids reading and it was the best thing ever.)

One of my favorite recent reads is The Same Sky by Amanda Ward. It’s fiction with a dual storyline that intersects at the end, and I couldn’t put it down! I finished two wonderful pieces of children’s literature as well: Fish in a Tree and The War That Saved My Life. Highly recommend both of them. And this week, I just finished reading A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold, mother of one of the shooters in the Columbine High School massacre. It was raw, vulnerable and quite eye-opening.. and it has certainly impacted the way I think about parental vigilance as my kids get older.

Currently, I’m in the middle of A Man Called Ove and loving it. I’m striking a nice balance these days of finding really good fiction to read alongside my usually preferred nonfiction.

Connor finished up all of the books in the 13-Story Tree House series (26-Story, etc.) and is back at the Magic Tree House and Came Jansen series that he’s been drawn to this year. I’m planning to dive into the Boxcar Children series with him this summer and am so excited about it. We’ve read the first one already, and he loved it. I picked up a sweet new children’s at the library, Not Quite Black and White, which Brenna has been reading on repeat!

 This post from my friend Mary DeMuth is a powerful reminder: “We’ve preferred the opinions of the masses to the still, quiet voice of the Holy One. We’ve chased popular opinion instead of following the narrow path.”

My friend Mike Berry of Confessions of an Adoptive Parent recently opened the Oasis Community, which is an online site providing in-depth resources, face-to-face support, and mentoring for foster, adoptive, and special needs parents. I’m thrilled to be part of the community, which so far has been extremely welcoming and helpful. You can check out oasiscommunity.me to learn more and enroll.

Such a fun morning walking in a 5K to benefit our local children’s hospital NICU, which is in the middle of a huge renovation!

We loved getting the chance to make dinner at our local Ronald McDonald House with both sets of our parents, and two cute little sous chefs!

Snuggling with a pack of adorable puppies while on spring break…

Connor’s been asking for backyard monkey bars for nearly a year now, so he and Daddy (with lots of help from Grandpa too!) constructed a set of bars in our yard on one beautiful weekend day…

I’m pretty sure she wants to bake with me so that she can sneak the chocolate chips…

Wishing you beautifully bright and colorful days ahead!