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What I’m Into March 2015 – The Spring has Sprung Edition

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As per my usual, this post is really about February and March!

What I read:  This month I joined Rachel Held Evans’ street team for her forthcoming book Searching for Sunday.

11074712_10206362809728731_8907623212580891103_nThis is a large group of Rachel enthusiasts who receive an advance copy of her book in order to review, promote, blog about it etc.  I enjoyed Rachel’s other books and love what she does on the blog but because I did not really ‘grow up’ in the church (and definitely not in the south) I wasn’t sure what I would think of it.  Would I like it if I couldn’t relate to it?  Sure enough, I thought it was fabulous.  Her simple yet profound statements about church itself were so encouraging. And I worked at enough church camps to get the chubby bunny references (and then bonded with her husband Dan about how his fear of choking is amplified by this ridiculous game).

I also read a few of the Canada Reads novels including the winner Ru by Kim Thuy.  I haven’t finished all of them yet but my favourite, thus far, is And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyn Saucier.

What I watched: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (produced by Tina Fey) on Netflix. I loved it. If you like 30 Rock you will like this and if you don’t like 30 Rock, try it but you may not like it. And that friends, is my ‘descriptive’ review of the only show I watched this month. However, here is one of the most interested things I read about the show by cult survivor and author Elizabeth Esther.

What I celebrated: My oldest son turned 7! For 3 out of the last 4 birthdays we have hosted a big outdoor neighbourhood hockey game in the parking lot behind our house. Every year the weather has cooperated.

One of the best things about kid parties in Vancouver is they are often “toonie” parties (a toonie is a $2.00 coin). Each guest brings a toonie for the birthday kid and they collect up enough to buy one present the birthday child really wants. Some parties even have “a toonie to spend & a toonie to give away.”  It’s brilliant and eliminates all the stuff!

What I did: I officiated five beautiful, small and simple weddings as part of my new contract with Young Hip & Married.  The first one involved a 90 minute hike (which the bride did in her dress and long underwear).  It was just me, the couple, 2 friends and a spunky photographer.

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What I said in front of a mic: I  preached my first sermon of 2015. I don’t do a lot of preaching but I really enjoy the experience of both preparing and preaching.  Our church is going through the Lord’s Prayer during Lent and my week landed on “Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.”   The gospel hinges on forgiveness and I was thankful to spend time reflecting on that.

What dreams came true: Dane is a Rocky Balboa fanatic, and that my friends, is an understatement. He has loved the movies since he was a kid, has a tattoo of Rocky’s gloves, etc. For years he has wanted to go to Philadelpia and “run the steps” and see all the movie sites.  We put it off for years because it never felt like a good year financially (or with little kids at home). But finally we just decided it is never a good year – so he should just go!  It was so amazing to watch his dream come true (via twitter and texts).

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What I finally did: I launched the  creative project, #lostnlifted, that I’ve been working on for over ten years! You can read the story behind it  here or follow along and join the fun on instagram here. Snap pictures of items lost by people and lifted up so that the owner will see them if they walk by again. Kindness in the neighbourhood!

Once again I’m linking up with Leigh for the easiest blog post to write!

What did you get up to this February and March?

What I’m into January 2015 – The Plaid Shirt Edition

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Once again I’m linking up with Leigh for the easiest blog post to write! Side note about Leigh, she is an enneagram expert! If you are interested in learning more or a general personality nerd like myself, you should definitely check out her blog!

December and January shall be covered here because what I was into at the end of December was the flu and thus did not write a post. I know, womp womp, who wasn’t laid up at some point in December? Thanks to the flu I read a few great books and finished all the Good Wife available.

What I’m Reading:

I read a fabulous novel my sister gave me and I recommended to my new book club (luckily my first suggestion was a hit): Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. It is a beautiful, funny, sad story filled with 80’s references and a tale of different kinds of love. Highly recommended!

I also read, as many of you did, Yes Please! by Amy Poehler. It was what I expected – hilarious. I regret not listening to the audio book like I did with Bossy Pants but when I was offered a copy to borrow I snatched it up.

Next up on the nightstand is a book most of you probably haven’t read and won’t read but, again, my sister knows me: Last Night at the Viper Room, River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind. As a pre-teen/teenager my room was filled with Bop Magazine posters of River Phoenix and his death in 1993 was a marked moment of my childhood.  This book weaves his (crazy!) life with the events of Hollywood in the 80’s and 90’s. I love all of it!

What I’m Listening to:

I’m not going to lie, Invisibilia did not fill the Serial shaped hole in my heart. I’m ok that Serial is over but the latest podcast from NPR/This American Life is not making me look forward to doing the dishes. I’ll probably listen to Invisibilia but that’s just because we have so many dishes to wash.  I got back into The Moth and am enjoying good old fashion story telling.  Speaking of which, my friend Preston is hosting a Moth-like event called LOOSE ENDS this February. Yours truly will definitely attend, if not participate. You can read all about it here.  If you haven’t listened to the latest This American Life with Lindy West talking about internet trolls, get on it!

What I wrote:

We finished up the series on Living with Someone Else’s Mental Illness. I’m so thankful for all the brave people who contributed to that series – and thanks to all you who read each week.

I did a guest post for fellow Regent alumni, Nathan Olson, about how I made the decision to become a coach and career changes in general. My post on feminism and the church for Momentum was an interesting experience that didn’t produce as much discussion as I hoped (or perhaps the kind of discussion I hoped for).  And lastly I wrote a post about our decision to live with Rachel all those years ago for my friend Cara’s friendship synchro- blog. It was such a joy to write about that fabulous risk.

What I’m working on:

I’ve officially begun doing weddings with Young Hip and Married after accidentally becoming a wedding officiant about twelve years ago. My e-course Juncture is running again this month and will hopefully have its own new snazzy webpage in coming weeks! And I’m booking private clients for coaching here. As always, if you have any questions about working with me just contact me here on via email.

What I’m thankful for:

After some serious rain, Vancouver has settled into nice balmy-almost Spring-like-weather, we like to call Juneuary. This is going nicely with my new FitBit (thanks mom) – a digital pedometer that has been telling me I walk close to 4 miles a day, on a regular day! I’m mildly obsessed with tracking it all.

Photo/Highlight of the month: Watching my two kids spend a week with their newest cousin, Louis. I think he was into it too.

What were YOU into this month?

Cousins!

Cousins!

 

 

 

 

What I’m Into Nov 2014 – The Beluga Edition

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Good Bye November….Here’s what I was into.

Listening: The Serial obsession continues. It keeps getting better! Did you know there is a follow-up podcast on Slate? Each week some folks from Slate.com talk about this weeks episode and interview real lawyers, investigators etc. Needless to say, I love it.

Reading: As if there hasn’t been enough heavy news this month, I’m reading Miriam Toews latest novel, All My Puny Sorrows. It is very good and I’m thankful I’ll be discussing it in my new book club (!!) because books like this must be processed with friends. On the lighter side, I’m looking forward to reading Amy Poehler’s new book over Christmas vacation. If I can’t read it on the beach somewhere, I’ll do it in front of a toasty fireplace.

Hot tip from the Interwebs: My favourite place to find photos for my blog is at unsplash because the photos are free, easy to access and for reasons I will not be able to explain require very little editing on my part.  Here is an example that has nothing to do with this post (except that I’m always into swimming).

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Bondi Beach by David Di Veroli

 

Life lesson of the month: I should really add this section every month. I’m learning how to discuss things I feel passionately about with people who disagree with me (I am not good at this).  I’ve had many  heated debates with someone I love about the word feminist and their lack of using it despite their utterly feminist beliefs. And then I read this article. Read it if you have ever struggled hearing or using the word feminist.

Blog: As some of you may know, I posted a very hard piece this week as an introduction to a series I’m hosting: Living with Someone Else’s Mental Illness.  I shared my experience of being married to someone who struggles with mental illness. Let’s just say my blog posts might get a few comments and once in a while someone other than my mom or sister-in-law will ‘share’ a post. This one was shared over 30 times, and ‘reached over 15,000’ on Facebook (whatever that means) and had over 1600 views on my blog. It’s both overwhelming and exciting. Come back here on Monday for the next post in the series (by someone other than me!).

In other blog news, next week I’ll be over at Little Did She Know joining in Cara’s (de)tales series and I’ll have a post at Momentum.

Lowlight: I’ve been closely following the events of Ferguson and reading one heart breaking story after another. This isn’t the time or place to unpack it all but I will say this. Please don’t turn a blind eye to this.  There are a million places to learn more but just make sure you don’t learn it all from the same source. Question your own biases. Learn from someone who doesn’t look like you. Perhaps begin with considering the concept of white privilege. Here is a good place to start.

In light of Ferguson, I thought I’d post the tweet that has stayed with me the most this week (by a complete stranger, Comedian/Actor Arthur Chu @arthur_affect):

WTF is the impulse behind changing to .                                                 Do you crash strangers’ funerals shouting I TOO HAVE FELT LOSS

Highlight: I snapped this shot of Sam and his beloved Beluga last week. I’m into it.

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Once again I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for the “What I’m Into” synchro-blog. You can check out the rest of her site and all the posts here.

What I’m into October 2014 – The “Halloweenia” Edition

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Well clearly blogging is not something I’ve been into in October! I can’t believe it is the end of month. I’m feeling a bit embarrassed that my last blog post was “What I’m into Sept 2014“! Here I am linking up with Leigh Kramer again (white-sox pumpkin, just for you…and all my die hard sox fan in-laws)

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Photo credit (probably) goes to Andrew Stock.

Big News: I’m a wedding officiant again! For those who don’t know, being able to officiate weddings in Canada is tricky. There are no “online” certificates like there are in the US.  But I found a group that serves as an umbrella for people in ministry, non-denominational pastors etc. It is a bit of a stretch theologically but they were lovely, accepting and I’m glad to be part of them. In this regard, I’m back as an officiant and a relationship coach for Young Hip & Married.

I’m thrilled to be doing weddings again because it’s something I absolutely love.

Work News: My lovely Springboard Workshop partner Amy had a big baby boy last week!  Therefore we will be not doing any more workshops until the new year.  I’m also working on a promotion to connect my blogging/twitter community with my coaching practice. This will all be revealed very soon! Stay tuned.

 More Big News: We also traveled to Victoria for Thanksgiving and Dane and I ran an 8k race.  It was quite a milestone for us considering I hadn’t run a race since I was pregnant with Ben (and got a blood clot that prevented me from running) and Dane fractured his back about 18 months ago.  I was struck by the miracle of it all when I passed the halfway point. It was about ten years ago that I ran my first marathon at that same race. And let me tell you, the 8K felt as equal of an accomplishment, all things considered. To top it off, we both ran faster than expected and enjoyed donuts at the end. Does a donut ever taste as good as at the end of a running race?

Post race glow

Post race (and donuts) glow

Family News: There has been much anticipation about Halloween or as Sam (who is 3/12) relentlessly calls it, “Halloweenia.”  Much to my amazement my kids chose their costumes weeks ago and have not changed their minds!

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Fiercest zebra & ninja on the block! (Don’t worry they will probably be in bed by 8)

Reading News:  We joined a small group through our church and they have agreed to read Slow Church after my recommendation.  I was roomates with one of the author’s wives years ago and I anticipated the release of te book. It received excellent reviews/endorsements from all sort of crazy famous people like Walter Brueggemann. So far, so great!  Speaking of church…

Church News: One of my favorite events of the year just happened: the Harvest feast. We harvest produce from the church/community garden and cook up a bunch of delicious soups for dinner. Home made bread, salad and fruit crisps are brought in and we all dine together in celebration of God’s abundance and our love of food. I’ve been a soup chef for this occasion foryears and I continue to enjoy cooking with friends and feasting with the whole church and neighbourhood friends.

Art work by Fiona Moes-Pel

Art work by Fiona Moes-Pel

 

Listening News: As you may recall I’m a big radio nerd and thus am obsessed with the new This American Life Spin off podcast called Serial.  Serial follows true life crime story with a new episode each week.  I can’t recommend it enough. I may have listened to the first four episodes twice because I didn’t want to miss anything.

Boring (yet enjoyable) News: I continue my obsession with the Good Wife. That is all.

Shopping News: I rarely have shopping news. I am a horrible shopper. However, I live in a rain forest and was thrilled to find these beauties. Little rain boots. I have worn them everyday.IMG_2314

Lastly, I want to remind you that Listening to the Marginalized Challenge is starting Nov 1. It’s an opportunity to hear voices of marginalized people that you may not have heard before. It is an effort to help us take the posture of listening in order to learn an grow.  You can read my intro post about it and/or sign up here.

 

What were you into this month? Any other serial fans? 

What I’m Into – September 2014

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I thought I’d ease my way back into blogging with a “What I’m Into” link up post with Leigh Kramer again. These are always easy and fun to write. To capture it in a few words: Teachers! Ira Glass! Books! Bathing Suits!  Back to blogging has been a long time coming, mainly because of the teacher strike here in BC. Yes, for you non-local readers, our teachers were on an unpaid strike for the last two weeks of school in June and the first three weeks of this school year.

What I’m into: teachers (and not just the one I’m married to).  During the strike, many of us visited our local school teachers on the picket lines and protested the governments actions against them. I joined many parents and citizens by asking the government to give our teachers’ a fair deal. We rallied for them because we are so grateful for their work.  If anything good came out of the strike (for me), it was this photo of Ben that my mom captured when she took him to the driving range (first time golfing!).IMG_2295

What I watched:  You may recall when I obsessively burned through the first two seasons of The Good Wife and then had to take a break (and regain my evenings!). Now if I have some laundry to fold etc. I am re-watching/making sure I didn’t miss any of The Mindy Project as the new season is starting.

Remarkably I did see a movie (or two) this month. I watched the La grande séduction  and then the remake starring, none-other than, TIM RIGGINS (i.e. Taylor Kitsch from Friday Night Lights). Not only did I enjoy them both, I thought the remake was fairly accurate. A small, struggling harbour town in Eastern Canada tries to seduce a doctor into moving to their town in order to meet the requirements of a new factory and thus “save the town.” It was brilliant, quirky, funny and uplifting.

What I listened to:  What’s up all you This American Life Fans! I went to “An Evening with Ira Glass” this weekend. For someone who doesn’t thrive on live music, this was my kind of affair.  It was better than I could have imagined. He talked about the show, public vs. commercial radio and my favourite: the importance of joy and humour in the midst of tragedy.  It rang so true to me, especially in light of this experience. It was radio nerdery at its finest.

What else I wrote:  Here is a guest post I did for DoJustice. The project I’m introducing is fantastic. I encourage you to sign up to hear voices of the marginalized in November.

What Museum I went to: Haha! Can you imagine if I was cool enough to have this section every month? I’m not. But I did see an ad for an exhibit that caught my eye: Babes & Bathers: History of the Swimsuit. As a life long swimmer/beach goer I was so intrigued by this. So naturally I gathered a few of my swimming friends and we headed out to see it. It was so fascinating to see things like the evolution of the swim suit and what the Vancouver lifeguards wore in the 60’s. These were a few of my favourite suites (from the 40’s and 50’s). It’s on display through November 2.

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What I read: Due to the aforementioned Good Wife obsession, I haven’t read much. I’m currently “enjoying” Little Bee by Chris Cleave. It is a great read but not exactly a light topic. I also read The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (one of my favorite authors). I just realized she has the same last name as Mindy (what??).  Lahiri always seems to produce gripping characters that you care for immensely. Although this wasn’t my favourite by her, I would recommend it. I’ve also got Barbara Brown Taylor’s latest, Learning to Walk in the Dark, on the nightstand.

Speaking of books I would recommend. I saw quite a few “Name 10 books that have stuck with you over the years-but don’t think too hard about it” lists on Facebook.  I thought I’d share mine here. Seriously people, I these books are good.

 

 

I Couldn’t Keep it to Myself Edited by Wally Lamb

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Lullaby for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neil

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Rebecca by Daphe Du Maurier

Bel Canto  by Ann Patchett

What I ate: Nothing too exciting – however, my meal planning group is back in action.  I’m in a group with four others and every Friday one person plans 3 or 4 dinners and puts a link to the recipe (or the actual recipe) plus the grocery list and recommended sides in a google doc. Bam! All my problems are solved. Ok, not really but I totally appreciate this and love getting new recipes from friends.

What’s Next: Well October always starts off with my birthday, quickly followed by Thanksgiving (it is early here in Canada).  Smushed between those too lovely ‘holidays’ is a quick road trip with a friend and then a visit by two lovely out-of-town friends. I’m looking forward to the month. And now that school is in session and Sam is settled in his new day care, I shall be working again!

What I’m Into…

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One of the blogs I’ve recently discovered is Leigh Kramer‘s Hopeful Leigh (white sox fan!). Once a month she does this great link-up called “What I’m Into”. And as many of you know (ok, all four of my readers) I love referring things, people, places.  In fact, on my old site I had a whole page devoted to Vancouver (which I’ll resurrect at some point).  So when I saw the opportunity to write a “What I’m Into” post on my blog I jumped at the chance.

What I’m REALLY into and excited about this month is the fact my new website is DONE (no link needed, you are here!) And that my new online class: Juncture is half full! Now for the other great stuff:

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Books

I went on a Christian Blog Book Bender (which I will now refer to as: CBBB) this month and read:

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. I haven’t been so excited about a book release in a long time. This did not disappoint.  I loved it with all my heart. I have also never used that line before.

When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman  Now, I didn’t really ‘grow up’ in the evangelical world but when I entered the Christian world it was an explosion of 1990 evangelical culture. Yet no matter how, when or if you lived in this world, this book is a beautiful memoir about how we grow, change and heal. I then had fun connecting with Addie over her Christmas/Advents posts where she used a few of my ideas.

Pastrix: The Crank, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint. by Nadia Bolz-Weber. (I told you I was on a CBBB). I just cracked this open and I’m 60 pages in. Can’t wait to keep going!

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright. This is the book I put down when my CBBB started. I’ll get back to it.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. I’ve read this to my five year old at least once a day for the last week.

And to my two year old: There is a Monster at the End of this Book (more like ten times a day).

What’s Up Next:

My favorite Advent reader God With Us has come off the shelf.

And let the bender continue with Shaua Niequest’s Bread and Wine.

Lastly, a little fiction called Where’d you go Bernadette by Maria Semple – recommended to me by one of my favorite podcast celebrities Julia Turner (Slate Culture Gabfest).

 

Speaking of podcasts – I’m really into the Slate Double X Gabfest now and always. As well as This American Life (but I think everyone is into that).

 

TV

I pretty much fail in the TV department. We don’t have one but sometimes we watch stuff on el computer. Although… I love that so many people reference Friday Night Lights in their “What I’m into” post because that is hands down the best TV show ever. I am jealous of those who haven’t seen it.

My husband and I are sort of watching Orange is the New Black. But really my only TV watching (via my lame little laptop) is Parks and Rec and Modern Family while folding laundry.

The Good Eats

I’m always into food. This is hot on the rotation list right  now:

Pumpkin Chili

Crunch Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Pepper (Just cut up a cauliflower and roast it on a pan with olive oil and LEMON pepper for 30 mins). YUM!

This is the most fun I’ve had blogging in a long time!

Best discoveries

This was the most entertaining thing I saw this week primarily because it is the EXACT mix of songs we dance to around here right now. You know during the – HELP! it is 5:32, dinner is *almost* ready and everyone is going a bit nutso dance party. You should really watch it.

Unroll.me – just do it. It is amazing. I love not getting 40 emails about not much everyday.

Canva – graphic design for dummies in the most beautiful setting ever.

I promise to get more creative next month. Maybe I’ll be up all night to get turkey.

What are you into?