Links That Think 4-28-17

Happy Friday! Per usual, the week flew by. No news is good news. Except I honestly couldn’t tell you what I did with myself without looking back at the calendar to jog my memory. I must admit, I’ve been on serious autopilot lately which doesn’t give me warm fuzzies. But still, it was a good’n! Novella and I have had a handful of incredibly touching moments: when she asked me to go on a walk (and I obviously obliged), when she discovered she actually has 2 Elmos, and her newfound love of 5-minute hugs. She also has 3 of her molars coming in now, so while she will be done with teething soon, we had a couple of rough nights.

There hasn’t been a ton of down time this week, but here are a few things that made me think this week:

 

I Thought I Was Important Too “When you build a financial life based on consuming, you feel like there’s a bottomless pit inside you. Even if you have a ton of it. It never gets filled up because you’re going about the whole thing backwards. You deplete. Just like me.” This is a concept I constantly and consistently struggle with but nonetheless fight against the current. On that note…

Kim Kardashian’s Interview on Ellen You know, I don’t do The Book anymore, but I can guess pretty much everyone has seen this already via shares. I read a transcript of it. (Can’t even remember how that happened.) And it’s just kind of stuck with me. Yes, Kim still talks like Kim, but the heart of the message really struck a chord with me, especially when she said she gets to be this mom to her kids now. In this interview, she singlehandedly went from being out of touch to completely relatable. I felt her heart so much in this that I wondered if she might want to go to coffee and hash things out. #toosoon?

Smart Phones Are the New Cigarettes OK, I have to warn you, like seriously warn you: the language in this article/essay/thinkpiece is probably offensive to some. Even so, the thesis makes it worth sharing. Here I am, sitting on the couch, typing on my laptop listening to music and my phone is at my feet, ya know, so I can feel it vibrating in the off chance that there’s a sudden emergency or someone likes on of my Instagram posts or (highly unlikely) someone comments on my blog.

When I grew up, virtually every adult I knew/loved/cherished smoked. I can honestly count the adults I knew that didn’t smoke on one hand. But now, no one smokes. And if they do, they do it on their back porch in the dead of night to ensure not even their random neighbor knows of such a habit. But we all have phones and are pretty much all tethered to them. I wonder: who will be Novella’s handful of people she can recall not being on their phone? The way things are going, I wouldn’t make that list. I dunno. This link really made me think. Really.

New Motherhood is Hard- But These 5 Simple Habits are All Your Baby Needs I can’t help it- this time of year will always remind me of those first days of motherhood. How scary. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. I love that this list starts with: “More than anything, your child needs love and loving care.” Seriously, don’t worry about anything else until you have this down. Your baby doesn’t give a crap about breast or formula.

I am ready for this weekend! Tomorrow, we have a morning of biscuits and jelly, then an afternoon attending Novella’s best friend’s birthday party. Then…DATE NIGHT! I am probably way too excited about this, but I got a new dress and everything. It has been forever since we hit the town. Sunday= church +aquarium. Definitely looking forward to everything; hope you all have a wonderful one!

Links That Think 4-21-17

This has been a super introspective week for me. I’m not one for vagueing but I can’t quite put my hand on the fire within. You know how they say you know who you are in your 30s? Well, here I am in mid-30s and I feel that definite acknowledgment transpiring- as a wife, mother, teacher, friend, family member. It’s freeing and painful at the same time. I don’t know…I’ve just been having these weird and beautiful moments where I look in the mirror and just think: there you are. It’s as if I’ve spent my whole life wondering how I would turn out, and this is how I turned out. 

Of course, life will always have its natural ebb and flow. Somedays I will feel as flexible as Stretch Armstrong while others a wooden doll. Either way, I can sense God’s paintbrush a little more each day. There’s nothing even close to perfect by this world’s standards, but God created me to be me for this exact life.

Oh my. This is the kind of thing someone says and then dies a week later, and then everyone wonders if they knew they were going to die. I don’t have that information, promise.

As I’ve been having a minor existential crisis this week, here are some links that have made me think about life, to see it from a new lens.

7 Books I Wish I Could Download Into My Brain While there wasn’t anything on Anne’s list that I agreed with, it definitely made me ponder what books I wish I could memorize and take with me always. A few came to mind right away, while there are some blanks left to be filled: A Million Miles In a Thousand YearsSex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto; Yes, Please; Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis actually, it looks like I’m already on the road to a solid list of books. All have resonated with me.

Captivate- The Art of Charm So, I guess B has been listening to this podcast for forevs and never told me, then out of nowhere he told me to listen to it and I stumbled into this episode. I love any insight I can get into my own psyche, and this did not disappoint. Especially when she talked about how neurotic people respond to stress versus, I guess, normal people. For the record, I am 200% the former. If you have nothing better to do with your ears for an hour, go ahead and give this one a listen. I detail cleaned my kitchen while listening and I regret nothing.

For The Working Mom With Sick Kids Ok, so, here’s how my story goes this week: when I picked up sweet Novella Wednesday, her teacher (who is no squeaky wheel) told me she was a little concerned about Novella and her stomach that day. I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say GI issues, molars, diaper rash equals a very angry little lady. And she is normally the happiest little kid, like ever. So, that night she woke up twice in pain from her rash. My school’s rule on basic common courtesy is if you think you’re going to be out, put in for a sub. And so I did. I still went in that morning before another soul was in the building because I could not rest thinking of all the plans I should have had in place.

I returned home, saw her sick little face and said: “Yes. I made the right choice.”

She took her nap, woke up and was perfectly fine, so we went out for some brief shopping.

Then she was screaming again, of course in 45-minute traffic. So, then I must wonder: do I need tomorrow off now, too?

Lather, rinse, repeat.

This post was written forevah ago, but I thought of it no less than one dozen times yesterday.

Eight Simple But Powerful Habits That Will Make You More Successful Everything you need to know is in the title, but believe me- these are all simple but powerful. I plan on trying them all simultaneously this week because why not? They are all simple, after all.

“In the Blood,” John Mayer Do you have a family? Do you have a past? Do you want to be better than all of it? Then you will love this song. I’ve had it on repeat this week. I couldn’t even nail down a few lines to preview because I love the whole freaking song. If you hate it, I will buy you a unicorn frappuccino to celebrate your perfect life.

I am pretty jazzed about this upcoming weekend. Not going to lie, as a teacher I am already in summer mode, and I swear I feel like I am on some audition right now to see if I could live out a perfect summer life. My amazing nephroos are coming over tomorrow just to hang out, and what more could I want from this life?

Sunday, we are planning on the ordinary stuff like church (although church never feels like an ordinary experience to me), zoo, and yard work. All of this thrills me beyond belief!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! What do you have planned? What links made you think this week?

 

 

Links That Think 4-15-17

This week has been long, hectic, and completely worth it. On Monday, I had my final (and unannounced observation), came home to B waiting for us to watch Novella receive her gift and then he hit the road for a conference in D.C. Tuesday was her actual birthday, and I’d squirreled away a personal day all year just for the occasion; twas a beautiful, exhilarating, and exhausting day. Wednesday, my parents came into town to help me for the rest of the week. Thursday, I went with my kiddos on a field trip two hours away. A lot of domino things happened and it went longer than expected. Friday, we mostly relaxed, cleaned, shopped for her picnic, and waited for B to get home. Today (Saturday) we had her “birthday party,” which was really simply Novella being around her favorite people (our family. I keep wanting to just say “my family,” but they’re her family too!) We had a picnic at the park nearby and the kiddos got to run around. It was honestly my version of a perfect day. She was beyond excited about her party. When we pulled into the park, she got so excited, we thought she was going to cry. What more could you want from life?

A lot of beautiful moments were peppered into this chaotic week, and I am still processing a lot of it. Everything feels so beautiful and so simple; I wish I could bottle it up.

Tomorrow we are celebrating the resurrection of our Savior. It’s just so important to acknowledge this. I am taking a break from the usual Links That Think, and sharing some perspectives on this season- the most significant and symbolic season to a Christian.

Death in His Grave This song singlehandedly changed my heart on Easter Sunday. I remember hearing, as a child, adults saying they were emotional on Easter, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t understand it completely until my 30s. We were sitting in church on Easter when they sang this song, and simultaneously showed the experience of the resurrection through the perspective of Jesus via video. I’ve searched for it to no avail, but we talk about that video often. I’ve always felt God, wanted to be closer to Him, but something changed that day. I was baptized shortly after. ***Note: this is a performance of the song and has its own twist. It’s my favorite version. Also, the part I love is within the first 5 minutes, so don’t just brush this one aside because it’s so long.

Buried in the Grave  “All we had, all we had was a promise like a thread, keeping us from fraying at the edge.” Today coincides with the Saturday all of those who believed were in waiting. We hardly think about that Saturday, and how hard that must have been to keep even a mustard seed- sized faith that He would rise again. I think so often of this day now, how I’ve stumbled in faith even in knowing that God never got out of the miracle business…and they didn’t know that then.

Sticks and Stones Such a beautiful piece, in which she compares herself in the aftermath of miscarriages to Peter, who ran toward death when he ran to the grave. I will think of this essay often and have gone back to read it more than once. While I have never had a miscarriage, I know the death of a dream all too well. It’s just such a wonderful read.

The Revolutionary Truth of Holy Week While so many of us know the what of this merciful story, so few know the why. It was once explained to me through an analogy (paraphrased): “I once read a story of a reporter that would lay in dark caves for hours upon hours, hiding and in silence alongside soldiers. When asked why he would do this, risk his life like that, he said the only way he would truly know the pain of these soldiers was to experience the fear firsthand. And so, that is why God came to us in the flesh: because He wanted to know how we felt.”

And so, when I pray, when I suffer, when I have been betrayed- I know that I am praying to a God who knows firsthand how desperation feels.

This week, I am thankful for so many things, but especially for that.

 

Links that Think 4-7-17

How is it possible to have a week where nothing happens and you’re also totally slammed? We’ve had a lot of later nights than usual. Novella’s bed time was once a concrete 7:00 p.m., but ever since the time change (3 weeks ago!) we have been off track. We’ve had stuff going on every weekend. That’s a good thing. But- that whole schedule thing. I swear, I’ve awoken each morning to this great internal debate: should I work or should I sleep? I chose the former every day, but begrudgingly.

This is also Novella’s last weekend as a one-year-old. I could insert a ton of cliches about how time flies (it does), but instead I will just say: I’m incredibly sad for everything we leave behind, yet eternally grateful to have this experience at all. Every day brings a new challenge, but each challenge is met with one hundred new joys. I am, nonetheless, a bit down about her birthday. I don’t know if it’s because she is quite possibly our only or because I legitimately cannot wrap my head around her not being a baby anymore.

Anyway, it’s been a slow week on the reading front. I’ve had Heartburn in my bag all week and haven’t picked it up once. I keep finding myself opening my Feedly, and then glossing over it as if every entry is about something that’s insanely boring to me, like an article about shark bycatch when fishing for salmon mixed with an explanation of how calories work. I need some serious focus right now.

Here are a few links that think for your reading enjoyment. Focus!

What If Students Only Went to School Four Days a Week? This wasn’t what I expected: a run-of-the-mill piece outlining the benefits of such a program. Instead, it examines districts that already operate this way, and sheds light on some misconceptions. For the record, I’m for it for myself. I’m a teacher. Of course I could benefit from a day of planning! But most parents are not teachers, and let’s be honest: a day of planning would basically be me sitting around with my friends gabbing about awkward moments with baby oil and such.

Teachers On Child Poverty in Schools I won’t get on my soap box. I won’t get on my soap box. I won’t get on my soap box. I truly believe the majority of Americans resting comfortably above the poverty line either refuse to acknowledge poverty in this country or have no idea. Sometimes I want to make it my mission- go and tell the haves all about the have-nots. Virtually every teacher in this nation has landed under the fluorescent lights of a shopping mall or superstore in search of a perfect replacement piece of clothing after witnessing a student wearing the same tattered garment for two weeks straight. It’s what we do. But why does it feel like no one else notices?

How To Make Friends As an Adult It’s terrible making friends as an adult, amiright?! I’ve been in this new city for four years, and this is the first time I feel like I have a solid group of friends. I was legitimately losing hope, especially as I became a mom in the mix of it.

How to Teach Kids to Be Grateful: Give Them Less This article was both confirming and convicting for me. Living in a small house, I feel the stuff starting to pile up while most people would say we don’t have a lot of toys. But Novella is never overwhelmed with all the choices. It’s hard to really make an assertion of our parenting at this juncture, but I hope we always err to “less is more.”

 

Well, that’s it for tonight! We have a very early (for weekends, that is) date with the Easter Bunny in the morning. You know when you’re so tired, you start fantasizing about your nap the next day? Oh, except I never get those sweet naps anymore. 🙂 What are your plans for the weekend?

Links That Think 3-31-17

Woooo-weee! Is March legit over? I cannot even fathom that. This week I’ve been teaching about symbolism. I love talking about how concrete objects connect to abstract ideas, and how symbolic life is. Basically, I love all the ways teaching Reading and English fosters my hippie side and makes my students (hopefully) see life a little differently. Talking about time and how it’s truly an abstract concept made me want to run to my storage closet and cry into a box of dusty textbooks. Where is it all going? Wasn’t it just a week or so ago that I was holding a little baby? And now she’s bossing me around and crying about all of the randomness of life she doesn’t understand?

I don’t recall ever considering spring before Novella. Now, all the blooms and blossoms remind me of her: waiting for her; her swimming and dancing in my belly every time I played my Easter jam or ate strawberries; nestling and cuddling in our sunroom with the greenery as our backdrop. Spring is bittersweet- mostly sweet, though. Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 2.25.01 PM

When I haven’t been salvaging every second, here are some links that made me think this week:

 

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Source: adele.com

 

The Adele Anomaly As I read this, it reminded me of myself in high school. Look, I’m not saying my singing talent is Adele Calibur, but I never even tried to do anything beyond high school. You know why? Because I can’t dance. And I’m pretty, but not that pretty. Adele has singlehandedly changed the pigeon-holing of successful female musicians. She wants to write and make music- that’s it.

 

Argument-in-Every-Class-768x1017
Source: cultofpedagogy.com

 

What If We Taught Argument in EVERY Class? Annnnd, what if adults went ahead and signed up at a learning annex? I love thinking about learning and how to improve the thinking of students. How many times do students just spew out an opinion without any evidence? We say “evidence” all the time, but what does that really mean? We should teach them in all of their classes to argue. If they can argue for it, they know it.

 

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Source: variety.com

 

S-Town I don’t even care how bandwagon I am right now. If you’re not listening to this, you’re missing out. This is produced by Serial Productions that made Serial. I think it started off in search of a similar story/ concept. It took a wild turn. I don’t want to even slightly give anything away, but this story is wildly unpredictable. You will laugh, cringe, and bawl. And all within a few minutes.

 

Mommy Dearest
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Mommy Dearest’s Lessons in Overly Dramatic Parenting I’ve never seen it and probably never will. It’s one of those wildly iconic movies that you can easily quote despite never watching it. This felt so much like Mystery Science Theatre in print, and hence it made me laugh.

I am looking forward to a weekend with family and friends. Novella and I are currently at my parents’ cabin. I’m driving in the morning to see some of my dearest friends back home. I hope you all have a splendid weekend!

Psssst! If I’m missing out on a link, please comment and let me know!