Full disclosure: I started dreading March in January this year. I am a chronic homebody who prefers routine to romping around the country every week, so work/baseball trips to Utah, Boston, & Arizona about did me in. Then spring break happened so it’s kind of been a free-for-all around here. I was able to squeeze in a bit of reading, though, so here’s a little round-up for you…

link loveIf You Only Read One…

What Would My Mom Do? (Drink Tab & Lock Us Outside) by Jen Hatmaker

It never crossed my mom’s mind to “entertain us” or “fund expensive summer endeavors” or “create stimulating activities for our brain development.” She said get the hell outside, and we did. 

But Also Check Out These…

You Don’t Have to Care About Everything by Addie Zimmerman 

I have become, over these past years, a big believer in finding your few things. The overcommitted, over-busy, fractured, distracted life is not one that I want to live, so I zero my energies in on the few things that I am doing.

25 Ways to Annoy Your Tween via Huffington Post Parents

#10 – Insist on dental hygiene. 

The Internal Frantic Monster (or My Addiction to the Egg Timer) by Micha Boyett via Seth Haines 

Maybe an addiction is the place where we go to escape our fears that there is not enough joy, not enough purpose, not enough meaning.

Palms by Sarah Bessey

Whatever happened on the cross, however we impose meaning and narrative and metaphors onto it, however we try to explain or understand it, this is the truest truth of it all: it was enough. The cross was enough and is enough, we are only responding to the abundance of redemption.

Nights: Life with ALS by Bo Stern

I write to remember these dark, intimate moments when marriage looked so different than I ever dreamed. I write for a day when I’ll need to remember that I’m stronger than I think.  And I write so the rest of the world can understand the brutal realities of life with ALS.

In Case You Missed It (From Me)…

Eleven & Thankful

What a 77-year-old’s parting words to his wife of more than 50 years taught me about marriage.

Fan Fare: Guacamole Tostadas

Las Vegas Family Photography: Jesse & Jovi

Get Into These Books…

good reads march 2015

The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith

I read this on the plane from Las Vegas to Boston and came away from it with an armful of practical encouragement and ideas for writing with more intention.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

I like how one reviewer says it on Amazon: “A fresh yet nostalgic debut novel about a 1980s teen who loses a beloved uncle to AIDS but finds herself by befriending his grieving boyfriend. Filled with lost opportunities and second chances, Tell the Wolves I’m Home delivers wisdom, innocence and originality with surprising sweetness. Its cast of waifs and strays will steal your heart as they show each other the way to redemption.” Yep, that.

For the Love: Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker

To be fair, I’ve only read five chapters of this book because it doesn’t release until August 18 and five chapters is all Jen’s publishers have let me see. BUT STILL. This book. So needed. So good. Preorder it, okay? Here are some sneaky peek quotes:

On Turning 40: 

Sometimes I baby talk parts of my body into resisting the mutiny: Come on, Shins. I’m counting on you. You’ve always been good to me. You don’t want to be like Neck and Eyelids and Chest, those loose floozies. Hang in there, baby, and you’ll be the last part of me that sees the light of day.

Fashion Concerns:

Leggings-As-Pants (LAP) is permissible if the following rule is obeyed: Your privates are covered by a shirt, sweater, or dress. Privates are heretofore understood as areas north of upper thigh and south of muffin top. I don’t want to see your hinterlands. I don’t want to know the shape of your underwear (or that you aren’t wearing any). I can’t handle this knowledge. I am just shopping at Target and feel like I’ve gotten to second base with you. Unless you are Jessica Alba, underwear-region is not your best zone, pet. The world is already hard; people shouldn’t be forced to circumnavigate our babymakers.

Surviving School:

You know what school is for? Learning. You know what else? Sometimes kids get a mean teacher or a class they don’t like or an inflexible deadline even though that child was “exhausted the night before.” We should not cushion every blow. This is life. Learning to deal with struggle and to develop responsibility is crucial. A good parent prepares the child for the path, not the path for the child. We can still demonstrate gentle and attached parenting without raising children who melt on a warm day.

Supper Club:

What happens at SC stays at SC. Failure to comply will result in flogging.

Dear Church…

Faithfulness is not easy, but it is simple. You are already able, already positioned, already valuable in your normal life on your normal street next to your normal neighbors in your normal work. The priesthood of the believer is real.

Good Eats…

Giada at The Cromwell Las Vegas

Ryan and I went here twice in March for lunch, and I had the lemon pesto grilled cheese both times because it was that good. If you are a Las Vegas local and want to make a reservation, let me know and I’ll pass along the locals-only number to call for preferred seating. You’ll also get 20% your total bill.

giada at the cromwell