Weekly Ramble 6/15/24

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Oh me oh my! Are we really halfway through June? Being sick all of May really was a time warp for me.

palm tree growing through the asphalt of a parking lot.

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This week I’ve done what was unthinkable a few weeks ago: get up at 5 am every morning. I know. But, like this palm tree Bryan found at work growing through the asphalt, I like to think, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

It’s been rough getting my body back to early wake-up times; I’m yawning and ready for sleep by dinner! Although my ear is still not fulling operational, it’s time to get back in a routine.

Isn’t that palm tree amazing? It’s the asphalt of a college parking lot and the tree just found a way through. And yet, it’s finding a way to flourish. Isn’t God amazing?

Let me repeat, isn’t God amazing? I am feeling this more and more lately.

I recently discovered the Daily Prayer Project. Though I could have got the print version for free at church, you know me and my love of digital PDF annotation! I splurged with the 7 bucks for the Digital Pentecost edition so that I had a PDF I could mark up in my iPad.

While it’s supposed to be a morning and evening routine, I’m not sure I can swing the evening on a regular basis, so I’ll be tweaking it. So far, I’m incorporating the reading and meditations into my morning quiet time. I finally finished the study of John I was a doing, so the timing is good!

The DPP includes a three-year Bible reading schedule. Each day features a Psalm as well as portions from the Old and New Testaments. It’s amazing to see how these seemingly disparate scriptures carry common themes that actually relate to my life today. It’s been very cool!

I also finished a book that blew my mind! More on that later.

jessica and michele in backyard.

One of the highlights of the week was my friend Michele coming to San Diego on a vacation. We met via email way back in 2012 when she started using Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook.

Though they live in Fresno, we’ve had a chance to sit and chat over coffee a few times over the years. Since then we’ve texted and talked each other off many ledges. Michele got me hooked on Marco Polo, so we chat all the time now.

This year our families got in the action, too, and we had a good time over pizza last night and tonight they’re joining us for our monthly Game Night. How fun is that?

Tonight is our 10th open Game Night! It’s evolved since October. Now we start earlier so we can end closer to my bedtime (normally 8 pm). I serve a light dinner to accommodate the early start. Many of the games also get moved to the garage to reduce the noise so I can go to bed at a decent hour.

With five kids ranging in age from 15 to 23, it’s been a really interesting mix from month to month. Young people from our old neighborhood, church, school, volunteering, and work have all mixed and mingled to play games like Magic the Gathering or Dominoes or Nintendo Switch.

It’s been really fun to see “kids” from all kinds of backgrounds gather to play games. So fun!

Speaking of fun…

Five Favorite Things

Here are some of the things I really enjoyed this week:

Eve in Exile

cover of eve in exile book on iPad, next to a potted plant.

Last week I read a book sent to me free by the publisher. I learned a lot from it and I certainly laughed a lot, but I wasn’t sold out on giving a 100% recommendation to you. There was just a little bit too much snark and the potential to ruffle feathers more than winsome words.

However, this week I read a book that I can wholeheartedly recommend to Christian women. This book, Eve in Exile: The Restoration of Femininity by Rebekah Merkle blew my mind in so many ways.

Classically educated and whip-smart funny, Merkle guides us through the history of feminism as well as common responses in comparison with what Scripture teaches. I learned so much and felt so many pieces come together.

(Spoiler: both conservatives and liberals have missed the mark!)

I was also really humbled and convicted of my own heart attitude and my mindset. I mighta kinda sobbed during the last chapter. #truestory

At the same time, I’m really encouraged! Remember a few months ago when Bryan and I talked about my getting “a real job”? I still don’t have a solid answer, but I feel like I have a solid Biblical framework to work from going forward.

I whole-heartedly recommend Eve in Exile for Christian women. Even if you think you know what she’ll say, I bet you’ll be surprised!

I read it via Kindle Unlimited which is a good deal if you want to read several books in the next month. Bryan is now listening to it on Spotify.

But, a rarity, I bought a physical copy of the book for keeps. I will reread it (it’s so meaty!) and my girls want to read it in paper form.

remote work space at a cafe, with food, drink, and iPad on the table.

Dedicated Work Time

Aside from the time warp we call 2020, most of the last ten summers, I’ve spent working remotely from a local church while my kids did day camp. At first they were participants, now they are volunteers and paid interns.

The church is not one we regularly attend, though we did once upon a time. It’s far enough from home that it has never really made sense to drop the kids off, go home, and come back for four weeks every summer.

Instead, I park myself with rations and devices and work with the free wifi in the church’s fancy-schmancy cafe. Since FishChick17 is a paid intern this year, she’s had extra time to work there in prep for the event, so this past week I inaugurated my summer work days. It was so nice to be back in these familiar surroundings where I really do get a lot done!

This day camp is the highlight of my girls’ summer and it has become one of mine as well, though for different reasons. I’m looking forward to the next month for sure!

view of jean-clad legs and bare feet on a blue starred hammock in front of palm trees and blue sky.

Our New Hammock

A few months ago I suggested we get some lounge chairs for the backyard. Bryan latched onto the idea of a hammock. I was skeptical. We’d had a hammock at the old house for 10+ years that rarely got used.

But, he persevered and got this hammock from Amazon, securing it between sturdy permanent posts attached to the trellis/patio overhang.

It’s amazingly comfortable and is getting loads of use. Once again, I stand corrected.

an array of old laptops on a carpeted floor with cds and hard drives.

Saving Old Tech

We got rid of sooooo many things when we moved last fall, after 14 years in one house. However, one thing I couldn’t bring myself to unload were the old laptops — we’re talking 15-year old laptops and older, those that Bryan and I used for work — as well as old CD-ROMS. Remember those?!

Recently, we were looking for a worship song book he had created back in Kansas. I knew we didn’t have that original desktop computer but we were able to fire up 2 out of 3 laptops as well as find cool stuff on the CDs — including the song book and video montages I had made instead of scrapbooks back in the day.

It was so much fun to watch our family video from 2010. Wow!

(Fun fact: I didn’t love the physical spiders that came out of one of the old hard drives. Yuck.)

white bowl of cottage cheese, blueberries, and peaches on a wooden table with a spoon.

Fresh Fruit

It was Andrea and her nutrition coaching program that helped me get over my fear of fruit (a holdover from my Whole 30 days), and this week Michele and her family blessed us with tons of fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries, and berries!

It’s been blissful to dive into a fruit salad and really enjoy it without any qualms.

Another Fun Fact: I mentioned that I’m trying to get 800grams of fresh fruit and veg/day and to make the same available to the fam. This pencils out to 12 pounds of produce a day for our family! Can you believe that?!

Celebrate My Momiversary!

Mom holding a baby and kissing its cheek.

I celebrated my MOMiversary this week as my eldest (pictured here) turned 27! Wow! 

In honor of the best thing that came out of 1997 (yes, I’m biased), please use the coupon code 1997 to get $5 off anything in either of our e-stores.

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How was your week?

What’s up in your world? Leave a comment or a prayer request. We’re all in this together!

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  1. This week was surely a highlight of my year! So thankful for your friendship.