Slack Blogger Lately

Hello case you haven't noticed, I haven't been blogging that much lately.

The crazy thing is...I have a blog plan! I have ideas. Stuff that I'm actually kind of interested in talking about.

But I'm not doing it. Maybe I'm still not back on schedule from the holidays and crazy weather. Maybe I just don't have quite as much time with my new class (which is fine, but a complete and total shift from the way last semester's class was structured). 

I am not sure. And really I'm not sure why I'm writing this.  It feels like writing about the fact that I'm not writing is...stupid.

But I still exist. Life is going pretty well. Just lost my blogging mojo a bit.

Three Things: January 2018

Borrowing from Jana Says because...I have no blogging motivation lately. 

Three foods I hate and refuse to eat
  •  German dumplings (Kartoffelknödel)
  •  There are also some dumplings that a local Chinese restaurant makes that I don't like...basically not a big fan of dumplings. 
  • That's really it- my husband & I have made an effort to be more adventurous and less picky when eating. Most of my food issues are more related to stuff being the right temperature, haha. 
Three foods I love and eat more of than I should
  • Chips & Salsa
  •  Candy bars
  • Waffles
Three things chores I avoid until absolutely necessary
  • Cleaning the bathroom (sink, showers, mirror, all of it)
  • Dusting
  • Cleaning my car  

Three chores I always do
  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Grocery shopping 

Three wardrobe staples
  • Skinny jeans
  • Leggings
  • Cardigans
Three things I don’t spend money on
  • Brand name foods in the grocery store (store brand all the way, even couponing it's usually cheaper)
  • Bras (I know it's supposed to matter, but who has the time to even go bra shopping-it's the WORST)
  •  Jewelry 
Three things I do spend money on
  • Stationary stuff
  • Purses/bags
  • Snack food or coffees (not "need it for basic human survival food" but fun food)

Three TV shows I frequently watch in reruns
  • Parks & Rec (although, currently bumming me out a little)
  • F*R*I*E*N*D*S
  • Gilmore Girls 

Three genres I generally don’t read
  • Anything set in a world war, which seems super popular but I can't for a variety of reasons.
  • Mystery/thriller, I used to be all about it in high school and think I just need a break.
  • Sci-if, I've tried but it's just not my thing. 

Three things I’m looking forward to this year
  • Spending time at the beach
  •  Visiting Biltmore
  • Becoming a foster family

Current Thoughts: January 2018

Aaaahhhhh it's 2018!!! I'm still not used to that.

  • This is a holdover from the end of December, but I am so thankful for good men. I like men. I like a lot of aspects in traditional masculinity, and I think I fail to acknowledge that sometimes when I come across all "YAY FEMINISM." I'm not necessarily sorry about this, because YAY FEMINISM. But I was watching our Christmas service and noticed it was all men on the stage for the first song- this is not really typical, as we have several women in our worship band. It just worked out that way for the skills+schedule of this first song. And I watched these men- several of whom I know personally- and they were so passionate and talented and I was so happy. Because while women have had almost no role models to identify with throughout have had a lot of really bad ones (look at any newspaper to confirm). So here's a shout-out to men who aren't, ya know, giant douche-canoes in a world that has told them they have the right to be giant douche-canoes (and sometimes disparages them when they aren't). Reminder that feminism is not about replacing you/your sex/your gender- feminism is about ensuring that we all have choice and respect as humans.

  • Speaking of- I made this all female playlist a few months ago (spurred by the bullshit tomato/salad scandal). And I've also been listening to a lot of female lead podcasts (this one wasn't as intentional). And I've been focusing more on my female friends. And y''s kind of super cool. To be honest, I feel like my personal life experience has not been super hampered by discrimination. But making literally the smallest effort to promote more women in my life has been a mental game-changer. Probably along with other things going on in my life- but it really opened my eyes to why representation matters. Which I knew intellectually before, but that's totally different than experiencing it yourself.

  • I'm over winter. OVER IT. I mentioned that we had some crazy low temps and snow for about a week...and more is coming. And supposedly the Farmer's Almanac, which listed this past storm, lists another one next month in February. NOPE. I'm done. DONE DONE DONE. 

  • I bought a bunch of workout stuff this month, because I have actually been working out fairly regularly. 
    • The group I meet with is FiA, it's AMAZING and such a supportive and pro-woman group and I'm so glad I'm involved. I highly recommend you looking to see if your city has one- and if they don't, consider starting one. Seriously- in addition to working out, it's about promoting fellowship and community and leadership among women. 
    • But we meet in parks & public spaces, so I've been working out in 20-30 degree weather, and my clothes were not made for that. So I got these high waist-ed compression pants, this shirt, and two of these hoodies. They're great, I recommend them all- but those hoodies are LOVE. I meant to get 2 shirts, not 2 hoodies, and planned on returning the hoodie...but I may have one workout hoodie & one everyday hoodie because man they are comfortable (& less than 10$). 

  • I just made my first dental appointment in 10 years. I know- gross. But it was a lack of insurance and then a lovely combo of embarrassment and anxiety that has continued holding me back. But, I'm proud of myself for getting over it and doing it. 

What's up with you lately?

Three Things: New Year Goals

 I don't really have New Year's Resolutions, haven't done those for a while. I typically only do a word of the year.

But there are three things that came to mind when thinking of any possible changes I wanted to make for 2018.

  • Read 40 Books
    • My goal last year was 30, and I read 55. Figure 40 is a good middle ground, since hopefully this year we will become foster parents and also I will be in school all year rather than just half the year.
  • Eat More Fruit 
    • Aiming for one piece of fruit each day M-F. I typically eat some for breakfast, but probably not enough. 
  • Donate blood 6 times
    • This is the most you can do in one year, because you are supossed to wait a certain amount of time between donations (56 days?). I managed 4 last year and would really like to do it a full 6 this time. I love this because it's free (I actually usually get snacks & a tee shirt) and helps people without me actually having to do that much. Also it takes less than an hour and saves 3 lives per donation...yes please. It's literally one of the easiest ways to be a kind person and support your community/humanity as a whole. 

So there ya go. Nothing super life changing, but achievable goals to help my life reflect my goals.

Do you have any goals for the new year?

Send Kids a Banned Book!

Bre from Bre Writes posted about the fact that The Hate U Give was banned at a school district in Texas. People within the community are buying and delivering them to the Little Free Libraries throughout the city so students can still access them freely.

Y'all. I am reader.

I haven't read this book yet myself, mainly because I think it will enrage and hurt me because it is so damn relevant to everything going on today (yes, I'm being super overly cautious and scared of the feelings this will create in me).

BUT- I am a reader. Not a fan of banning books. Not a fan of ignoring things or TAKING THEM FROM OTHER PEOPLE instead of stepping up and having a potentially difficult conversation.

So I bought the book and sent it to this Little Free Library coalition, and I hope you do too. Be the change, do the thing- it was $16.xx. Or just SHARE the article so maybe someone else can. Many of the people who read my blog are readers, so if you can...let's stand by the reading community. Let's have the conversation and make others have it too.

Here is the link with the info for buying the books & how to send them: CLICK ME (STACKED BOOKS).

Show Us Your Books: January 2018

Hello, everyone! Hope 2018 is treating you well so far. Here in NC, we got hit with literally record-breaking cold weather that has kept me housebound with a 1 year old for a week. I was honestly planning on getting more reading done...but my library closed early the day the storm hit and I wasn't going out after it hit, so it's been a slow week of too much TV around here. *shrug* You do what you have to survive.

On to the books!

This was a random purchase at my local used book store. I liked the idea of reading more poetry, and this is mainly poetry and short stories and interviews. Most of the interviews were super annoying, dealing with people who tried to convey how important they were while pretending they didn't care about how popular they were and interviewers who constantly blew smoke up their asses. The actual stories and poems were okay, or great...I'd recommend, but be okay with skipping large chunks or hate-finishing the interviews.

Beautiful as always. Not quite as captivating as Prince of Tides or Beach Music for me,'s Pat Conroy. It was damn good, and a sweeping love letter to a beautiful and complicated city I hold dear to my heart. oasis to think about hot Charleston summers and even hurricanes when I have 6 inches of snow outside (which is nothing to some, but I literally haven't seen this much snow here for this long in almost 20 years). 

What have you been reading lately? 
Link-up & let us know!
Life According to Steph

2018 Word of the Year: Pause

Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash; edited via Canva

It took me a while to land on my word of the year for 2018. I wanted something that referred to living simply and finding joy in small things...kind of like a cross between minimalist and hygge. I really just wanted to focus on the things I actually care about, instead of all the things the world is shouting. I need peace and focus.

This applies to all aspects of my life- being more financially responsible, being a more patient mother, being a non-asshole person in a world flooded with social media and a reason to always be mad no matter what your beliefs are. 

So my word of the year finally came to me- pause. When I googled, I immediately recognized and related to the two separate but correlating definitions:

  •  to stop temporarily
  • to linger for a time

These are both necessary for me.

I have to stop reacting immediately. I have to stop assuming that the bad I see is all there is. I have to stop putting people, even seemingly bad ones, into one dimension. I have to stop reacting with frustration to my child who is literally new at everything in life. I have to stop thinking that the people around me think like I do. I have to stop and question- am I living out the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)? Am I adding to the good in the world, or the bad?

I also have to learn to linger. My life has felt like it's go-go-go since having a baby. It's always something, there's always someone. While it's the opposite of the intention, even "self-care" has become another to-do task on the checklist; how can I maximize this 10 minutes of Me Time? Do I sleep or paint my toenails or eat a cookie or call my congressman or read a book?

I have values, guys. 

Good, important values that come from my religion but also extend to the world at large. I have spent much time in deep personal reflection and prayer and research to choose these values. I need to linger on those. And it's hard, but it's what I want my life to be.

When looking up definitions and quotes, I came across this one:

Human freedom involes our capacity to pause, to choose the one response to which we wish to throw our weight.
-Rollo May

That is exactly what I want to do this year. I want to focus on myself, and truly think about where I am throwing my mental and emotional weight.

This is not to say I won't call or write my representatives, but maybe it means sharing a resource like or Resistbot or the Contact Elected Officials or NPR's Up First podcast rather than simply retweeting a click-bait headline.

It's not to say I won't buy new things, but I can commit to the Thirty Wears attitude or shop at thrift stores more.

It means that when I say I'm a Christian, I have read the Bible and prayed enough to be secure that my life choices reflect that sacred title (because as a believer, yes it is sacred to be called that).

Here's to 2018. 

Here's to pausing, to stopping momentarily, to lingering for a time.