This month has brought more than a few challenges with adjusting to a new schedule, car troubles (have you ever seen a bulge in a tire about the size of a fist? me neither! until two weeks ago….), house troubles (we currently don’t have a furnace/air conditioner), kid troubles (B is 3. C is 6 months. I think that’s all I need to say), extended family members with health troubles, and the troubles that come with being around each other a lot more than we used to be. Thankfully, it hasn’t been nearly as tough as I thought it would be and I’m trying to keep on the sunny side of life (this song has literally been stuck in my head all day).
In the end of July I am….
…reading lots! Well…it feels like lots, anyway. Earlier this month, I finally finished The Signature of All Things (2/5) which was really, really, really long and kind of strange. Last week, I finished The Hand That First Held Mine (4/5), which started out a little slow but I ended up loving. It actually painted beautiful images of motherhood and how difficult the first weeks/months/years can be, but also emphasized the sacrifices that mothers are willing to make for their children. It played with time a little, too, comparing things that had happened in one spot fifty years apart and how the people of those different times were connected, which is the sort of thing I love. After that one, I was in the mood for something a bit more fluffy, so I downloaded a Maeve Binchy audiobook and am now working my way through A Week in Winter. I’m also actually reading a real paper copy of Rachel Held Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood which has been fascinating so far. Her writing style is very engaging.
…watching lots! I signed up for a Netflix account since the first 30 days are free and we’ve pretty much exhausted all of our “normal” shows on Hulu. That along with free movies at the library has given our DVD player a workout. So far we’ve seen Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (I normally don’t like Keira Knightley, but this wasn’t bad), Oblivion (I loved, loved, loved the music from this, so I wasn’t surprised to discover it was composed by M83, a favorite band from the last few years – the movie itself was okay…I did enjoy the liberal use of Christina’s World as it’s a painting I’ve always admired), To Kill a Mockingbird (we got a crazy idea to go through AFI’s 100 years of films list and started with this one, but weren’t able to make it through Lawrence of Arabia [Middle Eastern Obi-Wan?]), Saving Mr. Banks (this was just kind of sad), Sleepwalk With Me (hilarious! but also sad), TINY: A Story About Living Small (loved it and now I want a tiny house), Zoolander (how have I never seen this? it felt like a tribute to my late teens), and, finally I’m now hooked on Call the Midwife (which is a show I couldn’t watch before C’s birth). Whew. Any suggestions for August?
…loving Swagbucks. I know. It’s silly. But I’ve gotten $30 worth of Amazon gift cards this month alone just by playing the mobile app on my phone every day. That means free food for Camilla! She’s happy about that. I know it’s not much, but every little bit does help. I’ve also sold some clothes on thredUP and we purged several pieces of furniture that had been sitting in the garage on Craigslist. It’s not only a great feeling to make a little extra cash, but also to just get rid of this stuff. It’s very freeing.
…eating simple and cheap meals. I’ve consistently cooked at home every week for the last month with only a few nights out at Chipotle. It’s been rough at times, especially after a challenging day with B, but seeing our food bill cut nearly in half this month has made it worth it.
…looking forward to nothing? Everything? I honestly don’t know. The future is so, completely unclear right now. But I’m hopeful. I told a friend the other day that it’s ironic that E’s lay-off happened when it did as we were so close to buying a house and settling down in comfortable unhappiness. Him in a job he hadn’t been happy in for a while and me in a town I haven’t been happy in for seventeen years. I guess it’s better to say that I’m cautiously optimistic.
And there you have the state of the Reb.