System Status: September 2015

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So….hello. 🙂

One thing nice about not relying on any type of income coming from my blog is the fact that I can take a break whenever I need to. And at the end of July, I really needed to. There was lots of work ( and some hard things and some very hard things and of course, general busy-ness. But I did miss this space and writing here and I came up with more ideas about things to say (though whether they actually materialize is another matter entirely) and so now here I am.

To summarize the last few months: did I mention that I worked a lot? I did. B turned 5 on August 13th. I turned 35 on September 19th. My grandma turned 94 on August 28th and then passed away on September 26th. After 13 months of being unemployed, E was re-hired by his former employer which we’re incredibly thankful for (though still wary), so we’re once again looking for a house to buy. This also means I am once again home alone with two kids all day….every week day. We paid off our second mortgage. We had some sicknesses (but everyone is okay now).

And why does it never seem like much when I write it all down but it seemed like so much when I was living it?

Here are a some scenes from our last few months (click on any image to see a gallery):

At any rate, I thought it would be fitting to start back up with a system status, so, in the end of September I’m into….


C hasn’t been going to sleep as easily as she used to and she’s taking horrible (read: next to non-existent) naps, so I’ve had more time to listen to audiobooks.

In July, I finished The Night Circus (for my book club – I didn’t like this one at all), Your Five-Year-Old (I figured I should probably get it done before he actually turned 5 🙂 ), and The Dovekeepers (also for my book club and I liked this one).

In August, I finished The Time in Between (it was okay, a little meandering at times), China Dolls (not as good as Lisa See’s other books, which I really like, but still entertaining), The Peach Keeper (Sarah Addison Allen is one of my “fluff” novel authors and I needed that after a few heavy ones – it’s just as silly as her other novels, though not quite as good).

In September, I finished Leaving Time (it was really good, but sad). I tried The Truth According to Us but I didn’t care for the narrators, which makes actually liking the book really difficult, so I didn’t finish it. Right now I’m working on The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, and advanced reader copy of Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving FaithHome Education, and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

If you’d like to follow along with my book reading adventures, you can find me on Goodreads or check out my Pinterest book board.

TV & Movies.

I honestly can’t remember which movies we’ve seen in the last few months….if any. Since the start of September, we’ve been mainly focused on football, though we did start watching Parenthood back in July and liked that (now waiting for more seasons to come in at the library). E picked up the game Pandemic on my birthday and I’ve been hooked on that since, so our Hulu queue is filling up with new shows while I nurse my latest addiction. 🙂

I’m still trying to like Doctor Who, Sarah Bessey! Really, really trying!


  • In Praise of the Imperfect Photograph – My thoughts exactly.
  • Waking Up Together – “The night is the most sacred: the way our bodies fit together, I curl around her, she presses into me, her little tummy is full, we breathe together and rest at last.” ♥ Babies are precious.
  • when you want to find hidden graces in the dark places – I lost a good friend to suicide 10 years ago this November. It can sneak into the places you least expect it, even among those you think have it all together.
  • How to Cut Children’s Screen Time? Say No to Yourself First. – “One girl among the 1,000 children she interviewed in preparing her book said, ‘I feel like I’m just boring. I’m boring my dad because he will take any text, any call, any time, even on the ski lift.’ A 4-year-old called her father’s smartphone a ‘stupid phone.'”
  • The Words That Cost Me My Most Important Friendship – “Instead of wallowing in what I’d lost, a very tempting prospect, I began keeping gratitude lists and adopted a meditation practice. A week rarely goes by where I don’t interrupt myself mid-sentence with my new favorite acronym: W.A.I.T. ‘Why am I talking?’ And when I find myself complaining about how I’ve been wronged by someone, I give myself a ‘time out.’… I am still working on this — I might always be working on this — but as hard as it is, becoming more self-reliant brings me one step closer to becoming a more compassionate, better friend to others.”
  • 14 Funny Comics Only Introverts Will Truly Appreciate – My fellow introverts, represent! Quietly and alone, of course.

I post links throughout the month on my Facebook page also if you want to follow along in real time!

Bird Sightings.


I honestly can’t keep up with the whole list of birds we’ve had at the feeder over the last ten months, but it does seem to be slowing down since the weather started getting cooler. Right now we regularly get house finches ( finches), lesser goldfinches (love their little songs and how tiny they are, though they’re not particularly nice to the American goldfinches), black-capped chickadees (my favorites), a downy woodpecker (we call her Roma), and one determined northern flicker who curls himself around the bottom of our dinner bell feeder and picks food out of the bowl. We also, very briefly, had a red-tailed hawk land on our railing….but he didn’t visit the feeder. He does occasionally perch in the tree across from our deck and we assume it’s to see if any tasty morsels will fly to our feeder. If I happen to see him, I start playing hawk calls on my iPhone at the window because I’m that much of a bird dork and want to warn the little birds away.

Favorite Instagram.


B figured out how to spell moussaka. 🙂

A photo posted by reb (@humbleplaces) on

And there you have the state of the Reb. 🙂

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One Comment

  1. Sally tucker says:

    I love reading your blog! The pictures were wonderful!!!!

    Are we on for tonight?

    Love you!!!

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