I am worthless and unimportant. I am not enough. And last year proved it.
I am worthless and unimportant. I am not enough. And last year proved it.
Happy Thursday! And almost end-of-2017! More thoughts on 2017 (possibly, if I can formulate them coherently) tomorrow, but until then… let’s take a look at October & November in Photos. I barely took any photos these months, as you can see from the fact that I have the same amount for two months that I usually have for one month.
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So let’s just jump right in:
The month started as any month should: in the beautiful land of Wisconsin. And with this cute puppy.
Who wasn’t sure I’d actually get this post up this year? 🙋🏻 But I do this every year and as I’ve been listening to music as I drive around I’ve been trying to remember which ones have really caught my attention. As always, you will see some repeats. A Christmas music playlist isn’t a Christmas music playlist unless it’s filled to the brim with Harry Connick Jr. Additionally, you can just listen to all of his Christmas albums on repeat like I do all season long. The playlist starts with HCJ’s Sleigh Ride as it does every year, because I have not started listening to Christmas music until I’ve heard that song. It opens his album Where the Heart Finds Christmas, which is also the first Christmas album I listen to every year. And the playlist ends with my favorite version of Auld Lang Syne. And, as always, you’ll also hear Mahalia Jackson’s Silent Night, Holy Night, because… there really are no words to describe how much I love her rendition.
I hope you enjoy this playlist and I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas!
I remember visiting the state Christmas tree in Madison, Wisconsin when I was younger. It would fill the rotunda, so round and full. When I think back on cozy Christmas memories, those visits to Madison, Wisconsin at Christmastime top the list.
However, according to my parents it may have been one memory that became a family tradition in my head. They recently told me that we probably visited the state capitol only once or twice. You know how parents are: intent on taking away all of our joyful, happy childhood memories. 😉
I’ve thought about going back to back to Madison for the holidays to see the state Christmas tree again for awhile now, and this year was the perfect year to do it. 2017 has been less than magical (personally, I’m not talking state of the world here, although in some ways that fits, too) and I knew I needed do something festive; something to help slow down and reflect on the holidays ahead instead of just wishing the year to finally (finally! 🎉) be over.
I have a relative who lives in Madison and it turns out my mom had been thinking about visiting, too, so we decided to make it a girls weekend. We arrived in Madison on a Friday, so we woke up not-so-bright and not-so-early on Saturday to head out. It was a cold day, with a bitter, biting wind. We hurried around the building until we found the closest door to take us inside.
Yes, you read that. September in photos. Since we’ve reached December (hi 👋🏽, it’s been awhile!) and I STILL haven’t posted a September in Photos post I thought about combining these with October and November, but… I have enough that I wanted to give them their own post. I should be able to combine October/November. I don’t think I took a lot of photos those months, but we’ll see once I actually sort through ’em!
Also, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything but a book review. I don’t have much to say about that other than life. Life has been fine, but busy, and for my sanity something needed to give for a little bit. The blog was it. So was fiction writing. And I’m finally feeling inspired for both of those things again. 🎉 I just don’t feel 100% like myself if I’m not writing.
Let’s jump into the post! September can be described in three ways: all work and no play…, coffee (as always), and Little One (💙💙💙). I hope you don’t mind those last two in particular, because you’re going to see a lot of them. Especially Little One. Also, I was going to say this was the first month since May or June that I didn’t go to Wisconsin, but… that’s not true.
And the Mina photos start…. now!
Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Written by the leading researchers in the field, this information-rich guide to improving your mood explains how gut health drives psychological well-being, and how depression and anxiety can be relieved by adjusting your intestinal bacteria.
This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to your microbiome, that four-pound population of microbes living inside your intestines. Leading medical researchers John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan, working with veteran journalist Scott C. Anderson, explain how common mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety, can be improved by caring for the intestinal microbiome. Science is proving that a healthy gut means a healthy mind–and this book details the steps you can take to change your mood and improve your life by nurturing your microbiome.
Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Harper Wave (September 19, 2017)
WE NEED TO TALK.
In this urgent and insightful book, public radio journalist Celeste Headlee shows us how to bridge what divides us–by having real conversations
BASED ON THE TED TALK WITH OVER 10 MILLION VIEWS
We Need to Talk is an important read for a conversationally-challenged, disconnected age. Headlee is a talented, honest storyteller, and her advice has helped me become a better spouse, friend, and mother. (Jessica Lahey, author of†New York Times bestseller The Gift of Failure)
Today most of us communicate from behind electronic screens, and studies show that Americans feel less connected and more divided than ever before. The blame for some of this disconnect can be attributed to our political landscape, but the erosion of our conversational skills as a society lies with us as individuals.
And the only way forward, says Headlee, is to start talking to each other. In We Need to Talk, she outlines the strategies that have made her a better conversationalist–and offers simple tools that can improve anyone’s communication. For example:
Whether you’re struggling to communicate with your kid’s teacher at school, an employee at work, or the people you love the most–Headlee offers smart strategies that can help us all have conversations that matter.
Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for a honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hardcover: 182 pages
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (October 16, 2017)
We may not often think of our clothes as having a function beyond covering our naked bodies and keeping us a little safer from the elements. But to discount the enormous influence of clothing on anything from economic cycles to the future of water scarcity is to ignore the greater meaning of the garments we put on our backs. Disrobed vividly considers the role that clothing plays in everything from natural disasters to climate change to terrorism to geopolitics to agribusiness. Chapter by chapter, Tang takes the reader on an unusual journey, telling stories and asking questions that most consumers have never considered about their clothing. Why do banker’s wives sell off their clothes and how does that presage a recession? How is clothing linked to ethanol and starvation on the African continent? Could RFID in clothing save the lives of millions of people in earthquakes around the world?
This book takes an everyday item and considers it in a way that readers may not have previously thought possible. It tackles topics relevant to today, everything from fakes in the museums to farm-to-table eating, and answers questions about how we can anticipate and change our world in areas as far-reaching as the environment, politics, and the clash of civilizations occurring between countries. Much like other pop economics books have done before, the stories are easily retold in water-cooler style, allowing them to be thoughtfully considered, argued, and discussed.
One August a cute little pooch curled up on next to me on a couch and stole my heart. Five years ago I brought that little pooch home. Happy five years to being the best of friends, Little One! If you read my blog, you know she always finds a place on my gratitude lists. She’s been such a blessing in my life and I’ve learned so much from her. In honor of five years with Little One, I thought I’d share five facts you may or may not know about her, and five lessons dogs teach their humans.
Happy Monday! I recently shared a rather cynical look at life and everything I put in that post is true, but while I’ve had a cynical view of life, there has also been a lot of joy and happiness. Like I said earlier this summer, the last few months have been hard as I’ve watched something that I cared about go through a lot of turmoil, but there’s always good in life. As Dumbledore would say, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” And I wouldn’t necessarily classify the last few months of my life as one of the darkest times, mostly one of the most frustrating times.
But we’re not talking about that today. Today we’re talking about the good. This is what I’ve been thankful for in September.