What I’m Into – July

Linking up with Leigh and so many beautiful others for What I’m Into. This month has been filled to the brim with so much. I’m sad to see it go and yet I’m glad to move on. I spent my last days in the mosqutio filled north with its beauty. I walked (and barely sprinted) my first 5k. We took the long way home over five flights, four planes, hours running through airports and calming down one curious chihuahua. I spent days trying to readjust, especially with my allergies. I was caught up in daily deadlines. But I found the joy in summer. I’ve started to love the cool rains (but not the lightning, hasn’t won me over yet). I said goodbye to my favorite coffee shop, not knowing if it would open its doors again. And happily, an email told me that it will be reopening. This month, I have stretched and grown and ached and smiled.

Reading-
The thing about spending a lot of time in airports and on airplanes is that you get a lot of time to catch up on your to-read stack! I vary between my kindle app and physical books. Can’t beat some of those kindle deals but I don’t think I’ll ever be over the feeling of a book in my hands, flipping through pages.
-Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans. I’d actually picked up this book before under its former title when I was at school. For whatever reason (deadlines) I didn’t read it. But now I’m so glad I did. I loved what Rachel wrote about faith, asking questions and tradition.
-Speak by Nish Weiseth. I’m going to write a separate review on this book, so stay tuned! I loved this book. If you’re worried that this will be another in the pile of story-related Christian cliches, don’t be. It’s a book for her, for you and for me.
-I Haven’t Been to Vegas but my Luggage Has by Mandy Hale. Y’all, I’m a sucker for a good story about hilarious single women. The world needs more of them sharing their heart and making me laugh. It’s why I love Annie Downs so much (coming soon, a review of her latest book! Which I’m behind on because deadlines). I found this at the bookstore and knew I had to read it. The first half of the book is really strong, as Mandy tells stories of her hilarious hijinks and delves into the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to dating. But the book lost appeal for me during the second half. The tone seemed to change, it wasn’t funny or strictly serious. She talks about starting her platform “The Single Woman” but she used such sparse details, I couldn’t quite grasp the concept. Maybe she’s gone into detail on her own site, I don’t know. I’m not a reader of hers, but I found that too distracting. I was disappointed at the outcome–it felt like the book just couldn’t keep up momentum.
-The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson. While we’re on the topic of books and that can’t keep up momentum, I was disappointed with this offering, too. I loved the previous book so much I ordered this on kindle immediately after finishing. But it didn’t quite live up to the previous book for me. I was so eager to read the last letter and it almost didn’t seem worth reading, which makes me really sad. The first book (which I read last month) was great and I’ll be sure to check out more by Maureen (that is, if she doesn’t run me over in her segway this weekend at Leaky).
-Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. This book took me months to read in the best of ways. Since it’s filled with little essays, it’s easy to read a bit, then set down to ponder. I loved the way Glennon writes and speaks honestly about her own life. It’s good humor and I love the way she talks about faith & loving others. I love that this is a book I can continue to pick up and read short pieces of.
-I just started reading a novel from one of my favorite authors that hits stories in September. I’m sure I’ll have lots to say about it next month.
I’m up to thirty books read for the year! Yay! When I first started this challenge, I wasn’t sure I could get to twenty five! It feels good to have made so much progress.

Music-
Two of my favorite bands came out with new releases: Anberlin and Colony House. I don’t own either yet. I’ve been listening to a lot of Cities in honor of the new album. I’ve also had the Noah Gunderson and Josh Garrells pandora channels on this month as my study music.

Youtube-
I fell in love with a series called Letters to July by Emily Diana Ruth. It’s amazing. She writes letters to the month of July with the moments she’s savoring, the things she thinks and fear. It’s beautiful. And it’s a collaboration with other youtubers. Here’s the playlist from this year (adult language warning) and from last. I was so inspired, it become a writing prompt on my tumblr. And I think I’ll be reposting some of the content over here next month.

Around the Web-
All Hootenannie, all of the time. Especially this post about how your dream might not be all you thought. But seriously, this gal is hilarious and one of my favorite writers on the internet.
And Hilary Yancey’s post at Lisa-Jo’s place about her relationship with her mother. It made me cry and reminded me so much of the relationship between my own Mom and I. We share a lot of special moments, which I’m so grateful for. I hope we’ll laugh that hard at my own wedding, some day. Hilary is another of my favorite writers.

Random-
-We’re getting a book about Lydia Bennet. It’s real. It’s happening. I’m so excited. I fell in love with her thanks to Mary-Kate Wiles performance on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and the spin-off, The Lydia Bennet! I’m really excited to get more of a glimpse into this character.
-I got a gym membership this month. Which means a lot of testing my own limits, introspection and drinking a lot of water. It’s something I’m glad to do and keep up with, but I don’t feel the progress yet.
-I’ve had deadlines every day this month until the 28th. What was packed in those deadlines nearly killed me towards the end. So now I’m reveling in this time I get to rest. It’s not something I loved but I was sure into it. 😀
-I’m always into breakfasts or brunches at Fresh Markets.
-Conversations with friends that remind me how lucky I am to have them. I’ve had several of those this month and it’s a joy. ❤
-Surprise presents in the mail.
-Oversized, cozy sweatshirts.

Instagram-

Two favorites this month: A study in contrasts or Florida. Every day. Like clockwork.

And I like airplanes and good shots.

August, I’m excited to say hello to you, friend. It’ll bring new excitement and new challenges. Tomorrow, I’m attending my very first convention! I’m a huge bundle of excitement and nerves. Friends have been so generous to give me tips and I’m hoping I’m prepared. I’m also hoping not to make a fool of myself when I meet my favorite actors and fandom friends. Soon after, a roadtrip adventure and seeing a dear friend. Then home and more dear friends. I hope August brings you joy and laughter. A relief of cool air or the warmth of the sun, depending on your preference. 😉 And I hope you have amazing adventures this month. Thanks to Leigh for hosting this awesome link-up. And check out her page if you haven’t.

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