In Other News (Dog Edition)

I thought I would share stuff going on with the pups lately since it’s been mostly about the pregnancy in my life right now (of course, I put a lot of pup pics on Instagram so they aren’t totally being left out online).

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Jerzee hates the cold, or she just loves snuggling that much.  On especially cold days, I will put a sweater on her.  I find that when I do that, she is more likely to go outside more and spend less time under a blanket.  Still, she is adorable.

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She still likes to be in the center of everything, though.  Whether that’s sitting on someone’s lap or doing tricks in the middle of a room of people.  In the above picture, she actually got into Michael’s lap because I was paying attention to Teddy.  Jealousy runs deep with this little one.

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And while Jerzee was in Michael’s lap, this is ultimately what Teddy ended up doing.  He doesn’t quite get the skill of snuggling, but he has grown by leaps and bounds since he first became a part of our family.  He understands now that humans are awesome for scratches and pets, and he will even approach humans now (mostly looking for attention or treats).  As a once hoarded dog, this makes me smile big.

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Of course, he’s not without some quirks and kinks to work out.  He has a thing for licking and chewing on blankets, especially if we are not in the room.  I tend to find the holes, still slobbery after they have been made.  We had to make a decision that he’s not allowed on the couch anymore until we know he has grown out of this habit (since our couch is also fabric, I don’t want to take any chances).  But it’s pretty pitiful to see him longing to jump up on the couch.  He will sit as close as he can to it, or rest his head on it.  We set up a dog bed for him right next to us, and that seems to suffice…for now.

I love my two pups and all their quirky ways.  I am looking forward to seeing how they will react to a new baby, though I’m not worried about it at all.  It will definitely be an adjustment, but I can’t wait to introduce my love for canines with my kid!

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The Night Circus: A Review

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel like I was late to this party, but I’m so glad I read this book!
If by some craziness you haven’t read this book, I highly, highly, recommend. It has definitely become one of my favorite fantasy books to date.
The story surrounds this circus that only comes out at night (hence, the title). It’s a cover for this competition between two magicians (not in the sense that we know magicians, but actual people who can use magic). But the story is bigger than this competition. It’s about every person who is a part of this circus. It includes the performers and the patrons and how they are all connected by choices.
I liked the theme of choice in the story. Some of the choices are brought onto the characters through no control of their own, but the choices they do get to make are what really define them as people.
It’s a beautiful story. The writing, itself, is beautiful and descriptive without being overbearing. The story is not necessarily told in chronological order or from the same perspective. They build on each other, though, which I really liked. I could tell pretty quickly that no character was inconsequential. Every performer, every visitor played a part in the machine of the story.
As far as profanity, sex, and violence. There is one curse word at the beginning of the book, maybe in the first or second chapter. I thought it was foreshadowing more, but I didn’t come across any more in the future chapters. There is one love scene, and there are a few death/violent scenes, but none of them were detailed or graphic. Would recommend to older teen and up (I think it is actually categorized as adult fiction).

I also wanted to let you know that I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  These are all things I have used personally.  I wouldn’t recommend something I haven’t tried myself.  Thanks!

Recent Happenings

In my last post, I mentioned that January is usually the slowest month of our year, although this first week hasn’t really been an indication of that.  I suppose most of the weekdays are pretty quiet in this house, but this past weekend was filled with activity.  I took Tuesday to just rest and recalibrate.

So here are some of the things we did.

Friday night, we were invited to a pizza and game night party, where we made our own pizzas.  This was so much fun!  I really enjoyed helping to make the pizzas and getting to know some of the people at the party I had never met!

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Then, Saturday morning, I was invited to go see the movie, I, Tonya at the Alamo Drafthouse with a group of girls.

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I had a few takeaways from the movie.  The domestic abuse made me really uncomfortable, and I wouldn’t recommend people who have first-hand experience of domestic abuse to watch the movie.  Also, the role that the media played in this girl’s life was cringe-worthy.  I could just make media the bad guy, but even now, how many people would be ready to whip out their phones in hopes of views on their accounts?  In one of the statements made in the movie, Tonya had accused everyone in her life of abusing her, then turned the tables on everyone viewing the movie, and accused them of adding to the abuse.

Sunday, we had our last “in home” meeting for our missional community.  We are doing a trial run of combining both house churches in Dallas into one big gathering, which starts next week.  Michael and I have been a part of this house church for about two and a half years.  I’m looking forward to seeing what this new year will bring.

But my weekend didn’t stop there.  Michael and I got invited to a coloring and figure painting party at a friend’s house on Monday night.  I felt like such a cool kid to be out on a weeknight, even though I started to fade about 8:15pm.  Still, I had so much fun and laughed so hard.  I love being with people that make me smile.

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Needless to say, I took some much-needed downtime yesterday, and hope I have a little more downtime today as well.  This pregnancy energy level is no joke.  Most of my energy comes in the morning and I sputter out about 8 every night.  I’m so grateful to have friends who have been understanding and patient with me.  I’m sure it will only get more complicated with the baby is born.  So we will try to take advantage of friend time as much as we can!

How was your weekend?

My No Goals Resolution

I’ve always been someone who likes to make goals or challenges for weeks, months, seasons, or even years at a time.  I love the feeling of progress and improvement.  I’m a planner and organizer.  It’s who I have been, especially the last 10-15 years.

But this year is the most unclear year I’ve experienced to date.  When I look ahead into any given year, it’s easy to make goals because I have some idea how the year is going to go.  Some of the rhythms are still there, but for the most part, I don’t know where this year’s path will take me.  This makes it difficult for me to plan in measurable steps, so this year, I’m embracing a word.

anticipation

Dictionary.com’s definition of anticipation is:

realization in advance; foretaste.
expectation or hope.
previous notion; slight previous impression.
intuition, foreknowledge, or prescience.

 

I’ve boiled these down to this: Anticipation is looking into the unknown with a joyful hope to see what God will do next.

 

Obviously, the big anticipation of this year is my pregnancy.  It’s scary and exciting and curious to see what God will do throughout this pregnancy.  He has already done so many things.  So many conversations and connections have been made with old friends and new ones.  Yet, it is all still unknown, leaving me in a state of anticipation.

I also anticipate other aspects of my life to become clearer.  I have been given a couple of opportunities in the last few months as possible future career options.  There are so many possibilities and paths I could take.  While I couldn’t possibly do all of them, I anticipate that timing will play a big part of it.  And it’s a timing that I can’t see yet in my future.  There’s nothing to do right now but wait…and anticipate that with God’s guidance, things will be revealed in their own time.

But anticipation isn’t just for the big unknowns in my life.  Anticipation can be looking forward to the more familiar, smaller events, even if it’s not completely clear how exactly things will go.

For example, in the month of January, I anticipate a slower, quieter rhythm.  Michael starts his busy season soon, which will bring long hours and possible travel.  We are hoping that the travel and long hours aren’t as much as they have been in year’s past, but we will have to see.

Some fun things I anticipate in January are cooler weather temps, comfort foods, cozy sweaters, and snuggles with the pups.  Being in Texas, these can also be unknowns.  I’ve seen snow follow a heat spell before.  But I would love to have one good snow, just to see how Teddy reacts to it.

I know that because January tends to be slower and quieter, it can be a great reminder and opportunity to take advantage of this time by spending it with God.  The busyness of the year will come soon enough, and prayer time and devotionals will eventually feel rushed and harried.  But in this month, I can anticipate and appreciate the intentional stillness with God.

Anticipation is nothing without keeping my eyes on God.  As this year continues, I hope to keep looking for the movements of God in my life and in the lives around me.  To anticipate his presence in all aspects of my life and help me walk through the unknowns set before me.