Happy about: A school bond vote that passed after three tries in less than two years. I've lived in this community for over a decade now and know the ins and outs of our schools pretty well, know the research that shows the importance of classroom environment, and the studies that expose the impact of overcrowded class sizes on teacher success and student growth. But this bond has become even more important to me now that we are just six months out of Cruz joining the newest class of kindergartens, and I am so proud to live in a community that is willing to invest a little more to give these kids the space and environments to thrive. And I'm feeling pretty darn blessed that we are getting a school just up the street.
Working on: It's house project season and I am having fun dreaming up ideas for my own Chip Gaines to bring to life in his "shop", aka, garage on the weekends. In a matter of two weekends, my talented hubby built me a distressed bench for our entryway that I am smitten over, a work bench for him, and a four-foot tall chalkboard frame to hang on the side of our kitchen cabinet. Recently at my dad's job, they tore out the interior walls of one of their large buildings on campus, and have been taking down heaps of pine wood paneling, aka, Midwest "shiplap". I had him transport a pickup load of that stuff over here last week and am excited to finish one of our bedrooms downstairs and create a little magnolia-inspired retreat for house guests. It's been fun to see pinterest projects come to life so quickly, and pretty dang cheap compared to the stores I like to shop at. And Beau is in heaven!
The kids and I did a little planting on Sunday, tucked away on our porch to hide from the wind. We planted a zoo and fairy garden, and they look perfect on the window bench in our dining room. Cruz loved digging his hands in the dirt and proved to be quite the green thumb with all those cute little succulents.
Reading: I'm nearly finished with Jen Hatmaker's newest book, For the Love, and have thoroughly loved her sporadic essays that either have me fist bumping the air in agreement with her in-your-face logic, or snorting in laughter with her parenting lessons and Jimmy Fallon-esque thank you notes. Overall, though, I have been drawn to her essays that focus on community, a central piece of my own life I've been called to nurture and invest in right now. I love when she writes: "If Jesus is the heart of the church, people are the lifeblood. There is a reason He created community and told us to practice grace and love and camaraderie and presence. People soften the edges and fill in the gaps. Friends make up the best parts of the whole story." Love God and love people. That's all there is to it.
Watching: This is a weird transition, but can my love of people also include Rick, Daryl, Glen, and Carol? And if I've lost you at this point, it means you do not tune in to AMC on Sunday nights to cater to your (mild) obsession with The Walking Dead. Yes, it's a show based on a comic book about zombies, but I'm telling you, it's intense and compelling and I CAN'T STOP WATCHING IT! My English-teachery-wants-to-analyze-everything brain loves this show for its writing, its character development, and its crazy twists and turns. Season 6 just ended with another cliffhanger, so I guess I'm going to have to tune back in in October. Me and Carrie Underwood.
Listening to: Cleopatra, the Lumineers' second album finally comes out tomorrow. We have been listening to Ophelia on repeat for about the last five weeks and all four of us, including Mila, have it pretty much memorized. Her "o-o-phe-lia" is spot on and completely adorable.
Eating: While I'm so ready for garden vegetables, summer shandys, and Four Queens ice cream on a Sunday afternoon, I've been taking advantage of a few final weeks of winter lingering and making some of my favorite comfort food staples. My favorite banana cookies and spearmint green tea for early mornings tucked away on the fourth floor of the library, vanilla yogurt and my favorite granola for lunch, and chicken soup and warm crusty bread to look forward to for dinner while the wind howls and our garage welcomes us home at the end of the day like a great big hug. We had our second If:Table at Katy's a couple weeks ago, complete with vegetable lasagna, caprese salad, berries with fresh whipped cream, and limoncello. And we are having a pizza party (with wine!) with the Petrie clan on Friday before embarking on a new food challenge that's going to stretch us in a whole new direction. Stay tuned for that!
Learning about: The importance of community, around our table with our little family of four, or with the people that fill your cup, and encourage, support, and inspire you in the best of ways. It's delivering muffins to a good friend because they're on your heart that day, or making plans to reconnect with another because you want to talk purpose over coffee, dinner, or a weekend in their pretty tulip town. It's hugs after church, inspiring or funny text messages throughout the week, and deep conversations about love and loss and Jesus at a table with other moms while the dad's run daddy daycare out of our basement and neglect to wipe cheeto hands, runny noses, or put the lids back on the fourteen play-doh containers. Life's too heavy to try and lift on your own, and I'm learning how amazing it feels to share bits of this life with others in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Looking forward to: So much! Three weeks left in the semester, a weekend getaway to reunite with Mumford and Sons, a preschool graduation, and a cross country road trip with my crew. A garden to plant, bikes to ride, and a fire pit to build. I think I say this every year, but I'm looking forward to this summer more than maybe ever before. Or maybe I say that because it all just keeps getting better. I can't wait to read a book on the deck as the sun sets and hear the geese fly over my head. I can't wait for Saturday mornings at the farmer's market, for bike rides and pit stops for patio beers at Mulligans, and for the slow drip of summer goodness.