What I’m Into: The July 2013 Epic Summer Edition

what i'm into - july 2013

It was an Epic July of Family Fun. It was warm and it was beautiful, and our boys were at the exact right age for summer. We went to three different fairs, two parades and one rodeo. We ate hot dogs and corn on the cob.

summer slideshow 1

We bought a caterpillar and watched him turn into a butterfly. We had an amazing squirt-gun battle with Grandma and Papi, and we drove up north for a family reunion.

summer slideshow 2

We’ve been trekking out to the beach and running through the sprinklers and crawling in bed, sun-and-water worn from the day. The boys’ hair has been bleached out entirely by the sun, and the chiropractor keeps shaking his head judgily when he looks at my tanned legs. (I use SPF 70, man. I’m doing what I can.)

The grass has been green and the days have been warm and it has been summer in the best possible sense of the word. I am high on all the sunshine and fresh air. I wish it could be July forever.

What I’m Reading

giant book stackI took this photo of my Books-I-Own-But-Have-Not-Read pile in response to this blog post by fellow-book-addict Leigh Kramer. I am sorry to say that this is only the kitchen-counter version of it. There are stacks of unread books scattered all throughout the house, and I’m still buying more. It’s a problem.

But I did read a few books this month.

My husband and I really like to work through fun book series together. For the first several years of our marriage, we read all the Harry Potter books aloud together, and we did Hunger Games together too.

Recently, he found a new series that he really likes — Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. It’s a little more straight fantasy than I generally prefer, but I read the first one almost entirely in our baby pool and really liked it. Now that I’m caught up, we’re working through the second book in the series, The Well of Ascension. It gives us a reason to sit out on the deck during the hours after the kids go to bed, and it’s nice to be working through a shared story again.

I also read Eleanor and Park a young adult book by Rainbow Rowell that has been recommended to by several people. I loved the characters and their quirky love story, though the end of the book felt a little rushed and oversimplified to me. Has anyone read it? I’d love your spoiler-free opinion. 🙂

What I’m Listening To

I checked out the Essential Bob Dylan from the library this month and have been listening to it whenever I can. Dane doesn’t like it. He prefers the Top 20 Country Radio. But I love Bob.

This weekend, we went up North for a family reunion, and I had to drive Liam around the Itasca State Park twice to get him to nap. There was something very lovely about driving slowly through the trees, listening to Bob Dylan’s distinctive, poetic voice. It seemed sort of ironic to me that Liam finally konked out to “Tambourine Man.”

What I’m Watching

Of course I’m watching The Bachelorette. Of course I am. But I might stop after this season because they made us sit through a FORTY-FIVE MINUTE breakup scene. It was terrible. When it finally ended Andrew and I turned off the TV and just sat there, completely drained of all life motivation.

Andrew said, “It’s like watching a 20-hour long movie with a depressing ending.” You let us down Bachelorette. You let. us. down.

On the flip-side, we’ve seen a lot of movies in the theatre this month. We liked Red 2, though not as much as the original. White House Down was terrible — but in that way that makes you want to quote it for the rest of the day. I went to see The Way, Way Back by myself and absolutely loved it. I think it was my favorite movie of the summer, and one of my top of the year.

What We’re Doing

In addition to all of the aforementioned epicness, we had a lot of beautiful firsts this month.

We had our first experience with sparklers…

first sparklers

Our first family camping trip…

camping 1

(This is the closest I have to a picture of NONE OF US SLEEPING.)

camping 2

Our first family bowling experience…

family bowling

And Dane’s first trip to the dentist.


I briefly considered trying to get Liam to hand over his Nuk and blanky, but then the two-years-oldness set all the way in, and there was lots of crying and angst and temper tantrums…so I let it go. Again. Sigh.

liam with nuk

Our summer bucket list is already filled with so much goodness, and we still (theoretically) have one month of summer left!

Blog and Book:

This month I turned thirty, redesigned my website, finished the final edits for my book and got the final cover. I also sorted through some of my struggles with social justice started the One Small Change series — a chance for us to work together to come us with some simple, doable ways to integrate justice into every day life.

Also, my book is finally available for pre-order, so grab your copy now!

Linking up as always with the lovely Leigh Kramer. What have you been into this month?

18 thoughts on “What I’m Into: The July 2013 Epic Summer Edition

  1. Oh I really want to see The Way, Way Back. Toni (you’re terrible, Muriel!) Collette is my heroine. Adore her.

  2. Love your beautiful pictures and all your summer goodness! Makes me miss you and your adorably sweet family like crazy.

  3. Eleanor and Park was delicious, but the ending didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Making this spoiler free: I mean, Eleanor, why? And then suddenly, why again?

  4. I love family camping trips. We did learn that staying two nights was good because by the second night everyone was so exhausted no one could fight it. Loved your books stack. State of Wonder caught my eye, I think because I heard other people talk about it a few weeks ago.

    1. I’m still kind of a newbie on the family camping. We never really did that when I was growing up, and I’m kind of a weenie about it now. But I have two sons, so I’m going to need to figure it out. Oi.

  5. I want to be part of your summer! Except for the trip to the dentist, although I am, in fact, overdue. Oops. I love your book stack so much, especially knowing it’s a fraction of what you have in your house. So glad you and your husband found a series to read! We’ve already chatted about E&P but yes. I don’t know anything about The Way, Way Back but I trust your judgment and will put it on the list.

    P.S. I miss you.

  6. I also try and have some Dylan playing when driving around the north country. At some point you should venture beyond the greatest hits disc and check out the full albums.

    1. Confession: I always expected I’d love him but didn’t know for sure until I heard North Country on Silver Linings Playbook. Then I was hooked. Now that I’ve made it through the faves, I’ll definitely be checking out full albums.

  7. Ahhhh yes, giving up the blanky/paci combo. That was hard for our little guy too. Have you tried cutting a little hole in the paci to make it less satisfying? We have a whole host of slightly cruel tricks up our sleeve if you want more. =) lol

    1. I’ve heard it’s a great trick, but we had one pacifier once that somehow got split like that on accident, and it made him insane with rage. Now I’m quivering in fear of my two-year-old. Which isn’t great.

  8. What a fun summer you are having! We’ve been bowling a couple times and it’s really fun, except the alley here doesn’t have that little ramp thing so my 4 year old has to granny-roll the ball down the lane and it takes probably 15 seconds for the ball to get there. Sometimes I actually forget that it’s still rolling and go on to something else until she yells, “I knocked 4 down! AND I’M FOUR!!!” I wish I could be so excited about such things. Although 38 pins in a bowling alley might be a little crowded….

    Oh, and I went to preorder your book until I remember that I’m moving soon and have NO HOME TO MOVE INTO so don’t know what my address will be in October. (No stress here, why do you ask?) But count one more sale on your list because I’m totally buying it once I have a place to sit and read it.

  9. Love the book stack, and agree on The Way, Way Back.That is what a Movie is supposed to be. We loved Mud also, have a little theater nearby that shows the quirky movies and found it there. Your boys are just perfect, such a sweet summer. Don’t sweat the blankie and paci, he’ll ditch it before he heads off to school. Until then, just tell people who are nosy he is extremely tall for his age(this really works, I did it once when middle child was having a hissy fit in the parking lot as I was trying to corral them into the store.)

  10. I’ve got that book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and I am looking forward to reading it.

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