Friends, it was a long one. Summer, that is. It was so long, in fact, my kids woke up at dawn on the first day of school, dressed and fed themselves, and ran into school with glee as if they couldn't wait to be away from me (not that I'd blame them). I figure, if I make them want to go back to school, that's a job well done.
But other than the usual lazy summer shenanigans, it was a quiet one around here. Still, I thought I'd pop on and let know how things look, here and now:
I'm in the front bay window of my favourite cafe in Dublin, directly across the street from Trinity College and under a bright blue sky. It's in the 20s here (70s Fahrenheit) and it feels like God granted us mini summer holiday, just for adults. The door I'm facing is a robin's egg blue, the ceilings are grey and tall, the cornicing is gorgeous and the food delish. I've just finished an article for Vox.ie and am reveling in new work, hopefully done well.
That's not so bad for a here and now, I suppose. Now, on to the rest:
The book sitting next to me is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Thanks to the Sorta Awesome podcast, my to-be-read list has never been longer. I also recently (finally!) finished All The Light We Cannot See, which was a stunningly beautiful read. However, I think I read too slowly as it didn't grab me emotionally as I thought it would. Still, the descriptions of Hitler youth army schools were undeniably chilly and the heroine at its heart (orphaned, blind and brave) a delight to behold.
Also read this month: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, which at first I didn't love until I realized the distinct writing style so effortlessly portrayed the psyche (and dilemma) of the soul-full (or soul-less?) main characters. As Kathy (the narrator) describes her life story in cluttered, unorganized details, I felt the confusion of figuring out life, humanity and love without the benefit of parents, faith or hope.
It's finally happening: we are getting into The Great British Bake-Off. You know it's saying something when the 7yo boy gasps, "Oh yes! I love British baking shows!" We're also neck deep in Gilmore Girls and I'm pleased (and slightly disturbed) to report that every member of our family over 9 years of age is slightly obsessed. Also, cue so many teachable moments. Poor Rory. So wise, and yet still makes poor choices.
This summer I also visited the cinema with the eldest to see the new Star Trek, which was loads of good fun, if not overtly preachy (not that I disagreed with the moral at its core, but still. Show me, don't tell, tell and then tell me some more).
Both the husband and I have discovered and fallen in love with Hamilton (thanks to Mary P and literally every other cool person I know). We're also listening to a lot of Glen Hansard these days as we'll be seeing him live in Dublin tonight! Thank you, mama, for the sweet anniversary gift.
So this is exciting: Starting this week, I'll be writing a weekly column for VOX Magazine, an Irish web and print publication. I've been following Vox since it's inception and it's a huge honour to share a little bit of bandwidth with them as they discuss cultural, political and practical issues close to the heart of 21st century Irish Christians. Thank you so much for all the love you showed me and this project on Facebook, and do let me know if there's a particular issue or question or theme you'd like to see me tackle. I'm all ears!
That one beautiful morning we had on that one day of our one surprise vacation.
Trying to teach Ash to ride a bike. He's not convinced this is a necessary part of growing up.
First day of school, amiright?!
Welcoming new friends to Dublin. I don't feel an expert in much, but it feels like a major victory to share some of the ins and outs - and all the tough, good lessons we've learned - of relocating and building a life here.
Motherhood, Mission and Madness at A Life Overseas
Friends who take me out for cake, bring cake, who bake cake and all those in between. 38 didn't feel so scary, on account of all the chocolate and the love. Special thanks to Allison who spent the whole day carting me to all my favourite places and basically drowning me in sisterly spirit.
I did mention friends, right? Ok, another shout-out to my people.
Baby question mark turned 7. SEVEN! We celebrated with a gorgeous day chasing dragonflies in Phoenix Park. These three? My heart.
The Olympics. Obviously.
Our annual (and final!) pilgrimage to Germany. We said goodbye to this sweet spot, as well as a couple of wonderful friends who are repatriating back to the States. Good and hard, man. They seem to always go together, don't they? Next year: Slovenia.
Speaking of which, a great interview with a coffee shop lady pastor. So much to love about this.
Booking tickets to America for Christmas! We'll be hitting Missouri and Wisconsin and hopefully a couple of places in between. It'll be a short, full 3.5 weeks!
A fun, not entirely well-orchestrated day trip to Kilkenny Castle.
17 years of nearly almost always, sometimes occasionally blissful marriage. Listen, we're no braggards. Marriage is work, good work. But it is work. And I'm so happy to work with him.
The five pillars of an ideal single life (good for all people to read: single, married or relationship-complicated)
Brexit coverage. This has been the most fascinating period of international political intrigue, and Brexit has been a fantastic distraction from the horribly surreal, yet all-too-real mess that is the US presidential election.
Related: A fascinating profile on Nicole Sturgeon about motherhood and politics.