The house is alarmingly quiet.
We're enjoying a full house as a of late, a dozen Wisconsin team members joining Matt for a week of serving, praying and kids-clubbing, and some KC friends joining me around the breakfast table every morning (above photo courtesy of one such guest). I'm an anxious hostess by nature and to say practicing hospitality is "stretching" would be an understatement.
I tried to take comfort from the Nester's imperfect guide to hosting, but let's face it: her imperfect looks pretty perfect. My imperfect looks like spaghetti stains on the wall and a child without trousers on.
Still, the gracious reciprocation offered - child minding, sparkling counter-tops, an overflowing bag of American goodies - leaves me overwhelmed with thankfulness. Our kids feel loved. Matt's working alongside his brother. These are good gifts.
So besides cooking and tea-making and story-sharing, here's what I'm into:
Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I was happy to find this paperback at the library and finished it in a quick couple of days. The pace of the book was quick and the language conversationally simple, which at first seemed odd but as Alice's disease progresses, the language of the author beautifully follows suit. To see inside her mind as a disaffected (yet all-knowing) voyeur was heartbreaking and beautiful.
I began reading The Poisonwood Bible by Karen Kingsolver with the Velvet Ashes crew (my second false start with this lengthy novel detailing a family's disastrous mission to the Congo), but dropped it in lieu of Still Alice. Hoping to come back to it on our trip to Germany next month and reread Amy's summation and discussion for the book.
Finally, I was privileged to receive an advanced copy of Amber Haines' Wild in the Hollow. Anyone familiar with Amber's blog, The Runamuck, will know she is a gentle master of poetry and prose, and her story is at once frightening and familiar. The first and last chapter of her memoir bookend her story with tender visions, and she is brave with her words in a way that not many Christian women choose to be. The overarching idea that the home we are all longing for is really that first Garden of Eden seems so profound and yet so obvious. Of course we're all trying to get back to Eden, whether we realise it or not. How could there be any other? The book releases NEXT WEEK and I'd urge you to escape with Amber's words for awhile.
On the agenda this month: finishing Redeeming Sex, Poisonwood, and diving into The Girl on the Train. (let's be friends on goodreads)
Matt and I have found something almost better than British television: Scandi-drama! Really, we've only watched one show, the WWII Norwegian series The Saboteurs, but we absolutely loved it. Intelligent dialogue, complicated heroes (and anti-heroes), beautifully filmed. Highly recommended if you can find it (those in Ireland/UK can stream on 4-OD or RTE Player).
Also watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and somehow managed to slog through this past season of Grey's Anatomy (Ireland was a couple months behind US airing). I can't even tell you why I still watch this show, which seems disconcertingly aware of its pained awfulness, hurtling towards its imminent demise. (I ended up writing a pretty lengthy review of these two shows for my freelance course... perhaps I will share them with you at some point).
Podcasts! A little bit of Fresh Air (particularly the riveting discussion with the filmmaker and manager behind AMY), Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, and Sorta Awesome.
Not my elimination diet, that's for sure.
Redesigning Nearly Natural Nicole's blog.
Collecting friends from the airport.
A night out in a pub we've wanted to try for ages.
Sunsets - and moonrises - along the canal.
The truest thing about me by Addie Zierman.
The gathering and feeding of guests in my home.
A long stretch in the evening spent at the Lexicon Library in Dun Laoghaire.
Sarah Bessey's Somewheres... I've spent a good bit of time tuning in to my somewheres this month; priceless convos - and a LOT of listening - that simply can't be had online.
Related: I am a pro-life feminist
Two kids somewhat happily entrenched in hurling and camogie camp.
Wimbledon. And the British Open. I can't get enough of sports in hushed, anglo-tones.
Avocados, tortilla chips and hummus: these are saving my life right now!
Writing, and sometimes not writing.
Fathers and daughters.
“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.” - CS LEWIS
Linking up with Leigh Kramer for her monthly What I'm Into series. Affiliate links are included. Now, what were you up to this month?