It has been quite a while since I last wrote here, and I have several excuses:
  • My birthday has passed, which means 23 before 24 is over and I no longer feel self-obligated to write weekly.
  • The holiday season (which includes but is not limited to, my birthday, opening day of rifle in New York, Thanksgiving, opening week of rifle season in Pennsylvania, Carson's birthday, my mom's birthday, Herm's birthday, Christmas, and New Years) is a busy time of year for us - by the time Christmas comes around, we will have traveled to / been in PA on three different occasions in the month of December, and on top of that we have holiday parties and birthday bashes and general life thrown into the mix.
  • My computer crashed. It has been on the verge of dying for almost a year, barely hanging on by a thread. Literally. The lid of the laptop was connected by a few wires. I had it strategically propped up against a wall, and if anyone closed it or nudged it too harshly I knew it would suffocate. Well, a sad, sad day happened and it's gone. May it rest in peace.
Those excuses may perhaps be legitimate, but they are just that, excuses. And had I wanted to write bad enough, I would have made time for it. But I'm back again, and while I won't promise weekly posts anymore (have you ever tried typing and linking on an iPad?), I'm not going to give this blogging gig up either.
To jump back into things, here is what I've been currently up to...
Reading: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World - how one family learned that saying no can lead to life's biggest yes, by Kristen Welch.
This book arrived in my mailbox, taking me completely by surprise. I had not ordered it, nor did I know it was coming out. There was a note from Kristen and her team at Tyndale House, saying that I was receiving it as a gift for sharing encouragement to other women through my platform (my blog). Included in the package was a Fair Trade Friday family gift packet and a beautiful paper bead bracelet.
I wasn't reading anything at the time the book arrived, so that evening I sat down and got started. And friend, let me tell you this: If you are a mom of children, whether they are toddlers or teens, I really do think this book will benefit you. In our culture, where almost everything is instant and we are flooded with advertising, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking if only I had this ________, then I'd be happy. Our kids aren't the only ones who struggle with this, we do too. The consumerisim mentally is a hard one to combat, but it's not impossible. If you decide to read this book, get ready to cultivate a spirit of genuine appreciation where your kids (and you) don't just say—but actually mean—"thank you" for everything you have.
You can preorder the book here - I wholeheartedly recommend it!
Loving: All things Fair Trade, such as this necklace (which I own and wear weekly), these kantha blankets (I have a gift card to redeem. Now to decide which one?),  Punjammies (most comfortable pants in the world... It's 3:30pm and I still haven't changed into real clothes today because of these.), and finally, these earrings (which I wear on heavy repeat.).
Dreaming: About the Little One growing within me. I had a visit with my midwife this week, and got to see the child via ultrasound. We didn't find out the gender, but it was such an amazing experience to see that little head, the tiny fingers, and bony knees. I am at almost 20 weeks now, and it just baffles me how anyone would deny this a child—a human being with rights! —it's so very obvious. If I chose, I would still be legal to abort, and to know that so many babies lose their lives because of our entitlement, our rights, just breaks my heart. It was such a bittersweet moment, seeing my child and falling in love even more, but knowing at the same time that so many children aren't loved or wanted.
Carson was with me at the appointment , and ever since then he has been even more affectionate towards the baby. Not a day goes by where my belly isn't patted and kissed and talked to by a very excited big brother.
Wishing: For a white Christmas. But we will be in Lancater, Pa, where the  extended forecast is predicting a high of 70*. Sunblock anyone?
Thinking About: What I should make for dinner.
Listening: To Serial. I can't get enough of this podcast! I was a bit late to the show during season one, so I was able to listen to episodes back to back, finishing it within a week or two. And then season one was over and they took a forever long break. It's back again, and now, every week I am like a kid counting down the days until Christmas... Except what I'm  counting down is days until Serial.
Watching: The clock tick slowly towards our supper hour, and still nothing. Ideas? Anyone?
Trying: To stock my pantry a bit better. One of my goals for this winter is to cook my way through the Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple cookbook. To do so, there will be a bit of shopping and planning on my part. Once the snow starts flying, I think I'll be up for the challenge. I used this cookbook consistently last winter when we were training for the Seneca7, and not one recipe disappointed us, they were all so good.

What about you? What have you currently been up to? I'd love to hear about it!