Tuesday, September 03, 2013

What I Loved in August

The pup is terrified of thunderstorms.
Time at home: Got to head home two weekends in a row for various events, including birthday celebrations, a wedding, and brunches galore. Seriously, y'all. Two brunches on Saturday, two brunches on Sunday. Even though I sometimes have conflicting feelings about it all, it's always such a refreshing reminder that home is always there, no matter where I end up.

Meals with friends, moving on and moving in: Starting our fourth year out of college seems to mean that a lot of folks are leaving that first (or second, or third) job in that first (or second, or third) post-college town, heading on to grad school or some new adventure. I've had to say "See you later" to multiple friends this summer, which has made for some lovely meals reminiscing and looking forward to the next step. At the same time, some people are moving into the neighborhood, so I get to welcome them here, which is equally fun.

Future thoughts...: On that note, this is not always my FAVORITE thing, but I've also been mulling my own future plans a lot this summer. Logistics, the mother of all that is stressful and frustrating, has reared her ugly head more than once, but I've also realized that I just need to suck it up and keep pushing toward the newness and excitement that awaits. Imagining that everything will fall into place, and praying in that vein, is a great comfort!

Friends at the lake
A lake weekend with the girls: I met some of my dearest college friends for a lake weekend in the middle of the month, a great getaway with lots of laughter, chick flicks and food. It was 60 degrees and rainy all weekend - August turned upside down - but it was cozy and we went shopping and all bought new dresses at Ross and TJ Maxx. Even though we are scattered up and down the East coast now, it never feels like we've been apart for very long.

Parks & Recreation and Portlandia: Two of my favorite, all-too-recently-discovered shows. Which = lots of watching, lots of catching up.

Gluten-free/dairy-free successes: I'm trying out a gluten-free/dairy-free diet for a bit, and this recipe website is awesome. Also, if you're looking for dairy-free ice cream, see if your grocery store carries So Delicious! coconut milk ice cream. Yum!

Baseball: My boyfriend has played baseball since he was little, up through high school varsity and D-I college, and now a local adult league. It's really fun to go and cheer him on, sitting on the bleachers in the cool(ish) evening air, surrounded by other girlfriends and wives, parents and kids of these baseball players. And of course, the Braves, my forever-team, have the best record in the MLB heading into the last two months of the season, in spite of being insanely injury-prone. When I turned 8, they won the World Series. I'd take another championship for my 26th... (And if you've never heard Timothy Miller sing "God Bless America" during Sunday game 7th inning stretches, you are missing out on true beauty. Do it. Now.)

Inside the prayer room
Accountability partners: Thanks to my spiritual formation class, I have a great accountability partner. We talk every other week, sharing with each other what we would like to do on a daily basis to grow closer to God, and our successes and struggles with those. I'm so enjoying getting to know her and making intentional time for spiritual practice. I'm also thankful that I'm able to keep up a weekly email correspondence (with many texts in between) with one of my dearest friends, as we share our prayer requests and hopes for each new week. Both of these women have helped me immensely this month.

Time in the prayer room: So, the spiritual practice that I began at the start of this month is really simple, but I am finding that it brings me a lot of renewal and time for stillness. I work at a church, and the church has a small prayer room. It has a couple of prayer stations with comfortable chairs and curtains for privacy, and some lovely sacred music playing on the stereo. I've found time to slip in there every afternoon during the week for 15-20 minutes, to simply curl up in the chair and be still. So calming, and such a gift, especially in the middle of a work day. I'm sorry it took me over two years to realize the wonders of the prayer room - but now I don't miss a day.

Lake time!
Labor Day weekend in the mountains: Just returned from spending a quiet and refreshing long weekend in the mountains with some family. A rustic cabin with no electricity, delicious food, a brisk swim in the lake, canoeing and boating, time for visiting, Apples to Apples... a great way to end the month!

And now it's September! Even though we've had a fairly mild summer for Southern standards, I'm ready for the crispness of fall, and newness - and one goal of mine is to write more frequently over here. Thanks for bearing with me in the summer lag, and as always, for reading.

(P.S. This is the first time I've tried linking up with writer Leigh Kramer on monthly favorites. So many neat pieces from other folks!)

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