reading round-up (3.28.14)

Max and I are making the most of a few days on our own while Aaron has meetings a few states south of here. It is very Always-Winter-Never-Christmas-ish outside, so I am trying not to be jealous of his travels. I have plenty of wool socks and a cute puppy to keep me warm, which remind me not to complain about the otherwise minor annoyance of not seeing leaf buds or blades of grass even though it is April next week.

image (11)


Despite my constant care and affection (and occasional rule-bending) throughout the week, little Max definitely likes Aaron best and mopes around when he reaches bedtime without SpaceDad’s return. We still call him “Little Max” all the time even though he has clearly outgrown his nickname. We might be yelling it out the backyard next year even if he’s 100 pounds by then.

depressed max

I had a marvelous list of links to share, which I have been saving up as I find them… and they are lost somewhere in the great blue yonder because my phone is smarter than my computer. Bummer. Here’s a few things I can remember from that list all for your reading pleasure. Enjoy, and happy weekend!


I especially love reading blogs written by people I actually know, and this series on Fashion & the Gospel from Emily is really encouraging. Although I’m aiming to get by spending less than $50 on maternity clothes (a wild success so far with gifts, sacrificing older stretchy clothes for the cause, borrowing from friends, and GoodWill!) so I’m not exactly highly fashionable these days, she offers a lot of food for thought, particularly in the original purpose of clothes: “to cover, and in so doing, reveal God’s grace…”

One of the other benefits of having awesome friends is that they also have other awesome friends you can meet.  Amanda, who is funny, loves great stories, and has a too-adorable red-haired toddler who could easily be mistaken for a little dolly, is friends with one of my old college room-mates. She wrote some great thoughts on my all-time favorite reality TV show enterprise – MTV’s “16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom” – and I’m really challenged to think about ways we might “step up” to support younger parents like the ones documented in those shows in the coming months and years.

The shared level of frugal sense in our marriage is extremely high. Every family expresses this differently, but we were raised with very similar senses about how lifestyle should relate to income. This has come in very handy since basically NOTHING IN LIFE has turned out like we planned during our engagement, including grad school, jobs, etc., so we’ve been rocking out the not-quite-Dave-Ramsey-style rice and beans life for several years and will continue to do so for at least the foreseeable future. We’ll be fine. The only thing that has been really annoying to me? The pressure to use coupons. I know they can save you big money. I tried being a “couponer” for two weeks and spent my entire weekend running around to different stores. I ended up with two years worth of razors, three tubes of toothpaste for the price of one, shampoo that smelled funny, and a shelf full of cereal we don’t like. I didn’t spend more than usual, but that’s two weekends of my life I will never get back. Articles about keeping up couponing momentum make me want to break out in hives. But… I have discovered this marvelous couponing app called Snip-Snap and now I can save money (yes!) while mooching off other people’s coupon-clipping (yes!). I can quickly browse through the multi-use coupons other users have uploaded in search of only stores I visit or items I need, and I just show the barcode on my phone’s screen at the store to SAVE. Worth checking out, for sure!

I thought this article about how badly kids need “wildness” in their upbringing was really fabulous. We have always said we want to be parents who aren’t all, “Stay on the side of the playground where I can see you, don’t go outside because there are BUGS OUT THERE, keep yourself off that thing because you might fall and get bruised,” and it’s encouraging to see we are not crazy in wanting kids to experience a little grit and risk. We’ll see how this works out in real life, but we do actually have a firepit in the backyard here…

It’s been hard to know how to handle talking and sharing about the coming baby. If it had been up to me, I might… I don’t know… never have said anything, to anyone, at any time, about being pregnant until the baby was born. This is the custom in some cultures, and I totally get it. Sometimes I wish it was like that here, too. I still remember (most vividly) how awful it felt to navigate pregnancy announcements, baby talk, and pictures of bellies. Too many years of frustration, never knowing if it would provoke some hard reaction even when I didn’t want it to happen. Way too many women I love are still in that angst, so I’m not going to be doing much “pregnancy progress updating” or “picture posting,” (a great post on that is already written by Housewifespice!). But we obviously can’t ignore that this seems to be happening, and Aaron is good to remind me that the point of it all isn’t me, it’s the baby. And so, I’ll pop this one up here to celebrate the gift that is our daughter — yep! — coming this summer.

22weeks

there are two girls in this picture!


[linking up this week with 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 comments
  1. Hannah said:

    I feel kind of special that I got a shout out. Also, yes, Emerson is a doll-child.

    • Meeting other good people is just one of the many benefits of being friends with you!

      I mean, among other things, you also introduced me to Rocquefort cheese. That is a kindness not easily forgotten.

      >

  2. Heidi said:

    I’m glad I found your blog, Abby…I’ve read a couple of your posts and I needed your healthy perspective on the beans and rice lifestyle today. Congrats on your little girl, too! :)

    • Heidi,

      Thanks for stopping by — I saw you have a little boy coming? Congratulations to you, too. (I always think having two of the same kind in a row is the desirable line up!)

      I’ve actually never made “beans and rice,” but we joke about it a lot… I try to remember, “it only SEEMS like everyone else has more money, or more fun, or whatever.” Sometimes I get really annoyed about the restrictions (like… today… when those avocados looked good but I was already a little overbudget and they were $1/each, which is the high end of what I’m willing to spend for them anyway….) But it’s always worth it to know Aaron and I are a team and we can trust each other to sacrifice in different ways for what we believe is best for our family. Best wishes! :)

      • Heidi said:

        Thanks Abby! :)

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