first sunday of advent (2018)

He comes back home from Jerusalem, smelling like
Smoke and incense and blood, preoccupied in thought.
He is not usually this quiet.

A few times he looks at me, breathes in as if to speak,
Then sighs, some frustration around the edges of his exhale.
Something happened to him, it seems.

Finally, he stands up, gestures: Look, please.
And his hands spell out the story–
The angel, the promise, his question, his voice.

And he stops, sits down beside me:
Am I crazy? Is this all true?
I feel him ask me, rather than hear.

And something in his helplessness, and in his
Echo of my own doubts and spark of faith
Makes me love him even more than I did as a girl.

Maybe we are crazy and it’s true, I tell him.
What’s the harm in taking a chance?

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thursday 13

This week: 13 things you want to buy or otherwise obtain.

  1. Dutch oven.
  2. Camping gear.
  3. A Jokers and Marbles board.
  4. A coffee grinder.
  5. Cowboy boots.
  6. Pie pans.
  7. New dishes.
  8. A really good chef’s knife
  9. A pocketknife.
  10. A stock pot (for making big batches of soup).
  11. New sunglasses.
  12. I don’t really know why I want this, but the extended edition DVD sets for the Lord of the Rings movies.
  13. There’s this dress on Modcloth I’ve had my eye on for a while; I think I might just go ahead and get it soon…

 

thursday 13

This week: 13 things you want to cook.

  1. These meatballs.
  2. This Korean dish, called andong jjimdak, which looks amazing.
  3. These muffins.
  4. Pho!
  5. Hotdish!
  6. More hotdish!
  7. Chile relleno casserole, omg.
  8. There’s a recipe in this month’s Bon Appetit that’s not online yet, but it’s coconut-apple dal, which sounds really autumnal and delicious and I want it now.
  9. Hasselback butternut squash.
  10. This will probably not ever happen, but something to aspire to is cassoulet.
  11. Upside-down cherry cake.
  12. Chocolate-peppermint cake roll.
  13. This pumpkin pie.

right now: october 2018.

Making: I’m in between projects right now–I just started a new job and I’m still kind of reconfiguring my daily rhythms and such. I did start my annual music top 50 list, so that’s something I guess.

Cooking: I made this the other night and it was tasty; I had some sauce leftover and I’m planning on trying it mixed with some rice to see how that goes. I also have my eye on this black bean soup now that it’s no longer blaring hot outside.

Drinking: I’m at my local coffee place drinking a soy milk latte right now and it’s delicious. (It’s also my third cup of coffee today and I am never sleeping tonight.) I’ve also started drinking a mix of hot chai (from the Tazo tea bags) and french vanilla creamer and it is awesome (and way cheaper and less sugary than Starbucks).

Reading: Just started Little Fires Everywhere. Casting about for a nonfiction book to read; might start Dorothy Sayers’ The Mind of the Maker.

Wanting: A jacket that’s about hoodie-weight but isn’t actually a hoodie (maybe in denim or twill, I haven’t decided yet).

Looking: At armchairs–working on building a reading corner in my living room.

Playing: Lots of nertz on my phone, especially when I’m vegging out listening to podcasts and not doing anything else.

Deciding: Which streaming service to get for Doctor Who and college sports.

Wishing: That I knew what I was going to give people for Christmas…time to start figuring that out.

Enjoying: The cool, rainy weather, which means that I am wearing a 3/4-sleeve shirt and not dying. Also, my parish/small group/whatever your church calls those is doing a thing called fight clubs, which is smaller groups for people to meet in for life stuff, accountability, and prayer and such. (I actually am still in one of these from Kaleo, even though we’re at different churches now.) Anyway, mine’s met twice and I’m very much enjoying getting to know those women and opening up to them more. I’m still very new to our church and I feel like there’s still a lot I’m getting to know about people (and vice versa), so this is a nice format to do it in.

Waiting: For the concert I’m going to tonight–Sandra McCracken’s playing a free show at a local church and I’m pretty excited.

Liking: The fact that the guy who took my coffee order recognized me and was like “hey, haven’t seen you in forever!”

Wondering: What I’m going to do to celebrate Advent this year.

Loving: My calendar is full for the next few months and it’s very good for me and my ambivert self to get out and be with people.

Pondering: What to eat for dinner tonight (thinking about getting curry fried rice from a local place that does it excellently).

Considering: Future plans–I’ve got the bones of a plan to finally start a second master’s degree in the fall of 2020, which isn’t as far off as it seems. I need to work out details (especially the financial ones), but yeah, I have concrete plans to make it happen now, which is exciting.

Buying: Finally bought a couch–it’s a dark gray with some bluish undertones to it, and it’s long enough for me to take a nap on and it’s great.

Watching: Not really anything at the moment. Heard great things about Salt Fat Acid Heat and I need to catch up on Doctor Who. I do want to see A Star Is Born and The Hate U Give (although I might wait on that one until I’ve read the book).

Hoping: That the cool weather sticks around for a while and that we actually get some cold weather soon.

Marveling: I recently found out that my mom has never seen a dinosaur skeleton in person and am now wondering how the heck that happened.

Needing: To figure out what I’m going to wear to my friends’ wedding in December, but I’ve got a while, thankfully. I think I know, but it’ll depend on weather.

Questioning: Whether or not I can pull off wearing a jumpsuit–I’ve tried on rompers and they make me look absurd, but I don’t know about jumpsuits. I kind of love this one (and it looks good on their plus-size model, which is important for me).

Smelling: Lavender, thanks to my leave-in conditioner.

Wearing: Coral-pink 3/4-sleeve shirt, jeans, gray TOMS.

Admiring: This poem by Robert Pinsky.

Giggling: At this fantastic review of Pacific Rim Uprising.

Snacking: It’s apple season, which means that I have been buying them by the bag and devouring them in my car on the way home from work. I also recently discovered moondrop grapes, which are very grapey and sweet and juicy and were to be had for a ridiculously good price at HEB last week.

Hearing: Directly in my ears, Jars of Clay’s album Who We Are Instead, which is one of my favorites. Underneath, all the sounds of this coffee place: The Shins on the radio, conversations at other tables, the espresso machine hissing.

thursday 13

(more substantial post coming soon!)

This week: 13 songs from contemporary musicals (i.e., from the past 20 years) that aren’t Hamilton.

    1. A double-header: “Before and After You” and “One Second and a Million Miles” from The Bridges of Madison County.
    2. “96,000” from In the Heights.
    3. “Omar Sharif” from The Band’s Visit.
    4. “Wish I Were Here” from Next to Normal.
    5. “Touch Me” from Spring Awakening.
    6. “Gold” from Once.
    7. “Chant II” from Hadestown.
    8. “Waving Through a Window” from Dear Evan Hansen.
    9. “Michael In the Bathroom” from Be More Chill.
    10. “I’m Here” from The Color Purple.
    11. “She Used to Be Mine” from Waitress.
    12. “Balaga” from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.
    13. “I Can Do Better Than That” from The Last 5 Years.

thursday 13

This week: 13 things you do for self-care.

  1. Get counseling when I need it
  2. Vitamin D supplement, probiotic, OTC allergy meds, fish oil
  3. I’m trying to get better about consistent exercise…
  4. Also trying to get better about eating well.
  5. Starting to get better about wearing sunscreen.
  6. I paint my own toenails because I’m one of those people that hates pedicures.
  7. Once a year I’ll do a foot peel–you soak your feet in this liquid for an hour and then over the next few days your dead skin all peels off. It is mildly horrifying, but your feet feel and look amazing afterwards.
  8. I’m not totally consistent about this, but I use the Headspace app to do some deep breathing in the morning or to help me fall asleep and it’s great.
  9. Also trying to hang out with my people more, because community is necessary and good.
  10. Can we count church here? I suppose that is not so much self-care as it is being open to God’s care for me, yes?
  11. Every once in a while I’ll do a brain dump in my notebook–just make myself write anything that comes to mind for 10-15 minutes and fill up a couple of pages. Surprisingly helpful.
  12. Need to schedule it for this year, but yearly checkup at the doctor.
  13. Creative endeavors–knitting, guitar, etc.

thursday 13

This week: Books you’ve read in the past 12 months.

  1. Tom Hanks, Uncommon Type (yes, that Tom Hanks)
  2. Rachel Khong, Goodbye Vitamin
  3. Gregory Cole, Single, Gay, Christian
  4. Sue Grafton, X
  5. Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
  6. Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You
  7. Joy Beth Smith, Party of One
  8. Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code
  9. Nnedi Okorafor, Binti
  10. Edward Lee, Buttermilk Graffiti
  11. Suzanne Stabile, The Path Between Us
  12. Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here
  13. W.B. Sprague, Lectures On Revivals