Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Six months into being B.R.A.V.E.

Whoa, the year is half gone. Six months disappeared beneath our belts. I've hit all five of the elements a month at a time. Focused on how each aspect looks, feels, happens for 30 day segments -thankful as each period comes to an end.

So now, here we are, half way through the year. And what now?

Last month was full of adventure. Not particularly in the ways I planned, but better than that. Adventure that looked like nightly walks hand in hand, exploring little towns and cities on a weekend away, ordering different dishes at restaurants instead of what's tried and true. It included a night at the theater with Jason that will quickly become a tradition.

Over the first half of the year, I took on hard tasks. I exhausted myself a little bit with delving deep in things like feelings and emotions. Oh. My. Soul. Turns out I have a whole lot of those. So, I promised myself to take it a little bit easier, a little more practical for the remaining six. This looks like July being a month of responsibility. But how?

This month I will not be a distracted driver.

I change my Spotify music on my phone, check Twitter, scroll through Instagram, read texts... I'm distracted -and breaking laws. So, for the month of July I'm going to quit it. To quit being engaged in technology and, instead, drive safely and smartly.

If we're being really honest, I'm totally looking forward to this because it's so measurable, so easy to feel successful at, so obvious when I'm messing it up.

And finally, how is my summer reading project going? Good. I love the way this challenge has me falling in love with all kinds of reads. I've pushed myself to read two books (that are vastly different) at a time and, well, I love it -balancing the hard read with the fun, rewarding myself for progress in one with time in the other, contrasting the stories back and forth. All this coming from the girl who spent decades reading ONLY ONE BOOK at a time.

Also, I'll note: lots of changes have been made from the preliminary list. 

  • Read any book that is at least 200 pages long. (DONE)Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (336 pages)          
  • That was written before you were born. (DONE)
    Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (224 pages) 
  • Finish reading a book you couldn't finish the first time around. (DONE)
    Have  a Little Faith by Mitch Albom (272 pages)
  • Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore. (currently reading)
    The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster (272 pages) -the sole reread.
  • On The NYT's Best Sellers List when you begin reading it. (DONE)
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (352 pages) 
  • Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe. (15 points)
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (336 pages) 
  • Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge. (15 points)
    Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (336 pages)
  • With “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title. (DONE)
    The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (401 pages) 
  • Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014. (currently reading)
    Wild by Cheryl Strayed (315 pages) 
  • Written by a blogger. (DONE)
    When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman (256 pages) 
  • Read a biography, autobiography or memoir. (DONE)
    Bossypants by Tina Fey (272 pages) 
  • Read a pair of books with antonyms in the titles. (30 points)
    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (282 pages) & End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwable (352 pages)
*Only one of my books is a reread. Mostly because there's so many on our shelves I haven't yet read.*


  1. Oh, I love Mitch Albom, he is by far my favorite. I hope you enjoyed Have a Little Faith!

  2. You've made it through some great books! I like how your goals are measurable and attainable. I need to not be such a distracted driver, too. Love that picture of you guys!

  3. Good for you. I hope more people will see this and decide to drive safer this month too. Way too many accidents caused by people not looking at the road!

  4. I'm totally a distracted driver. I don't usually text (I've gotten much better at that) but I still mess with the radio, look at my GPS, etc, which is just as bad. I'm going to work on that this July, for sure! I need to try this reading challenge--this is so great!

  5. What a fun reading challenge! And good luck with July's focus. I used to be an extremely distracted driver. Then about 2 years ago while I was a passenger in the car, my car was totaled + it was a terrible, horrible, no good accident that could have ended horrifically. Even though I wasn't driving when it happened, it was a huge wake-up call that these things can happen at any time! Since then I've played by the rules of the road, and driving is much more relaxing :) Good luck!

  6. I'm the world's worst at driving with my phone in between my legs and cruising through twitter and such at stoplights. I don't actually "text and drive" anymore, but I'm still distracted. I can't count the number of times someone has honked at me because I'm still looking at my Instagram feed when the light turns green! This is one goal that I might try to take with you -- vowing to leave the phone in the purse, in the passenger seat, and FOCUS ON THE ROAD!


  7. Oh girl! Get to reading Anne Of Green Gables ASAP! That book is so wonderful. I just reread it this spring and gah, cried and loved it all over again. So so good.

  8. I think I need to join you in not being a distracted driver. I used to only do it at stop lights, but now I find as it turns green and I hit the gas, I'm still browsing my feeds :(

  9. I have never heard of the summer reading challenge (am new to your blog) but it's very intriguing. I love new book recommendations! I am with you on the distracted driving -- since I live in St. Paul sometimes I run into traffic delays and I turn to the instagram and bloglovin' apps while I'm waiting. Good luck with your month off distracted driving and I hope it becomes a habit!

  10. Girl you shouldn't just quit the distracted thing in July. You should quit 365 days a week. Texting and all while driving is not how I want to meet our Heavenly Father. Nothing is that important. Although so many people do it. One day it wont end up so good. Watch all those text while driving commercials and you won't want to do it again.

  11. Girl, he was SO GOOD to me. His ability to talk about so many faiths and so many hard times in a single novel just blew my mind... And makes me want to read the book over and over again. (I'm doing a review next Monday!)

  12. Oh yes you totally can! (even if in a modified version) ...I don't know what took me SO LONG to get on board of Rainbow Rowell's goodness, but I did just adore every ounce of Attachments.

  13. I have! And I have so many good ones left on the list that I really struggle deciding which one to read next... I guess that's the PERFECT problem to have. :)

  14. I'm hoping that it'll make driving more of a time of reflection and relaxation instead of trying to get all my shit done while not being committed to any one task... The most important being the driving part!

  15. It's crazy how many things there are to distract us once we get moving... I'm really hoping this will make the whole driving thing a little more relaxing instead of a time for me to make lists of all the mess that I've got going on.

  16. How does it sneak like that?!? I catch myself doing the SAME thing and then I scare myself thinking about how consumed I was with what's really not anything... Oh my soul.

  17. That one is next on my list... I keep hearing it's amazing that for some reason I've been saving it... I guess in a best for last sort of way... :) Cannot wait to read.

    Have you seen the movie? If so, what did you think?

  18. It's SO BAD because it turns into a time of being productive when it's NOT supposed to be... I'm trying to make the car a place of slowing down and relaxing a little bit instead of another place to try and tackle ALL. THE. THINGS. that I feel like I need to get done.

  19. I want driving to be more relaxing! More time for me to take a moment and pray or think or reflect or ponder or let my brain take a break. Slow myself down and just be present in the moment of movement from work to home or home to work or wherever else I might be headed.

  20. First, WELCOME! The reading challenge has been SO MUCH FUN for me to participate in because it reminded me how much I love to read... It's also pushed me to read all kinds of things and be a little bit more creative in the books that I pick... Plus lots of people love to read and I had no idea before! :)

  21. His writing is great! I read First Phone Call From Heaven a couple months ago, and that one was crazy. It was slow at first but once it picked up it was a great Mitch Albom book. When I think of his books, I think of books I just can not put down.

  22. I think you misunderstood. For July, I'm focusing on it, I'm committing myself to a month of it in hopes that it becomes a lifestyle just like the rest of the B.R.A.V.E. focuses I've taken on in since January. Over the course of July I'm hoping to be intentional in making drive time relaxing, reflective, and more enjoyable.

  23. I loved The Secret Life of Bees... looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. (And I am dying to read Bossy Pants!!) LOVE that picture of you with your babe!! :)

  24. It is far too easy to become a distracted driver these days. Sometimes if I know I'm going to be tempted, I put my bag (with my phone in it) in the trunk! The only problem then is that I have to listen to the radio instead of a great podcast or favorite playlist...but after my car was totaled by a driver who was texting earlier this year, I definitely learned that it's worth it to stay focused.

  25. Fangirl is my other favorite of hers. (I just finished it for the second time!) Eleanor and Park was good too, but it's a bit "heavier" than I had thought it would be.

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