Monday, August 4, 2014

let's engage in august

We went on a fishing trip last month. I actually enjoyed myself out there in the mountains, sitting on rocks, drinking mimosas, dropping lines in the gushing streams. Don't worry about my self esteem after catching the single, tiniest fish in all the land because, HI, I auto-timed that picture up there. We look like a damn postcard, but we aren't, we're just, well, two stinky Thomases, hungry and about to ride giant horses to an abandoned gold mine. 

And how did July go? you ask. 

Driving less distractedly went, for the most part, well, I was more intentional in staying away from the phone and enjoying the music or quiet going on in my car while getting from here to there. It was good for me, however, I spent the month noticing a few things: 
  • We're all self important when we're on the road. I can't believe how crazy we all drive (well, at least here in southern CA). I so often wanted to roll down my window and holler for people to breath deep and slow down. A mild case of traffic made people crazy and had drivers swerving all over the place. So, I'm trying to slow my roll and remember I'm not a firetruck so I can slow, slow, slow. As important as I think I am, I'm not
  • Phones really do make us oblivious. Not being on my phone had me more aware of the drivers around me who were scrolling and swiping on theirs. Lights missed and horns honked happened at the hands of an iPhone. I do wonder how many accidents and tickets are a result of being in the tech bubble in our car. 
  • The car can be a relaxing place. In the last few months, I found myself feeling like the drive to and from work was my time to get things done, to make lists and prepare myself to be productive. This month that time became a space for my mind to do creative things, to mull over what's going on in my life, to pray and think on the goodness that is Him. 
I encourage y'all to take this challenge upon yourself. I really, really do. 

A new month and a new August. 

August I'm setting my mind on being engaged. 

Engaged at home, at work, in life. I want to be more involved in what's going on here and now instead of what's happening online or on TV. I want to host dinners, to spend time with friends, to bond with our neighbors a little bit more. I want to master corn hole and to kick the ass of my FitBit's 10,000 steps a day. 

I find myself scrolling through Instagram and Twitter more than I'd like. It seems to snowball, more, more, more. I realize that I'd rather sit and watch TV with Jason than get competitive over cards. It's easy and okay on occasion, but we can lean into one another more, more, more. 

So, August is about engagement. 

I want to spend more time playing cornhole, walking through the meadow, cannonballing into Mama Bird's pool. The evenings are so beautiful with the cooler temperature and light breeze and I want to enjoy those moments on our patio around our dinner table. 

And my third month check-in for the Summer Reading Challenge
Holy heavens, the final month and I've got some reading to do! 
  • 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(DONE)
    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. (DONE)
    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (222 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. (almost DONE)
    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) (almost DONE with Born to Run, currently reading the other)
    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (282 pages) & End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwable (352 pages)
Now that this challenge is drawing to an end, I have remembered how much I love to read. There's something about a book that can take you away from here and inspire you to go here, there, and everywhere. This month, I've been feeling like moving and living a lot -I'm blaming the books. 

Of course, a GIF-filled review of all the books is to follow! 

25 comments:

  1. I shall be setting my phone aside as I drive and enjoy the road. Even if there's traffic. Anf there's always traffic in Atlanta.

    Speaking of which, COME VISIT.

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  2. Wow I am soooo behind on this challenge (I don't think I picked up a book the entire month of July, which makes me sad). Also, I concur with Ashten, COME TO THE SOUTH!

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  3. I so wish I had jumped in this challenge when it started--that's so fun. Proud of how much you've read! And really though, that picture of y'all is like an advertisement for an outdoors magazine. Y'all are basically the coolest.


    Why is being engaged such a hard thing for me? I wouldn't rather be on my phone, but it's just such a habit that I pick it up without even realizing it. I've been trying hard in the evenings just to sit and enjoy and be present. And I'm so much happier--I just need to break that habit. iPhones are wonderful and horrible all at the same time! Cheers to being more engaged this month. I'm in it with you!

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  4. Oh I'm pretty excited about the GIF filled review!

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  5. I did this same challenge, but I modified it a bit! I've read Secret Life of Bees and it's incredible! You will devour it :)

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  6. Secret Life of Bees is stunning. Have you seen the film? It's brilliant.

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  7. I love a book challenge! I'm going to start one in September, after I've finished all my holiday reads (sooo many). Being engaged sounds like a good challenge (I accept!). God Blessx

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  8. I'm SO guilty of being on social media more than I would like lately, but it's so tempting to scroll through it all while I'm breastfeeding! I'm trying to have actual books nearby instead, but it's not working as well to distract me from my phone as I would like.

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  9. I've been reading like crazy this summer. It's amazing how much I've missed it. And I always think taking a drive on a cool summer night is a great way to relax and enjoy some quality time with Troy. :)

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  10. What a gorgeous photo! Sounds like a fun time - hiking, fishing, and checking out an abandoned mine!
    I would love to be more engaged. I really need to start putting down my phone more.
    I wish that I would have heard of that book challenge before! Dang it. How fun :D

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  11. Loooove your goal of engaging. August is going to be beautiful.

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  12. I've been using my time in the car in the morning to pray lately, and it's great! It's like built in alone time with God, which is pretty cool - plus it makes the ride a lot less boring and lonely. Basically a win-win. Also, I love your focus for August. So great.

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  13. You're so close on the challenge! I love that your list is almost completely different from mine (though I did read Wild). I'll be interested to hear what you have to say about End of Your Life Book Club. I had seriously mixed feelings about it!

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  14. Do it. DO IT.


    I can't tell you how much more enjoyable/relaxed/not crazed I feel in the car.

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  15. Girl, I was hot on it... Now I feel so not-so-hot on it. But, I'm going to finish, oh YES I AM. Which means tonight I have like 6519841 words to read to try and bring myself up to speed. :)


    Also, YOU AND @Ashten@alwaysashten. SOLD.

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  16. Girl it's the best... But I'm sad that it's ending because, well, it's been so inspiring and my competitive spirit is like AMBER READ READ READ SO YOU CAN WIN. And by win I mean finish the list on time. :)


    Being engaged is SO HARD. But I realize that part of it is that I don't necessarily catch myself being engaged as much as I when I'm not. Like I notice the failure but not always the success... Like last night we had friends over and I just soaked and soaked and soaked in it. They left and I was like... Where'd I put my phone 4 hours ago? WIN.

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  17. Is it weird that all I can say is: ME TOOOOOO.

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  18. I'm actually REALLY looking forward to it. I've been slacking lately in keeping up on my reading but have sort of renewed my commitment to get through these books! :) I'm really, really excited to read Secret Life of Bees now because you've got GOOD taste in reading.

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  19. I'm actually so sad at the thought of the challenge coming to an end. Like somehow it being over makes me already start missing books... Who knows why? I'm planning on reading when it ends! :)

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  20. The tricky part with the book (or so I tell myself) is that you've got to keep it handy and that can be so hard with a baby or purse or anything else that's heavy and requires you to hold it also in your hands... But my guess is that just me trying to excuse myself from being a little bit lazy with the reading lately! :)

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  21. Isn't it so wonderful to be renewed in that joy? There's something to say for getting to spend time with characters who become friends and spur on different things in your life -like the hiking book I'm reading that just inspires me to get outside and enjoy what's around me (because hiking still isn't my gig). :)

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  22. Girl she does them twice a year (I think) on this blog: http://megancstroup.blogspot.com/. I'm looking forward to the winter challenge already (especially because cold weather means more time inside by the fire...)


    Engagement IS so hard to remember to commit to, but I'm hoping that it'll shed light on how/why I feel so attached to my phone sometimes. :)

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  23. I really believe that it will be! :) I realize that I feel so attached to my phone and, well, I want to reflect on and experiment with why that is because, I'm not a surgeon or firefighter so a phone call isn't going to change my life or someone else's in mere seconds! :)

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  24. Isn't it so weird to turn the car into a place of peacefulness? I realize that I found really relaxed when I arrive wherever I'm going even if I feel sort of in a hurry... So, that's wonderful. :)

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  25. SO CLOSE. Yet, it still feels so far... Isn't it funny how the lists can look so different despite starting with the same prompts?!? :)


    I'll let you know what I think of End of Your Life... Now you've got me so excited to read it! :)

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