What I'm reading (or will be!)

I had a really great question on Instagram last week that went something like this-"How do you make your book selections?" Oh boy, where do I start?! It has seriously taken me this long to even feel brave enough to conquer the mountain of explanations for how I pick out a book, why I choose a book, and basically all things "books".  To put things into perspective, we once had a very successful stylist/photographer over to the house and any type of book, color of book, etc. she asked for, I could instantly grab. She kindly commented how I must collect books, because there are seriously stacks and shelves in every room in our house.  And that was before I even had all these books.  It's okay, I'm not in denial about my book obsession.  Jump on in with me, the water's just right. 

First, I get books a few places.  I like to start with our local library, which I am entirely devoted to.  The girls and I go almost every single week.  It is one of my favorite places on the planet.  It's so easy to search for a book at home on the computer catalogue and see if they have it before I even step foot in the door with my sweeties in tow.  I also generally browse their "New/Non-fiction" section once we arrive, right at the front of the library.  I have to be pretty quick when the girls are along, but I've taught them that mama gets to look too. 

Second, I strongly suggest we support our local bookstores.  Even the chains! Especially the chains! I'm so serious here.  I love ordering from Amazon just as much as the next gal (see the step below), but there's something about our local Barnes and Noble that is just a tiny slice of heaven on earth.  I've been going there for years.  I always browse the magazines and cookbooks.  Sometimes I sit and type there.  It is my sanctuary and I almost always leave with something.  Many of our other bookstores have closed over the years and that's why I value actually purchasing from these stores.  

Last, I love amazon prime.  And their used books!

As for how I actually go about finding books I want to read, that's hard to explain. I prefer non-fiction over fiction.  If I hear about a book on a podcast or blog and I'm interested, I save it on a list.  Sometimes for fun I browse the part on Amazon that shows you what other customers bought in the book section. I talk to my friends and relatives about books they read.  I browse bookstores for fun. I never, ever find it hard to find something to read. I read a ton more in the winter than I do in summer. 

SO, from what you see in the stack above, there are all kinds of feelings.  Some of these I've read more than once and get teary-eyed about.  They're like a good friend or a conversation I've had with God that I can always come back to.  Others I can't wait to read and they are waiting in the never-ending book pile that makes life oh, so rich.  
And then there are these beauties.  My besties, a.k.a. "my cookbooks".  People, I can talk food, eat food, read about food, for daaaaaays.  And that's exactly what I do.  

To make a long story short, I've been tremendously interested in learning how food affects our physical/mental health and so for about six months I've been reading non-stop the same kind of cookbooks.  Those that actually teach about the foods mentioned in them, with no mention of the scale in sight but instead mention of calmer moods and healthy guts.  I've been eating up cookbooks that just use real food, especially the kind that have mostly vegetables and fish. 

I especially love it when a cookbook has gorgeous photography and styling.  In fact, that's a must.  When picking out a cookbook to buy I first try to quickly find out what the purpose of the cookbook is.  If you're simply trying to convince me to lose weight, weigh myself weekly, or replace meals with smoothies or "low-fat" options, I'm out.  But if a cookbook has gorgeous, real-food recipes with ingredients like vegetables, avocado, eggs, fish, soy sauce, beans, nuts, etc.  I'm in.  The second thing I do is check out the photography.  If it doesn't make my heart race, it doesn't make the cut.  

See, I told you #itscomplicated when it comes to my books. 
But, that's what I'm reading.  Or will be. 

To end, a few of my favorite authors are: 
1.) Jen Hatmaker
2.) Shauna Niequest
3.) Sophie Hudson
4.) Sally Clarkson
and I just can't even finish.  Seriously, my mind is racing faster than my fingers.  So maybe start with these four.  

Now, your turn!! Tell me what you're reading! Or have you read any of the books in these stacks?

the spoon series

Yesterday the rain fell, bringing us inside from our garden work. The light was moody and perfect and with thoughts of how much I value life around the table swirling in my head, I photographed these.   May I present to you "The Spoon Series." 

right smack in the middle of summer

Today I feel neither here nor there.  Not gearing up for fall quite yet, but also feeling the inevitable slowdown of summer.  Considering all words starting with "s" seem to have marched into my thoughts today this makes me understandably sad. The slow-down part feels fantastic...but not the changing of seasons after.  

I'm a summer girl, through and through. I'm never ready to see it go, even with our sweltering heat.  It wasn't always the case.  It used to be the brisk, mysterious gusts of wind that swirled the autumn leaves about in an almost sort of dance were my favorite.  Nothing could ever, ever top autumn.  All other seasons felt far inferior.  But along with my farm-loving husband came an appreciation for all the seasons, each for a reason of its own.  

Right now summer feels slow, in a ridiculously good way. 
It tastes salty, with big, juicy batches of homemade bruschetta dripping off crusty pieces of sourdough bread.  It smells rich, as jars of cucumbers are canned into pickles and homemade spaghetti sauce with tomatoes from the garden, simmers on the stove. 

Summer feels quite steady, on this anniversary-eve for Brett and I.  
Tomorrow we celebrate 8 years of marriage and it is truly getting better and better and better as each year goes on.  A perfect couple?  Nah, no one is and don't believe anyone that gives the impression they are.  But a couple united with God and in love and determined to live a life of giving and joy together?  Yes, most days we're that. 

Summer also feels steady with almost weekly trips to the library, playdates with new friends, and never-ending moments and slices of beauty and wonder to be captured. 

From things close to home, to things in the world, the summer news has felt sad and evil day in and day out.  I find that to be silent does nothing.  But to "overcome evil with good" by showing up to my own life and the needs around me, by allowing myself to be continue to notice the good, the Godly, the majestic, the heavenly while we're still here on Earth.  Well....that does something.  
Hearts continue to show up for me, at least once a day.  God's own trail of light and love for me to follow. 

We've visited the new splash pad 10 minutes from our house and gone to the rodeo.  We've certainly been soaking up as much fun this summer as possible.  
We've continued to wait for our adoption match, while wrestling with the hard statistics of the hundreds of kids waiting in foster care.  Wondering how these two thoughts are related.  Wondering what to share with others because this is our journey and we need clear direction from God, not too many voices telling us what we should be doing.  So a lot of times, this summer has meant silence. 

Sometimes it's meant a quick swipe of tears, when something like a song or quote almost knocks the breath out of me, thinking of our birth mama and baby.

We've continued to figure out the food we cook at home is (almost) always better than a restaurant.  I've been learning to eat for great mental health and for how food makes my gut feel.  This has been liberating and lonely, both, with much of the mom world chasing after numbers on the scale instead.  This has been the summer to say "so long" to the scale.  I feel free and alone in doing so, having giving up chasing my pre-baby weight and body.  But did I mention I feel free?  
We've borrowed extra kiddos for sleepovers, 
and started swim lessons for the first year ever.  And to my great surprise, they've been a success!

The girls imaginations have continued to flourish and blossom this summer.  As much as I'm ready to have a baby again, I am so enjoying these older toddler ages.  

We've spruced up the outside of the house a lot and checked on cows.  Brett's loaded them for the auction and we've spied a copperhead snake. 
Summer's not over yet. 
We still have plenty of canning and camping to do, swimming pool time, swim lessons to wrap up, and enjoying the slowed-down pace of summer.

A few thoughts are trickling in for fall-an art shop update, photography sessions, and my first workshop/retreat in over a year.  You haven't heard about this yet because I am just now mentioning it.  But I hope you'll stay tuned and join us later this fall!

Where are you in this scenario?  Ready to say "see ya!" to summer or up for more fun? 

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...