Friday, February 27, 2015

7 Quick Takes: Friday's Favorites

Today I'm sharing 7 Quick Takes Favorites and linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum.

1. Cara Strickland  guest posted on The Junia Project this wonderful post about what she learned whilst dating. I read this and cried tears of both sadness and joy to have someone articulate some of my experiences.

2. This post about getting to know a person instead of a potential future spouse made me rethink the way I think about meeting Mr. TDH.

3. Sarah Bessey wrote this post called "Damaged Goods" - yes yes yes.

4. Jayson Bradley nailed it in this post about "Christian cleavage." Thank you, thank you, thank you.

5. "To the Christian Men and Women Debating Yoga Pants" in Christianity Today - thank God someone wrote this. For the love, people.

6. Since we're finishing up the month dedicated to love and relationship-status-awareness, "Things It's OK to Feel When You're Single" and "I'm Single. Stop Pitying Me on Valentine's Day"  were especially appreciated. My Valentine's Day was fantastic, thanks, and while someday it will be a romantic day, this year it was a crepes-with-my-sister-and-friend day, and I had a great time. For real, no pity.

7. Finally, to end with some laughs, Mallory Ortberg's post on "If Stanley Tucci Were Your Boyfriend" is beautiful and perfect and true.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Friday, February 20, 2015

7 Quick Takes: Avoiding the Awkward

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum for today's edition of 7 Quick Takes!

1. This week has felt both reallyreally long and reallyreally short. It felt long because this weekend is going to be exciting and waiting is hard. It felt short because there were a lot of items on my to-do list. Life is crazy sometimes, isn't it?

2. My friend Laurie was in town last weekend, and my sister Jayna joined us on a fun little adventure to Bellingham. It was so pretty there, and we had crepes for dinner and dessert, and then we shopped at a cute little shop. The weather was fantastic and we had a great time. 

3. That monkey is making me dizzy. Including him was a mistake. 

4. Lent has begun! I went to a neighborhood church's Ash Wednesday service, and it was really, really good. They had set up four stations, with oil, water, clay, and ash, and there were Scripture readings and thoughts to meditate on throughout the service. I'm really excited about this Lent season.

5. The only downside of the Ash Wednesday service was a bit of shock I experienced. There was an older gentleman greeting people and welcoming them into the sanctuary, and so I went over and introduced myself. His name was Carl, and he was so sweet! But then... out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of another man. In disbelief, I ducked behind Carl and peeked out to confirm my suspicion. 

My manager from LifeWay, my job as a senior in high school, stood just a few feet from Carl. And while I successfully avoided any awkward conversations {namely the, um, name issue}, I sat low in my chair as my former manager led the congregation in song not once, not twice, but three times. Oi.

6. You're right - it totally was not as awkward as it could have been, but lezbihonest - who really wants to go up to a person and say, "Remember me? You told me to not read books on the job 9 years ago at LifeWay! Happy Lent!" I think I made the right decision by hiding avoiding averting a disaster. 

7. Speaking of avoiding awkwardness, I think I did that successfully when I met with a couple different ladies and interviewed them about their pregnancies and deliveries. There's always the potential for awkwardness in situations like those, and I'm proud of myself for not inducing {pun intended} any cringes. 

Happy weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Not Alone Series: Spiritual Writings

Linking up with the ever-fabulous Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe!

What are some of your favorite or go-to books for devotionals, or even blogs that help encourage you in your spiritual life?

Oooh, I'm looking for some new suggestions from you, friends! Can't wait to hear what you're reading!

My two favorites are: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are* by Ann Voskamp {check out her blog, too!} and He Loves Me! Learning to Live in the Father's Affection* by Wayne Jacobsen.

Both are regular chapter books that I've adapted to read as part of my devotional time. Ann Voskamp does offer an accompanying devotional, and I do enjoy having space in the text to write. Wayne Jacobsen's book... man! I've read it half a dozen times, and I have two copies on my bookshelf so I can loan them out to people. It is so, so good.

As for blogs that are encouraging... that's a long list, my friends! I don't read blogs if they are not encouraging or uplifting in one way or another, but since we're focusing specifically on spiritual encouragement in this post, here are just a couple of my favorites:
What about you, friends? Send some recommendations this way!

* affiliate links

Monday, February 16, 2015

Doula Adventures: Guest Reviewer of Ina May!

Hey friends, today I am thrilled to have Victoria guest reviewing Ina May Gaskin's book! As you may recall, Victoria and I go way back {like, to 2010 or 2011, which is practically forever ago}, and she has been one of my most enthusiastic cheerleaders on this doula journey. 
A few months ago, I asked her if she would like to do guest post a book review, since she has a yummy baby and could tell us what was really useful during her labor. Victoria agreed immediately, and when I asked her which book was the most helpful, I was thrilled that she answered "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" because it's one of my favorites, too. So without any more ado, here's Victoria!

When Rebekah asked me to review Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, I said yes. It was an easy decision. I love Ina May, and I seriously love Rebekah. I'd let either one of them catch my baby. #gettingrealupinhere

After I did all the freakings out about being pregnant, I started to get a tinsy bit into a thing called childbirth.

And by a "tinsy bit" I mean makes-my-husband-uncomfortable and I-would-totally-eat-my-placenta into.

I can't remember exactly when I feel in deep like with Ina May. Probably from watching The Business of Being Born. So, yes, I am a bandwagon fan. Sorry not sorry. Let's just think of it as an introduction, ok?

What I enjoyed about Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is the non-medical nature of her writing. She writes from immense hands-on experience, but her writing is accessible to the everyday woman. Reading her book I felt as if she were my midwife, sitting across from me, explaining what I could expect during my labor and delivery. Her words were very soothing in that way.

Another fun feature of this book are the birth stories that comprise the first half. While pregnant, it was helpful to get a sense of the "variations of normal" that can occur during labor and delivery. However, if you're more interested in the guiding bit, it's totally okay to skip to that section. You won't miss a thing!

As I mentioned, Ina May's writing is very relatable. While medical resources describe birth in very flat terms - something like, "Your cervix will dilate to 10 cms and the baby will descend in the birth canal." - Ina May puts matters far more poetically, calling contractions "rushes," for example.

Think of this book as a primer on what to expect in childbirth. She discusses routine medical procedures around birth, and which ones a mother could safely reject. Ina May also shares in depth what to expect postpartum. {Postpartum bleeding? Yeah, had no idea about that until I was seven months in!} I found it to be a very thorough resource.

This pregnancy-face-glowing review of Ina May's Guide does come with a few warnings, though. To be fair, I am not completely sold out on the whole Ina May experience. I feel she has been known to take "no interventions" to extreme places that are not necessary, especially with today's medical technology. And I get the sense from reading her that she pushes {no pun intended} natural childbirth to the exclusion of other options. I delivered my daughter naturally, but I certainly don't think au naturale is for everyone. Rather, I advocate women being fully informed and fully empowered to make decisions about their births. Decisions that should never be fear-based, but decisions all the same. Want to schedule that C-section for June 10th? Go right ahead. Willing to wait for baby until 42 weeks? Be my guest. Expectant mothers should have access to care providers that would help weigh the pros and cons of each decision, but I fully believe a woman should be in charge of her health care.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth gets 5 stars in my book. Her wisdom really was that helpful to me during my labor and delivery. Though do read the book knowing Ina May comes from a clear bias. If you 1) are completely freaked out by natural birth or 2) avoid barefoot hippies like kale grass, you probably won't enjoy the read. However, if you're interested in natural childbirth, or even wonder about the mechanics surrounding birth, I think you ought to give this book a try. If you do, I'd love to hear!

Thanks for asking me to review this book, Rebekah! Love following your doula adventures!

Thank you for this awesome review, Victoria! You know I'll catch your baby anytime!

Friday, February 13, 2015


Just for some weekend/Valentine/Galentine fun, here are some things I'm loving:

~Taylor covered her own song... it. is. perfection. I've been listening to it on repeat since lunch. 

~This fun list of 3 Fun and Totally Normal DIY Projects.... The first one especially made me LOL.

~My craftiness itch needs scratching, so I'm looking at a project like this for my kitchen cabinet doors {they are glass and my tolerance for them has been slowly decreasing for the past 18 months}. While I've seen many "frosted" glass projects using contact paper, I was thrilled that the afore-linked DIY-er used spray paint! Please and thank you!

~A humorous picture of my weekend plans:

~This post on love by Sarah Bessey has been gliding around the interwebs, so if you've seen it already, it's ok - read it again. And if you haven't seen it yet, you're welcome. 

Have a wonderful weekend with those you love, my friends!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Not Alone Series: Loneliness

Linking up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe for another Not Alone post!

We all have times when we feel alone. What are ways that you combat loneliness? Pray? Join a group? How can we encourage each other to stay positive? ~ prompt courtesy of Laura

What perfect timing with Valentine's Day this weekend!

Let's just all get on the same level here and acknowledge that when we are talking about "loneliness" we are not talking about having no friends or living as a hermit; we are talking about not having a Special Someone. Those are different longings, I think, and while both are totally valid, I want to be clear that I'm talking about the latter.

Well, friends, where do I turn when I'm lonely? I turn to friends! If my friends are in a relationship, they haven't been their whole lives, so I can vent to them, and if my friends are single, they are living the struggle! My friends and I encourage each other, and we pray for each other, which is so wonderful.

I really like Morgan's suggestion of learning to love your own company. That one took me a while, for sure #extrovertproblems. There was a time when I was calling my friends on my commute home, trying to get together with them that day, just so I would have something to look forward to other than being home alone.

More recently, though, I think I've settled down with myself. Being alone is not something I dread anymore. This only came through practicing being alone, so if being alone is uncommon for you, give it a whirl!

Finally, I like to use my moments of loneliness to pray for Mr. TDH and our future together. I pray for the moment we meet and our process of growing together and our lives together. I pray that we will glorify God through our relationship, and hell yes I pray that our relationship will start!
Jk... a little. Ok, not very much. Mainly that's true. 

{This may have revealed what I really do when I'm lonely - watch other lonely people on television. Um what? Did I just admit that? Noooooo...}

How can I encourage you? How can you encourage me? I think the title of this series says it all: even when I feel all alone in the world, I know that I am not. There are so many of you awesome ladies out there who are experiencing similar things, and I think we should pray for each other, be good friends to each other, {give tv recommendations to each other!} and send virtual hugs because we truly are not alone. Because what are friends for?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Oh Hey...'s February! And apparently I fell off the blogging bandwagon...

But fear not! Even though I was not pouring my heart and soul out into the blog-o-sphere, I did actually work on quite a few little projects, like submitting 5 doula homework assignments, interviewing a new mom, and picking out a rebozo {paid for by Victoria's generous donations of book proceeds!}!

Yes, Doula Adventures have kicked into high gear. People have asked me "how long does it take?" and my answer is "it takes however long it takes you" and I felt embarrassed that I wasn't further on the journey. I'm the only one to blame for that, and I'm sick of slow-poking along. 

So I'm taking it up a notch {or six} and cranking stuff out left and right. Hopefully I'll have some pieces to share with you, including a special guest review before the month is out. Cheers!