Bread & Wine.

It's arrived!  I'm happily in the midst of reading Shauna Niequist's latest book, Bread & Wine.  Shauna's people have once again been kind enough to include me in the group of bloggers reading and reviewing advance copies of the book, and I can't wait to officially share about it here once I'm done.  But let's just say this - this book speaks my language in every way.  I nearly wept reading the intro alone.  As if I should be surprised...

Shauna's first book, Cold Tangerines, taught me that "this pedestrian life" is the best life I've got.  Cold Tangerines began my love story with living more deeply - stopping, pausing my frantic, busy, married working-girl life to be more present in the details, to tell my story and invite others into it.

Her second book, Bittersweet, was read shortly after I became a mother, at a time when I could not be experiencing change more deeply, in the beautifully exhausting hours of caring for a newborn.

Two-and-a-half-years later, I still can say along with Shauna, "I’m so thankful to live in this physical, messy, blood-and-guts world." (Bittersweet)

How I love some bread and wine in my life on a regular basis - yes, I do love bread (hello, I'm Italian) and wine (apparently I also love white wine, who knew?) but together, "bread & wine" is communion.  Community.  This introvert loves having people over, sharing meals around our table.  It's all part of this year's purpose of embracing who I really am

Our home is centered around one very large, rustic farm table that my husband built from salvaged barn wood.  In just a few years, I cannot even count the memorable meals we've shared around that table, crumbs falling through the holes in the table's imperfect surface, elbows touching, glasses being filled and refilled.  So far, Bread & Wine resonates with these passions perfectly. I've already written the name of my friend "Linda" in the margin on page 13. And "Aunt Lucille" in the margin on page 14.

We're off to a good start, friends.  More to come...

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Inspiration today: parenting edition.


Here are some inspiring words that have been speaking to my weary mama heart lately...

the most fearless thing we can do is keep showing up with love and grace and joy in our real, right-now lives.

  • Brave moms raise brave kids - post by Jen Hatmaker.  This post kicked my butt - so many mixed emotions.  I wanted to hug every word in this post, and then punch it in the face.  It's such a challenge finding the fine balance between raising our kids to be brave, to not be afraid, teaching them to trust...while also protecting them as parents especially when they are little.
  • 25 ways to stay calm as a parent - huge soul exhale.  I'm not the only one who freaks when my kid drinks the bathwater?  I'm not the only mom who feels like she says "no" way too much?  Time to calm.  Down.  

I’m adopting a ruthless anti-frantic policy. I’m done with frantic. The new baseline for me: will saying yes to this require me to live in a frantic way? 

I’m saying no more often than I’m saying yes. I’m asking hard questions about why I’ve kept myself so busy all these years. The space and silence I’m creating is sometimes beautiful and sometimes terrifying.

Do ya see a theme here?  Thankful for inspirational women who encourage - the real ones in my everyday life and yes, even those online friends I've never met.

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Enjoy your day!