I’ve been enjoying reading some other bloggers on A Mama Collective, from the Currently link-up, so I thought I’d join in too, because it seems like so much fun, and a great way to sort of analyze what’s going on in my heart and life.

Thinking About//  Okay, honestly, I’ve been thinking a tiny bit about my upcoming birthday–it’s a big one for me–35. I know, I know, it’s still so young to some of you who have been here many years before me, but please tell me you remember feeling like this was a turning point in your mind, not to mention, your body…

I do believe this has been one of the years that I am feeling the onset of my 30’s–ummm, things like my body doesn’t bounce back to it’s happy weight like it used to after indulging in too many sonic happy hour drinks over the summer or too many late night bowls of ice cream. Oh, and also, I now have joined the ranks of moaning when I squat down to pick something up off the floor. I really try not to, but I catch myself, or even get kind of stuck in the kneeling position and have to push off to get up. And now I have officially shared too much with you and am not helping myself feel younger at all!!!!

And as far as birthdays go, I usually can’t think of anything exactly that I want, but this year I’m looking for a new leather tote…OR a new leather jacket…(having gone hunting for totes to try them on for size before I order one, I ran into a jacket I’ve drooled over approximately every single time I’ve seen it and it made me wonder if I’d rather wear new leather, or carry new leather this fall/winter)…

Feel free to weigh in on this subject, I’d love to hear your take on my current (very 1st world) dilemma.

Reading//  I wish I could say I read a book a week this past summer, but I can’t. I watched way too many episodes of Leave it to Beaver with my children, and actually read books to them instead (which is the story of my life these years–I read a ton, but it’s usually to my children). We happen to be interested in the World War II time period right now, so we finished a really good book Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan and are currently in the middle of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, by Judith Kerr, which is wonderful as well.

For my own reading I am working my way through The Art of Neighboring, by Randy Frazee, which I started after my sister in law Naomi mentioned it on her blog a few months ago (although I can’t find that exact post). I’m enjoying it immensely–it’s a look at the great commandment Jesus gave to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself, expounding on the neighbor as being your “actual” neighbor and not just your theoretical neighbor (everyone loves to use the word neighbor broadly, like it can mean anything, but in this book they want us to approach it as if it really is talking about the actual people who live by you). And even I’m very much finding that I align with it in many ways and we have thought through so many of the things it mentions, I’m still so convicted, especially when it asked me to list the names of 8 neighbors that live around me, and something personal about each of them.

Can you do that? (I can’t).

Listening to// My favorite place to listen to music is in the car, and I sing out and harmonize and everything. I sometimes wonder if it bothers my children, but they sing too so it must not. Right now we are loving the Seeds series of CD’s which I’ve mentioned before, so that’s pretty much always on.

When I need some music for me, I’m stuck on the Gungor radio station on Pandora. I love, love, love the music put out by the Gungors, and then you get a variety of other really talented Christian artists on this station too. When we just need to jam, like on the way to the pool, we turn on the Owl City radio on Pandora. And then when I need to zone or cover up the noise of children fighting or yelling in the background I turn up the Classical Music station real loud and honestly it usually helps to soothe and silent the crowd (and sometimes we just listen to it for enjoyment, not therapy).

Watching//  As mentioned several times before, Leave it to Beaver has made it’s way into our family. We really enjoy this series, and it makes me laugh to see the dilemmas even the Cleaver family had back then and the similarities to now–for instance, in one episode Ward and June are wondering if it’s time for Wally to have his own phone upstairs…aka our dilemma of getting our oldest her own cell phone…proof that there is nothing new under the sun.

But when Luke and I need a moment together of non-childish tv watching, I have to admit that we watch Jimmy Fallon on Late Night, except I’m too old to watch it the same night, so we record it and watch it the next night. Sometimes, you just need to end the day with a good laugh. (but please, don’t take this as an endorsement for the show–as usual, crudeness happens on this show sometimes and so you must use your own judgment here, as always).

Thankful For// Our community, especially those who have been faithfully meeting with us in our home once a week for the last few months. My heart is so encouraged by the families God is bringing into our lives, how open and comfortable our dialogue has been, how free we are to share with one another, to throw ideas into the discussion that are risky or different, and to embrace each other’s thoughts and explore them. I’m looking forward to how the Lord will knit our lives together in deeper and more meaningful ways as the year rolls on.

And then, as always, I’m thankful for kissable squishy cheeks to kiss, and when Landis tackles me for an impromptu hug, which happened multiple times this week; and how can I forget his bright blue eyes that pierce my momma heart.

Excited About//  Naomi and I are taking an online photography class together this month through the Define School, and I’m looking forward to it, even though I’m shaking in my boots (I feel so inadequate, and wonder if I’ll be able to accomplish anything worthy, but excited for this opportunity).

What are you up to, currently?

*check out this Currently post to see more links….

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