Waltzing around the Interwebz

Just a quick pop-in to share some lovely things I found around the Interwebz!

  1. This post from Ann Voskamp – the idea of eating the Word as dessert after every meal, combined with the beautiful photos, made my heart full. Looking forward to having a family one day and making this part of our meal routine.
  2. From the sublime to the rather shallow… how incredible is Erdem’s Resort 2013 collection? The navy and plum colors, the florals, the cuts and tailoring… gah! I would wear every. single. piece. Except perhaps the bikini/high heels combo. Not so practical for the nanny of a toddler!
  3. Incredible, strong, honest, and TRUE article on why we shouldn’t be reading 50 Shades of Gray. Thank you, Erin, for being brave to voice the wisdom God gave you!

Be back later, folks! I have several posts planned and this time I mean to actually follow through!

xoxo,
Alanna

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Once Upon a Time: Books!

This week’s OUaT post is inspired by these thoughts from Gussy Sews. Just like her family, one of our common loves is a passion for books. Luckily both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law enjoy reading as much as the rest of us, or I predict they’d be pretty left out! Both my niece (2 mos.) and nephew (20 mos.) have growing libraries – in fact my sister had a book shower for my niece. I think it’s an awesome idea… tucking it away for my future progeny.

A large part of my childhood memories of free time are those spent with a book. Curled on the couch, or perhaps “hot-sitting” – my siblings’ and my term for sitting on a floor heating vent with a blanket. One of the best things my parents did for us in regards to reading, was to only ever limit our book choices for content. I only ever remember being told I couldn’t read a book because it had themes or situations inappropriate for my age, but never because, “that’s too big a book for you.” In fact, I can remember the deep indignation I felt whenever I discovered I’d read the abridged version of a book – what had I missed?

My family didn’t just enjoy books individually, though. Some of my best and favorite reading memories are those when my mom read aloud. Every single morning, after Bible study, before we got going with schoolwork, mom would read a few chapters from a book. Sometimes it was a story from the particular era we were studying in history, sometimes it was a classic she wanted to introduce us to, and sometimes it was one we had picked out. As we listened, we occupied our fingers… my brother always drawing, while my sister and I either drew or worked on cross-stich.

This tradition only stopped when my brother left for college… when I was sixteen turning seventeen. I still love to hear people read aloud, although that isn’t an opportunity grown-ups get very often.

My mom picked the picture at the top when I requested a reading photo from her (she always gets a OUaT preview because I always have to apply to her for old photos). That’s from March 1992. I was 6.5, practicing my reading with a Bible story book we still have – I like to think that some day grandma and grandpa will introduce the stories of God’s people to my little ones from that same book.

A funny anecdote about the photo (besides the fact that, yes, I’m wearing the prairie dress): I think it’s probably taken not too long after my mom got her shoulder-length hair cut and permed. I don’t remember this, but apparently when she arrived home, I took one look at her, burst into tears and exclaimed, “You don’t look like my mama anymore!” Poor mom. I’m sorry! I think you looked lovely and it was in fact more flattering than the longer hair was!

What about you? What’s your history with books?

xoxo,
Alanna

Once Upon a Time Wednesday: Bang a Drum

Whew. It’s good to feel well. I rarely get sick so this was a reminder to be thankful for my relative good health! Y’all, I was wiped out. Flu = not fun. But I’m back in time for Once Upon a Time. I promise I’ll get with the program soon and post other things than OUaT.

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When I was about 11 I discovered this book at our local library. I probably read it at least a half dozen times before we moved a few years later. The book is now out of print and I’ve never seen it elsewhere. But I found it on Amazon for $0.01 a couple weeks ago and, of course, purchased it.
It came last week and I’m nearly finished. It’s not a difficult read. Based on a true family, it’s the story of Julian and Edie and how they build their family. After their first son, they commit to adoption. Gradually what was supposed to be four kids total grows to eight. Each chapter chronicles the arrival of a new child.
Of course reading the book now as an adult, there’s things I notice which I didn’t before. The occasionally saccharine ease with which such a diverse family bonds and grows. The huge difference between the adoption process in the 1960s and now. The sometimes hilariously unpolitically correct details of the story – stocking up on broccoli before adopting a Chinese girl because, “I’ve heard the Chinese like broccoli!” *headdesk*
But something remains the same from when I first read this 15 years ago. I didn’t exactly recognize what happened at the time, but when I finished the story the first time, I knew something. I knew that one day I would adopt. I now realize that this wasn’t just a sweet idea, it was a future planted in my heart by God. I’ve dreamed of it ever since. I know it’s part of His plan for my life. To be mommy to children not all born to me biologically, but all born in my heart. So reading the book now, sappy and simplified for children as it is, I laughed and cried and felt the dream grow even stronger. It’ll remain a treasure on my bookshelf and one day, I’ll sit down and read it to my little brood and celebrate how each one of the came to me.

xoxo,
Alanna