Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April In Review

First, I wanted to just take a minute and explain some new features here on the blog. I was hanging out with my friend Kenna (the amazing Miss Party Mom, check out her great blog) and getting all excited to have a friend near by who's in to blogging too. To make a rambling story short, I'm trying to spruce things up on the blog, as always (still in search of that elusive perfect header!), but for now I've added a few ways to make it easier to follow along, if you are so inclined. To the right, you'll see a box that says "follow by email" - just drop your email address in there, and you'll get an email every time I've written a new post! Or, if you are in the habit of reading multiple blogs already, maybe you have bloglovin'. If you want to click on my bloglovin' button and follow me, you'll get updates from my blog along with all the other blogs you like. One last thing you may or may not have noticed, I'm having a difficult time figuring out how to categorize my blog posts by topic. I will probably continue to shuffle that around for a while, as I nail down what I want to focus on in my writing and what to call all those focuses. As always, thanks for sticking with me!

Oh, and word to the wise, if you want a huge spike in site visitors, include photos or references to Kim Kardashian (I want to throw up). But see what I did there?

On to the April happs...

Best Movie: You've probably realized by now, I'm mostly only watching movies with my limited watching-movie time that I'm pretty sure will be good. So basically, I end up endorsing something everyone already knows is worth watching. So/but, if you haven't seen Argo yet, DO IT. Jonas was literally on the edge of his seat, and it's saying something if both of us liked the same movie. It was very thought provoking for me as well, as I gear up to go back to school for Middle Eastern Studies. Totally unrelated, Jonas and I started watching an anime show called "Sword Art Online" which has an interesting premise, though I so, so would never have imagined myself watching it 5 years ago. Basically, the characters take part in a video game of sorts where they wear electronic suits that make them physically part of the game. Come to find out, the writer of the game locks them in until they beat the game (100 levels), and if you die in the game, you die in real life. Again, I'm almost embarrassed that I'm watching it, but I do find it interesting.

Best Book: You guys, I finished a book! Best book because it's the only book, but hey... it's kind of a big deal at this stage in my life. I bought Ghosts By Daylight by Janine di Giovanni after reading an excerpt in Vogue several years back, but as it often goes with me, I was less impressed now than I was then. It was still a pretty interesting book. Di Giovanni and her eventual husband were both war correspondents in the 90s (the story talks most about their brutal time in Sarajevo, Bosnia), which required tremendous bravery, but left them both with varying degrees of PTSD, which of course complicated their life once they started a family. It's a wild love story between broken people, and a tender one for a child. It made me ask one of those impossible and depressing "would you rather" questions: would it be better to have a stable but mundane love, or a rapturous but fleeting one?

Best Music: In short, James Blake's "Our Love Comes Back In The Middle of the Night" was the best, but it became part of it's very own post, so I'm going to write about that later and leave you with this song instead. Swedish musicians, ftw (notice free download). I also really enjoyed Fe's "Let It Go." Shout out to this blog, where I learn of a lot of these more obscure artists.

Best Recipe: I hit the jackpot in new recipes this month. If I'd make it again, I pin it on this board, but the really outstanding favorites were Almond Parmesan Orzo, these SUPER easy and delicious Spicy Thai NoodlesShrimp Fettuccine Alfredo, and Jonas' specialty, Char Siu Pork.

Best of the Web:
  • Article on that troublingly untrue "statement", "God won't give you more than you can handle". It came up on my FB feed the exact same day where I had just started to realize that I didn't think that was true, but didn't know what to think about that realization. 
  • I don't even know what this format of humor is called, but if you're a TCK, there's finally one for you
  • A beautiful photo blog of "mom-topics", Spilled Milk
  • And of course, we need a picture! Love this textured abstract painting by Mark Lovejoy.

April's Calendar:
  • Jonas' brother Jordan moved away to Oregon, our first sibling to move out of state. We miss him!
  • A dear friend of the Tucker family, Doug Murch, went to be with Jesus after a very short battle with cancer on the 17th. It's been a sad time for us, but Doug's life continues to inspire us to live fully, as he did, and we know that he is experiencing such joy now!
  • More race-fueled violence in my old home region of Xinjiang, China. I don't know how to comment on it. Here's an article
  • April 30th marks 2 years since Jonas and I got engaged. I should write out the story sometime - it's so much more "real life" than the movies, in a kind of endearing way, to me.
  • I planted a watermelon! I hope it grows. :) 
Ishmael's 6th Month: 6 months seems like a big deal. He's already so different than he was as a newborn. He can be very whiny and pitches a fit if you take something away from him, but we haven't started spanking or anything yet (just firm "no"s). His sleep schedule isn't the greatest at night, but if nothing else, I've learned that "patterns" can change in a single day, so never despair! For all the harder things that come with him being older, there are as many sweet things. He's so excited about solid foods, really laughs now (Jonas can make him laugh more than anyone), babbles away to himself and anyone who will listen, can get on all fours (but not crawl quite yet), and sticks his tiny pointy tongue out when he smiles. He loves to watch cars and will pull himself up in his stroller "like a gopher" (according to Jonas) to be closer to everything that's going on. He twists around whenever you wish he'd sit still, and can stay standing for quite a while if you prop him up. If you hold his arms, he'll stand on his big toes - some pretty incredible ballet! He went through a few days of blowing hilarious raspberries, and he can say "mama", though not with understanding. AND he's graduated to sitting in the grocery cart "baby box" (like right next to where you push the car) like a big boy. 

April Love List: Orange blossoms, feather dusters, T.J. Maxx, and putting cherries on ice cream.

So excited for what's in the works for May. Stay tuned! 

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