Monday Confessions, Back to School Week

     I confess very mixed emotions over here this morning with my kids going back to school later this week. While I do enjoy the summer flexibility and sunshine, I also feel the need for predictability and routine. This summer has been interesting in the fact that everything we did was together, as a family. There really weren't any separate trips or camps this summer like there were last summer and I am not entirely sure that I recommend this. I think my kids in particular might need a break from each other and if I am honest, so do I. Don't get me wrong, so much family time has been great in some ways, allowing us to make a ton of memories over these past 3 months! We have done everything from camping, to the the beach, to fishing, to kayaking, to amusement parks and movies, as well as concerts. I am just plain tired to be honest! I know the kids are looking forward to school too, which makes it a tad easier to kiss summer goodbye!

 Benjamin's 2nd Birthday at the end of July 

Benjamin's 2nd Birthday at the end of July 

I know my Monday confessions have been sporadic this summer so in case you were wondering what I have been up to this summer, here's a few of my latest favorites. 

Currently Watching: Matt and I are watching season 3 of Turn, a revolutionary war time period series on Washington's spies. We are so into it that we just tore through most of the season and are just about ready for season 4 (which just ended on AMC). If you like a bit of history, intrigue and action, it's a great option.  I am also watching Broadchurch (when I can sneak a few minutes) on my own. It's a British drama/crime series that sucked me in right away. Warning: the series starts with the death of a young boy and carries on from there, so if you're not wanting that type of story, don't watch.  I like the way the story is woven together through the characters. (Both of these series are currently available on Netflix)

Currently reading: I can tend to read a lot of non-fiction at once so I am juggling a few books at the moment. At the top of the list though for laughs and reality is Jen Hatmaker's Of Mess and Moxie, which I am easily devouring. I feel like I need a disclaimer that as of last year she was in the news with some controversial views and theology, but I like to say "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." I still can enjoy her books and view points even if I don't agree with everything she stands for. Theological differences not withstanding, I am absolutely loving her book right now. She's able to poke fun at serious subjects as well as just plain making me laugh at nonsense like what happens to a mother of a large family in the grocery store. 

  The other book I am currently reading that's more like a little balm to my soul is Erin Loechner's Chasing Slow.  I like her writing style and her vulnerability as she shares her own story of both living life and rising to blog fame. I am about half way through but have felt encouraged, as well as asking myself some questions about the pace of my own life. She's encouraging us to see less as more, both with material things and our time.

Currently listening to on Spotify: The Hamilton Soundtrack, Zac Brown's Welcome Home album and a genre station called "afternoon acoustic" that I can't get enough of when trying to get work done! I also have been known to just turn on Rhianna's Work, to get the juices flowing and make a point to my kids (I know, I am so mature).

Favorite Recipe as of late: Jen Hatmaker's "Grocery Day Sandwich" and it's not even really a recipe but an assembly! We (mostly) all loved it! 

Bakery: Ciabatta bread (one loaf for normal families, two loaves for larger families)

Deli: pepperoni, salami, ham, and mozzerella sliced uber thin, tub of pesto, tub of marinara 

Produce: butter lettuce, tomatoes, fresh basil, onions if they won't incite mob violence

Slice your ciabatta loaf in half. Spread pesto on the bottom, layer up the meats, cheese, and veggies, spread marinara on the top half. Close 'er up, stick on a pan, warm through at 350 for about 15 minutes. Slice and serve with cute little individual bowls of marinara, because the only thing better than marinara is more marinara!

 A group shot from Sesame Place this past week, part of Benji's birthday gifts was tickets to go there! He adored the entire day and the big kids had a lot of fun too. 

A group shot from Sesame Place this past week, part of Benji's birthday gifts was tickets to go there! He adored the entire day and the big kids had a lot of fun too. 

Have a  great week ahead!