Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

This one has been on my to-read list for a little while and when it was on sale from Amazon for the Kindle I picked it up.

Living intentionally has been on my mind recently. Currently we are in a series at our church about the myths around the 10 Commandments and it has been the best sermon series I have had the pleasure of listening and learning from. Well this past Sundays sermon happened to be about keeping the Sabbath and keeping it holy. And since I was about half way through this book it just struck a chord with me. I was reminded that everyday should be kept holy not just on the Sabbath. And a life outside of the fast lane is a great start.

We live in a society that values quantity over quality and everyone is so busy with this and that and the other thing, it seems like no one can just slow down and enjoy this one life we have to live. It can drive a person crazy. Now granted I am only human and I have been prey to the notion of a busy life. This is just what it expected in our world today. With that said, Derek and I have been making an effort to slow down. We don’t have many things on our calendar and we both like it that way.

The book is broken into sections that they as a family decided they wanted to live more intentionally those included: food, work, entertainment, travel, and education. Told through her experiences she offers advice on how her ideas could translate to your life situation. I mean not everyone can up and move overseas {I would love to but that just isn’t happening right now}. I felt most of the book was an enjoyable book, there were times that I thought she talked a bit too much about being an expat, but since the chapters were short I could live with it. I do wish there would have been a little more in depth examination of a truly simpler life, but leaving it a little more open ended {and with the discussion questions at the end} you as the reader can make those deeper connections that are more important to your life.

There so many times that I would stop and read passages to Derek and then we would discuss how we could incorporate some of the ideas into our own lives. I love when I can put ideas into action right away. One of them, purchasing higher quality ingredients for cooking. Another, starting a small deck garden to help supplement what we purchase at the farmer’s market and for canning. One area that Derek and I have been quite intentional for some time has been entertainment. When we got married we had cable but never watched TV. So when we moved to Holland we purposefully did not get cable, just internet. Between Netflix and Hulu we are covered. As for Nora we try and limit the number of toys she has. Plus we want open ended toys that inspire imagination. And we have a house full of books just for Nora. Lately Nora has been sitting next to me in my reading chair while I read a book and she reads a book.

Now one area that I need to work on myself for a more intentional life is self care. I will put myself last always, making sure Nora and Derek are fine before I take care of myself. Well I’m stating it here, that needs to end! Over the weekend, Derek told me to take at least and hour and a half to myself and you know what it was wonderful! A nice walk was just what I needed after a difficult few days with Nora. Now I just have to be purposeful and just do it.

I knew most of the ideas presented in this book, but the way it was presented really got me to stop and say, yes I need to start doing this not just talk about it. I want to live intentionally and I am the only one who can make that happen. If you are looking for a book to give you a little inspiration to slow day and enjoy life then I would say give this one a try.


Books Nora Currently Loves

This is so far my favorite age! At just under 18 months Nora is so much fun and loves being read too! Which as a former youth librarian makes me so happy.

Nora seems to enjoy a wide variety of books and is pretty good about rotating which ones we read on a daily basis {yay for my sanity!} Though right now we have one book checked out from the library that I’m not sure what she is going when we have to return it.

I love this one for the title alone and Nora seems to enjoy the illustrations and the silly story. Wilbur different from the other naked mole rats, he enjoys getting dressed. This is an absolute delight to read aloud and would be perfect for pretty much any child that enjoys a humorous story.

Let’s just say if it has been written by Sandra Boynton it is a favorite in this house and this one is no different. I love that is a cumulative story and involves counting and addition.

Piggie is a frog, she just became a frog. Now Gerald is worried he is going to become a frog. A great story about pretending, Nora loves the animal noises and will make her stuffed frog jump around when we read it. One day I will own every Elephant & Piggie book and they will be well loved.

This is the absolute favorite right now. A filmmaker wants to make a documentary about an ordinary moose, but this particular moose wants to be an astronaut. As the story continues the read discovers that the film crew is just as weird as a moose who wants to be an astronaut.

*And just a reminder with schools ending for the summer, think about signing up for Summer Reading at your local library. These are excellent programs that really do help kids from suffering the summer slide. Plus it is a chance for kids to read books that they will enjoy and are not forced to read for school. And most libraries have other activities going on throughout the summer {drum circles, magic shows, nature centers, and much more} so make sure to check out the Summer Reading program at your library!*

May Reads

I can definitely that it has been nice outside for a change.

And this month I have quite a few books of my list to finish! Happy Reading!

*Links direct to Goodreads.


April Reads

I have been doing a lot of reading, thanks to a child who is sleeping better, no cable, and listening to audiobooks while sewing and running.

I am loving Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels (especially on audio) I highly recommend this series if you are in need a fun entertaining fantasy series. These books have become my go-to while I sew and when I’m out running. Just last week I ran for 4.5 miles just so I could keep listening to my book! (Good thing since I have a 10k race on Saturday!)

*Links will direct you to Goodreads

January Favorites & Photo A Day Challenge

Favorite memories from the past month:

  • Hanging out at home for New Year’s, even though we were all sick it was just nice to spend time together as a family and watch movies.
  • Snow, all of the snow! I know I’m weird but I love the snow.
  • Extra snuggles with Nora since she was sick at the beginning of the month. She is quite the snuggler (guess is runs in the family).
  • Nora learning how to brush her hair. Loves to imitate her mama.
  • Celebrating 6 years of marriage to my amazing hubby!
  • Nora twirling with her stuffed animals when listening to music.
  • Bird watching with Nora.
  • Watching Nora work on puzzles and learning to put the pieces back in their spots.
  • Making progress on my Word of the Year. I’m remembering to just focus on today and I’ve never felt better!

Third Quarter Reading Recap

Haven’t read quite as much this quarter, but I’ve been chasing after a very mobile girl and I’ve been doing plenty of sewing. So reading has been on the back burner. But all of the books I have read this quarter, I truly enjoyed reading, so I would rather enjoy what I’m reading then read a bunch of junk.

  • The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
  • This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Mary Anne Saves the Day (Graphic Novel) by Raina Telgemeier
  • Because I Said So! : The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids by Ken Jennings
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling
  • Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown
  • The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
  • Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown
  • The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
  • White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan
  • I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
  • Winger by Andrew Smith
  • Empire State by Jason Shiga
  • Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood by Drew Magary
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  • Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani
  • The Heist by Janet Evanovich
  • Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich 

Summer Reading: #bookaday Update

August 1st, I swear it can’t be August already, but here it is. So this summer I have been doing quite a bit of reading with the #bookaday challenge and looking at my shelves on Goodreads I have read a lot of adult non-fiction. Now I have a love/hate relationship with non-fiction (I think it stems from all the crappy books I had to read in college) but this summer I have found and read some really amazing books and just thought I would share some of them here with you.

Now I have read plenty of food industry books and the information presented was not new to me, but what I loved was learning some of the history of the food industry. This book really reinforced what my husband and I had started doing in regards to our food and how we feed our daughter as well. And just encouraged us to continue to make strides down healthier food choices (shopping at the farmer’s market, meat coming from a local butcher). Not to say we are perfect but because of this book and a few documentaries I’m pretty proud of what we are putting into our bodies and it’s not loaded with chemicals.

Love, love, loved this book! I loved the library patron antidotes (as former librarian I could so relate). This book spoke to me about family, faith, libraries, and how they all can come together to create a life that you could never have imagined.

A graphic novel memoir of her five week stay in Paris with her mother. Plenty of angst, food, culture, travel, and more food. Now I really want to travel to Paris. A quick read and now I really must read Relish.

A fun interesting reading about all of the various myths parents will tell their children. Jennings tries to prove or debunk many of these parenting myths. If you need a laugh this is a pretty good one. I did like the book set up, in the fact that I could skip around if I wanted and read one about the myths that really interested me (though I did read the entire thing, I did jump around a bit).

I read this one purely because I have seen her on the Daily Show interview a few times. This is a laugh out loud funny! The perfect summer kick up for feet and laugh your ass off.

Every since I read Bomb earlier this year I have been looking for great non-fiction books on World War II. I have a fascination with this time in our history (history nerd alert!). So when I saw Kiernan on The Daily Show (I get a lot of my book recommendations from The Daily Show) I immediately added it to my to-read list on Goodreads. I loved the narrative form and how she compartmentalized the information presented just has it was for the women of Oak Ridge. Kiernan presented women from all walks of life and how their lives changed because they decided they wanted to help the war effort. One of my favorites of the year so far!