last day.

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i have always known this day would come sooner than later. they were waiting for an open spot in daycare and needed someone to fill in the gap. i stepped in.

in some ways, it was helpful to know. in the office finale, andy bernard says, "i wish there was a way to know you're in 'the good old days' before you've actually left them." i got to know. i was able to spent every day of the past year or so soaking up all the baby snuggles and belly laughs, while also preparing myself because this won't last forever.

in other ways, it doesn't make a difference. i drove to work this morning, just like i always do, knowing it would be for the last time. and yet, i know that when i wake up on monday morning and don't make that drive, it will feel strange and abrupt. even when i know it's coming, change is still an awkward to navigate. goodbye is still goodbye. walking away is still a hard thing to do.

i am both ready for what's next and not ready to let go.

i wrote this when he turned one, but it has been such a joy, and so much fun, to spend each day with him. to grow with him, to learn with him. to look back and see how we got here together.

i will forever be grateful for this "yes" after months and months of "no," for the way he took "the mondays" out of mondays, for every day of these good old days.

books of 2017 | 003

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playing catch-up. because the truth is, i haven't read anything since being sandwiched between those two snuggly pups last month. i've been working on other things! find out what by signing up for my email newsletter in the sidebar.

the road back to you (ian cron & suzanne stabile)

this book is a great introduction to the enneagram, a thing i've mentioned once before. the enneagram, in short, is an ancient personality typing system that focuses mainly on the drive behind your behaviors, instead of just the behaviors themselves, to help give you a better understanding of who you are, why you do what you do, and how you can be a better, healthier version of yourself. it has been such a game changer for me.

please figure out which number you are and then let's talk about it. it's my new favorite topic of conversation.

to kill a mockingbird (harper lee)
 

i "read" this in high school. in quotes because what i actually read was chapter summaries so i'd pass pop quizzes and exams. if i could give any piece of advice to my high school self, it would be to read the books.

and also maybe find out your enneagram number.

i didn't speed-read through this one. it wasn't a page turner. but i felt sad when i finished and thought about it for days afterword. i got it from the library, otherwise i would've read it again.


books of 2017: 001 | 002

favorites of all time.

july was like–

july was like a roller coaster. like a storm surrounding my boat. it felt like a test of my faith. like god was asking, again and again, do you trust me?

how about now?

how about now?

by the end of the month, i was in awe of the way things had played out. the way situations had twisted and turned and flipped around before landing right–side–up again, within weeks, was almost laughable––because it all ended up okay, and because i didn't twist and turn and flip with each development.

i kept thinking about matthew 8. i once heard max lucado tell this story, about how the disciples were on a boat when a storm came and jesus was sleeping. the disciples woke him in a panic, but jesus was like, "you of little faith, why are you so afraid?" and the challenge was, in the midst of the storms that threaten our boat today, to find jesus and snuggle up to him. to rest.

that image has never left me, but i've never quite grasped how. how to not freak out. how to not keep calculating the numbers in my bank account. how to not crumble under the weight. but this month, within the first week, i learned how.

yes, i trust you.

yes, i trust you.

yes, i trust you.

july was like snuggling up to jesus, even while the storm continued around me, and it felt like freedom.

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good things from july.

watching the fireworks from my friend's dining room table (read: inside & air-conditioned) while eating peanut butter cups and avoiding all traffic. yes and amen.

the reverse podcast––the one with josh silverberg. and also the one with nate griffin.
after listening, i texted no less than three people with links to these two episodes because they are so good. lengthy, but worth every minute.

revisionist history, the podcast by malcom gladwell.
each episode "reinterpret[s] something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. something overlooked. something misunderstood." it's smart, but not unbiased. malcom gladwell calls it like he sees it.

ss + co. i'm starting an email newsletter!
because i want a way to bridge the gap between us. i write on this blog for me and i share it with you, with everyone, with no one. but a newsletter is me and you. ss (that's me!) + co. (that's you!)

you can sign up by entering your email in this box, or the one in the sidebar, and hitting "sign me up."

and, this, that my friend posted in an insta-story: peter may never have gotten the chance to walk on water if he hadn't asked.

books of 2017 | 002

sometimes a book is so good, you could just eat it. you know?

these are the kinds of books i've been reading lately. the kind i want to savor, not devour. they are (mostly) hand-picked. books that have been on my list or on my bookshelf. and now i'm behind on my goal to read 52 books this year because i've been taking my time with them.

i started to feel torn between wanting to read faster and catch up so i could complete my goal and wanting to keep a slower pace because i don't want to rush through the good stuff. then, recently, i watched a video from an author who was talking about how beneficial it is for writers to not only be reading, but also taking notes as they read. words they like, descriptions that catch their attention, things they found boring. and suddenly it felt like i had permission to slow down, to not reach that 52-book goal.

i don't really know why i'm writing all of this, except to remind you that sometimes it's okay to stop working toward a goal you had previously set for yourself. you're not giving up on what you're trying to achieve; you're quitting the distractions. goals are set to help you move your feet so you get to where you want to go. don't be so busy with your head down, working hard, that you forget to look up to see if you're still facing the right direction.

my goal is to make the best use of my time. for a while, that meant picking up a book instead of clicking on netflix and, this year, i gave myself a number as motivation. because quantity is helpful in seeing progress, and seeing progress is what makes me feel good and like i deserve some kind of reward. but quality, i'm realizing, is more important for me as a writer.

so i will probably not hit 52 books this year and that's okay because i will still get where i meant to go.
 

also. i can't list everything i've read since my last post and highlight only a few favorites. (i didn't actually do that last time, either.) they are all my favorites and if i'm giving them enough space in my days, then i'll give them enough space here too.

the magnolia story (chip & joanna gaines)
 

i don't watch fixer upper, so my love for chip and jo was purely secondhand until i read this book. i quickly realized what everyone else already knows: these people are incredible.

the girl who handed me the book to borrow told me "it's good, but i've heard most of their story before." however, i think that even if you know most of their story, this book is worth reading.

first, because it's an easy and fun reading experience, as they tell their story as if they are sitting in front of you, having a conversation. second, because i found it to be inspiring and motivating to know the details and backstory.

i stopped watching tv (again) after reading this book and finding out they don't watch tv. it made me wonder how much progress they were able to make by choosing to not sit and watch tv every night, and how much progress i could be making if i also made different choices.

one day we'll all be dead and none of this will matter (scaachi koul)

my first book of the month pick! chosen for it's bright pink cover and the fact that it's a memoir. with BOTM, you sign up to receive one book each month, from only five choices. while every other book on my to-read list is one i've added because i know i'll like it, this one was a total shot in the dark––not what i'd normally pick up, but i loved it.

saachi writes for buzzfeed, which i didn't know before choosing this book, but it's probably why i enjoyed it so much. she has a specific type of sarcastic humor that makes her story about growing up in alberta, canada, as the daughter of indian immigrants so relatable.

my favorite chapter tells of her trip to india for her cousin's wedding. it it, she describes why she despises all the outdated indian wedding traditions, but tells the story in such a way that it helps you understand the paradox of embracing your culture so that when she later admits she plans on having a traditional indian wedding, you understand what that means.


books of 2017: 001

favorites of all time.