April: Month in Review

Whatta month! Things kicked off with a week off of work during which I did a voiceover job for Scholastic, read lots of books, went to a local Australian bakery with a friend, pet-sat, shopped for spring dresses, went to multiple doctor’s appointments, and weathered some big storms. The next couple of weeks involved lots of hard work finishing up school and working (I’ve taken two finals and I have two more next week). I did go get a pre-Easter pedicure with a friend, and as always I spent lots of time at the ballpark, so those were both good. I’d been in a bit of a hitting rut so far this spring, so over spring break I went to the batting cages five days, and my teammates and coaches were shocked at how I was crushing the ball when practice started back up–that felt so so good. I went to a 16U rec softball game one Friday evening where I had former teammates on both of the teams that were playing, and one of my current teammates was the home plate ump. Crazy.

I had some hard conversations this month, but I’m learning more and more about freedom and grace and what those look like for me. I did a lot of thinking and reading and watching about missions (blog posts coming soon), and prayed about local ministries to be involved in; some very exciting plans have all fallen into place for next year! It was a pretty average month for my physical health, meaning it was a pretty bad month–my rheumatologist put me on a new course of treatment, but it’s looking like that didn’t work.

The last week in April, my family had our vacation for the year–we went to my uncle and aunt’s condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama! It was really a great, great week. Each morning, we slathered on sunscreen and walked across the road to the beach. We’d walk along the shore picking up seashells, or throw around a baseball, or go swimming in the ocean (until we saw the jellyfish, at least). Eventually we’d dry ourselves off and come back to the condo for lunch and a shower and a nap. Later we’d go down and lie by the pool and laugh hysterically about nothing at all, or we’d go find an ice cream shop, or visit with my cousins who live “across the hall.” We all went to a little zoo one day, and my brother also played mini golf and went to the naval museum in Pensacola while I was napping because I played too hard at the beach (lol). In the evenings, we’d flip-flop down to the little Pier 33 grocery store and buy Krispy Kreme’s and lemonade and Rice Krispy treats, then come back to play cards or read books or go to bed early because we could. I felt sick and exhausted some days, but not every day like I’d feared, and I also felt relaxed and I felt free. I spent time planning for and thinking about next year and getting very very excited (STAY TUNEDDD). We had dinner in Pensacola with some wonderful missionary friends, and I sat in the condo and had a conference call to become an ambassador for Bangs shoes (EEP), and I got sunburned (it’s fading into a tan, I hope) and finished my marine biology course and applied for a ton of writing jobs. Here are a lot of just a few pictures…

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Even grocery shopping is more fun at the beach!
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(Christ has made me) as free as the ocean!
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All depression walks away, on the shores of Your great love… freedom, take hold of my heart, Spirit of God come fill this place. (Shores, Bryan and Katie Torwalt)
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darling, let’s go somewhere where the stars kiss the ocean
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“It’s an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea–whether it is to sail or to watch it–we are going back from whence we came.”    –John F. Kennedy

beach7

This month I’m…

Reading: (psa, all the links go to my Goodreads reviews, so hit them up!) The book of Joshua (so much good stuff). Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi. My Life Next Door, Huntley Fitzpatrick. Rainbow Valley, L.M. Montgomery (reread). The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting. Unravel Me, Tahereh Mafi. Ignite Me, Tahereh Mafi. Rebel of the Sands, Alwyn Hamilton. The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom (reread). A Dream so Big, Steve Peifer. Called for Life, Kent and Amber Brantly. For the Love, Jen Hatmaker. Anne of Ingleside, L.M. Montgomery (reread). Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo. Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo (ASZKMWEGP ALL THE FEELS BEST BOOK EVER KAZ IS MY CHILD). 15 total.

Listening to: Look No Further, Hope Unite. Western Woods to Beaversdam, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe soundtrack. Take the World, Johnnyswim. Amen, I Am They. Kings and Queens, Audio Adrenaline. Shores, Bryan and Katie Torwalt. Grace to Grace, Hillsong. Burn, Hamilton. Transitions, Stephen Cox (Stephen is my cousin and he just put out his first jazz album–it’s sooo good and you should go buy a copy!!).

Watching: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The Amazing Race. 7th Heaven. The Making of Harry Potter, 1 & 2. Julia Robertson’s World Race vlogs (literally every single day). Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition.

Loving: dear best friend forever by Clara (The Zephyr). 10 #FangirlProblems That Will Give You The Crisis You Always Knew You Needed by Cait (PaperFury). To: you by Ashleigh (theashhaines). what has happened to being genuine and real??? // HOW I STRIVE TO SHOW PERSPECTIVE by Julia (The Barefoot Gal). remember by Vivian (Day-Dreamer, Night-Thinker). Purpose In This Place by Katherine (Song Beyond Silence). In Defense of Second-Class Missionaries by Mrs. Medina (guest post on A Life Overseas). Can Spoons Refer To More Than Just Energy? by Sara (Romans 5:3-5). To All The Young Writers by Savannah Grace (Scattered Scribblings). BEWARE THE NANO BEAST by Katie Grace (A Writer’s Faith). Worth the Wait by Grace Anne (Totally Graced). sometimes, you just can’t handle it by Caroline (the beauty in the brokenness). Missing out When You Have a Chronic Illness (Part 1) by Ally (Chronically Constant).

I blogged four times this month: Send Me Questions + Guest Posting for Sara!; (GIVEAWAY) 1-Year Blogiversary!; Q&A + Giveaway Winner; Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal (Book Review).

Writing: Welll, I started out doing something really cool for Camp NaNo, but then life got in the way and I didn’t finish it (I did a lot in the first week or two, though). I came up with a super cool new dystopian novel idea (titled When He Found Me) and played around with that; I typed up and began to expand Warsaw Children, a children’s novel about the Warsaw ghetto uprising that I began handwriting in a notebook several years ago; I applied for a whole bunch of freelance jobs on Upwork and Guru; I entered two contests that both required writing something new; I submitted old stuff to three publications; and I had a devotional published here. Basically, April’s writing consisted of daydreaming about old stuff that I’ll finish this summer and forgetting Camp was even a thing. Ha.

Grateful for: Rainy days at home with new library books and chocolate chip cookies (read: heaven). Constant emails with new blog friends. Playing with babies at the ballpark. Catching up with a friend who lives across the country and whom I haven’t spoken to in years. My kids I nanny being so sweet and grateful when I took them to the pool. My coaches. The super soft and cute T-shirt I got in Gulf Shores. Corey and Kara catching up (THEY ARE FLAWLESS HUMAN BEINGS OK).

Did you do Camp NaNo, and if so, how did it go? (Hopefully better than mine…) Do you have a love affair with the beach like I do? Do you know who Corey and Kara are without me even telling you their last names? (If so, I LOVE YOU FOREVER.) Tell me all the April things!

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