Monday, May 18, 2015

Life Lately

I feel like each day I wake up trying to catch my breath, like there's still residual items on my to-do lists to finish, more cleaning to do, more cooking, studying, reading, etc.  I wake up every morning now and think of the day as a to-do list, and that makes me incredibly, incredibly sad.  I've always been a lover of sunrises and sunsets, and I can't tell you the last time I actually took a moment to watch one.  When I first moved here, I would sit at the little bay window early in the morning to write and would watch the sleepy world outside the window slowly wake up.  And I would capture the sunsets on my camera almost religiously, my favorite one is still this one here.


But lately I don't take the time to look at sunrises and sunsets.  I don't take time to look at the painted skies or the Bradford pears blooming down the street.  My nights are spent in restless slumber and my days are filled with all of the busy-ness that comes with working a full time job and starting school.  I don't know how people do this who have children; you truly have my deepest admiration if you are able to do all of these things.  This morning I was planning on waking up early to study for my statistics class, but decided after a night of poor sleep that I would take a few minutes to myself to write instead.  There's Trader Joe's coffee brewing and the day looks like it will be a gloomy one; my husband is still sleeping in our warm bed and I'm sad that I can't be in there next to him this morning. So instead, I'll tell you a little bit about life lately in the Davis home.  

Reading The Boston Girl, which I love.  When I started reading I wasn't sure it was going to be for me, but it's a wonderful story about how a girl, Addie Baum, came to be the woman she is.  It's a story woven together with the little heres and theres of her life, all of the fun firsts and disappointing seconds.  It's a lovely story, and though my time is a little more pressed these days when it comes to reading, I'm glad to make time for this one.  

Drinking Trader Joe's columbian roast coffee that Shannon introduced me to in DC.  This is one of my favorite blends of coffee that I've ever tasted.  Mix in a little almond milk and Stevia and you have got yourself a great cup of coffee.  I'm also drinking a lot of water and minimal amounts of soda.  As hard as this is on night shift, I feel so much better without soda.  Anytime I've craved a soft drink lately, I drink chocolate milk instead.  Maybe it'd be better if I switched to regular milk, but for now this seems to be a good compromise.  

Missing home.  Very much these days.  I was just there last week and was fortunate to spend time with family and a few friends.  Somehow, I think the trip back made me feel even more homesick, if that's even possible to miss a place while you're already there.  I still love Indy, but places feel empty sometimes when they're missing all of the people you want to share them with.  We'll be back again sometime in September and I can hardly wait.  Wedding season has thrown three weddings our way in September, and two of them are in North Carolina.  How very sweet those will be.  

Writing mostly just things for school.  I have to say that I'm so thankful to be switching to day shift in a couple of months.  Managing night shift and school has been an incredible challenge, and my time spent writing has been minimal as a result.  I feel like even writing this small little post right now is refilling my tank a little bit, I've missed writing so very much in the past few weeks.  

Listening to Needtobreathe and Ben Rector. A lot.  I saw them in the Tour de Compadres in Louisville two weeks ago and can honestly say it was one of my favorite concerts I've ever been to.  Needtobreathe's album that was released last April is phenomenal, I never get tired of listening to it.  They do such an incredible job at playing songs with deep meaning.  You could listen to some of them and think that they were secular, while others are quite obviously about Jesus.  Also, I discovered a "coffee shop jazz" playlist on Amazon prime that I'd highly recommend for when you're studying and want to feel like you're at Starbucks without the $3.50 cup of coffee (see above for the perfect cup of coffee).  

Feeling nostalgic for the fall I spent in North Carolina before moving up here, aka the year of 9 weddings.  I was looking through some pictures last night from that fall and I was remembering how busy and happy I was.  I was filled with anticipation for marriage and moving to Indianapolis, busy celebrating the weddings of so many close friends and family.  Something about the joy I felt that fall is missing in my life now, whether it's from night shift exhaustion, a disconnected spiritual life, lack of community, or something else entirely, I know I want it back.  I want to feel healthy and happy and filled with a love-tank that's ready to burst for the people around me in my life.  

Planning our trip to California next month.  Actually, the planning has been minimal.  The dreaming has been maximal.  I suppose I should book hotels or something soon? Or a rental car? 

Eating peaches (finally) and strawberries, a new favorite salad (mixed greens topped with crumbled bacon, feta, hardboiled eggs, avocado, dried cranberries, walnuts, and optional meat--chicken is usually what I go for), a new salad dressing that a friend at work introduced me to (a healthier Ranch-- one cup milk, one cup Greek yogurt, one packet of ranch mix.   It's just as yummy minus all of the yucky things that the traditional mayonnaise ingredient does to your body), avocado toast (toast smothered in avocado and topped with an egg over easy), and homemade pizza (with pineapple, onions, and shredded chicken.  So so good).  

Thinking about too many things.  Books I want to read, people I want see, places I want to visit.  Also finding a workout/running buddy, eating healthier, spending more time outside.  All good things.  

Dreaming about puppies and houses.  It seems to be the thing to do these days-- get a puppy, buy a house, have a baby.  I don't think any of these things are in our near future, but I like seeing other people experience those seasons of life.  Our season right now is for school and learning to love each other in our little 600 sq. ft. apartment.  Sometimes I want to pack everything up and move into a two bedroom so I can lay on a guest bed when I want to nap or write from a desk that isn't so cramped in the corner of our apartment.  But other times I marvel at how beautiful life can be within these walls, and how much I enjoy looking out our window from inside to see what's happening around us.  

Wishing that I could transport two NC staples to Indy: Port City Java and Bskis.  PCJ is my absolute favorite coffee, and drinking my TJ's coffee out of their mugs makes me feel a little bit like I'm sipping on some of their coffee.  And Bskis is what most people at UNC considered drunken, late-night food, but which I took absolute delight in during daytime hours.  Their AK ski (wrap) is my fave: buffalo chicken with melted pepperjack cheese, lettuce, and ranch, all bundled up in a warm, snug, little tortilla.  Oh, it's heavenly.  I've made my own mock version of it here but it doesn't quite compare.  

That's all for now, friends.  Sorry for the glum tone in this post.  I'm working through a difficult season and knowing that it will end so soon, but the light and the end of the tunnel seem so very far away right now.  I'm learning to be grateful for difficult seasons, for I know that they make the other seasons so much sweeter.  

Lots of love,
Cristina. 



Friday, May 1, 2015

May Book Goals

I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have my own computer back today and perhaps that will lend to more writing, but for now I thought I'd share some book goals for May.  May is a month I've been looking forward to for a while, but now that it's here, I'm wondering if it doesn't frighten me a little bit.  There's a lot of potential "busy-ness" going on in May.

It starts tonight, in fact, with five nights in a row at work.  I think I've only over worked this many shifts in a row once before, and I know I was ready to kill someone by the end of it.  Other nurses do stretches of 6-7 nights in a row, but I personally am not one who manages this well.  I also start school in May-- in two weeks, actually.  But sprinkled in with all the busy is a lot of fun-- I'm heading to North Carolina briefly next week for my best friend since 1st grade's engagement party, and I'm hoping to snag some beach time while there.

I'm also taking a quick day trip to Louisville with my friend, Kayla, for a Ben Rector/Needtobreathe concert (SO excited for their Tour de Compadres) which should be WAY fun.  Scott's birthday comes in May, and our pool opens.  Oh and I actually have a three day weekend for Memorial Day for the first time since I don't even know when!  So all good things.  Sounds like there won't be much time for reading, but here's what's on the list potentially.

1. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand.  I'm currently reading this one and like it so far.  It's about a girl whose brother committed suicide and what life was like before, during, and after.  I think she's supposed to reveal soon that she knew something about it all before he tried to commit suicide, but I haven't gotten that far yet.  This is a hard one to get through because it makes me want to cry and hug all of my siblings and family and friends.

Image source: Amazon

2. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen.  Both of the books listed here so far as from the list that Mariah and I have been working through.  Mariah is much quicker than I am with the books! I still have a few more to work through and I think she's basically done with the list except for the ones that aren't released yet (maybe there's just one of those?).  I've been on long wait lists at the library for books and also have had to put some time into other areas of life, so reading sometimes suffers with that.  Like yesterday how I decided to completely scrub down our apartment and rearrange furniture? That happened.  Oh, I'm digressing.  I read another Sarah Addison Allen book in book club back in NC, The Peachkeeper, which I loved, so I have high hopes for this one.  I don't know what it's about but I'll let you know once I read it!  It takes place in NC and has something to do with a mystical apple tree.  I'm intrigued.  

Image source: Amazon

3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.  I promised myself after Dark Places that I'd be done with Gillian Flynn novels for a while, yet here I am with a copy of her first novel in hand, already ten pages in.  I have a habit of reading Flynn on plane rides, and I have a feeling this will be a good read to take to NC next week.  Should be able to knock it out fairly quickly, maybe in one leg of my flight? Flynn writes dark books but they're page-turning wonders.  This one is about a reporter who was recently in a psych hospital who has to return to her hometown to write about the murder of two girls that took place there.  

Image source: Amazon

4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.  After reading Landline a few weeks ago, I'm hooked on Rainbow Rowell's writing style and storytelling abilities.  I'm excited to read her other books as well, including Fangirl and Eleanor and Park.  Attachments is about two people writing e-mails back and forth via their work e-mails, knowing that someone is reading/monitoring them, but continuing anyways.  The story also involves the person reading their e-mails.  I don't know much more! I just have confidence that it will be great based on Rowell's last book I read.  

Image source: Amazon

5. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.  Lately I've been very into reading multiple works by the same author.  I never did much of that before (OK that's a lie.  Hello Nancy Drew series and Agatha Christie novels), but recently I've been loving the authors I've been reading so much that I feel that I need to get to know them better through reading their other books.  A few months back (March, maybe?) I read Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty and have been dying to read her other works since then.  I picked up What Alice Forgot the other day at B&N and secretly want to skip all of the other books to read this one first! Might make a good beach read while I'm in NC.  

Image source: Amazon

I think that's all I've got for now.  If you're bored with the fact that I'm only reading 5 books this month (if even that-- we will see what my schoolwork has to say about that!), here's some other books I'm going to be reading over the next few months:

-Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
-Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
-Being Mortal by Atul Gawande 
-The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
-All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
-Yes Please by Amy Poehler
-The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
-Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova
-Let's Just Say it Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton
-Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
-Bossypants  by Tina Fey
-Small Victories by Anne Lamott 
-Just One Day by Gayle Foreman
-If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

I can't even keep up with all of the great books that are coming out-- every time I hear about a new one I add it to my ever-growing list and feel that I just need more time to read! Someone keep me accountable with reading once school starts.  I remember a professor once asking me what my favorite thing was to do (reading, obviously).  She then said that if i noticed I had gone more than a few days without doing the thing I loved most, something was wrong.  She was making the point that while school was important, we needed to balance it with happy, enjoyable activities as well.  So here's to reading this month!  

What books are you reading?  Or what have you been dying to read? I'm always looking to add more to my list!

Lots of love,
C