She’s baaaaaaack


Welcome to No Spend October!

(Yes, I know it’s still September. But we’ve gotta psych ourselves up for this.)

Since I last posted, I’ve started grad school, acquired and shed several jobs, had a baby, gone on hiatus from grad school, and changed many, many diapers. I’ve also acquired what one might refer to as a minor spending problem. I have been reading, but not enough.


(Not the people who sing “My Girl”. These are far more insidious and likely to creep into your head.

Disclosure: I may or may not be listening to “My Girl” right now.)

  • Babywearing gear
  • Lularoe
  • Picture frames
  • Second Time Around


  • Carrying your baby doesn’t seem complicated at all until you have to do it for 23/24 hours per day. This is where babywearing enters the scene. What is babywearing, you may ask? Oh, you poor, simple, uninitiated soul. Babywearing is exactly what it sound like. You use a variety of carriers, ranging from a simple piece of cloth to a full buckle wrap conversion to a DISO SNN HBWC (it’s ok that you have no idea what that means. Until April, I didn’t either) to carry (“wear”) your baby. It’s a sweet idea, and saves your back. Then the fashion industry enters and ruins everything. Not unlike buying a handbag or backpack, there is a baby carrier for every conceivable situation. Desperate for semi-intellectual stimulation, the new mother falls investigates the merits of various carriers, then POW! Shiny things take over. She finds the second hand market, where ostensibly expensive carriers are sold on the cheap by other mothers desperate to recoup funds. Then she finds the other second hand markets, where mothers with money to burn are selling carriers at and above retail value. At first interested in finding great deals, the new mother now feels desperate to be part of the club. She discovers that the right carrier makes her feel pretty. She discovers the babywearing gambling world. I wish I were joking.
  • Realizing the cult of babywearing has consumed her and seeking other avenues of entertainment, the new mother realizes that she kind of cares what she looks like again, and that none of her old clothes fit. Lularoe now sneaks on the scene. Lularoe offers clothing that is comfortable, stylish, affordable, perfect for the changing body, and (here it comes) printed in limited quantities and only sold through online consultants. What at first seems like a sound investment in reasonably priced clothing quickly becomes a hunt for exclusive prints (“unicorn hunting”- WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE A NAME- better memorize it or they’ll know you don’t belong!). Once again, the new mother joins countless consultant facebook groups, attempts to beat others in the chase purchase clothing only at pre-ordained times and online places.
  • I’m not sure why I keep buying picture frames, but we’re running out of wall space.
  • Finally, the new mother remembers how she used to shop before giving birth, and hits up Second Time Around. It’s second hand, so the price must be reasonable, right?


  • No Spend October!
    • No “fun” purchases until November 1st. Nothing non-essential: no clothing (we have enough), no books (use the library), no apps, no audio books, no “great deals”
    • Coffee purchases allowed only when out with friends, and then no food purchases.
    • No “fun” food purchases. I’m looking at you, cupcakes.
    • No giveaway entries.
    • No baby purchases. We have plenty of clothes, toys, etc.
    • Date night is allowed. Experiences only, no object purchases.


  • This all sounds a bit severe, but I’ve always done better with rigid guidelines.
  • The goals of this exercise are as follows:
    • Lessen the spirit of acquisitiveness
    • Live offline
    • Create more
    • Explore more
    • Be outside more
    • READ more.

Although this is not strictly a reading project, I’ll post updates here through the month. Living with intention is always the goal. Onward!


Currently reading: American Gods, Simple Gifts

Baby’s current favorites: Goodnight, Moon, On the Night You Were Born

Back, back again


Hi guys. It’s been a while.

A short summary of what’s gone down since July:

– Started dating one of my best friends

– Went to three awesome weddings

– Traveled to Ottawa (which was terrific)

– Moved to Albany

– Curled up in a black pool of unemployment despair

– Worked at a farm

– Got on stage for the first time since college in a musical

– Directed and produced a play

– Got promoted from per diem sub to full time sub/coverage coordinator/desk person at a charter school in Albany

– Had an absolutely delightful 28th birthday!

I have no idea how many books I’ve read since then. Quite a few, I imagine. One of my recent favorites is Eleanor and Park.  I found a delightfully weird chicken version of Cinderella for my goddaughter called Cinders. I also finally got around to reading Battle Royale, and am watching the movie in pieces since it’s too violent to take in one sitting. The book itself was an interesting, if bloody commentary on coming of age, government, and general teenage internal motivation. I definitely recommend- if you can stomach it. I’m listening to The Magicians on audiobook, which is a dark Harry Potter-esque novel for adults. I’m also pretty crazy about Fr. Kosmas’ lecture series. The lectures are all available for download here, or you can support your local church bookstore and pick one up for $15-20.

The major thing I’ve taken from my job is that parents need to stop giving their children cell phones. They view them as creepy, Borg-like extensions of themselves. Think about how you feel when you leave your phone at home Perhaps disconnected? Unable to get answers? Unsure what to do in an emergency? Now imagine having one practically since birth- that feeling multiplied a thousandfold. TAKE THE PHONES AWAY, PEOPLE. You’ll do your children a greater service than you can imagine. While you’re at it, cancel your Netflix and turn off the TV, too.

I have no ending to this post, but aren’t you glad I’m around to preach at you again?

Happy 100th Post!


To me.

this is a copy of a drawing my friend misha made that he claimed represented my soul

this is a copy of a drawing my friend misha made that he claimed represented my soul

A few notes on what I’m reading lately:

Since I got laid off, I’ve been going through the some of the stages of grief- anger, denial, bargaining, depression- and am working up to acceptance. I’ve been numbing the pain with job applications, coffee, and a ton of books.

In brief, I loved re-reading a bunch of books I unpacked from my classroom. I finally started Pillars of the Earth, then dropped it in favor of a Sarah Dessen novel a good friend loaned me. I’m still working my way through the Isabel Dalhousie books, but am less enthused now that she’s (*SPOILER*) with her love interest. I’m almost done with Elder Leonid, and am still working my way slooooowly through Everyday Saints.

I’ve been depressed about politics, I’ve been finding new things to do in the city, and I’ve been seriously contemplating a move (looking at apartments next week!). I’ve also been working on a new blog that has nothing whatsoever to do with books, and I’ll tell you about it when it’s ready. Much more excitingly, I’m going to choir school in a week.

I just came across this list of top books for people in their twenties.  I couldn’t bring myself to read Into the Wild, and some of the others look a little too self-helpy for my taste, but my twenties are a-wasting. What do you think?

Happy Friday, y’all.

Things I’m Currently Reading: June Edition and Update


A few months ago I alluded to a situation at work that I couldn’t discuss. The fact is, I’ve been too stressed about it to blog much since it first arose. It’s resolved now, and probably for the best. I’m not staying at The School next year- my position was redesigned and someone else was hired. I don’t have any definite plans yet, but you, dear readers, will know as soon as I do. The good news is that I’m paid through the summer, so I have some space to figure out what’s next.

And oh, I’ve had plenty of space to read.

I’m going to cheat a little and list only what I can remember from the last few months. I hope to be back on track for July… To compensate for the gloomy tone of this post I will include interesting pictures (mostly of myself) on the side. Would it be a real post without them anyway?

Daily spiritual reading-

  1. The Bible
  2. Elder Leonid of Optina, Fr. Clement Sederholm

    my nephew and i look off towards a bright future

    my nephew and i look off towards a bright future

Pleasure reading-

  1. A heck of a lot of the Hamish Macbeth series
  2. Many of the Isabel Dalhousie series
  3. Everyday Saints and Other Stories, Archimandrite Tikhon
  4. Look Me In the Eye, John Elder Robison

Work- (personal work, really)

  1. As It Is In Heaven, Arlene Hutton
  2. Wonder, RJ Palacio

    found on the floor

    super secret seventh grade code for notes

Books that have been on hold, but want to finish-

  1. The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (but I WILL finish it)
  2. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

    gift from a graduating student

    needy hippo loves you!

  3. Beauty for Ashes, Stephen R. Lloyd-Moffett

Just finished-

  1. Audrey, Wait!, Robin Benway (rerereread)
  2. Summerland, Elin Hilderbrand
  3. The Elite, Keira Cass
  4. Columbine, Dave Cullen
  5. Just One Day, Gayle Forman
  6. Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins
  7. The Starter Wife, Gigi Levangie Grazer (this was a HORRIBLE book)

Stopped because I couldn’t take it anymore-

1. n/a

Next up-

  1. The Book of Revelation, Matt Dorff (looks so cool!)

Happy reading, folks!

Poetry Cafe (of the week)

aka my classroom.

The stage at Lions Cafe.

I attempted to set up the room like a 1960s underground cafe. The kiddos brought in enough treats to feed an army. We listened to the Mamas and the Papas and gave each person snaps after they recited. It was a fabulous way to wrap up all the poetry work we’ve done this year.

I’ve been remiss in my poem posting. To make up for it, I’d like to offer a list of poems performed by the seventh grade.

In no particular order:

What if,  Shel Silverstein

Basketball, Unknow

My life stood…, Emily Dickinson

Annabell Lee, Edgar Allen Poe

Minstrel Man, Langston Hughes

Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein

Beethoven, Pastan

Champion, Unknown

Nobody, Shel Silverstein

Acquainted with the Night, Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

Eldorado, Edgar Allen Poe

Happiness, Michael Jordan

Spiders, Unknown

The Perfect Friend, Unknown

Friends, RA Salvatore

Like You, Unknown

Stopping by the Woods, Robert Frost

New Kid on the Block, Jack Prelutsky

Rain, Shel Silverstein

Point of View, Shel Silverstein

Not, Sophie Cabot Black

Winter Eden, Robert Frost

Tyger, tyger, William Blake

Notice any patterns?