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Friday, July 10, 2020

5 Friday Favorites: July 10, 2020






It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of Everything and Momfessionals

On Fridays I share things that made me happy from the week - a photo, a song, a quote or Bible verse, a beauty product, a recipe, a pair of cute shoes, etc. If it's a product, sometimes it's something I actually own and sometimes something I just saw online that gave me a smile. Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's silly. I suppose I believe that God is in the simple details of life and yes, I can even find Him in a tube of lipstick.

Hello and Happy July, Friends. Guess what? We are half way through this crap-show of a year. This is what I'm thinking. We get Friday Night Lights's Coach Taylor to put 2020 on a school bus, drive out in the middle of the night when it's pouring down rain, and make it run sprints up and down a muddy hill until it realizes that we will not stand for this BS and it's time to finish strong.



Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose. Stop screwing around, 2020. You're better than this. 

Here are some things that made this week better for me.

1. Green Smoothie

I have mentioned this smoothie before, but I've been drinking one just about every day this week and I love it. The recipe came from my friend, The Lovely and Talented Mrs. C., but I changed it up a little bit. I add this Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder because it's supposed to be good for skin, nails, hair and joints and also because I'm basically throwing the whole kitchen sink at myself these days.

1/2 avocado, frozen
1/3 cup pineapple chunks, frozen
1/2 banana, frozen
1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen powder
1/4 cup  spinach
1 T honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
8-10 oz. almond milk
Blend. Add cold water if too thick.



2. Reading the Gospels in July


It seems lately that I have gotten pretty overwhelmed with the volume of things I don't know and feel like I have a responsibility to learn right this minute. Whether it's trying to understand the conflicting information about the pandemic or realizing how much I have to learn about the history of racism in my country and in my own heart, or how to walk the line between letting go and still  actively parenting adult children, I feel like I'm constantly inundated with articles, books, podcasts and posts. So many of them are legitimately important to read, but in the past few weeks, it's all become too much for my brain to handle. Then I stumbled upon this guide for reading the gospels in July on Annie F. Downs's Instagram feed. I still have a stack of important books that I am committed to reading this summer, but I've decided the most important voice to listen to and the most important voice to filter all other voices through is the voice of Jesus. Three chapters a day will get us through all the gospels in 30 days. It is so comforting to read familar words and yet know that the Lord will teach me a new thing each time I read them. It's been one of the best parts of July so far for me. 

3. A Couple of Books



I do have two other books that I'm reading now. I had a list a mile long of books on racism, but I had to narrow it down. I just received So You Want to Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Oluo which my church had recommended.


I feel like I'm the last person on Earth to read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I had heard it recommended all over the place for the past couple of years and finally started it. It is so good. Man, what a writer is she. I highly recommend a good fiction book like this just to take you away from some of the madness for a bit. If you missed out on this one when it came out like I did, go get it.  


4. Jumpsuit from Amazon







I mentioned this jumpsuit from Amazon a couple of weeks ago and it is still one of my favorite things I've bought from Amazon. I heard from quite a few people who ordered it as well, so I wanted to let you know that I ordered two different colors in the same size and they fit completely differently. What the heck? I was so annoyed. Anyway, just a heads up, there might be some weird sizing depending on which color you order, but I love this jumpsuit so much. (I mean, the one that fit, not the one that felt like I was wearing a full Spanx bodysuit.)

5. BASEBALL IS BACK FOR REAL
 
 
As I took my seat to watch Drew play his first game since March 11th all I could think was this:

"Wait upon the Lord. Be strong, take heart. And wait upon the Lord." 



He'll make a way. It might look different, but He'll do it. I also was so happy to be reminded of how easy it is to spot my kid in the dugout. That hair, y'all. I'll never get over it. :-)


Have a great weekend, Friends!


Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to amazon.com. Post might contain other affiliate links as well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Quarantine's Unexpected Gift: A Time to Remember



Well, baseball fans. It finally happened. Our boy had an actual-real-live-honest-to-goodness baseball game this past weekend. In the days leading up to it, I was almost too nervous to put it in writing on the calendar because of the possibility that it would vanish into thin (rainy and/or virus-filled) air again.

The last time I had watched a live baseball game was on March 11th. That night we returned home from my son's second high school scrimmage to find that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA was shutting down and school had been canceled for the next two days (which quickly turned into the next three months). Since then we watched them fall like dominoes - the NCAA season, the College World Series, Little League, the MLB season, Summer College Leagues, and of course, our son's high school season. With each cancellation I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest and crushed with a bat. 

(If you're new here, now might be the time to give you a heads up that I tend toward the dramatic.)

Anyway, two weeks ago we were finally supposed to play, but we got rained out. So due to that heartbreak, I was hesitant to count on us playing this past weekend. Fortunately, we did play. The sun shone and the games were on. We loaded up the truck with the bat bag, the packed coolers, and the chairs and set off to meet up with our old trusty companion known as "Standstill Traffic on I-95".

As we drove, I thought about these past few months when there was not a thing on the calendar for my youngest son - no practice, no hitting lesson, no catcher's clinic, no game. My two oldest boys normally attend college out of state. Both were supposed to be busy with internships this summer, including one who was to be working as a broadcaster in the Cape Cod Summer College Baseball League (cue the sad trombone music). They both came home from their campuses in March and all of their plans were canceled as well. So it was, that on just about every last one of those wide open nights, our family of five sat around the dinner table together. As I often have in the past few months, I thought about what a truly unexpected gift it was. 



Friday, June 26, 2020

5 Friday Favorites: June 26, 2020




It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of Everything and Momfessionals

On Fridays I share things that made me happy from the week - a photo, a song, a quote or Bible verse, a beauty product, a recipe, a pair of cute shoes, etc. If it's a product, sometimes it's something I actually own and sometimes something I just saw online that gave me a smile. Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's silly. I suppose I believe that God is in the simple details of life and yes, I can even find Him in a tube of lipstick.


1. Women's Summer Tank Jumpsuit


As we've discussed, the quarantine has afforded the opportunity for lounge wear to have a moment the likes of which it has never seen before. If these past three months have taught me anything it's that a stretchy fabric situation is a necessary component to my general happiness. Upon the realization that I don't want to be encumbered anymore and also that very few of my summer clothes from last summer fit, I ordered this adorable jumpsuit from Amazon last week and it is THE BEST. It comes in both pants and shorts and a gazillion colors including a couple of striped ones. I will wear the fire out of this thing. 


2. A Couple Books I Read This Week


Sophie Hudson is one of my favorite writers and was one of the very first bloggers I ever read. Her new book, Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying in it When You Want to Burn it All Down, released last week is her very best so far, in my opinion. Sophie's ability to tell a story with humor and tenderness all wrapped up together is unmatched. Just about every page in this book resonated with me so much so that I felt like she'd been living in my brain for the past few years. I adore this book.


Another favorite writer of mine is Knox McCoy who I found through his podcasts, The Popcast and The Bible Binge. His most recent book, All Things Reconsidered: How Rethinking What We Know Helps Us Know What We Believe ,was hilarious and thought-provoking. I really, really liked it.

3. This Knife





This is random, but I had seen someone somewhere suggest this knife as a Father's Day gift. I got it for Steve since we've been doing a ton of cooking and grilling during the pandemic. I haven't used another knife in my kitchen since it arrived. I love this thing. First of all, it cuts really well which all in all seems like an important feature for a kitchen knife. Also, it really feels good in my hand. It's not too heavy or clunky. 

(Clunky? Awkward? Cumbersome? It's really a wonder that QVC hasn't asked me to sell these knives.)

Anyway, I love it. Steve loves it. It makes us happy. 

FYI: When I bought this exact one from Amazon a few weeks ago it was only $29.95 which I thought was a great deal. For some reason, the link now shows it for $49.95 which is a huge bummer. However, I did see this one for $29.95 and it looks very similar. Carry on, Chefs.

4. Becoming on Netflix

Like a lot of people I have spent a whole lot of time watching Netflix during the pandemic. This documentary following Michelle Obama on her book tour was one of the best things I watched. Mrs. Obama is not only really smart and interesting, she seems like she'd be pretty fun to hang out with. One of the best parts of this was seeing how overcome with emotion people were to meet her. This is an excellent documentary.

5. Let's Try This Again


We finally had two actual real life baseball games scheduled for last Saturday. I cannot overstate how excited I was. Then it rained buckets on Friday and the games were canceled. That meant that the first thing that I had actually written on my calendar in three stinkin' months vanished into thin, rainy, and potentially virus-filled air. The grief I experienced due to the news was only compounded by the fact that we would all be stuck in the house for another weekend wherein I would have to feed all of these jokers AGAIN.



How long, O Lord, must I cry out for help and You do not hear? 

How many meals, Lord? How many side dishes? Please, Sweet Jesus, deliver me from googling "marinade for chicken breasts" for the 7,000th time.

Now, I am going to whisper this so as not to jinx it even though "jinxing it" is not something I believe in. We have games scheduled for this weekend. (3 games actually. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH) 


Let it be so, Lord.

Happy Weekend, Friends. 

Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to amazon.com. Post might contain other affiliate links as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

"An Ode to Baseball Dads" Featured on Dadvocacy Today!



Hey, Friends.

Today, I want to let you know about a very special organization called the Dadvocacy Consulting Group. The mission of DCG "is to enable every father to become the dad he wants to be - for the good of his children and/or grandchildren, his family, his community, and himself. While acknowledging the vital roles of fathers and mothers alike, {they} work directly with fathers in a variety of settings and in a variety of ways. {They} eagerly collaborate with other organizations to share the goal of positive and vibrant father engagement."

I have followed this organization for a couple of years and have found their resources and articles to be incredibly valuable and important. The group works to support fathers in a variety of ways including developing programs and curriculum, offering workshops, and consulting with government and private agencies, schools, corporations and other organizations on father and family-related topics.

I am so honored today to have a guest post published on their "Daddying Blog". You can read it here and while you're there be sure to check out their amazing website.

Cheers to the Daddies out there! 

Friday, June 19, 2020

5 Friday Favorites: June 19, 2020





It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of Everything and Momfessionals

On Fridays I share things that made me happy from the week - a photo, a song, a quote or Bible verse, a beauty product, a recipe, a pair of cute shoes, etc. If it's a product, sometimes it's something I actually own and sometimes something I just saw online that gave me a smile. Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's silly. I suppose I believe that God is in the simple details of life and yes, I can even find Him in a tube of lipstick.

Hi, Friends. I've been quiet here for a couple of weeks, not because I don't have zillion thoughts and a zillion questions about the state of our country right now, but because every time I sat down to write, I heard the Lord basically saying, "Nope. Not your time, sister."

I spend a whole lot of time creating sentences in my head, forming opinions and declarations, and figuring out the best way to communicate them. Even if those thoughts don't get spoken out loud or written out on a page, my brain is quite often writing an essay or formulating a speech.

Is this a mom thing? Or a writer thing? Or maybe an egomaniac thing?

Yikes.

In the past couple of weeks, I tried to turn off my thoughts and tune into the thoughts of others - mostly the thoughts of people of color. Each time I would hear a new concept or an old one explained in a new way, I tried to sit with it for a little while, doing my best to give it weight in my mind before automatically thinking, "YES. THAT!" or "NO. NOT THAT." This was hard because letting something sit in your brain and your heart if it's uncomfortable - and especially if it's convicting - is not always an enjoyable way to spend your time.

The thing is that you don't need me to tell you who you should learn from and who you should listen to on racial injustice any more than you need me to tell you about the joggers I found on the cheap at Amazon. But if you're here, you're here. And it is here that I'm finding there is a fine line to walk.

On one hand, I don't want to be silent because so much of what has happened to black people in this country in the past few months makes my stomach turn. And I know it hasn't only been in the last few months. On the other hand, what is equally stomach-turning is a white girl who listens to a podcast and then is suddenly so super-impressed with herself and her efforts to become enlightened that she wants to tell you all about it. "Woke White Girl" with the all the advice on how to be anti-racist? Ugh. She is way up at the top of "The Worst of all the White Girls List".

I don't want to be that girl. Nevertheless, I come here every week and I tell you some of my favorite things. The last few weeks have been so sad to me that favorites have been hard to come by, but I have found some. And many of my favorite moments in the last few weeks have been when I have forced myself to shut my own opinions down and open my ears and my eyes to hear another voice and see another perspective. So to start 5 Friday Favorites today, I'm going to share a few of those voices - some are black leaders who I have already followed for awhile on social media and some I have just discovered. I'm also ordering a couple of books that seem like they'll teach me some things I don't know. Because if I've learned anything in the past few weeks, it's this: There's a whole heckuva a lot I don't know.

1. Some People I'm Listening To


Priscilla Shirer
Books HERE
Instagram HERE
Don't miss this IGTV of her father, Pastor Tony Evans, speaking with his grandsons HERE


Emmanuel Acho
Instagram HERE
Also #hookemhorns


Mike Kelsey
On That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs Podcast HERE
Instagram HERE





Latasha Morrison 
Be the Bridge 
On Annie & Eddie Keep Talking Podcast HERE

Friday, May 29, 2020

5 Friday Favorites: May 29, 2020





It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of Everything and Momfessionals

On Fridays I share things that made me happy from the week - a photo, a song, a quote or Bible verse, a beauty product, a recipe, a pair of cute shoes, etc. If it's a product, sometimes it's something I actually own and sometimes something I just saw online that gave me a smile. Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's silly. I suppose I believe that God is in the simple details of life and yes, I can even find Him in a tube of lipstick.

Well, there was a lot of serious in this space last week, so I'm going to take a hard left turn here and fill up Friday Favorites with all the shallow that I can muster up. Things are still hard. In fact, the news this week is even sadder and more frustrating in many, many ways. There is so much to grieve and a lot to process. So I'm going to keep praying, keep weeping for our nation, and keep begging the Lord to heal. It's just that I'm going to do it while wearing a hydrating mask. Here we go.

1. All the (Old School) Facial Masks 


These days and likely forevermore whenever we hear the term facial masks, we'll think about face coverings that are supposed to protect us from death by COVID-19. I much prefer the old school definition. As I've mentioned, I've been super intense and focused on skin care during the quarantine because I have no life. My routine has about 45 steps now and it takes up a good chunk of the day. Sadly, it appears that I will not emerge from this situation looking like I'm 25 years old, but it is not for lack of effort because I probably do a different mask every day. Here's a rundown of my favorites.


This Aveeno Positively Radiant MaxGlow Peeling Mask is less than $15.00 and can be found just about anywhere including your grocery store. It is oddly satisfying to peel it off in one big sheet after 20 minutes of feeling it tighten up your face.



We went to Lake Anna last week and although I did as good of a job as I could on my sunscreen, my skin still got burned. Enter this Miss Spa Quench Sheet Mask which is really cheap and might be the best thing for my face during the summer. It felt so good on my burned skin. You can get it individually or in a variety pack of four masks.


I mentioned this The Ordinary Peeling Solution a few weeks ago. It costs $7.20 at Ulta and it is a really great exfoliating peel. It stings when you put it on and you can only leave it on for 10 minutes, but it really makes your skin glow when you're done.

I follow Kathleen Jennings Beauty on Instagram and I don't necessarily recommend it because it will cost you if you don't maintain some will power. Exhibit A: She suggested doing this Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask after The Ordinary Peeling Solution and it is amazing, but also pricey. She suggests putting the mask in the fridge and it feels awesome after you've practially burned your face off with the peel. This will also be great for when you weren't diligent with your sunscreen this summer.

2. The Last Dance and Twitter's Finest Moments



I had so many thoughts and feelings about The Last Dance documentary. There were so many life lessons in this thing I could have filled a whole notebook full of them. Which means that I had lots of speeches to give to my children at the dinner table after we watched and lucky for them there's been a lot of opportunity for family dinners. Cue three boys faces looking like this:


Pretty much every human I know on the planet already watched this, but if you haven't, I'm super jealous and I highly recommend you figure out how to watch. Even if you're a big weirdo who doesn't like basketball.

Just kidding about the "big weirdo". Kinda. Not really though.

Also, Twitter had some of its finest moments on Sunday nights during the airing of The Last Dance. Watching it every Sunday night and sending Twitter memes back and forth with my sons will go down as some of my favorite times of the entire quarantine.





3. Carson Chunky Rectangle Sunglasses


When we went to Knoxville a few weeks ago after the city had just opened, I was able to go into an Urban Outfitters. You have never seen a happier shopper in all your life. I smiled under my mask like an idiot the entire time. I picked up these sunglasses and I love them so much. They will always remind me of the time I made a purchase in an actual store for the first time during the Global Pandemic of 2020. I wonder if the Smithsonian might want to display them some day?  They are only $16.00 and they come in three different colors.

4. Essie Expressie Quick Dry Nail Polish 

I mentioned this polish a few weeks ago and I finally took a chance on trying to paint my own nails with it. I love this Air Dry shade which is a pretty slate blue. It really does dry quickly and didn't chip as easily as other polishes I've tried in the past few weeks. It's a great polish for those of us who aren't very skilled at doing our own nails.

5. Tabitha Brown on Instagram


I have mentioned that following Leslie Jordan on Instagram has given me all kinds of joy during the quarantine. I will stand by it. He's the most adorable, hilarious man. I want to be his best friend. Now, I've found another favorite in Tabitha Brown. Tabitha will make you feel like everything is going to be just fine. Her Instagram is a pure delight. She shares about everything from vegan recipes to corny jokes to Jesus. 

She has the sweetest most comforting voice and ends most of her posts by saying, "Now go on about your business. Have the most amazing day, but honey, even if you can't have a good one, don't you dare go messin' up somebody else's."

Now that'll preach. Ya'll go do that. Happy Weekend!

Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to amazon.com. Post might contain other affiliate links as well.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Resolved: 5 Ways I'll Be Better for the Return of Baseball




Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Pathetically Sad Baseball Fans,

Lend me your ears.

I have waited yet again until the very last moments of May to submit my monthly piece for the NVTBL because I didn't really have any riveting thoughts on the Korean Baseball League. I have already whined and poured out my busted up heart in this space detailing all the things we desperately miss about baseball. Many of us have spent weeks slumped sadly in front of our televisions, watching replays of games from lo so many years past, eating bags upon bags of potato chips, and wondering with great shame and sadness if we'll even fit into our brand new Washington Nationals World Champions tshirt when this whole thing is over.



Maybe just me?

Anyway, I come to you today with tidings of great comfort and joy.

READ THE REST HERE.