I recently came across the fact that And Still She Laughs is on sale right now for $5! Five Bucks! I mean, come on, people! You can't buy a burrito for five bucks. You can hardly get a cup of coffee for five bucks! But right now you can get my blood, sweat, and tears for so paltry a sum. Anyway, if you need some coasters for your icy summer lemonade, or perhaps if you, like me, spilled pizza all over your first copy and need a freshie, now's the time to do it. It's on sale here.
Since I had the excuse to email you all with that, allow us to catch up! One of my favorite organizations, Wonderfully Made, exists to help young women know their worth. I love these darling girls, and they are such an encouragement to so many through conferences, videos, studies, and a podcast, providing role models to strengthen and empower. They also produce short films of unique women who have overcome some radical stuff. The most recent one featured me! So, while it's totally mortifying to be videoed, much less while crying, I pray it can be meaningful to someone out there who perhaps needs to know she's not alone.
Moving along, the photo above is of our family vacay in Idaho and Montana. That's a glacial lake that we canoed across and had lunch. Here are my two chickens crawdad hunting. Where we go is extreme bear country, so much so, that as I'm picnicking on the shore I'm looking over my shoulder the entire time. You might think that's excessive, but no joke, last time we took Daisy to that lake we came face to face with a grizzly. We were driving along the old dirt road and passed a sign that says "Be Bear Aware." Daisy reads the sign aloud, then says "Hey, I see a bear!" And sure enough, there was a baby grizzly peering at us through the bushes. Naturally, we stop the car, because it's just SO COOL to see a baby bear! But then my husband decided it would be a perfectly sane idea to get a closer look, and so against his better judgement he's walking across the dirt toward it and I get all crazy and start screaming from inside the car, and thankfully he came out of his wildlife induced insanity and got back in the car! Where there's a baby, there's a mama... And we all know that moms of babies don't sleep much... I think that's why mama bears are so aggressive. That's my excuse, anyway.
Also, that picture was taken a few minutes before the canoe tipped and we all fell into the lake! Along with all our stuff, picnic and phone included! We stood on the shore dripping and looking like we were trying to decide between being super angry about it or cracking up. So we opted for the latter, and while peeling off soaked denim and squishy tennies, we decided it was just a little bit of poop;)
Since it feels like we're just catching up and hanging on the porch, and I LOVE to talk about what I'm reading, I will now coerce you into reading Darling Magazine, which is the most beautiful publication ever, and Wendell Berry's Hannah Coulter. I read it while in Montana, and WEPT through the last few chapters. The writing is so lovely. Just enough description to have an emotional response, but not so much that the story suffers. The author has so many profound statements, tucked snugly into the story like eggs in a nest. Plus, oh man, it made me want to farm so bad. I'm serious.
I hope you guys are enjoying the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR. I'm telling you, summer is my favorite. Have you sat outside under Italian lights burning candles and laughing with friends yet? Do it! Have you sunburned your nose, shoulders, and knees yet? Get 'er done! What about grilling every single item in your fridge and calling it dinner? Save me a piece of that corn!
It's such a luxury to just be normal, especially in the summer. I was talking with a friend last Friday who has also suffered great loss, and we agreed that normal is the new fabulous.
That's it, friends. Now go outside and play!