September. Proper noun. The month that includes the start of school, the official beginning of autumn, and changing leaves, and renewed passion for newly sharpened pencils.


September has been a month of new beginnings and unexpected challenges. But there have also been small, sweet things. I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of those things I’ve been loving.


For the Love – Jen Hatmaker. I think I need to move to Texas so Jen Hatmaker can be my neighbor. She writes about real things with candor and humor and spice. If nothing else, read it for the chapter on leggings and other fashion fails. No one else is ever going to refer to a muffin top as a “tragic fat spill” and get away with it.

Pastrix – Nadia Bolz-Weber. Nadia Bolz-Weber and I have opposite lives. And personalities. She’s a fiery Lutheran pastor who got saved from a wrecked-up alcoholic past, leads a church meant for misfits, and uses salty language. None of that criteria fits me, I don’t agree with parts of her theology, and I would probably feel uncomfortable in her church. And that’s why I need to read books like this. I need to remember that my spiritual battles are not the only ones people are fighting. I need to remember that God loves even the most unlikely of us, and he is in the business of making all of his people new.

For Women Only – Shaunti Feldman. To be honest, I only got a few chapters into this thrift store find. This little book is about how mens’ minds work, based on surveys and interviews with real guys. The chapter on what “Men need to be respected” actually means was helpful, but I didn’t find the other bits that I read particularly mind-blowing. I’ll probably pop in and out of this book, but I don’t plan on reading it all the way through.


Inside Out. I haven’t cried so much at a movie in a long time. That might not be normal for a grown-ish woman watching a Pixar flick. But tell me what you’re going to do when you’ve been bummed about your long-distance boyfriend being gone and he’s finally in the state and you get to watch this movie with him and the point of the movie is that you have to feel sadness before you can feel real joy. You cry, that’s what you do. Despite the waterworks, I liked this a lot.

The Intern. What a funny, sweet movie. I’ve liked Anne Hathaway since her Princess Diaries days, so I thought my friend was brilliant for suggesting we catch a last-minute matinee. It’s about a start-up that hires senior citizen interns, and everyone – from the old people in the theater who clap when the show is over, to my cooperating teacher at school, to my college friends and me – could find something to enjoy about it. The ending didn’t sell me completely, but the rest of the movie made me adore Ben and how he made everyone around him better.

Gilmore Girls. I watched the most dramatic episode yet, involving a party and a fight and a revealed secret and a high school dropout and a drunken phone call and a turned-down romantic plea and a love triangle and an incommunicative boyfriend…and I realized that sometimes I watch TV shows so I care about drama that’s not my own. And I’m okay with that.


If you’re having a bad day, play this song on repeat.

The Ellie Holcomb Pandora station. Continually solid, especially on tired mornings.


Oh for adorable. It doesn’t get much cuter than this 101 Dalmations inspired engagement shoot.

I appreciate Addie Zierman so much. She takes on happy Christian romances in this post in a real, not mean, way.

Birkenstocks. Still. Again. I’m on a desperate hunt for comfortable and cute teacher shoes, and until I work up the nerve to spend money on some, I’ve been living in these.

I need to scrounge up my pennies and buy a copy of Amber Haines’ new book already. In the meantime, loving this post.

A new (free!) bookshelf, which makes our apartment look less like a dorm and which gives me a place to display my favorite quotes.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

Brené Brown should be running for president. She is brilliant and would make our world an infinitely better place, as she proves it in this article.

My people. September has shown me that I have amazing friends and family who will send me long emails when I need advice, hash out the details of my life in the aisles of the Goodwill and tables at Chipotle, text me when I’m feeling down, and offer prayers and support. I’m so thankful for you all.


The grand adventure of student teaching. I’ve been spending my days with ESL kiddos in grades K-5, and I’ve learned a lot thus far. For example:

  • I did not inherit my mom’s natural skills with kindergarteners – why is teaching something as simple as the alphabet so hard? At least they’re adorable. If you would ever like to be told “Every day you are so beautiful,” and “Miss C, you are just so cute!” hang out with the 5-year-olds.
  • If you do experiments that involve messes, ice cubes, and blowdryers, 2nd graders will want to touch everything and actually be excited about solids and liquids.
  • The days go by much, much faster when you are actually teaching than when you are sitting and observing.
  • State-mandated assessments for teacher licensing stink. And are a lot of work. But they don’t physically kill you.
  • Teaching 6 of our 11 groups feels like a lot…and next week I’m taking on all of them. Here we go…

    First day of school. I've got a teacher badge and everything.

    First day of school. I’ve got a teacher badge and everything.

Last lake weekends. Labor Day brought the annual trek to Rollag (a steam thresher’s reunion – think really old tractors and steam engines) with my grandpa, dad, and siblings, flea market-ing, and a few final minutes in the lake. My sister invited a huge posse of her friends to the lake the following weekend, so I tagged along and got to lesson plan from a hammock and witness one of the most fantastic sunsets of the summer. I’m in denial that those days are over for the year.

Horses at Rollag. Best part.

Horses at Rollag. Best part.

So excited that I can still float on the lake in September

So excited that I can still float on the lake in September


Amazing photo by my dad

Attending a vintage country wedding. One of my dad’s cousins got married, and even though I had never met the bride or groom, I dusted off the cowboy boots and discovered wedding dances are way more fun when you don’t know anyone and don’t care if your white-girl sober dancing makes you look like a fool.


The fam, all spiffed up

Going out with our boots on

Going out with our boots on

Tagging along to a Twins game with my little brother. He needed a ride. My calendar was open. It was fun. Thanks, Caleb, for knowing amazingly generous people who give you great seats.

And they won!

And they won!


In October, I’m looking forward to…

  • Reading more
  • Getting a four-day weekend over EM break (yay, Minnesota!)
  • Finishing the edTPA
  • Going for runs on the beautiful trail I just discovered near my apartment

What have you been into this month?


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