Outside my window: The sun is shining in.

Around the house: Silence, blissful and quiet. Won’t last much longer.

What I’ve been writing: I have another big project on my plate (yes, a book) and there’s the usual assortment of online writing. Do you like having a list of my writing in other places? I’ve been debating back and forth: do I post links here? Or not? If I do separate posts for my other writing, is it too much? Ah, the Voices can’t agree. So if you care, you tell me.

In my thoughts: How much I’m enjoying Instapaper, the chapter on living simple from the book I’m reading, the graduation tomorrow.

In my plans: Today, nothing. Nada. Which means something, I’m sure. Tomorrow, a Ph.D. graduation for a dear sister-in-law. I’m so excited that we can share it with our girls! Next week begins Confirmation Boot Camp, so I’m bracing myself for the crazy, the busy, the shoving-things-into-little-bits-of-time that will happen as a result of this commitment (which I love).

In thanksgiving: For people’s patience with me, for cats who follow me around the yard, for line-dried laundry, for kids who sleep in after a week of physical activity, for the seven-year-old’s walking cast.

In my prayers: A few family members, some discernment questions, and all the usual.

Nose inserted: Oh boy, what a list:

  • The 10 Habits of Healthy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity, by Meg Meeker
  • Until Lily, by Sherry Boas
  • Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: The 30-Day Challenge, by Meg Meeker
  • The Reed of God, by Caryll Houselander
  • Walking with God: A Journey through the Bible, by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins
  • Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was, by Barry Hughart (fiction, audio, courtesy of Forgotten Classics)
  • Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift (fiction, audio, courtesy of Just the Books)

Recent reads: I’m just including the last three:

  • Angela’s Song, by AnnMarie Creedon (fiction) (advance copy/manuscript) – Looking for Catholic chick lit? Here you go. It’s not out yet, but I’ll be sure to alert you when it is. It’s being published by Full Quiver Publishing and will be available on Amazon too, I’m sure.
  • Stout Hearts and Whizzing Biscuits (Kingdom of Patria #1), by Daniel McInerny (MG fiction) – I was pleasantly surprised by this, and I heartily recommend it to, well, everyone. (Use your seven-year-old as your excuse to read it, if you need to, but it’s good.) It’s an adventure story with a whole website to support it. Only available as e-book, but oh! The delight! The second book in the series is on my summer reading list.
  • The Reapers Are the Angels, by Alden Bell (fiction) – I read it because Julie and Scott talked about it on their podcast. Oh. My. Word. I LOVED IT. (Julie’s usually right about these things.) Yes, it has zombies, but they’re sort of incidental, part of the landscape. It’s more an examination of humanity, not quite a coming-of-age, but wow, a good story. Highly, HIGHLY recommended. (It would be especially good for summer reading.)

Links I like: I stopped including them in the sidebar, because…well, it didn’t seem that anyone was using them. Seems like Facebook and Twitter are where link-sharing happens. All the same, here are a few that are worth your click:

  • 40: In which one of my favorite Catholic women shares her thoughts on turning the big 4-0. I’m taking notes.
  • Wheat: Pretty pictures of one of my favorite things.
  • The Fun Never Ends: Tips for summer fun, which is especially handy for those of us who, ahem, aren’t so good at this naturally (despite the fact that I have a book to my credit with “fun” in the title, do not be fooled).
  • The End of College?: Is there an “education bubble”? What’s in store for the future of education? This article will inspire further reading on my part (though my library doesn’t have the book that was recommended to me) and I’ll probably be doing some writing of my own. I love reading things that make me want to write and read and think.

A favorite thing: Strawberry jam, homemade, slathered on, well, everything.

Food for thought: Prayer gives us strength for great ideals, for keeping up our faith, charity, purity, generosity; prayer gives us strength to rise up from indifference and guilt, if we have had the misfortune to give in to temptation and weakness. Prayer gives us light by which to see and to judge from God’s perspective and from eternity. That is why you must not give up on praying! – John Paul II

Worth a thousand words: Because you needed to see this, right? Courtesy of an auntie who can’t resist the mancub: