reading life

month-end faves

I’m sharing a few things that made me smile recently, including good books and happy happenings, as well as whatever else brings me joy or feels downright life-saving lately. I encourage you to do this, too, in some form: journal it, tell a friend, make a note on your phone… it’s a great way to cultivate gratitude and it’s fun to look back on.

This is a difficult/complicated time of year for me so celebrating good things is an absolute necessity.

Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.

at a shag dance contest
with Ken at a shag dance contest

shag dancing

About a year ago, Ken and started shag dancing. After all, it’s the official state dance of both North and South Carolina! We’ve danced together as long as we’ve known each other but had a long hiatus when life as parents got more tricky. Now we are back to doing this thing we both so enjoy. Earlier this month, we entered a dance competition at one of THE most iconic shag dance clubs in Myrtle Beach. We knew going in that we’d be way out of our league but it was a great experience nonetheless.

Frankly I’m most impressed with myself for getting out there amidst all those other absolutely fabulous dancers and DOING our thing rather than hyperventilating!

If it’s not showing up for you below, view on YouTube instead.

hosting a CPR course

Since I needed to renew my own CPR certification, I decided to find a licensed instructor and host it at my own fitness studio. We had a great crew and I think I’m going to do this every February as a nod to American Heart Health Month. If you’ve never taken a CPR course, or if it’s been a long time, I encourage you to find a local training; you could safe a life someday.

birthday boy

Also this month, my youngest son turned 14! We celebrated with family at home on his actual birthday, and his requested “singing dessert” (because it doesn’t have to be a cake!) was cinnamon rolls. That weekend, he and a group of friends had a fun day at a bowling alley where they also got to play laser tag and arcade games.

good reading

Two books I enjoyed this month:

Other Birds ~ by Sarah Allen Addison.
My favorite this month. Friendship, romance, and ghost story, all set on the Carolina coast. Definitely recommended.

The Five Wounds ~ by Kirsten Valdez Quade.
I had no expectations for this book, other than a friend’s recommendation. I found myself caring about the characters and hoping the best for them.

SJB throwbacks

6 years ago: How we chose our new town. Yes, we still love it.

8 years ago: Workbox Crate for Simplified Homeschooling
(This is still one of my most popular posts.)

10 years ago: Goodbye Visit, when the kids asked us to be their new parents.

Also ten years ago, as of February 28th: I lost my dad to ALS.

Dad 2009
Dad laughing (2009)

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years with the kids, and ten years without my dad.

I’m currently working on posts about my experience of retiring as a homeschool mom, and opening my fitness studio almost exactly a year ago.

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You were wonderful!!! Way to step out!