7 Quick Takes of Lenten Fluff

1. Have you heard of Bogs? They are the only thing getting me through this long season of always winter, never Christmas. I bought this pair in brown sometime in January and haven’t looked back. Waterproof and lined with whatever magic inside that keeps your feet warm and dry, these have been perfect for rain, snow, slush, ice and everything else this ridiculous winter has thrown at us. I love them. I think they came to around $90, with tax, on Amazon, and it looks like the Bogs website itself is having a sale on this particular pair. Pricey, but seriously the best money I’ve ever spent on shoes, period. Oh, and the cherry on top? I can put them on/take them off hands free. That is priceless.

I also found a pair of girl’s Bogs on sale for around ~$50 on REI earlier this year:

I ordered a size up and Lucia didn’t seem to notice, so hopefully they’ll last through this spring’s rains and next winter, as well.

A friend of mine out here has family in Alaska, and she said they outfit all their kids in these boots, so if that’s not testimony enough, I don’t know what else is.

2. I’d been keeping an eye out for a nice car/play mat, and when this one from Joey Boey showed up on Kid Steals for almost half price, I, well…stole it.

Beginning to lament the fact that I’m not even getting paid for this…

It’s a durable, easy-clean surface and the town is much more detailed than any other, similar playmat I’ve seen (there’s a library, church, school, airport, farm, park, various houses, etc.) I like how it lends itself very easily to imaginative play with just about any of my kids’ numerous cars, trucks, animals and people.

Tangent: The Joey Boey website also seems to cater toward your friendly LDS families with a….Mormon town version? Complete with Mormon temple? (“Visit the temple or cruise on over to the missionaries at the MTC.” Yes I had to Google that last acronym 😉

Perhaps not very Mormon.

What I’m thinking is….where is Catholic Town?! Get on it, crafty ones.

Anyways. Our kids are into it, and it’s also been a hit the couple times I’ve taken it to the playgroup in our church basement, so that’s a win for me.

3. Speaking of which, I’m probably jinxing everything by bringing it up, but the kids have been playing so well together the past three days…and it makes such a difference. On Wednesday, I swept and mopped the downstairs floors; did multiple loads of laundry; ORGANIZED THE BASEMENT, which has not been touched since we dumped things down there when we moved in over a year ago, and then realized…why aren’t they hanging on me? What is going on?!

The blissful answer: they’re starting to actually play with each other. While in the basement with me, they found a box of party supplies, including the Happy Birthday banner from Lucia’s 3rd, and the rest of the day was taken up with a pretend 5th birthday party, complete with party hats, cake baking, presents and games. Upstairs. On their own. Completely organized by Ms. Bossy Pants and supported by her toddling fan #1.

I know this is a “no duh” moment for moms who’ve graduated from the “small children and…more small children” phase and keep telling me “it gets easier!”, but this is a game-changer for me. They still pop up at inopportune times (read: the bathroom) and follow me around, but it’s not quite as needy, and Felix especially seems more willing to go off and play whatever game his sister has concocted. I’m a little more free, and they’re a little more pleasant to be around.

Life is not as terrible.

Jk, jk. I like my kids.

IMG_2968

Actually, this one was all his idea.

4. Ads for this movie keep popping up on Spotify (which probably says something embarrassing about my listening habits), and I would just like to say, as a Christian, that I find it insultingly bad. Bad bad bad. Insulting to my intelligence, insulting to actual non-believers’ intelligence, insulting to actual Christian artists making actual art and not self-affirming tracts featuring Duck Dynasty stars….and seriously? The Newsboys are still a thing? Anyways. I’m done. For now. I keep thinking up new lines for my diatribe, and I gave up Facebook for Lent, so it follows that expanding on the subject here would do wonders for my spiritual growth. Obviously.

5. On that note, tonight Luke and I are driving an hour into the depth of Connecticut to see my fave, Andrew Peterson, sing at…gulp…a Christian coffeehouse. We’ll see how this goes and whether Luke can keep his mockery to a minimum (though he keeps asking me questions like, “What if everyone just starts singing along? What if they start to sway? What will you do?“)

I do dislike 99% of Christian music. Andrew Peterson is a rare (one of, like, three) exception. If you aren’t familiar with him, he’s a wonderful lyricist with a very Catholic imagination and self-professed love for C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Flannery O’Connor, and all those other authors all the cool kids like (yes, this is what I’ve always defined as “what the cool kids like”). His song “The Magic Hour” also introduced me to farmer and writer Wendell Berry, whose novel Jayber Crow is hands down one of the most exquisite books I’ve ever read.


6. And, because I’m realizing this post is making me sound like a terrible, jaded person…here’s another favorite Peterson song:

7. [Two days later] Well, they did sing along, and no, I did not, because I’m Catholic and whatnot and we really don’t take well to sudden, spontaneous audience-participation choruses, I realized. Actually, I spent a good portion of the concert (sitting in tiny, packed church on padded chairs with a happy, mostly middle-aged+ crowd) bemusedly noting all the ways I felt out of place in an environment that, in childhood, would’ve been at least as familiar to me as Mass, if not more so. With each little ripple of nodding heads and “Amens!” I became more convinced that, if you could shove denominations into the different temperaments, Catholics would be melancholics. (I also thought of Jen’s post on a similar theme recently). Maybe this is way too broad a generalization, but I think we’re okay with pondering. We can linger on big questions without feeling the need to sermonize or provide a pat answer within a three-minute song. We’re okay with staring at a crucifix for an hour. Every time the audience responded to a particularly poignant line with a smattering of applause or amens, my inner critic was yelling, “SHUSH! This is a GREAT SONG!! Let me INTERNALIZE!”

On the hour drive home, I told Luke about this while trying not to get car sick on the dark, winding forest roads. (At one point we drove over the top of a dam. I mean…seriously, Connecticut. Build some more highways). Apparently, it surprised even him. “Wait…THAT’s what you were thinking about?” Yep. I’m sitting in an intimate concert space with one of my favorite musicians, and I’m wondering whether Pentecostals would be sanguines or cholerics.

On the plus side, I did get to meet Andrew Peterson, thank him for introducing me to Wendell Berry, and tell him to read Pope Benedict. (I mean, he even talked about his growing appreciation for the rhythm of liturgy. I couldn’t let that slide 🙂 So all in all, a good date night!

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5 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes of Lenten Fluff

  1. I’d never heard of Andrew Peterson before (I dislike 99% of Christian music, too–I’m sure you’re shocked 😉 but glad you introduced him. I see some Youtube searching happening in my near future. He lyrics are exceptionally well done, and I’m a sucker for interesting twists of phrases and melodies. I think one of the reasons so much Christian music annoys me is that God is so much more interesting than that!

  2. So, Andrew Peterson, Audrey Assad, and… do you still like Bethany Dillon and Matt Hammitt? (And yes, I did have to look up their names, bc all I could remember was the album cover art…)

    • Eeh….I barely recognize their names (actually, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the second guy), so I’m gonna guess no 🙂

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