What I'm Into (June, 2015 Edition)

Reading:

Fiction:

Truthfully, I imagined I'd be reading much more during my maternity leave than I actually am. Between my exhaustion and a steady-stream of visitors, I only read three fiction books this month: The Bright Side Of Disaster by Katherine Center, The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer, and Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center. All three would make for good beach reads, though I enjoyed The Guest Cottage and Happiness for Beginners more than The Bright Side of Disaster. 

Did God Kill Jesus

Non-fiction:

This month I also read one lone non-fiction book, Tony Jones' Did God Kill Jesus?: Searching for Love in History‚Äôs Most Famous Execution. You can read my full review here. 

Watching:

While I've read far fewer books on maternity leave than I imagined, I've watched far more TV than I ever thought possible (thanks largely to the amount of time spent breastfeeding. Thank goodness for Netflix!) 

TV: So You Think You Can Dance, Grey's Anatomy, Alias, The Gilmore Girls 

Movies: Star Wars (all 6 of them... It was Hope's Father's Day present to daddy... Mommy was not impressed.); Nightcrawlers (what a strange, strange movie); Cake (Wouldn't recommend it); Still Alice; The Duff (slept through most of it); The Cobbler 

Things I Love: 

Writing: It felt so good to get back in the groove of writing. I took a break for a few weeks (because, you know, I had a baby) but late this month resumed work on the Jesus devotional for students that I'm writing for The Youth Cartel. It's based on the research published in The Jesus Gap. I'm super excited about how this book is shaping up! 

Grandparents In June

Visits from the grandparents: It's such a delight to see our parents become grandparents. 

Hope's Faces

Hope's faces: It's been such fun to experience and learn what Hope's various looks and sounds mean. There's a great deal of them that we're still trying to figure out. 

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave: Doug was fortunate to receive a week of paid paternity leave and then he elected to take a second week off. I'm so thankful he was home those first two weeks of Hope's life - for us to bond as a family and for me to begin recovering from my C-section. 

Awesome Husband In Juen

Doug: I've known for a long time that Doug would make a great dad but wow - seeing him in action blows me away. In those early weeks, he even got up with me at night and read to us as I tried to nurse and then gave Hope the bottle afterward as I pumped. 

Friends Helping In June

Friends: I continue to be so thankful for those who have loved, fed, and cared for us well during this crazy transition to parenthood! 

Baby Hats

Baby hats: Need I say more? 

Sleep Gowns

Sleep Gowns: Not only are they cute, they're functional too. Easy diaper access makes late-night diaper changes a breeze. 

Arboretum With Mel

Getting out of the house: After being inside with Hope during her first few weeks of life, it felt like such a major accomplishment to get to the Arboretum again. 

First Father's Day

Father's Day: What a joy it was to celebrate Doug's first Father's Day and Dad and Keith's first grandfather's day. We loved having everyone at the house for a cookout. And we especially loved Auntie Mel's mud pie for dessert. 

Hope One Month

One month pics: Hope turned one month old on June 22. The days seem SO long but the weeks have gone by SO fast! 

Mel And Hope

Time with Auntie Mel: It was great having Mel around for two weeks. I'm so thankful for the fact that even though she lives 2000 miles away, she's always come to Chicago for the significant events in my life! 

Baby Wearing 1 Month

Baby Wearing: It took us several tries to find a baby carrier that we love but we hit the jackpot with the mei tai carrier. It's WAY easier than the Moby Wrap and even though we think we'll love the Ergo come the fall, with the newborn insert, it's WAY too hot for summer.

What I'm Into Button

Today I'm linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I'm into. You can join the conversation here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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