What I Read in August

August was WILD. The first week was spent getting a BUNCH of work done to get ahead of myself, then I was traveling all over the country for two weeks, then I packed up EVERYTHING I own and moved into a new apartment across town, and hardly had a second to sit down and catch my breath. It's been crazy.

With that being said, it shouldn't be surprising that I only got through a couple books. Then again, since I read an insane 14 BOOKS in July, I think it all balances out! 


Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor. // "What these editorial writers fail to realize is that the writer who emphasizes spiritual values is very likely to take the darkest view of all of what he sees in this country today. For him, the fact that we are the most powerful and wealthiest nation in the world doesn't mean a thing in any positive sense. The sharper the light in faith, the more glaring are apt to be the distortions the writer sees in the life around him."

Flannery is my favorite. She was young and brilliant and sassy and so honest in her writing and faith. I can't read enough by her. When I found this collection of prose by her in my local used bookstore, I was so excited. It's a mix of essays and pieces she published and things that were never published, which was really cool to me. O'Connor writes a lot about writing, a lot about the South, a lot about the church and faith, and a lot about fiction/literature. If any of those things interest you, READ HER STUFF. That is all. If Flannery wasn't such an odd name, I would seriously consider it for my future child.



Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck. // "For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?"

I read this one during my two-week cross-country road trip, and it was the PERFECT choice. It's all about Steinbeck's adventures around America, and I absolutely loved how many parallels there were between his trip and mine. He wrote about a lot of places we saw, which was hilarious! I agreed with just about everything he wrote, too. This was a wonderful read if you have any wanderlust or love for this great country in you.


Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. // "Now I'm starting to think he wasn't supposed to be my whole life, he was just this doorway to me."

I reviewed this one in depth for #COLLABOREADS, so read that here!

Here's to a much fuller blog post next month of books read in September! ;)

When You Take a Two-Week Roadtrip...

If you follow me on any form of social media, you've been inundated with pictures from my travels over the last two weeks...and I can't even really apologize for that! Every day, I struggled to choose just a few images to share-- there were SO MANY. 

In just two weeks, my dad and I drove all the way across the country, from VA to CA and then all the way back. It was a whirlwind. It was awesome. I saw a LOT and I learned SO MUCH.

Here's what I learned on our great #RADnDadventure:

  • Good road trip tunes make even the most boring desert drives more exciting and bearable. When you find a North Pole radio station playing only Christmas music when you're in 100+ degree weather, CRANK IT UP and jam. It's the best. Needtobreathe's live album and the Les Miserables soundtrack are also great choices.
  • There is SO much open land in this country. It's refreshing to be reminded of that.
  • Every big city has a street named Broadway.
  • LOTS of road construction happens in the summertime.
  • New Mexico has the prettiest wild sunflowers on the side of their highways.
  • Nap whenever possible. Drink coffee whenever possible. Pee every time you stop.
  • We live in such a vast, diverse, beautiful, wild country. Seeing so much of it in such a short amount of time blew my mind. I'm so grateful for the freedom to travel like that without any restrictions. I'm grateful for how easy it is to cross state lines. I'm grateful for kind, welcoming people almost everywhere we went. I'm thankful for the chance to see so much of this land the Lord has made.
  • There are attractive, bearded, tattooed, hipster men in EVERY city. It's a beautiful thing. There is hope for me yet!
  • Being in the car for so many hours will make you feel crazy. You will get delirious. You will desperately need alone time. Laugh it off. Find time to recharge, even if it's just a few minutes in a quiet room or an evening with no plans to just journal in the hotel room. You need it.
  • You really can't ever go home again. (More on this later.)
  • Moving so much and covering so much ground so quickly is both exciting and exhausting.
  • Family is everything. Make time to see the people you love. Cherish it. These are the people who love you endlessly, support you relentlessly, and care about you deeply, and that makes them the very best of people.
  • Live music is always a good idea. When you're in Nashville, find live country/folk/acoustic music. When you're in New Orleans, find live jazz music. When you're in Flagstaff, go to The State Bar and hope that a singer-songwriter is there playing his music for you to fall in love with.
  • You can go so far when you just decide to do it. My dad said this one point during our trip, and it's so true. We just went for it, and it was awesome. It has made me want to just make plans and make trips happen way more in my life. Find some time, find some money, and just do it.

This was a once in a lifetime trip. It was awesome. I'll remember this adventure forever.