Guess what I discovered in the last few months? PODCASTS! I know, I know, have I been hiding under a rock?? I guess I’ve heard about podcasts for several years now, but I never truly understood them, or how they worked. Well, with all my time off recently for a wrist injury and then maternity leave, I was spending a LOT of time watching Netflix (Hello, 11 seasons of Grey’s anatomy). But as I started on Gilmore Girls for the third time (first as it aired, second on DVD, third when it came to Netflix), I realized I needed to test the podcast waters and find some new content to ingest. Because I love sticking with themes, I waded out by starting a podcast called “Gilmore Guys” (more on that later). From there, I got in a little deeper with my friend Mitch’s film-review podcast. And then about a month ago, I took a plunge and went all-in with a podcast that inspired this blog resurrection – the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey.
I first met Jamie last March at a Bible study led by her friend, Jennie Allen. Jamie helped MC the nights and helped Jennie with announcements, introductions, logistics, etc. The whole experience was one of my 2015 highlights, and I’m very hopeful about the publication of the study so that I can share it with all of my friends! One of our “projects” was to create a new memory – something you’ve never done before – so I took my whole family to Walmart for Jenna’s birthday for a round of “Walmart Bingo”. Jamie was pretty intrigued by the idea, and I offered to take her family to play (Jamie, if you read this, the offer still stands! Just name the time and place!). Shortly after the study ended, I got involved on Jen Hatmaker’s book launch team for her book For the Love. Jen and Jamie are in Supper Club together, so every now and then, her name would pop up in discussions on our FB group. Then, several months ago, I started seeing her name/podcast EVERYWHERE. She hosted a LIVE event at her home in Austin, and I think that’s when I started hearing more and more about her podcast. Finally I decided to check it out, and not even half-way through the first episode (or last – I started with the most recent), I was hooked.
If you listen to the podcast, you know already know how fun it is. If you don’t, go subscribe right now. But essentially, the premise of her show is that she sits down with girlfriends for an hour each week and “they chat about the big things in life, the little things in life, and everything in between. Topics include marriage, faith, children, parenting, sorrow, grief, joy, justice, books, what they are loving, plus so much more.” (http://jamieivey.com/) Each episode is a different based on the guest, but there are some threads that remain the same through all the episodes (at least the 20-30 some I’ve listened to). Towards the end of each episode, Jamie usually incorporates some questions that all the guests answer. One of my launch team friends wrote a post where she pretended to be a guest and answer all the HH questions. I thought it was brilliant and a fun way to resurrect the blog. I won’t answer all of the HH questions, but here are four of the most prominent ones she asks:
What are 3 things you are loving right now:
- Being a mom. Life as a family of three is really awesome. When my doctor told me she wanted to induce me, I cried the whole way home because I loved our little family of two and knew life would never be the same. I was scared that this baby was going to ruin that (a fact Cary still teases me about when I start getting weepy over Maddie). Little did I know that it would be THIS good. I really don’t even have words. I just know I love our little punkin more than I thought I could love anything. I love the way she looks when she’s sleeping, her sweet little smiles, the way she holds my hand when she’s eating, and all of the snuggles!! I love to dress her up (our friends and family were very generous with the cute baby clothes). I love watching her discover things for the first time. I love that I can see a personality forming. My favorite thing right now is watching her take delight in playing. She has a little play mat with a piano and hanging toys, and you can really see JOY on her face as she discovers a new piece of it everyday.
- Maternity leave. I’m really blessed by a good job with a good company, surrounded by the best coworkers and best boss. I had to stop work a couple weeks before Madeline was born because I had TERRIBLE carpal tunnel in my scanning hand. My coworkers were so understanding and supportive of my decision to stop working and rest. I was afraid that those weeks would cut in to my maternity leave, but my awesome boss went ahead and approved me for the full three months. This is time that I have truly cherished. I’ll be honest, the first month was rough, and I didn’t really love it. I just hurt a lot. My body really needed that time to heal. And when I tried to do too much, my body let me know! But over the last several weeks, I have moved into a phase where my body is healed, I feel like I have gotten the hang of some things like pumping, diapers, bath time, and nail-clipping (the WORST!), and Maddie has found SOMEWHAT of a routine. Our days are spent having a lot of quality time, and finding some adventures. I have three weeks left, and I am trying to make the most out of each day. I’m trying to fit in as many adventures as I can, trying to do things I don’t normally have the time for (like blogging!), and trying to spend time with as many people as I can. Mostly, I’m just soaking up my time with my daughter, literally watching her grow. Because I get very sad thinking about going back to work and leaving her, I choose every day to be thankful for this time. Thankful to my husband, and to my work for this sweet time together. I don’t want to take a single second for granted.
- Roasted vegetables. This is not nearly as significant as those other two, but I’m WWH (writing while hungry), so this gets #3. There was a lot of love for us after Madeline was born that manifested as food. Our family cooked for us, stocked our pantry, and stocked our freezer. Friends from church delivered hot food three times a week! It was AWESOME! I want to be the first one to sign up on a friend’s calendar now because I know first hand what a blessing these meals are! One item that showed up in a lot of our meals was roasted vegetables. I’ve never cooked veggies in the oven before, I either ate them raw, steamed in the microwave, heated up on the stove, or grilled them. But suddenly, we were eating a lot of roasted vegetables and I discovered that I LOVE roasted vegetables. It’s now officially my favorite way to eat veggies. Since then, I have tried my hand at broccoli, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and even Brussels sprouts!! If you have a favorite recipe for roasted veggies, please pass it on! I’d love to add some solid ones to my book!
What is something you’ve read, watched or heard recently that you cannot stop recommending to other people? Answer one or all three.
– Reading: Launching For the Love last year was a really fun adventure and led to a great new circle of friends. Since then, there have been other launch teams that I’ve heard about, but the timing was never right, and I didn’t feel right about signing up for a team that I couldn’t truly participate in. But recently, an author I really enjoy reading, Sophie Hudson, announced that she was releasing a new book this summer and needed a launch team. This happened to correspond with maternity leave, so I signed up and was accepted. Giddy Up, Eunice appeared in my mailbox several weeks ago, and I couldn’t put it down. It is SO good. And I’m not just saying that because I’m launching it. It is truly a great read and a wonderful reminder that us women need each other! She uses three relationship examples from the Bible (Mary/Elizabeth, Ruth/Naomi, and Lois/Eunice) to point her readers towards greater intentionality within our relationships with one another. You will love it!
-Watching: baby videos of Maddie. She’s the cutest.
-Listening: podcasts – they are great for pumping/feeding sessions, or on our car rides to Houston. Here are the ones I’m currently subscribing too:
- Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, obviously
- The Starving Critics – my friend, Mitch, and his friend, Rachael, talk about all things “Movie”.
- Gilmore Guys – two guys (one super fan, one GG virgin) watch each GG episode and provide commentary.
- Longhorns for Christ podcast – Cary posts the recordings from Uplift here, so I can catch any lessons that I miss, or play some of my favorite worship songs that the band records.
- The Popcast – This one has been recommended by a lot of people, so it’s on my list, but I haven’t listened to any. I’ll start on these once I’m caught up on the others.
- The Story team – another subscription that was recommended (Jamie talks about this one a lot on HH), but I haven’t started quite yet.
What’s a specific app, gadget or piece of technology that you cannot live without and why?
I don’t know about “cannot live without”, but one App I am really enjoying more than usual these days is INSTAGRAM. I love posting pictures and seeing pictures. I have a much smaller list of followers/following than on facebook, which makes it feel more manageable and less overwhelming most days. I’m also dabbling in Bible illustrating, so I’ve really enjoyed seeing what others are creating!
Bonus App that I love = Baby Connect. If you are expecting or a new mom, I HIGHLY recommend this app. I can track her feeding schedule, her diapers, her sleep, her medicine, and my pumping schedule all in one place! It helps me figure out what all those cries might mean (“is she hungry? Well, she just ate 20 minutes ago so maybe it’s her diaper.” Or, “my boobs really hurt…. Oh look, it’s been five hours since I’ve pumped.” TMI? Sorry. Just keeping it real.)
Gadget = Auto Rock and Play by Fisher Price. Maddie doesn’t have full-blown reflux, but she does spit up a lot after she eats. We found that when she was super fussy at night, the thing that makes her happiest was rocking in her car seat. The auto rock-n-play solves both of these problems. It rocks her to sleep, while keeping her slightly elevated so that she doesn’t spit up (all while providing some nice white noise). It has been a life-saver for us, and has kept the colic to a minimum.
What’s a dream that you had when you were young that you’ve had to let go of?
First off, this has nothing to do with Indiana Jones. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t allowed to watch those movies as a kid, and never did until I was a senior in college. Anyway, I remember sitting in our middle school classroom at church when I was in the sixth grade discussing Solomon’s temple and the Ark of the Covenant. Someone asked where the ark was today, and the teacher commented that no one knew. I thought then that one day I would go to Israel and find the ark. I knew if I just read the Old Testament and find out where it was last, surely I could find it (hey, it worked for finding my shoes!). I finally let go of the dream of finding the Ark, but I never let go of my dream of going to Israel. This past year, with the help of my husband and some really great friends, I got to make that dream a reality! I’m planning on doing some blogs about that trip very soon (yes, it has taken me seven months to process it all and report back) so STAY TUNED!
I have a hard time editing, so that was a lot. I’m sure it wouldn’t fit in to an hour long podcast, but if I were at happy hour with Jamie, these are the things I would say and the stories I would tell. Until next time, be kind, love Jesus, and go make some memories.