To Read: Articles
The Best Is Yet To Come // Rachel Joy Welcher // “When we move, I worry, foolishly fearing that the best lives in a house. In a sandwich. In a friend. A dress. A promise. But no. I am still learning that the best is not found by looking backwards. It is yet to come. ”
America Loves the Idea of Family Farms. That’s Unfortunate. // Sarah Taber // “America’s farmland is filled with opportunities to sustainably grow more food from the same acres and earn extra cash, thwarted by the limited attention solo operations can give.
We treat this plight as natural and inevitable. We treat it as something to solve by collective action on a national level — government policies that help family farms. We don’t talk about how readily these things can be solved by collective action at the local level.”
A Family Portrait: Brothers, Sisters, Strangers // Photos by Eli Baden-Lasar,
Text by Eli Baden-Lasar as told to Susan Dominus // “At some point, in each sibling encounter, we would inevitably end up talking about the donor. He represented this absence we all had in common, almost a spectral figure hovering above our lives.”
What Does It Mean to Have a Favorite Album? // Yoh Phillips // “There’s a wholeness made accessible when an artist produces an entire world. Albums are a portal to a place that playlists and singles can’t open.”
“I know what’s going to happen when I press play, but my enthusiasm for the source material remains intact. I feel a friendliness the moment “Nikes” begins with those warm, pitched, childlike vocals. The midsong beat change and flow on “Nights” remain life-changing. My soul leaps when “Solo” suddenly becomes a gospel song during the first hook. How Frank sings, “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t devastated, but you could’ve held my hands through this, baby” on “Close To You” is a beautiful haymaker to the chest. The Frank Ocean, Beyoncé, and Pharrell Williams trifecta on “Pink + White” is as angelic today as it was upon release. The many layers of “Seigfried” culminate into a masterpiece every single time. To my ears. Blonde is 60 minutes of moments that haven’t grown stale; on the contrary, they’ve become more enjoyable with age—as a favorite album should.”
When An Abortion Doctor Becomes a Mother // Christine Henneberg // “The fetus, which is normally extracted in parts, came through the cervix intact. I dropped it in the metal dish and I saw it move, or thought I did. It was all I could do not to run from the procedure room crying.”
Gift Ungiven // John B. Graeber // What a tender, emotional roller coaster this story was.
(Newsletter) Granola: July Edition // Gracy Olmstead // I’ve enjoyed the published writing of Gracy Olmstead recently, and she just released the first monthly edition of her very own newletter — with only the good stuff, as I like it.
To Read: Books
The Great Alone // Kristin Hannah // Audiobook // This was quite long, but very much worth it. There are so many facets of this story that make for an enjoyable, gripping novel.
Dad Pranks Son With Giant Teddy Bear // Beleaf In Fatherhood // “The cool thing about Uriah Beau is that his sense of humor is like no other.”
Laughing Babies // Where YouTube videos are found // I saw Jakob across the living room one day, cracking up at some of these, and of course I got sucked in. Laughter is just one of the best things.
To Listen: Music
To Listen: Audio
Mere Fidelity: “Dignity,” with Chris Arnade // Podcast // I’ve heard so much about this new book of Chris Arnade’s, and I really enjoyed this thoughtful conversation with the Mere Fidelity guys (per usual).
Good Enough: Dating, with Andrea Burke and Lore Ferguson Wilbert // Podcast // Always a wise and thoughtful listen, these ladies had some good things to say and share from personal experience.
Tomato Basil + Carrot Ginger Soup // Have you ever looked at the canned soup aisle and thought some flavors would be better COMBINED. Me too.
Banana Muffins // My favorite way to use up on bananas hanging out in the freezer. I use gluten-free flours and coconut oil instead of butter.
Coconut Curry Meatballs // Meatballs: half ground lamb, half ground beef, 2 eggs, a white onion – diced and sauteed, a ton of chopped cilantro, some rice – powder-ground, a splash of beef broth, and salt. Simmering Sauce: a jar of pre-made coconut curry, a can of light coconut milk, a small can coconut cream – it’s thickening, fresh ginger root, garlic, turmeric, fennel, another random spice we had that I forgot the name of, salt, and raw chopped green peppers. We served it over rice.
Hopefully Something Soon, With This Sauce // Finally met the man, the myth, the legend. I only trust people to give me samples who give out fist bumps with a “Praise God”.
A Healthy Relationship With Politics // The Democratic Primaries were a good excuse for the Baumeister household to eat some snacks and chat about them along the way.
Remembering Your Death // A guy shared his wife’s Flannery-inspired stickers and magnets a few weeks ago on Twitter, so of course I bought some. Here is her store.
Enjoying Summer // Let’s not over-complicate this, y’all.
Look up at the sky, water your plants, roll the windows down, eat outside with your friends, go to concerts in the park where you took wedding photos a year ago, get some ice cream and snow cones at dusk. The possibilities are abundant.
Love For The Little Ones + The Parables We All Need // (In my Pre-K Sunday School class): “Have you heard that song called Old Town…. Street, I think? I don’t know the middle part but it goes… I’M GONNA TAKE MY HORSE TO THE OLD TOWN ROAD.”
In all seriousness, preparing and working through a lesson on the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is good for your heart.
What does it mean to be proud? To be humble? Which posture and prayer does God love?
(Parables are good for us all, not just 4 year-olds.)
Obscurity + The Good Life
“I don’t want to know how a 30-year-old became rich and famous; I want to hear how an 80-year-old spent her life in obscurity, kept making art and lived a happy life.”
– Austin Kleon
“I think we’re happier at places like the sea or the mountains because their immensity & constancy – here long before us, here long after us – temporarily relieves us of the burden of inordinate self importance. We don’t just sit around & think about ourselves. The small go swim.”
Marveling At Everyday Miracles // According to our pregnancy app, Baby Baumeister is the size of a honey mango, or large avocado. Life is a miracle and pregnancy is amazing. Here’s some additional visual evidence of that: “Clearest MRI of pregnancy ever recorded.”