The holidays have begun. In fact, one day in November I was swept over by the spirit of Christmas, and I purchased almost all my gifts in 24 hours. I also ordered our Christmas cards during this gift-buying extravaganza. I was literally using a Veteran's Day coupon. Weird.
For an indecisive person like myself, though, I felt so empowered and alive. So I'm trying on a new persona that makes quick decisions and simply goes with it.
But this post is about November, not Christmas. So let's dive in! Decision made.
Favorite Road Trip
We were so pumped to visit Memphis for the CCDA Conference. Billy at first questioned my hotel booking skills when we arrived to a green swimming pool (check it out in the background) and this amazing view from our hotel window.
But all was well. And we had a blast seeing friends, listening to some amazing speakers (I was so delighted to hear Christena Cleveland!), eating yummy food, and listening to live music. Oh, and we led a workshop on multicultural marriage that I almost missed because I was with our co-presenter David many blocks away mere minutes before it was supposed to start. But we made it - only a little disheveled - and I'm so glad. You can read some of my takeaways from the time together here.
Side note: Favorite thing I learned about road tripping? You can listen to comedians on Pandora! So continuing our comedy theme from October, we cued up a few stations for our late night drive home. It plays in 6-8 minute snippets, so it was easier to stay awake when we were laughing. We particularly enjoyed the Jim Gaffigan station. But fair warning, it shuffles through comedians, so not all tracks are family-friendly.
Favorite Facebook Convo
Speaking of comedians, Cristela is now on Netflix.
I was delighted to share this news on my Facebook page because I feel a commitment to help people watch more TV... apparently. But several folks have messaged me that I got them into Jane the Virgin, so this Facebook convo steered itself towards me appearing on the show... naturally.
I'm doing two Instas again this month because first of all... this.
And secondly, it's not every month that we find ourselves outfitted in mobster costumes. Please note Billy's cardboard guns that he had our four year old color for him. He didn't tell her what they were exactly, so we just kept saying "part of Papi's costume." She was thrilled.
Favorite App (aka Favorite Podcasts)
Okay, so here's the thing. People have been telling me to listen to podcasts for probably a year. Everyone's like, "You will love Serial. You will love podcasts." And for some reason, I nodded, I smiled, and I never pursued them. Partly because I work from home. I think commuting lends itself to podcasts more easily.
But a combination of a dear friend proselytizing me and another friend trying to convince me to create a podcast, and I downloaded Podcast Addict. Aaaaand now I'm all in. Well, I listened to two in one day. I'm still trying to figure out how to fit them in since my kids don't love it when I walk around in headphones, not hearing when they are (yet again) asking for snacks.
I listened to this interview with Father Gregory Boyle, which was so encouraging and fun and inspiring. I liked it so much, in fact, I downloaded his book on Audible because he reads it himself. (If you want to listen to it, you can click here for a free Audible trial that includes two free books!) I also tried out The Popcast because I like some good banter on holidays and The Mindy Project and what not.
So I guess I'm saying... give podcasts a shot. You just might like 'em!
I am having a weird reading relationship with Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is saying stuff about creativity that I haven't necessarily heard anyone say before but that is resonating deeply with me. I'm actually reading it slowly because I don't want to miss anything, and I don't want to finish the book. Also, it's been stirring up all these ideas and thoughts in my heart I've been unable to articulate. So I'm having to stop and think.
I've recommended Big Magic to several creative people I know, and I encourage you to check it out as well. I'd be interested to hear what others think. (For the record - this always seems to come up - I wasn't a huge fan of Eat, Pray, Love. So don't let that book push you or keep you away from this one. It's really different. But it's interesting to hear her talk about the commercial success of that memoir.)
Finally, here are November's popular posts on A Life with Subtitles:
[Free Download] The 2015 Global Gift Guide - Some of our favorite multicultural gifts and reader recommendations. Books, toys, clothes, games, and more!
58 Thoughts You Have While Trying To Take A Baby Passport Photo - If you've ever given this a shot, you may be able to relate!
What I Learned Teaching on Multicultural Marriage - 3 things I learned about folks who marry across cultures.