A Book I Read

I'm happy to say I am now part of two book clubs! I have decided that book clubs are difficult to start and difficult to maintain. But very much worth it if you can keep it up and running. Maybe we should start an AdriLars book club here on the blog? Would anyone be interested in turning these posts into more of a discussion? Let me know.

So for one of the book clubs I'm in we read Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas. I didn't know this book existed until Ash suggested it, which is actually the truth about most things I read. I may have been an English major and English teacher but I'm probably the worst-read English major and English teacher there ever was.



For full disclosure I will say that I didn't read the book with my eyeballs, I actually listened to it on Audible. I turn my subscription on and off all the time (which is probably not how they want you to use it, but oh well) because sometimes I like to listen but other times I really want to read the book so I can write notes in it and mark things. If you want to try it there is a link over on the sidebar right under the popular posts box.

This was one of the books I'm glad I listened to because Firoozeh reads it herself and it was so fun to hear her voice telling all the stories. So many hilarious things happened to her and her family living in America, I actually snort-laughed several times.

Some favorite quotes:
It's not what we eat or don't eat that makes us good people; it's how we treat one another. As you grow older, you'll find that people of every religion think they're the best, but that's not true. There are good and bad people in every religion. Just because someone is Muslim, Jewish, or Christian doesn't mean a thing. You have to look and see what's in their hearts. That's the only thing that matters, and that's the only detail God cares about.
I truly believe that everyone has a story and everyone's story counts.
Is that boy from your country?” she asked me. “Why, yes,” I wanted to tell her. “In my country, which I own, this is National Lose Your Child at Disneyland Day.” “No,” I told her. “He’s not from my country.

Firoozeh has such a sarcastic sense of humor, which speaks to my wannabe-comedian heart. On a more serious note the book addresses the racism and discrimination that she and her family and thousands and thousands of other immigrants have faced living in America.


It made me question myself. It has added to a list of events, texts, and experiences that have made me think about my own racist tendencies, how I think of others and how I treat others. I asked myself if I had ever treated people the way that people treated Firoozeh and her family. And the answer, unfortunately, was yes. I feel I have a long way to go in order to be the accepting, kind, Christ-like person I want to be. I'm learning that it is important to question myself constantly and make efforts to change.

Has anyone else read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post them here, comment or DM me on instagram or email me directly as well.

I definitely recommend reading this book if any of the above strikes a chord with you. Here is the link to the book on Amazon. Turns out it is also on sale!

Magic

There are little things that happen each day (sometimes few and far between, but they still happen) that make my insides feel like someone stuck a little flame in there. I guess “warms my heart” would be the phrase I hear most people use but that sounds superficial compared to what I feel. 

It’s as if actual heat pumps out of my heart and spreads to my extremities.

It happens when Alice leans in to kiss Tyler. 
It happens when Tyler hugs me just a little longer, because he feels what I need.
It happens when Tyler kisses me and that makes Alice laugh.
Her laugh, every time she laughs. 
Tyler and Alice have this thing he calls cheek time. She lays her cheek on his and rests there for a while, calm as can be.
It happens when one of us hides and she looks for us. 
It also happens when she's super whiney and pulls on my pants until I pick her up. 
And it happens when either of them rest their head on me. 

It feels like magic. Magic because something so simple made me feel so much. Magic because I am in this life with these two magical beings.

When this magic happens, that little fire lights inside and sears my heart and my mind into paying attention to what is happening. 

I sink my mind and my feelings into that moment. It feels like I could pick them up, hold them in my hands and rub them into my skin. When we visited the Dead Sea everyone told us to rub our skin with the mud because it apparently works miracles. We floated and reached down pulling mud from the floor of the sea and rubbed it on our arms, legs, necks and faces. That's what I want to do with this magic. I try to take hold of his smell and comfort and her laughs and smiles and warmth and try to get it to seep into my skin. Because if it is in my skin, it will stay there forever, right?

I guess Brené Brown talks about this in her book(which I haven't read so sorry if this is wrong). She says that we try to revel in moments because our following thought is usually how we would feel if our magic was taken from us. But instead of reveling for the sake of the fear of loss we should revel because we are grateful for the magic.

Instead of being afraid of my magic disappearing, I want to be able to live in it, soak it in and feel grateful that it is mine. 

Click here to see a little video of some of the magic.

Prayers and Pie. Thanksgiving 2017

Sometimes when it's my turn to say our family prayer I just start saying thank you for "ridiculous" things. It usually starts because I open my eyes while praying (gasp!) and just start expressing gratitude for the things I see. The ottoman, locks on our doors, a mattress, trees, our mailbox, shoes, silverware, socks, pens, paperclips, tiny perfume samples, receipts, chairs...so this actually just makes our house sound messy.

In the process of the ridiculous thanking, I find myself actually feeling gratitude for all of those little things. Those that make our life so comfortable. The ones that make our life easier. Those are the things that make it so I can focus on the bigger things. 

I get to focus on Alice, to play with her and comfort her and show and teach her new things. I get to focus on Tyler, do laundry or dishes so that when he gets home we get to veg on the couch together.

I get to work comfortably from our home so that we can eat and keep living here. I get to cook meals, because we have food to cook. 

I am so grateful for everything I have in my life. 

We spent our Thanksgiving at the J&A Ranch this year. It was over 60º every.day. 
Wednesday we played with family, started making our pies for the great Larsen Pie Contest of 2017, and enjoyed not working or going to school. 

 


Thursday we played outside, did some clay bird shooting AKA clay bird shooting and missing and instead shooting the cans 40ft away.



Alice loved riding with Papa until she didn't.

Getting the squint just right.
We had an incredible meal made by Tyler's mom and sisters and to which I contributed nothing, which is probably best.



We went to the movies to see Coco and Alice made it to about the part where supposedly there was a huge twist in the movie and something crazy was revealed. We'll go back another time. Or more likely watch it on Netflix in a few months. 

Then we had our Great Pie Contest 2K17! 
Banana Cream, Raspberry Cream Surprise, Pumpkin, Pecan Pumpkin, Caramel Apple, Key Lime, Cherry Brownie
The Raspberry Cream Surprise was a definite favorite, so light, creamy and perfectly tart.
Our Caramel Apple pie--tasted delicious...the structure however, did not impress.



One of each!
Serious pie judge deliberation!
We definitely chose winners but in the end doesn't everyone win at a pie contest? I think so. 

It is tradition in Tyler's family to drive up the mountain in trucks, then snowmobiles or four wheelers and cut down Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving. We've done it, twice, maybe three times since we've been married. It's always so fun to go up together and sip hot chocolate and hike to find the perfect tree and bring them all back down the mountain to have for the season. Inevitably there are sad babies and it's cold and usually takes longer than planned, but we're still all together and that can make any detour fun, usually. We had one of the sad/tired babies this year so we didn't hike all the way in, or hike at all for that matter. And we didn't bring home our own tree because airplanes don't allow trees, as far as I know. But I think everyone else had a good time.


Alice and her Aunt Rachel. 
We forgot Alice's coat (almost her hat) and had gloves that were too big and no shoes, but two pairs of socks. #winningatparenting
Saturday we slept in a little, ate some yummy leftovers, played outside some more and took family photos. I'll post those another time, but here's a lovely test shot.
Location scouting and test shots for the family photos. Is that a model or my husband? Or both? ;)
Again, I am extremely grateful for everything in my life.