5 Things I Love Today

We were out of town all weekend for a wedding, and after getting back late-ish last night (ok, so it was 9, but there was very little sleep had this weekend), we opted for zoning out on the couch instead of unpacking. That means that this morning, our home is an absolute disaster, there are multiple loads of laundry to do, there are no groceries, and I have developed one of those nasty coughs that hurts your back every time it happens. Which obviously means that I need to start out this week with a quick reminder of some of the things that are blessing my days right now. Here are five things that I can’t stop loving right now, with the disclaimer that you should probably sing the title of this post to the refrain of this song before you continue. It will totally start your day off right. And then you should stop what you are doing and do some of those awesome dance moves wherever you are. This will start everyone else’s day off right.

Demuth-Figure 5

  1. This porcupine. Last night my brother-in-law shared this link with me and I went into convulsions over how much I loved it. THOSE HANDS. I am slain. One of the many joys about having both our brothers in DC this summer is that I have discovered that my brother-in-law is my kindred spirit. We both injure ourselves multiple times a day without knowing how it happened, we both have to take more bathroom breaks on car trips than James likes, and we both LOVE animal videos. One night we spent close to an hour just watching baby sloths, and it was perfect. 
  2. My crock-pot. Ok, don’t judge. I realize that crock-pots are an outdated cooking appliance of of mothers or grandmothers, and now we are all supposed to eat heirloom tomatoes and fennel on piles of quinoa. I am all about that. But I am teaching summer school three nights a week, and we would not have dinner if it weren’t for the dark magic of the crock-pot that turns piles of raw food into delicious dinner in some strange alchemy. You should all go to a yard sale or Goodwill near you and find some cast off crock-pot and then make this pot-roast as soon as possible.
  3. Summer school. I know it sounded like I was just complaining, and I do hate missing out on summer evenings, but I actually love my summer school class. They are a quirky group of students who make the evenings fun, or at least laugh at my horrible French learning jokes/songs/dances enough to validate me. We have a pause in the middle of the class and I let them request French songs to play, like this one that we were all rocking to last week. I excitedly informed them that it was like our own version of TRL where I was Carson Daly (yes, I do remember RACING home from school to see the premier of a new Backstreet Boys song… and can we talk about how they have a new album coming out???). They stared at me the way you look at an ignorant, but cute child, until one student kindly told me that TRL had been gone for almost a decade. I guess that YouTube kind of killed that concept.
  4. Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging out Without me? I spend a lot of time contemplating if I like her book or Tina Fey’s better, because obviously this is an opinion that it is vital for me to have. I have the audiobooks of both because I like their voices, and I have listened to Kaling’s book 4 times. Most recently I forced it on everyone on our wedding road-trip, and I just can’t get over how awesome it is. Molière (I think) made the argument that if you are going to critique something, you need to do it with humor, because it helps people let down their guard and accept something they would otherwise hate. Kaling does this so well. In the midst of all her hilarious stories are really wise thoughts on being a woman, body image, marriage, family, and growing up. I also JUST discovered as I was linking to her book that she has a blog, and that will most likely make up the rest of my day.
  5. Sara Bareilles “Brave.” To be honest, last week was a little rough around here. This typically overlooked little corner of the Internet got a lot more attention than it has ever received, and was ever intended to receive. The feedback was exciting at first, and then promptly shifted into overwhelming. I found my marriage, my character, my family, and my faith being torn apart by (maybe well meaning?) people whom I don’t know, don’t know me, and apparently don’t understand what a blog is. There was definitely a moment on Tuesday where I was crying so much that James took over moderating comments. It was partially hard for me personally, but I also felt a little sad for how much Christians revealed themselves in comments (even though I took down quite a few) as a bickering lot who would rather tear one another down in defense of things we will never know or understand than anything else. If you read through comments and weren’t a Christian and were turned off by some of them, I just want to say that I am sorry – I’m sorry that we fail too often in living out the love and truth of Christ. Of course, there was also a ton of positive feedback, and I really appreciated that. It has all prompted lots of discussion and thought over what we want this little space to be, and how we can maintain the privacy of our family. Whenever I got overwhelmed, I would turn on this music video and dance around my living room, which is totally a grown-up response for everything. 

What are some things that you are reminded to love today?

*Image is “I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold” by Charles Demuth.

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71 Responses to 5 Things I Love Today

  1. Lisa Chesser says:

    I grew up in a Christian school and because so many people were mean and vindictive, I stopped believing. I’ve come to terms with it now. I applaud you on staying positive and carrying yourself with grace and dignity.

  2. Leslie says:

    You know my rabid (is rabid a bit strong?) love for Mindy Kaling. I bought the book on my phone kindle to read on a plane. I read random chapters now on the metro/waiting on people/when I get home from work. And I laugh like it’s the first time I’ve read the punchline.

  3. Thank you for this video. Totally making my morning at work right now!!

  4. Liz says:

    can you please get a pet porcupine so i can come visit it?

  5. You just got trolls and all of us who speak Truth deal with them. I simply send them to the spam box so whenever they comment again, I don’t even have to see them. I did have to begin moderating my comments, however. I didn’t want garbage on my blog.

    • Hannah says:

      I probably should have done that, but I am such a middle child people pleaser, and I felt disrespectful trashing people’s very long and researched comments unless they were flat-out rude or inappropriate. : (

  6. Ashley B. says:

    My sweet little Nana has a saying that I love… “Say you’re a peach. You can be the most perfect, tasty peach there is… and there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches.”
    Well I like peaches. And I like you. Keep it up sweet girl!

  7. Cecelia says:

    Love your perspective on life…we are all ijdividuals, so we’re all going to be different. I love (and not necessarily in this order as our lives arevpackage deals, not just a collection of stuff): my husband who makes me laugh at bedtime with his T-rex imitation; my cats because one is sweet and the other is cranky and they get each other in trouble; my MIL, because she can laugh even though her husband has Alzheimers (her 1st husband died of Alzheimers); my church family that I volunteer with because we are all geeks and aren’t ashamed to show it; and my job as a playground supervisor because I get to help kids with social skills (which I didn’t have as a kid-kind of like re-parenting myelf) and becaue I can play “Jingle Bells” on my whistle. Thank you for your perspective!

  8. Margeaux says:

    I love all of these things. Miss Bareilles made it onto my Monday playlist. She’s just too wonderful.

  9. Même si les réponses de ton dernier article ont été ‘overwhelming’ (ce que je trouve très compréhensible), je suis très contente d’avoir trouvé ton blog. J’ai passé toute la nuit dernière à lire tes articles (j’adore ta facon d’écrire!) et à admirer toutes ces belles photos.

    Et pour finir un numéro 6 pour ta liste (peut-être?!):

    Salutations d’une prof de francais et (petite) artiste à Berlin!
    Mirjam :o)

  10. Pardon, je voulais faire un tel smiley 🙂

  11. Caroline says:

    OMG MINDY KALING HAS A BLOG?! Day officially made. Thank you 🙂

  12. Lendi says:

    Your post last week is what drew me to your blog, and has had a lasting impression on me. I actually sent it to my significant other yesterday with the note, “In the past I’ve said ‘I choose YOU.’ This is what I’m too ineloquent to explain.” Keep doing what you’re doing and having a positive impact on others’ lives, regardless of those who choose to judge you because they do not agree.

  13. abby hummel says:

    We also had a really rough week (for other reasons) ended with an exclamation-point of a wedding, and I am diffusing a lot of tension by remembering what my super-cute 12-year-old cousin said about the 10 commandments and covetousness: “They are totes jell-ay!” (That translates to “totally jealous,” for old peeps like us.) I’m pretty sure mean commenters read your blog and get all totes jelly.

    Aaron wants to know if he can have bacon with his totes and jelly. Humor always helps. ALWAYS.

    Also, you can make quinoa in your crockpot if you really wanted. Those things are God’s gift to everyone works and wants to eat in the evenings.

    • Hannah says:

      I love you, I love Aaron, and I love your little cousin. James would totally want bacon with his totes and jelly too.

      Aren’t they just the best? I knew you would share my crockpot love!

      And can we start an official countdown until we are reunited?

  14. Krista B. says:

    Hannah, I don’t know you, nor would I try to claim that I did by reading your blog. But I want to say Thank You for the lovely piece of real, genuine, heartfelt writing that got A LOT of attention last week. I’m thankful for your honest writing because I see so much of my own love journey in your writing. And I just love the way you write. Period. It’s refreshing, genuine, with just the right about of snarkiness, while embodying a woman who has a heart to follow God…and love her husband. And for that, I salute you. I’ve now become a mild stalker of your blog, which I love. God Bless you Abundantly today and everyday!

  15. Laurie says:

    I discovered your blog through the post that probably garnered a majority of the attention. I recently tried to share a post I wrote for my blog with a new audience, and was absolutely ripped to shreds by grown men acting like children (it was a sports related post). It took me a good few weeks to even think about writing on my blog again let alone sharing it with anyone. I really think people forget that a blog writer is a real person with actual feelings. For what it’s worth, I think you’re great, keep it going!

    • Hannah says:

      Ah thanks!

      I think people mostly just forget about things like manners and common curtesy because it’s the internet. I also think that we have maybe forgot the art of disagreeing respectfully, something that is so vital in life!

  16. megan says:

    I found your blog through the Soulmate post as well. Thanks so sharing and sorry about the downside of the internet: the dreaded comments. I just wanted to say that I also adore the Brave music video!

  17. I also found you through the soulmate post, and I think you’re awesome and smart and funny, and I look forward to continuing to read your blog! I definitely understand wanting privacy- the internet is pretty scary/creepy. There are always mean people out there. I don’t get it. They should keep their terrible thoughts to themselves, but they don’t and we get to deal with their ‘tudes. Anyway, just wanted to thank you for writing and entertaining me while I’m at work. And THANK YOU for that porcupine video. I wasn’t aware that I needed that animal in my life, and it’s very apparent now that not only do I need a porcupine, but also a miniature basket on a string for my future new friend to retrieve banana bits.

    • Hannah says:

      I know– I have been researching if one can actually own a porcupine today…. instead of doing anything else productive. THE BASKET. BE STILL MY SOUL.

  18. Courtney Christine Shingle says:

    I love this. I recently did a blog post called “5 Things (A Challenge in Gratefulness)” about how people should pick out 5 things in their day to be grateful and thank God for because it really changes your perspective. Your list is so great – and I’m not just saying that because it makes me feel better for watching videos of baby sloths taking a bath and learning to crawl for hours, too. May God bless you and bring you peace despite the trying times you’ve had. I’ll say some prayers for you and your family. Great post!

  19. Janah James says:

    I’ve been listening to Brave on repeat and I’m glad I’m not the only one. The whole album is so good!

  20. Amanda says:

    … Wait, crock pots are outdated? If it weren’t for crock pots, Ben and I would have starved years ago.

  21. Debbie Alsip says:

    I came across your blog via another blogger’s suggested readings about marriage. However, I will keep reading because I also lived in Paris and am always looking for people who capture my thoughts and feelings about Paris. Vive la France! Merci!

  22. Jackie says:

    These are all wonderful things.
    I’m sorry that you didn’t get quite the response you wanted from your marriage post. Personally, I loved it and found it quite encouraging as I have very similar feelings (not the whole youth pastor thing but someone very much involved in the church was a definite must).
    Please don’t stop being transparent. It’s comforting to read that vulnerability and inspires me to try to be more vulnerable on my own blog.
    Also, I just bought a crock-pot recipe book because I agree that they do beautiful things!

  23. Thank you for those 5, they are such simple ways to find joy. I think I’ve read about every one of your blog posts (is that creepy??) and I love how open and honest you are, because well, its YOUR blog. Such an encouragement to how you live your life and testament to your faith that you persevere to keep writing through the persecution. Thank you!

  24. Nancy says:

    Keep on keepin’ on girl! I came by your site due to the “soulmate” post as well and looked around at a few of your other recent posts and I have to say I LOVE the way you write! 1K+ comments though, sheesh…that would overwhelm anyone! Anyway all that to say I am encouraged not only by the “soulmate” post, but your other posts as well, including this one. Also…dancing around the room to Sara Bareilles is totally an adult thing to do and your kids will love doing it with you some day. 🙂 God bless you and your sweet marriage!

  25. Sarah says:

    ok, so you can add me to those people who don’t know you, but I wanted to take a moment and tell you that your post really resonated with me. I came across your blog via a friend on facebook, and I thought your soulmate post was incredibly well-reasoned, honest, and, to quote Ms. Barielles, brave! People get touchy about things like marriage and soulmates, but it is so important that Christians understand that living a full life for God doesn’t have to include a spouse! Although I myself am married to a great guy, I know many of my single friends who know and understand this, and it’s a shame that you have had to deal with any heartache over what was a very uplifting and frank post.

    Also, I too love animal videos and my crockpot ;P

  26. Dawn says:

    I found your blog during all that hooplah, and I think you are lovely. I look forward to reading more. Also – crockpots and Mindy Kaling rock!

    • Hannah says:

      It was such a bunch of hooplah!!! I keep on thinking that people will be disappointed when they find out that I am actually not an angry ex-evangelical in the slightest and that I usually post pictures of whatever I ate over the weekend and quotes from French books.

  27. For the record, I found your blog post linked from FB by one of my favorite religion professors. She said that post should be “required reading” for all incoming freshman at my alma mater, good old Greenville College (holler!). That kind of praise coming from Dr. S is (in my opinion) a high compliment and the only reason I clicked over. She’s awesome, as, obviously, are you. And Sara B. Love her music.

  28. thebestlife says:

    Reblogged this on The Best Life and commented:
    Great Post! I have been in love with “Brave” lately as well and Mindy Kaling makes me smile.

  29. Cecelia says:

    I just got a chance to see the video of “Brave”…I love it! I agree, people need to be brave and express their feelings, without hurting others though. I try to be “brave” and find at least five people to compliment every day…I make sure they are genuine though, because people see through it if it’s not. God bless!! ❤

  30. Kim Hayes says:

    Hey Hannah, I read your soulmate blog as well, and want to encourage you because I had previously come to the same conclusions. I broke up with my boyfriend (who is now my husband) for 6 months because he asked me to marry him and I felt called to be a missionary in Tanzania. He told me he was not called to be a missionary. I prayed so hard that God would show me his “perfect” will for my life and heard: “You can go to Africa, marry David, or do anything you want, but as long as you love me with your whole heart, I will bless you. You have the freedom to choose.” I knew that I loved David and decided to marry him. Shortly afterwards, we met a missionary couple to Kenya. David immediately connected with the husband and they have become best friends. We are currently planning our fifth trip to Kenya to visit this couple. David is in Bible college majoring in missions:) I have seen God change my husbands heart and bless our marriage more than I ever thought possible.

    • Hannah says:

      Love this story!

    • Janet says:

      Hi Hannah! I’m one of the innumerable Complete Strangers who found your blog because of “My Husband is Not My Soul Mate” and I want to say now what a release it was to read what you had written. I’d already believed what you argued, but it means a lot that someone (you!) could put it so eloquently and articulately, and with humour and love. Even more than that, it was a splendid surprise to find such a thoughtful, heart-full Christian perspective. Outside of my home and church, a lot of the people I see most often are not Christian (some are rather anti-), which makes your direct approach a joy. So please keep writing! Take heart – God is clearly acting through you here, fluffy animals and all.

      Kim – that’s so beautiful! Thank you for writing what you did. I really needed to hear that today. (Hey – proof that God is working here?) 🙂 May God bless both your marriages.

      Also – have you read “Holy Marriage” by Gary Thomas? It’s an exploration of how God shapes us to be more like himself through marriage. Sort of a crucible, or ordeal by fire, if you will.

  31. 1) I might have gotten through this blog post faster than I did had I not gotten distracted by a chain of about 20 adorable baby animal videos. LOVE.
    2) You don’t know me and I don’t know you, probably never will, but from one daughter of the living God to another, Yes and Amen to your words and your heart. You blog makes me smile at the end of long days with a reassuring “There are others of like mind in this world, take heart”.
    3) Thank you. Just thank you 🙂

  32. Joy says:

    I’m so sad to hear that people were cruel enough to make you cry. If it was last week’s post about your husband not being your soul mate – I LOVED that post. It’s why i subscribed to your blog….because it’s nice to hear someone YOUNG get what I’ve been telling people for YEARS – that sometime God doesn’t care which direction we move, as long as we’re seeking Him as we do. Not that He doesn’t care -because He does – but because too often we want a black and white “right” answer when He’s given us the freedom to choose. When we start moving in any direction, and if you’re truly seeking Him He will be faithful to let you know if you’re veering off course! Good grief, He’s GOD! I think He can handle it. 😉
    Chin up, buttercup! Continue to handle the criticism with grace, and you’ll be fine. xo

    • Hannah says:

      I think it was Beth Moore (whom I love with the fire of a thousand suns) that said that if we ere, let it be on the side of faith, meaning sometimes we just have to get up and get going!

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  33. Pattye Burns says:

    I’m sorry you got so many unkind comments on your blog the other day. Your blog has definitely gone viral. God must have a reason for that, and if not, He will still use it to his glory. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about not being married to your soul mate. It was incredibly honest (love that) and very refreshing, not to mention true (at least in my humble opinion). A co-worker years ago came to me one day (we were both single and of course looking), and she looked at me with a very serious expression and said, “I think it’s not about finding the right mate, it’s about being the right mate.” That has stuck with me all these years (she said it some 18-20 years ago). Your dad is a very wise man. I’ve been married for 16 years now, and I’m still working on becoming the right mate, the woman that God wants me to grow into. I don’t know if my husband is my soul mate, but I do know that I would not want to be married to anyone else in the whole wide world. Much of that has come from choosing to love my husband each day, and having him reciprocate. That has built a bond between us that is indescribable! Thank you so much for sharing the “brave” song. I’ve never heard the song before, and I love it. I’ve been feeling really down today, and after listening to this song several times (how many times would I have to listen to it to be called obsessed?), I’m beginning to feel encouraged and maybe even a little bit joyful. Maybe I’ll get up and dance around the house. Who knows? God bless you and BE BRAVE!!

    Pattye Burns
    Fellow Christian trying to become a little bit more like Jesus and blessed to be married to the man that I choose to love each day.

  34. Rob says:

    I don’t normally follow blogs, and by nature I’m a grouchy argumentative man. Certainly not words you’re aching to read after last week I’m sure. I have just read that particular piece, and this one.

    You write beautifully, with a rare eloquence and grace that I admire as an avid reader, I cannot overstate how rare and refreshing it is.

    I also wanted to say that I have previously upset someone accidentally commenting on a piece that went “viral”, which it just occurred is an apt phrase as a virus does destroy its host cell. I had not intended in my comments to upset the writer , and I’m sure many of the crowd did not intend to upset you.

    Anyway you may now have a new follower, and either way I hope your blog and writing continue to excel.

    • Hannah says:

      Thanks for your words Rob! I agree that most of the comments were not meant as unkind, but I think people just forget in general that things on the internet were still written by humans, and will be read by them. Happy to have you here reading!

  35. Marissa S says:

    That song is amazing – I needed that! I’m playing it on replay now 🙂 I’m so glad I found your blog after you wrote your brave post! 😉

  36. stasianewfie says:

    Sometimes it’s good to let loose and have a little fun! Plus, that song is inspiring and true. 😁

  37. Charissa says:

    Dear Hannah,
    Hi! My name is Danielle, and I discovered your blog through a link on Facebook. The link was to your ‘my husband is not my soul mate’ post, and I loved it!!! The thing is, I’m 14, and your post was a great reminder to stop daydreaming about hypothetical husbands and focus on serving the Savior! Oh, and since then, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog! I love your casual (but intelligent) writing style and absolutely beautiful photography.
    Thanks for brightening my week! 🙂

  38. Leslie says:

    I loved your blog post that sparked so much attention. And I am sorry you had such negative feedback. It was truly beautiful and insightful to me and my life and the way I want to live for Christ! (: Since seeing that post I check back frequently for a good laugh, or for beautiful pictures, or for a different view and opinion then my own in life! (: It is always a good thing when we are feeling exhausted, stressed, or overwhelmed to count our blessings and praise the Lord! ❤

  39. Nikki says:

    I found your blog when a friend shared your soul mate post (all of our friends love it) and stayed because of your truth, writing style, and art, a little French thrown in helps too (especially when I cam understand it having not used any in 7 years). Keep doing what you’re doing, its awesome!

  40. Gina says:

    Hi Hannah. My name is Gina. I too found your blog through a Facebook link to the “My husband is not my soulmate” post. I am so sorry that you went through hardship about that – I thought it was beautifully written and I completely agree. I too have a blog (if you can even call it that when I’m pretty sure my husband and mother-in-law are the only people who read it :P) and I hope that, if ever in the same situation, I would be able to handle the type of “attention” you got with the same grace you showed.
    That being said – I am overjoyed that the post because as popular as it did. Not only because I think it’s an important message, but also because otherwise I would have never found your blog, which has quickly become one of my favourite things!
    Also, THANK YOU for introducing me to Mindy Kaling’s book. She is HILARIOUS!

  41. annahebel says:

    I found your blog a few weeks ago and I just read your post about you having a hard time with comments and replies. I know how that feels! Yesterday I commented on a instagram picture where the user made an innapropriate joke about a book I really like. I was simply stating my opinion and making a clear point about the joke and that it was inapropriate. I didn’t even let them know I was a Christian- but the whole night I got notifications about “how dumb” I am from other users. It’s so crazy how much “persecution” we get, if we stand up for what is right. Even more when we share Christ.

    I just wanted to encourage you that I really like your blog! I love your pictures, your way of writing and that you are honest with how you feel. You present yourself very real and I love that! Keep on doing what you are doing! There are many who are encouraged by your blog! Thank you for taking this step of faith and creating this site!


  42. katrinahope says:

    In the midst of all that flurry – my boyfriend sent me to your blog to read through the article – we both were encouraged be your honesty and it helped provoke some good questions in my mind. I’ve been loving your blog ever since – beautiful pictures, and I love your perspective and honesty. I hope you keep blogging and sharing with us all.


  43. stasianewfie says:

    Still love this song. Thanks!

  44. Pingback: 5 Things I Love Today | The Art in Life

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