1-- Queen of Katwe
I have fallen in love with the uplifting story of Phiona Mutesi. When I received this book to review, it included a small card with a perfect description of the challenges Phiona faced. It said something like "To be an African is to be the underdog of the world. To be from Uganda is to be an underdog in Africa. To be from Katwe is to be an underdog in Uganda. To be a woman is to be an underdog in Katwe." Hers is the ultimate underdog story. But a kindhearted and heroic coach changed the course of Phiona's life. She has triumphed over her circumstances and will continue to do so, all because of the game of chess. She was first drawn to learn chess because of the promise of a bowl of porridge each day, but soon she discovered a knack for the game and her life was forever changed. Learn more about Phiona and watch a short documentary about her incredible story.
2-- The Best Summertime Purchase I've Ever Made
I've been saving pretty much all of the earnings from my shop for the 2 years or so that it's been open. It's a small income, and I wanted to make sure I was using it wisely and investing most of the money back into the shop to allow it to grow. I'm generally a very conservative spender. But I recently splurged to buy a family pass to our local outdoor swimming pool, using my hard-earned Etsy money. The price was a little steep for my taste, but I haven't regretted the purchase at all. I've been thinking about buying a pass for the past few years, but this year I am big and pregnant and it is just so hot.
Several times a week our entire family heads to the pool right after dinner. The kids splash and play, I soak my swollen feet and Jason and I chat and keep an eye on Elijah. He LOVES to jump in, over and over again, and he's constantly making new friends and trying to steal their toys. It's been absolutely perfect.
Aside from my previously mentioned swollen feet, I have a couple of other pregnancy-related woes happening: carpal tunnel and a crazy tongue. My fingers have been going numb frequently, often during the day (when I'm drawing or knitting, especially) and especially at night. I asked my doctor about it, and she said it's a common result of the swelling experienced in pregnancy. I now sleep with carpal tunnel wrist braces on and feel like such an old lady. But, they work and I no longer wake up multiple times in the night with painfully numb fingers. So, I'm cool with being an old lady, I guess.
My tongue is experiencing another weird symptom. I won't go into too much detail, or share any photos, but it's been extremely painful for the past few weeks. Cracked and crazy looking, like I've spent a week lost in the desert. It bothers me to eat most foods (which is an issue). But, things are looking up and I'm hopeful that the worst is behind me.
In Utah we celebrate Pioneer Day, a commemoration of the day Mormon settlers first arrived in Utah. For the first time in the history of our little family, we decided to spend money on fireworks. We've gone to big fireworks shows put on by the city many times, but we've never done anything more impressive than sparklers at home. Jason bought a large package of ground fireworks, as well as a couple of newly-legal in our state aerial fireworks. We set up the patio chairs on the driveway and our seven-year-old fire expert even built a fire in the fire pit so we could make S'mores while we watched the show (Jason was in charge of lighting the explosives). It was a perfect evening, and I'm pretty sure we'll be repeating this on a yearly basis now. With more aerials.
5-- Projects in the Works
I am doing my best to wrap up some projects in the works before our little bundle arrives in a couple of months. In the works I've got: an LDS Baptism Study Journal (for parents and children to do together), a Hymns Coloring Book (based on some of my lettering pieces from my Year of Hand Lettering) and an Articles of Faith Coloring Book. I'm hoping to have these all in the shop in the next few weeks.