Sunday, July 6, 2014

What I Loved About June

I can't believe it has been over a month since I updated this blog. I've been preoccupied with a number of things, and I'm showing up to tell you how some of my June days were spent.

I've been over at my new place quite a bit. I began a new site on Squarespace,, in order to have a place to focus my poetry, contemplative reflections and writing tips. If you are interested in those topics, please head on over and subscribe. (My Book of Hours is still a free download for a little while longer.)

Here are ten things I loved about June.

1. Story Sessions Retreat 

I took the opportunity to travel and meet a lot of the women in Story Sessions Community on a retreat in Austin, TX. It was refreshing and soul-stretching. I enjoyed having extra time for self-care and not directing activities and cutting up food into bite-sized pieces for the under 10 crowd for 4 days. My husband took time off to stay home with the kids and they all did really, really well. They even greeted me with a bouquet of roses upon my return.

Here are a few photo highlights: A. My introvert spot. B. My sleeping quarters. (I got to sleep in a loft! With lots of potted plants. It's kind of a mashup of the next best thing to a treehouse plus a garden.) C. There were writing prompts posted all about the retreat house. D. We had many gatherings in the main area complete with blankets, notebooks, comfort food and drinks, and lots of amazing conversation!

2. Photographing flowers. I do photograph other things, but flowers are my favorite. I can't help it. They speak peace into my being. 

3. Plane rides. Take off is my favorite, but landing is a close second. The third delight was having a window seat every time. I love it!

We took a trip there while the grandparents were in town. Here's my husband, in all his loveable glory.

                                    I was excited to find some poetry around the place. 

                          The kids were giddy at being permitted to play in the splash park.

5. My new dishes! 

I had been searching Target for months trying to find enough for the whole family. They must be extremely popular. The color is one of my favorites and the pattern is pretty fun, too.

 6. My new shoes. Again with the favorite color.

7. Favorite dress. I had stopped wearing it because it "hugged" my curves and I have now finally learned to accept myself as a whole woman, hips and all. No more shame.

8. Books I'm enjoying reading: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This one is giving me a much healthier view of my writing, coaching, spiritual and emotional health, and the making of art. The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle. I am learning a lot about the different personalities of children and how I can parent them according to their needs instead of just mine. And Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr, which has given me all kinds of confirmation in my pursuit of a contemplative, mystic Christianity.

9. Movies: Rise of the Guardians. This was every bit as fun as I'd heard. I actually did not get bored, which is a BIG THING for me when watching a children's movie. It's a unique spin on some classic tales and I wouldn't mind owning this one. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The new one. I had for months refused to watch this because nobody can top Danny Kaye. One must treat it as the entirely different story it is and then it is quite enjoyable. My husband and I laughed, I live tweeted and facebook posted with the virtual movie night group in Story Sessions, and even watched it a second time while the in-laws were visiting.

10. Exercising my Story Coaching skills. I led the second week of the Story 101 e-course, Capturing the Muse. I invested a lot of time, joy, and conversation throughout the week and enjoyed a fun and fulfilling group call on Fuze that I was privileged to facilitate. I got all positive, enthusiastic feedback which was quite exciting. I am so proud of all these smart women writers I get to interact with.

Those are all the updates for now. I am busy leading a 40 Days of Blogging collective and it is quite time consuming, but also fun and a great learning experience. Hopefully it will drive me to update more often. ;) Best wishes for the month of July!

Love, Jamie (aka Ava Anomaly.)


  1. I envy all of you who were able to go to the retreat! Your photos from there are just beautiful. As are the ones of flowers. I'm going to check out the Julia Cameron book as it sounds really inspiring. I liked Immortal Diamond a lot. Also his book The Enneagram:A Christian Perspective.

  2. Oh, I still need to read the Enneagram one. I'm definitely interested. I think you will really appreciate Julia Cameron's book. I've underlined and written in the margins a great deal and it's given me some helpful tools in rescuing my creativity.

  3. Glad you were able to go to the retreat! Sounds like it was amazing.

    And GO YOU about the dress. As one of my friends likes to tell me, get it, girl. LOL!

  4. Thank you, Brenda. And lol! That's a fun phrase I hope to use someday soon. :)

  5. I think Brookfield Zoo is my favorite. We took my daughter and niece there for a "girls' trip" a few years ago. My daughter swears it was her favorite vacation!!

  6. It is quite a fun place for the kids! I'm glad your daughter loved it so much.


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