I think this post needs a little content warning because we will be discussing bodily functions and fluids! Feel free to skip if this makes you queasy!
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to becoming parents for the first time. People say, “Get some rest before the baby comes!” But you don’t really understand how rare and valuable sleep is until you have your newborn wailing beside you in the middle of the night. For me, one thing I was blissfully unaware of throughout my entire pregnancy was the fact that my body would need to recover after such a physically traumatic experience, aka childbirth. I got ready for labour as best I could – I read a book, made a playlist (which I ended up not listening to at all) and practised breathing exercises – but I didn’t really think about how my body needed to heal after the fact.
Wow, when was the last time I wrote a restaurant review?! (I just checked – almost a year ago!) I think most everyone has become an expert in getting takeout and eating on the sidewalk due to the pandemic’s dining restrictions, but nothing can stop millennials from trying out the funky new restaurants that they discover on Instagram! Naturally, I first heard about La Petite Colline / Shan Shan Cafe (which inexplicably has one name but in two different languages??) thanks to beautiful photos posted on Instagram.
I’m not sure why, but I read a LOT of Vietnamese narratives, particularly those that reflect the perspectives of Vietnamese immigrants in North America. One of the first graphic memoirs I read was Vietnamerica by GB Tran, and Kim Thúy is one of my favourite Canadian authors! This year, I picked up two books which show a different side of the Vietnam War and its long-term effects. It’s easy to think of the Vietnam War as the historical context during which American hippies engaged in political protest and social movements, but there are so many other elements to the conflict which are often ignored because of how loud the American point of view is.
These two books – one fiction and one nonfiction – reveal the effects of the Vietnam War on two groups which are not often mentioned in Vietnam War literature: those who remained in Vietnam; and the Canadians who “participated” in the war, despite Canada not playing an official role in the conflict.
At the end of last year, I launched the first ever annual Asian-Canadian Literature Challenge and I thought that it would be a great idea to check in this month, seeing as it’s Asian Heritage Month here in Canada. As the creator of this challenge, I’ve completed all the prompts (woohoo!) so I’ve extended my own personal challenge by aiming to read at least two books for each prompt now.
This past Christmas, a friend gifted me with a beautiful scripture journal of the book of Proverbs. On one side of the journal is the actual Word of God, while the other side is blank, free for people to journal, write out verses, and reflect on what God is teaching them through His Word. I really enjoyed engaging with God’s Word in this way – annotating is so fun, and the blank pages allowed me to practise my bible lettering and write out verses that were meaningful to me, as well as my own reflections on the passages. I read Proverbs while following a devotional plan on First 5, which is a resource that I’ve found extremely helpful in my bible reading! (I particularly like the reflection questions at the end of each devotional as well as the weekly “podcast” which summarizes the week’s readings and gives a quick teaching on one of the major themes of the week.)
While the main lesson of Proverbs is learning how to gain God’s wisdom and apply it to our everyday lives, a few other important lessons popped out at me as I read the book. It’s only been a few months since I finished reading it and already I’m beginning to forget things!
One of the things that I have been learning throughout my reading journey is that diverse reading does not just pertain to race and cultural background. In the last few years, I have read more books written by neurodivergent or disabled authors, and my reading has become much more enriched because of it!
Throughout this pregnancy, I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep using my current wardrobe even as my body goes through a couple of changes! I really like reading the Week of Outfits posts on the blog A Cup of Jo so I thought I’d try and write a similar post just for fun! (Disclaimer: I didn’t actually wear these outfits all in one week, as evidenced by the fact that there are six outfits and all of these photos were taken at school! Also, I took these pictures a while ago because that’s how my blog works and I never get around to writing posts until several months later.)
Excitement, anticipation, impatience – these are all feelings that I’ve experienced as I anxiously await the birth of my daughter. Whenever people ask Dangerous Dan how he feels about becoming a father, he says, “Nervous and excited.” I’m both nervous and excited too, although sometimes fear kicks in as well!
Being pregnant has given me a lot to consider in terms of my relationship with God. It’s a long nine months that don’t all look the same, and I’m thankful that God has given me the wisdom to see His gospel reflected throughout the various stages of my pregnancy.
I’m always putting pairs of books together on this blog (I love my fiction/nonfiction posts!), so I figured I’d branch out a little and match books to podcasts! (I was also inspired by this blog post.)