A Wednesday list...

1. What day is it again? Yesterday was what felt like my first routine day in a weeks. I wouldn't call myself rigid, and I do like adventure and spontaneity now and then; but my brain thrives on rhythms and routines, so going straight from travel to illnesses was driving me crazy.

2. I like Spring, and Spring in Houston really is beautiful....except for the thick layer of yellow pine pollen that covers everything for a good month or two. I wash a lot of yellow kids clothes in March and April. The saddest thing these days is that it's perfect weather for sitting outside and enjoying our screened in porch. Except...you guessed it. It doesn't help that there are two pine trees right at the corner of our porch. I love the shade in the summer, but man...it's not so much fun right now. That said, I'm itching to get outside with a bucket full of rags and do some cleaning back there. Having a screened in porch is one of my favorite things about our little rental house.

3. Speaking of Spring...Christina's favorite outdoor activity these days is to wander through the yard (or the neighbors' yards) picking "flowers" -- i.e., flowering weeds -- and bringing them home to put in little cups of water all over our house. It's pretty adorable. Also a little messy.

4. We got a new mattress this week! We bought our previous mattress 15 years ago, and while it's been a really fantastic and comfortable mattress...it was time. We're trying out Tuft & Needle, one of the foam style mattresses (the kind that get shipped to you shrink wrapped in a box). We get 100 days to try it out, but I'm currently loving it. And the kids are loving the box it came in.

5. I sped through a young adult book last week that I'd bought on sale for the Kindle a while back (I think I saw a positive review of it somewhere before buying it) -- The Start of Me and You, by Emery Lord. It was a really excellent book, the kind of contemporary teen fiction that balances heavy and light in a way that grounds the story in reality, but doesn't get too dark and depressing (there is a place for dark and depressing teen fiction to be sure, but it's not my personal favorite). The story touches on grief, family, change, and friendship. It's about discovering that life is a journey, and we're not meant to stay in one place. On a personal note, the story has some nice details that speak to my nerdy heart -- lots of literature references, some love for the beloved tv show Firefly, and teenagers that love to spend an evening sitting in a coffee shop reading (hello, 16 year old Amanda) Plus, what's a young adult novel without a little bit of romance, right? And this one is on point.

6. I have to end the list with another quote from The Journey of Desire, which I mentioned last week that I started reading (and am still loving). I've been thinking a lot the past couple of years about what it means that the Kingdom of God is now, not just in heaven ("your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..." And this illustration speaks powerfully:

"For most Christians, heaven is a backup plan...heaven is an investment we've made, like treasury bonds or a retirement account, which we're hoping will take care of us in the future sometime, but which we do not give much thought to at present. It's tucked away in a drawer at the back of our minds while we throw our immediate energies into playing the stock market."

Happy Wednesday!