6 Things I Learned in May

learned in may

It’s time to share the things we learned in May. The What We Learned posts are hosted by Emily Freeman as a “monthly community link-up to share the fascinating, ridiculous, sacred, or small.” Mine is usually just ridiculous. Want to know more of what I’m talking about? Go here. {And you really must click over because this month there’s a picture of what Barbie would look like without make-up. We are changing the world with these posts, people.}

In no particular order, here are things I’ve learned in May.


1. May is the month of dumb. I don’t even know why I’m writing Things I “Learned” in May because if ever there is a month when the wheels simply fall off altogether, surely it is May. I’ve lost my keys and my wallet multiple times this month, I cannot remember basic words when trying to talk {or write}, I almost forgot my own birthday, a certain child has left a lunchbox at home three times this month even though said child has remembered it all year, and then another child left their backpack — their backpack — at home today. It should be noted that the kindergartener forgets nothing. He should totally be running the show because the rest of us are clueless.

And all of this cluelessness can only mean one thing: school needs to be done. We have 3 full days and 2 half days left. Amen and hallelujah. I’m reminded of this Jen Hatmaker post from last year: Worst End of School Year Mom Ever. There’s a reason that post went viral — because it’s 100% true. Mrs. Hatmaker hit the nail on the head.

We are limping, limping across the finish line, folks. I tapped out somewhere in April and at this point, it is a miracle my kids are still even going to school. 

I couldn’t agree more. Dear Summer, please give us our brains back.


2. Fiction is good for the soul. Throughout the fall and winter, I was on a steady diet of serious books. Good books, helpful and instructional, insightful books, but not fiction. Maybe this is part of the reason my brain gave out this spring — too much thinking and introspection. I enjoy good and thoughtful fiction; I’m not a fan of fluffy reads with contrived dialogue. But there’s just something about story that’s renewing. In May I’ve devoured The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls {which is actually a memoir but reads like fiction}, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and I’m making my way through The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Oh and I’m finishing up The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo with my littlest guy. {It’s such an exquisite, heart-wrenching, redemptive story. DiCamillo is one of my favorites. She has that rare gift of being able to weave the deepest of truths into the most beautiful children’s stories.}


3. Modern Mrs. Darcy has a fantastic Summer Reading Guide.


It’s her third annual guide and there’s something for most anyone I think. I appreciate that she breaks the list down into genres with a little blurb about each book. These lists are gold. I’m not affiliated with Modern Mrs. Darcy in any way; I’m simply a fan.


4. Stephen King wrote the story that was adapted into The Shawshank Redemption. Did you know this? I can’t believe I didn’t know this because Shawshank is one of my all-time favorite movies. My husband told me that last week and I immediately scribbled it down, thinking to myself “Oh this will be perfect to share in the next Things I Learned post.” The original story is a novella entitled Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It’s part of a collection of stories in Different Seasons. Now I’ve got to read the novella. {Also? I love the word “novella.”}


5. There are almost always options for the frustrations and “roadblocks” we face in our homes.

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I wrote two posts this month about home-improvement hacks that actually worked, even though I was way skeptical. I’ve had a lot of trial and error and hilarity in my efforts over the years to feather my nest creatively and affordably. I’ve cussed at Modge Podge and hot glued things directly to the ceiling and used everything from a high heel to an ice-cream scoop to pound nails into my walls. I’ve experienced epic fails and accidental successes.

The stories of the sofa that won’t die and making one gigantic rug out of two pathetic ones are some recent hacks gone right, accidental successes that inspire me to embrace the supposed limitations.


6. Scientists have invented a Drinkable Book.



Have you seen this?!? I came across it on Ann Voskamp’s blog last weekend and at first I thought it wasn’t real. How could this possibly be real? But it’s totally a thing and one of the most amazing inventions I’ve ever seen — life-saving, world-changing, hope-inspiring innovation. If you haven’t seen this, you must. 


Perhaps May isn’t as void of brain activity as I thought. This post proves that I am, in fact, still learning things…even if I’m forgetting other things at a far more rapid pace than I’m learning new things.

Your turn. What cool, awe-inspiring, or ridiculous things did you learn in May?


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  1. Mom says

    Things This Mother Didn’t Teach Her Daughter:” Stephen King wrote the story behind Shawshank Redemption. I knew that and didn’t pass it along to you. Please forgive me! It’s one of my favorite movies ever, as well.

    And as for letting the littlest guy run the show there . . . I honestly would love to see that for a day, or two! I’m seeing re-creations in every room, enough guttural laughing to fill your cul-de-sac, and perhaps a “best hair ever” contest. Schedule it and call me!

    Love the post.


  2. says

    Wow. I’m so fascinated by that drinkable book, what a fantastic idea!!
    I’m getting into fiction lately too! (I just finished a dud..whoops.) But I’m loving Kate Morton and Glass Castle is one of my favorites! I originally read it in high school for English and then the author came and spoke at our school about her story! Very very cool, that definitely brought the book to life for me. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your list! :)

  3. says

    I should be folding laundry but I’m now trying to decide which of those books to read. I have no idea.

    And yes this —> Dear Summer, please give us our brains back.


  4. says

    i’m right there with you about May. looking forward to the summer to “get my brain back”. and I plan on putting a few of your book recommendations on my library loan list!

  5. says

    I read every word Kate DiCamillo writes – isn’t she amazing? I cry every time I read Miraculous Journey. I’m reading Winn-Dixie with my 11-year old and it still gets me all mushy inside.

    We have FOUR days left up in here, and I’m excited for my brain to have a breather. Have a great start to summer!

  6. says

    Every time I pull the meat off a roasted chicken, I think of the Glass Castle and how thorough she was with her chicken. So weird, right? :)
    And I’m kind of loving your couch at the kitchen table deal.

  7. says

    Fiction has been a lifesaver for me time and time again!
    When I was finishing up a master’s degree and working full time last year, I couldn’t stand to read anything that took multiple brain cells, so I read the entire “Little House on the Prairie” series about five times.
    It was comfortable and so good for my heart.

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