Summer Begins

I've had difficulty putting any blog posts together, after I left Europe and returned to face...normality.  That state of existence is actually fairly tolerable, but not always the best fuel for keeping a functional blog.  My apologies to you delightful people who clearly still check this page despite my long silence!

At the moment, my summer is full of work and...more work!  With a few fun things in between.  My job at a local bakery-cafe is keeping me busy, as well as newly appreciative of the people who work behind the scenes at restaurants.

This summer, I'm beginning work on my senior thesis for Christendom!  Facing senior year is a scary and exciting challenge, but I will admit I'm looking forward to this thesis.  My topic, broadly, is children's literature.  I spent most of my childhood in the world of books, and I credit my mother for having shaped my love of the written word.  All those summer reading lists, the trips to the library, the huge amount of books she read aloud to us (Narnia, Little House, Regina Doman, Jules Verne...the list goes on!), the books she had me read aloud to her, the Half-Price Books shopping trips...  You can see where my passion for reading came from!  My goal in this thesis is to be prepared, as a future homeschooling mother, to share this love of books with my future children and other moms.  I love the challenge of getting kids to read, finding books that will catch and hold their interest, discussing what they should and shouldn't read, and why; and helping moms, and kids, discern what books will contribute to healthy emotional and intellectual development.  That doesn't sound like a big task at all, does it?!  My thesis will compare modern children's literature with older, more "classical" books for children, based on three different themes: the hero, the coming of age story, and the role of the family.  My goal is to point out how these themes have changed over the years, leaving it to my conclusion - and hopefully that of my readers - to point out what to look out for when choosing books for kids.

Along with that, I have been enjoying the luxury of renewing my biweekly library pilgrimages.  There's nothing more satisfactory than a 10-minute walk to the local library, filling up a backpack full of novels, and hiking back with a heavy load of adventures on my back!  It's good to be able to settle in with a bowl of grapes (I've missed my favorite summertime fruit) and a good book.  One of the benefits of being a bona-fide adult (besides getting a car key) is the ability to trade book recommendations with my parents and sisters.  It's fun to be reading the same authors as my mom!  Soon, I'll have a blog post up on my 2014 summer reading list.

Besides much reading, I'm going to the gym with my mom, hanging out with a good friend before she begins a career in the Real World, writing letters and making phone calls, preparing for the Catholic Writers Conference, and generally keeping myself functional.  Another challenge has been restarting a regular prayer routine, since I began to notice a sad lack of prayer in my life after leaving Rome.  The Eternal City was a great atmosphere for prayer, and there were fewer demands on my time, so this is much more of a challenge for me now.  My schedule calls for a lot of discipline and personal goal-setting, so it's good experience for the future when I'll be living on my own.

A number of blog post ideas are bouncing around in my brain.  With luck, some half-fledged inspiration will spawn, although I doubt I'll have any Athenian masterpieces of wisdom.  I do plan to keep you somewhat entertained, now that this blog is done with being a travel journal.

Many blessings on your summer!  Make it a happy and holy season!