summer journal {May}

Happy June!  I love summer — partly because my birthday is in summer, but mostly just because summer is summer!  Everything is so much more beautiful and believable and alive in summer!

A handful of the blogs I enjoy have started doing monthly reviews, and it’s fun to read them and see what they’re up to beyond just the writing they post on their blog.  😉  I thought it might be fun to try and play with that idea this summer.  I am keeping Halaran a writing blog (as opposed to a personal life blog).  However, looking over my calendar, I have probably one of the busiest summers I’ve ever had, and I honestly don’t know what I will or won’t get to writing/posting about.  So, I thought it would be fun over the summer to recap once a month and journal about what’s going on, partly so you can share the adventures, and partly so I can go back at the end of this busy season and see where I’ve been.  ❤

{what I did}

May is the end of the school year.  So, I got to go to a Singing School concert, a piano recital, and two friend’s high school graduations.  It is a kind of strange feeling to get to this ‘end of the year’ time when I’ve been taking a gap year, and so I haven’t been doing school.  It’s kind of a strange feeling to realize that summer isn’t marked quite the same for me as it used to be.  But then, summer is summer, and flowers and sunshine aren’t tied to school, either.  ❤

I did a lot of working and babysitting.  exciting!  xP  But I traded time for money, and that was the goal.

The last of May, we got to the beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina for the week.  Last year when we were at the beach, I had just created a Facebook profile to look for roommates for college and was thinking that it was my last family vacation like it in forever.  I’m so thankful I took a gap year. I can’t even imagine what my life would look like right now if I had gone to school in Ohio last fall.

family walk through the old rice dike

{what I read}


Mere Christianity was my book group book for the month of April, actually, but Easter came, and so the beginning of May worked, too…  C.S. Lewis is soo good!  I’ve loved Narnia since before I could read, but this was the first of his non-fiction that I’d ever read. Every other paragraph, I came across a line or an analogy that made me think, “Wow!  I have to remember this!”   — sort of like trying to soak up a bathtub full of water with a sponge.  He is a master of analogies.


I mentioned this one back in week 3 of NaPo, but this was an incredibly fascinating book. Vishal Mangalwadi is an Indian man from non-Western culture who decided to explore God’s promise to Abraham that,”through you, all peoples of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12).  He investigates the differences in mindset between Western and non-Western cultures, why their cultures are so different, and particularly it looks at the enormous impact the Bible had in creating Western Civilization.  He goes through virtually every single aspect of Western culture — thinking, music, literature, science, art, medicine, language, government, technology, family, heroes, ideas — and investigates how these things came to look like what I know them as today.

It’s hard for me to even describe how amazing it is to see how the world of ideas — a world we tend to overlook and dismiss — so dramatically impacts every aspect of the world I live in. Yes, it’s not a novel.  But read it.


The last book I read in May was Hand of Vengeance by Douglas Bond.  My younger brother and sister have been telling me to read it for a while now, and I finally got time on vacation to do so.  It was a quick read — a fascinating time period, strong characters, and a mystery.  Definitely recommend it.

Only 3 books in May, but I have lots more planned for this summer…  (:

{what I wrote}

I did NaPoWriMo in May!  And I guess you ‘win’ if you write a poem every single day of the month, so I did it!  There were some days my mind was blank, but overall, I really enjoyed it!

Some of the poems got shared on Dr. Mangalwadi’s fb page!  still not quite sure what to do with the honor.  O.O

Here are the links the the 5 weeks of it in case you missed them.  😉



{what I thought}

Not really sure what to call this category.  I guess it’s the catch all  for anything else I wanted to journal.

Wow. May flew by, but still, April seems forever ago.

You know that feeling you get when you go up that rise on a roller coaster right before the steepest drop, and it seems dreadfully slow motion, and yet you are at the crest before you’re quite ready?  and you can see the plummet in front of you, and you know that in a split second, you will go flying down that drop at a thousand miles an hour, more or less?  and something inside you ties itself into a knot of absolute terror and exhilaration?  That’s kind of the feeling I’m getting looking at my summer.  In August, I start college.  And the map between here and there is strewn with the names of adventures waiting to happen.  It all sounds so grand.  And yet, oh my.  I hope it doesn’t go by too fast.

What all did you do in May?  Have you read any of these books?  What’s on your list for the summer?  

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