let’s share what we learned in July

At the end of each month I like to share a few things I’ve learned. Sometimes it’s educational and informative but usually not.

Usually I’ve discovered a quirk I didn’t know I had or a fascinating-to-me celebrity connection. It’s a mishmash of ordinary life stuff, things that may go unnoticed if I didn’t decide to write them down.

Last month I decided to invite you all to share what you learned in June as well – and it was so much fun I decided to ask you to join me every month! You can do that at the bottom of this post.

what I learned JulyHere are 12 things I learned in July in no particular order:

1. I officially do not like key lime pie. I’ve always known this, but then my brilliant chef/cook/baker/genius friend Kendra made one this month and I thought if I ever liked one, it would be hers. John loved it. So did everyone. To me, it tasted like dish soap mixed with metal. And don’t even email me and say your grandmother has the best recipe ever. It isn’t the recipe. It’s the pie. It is perhaps the most vile of all desserts, definitely of all the pies.

2. Camping is not my favorite. 

3. Songs I hate are redeemable. For example, I once thought Sunglasses at Night was beyond help, but then I heard Lennon and Maisy sing it and my hope was renewed. What a beautiful song! (They are sisters. They are young. They will take your breath away). It would be cool to try to challenge them with a song like the theme from Dora the Explorer just to see if they really are as magical as I think they are.

4. Speaking of theme songs, the Downton Abbey theme song has lyrics. What?

5. If you lose your little tiny silver remote for your Apple TV you can download a free app called “remote” and control your TV with your iPhone. And you will feel all futuristic-y and awesome.

6. I don’t like Coke in a can. And when I say Coke, I mean any kind of soda. The can gets too cold and the Coke is too sharp. I always knew this about myself on some level, but I only this month realized it for real when I was thirsty and turned down the can because I didn’t have a glass of ice to pour it into.  And so I stayed thirsty. Who does that?

7. In July, I learned to love my hips. I was in Marshall’s trying on a Maxi skirt, staring in the mirror at the predictable way it clung to my hips. I didn’t buy the skirt but the hips are mine for free. So I decided unceremoniously in that moment to stop hating them so much. And a few hours later I decided to go all the way and just plan to love them. Why not? We’ll see if this lesson sticks.


8. Bracelets drive me nuts. I think it’s leftover from my days of sign language interpreting. Rings, on the other hand? Yes. I love me a ring. I cannot pass rings at a store without trying at least one on. Fake diamonds? Yes. Huge, clunky costume-y? Yes. I don’t  go all Pheobe Buffay and wear one on every finger, but I understand the logic. I don’t remember where I read it, but when Lisa Kudrow was asked what she kept (if anything) from the set of Friends, she said the rings. A moment of silence falls over my heart as I nod in understanding. Amen.

9. July made it official. Kate Middleton wins. Obviously.

10. Speaking of news, we got rid of cable this month and I learned our digital antennae does not pick up NBC. I miss The Today Show and I didn’t even watch it that often. I miss knowing I can watch it if I want to. Goodbye Matt. Goodbye Al. Goodbye hearing what’s happening in my neck of the woods.

11. Hulu Plus is awesome.

12. It is possible for me to keep an entire Stitch Fix box. It happened this month – I liked everything in the box and kept the whole ding-a-ling thing. You can read my newest Stitch Fix Review here.

Now it’s your turn. I’ll keep this linky open for about a week so you have plenty of time to join in. I hope you’ll link up to your post and share what you learned in July!

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  1. says

    I don’t have a blog, so I’ll share here. I agree about the bracelets – I majored in ASL in college and now I know why bracelets to this day drive me batty!

    The “what I learned” post is so fun. What a neat way to compile experiences throughout the year.

    For me in July, I learned WAY more about WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and building an online presence than I ever thought possible. There is still so much to learn, but July was a big month. Good thing I’m a “lifelong learner” and “research guru” kind of gal.

    Podcasts have been my friend! I’m helping my husband expand his pastoral life coaching business and it’s been a blast learning all the ins and outs of how to get his message out there of how he can help people through the online world. Now I’m excited about what my “what I learned in August” message will be! Hmmm…what should I learn next? :)

  2. says

    Drinking Coke in a can is nostalgic for me because it reminds me of going on field trips as a kid & how excited I would be when I opened up my brown paper bag & in the bottom of the bag was a can of Coke, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil. They always tasted so good, especially with a side of smashed PB&J & chips!

    Kate? Amazing!

  3. says

    I don’t like drinking water through a straw. It’s a bizarre “me” thing, I guess. Key Lime pie is my favorite — but I am from Florida (I hope we can still be friends though because I hate camping — I camp in hotels!) Thanks for hosting us again… I loved visiting everyone’s blogs last month. Such a fun link-up!

  4. says

    Key Lime Pie. You described, PRECISELY, how Key Lime Pie tastes to me too! Yes, dish soap and metal. I could never quite define it. Sometimes lemon pie tastes like that too. Thank you. Now I know I’m not weird. Or if I am, then we are weird together.

    Your Stitch Fix loot? Fabulous. I would totally wear the polka dot top and the birdie top {So we can show up at a conference again dressed as twins.} And I actually love the scissor dress so if you decide not to keep that…you know where it can find a happy home. : )

    I love these “Things I Learned” posts. I have one in the works that I can hopefully post tomorrow.

  5. says

    We will have to agree to disagree about key lime pie! But I totally understand what you mean about thinking maybe you just hadn’t had a GOOD one. I am like that with lobster, I am only just accepting the fact that I do not like lobster, no matter how well cooked it is.

  6. says

    I had to listen to the Downton Abbey’s theme song with lyrics while I read the rest of your post of course. So weird. I love this post and all the quirky things you learned the month!

    • says

      The key lime pie thing. You nailed it. Thank you. I had no idea how badly that needed to be put into words. I feel like I can let go of that now (the idea that somewhere, out there, there might be one recipe…).

  7. says

    Now, this is fun.

    So, right now I am going to fixate on #1. See, while I’ve hated Key Lime pie my ENTIRE life, this July I learned to love it. Um, yum to summer deliciousness.

    I will be back to add my Julyish experiences to the list!

  8. Sarahs says

    The remote thing? I stopped at that number, found the app, downloaded it and figured out how to use it. I do feel all futuristic-y and awesome. Thanks! We lose our remote All.The.Time. and this will save my husband much stress. :)

  9. Yvonne says

    You perfectly described Key Lime pie. Yuck. I also dislike bracelets–try to wear them and never last more than an hour. I also turn down a coke if I can’t pour it over ice. I am more fond of Kate Middleton more all the time. I found your blog in July and love to read what you write.

  10. says

    Love your blog and your frankness in an “all to fake world.” You asked us what we learned in July, so here’s my list.
    1. I learned to live into the peace God gave to accomplish a huge feat.
    2. I learned that I can walk 165 km in 10 days on rugged stony paths to reach the goal God set.
    3. I learned to trust the wisdom of those around me when I felt lost.
    4. I learned to love things typically out of my comfort zone.
    5. I learned that I don’t need 3/4 of what was in my suitcase.

    Bracelets, love them yet rarely wear them. My thighs, well, we’re still learning to love them. I hate camping, don’t like smelling like smoke from the campfire.

  11. Gina says

    I don’t have a blog but I love this post. I learned lots this month.
    1) our authority came to visit our home school kids and I learned that they had learned masses.
    2) how to book a birthday party in advance. (You have no idea how difficult this is for me!)
    3) a soon-to-be 6 year old might not be the best judge of a practical birthday party and I should have thought about it before agreeing.
    4) to invite people more than a week before the party. Hoo-Rah!!!
    5) I love camping with friends.
    6) camping with friends for a kids birthday party at a farm might be more than I can handle.
    7) how to build a nature pond.
    8) that what looked like a disaster a year ago is in fact a beautiful gift from God from my current perspective.
    9) that my husband actually can’t operate the washing machine. I know, I know, I am filled with shame but he will learn.
    10) that sometimes it is ok to let the kids play with lego all day, while I curl up with my Kindle. I did this once this month, we were all happy.
    11) Kate rocks, clearly, we are all very proud of her.

  12. says

    Yes, Kate, wins!

    I’m trying hard to love my hips. Learning to choose clothes that fit my body, rather than clothes that look cute on the mannequins or in magazine pages helps. But some days…

    I love this link up. It’s fun to consider what I’ve learned from the trivial to the not-so-trivial!

  13. says

    Thank you so very much for hosting such an inspirational link party. I’ve always loved,your blog and now that I am a ( freelance writer turned) blogger, I enjoy it on a different level. I love your tips and your style.
    Thank you so much,

  14. Kym says

    I have learned to love having a new(er) car even though I have a car note….. I ventured out on a road trip for the 4th and made my first greater Houston trek (to IKEA – even though I have learned to put the shelving unit together!) which I never did with my 20 year old car. I learned to use and love my navigation system!
    I have learned that it is possible and GOOD to leave a job you don’t like and actually love the next one! I have learned SOOOOOOO many new things in the new job in the month of July, too! I learned how much I miss FOOTBALL SEASON now that it is almost here again!

    Great things you have learned, too, even though I’m not with ya on the key lime pie thing. 😉

  15. says

    Quick note, can’t write a blog post right now, so a quick comment to your post. Just got my first Stitch Fix. Love it! We are thinking about getting rid of our satellite dish and I’m checking out HuluPlus. And my hesitation to getting rid of the satellite TV is I will miss HGTV. I’m never home and when I am I don’t get to watch what I want (someone has already gotten to the remote) So I don’t even get to watch it that much, but I love it. But probably won’t miss it much. Thanks for the post.

  16. Jennifer D. says

    I don’t have a blog so commenting here. I cannot stand key lime pie either. Yuck!! I also do not like any canned drink out of the can. Got to have a glass or cup. Bracelets are growing on me. Used to hate them, but getting better about wearing them. I still can’t get up the nerve to try Stitch Fix.

  17. says

    Hi there! Visiting via ‘Along Came the Bird’s blog. I really like the idea of this monthly thing and will keep it in mind all during August:-)

    I didn’t know the ‘Downton Abbey’ theme music had lyrics…. I’m now madly trying to recall the tune!

    xx Jazzy

  18. Carolyn says

    I am not a blogger, nor do I like many but really appreciate yours and the insightful and trivial fun things you celebrate. I am chiming in because I relate far too much to just observe….
    1. Totally agree on the rings, more fun than bracelets which just fall off and get in the way.
    2. Sooo sorry about no NBC…we switched to ROKU (same thing as Apple) but our antennae does get NBC most days…still like my morning TV and would be sad without my morning cast in the am.
    3. Completely disagree about KeyLime pie and Coke in a can…think Coke out of a fountain is best but Coke cold in a can is 2nd best because it doesn’t get watered down by melting ice….just sayin…
    4. Totally agree about Kate Middleton, you can’t be that beautiful, fit, married to royalty, willingly choose natural child birth, and look that great after a baby….come on!!
    5. Gotta try choosing to love my parts…good goal.
    6. Hulu Plus is good but Netlix has rights to Disney, so for my Disney loving kids Netflix has a better selection of shows and movies….something I learned this month. I think Amazon Prime has Nick Jr. programming…still figuring it all out.

  19. says

    Five Things Learned in July 2013:
    1. Owning a large inflatable pool is very convenient and nice but more maintenance than expected.
    2. These Frozen Peanut Butter Pops are better than ice cream: http://www.dailycandy.com/everywhere/article/131209/Frozen-Peanut-Butter-Pops-Recipe
    3. Choosing to homeschool vs. private school for our littles was a really, really difficult decision.
    4. Nothing beats Instagram :)
    5. Teaching art to children during the summer is awe.some!

  20. says

    P.S. And your blog, Emily, is one of my fav’s! The way you write makes me smile (and sometimes laugh…when appropriate ;). Thanks for investing so much time and effort (and vulnerability) here.

  21. says

    These have become my favorite posts. Yet, after months of them, I still can’t keep track of “new things”! It isn’t stressing me out in any more (stress self-induced) but the internal challenge of paying attention is on. Dangit.

    Hips. Check.
    Key Lime Pie. The only one I like is at nasty Bubba Gumps
    Bracelets. Love them but can’t wear if I’m on the computer and only on my left arm.
    NBC. Come on over to ABC and watch GMA. Josh Elliot (my TV crush – he needs Jesus – but a girl can dream) and Lara Spencer (classy, beautiful, creative, silly) and the rest. They make my morning – after Jesus and coffee.

  22. says

    Planned all month to join you here; each week recording new learnings as they dropped into my life. There is something about lists, especially lists of achievements. They serve to encourage, affirm, and motivate. No wonder there has been a stellar turnout for your invitation. Thanks Emily!

  23. says

    Two things:

    1. I’m the same way about Coke from a can. It makes me feel unpleasantly diva-like, but I can’t change it.

    2. I also got rid of cable this month and freaked out when I couldn’t pick up NBC, which is basically the only network I watch. But I checked the local affiliate’s website, which had instructions for positioning your antenna exactly parallel or perpendicular to their signal, and it worked!

  24. Connie says

    I learned I can be away from home for 3 weeks and things don’t fall apart which is good because now I can plan to run away from home very soon!

  25. says

    learned that i could run a 5k without passing out or puking {which i was sure i would do one if not both!} and this coming from the girl who could barely run to her mailbox some 3 months ago is big. BIG news!!

    such fun posts. love these, emily!

  26. says

    It is hard to put into words WHAT I LEARNED IN JULY.
    It was a hard month because my older sister and her husband were killed in a head on car crash on June 23. Everything I have learned is that God’s word is true. He is our comfort. He is our strength. He holds us and He loves on us through the pain. He keeps us moving and breathing and healing. He brings peace when there are no answers. He brings calm when all is not. He knows me and He knows I trust Him even/especially with this. I know where Donna and Dewayne are, they are with Him. Yet, I feel my sister with me every single day. Part of me thinks that is denial, but part of me knows it is because she is just still with me! It does not feel like she is gone – because she isn’t gone. She is still alive – because of the hope of the resurrection.
    Thank you for letting me awkwardly say what I learned in July…still learning as I go through this sadness, and yet I know – He also brings gladness.

    • says

      Kathy – your words knocked the breath out of me. June 23 – that was just a few weeks ago. I can’t imagine your loss. Thank you for sharing this here with us. I’m glad you took a little space here to speak about it.

  27. says

    Love it that someone else feels the same way about coke in a can. We once lived in a place where that was about all that was available. I used to crave fountain cokes. These days? It’s a Mexican coke made with real sugar poured straight out if the bottle into a cup of crushed iced. Hot summer afternoon heaven.

  28. Gail says

    I learned that if I don’t sit, I can’t write. My body has to be still and I need to be quiet so that I can hear things.
    I don’t care for fireants and they grow huge here in the islands.

  29. Kat says

    I learned that I have NO hips, i.e., anything to make my backside curvy. All these years of carrying extra pounds, I thought I was at least voluptuous. Now, having dropped 40 pounds, I’ve learned that I never had any curves back there – ever – and I still don’t. Yet I survive…
    Your writing style in the “things I learned” makes me want to keep reading you – the way you don’t want a good book to end. The conversational/parenthetical asides are the best, and I love that I knew what a Phoebe Buffay moment was before you brought in Kudrow’s name…

  30. says

    While I may not blog my list, you certainly have got me thinking about how grateful I am for all in my life. July really brought that home in a tangible and painfully glorious way.
    Thanks for the heads up on the girls and Sunglasses. I, too, believed there was no redeeming that song. So glad to be wrong!

  31. says

    Try a leaf antenna. We didn’t get NBC either–at all. Then, we upgraded to a better (yet affordable) antenna, and we get NBC! It was a must last year when the Olympics were on.

  32. says

    Wait. Wait. You have Amish cable, too!!
    You know I feel your pain. Trade you a Bachelor for a Today Show?

    Have you watched the entire season of The Mindy Project on Hulu Plus? We signed up for our “free” week just so we could….then we kept it for 3 more months b/c we kept forgetting to cancel. But really, you should watch.

    I like my pop in a can best. It falls too flat in the plastic bottle, although I do appreciate the ability to close it up, because I can never drink a whole thing at once. I’m a minimalist when it comes to beverages. (But I think you already knew this.)

    What else? What else? Oh. A parting word. I remember and have noticed many, many things about you over the years and in our two IRL meetings. Of course I always envy your hair. I think you’re a true beauty. I like your style and your laugh. You are good at eye contact. Never once have your hips crossed my mind. But I’m positive that they are full-on worthy of your love.

    Now tell the truth: Have you noticed my unslightly, knobby knees? My stick-out ears? My wonky eye? My bird wrists? My muffin top?
    Don’t answer that.

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