Five Podcasts I Can’t Live Without

PodCasts I Can't Live Without

In the past few months, I’ve been listening to podcasts on my commute and I am hooked! I have no doubt I am the last person on Earth to become aware of the wonders of podcasts, but just in case anyone out there is still listening to the radio, I thought I’d take a minute to share some of my favorites.

On any given weekday, I can be found listening to…

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The Sporkful. They had me at the tagline – “It’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters.” (Foodie, if you recall, is on my list of words that should be abolished from the English language.)

Summary: The Sporkful isn’t for foodies, it’s for eaters. Each week Dan and his guests explore the huge, fun world of food and eating that’s beyond the realm of recipes, chefs, and restaurants. Episodes range from a parody of the hit podcast Serial in which Dan investigates a series of office fridge food thefts to a feature on Asian-Americans in the food world who are defying stereotypes to a debate over the definition of a sandwich to a comedian’s struggle with his autistic son’s eating issues. The Sporkful began as a dream so delicious and vivid that when Dan woke, his pillow was covered in drool. But it’s not just one man’s vision. It’s a gathering place for Eaters from across the globe. So take part and together we will all learn to eat more better!

Episodes I recommend: Jim Gaffigan Lies To His Kids About Food, The REAL Sausage King of Chicago (Live in Chicago Pt. 1)

logest shortest time
The Longest Shortest Time
This is the best parenting podcast I’ve come across. It’s not about parenting tips, really, but it’s stories of people who are in the trenches of parenting. The name pretty much sums up how I feel about this stage of my life, too.

Summary: Hillary Frank created the Longest Shortest Time as a bedside companion for parents who want to hear in the middle of the night (or day—what’s the difference, really?) that they are not alone. And that as never-ending as any parenting stages seem, they don’t last forever.

Episodes I recommend: The Accidental Gay Parents, Sixty-Five Women and a Baby.

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Death, Sex & Money As you might have ascertained by reading the title, this podcast gets real. I’m continually impressed by the host, Anna Sale, who never seems to hesitate to ask the hard questions, but she does so in such a compassionate and interested way. Some of the episodes carry the “explicit” warning, just FYI.

Summary: A podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities and regular people about relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we’re here.

Episodes I recommend: In Sickness and in Mental Health, Confessions of a Nashville Power Couple. And pretty much all the rest of them, too.

this american life
This American Life They brought us Serial, what more do you want? But there is so much more. I pretty much think this should be required listening for everyone who is alive.

Summary: There’s a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always.

Episodes I recommend: Too Soon? Okay so I must jump in here with a “WTF” moment of the day. This episode mentions OJ Simpson. But before delving into that part of the story, they had to start with a brief recap of OJ’s fame, the white Bronco and the trial. Because there are people listening to NPR who are not old enough to remember OJ’s trial. Let that sink in for a moment. I’ll wait. And I’ll also tell you that what follows that brief description is even more WTF-ier than that. So go listen. And after that, try this one – The Problem We All Live With.

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WDW Prep School Now, y’all know that I love me some Disney, and that I am super type-A in my trip planning. But let me tell you – there are 101 podcasts about Disney World, and this is the only one I like. I can’t take the others! The host, Shannon Albert, is always well-prepared and each episode is short, succinct and full of helpful information. It is not a bunch of people sitting around and talking about what they read about Disney on the interwebz this week. Skip the others; listen to this one. (And the same goes for her website as well.)

Summary: If you’re planning a trip to Disney World and want to know all of the tips and tricks to making it a great trip, you’re in the right place. If you want to go to Disney World and have no idea where to start, you’re also in the right place.

Episodes I recommend: My best Disney World planning advice, How to do Disney World with very little planning (although I don’t know why anyone would do that.)

There you have it! My favorite podcasts. What have you been listening to?

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A Beautiful Risk

Two weeks ago, two different families that were “friends of friends” lost children on the same weekend. One a newborn baby who inexplicably never breathed, and one a teen in a freak accident. Since then, I have not been able to stop thinking about this post I wrote back in October 2007 (!!!) about my baby Sophie, for the old online magazine TopBlogMag. I finally searched for it so I could re-publish it here for you guys, because it adequately expresses my thoughts on what I’ve been feeling for these two families, and on the great way we expose our mom hearts when we have kids.

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She’s sleeping soundly, and I pause to observe a rare moment of calm in my wild child, my crazy girl, my daring daughter. Her long, fine hair covers her thick eyelashes and rest on her plump, peaceful cheeks. She is, to me, simply amazing. But I am, of course, her mother.

Eleven months ago, I exhibited the opposite of the serenity she now sleepily displays. I was pregnant with her, and on the cusp of giving birth, rotund, uncomfortable, and scared. I was anxious, apprehensive, and fretful about my baby girl. My fears frustrated and confounded me. I already had a son, and he was healthy and strong. I had done this before, what was wrong with me? I just wanted her out, and as my pregnancy progressed I became more and more convinced she would be safer outside the womb than in.

A few days before my due date, after a doctor’s appointment where once again, everything looked fine, I sat down to try and analyze my fear, to seek to know the enemy that was taking the joy out of this pregnancy. What I came to realize after some careful, quiet thought, was this: because I already had one child, I knew what I had to lose if something went wrong with this pregnancy. I knew what it was like to hold my own child in my arms, to nurse it at my breast, to feel its breath on my cheek, to marvel at its first smile and revel in its first laugh. This baby already had my heart. Giving her life meant risking her life, and I already knew I couldn’t live without her.

A few days later, right on time, my risk, my beautiful risk paid off. My daughter came into my world healthy and strong, just like her brother. The last eleven months she has brought me joy upon joy, and looking at her now I don’t regret the risk for a minute. Still, knowing what I have to lose, I don’t think myself brave enough to take it on again.

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My Nephew Has More Championships Than Your Nephew

FanAunt Drew

Not to brag or anything.

Because I have nothing to do with his genius (clearly!!), but my nephew Drew just one-upped himself, or two-upped himself, and won not one (like last year) but three national championship titles at the Rubik’s Cube 2015 US Nationals last week! He not only won the National Champion title in his specialty, the Pyraminx (the pyramid-shaped one, which you will see below) he also won the top spot for a crazy puzzle called the Skewb, and the BIG one – the 3×3
“regular” Rubik’s Cube! He literally won that one by .01 of a second. It is like the OLYMPICS up in here!

And that’s not ALL! He holds the world record on Pyraminx for an average solve time of 2.56 seconds (that’s an average of 3 solves, dropping the high and low times of 5 solves). But at Nationals, he also set a new North American record for the single-solve of the Pyraminx in 1.68 seconds. Yeah. You’re gonna need to watch this about 1o times to grasp it!

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?? I love the crowd’s reaction on this. These people are USED to this kind of thing and they were still blown away!

Oh, and here’s a Skewb solve, in case you were wondering what that is.

Drew says over and over when people are amazed at his skills, that he practices about 2 hours a day. Also, he started this when he was nine, and he’s almost 16. So, he’s been working on these mad skillz for almost 7 years!

Needless to say, the family is quite proud of this kid! I am super-proud of ALL my nieces and nephews. I am totes biased but I think we have an exceptional family! My brothers and sisters-in-law have set the bar pretty high for kid raising. No pressure…

Way to go Drew! You kinda rule, and I really enjoy being your #FanAunt.

Everyone, do Drew a favor and go like his Facebook page, Drew Brads, Speedcuber! Since I contributed nothing to his genius, I DO like to contribute to getting his name out there. :) You can also subscribe and share his YouTube Channel, XTownCuber.

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