Podcast Favorites

Probably listening to Sawbones and Snapchatting during break time at work.


I don’t listen to the radio – I’ll risk sounding a little old, but music these days could be the worst.  But, I have to spend about an hour and a half to two hours each day commuting back and forth to work, what’s a girl to do?   Listen to the same songs I’ve loved for the last few years or try something new; I tried something new.  I discovered podcasts about two and half years ago when my commute was much shorter and I’ve been a podcast enthusiast since then.  Currently I have 70+ unplayed episodes downloaded on my phone, and I’ve probably listened to over 800 hours of podcasts in the last two years.  Any time someone asks for podcast recommendations, I jump at the opportunity to share these gems with everyone I know.

My favorites are always changing, whether it’s due to my interests changing or growing tired of one podcast.  So here’s a snapshot of my favorites this month. (All of the descriptions are lifted from their description in iTunes.)

  • Let’s Not Panic: “Have you ever dreamed about quitting your job, horrifying your family and road tripping for an indeterminate amount of time? Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing.  Follow Maggie and Adam as we drive from San Francisco to Tierra del Fuego, and all our panic attacks along the way.”
    • It’s a newer favorite of mine, the chemistry between Adam and Maggie is endearing (they are obviously married) and their crazy move is gutsy and interesting.
    • I suggest this for anyone who likes travel, personal diaries or comedies.
    • http://www.letsnotpanic.com/
  • Freakonomics: “Have fun discovering the hidden side of everything with host Stephen J. Dubner co-author of the best-selling “Freakonomics” books.  Each week, hear surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature – from cheating and crime to parenting and sports.”
    • I watched the Freaknomics documentary a few years ago and was fascinated.  Once I became interested in podcasts, Freakonomics was one of the first ones I downloaded.  It’s a fun, informative listen that covers everything from Aziz Ansari to whether or not there is a mattress store bubble.  It can be jargon-y at times, but it’s great for the days when I want something a little more substantive to sink my proverbial teeth into.
    • I suggest this podcast to anyone who questions why things are the way they are.
    • http://freakonomics.com/
  • GymCastic:  “GymCastic Podcast is a weekly gymnastics talk show.  The hosts interview people who love gymnastics almost as much as we do, discuss the latest news, events and offensive leotard fashion.”
    • Do you like gymnastics?  This podcast is for you.  Do you hate the way NBC covered the Rio Olympics? This podcast is for you.  This is one of my top three favorite podcasts, I’m a huge gymnastics fan and I feel like I’ve finally found my people.  Funny and incredibly professional when needed, its the gymnastics show NBC wishes it could produce.
    • I suggest this for anyone who likes gymnastics at all.  It’s the best part about Wednesdays.
    • http://gymcastic.com/
  • Thinking Sideways:  “Investigating things we simply don’t have the answers to.  Sometimes you have to think a little sideways to come up with a plausible solution to the mystery.”
    • From the Tsavo man-eaters, to the Voynich Manuscript, to whether or not Queen Elizabeth I had a child – Devin, Steve and Joe summarize an unexplained event and then debate and discuss theories explaining that event.
    •  I suggest this podcast for anyone who loves the offbeat, or good conspiracy theory.
    • http://thinkingsidewayspodcast.com/
  • The Birth Hour: “Blogger and Podcaster Bryn Huntpalmer interviews a different mother each week sharing their pregnancy and birth stories of all shapes and size including natural birth, homebirth, waterbirth, VBAC, cesarean, twin birth and more!”
    •  After Livia was born I was obsessed with sharing her birth story, and I loved hearing others’ birth stories.  I happened upon this podcast very organically after becoming more interested in the online birth community.
    • I suggest this podcast for expecting moms, people interested in the birth community or anyone looking to have a happy cry on the way home from work.
    • http://thebirthhour.com/
  • Homesteady: “Homesteady is a show that focuses on living a more sustainable life. We talk about all the ways a modern Homesteader can put food on the table, from the fields, streams, gardens and woodlands. Our roads may be rocky, but with the rights skills and knowledge we can make Homesteady.”
    • I found this podcast after it was advertised on another podcast and I was immediately interested.  One of these days, Doug and I will get some chickens and I’ll have Austin Martin to thank for half of my knowledge. Austin hosts this podcast showcasing topics like “Goats – Should you bring these animals onto your farm or homestead?” or “Chickens 101 – Eggs, Coops, Breeds, Meat, Feeders and Fencing and Much More!”  With excellent production values and legitimate advice, Homesteady is a must listen for anyone who wants to attempt more sustainable living.
    • I suggest this podcast to anyone interested in sustainable living or livestock.
    • https://www.thisishomesteady.com/
  • The Way I Heard It:  “All good stories have a twist, and all great storytellers are just a little twisted.  Join Mike Rowe for a different take on the people and events that you thought you knew — from pop culture to politics from Hollywood to History…The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe — short mysteries for the curious mind with a short attention span.”
    • Mike Rowe is an amazing storyteller in this podcast.  Half of the reason I listen is so I can hear his voice.  Reminiscent of the late Paul Harvey and “the rest of the story,” it’s a quick, entertaining, feel-good listen.
    • I suggest this podcast for fans of Mike Rowe, Paul Harvey and happy endings.
    • http://mikerowe.com/podcast/
  • The History Chicks: “Two women. Half the population. Several thousand years of history. About an hour. Go.”
    • Beckett and Susan are serious about their women’s history.  I’ve listened to a good many history podcasts, but this is the most well-researched podcast I have on rotation.  I love history and I love strong, amazing women and this covers both.  This one is definitely on the long side, and is best enjoyed in small doses.
    • I suggest this podcast for literally everyone.  Everyone could use a little more knowledge on exceptional women in history.
    • http://thehistorychicks.com/
  • Lore: “Lore is a bi-weekly podcast (and upcoming TV show) about the dark historical tales that fuel our modern superstitions.  Each episode explores the world of mysterious creatures, tragic events and unusual places.  Because sometimes truth is more frightening than fiction.”
    • Aaron Mahnke hosts Lore, the best-produced podcast on the Internet.  Chilling, true tales from history that are just scary enough to make you want to check under the bed.  For me it’s the perfect blend of legend, storytelling and fact.  It’s the first podcast I listen to every other Monday.
    • I suggest this podcast for those who love to be a little scared (but not terrified) and those who frequent Atlas Obscura.
    • http://www.lorepodcast.com/
  • Spilled Milk: “Each week on Spilled Milk, writers/comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton start with a food-related topic, from apples to winter squash to Korean junk food, and run with it as far as they can go — and, regrettably, sometimes farther.”
    • Matthew and Molly are the funniest food duo alive.  They keep me chuckling while listening and I’ve learned a fair bit about food along the way.  Don’t miss their episodes on milk shakes and energy drinks.
    • I suggest this podcast for food lovers and food snobs everywhere.
    • http://www.spilledmilkpodcast.com/
  • Gravy:  “Stories about the changing American South through the food we eat.”
    • The Southern Foodways Alliance backed podcast has some of the best stories about regional Southern food and how it tells the story of that place.  I love hearing about how Cracker Barrel is creating an idealized version of the American South or the chicken radically changed Springdale, Arkansas.  Insightful and thought-provoking, it is in my top three list.
    • I suggest this podcast to foodies, Southerners and those who believe the we are truly shaped by the food we eat.
    • https://www.southernfoodways.org/gravy-format/gravy-podcast/
  • Sawbones: “Join Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin McElroy for a tour of the the dumb, bad, gross weird and wrong ways we’ve tried to fix people.”
    • Part of the massive Maximum Fun network, Sawbones is the perfect intersection of funny and informative.  Medical history has always fascinated (and slightly terrified) me, so this has been one of my favorites from the very beginning.
    • I suggest this podcast to those who love medical television, medical history or human anatomy.
    • http://www.maximumfun.org/shows/sawbone

Did I miss any of your favorites?  If none of these pique your interest, what would you be interested to listen?  If you listen to any of these, what do you think of them?  Let me know in the comments!

On Loss

It was two years yesterday since I miscarried our first baby.  Just because that sweet life was an unexpected surprise, it didn’t make the pain any less.  Below is what I wrote two months after our loss.  Looking back to those months is painful, I was in a dark place and I wasn’t sure if I would ever see happiness again.  But I’ve come through to the other side, and the crippling pain I felt then has slowly morphed into a dull ache, a hole where that baby should be.  To anyone going through that dark place following a miscarriage remember you aren’t alone.

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Until you have been there, you can’t imagine the depth of true loss. You can’t imagine what it is like to plead with your body to do what it is supposed to and keep your baby safe.  You can’t imagine the utter desperation felt once you know that you are, in fact, miscarrying your child.

Douglas and I found out we were going to be parents on August 26, 2014.   We were scared out of our minds, but excited to experience this new adventure.  From the moment the test turned blue our entire world changed.  We were no longer just two somewhat-newlywedded twentysomethings, but parents to an a precious, unborn child. We began planning, from nurseries to car seats to prenatal diets to child care.  I quit coffee, caffeine and junk food. I had the model prenatal diet, I knew that my choices were not only affecting me, but my child.  I struggled with exhaustion and other less pleasant symptoms of pregnancy and marveled at the fact that I was growing another human being.  We kept our glorious news a secret, waiting until our first doctor’s visit before we told our families.  We shared furtive glances and almost let the news slip multiple times, but we held on to our amazing secret.

Our excitement grew as my first prenatal visit, scheduled for September 11, crept closer. Finally, we were going to tell our families.  Finally, we could express our excitement and trepidation at this huge journey we were taking.  That joy turned to sorrow the morning of September 11.

Something wasn’t right, as evidenced by the spotting.  I spent the morning in bed, hoping to halt the bleeding.  We left for our doctor’s appointment and picked up lunch on the way.  That’s when it was no longer just a little spotting, but full-out bleeding. My heart broke at that point.  The amazing Nurse Practitioner at my then ObGyn tried to assuage my fears, and did an amazing job at that appointment.  She sent us on our way with a bit of hope and instructions for a routine blood test.

However, that night, the bleeding was paired with cramping. Around midnight we lost our first child. Prior to the miscarriage, I cried over the loss. I tried to will my body to keep its precious cargo safe. But my pleas were not to be realized. The physical pain was surpassed only by the emotional pain. I woke the next morning to what could only be described as utter defeat.  That weekend passed in a blur, we told our parents and siblings of our loss and tried to understand the loss we experienced. I cried in physical pain and emotional pain.  My body hurt as sobs wracked my body, there were moments when I couldn’t breath from the emotional toll of the loss or the intensity of my sobs.

The following week I began a new job and I was able to heal.  It hurt like heck and I am lucky to have made it through that first week without breaking down at work. The doctor confirmed the miscarriage on Monday. We spent the week trying to put ourselves back together.

Since that weekend, nearly two months later, I’m not whole.  I’ve learned to accept that a part of my heart will always reside in heaven.  Losing our child has increased my hope in heaven.  I know that one day I can hold my first child in my arms, they can show me around their home. Our child has met my Aunt Suzette and Doug’s grandparents.  Though it’s not a Baptist belief, I’ve prayed that our baby will tell his (or her) siblings about us. I’ve learned that my baby lived its purpose in nine short weeks.  For the seventeen days I knew I was carrying a life inside of me, I felt love like I have never known. I believe harder in the promises of the Lord.  I know I don’t know what purpose the Lord has for my baby, but I know there is one.  I may never know that purpose, and I’m okay with it.  I’ve realized that my loss was not a senseless one but part of a plan.

Like I said before, I’m not whole.  Photos of happy newborns are hard to escape and pregnancy photos are even worse. Social media tests my resolve every single day.  There have been numerous times I’ve simply had to close social media site because it hurt. Every photo of a round belly attached to a smiling mother-to-be makes me feel my loss even more. I feel empty. Every post of feeling the baby’s movement remind me I should be feeling my child move, I would know the sex and possibly have a name picked out. We would be painting a nursery and getting a birth plan together. Right now it seems like everyone is planning on a birth in the spring of 2015.  The estimated due date of our baby was April 14.  I can’t discuss Duchess Kate’s pregnancy style without being reminded I could have that adorable baby belly.

I’ve been through hell and back with this loss.  I’ve questioned why and cried myself to sleep.  I’ve learned to live without my whole heart and have known the peace that passes all understanding.  I’m thankful for the seventeen days I shared with my beloved first child.

Livia at 9 Months

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Growth

  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Length:
  • Clothing Size: 9-12
  • Diaper Size: 3
  • Teeth: 7
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Firsts

  • Night away from mom and dad so we could visit Natchez last weekend (she stayed with Nana and Pawpaw)
  • Olympic Games!
  • Drink of whole milk
  • Taste of gumbo
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Loves

  • Patty-cake
  • Duke
  • The refrigerator
  • Opening our kitchen cabinets
  • Shoes
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Dislikes

  • Mommy walking out of the room
  • Sleeping in the pack and play
  • Zucchini, always zucchini
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Eating

  • EVERYTHING.  She had her first taste of gumbo like a proper resident of Louisiana and loved it.  She would fuss if I wasn’t sharing every other bite with her.
  • She’s been getting bites off our plates the entire month and has yet to have something she doesn’t seem to like.  She had: chili, enchiladas, spaghetti carbonara, gumbo, tortellini soup, potato salad and has liked every single one.  I’m hoping her willingness to try foods doesn’t fade once she reaches her toddler years.
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Sleeping

  • Sleep regression in full swing.  She’s wide awake in the middle of the night wanting to play, crawl around and refuse to go back to sleep.  But, she’s falling asleep easier than ever.  She’s finally learning how to fall asleep efficiently.

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Playing

  • She’s obsessed with patty-cake.  She will wake up in the middle of the night, sit up and start clapping her hands hoping that one of us will play with her.
  • She loves to play chase when she is being “chased.”  Running towards her elicits the biggest squeals and laughs.
  • She’s learned to pull up on pretty much everything and she loves to stand by the back door and play with Duke when he’s back there.

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Health

  • She’s cut five teeth in the last month and is still working on another one.  Everything is accompanied by much more drama than we are used to because she just doesn’t feel good.
  • She spiked a pretty high fever a few weeks ago, which her ped thinks was related to teething because she never acted sick.
  • She’s dealing with her first stuffy nose.  It’s hilarious to watch her try to figure out why she can’t breathe out of her nose, but I feel so bad for her.  She’s spent a few naps semi-reclined just so she can breathe.

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Parenting

  • Feeling tons of mom-guilt because I can’t ever see myself quitting my job to become a SAHM.  I need the mental stimulation to stay happy and getting out of the house does my sanity a world of good.  I know that Livia doesn’t need me to stay home, but I feel guilty because it’s something I’m not sure I’ll ever want.
  • We’ve had to start disciplining because she’s discovered electrical outlets.  Ours are covered, but I want to teach her respect for them.  She’s actually got a decent grasp on “No” for her age, but sometimes we have to intervene because she isn’t listening.  It’s an odd stage to be at because I knew that one day I would have to start disciplining her, but I can’t really believe we are there now.
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Recent Google Searches

  • Jeff Davis 8
  • Longwood Plantation
  • City of San Francisco train crash
  • Daniel 3:17-18
  • YETI ice chest
  • Elderberry
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Looking forward to…

  • Labor Day weekend (an extra day off and Doug took a few days, too!)
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  • Liv mastering standing on her own (but not walking, I’m not over crawling yet)
  • The end of pumping (only three months left!)
  • Cooler weather, summertime in Southwest Louisiana is no joke (still)