What I’m Into: January 2014

Hi there! I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her monthly What I’m Into series. You should too!

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January felt long to me. We spent a lot of time indoors, which I usually love, but I’m just not accustomed to months of cold, or to snow that stays on the ground for more than two days, for that matter.Β Turns out, snow isn’t all glittery magic and fun. Who knew?? Not this desert girl, although I do still feel giddy when it starts to snow. I am now the owner of a pair of rubber boots and two giant bags of rock salt, and our coat closet is bursting with puffy coats and various fleecy things; I gave up trying to close the closet door weeks ago. I’ve also given up mopping, because seriously what’s the point? πŸ˜‰

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Anyway, we try to stay entertained with indoor things, and go to the park pretty much whenever the sun’s out or the temperature rises above 30. My definition of cold has changed, drastically πŸ™‚ Life is good, and Spring will be wonderful.

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Books

  • I finally read Glennon Melton’s Carry on, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed and loved it. Glennon’s style is warm, real, and well, disarming. I felt like her writing gave me permission to admit some things to myself: that time spent with small children is often more exhausting than enjoyable, that everyday activities can be simply overwhelming, that loving my neighbor is hard. Reading the book was like one of those four hour coffee-shop conversations that I used to have with friends: cleansing, intimate, hopeful.
  • I took my time with Thrashing About with God: Finding Faith on the Other Side of Everything by Mandy Steward. I’m amazed at how many parallels there seem to be among people, particularly women, who grew up with some sort of fundamentalism and are now trying to find a personal, honest faith in our twenties and thirties–something that feels true to our actual experiences with the Divine, but also honors the good parts of our spiritual foundation. I especially loved this:

“God becomes and God unbecomes,” Meister Eckhart, German mystic theologian, once said. I am taken by the mystics because they managed to see God in everything. I love Meister Eckhart’s idea that we learn God, we encounter Him, we are given an image to build an understanding of His deity on and just as quickly, He changes forms, and we unlearn Him in that old way so that we can relearn Him in a new way. In this sense, if we can keep up with His movement, our faith will never have the opportunity to become dry or brittle. (p. 140, Kindle edition)

  • I’m a few chapters into Cris Beam’s book To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care. This one’s been on my to-read list since I saw it on NPR’s book recommendations list from 2013. Our daughter’s adoption through foster care was fairly smooth, even if we did have to wait longer than we thought to finalize everything, mainly because there simply weren’t other people who were willing and able to take care of her. I’m curious about what other experiences are like, particularly for the children involved. Reading this book reminds me of how different each experience with foster care can be; how unpredictable it is in nature.
  • Check out my Goodreads profile if you’re interested in other books I’ve read recently or what I’d like to read πŸ™‚

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Other Happenings

  • We started a Whole30 a few days ago (six to be exact–that means it’s been six days since I’ve had half & half in my coffee–pity me!) and it’s going well so far. We don’t have any major health issues that motivated us to try a Whole30; mainly it’s about some weight loss and packing as many nutrients into our bodies as we can, but I’m curious to see if we’ll notice any major changes in how we feel, our skin, etc. I’m drinking a lot of tea, and discovered Tazo’s Cocoa Mint MatΓ©, which tastes interesting all by itself. Something I love about restrictive food seasons is that they force you to come up with combinations you can get excited about. One of my favorite lunches these days is some mashed sweet potato with some type of meat, tomato, cilantro, and avocado on top, sometimes with a fried egg. I’ve found the Well Fed cookbook to be incredibly helpful, too– we made the “Meatza” last night (ground beef crust with sauce and veggie toppings, and the kiddos got cheese on theirs) and it was a hit, so it will make a good replacement for our usual Friday night pizza.

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  • I’m gearing up for a job search, slowly. Transferring my nursing license has been a little more complicated and slow-going than I anticipated, but I think realistically I should be working sometime in February. I’m excited about the work but sad about the long hours, as usual, and really hoping for a day-shift position and a non-ridiculous commute. We shall see. We have a wonderful babysitter who’s agreed to nanny a few days a week, which is a huge relief! I’ve really been missing my work lately, and look forward to a healthy balance of work and home, which I always find helps a great deal with my well-being.

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Listening & Watching

  • The kids and I have been listening to the Frozen soundtrack quite a bit. It’s especially fun to belt out Let It Go with them while we’re driving around. They get pretty intense πŸ™‚
  • I’ve been enjoying Audrey Assad’s gorgeous album Fortunate Fall and meditating on the lyrics quite a bit.
  • Other than that, I’m in a music rut. My default is to turn on Pandora while I make dinner, but lately I’ve been missing listening to whole albums.
  • Ricky and I have been watching Homeland, and my word it’s a good show. I have so many feelings about it–I love that it gets into the tricky questions of allegiance and who the good guys and bad guys are in terms of the United States and the rest of the world, and Brody’s character–chewed up and spit out by various ideologies–absolutely breaks my heart.
  • I watch Downton Abbey and Parenthood pretty regularly. Both of those are heart-breaking these days too. Maybe I need to find some happy television?

So, that’s January. What have you been up to? Do you have any good albums or happy tv shows to recommend?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “What I’m Into: January 2014

  1. Laura and Tito Meyer

    Don’t know if this would be up your alley, but we’ve gotten a kick out of Lillehammer with Steven van Zandt (from Sopranos & prominent member of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street band). Mafia guy from NJ relocates to Norway in witness protection, so some violence, but mostly humor, I think. We love Big Bang Theory & Modern Family & tend to watch reruns of those in between movies. Then, of course, we are Jon Stewart addicts.

    Haven’t heard what Pux. Phil has predicted. Hope an early spring for you!!

    In case you haven’t kept up with MMC news, we have a new CEO & he is all business. Apparently MMC is not doing well & MountainView is. Plus, it is expected that a modern state of the art cardiac hospital will be built on the old country club property. All departments got the big talk the other day…. “pull it together or you’re toast”, sugarcoated as “this is up to you” . So, we’ve been working on increasing our productivity. At least it’s made work more interesting!

    Good luck on your job search!!! Love, Laura

    • Looks like 6 more weeks of winter for us! Weather.com says more snow tomorrow. It just melted, finally, today :/

      Thanks for the suggestions! I love Modern Family and Big Bang Theory too–just haven’t seen them in awhile. Maybe that’s the happy fix I need πŸ™‚ I’ll check out Lillehammer too!

      I hope things go well for MMC. I miss it.

  2. Enjoyed reading your post at Leigh’s linkup. I love making playlists and have a bunch of them on my blog. I’m really loving the soundtrack to the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty this month, as well as the debut album by Lone Bellow.

    • Thanks for reading! I love the Lone Bellow, and I’ll check out the Walter Mitty soundtrack. Haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve heard good things πŸ™‚

  3. Loved Carry On, Warrior and Thrashing About With God! Good luck with your Whole 30. I’m impressed with people who do it just to be healthy. I needed the motivation of figuring out my health issues! The Well Fed cookbook was a lifesaver. I’m amazed by how long it takes to transfer professional licenses. It took a couple of months to get my TN social work license reciprocity when I moved here. Maddening! Hope the job stuff works out well for you. Have you listened to Fitz and the Tantrums at all? They are pure toe-tapping fun!

    Thanks for linking up with What I’m Into!

    • Thanks, Leigh! I hadn’t heard of Fitz and the Tantrums before–will definitely check them out. And, I just got word that my temporary license was processed a few days ago, so I have something to work with while waiting for the permanent one. Such a relief!

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