It’s the most wonderful time of the month! Today I am once again joining Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into link-up! Heat up a cup of cocoa, grab a fuzzy blanket, and be sure to check out the other awesome links on her blog! It’s my favorite place to discover new books, movies, and blogs!
My biggest news from December is that my Beloved and I finally went on our honeymoon! We’ve been married for over for years, but this was our time to relax, recharge, and let the stress of the last several years melt away in Hawaii!
My Beloved and I worked around the clock in the days before our trip to change up some behind-the-scenes things on the blog and fix the issues that came up. I redesigned the look of our space here, and I hope you like it! A big thank you to my friend NZ Portraits by Joanne for taking new photos for me!
I spent most of our time in Hawaii dressed in shorts and flip-flops before heading back to cold and damp Kansas. It was heavenly while it lasted!
While we were there, I found a few souvenirs ~
Earrings made from real Hawaiian orchid petals…
And another pair made from sea glass that washed up on the shores of Hilo…
The only perk to living in cold weather is getting to wear boots – and I spent my Christmas money on these funky numbers this week! Gotta love clearance sales!
My friend Katie started a non-profit group that focuses on helping families in Haiti – Future Hope. They are giving Haitians an opportunity to earn a fair wage while making beautiful artisan handiworks! I am excited to spread the word of what they are doing in Haiti, and I so excited about the bracelets that I bought to support the work they are doing!
Psssst… Look for a giveaway coming up soon! *wink, wink*
This month I actually finished all of the books on my to-read list, and then some! Long plane rides to and from Hawaii helped tremendously!
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from Around my Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg – What a lovely foodie memoir! I loved reading how food and family shaped her life!
Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage, by Molly Wizenberg – The scrumptious sequel to A Homemade Life! This book will leave you craving gourmet pizza and wanting to visit Seattle!
Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder – A fun and insightful look at what it takes to write screenplays. I love learning about how movies are created, but I am also hoping to grow as a writer.
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr – Wow. Probably the best fictional book I’ve read in 2014. The story of a blind French girl and a German orphan boy… it will leave you breathless. Such a beautiful story!
Unremarried Widow, by Artis Henderson – The memoir of a military wife who lost her husband (a helicopter pilot) in Iraq. This was hard for this Air Force wife read – but Artis wrote her heartbreaking story so beautifully.
The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands, by Lysa TerKeurst – This book couldn’t have come at a better time. I am a recovering people pleaser, and I have the hardest time saying NO. Lysa’s vulnerable look into her own struggles really helped me to look at my own life differently. I’m planning on looking over my notes and highlighted parts in the book again this week so I can better recall some important parts as I step into the new year.
I’m diving into these books in January…
Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen, by Queen Liliuokalani – I became obsessed with learning about Hawaiian history during our honeymoon, and I found this book right before we returned home. Queen Liliuokalani was the only female monarch, and the last Queen before Hawaii was annexed to the United States. She led a fascinating life, and I am devouring the story of her life that she wrote in her own words.
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, by Nadia Bolz-Weber – This one has been on my radar for about a year, and I finally remembered to request it from the library!
Plot and Structure, by James Scott Bell – It’s my goal to read one writing book as my “homework” each month. I love learning more about composing and structuring stories – and I hope that it will help my own writing here on the blog!
First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen, by Charlie Lovett – I keep seeing this book pop up on must-read lists, and my library had it waiting for me this week!
What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear all about it!
My Beloved and I did our patriotic duty and watched The Interview online recently. It had funny parts, but I felt like I needed to bleach my brain (and ears) after finishing it.
I excitedly watched the Downton Abbey Christmas special – happy sigh – and I started season three of Call the Midwife on Netflix.
The menfolk in my house sat through a Star Wars marathon over Christmas, but I either read or dozed my way through those movies. Zzzzzz.
Because I’ve always loved learning about real people, I’m making a mental list of biographical movies and books that I should experience again/for the first time. Can you help me out? Do you have a favorite biography that I should add to my list?
Right now it’s 4AM and I’m up with one of our sons who is going in for his sleep-deprivation EEG later this morning. He has epilepsy, and this is our check-up to make sure his meds are still keeping his seizures away. This is will be a tiring day – my Beloved stayed up watching superhero movies with him until his prescribed midnight bedtime, while I am taking the eeeeearly morning shift – but we’re hoping for good news at our appointment later today!
My Beloved has settled into our home, and we are loving not having to say goodbye every week! We have had some plans change, disappointments, and good surprises so far, and he’s only been home a month! This transition of becoming “newlyweds” is stretching me and making me grow as a wife, mother, and woman. I am so grateful that we can finally snuggle close at night, knowing that he is safe and that he’s finally home for good.
I’d love to hear how your month is going! Have you read any good books lately? Watched any must-see TV? Where did you go on your honeymoon? Drop me a line in the comments – You will make my day!
Wishing you a most exquisite January!
What a month it's been! After being married for 4 years, my Beloved and I finally went on our...