Reading: Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard. I love a food memoir, and Bard never disappoints. Stories about life in France accompanied by delicious recipes…what’s not to love?
Watching: The West Wing. Bryan and I are always looking for shows to watch together, and we’ve heard so many people say this is their favorite show of all time. It’s definitely old, but so far we’re really enjoying it.
Crafting: I’m working on some things for our house that I’m excited to share here soon, like some fun gold leaf art for our dining room. Maybe it’s spring or the fact that we’ve lived there almost six months now, but I’m itching to finish some projects and get things in place around the house. We’re hosting a baby shower in May, and my goal is check several projects off my list before then. Fingers crossed!
Anticipating: Spring. I love this time of year. Everything is beautiful and fresh and summer is right around the corner. The weather has been gorgeous the past couple of days, so we’re excited to spend some time outside this weekend and soak up some sunshine!
Celebrating: A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! The Heels won their sixth national championship on Monday night, and it was so, so sweet. I’ll be writing more about that game later, but for now I’ll just leave you this this: One Shining Moment.
Reading: The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close. I really loved Girls in White Dresses, so I was excited to see another novel from Jennifer Close. I’m only a few pages in, but so far I’m enjoying it. More on this one soon!
Watching: Happy Endings. Bryan and I are binge-watching Happy Endings on Hulu, and we’re both pretty obsessed. Think Friends if it was was made 20 years later. Obviously it’s not as good as Friends (nothing ever will be), but it has a very similar plot. And every episode makes us laugh out loud.
Listening: Ellie Holcomb/Red Sea Road. I’m loving this album for the season of Lent. It’s a beautiful reminder of God’s unfailing love and grace.
Learning: To be comfortable in my own skin. Getting to know yourself is one thing and making peace with who you are in another. I think we all have things we wish we could change. There are times I long to be more outgoing or adventurous. I definitely wish I was more easygoing and flexible. But every day I’m learning to be more comfortable with who I am and who God created me to be. I’m becoming more aware and more grateful for how my unique personality—and my unique gifts—equip me for the work God has called me to do. That doesn’t mean I don’t have things I need to work on and learn to do better. I absolutely do. But I am becoming more content, and that is a gift.
Anticipating: March Madness! I’m still celebrating the Tar Heel victory over Duke on Saturday and looking forward to a month of nothing but college basketball. Time to dance!
Reading: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. It’s young adult fiction that explores the question of destiny and how much of our lives are up to fate. I’m about a third of the way through this one and finding it quite charming. More on this soon…
Watching: Z: The Beginning of Everything on Amazon. Bryan and I just finished the first season of the new Amazon original portraying the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. I think the Jazz Age is such an fascinating period of history, and I love reading and learning about authors from that period (I also loved the novel The Paris Wife about Ernest Hemingway’s wife, Hadley). We’re both learning things we didn’t know about the Fitzgeralds and finding the show incredibly interesting. Also, it’s worth watching for the fashion alone.
Listening: Joshua Radin/The Fall. Josh is one of my all-time favorites, and I am loving his new album. Current favorites are “High and Low” and “Keep the Darkness Away”.
Loving: Settling into our new home. The new house we moved into in November is FINALLY starting to feel like home. The house was the right size and location (with the best back yard ever for Finley), but it needed a little TLC. We’ve painted, removed popcorn ceilings, finished unpacking boxes, and decorated the majority of the rooms. We still have some light fixtures to change, a few more pieces of furniture and decor to pick out, and a bathroom that needs a major overhaul, but we’re making progress and that feels so good. Most importantly, Finley is a huge fan of her new house. If she’s happy, we’re happy.
Praying: For our country. I’m deeply saddened and concerned about the state of our nation, particularly our leaders. The extreme lack of empathy for others is heartbreaking to me. I am been thinking a lot about my role in this–how can I pray? How can I help? How can I use my voice? There are difficult roads ahead, and I want to choose courage and love.
Listening: Pentatonix/A Pentatonix Christmas. I love Christmas music, and this album is at the top of my list. Also, does this not give you chills?
Watching: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Y’ALL. My sister and I spent all day Friday binging A Year in the Life (complete with tacos, chinese food, candy sushi, and coffe), and now I feel like I need a therapy session. WHAT IN THE WORLD?!? Here are my thoughts (in a nutshell): MORE JESS. What is wrong with Rory? Why was every single thing that happened to her so out of character? Why is she so terrible? The Logan situation is THE WORST. The Dean interaction was perfection. I love Luke and Lorelei. Paris is still gold. More Sookie. More Emily. I greatly appreciated the numerous Parenthood references. Where the heck was the theme song? Why did we waste so many precious minutes with the Stars Hollow musical (even though it was hilarious)? Are they serious with those last four words? WILL THERE BE MORE?
Doing:Unpacking, cleaning, organizing, and unpacking some more. We FINALLY moved into our house last week, and it is an absolute disaster zone. We’re at the point in the process where it’s so overwhelming that every few minutes I just lay down in the middle of the floor and stare at the ceiling. It can only get better from here, right?
Anticipating: CHRISTMAS! The holiday season is officially here, and I love it. There are so many wonderful traditions this time of year like our church’s Hanging of the Greens service, watching Christmas movies, and driving around to look at all the beautiful decorations. Next up on our list is picking out our tree. It’s the best time of the year!
Reading: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I can’t even describe the respect and love I have for this lady. Her storytelling is incredibly honest and brave, and her vulnerability in talking about her journey wrecks me every time I read her words. I’m only about a third of the way through this book, but I can’t put it down. More on this soon!
Watching: The World Series. That’s right, people—I’m a baseball fan now. We watched the games when we visited Chicago last week, and now I’m all in. The excitement was too much for me to resist, and tonight is the night! GO CUBS GO!
Anticipating: The Belong Tour this weekend! My mom and I are heading to Charlotte on Friday to attend the Belong Tour, and I am so pumped to see some of my favorite writers/speakers in real life. Also, Ikea.
Planning: CHRISTMAS! Now that November has arrived, I feel like I can officially start getting really excited about the holidays. I’m thinking about Christmas decorations and making shopping lists….because I WILL finish my Christmas shopping before December hits. (I just can’t do the crowds.) We have some really exciting travel plans around the holidays, too, so there are good things coming!
Loving: All things fall! It has not felt like fall around here the past few weeks (I’m looking at you 80 degree days), but it’s starting to shift. The cooler mornings, pumpkins, new cups at Starbucks, and upcoming football plans have me feeling like the season has finally arrived. Now, if we could just get some changing leaves and scarf weather happening, we’d be all set!
Reading: Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty. Moriarty is one of my all-time favorite fiction writers. This one is starting off a little slow for me, but I’m still excited to see where it goes. More on this in my reading list post later this month!
Watching: This Is Us. YOU GUYS. If you haven’t watched this show yet, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch it immediately. It is that good. The first episode had me crying happy tears, and I’m so excited to see where they take the story. A lot of people are calling it the new Parenthood, and I buy it. Seriously. Go watch it now.
Listening: Gungor/Free. Maybe my favorite writing song right now. The whole album is pretty incredible.
Anticipating: I don’t want to say too much until it’s all official, but we have some major life changes coming our way this month. Let’s just say that we’re about to do some serious adulting. Stay tuned!
Loving: Carolina football. Y’all. I don’t know what’s going on, but our football team is killing it right now. And I’m pumped. I’ll leave you with this.
Reading: Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Shauna is my all-time favorite author, therapist, and personal motivator. I am so excited about her book, and I can’t wait to share more with you soon!
Listening: Lauren Aquilana/Isn’t It Strange? Bryan introduced me to this artist, and she is so, so good. We decided she’s a mix of Mumford and Sons and Taylor Swift. Love.
Anticipating: A weekend getaway with my hubby this month. August was absolutely crazy, and the first few days of September are even crazier. I am so ready for some plans we have to get away for two days to one of our favorite places. There will be delicious food, relaxing, shopping, beautiful scenery, and exploring. SO EXCITED.
Loving: Getting ready for fall. I’m sad to see summer go, of course, but I love fall, too. I love football season and boots and changing colors and cozy sweaters and fall decor. Plus, the cooler weather–bring it on.
Reading: The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger. Last week was really exciting because I got this one AND Liane Moriarty’s new novel was released. More to come on both of these!
Watching: Bryan and I finished binging My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix last week, and it was HILARIOUS. We just started Difficult People on Hulu, and it’s pretty funny, too—just a little more inappropriate. I love having a quick, funny show to watch with my hubby at the end of the day. Any recommendations for what we should watch next?
Anticipating: A girls’ weekend in October! I know it’s far away (really, really far away), but I am so excited for the girls’ weekend my friends and I are planning. My college roommates and I figured out that this year marks ten years of friendship, and we figured that is worthy of celebration. We’ve started booking hotels and plane tickets, and I’m so excited for a fun weekend in the sun with my favorite people in the whole world.
Planning: SO MANY CHURCH THINGS. Y’all, my calendar for August, September, and October is out of control. We’ve got a huge kick-off event, retreats, meetings, Promotion Sunday, special classes, trainings, family events, and about a bazillion other things coming up. I have to-do lists everywhere and not nearly enough coffee. They are all wonderful things, so I’m excited—but I’m already planning my spa day in November!
Loving: Soaking up the last few days of summer! We’re taking in as many baseball games, lake days, and ice cream cones as possible before life kicks back into full gear come September. What do you still need to check off your summer bucket list?
Reading: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m only a few chapters into this book, and it is SO GOOD. She writes about living a creative life and not letting fear stop you from doing and being what you really want. Her words are speaking so much truth in my life right now, and I keep finding myself underlining sentences and scribbling quotes on scrap pieces of paper. I think this is going to end up being an all-time favorite.
“And you have treasures hidden within you—extraordinary treasures—and so do I, and so does everyone around us. And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think so small.”
Listening: Adele/25. Let’s be real—everyone loves Adele. She’s kind of like Paul Rudd or Ellen Degeneres. Plus, any Adele song makes for the best car jam session EVER.
Watching: Bryan and I are rewatching The Office, and it has become out nighttime routine. I forgot how much I love Jim and Pam. I also love that I have 30 minutes of downtime with my husband to look forward to at the end of the day.
Planning: Trips, trips, and more trips. We have some big, exciting travel plans in the near future (more on that later), and I am loving researching tours, museums, entertainment, and (most importantly) places to eat!
Loving: My new job. I’m one month into my new job, and it has been wonderful. It’s been overwhelming and stressful at points (as all new jobs can be), but I’m loving the people I work with and am excited to really jump into some big projects. It’s crazy/busy/exciting times around here!
Reading: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. I think memoirs with recipes might be my very favorite kind of book. More on this later!
Listening: Christmas music, of course. Current favorite is the Pentatonix’s Christmas album. You can’t tell me this doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit!
Watching: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (I know, I know…we’re late to the game on this one). Bryan and I finally have several shows we both like that we’re watching together, and this one is our favorite. It is HILARIOUS. (Gina is one of the best tv characters of all time. Hands down.)
Praying: For peace. Yesterday, we lit another candle on the Advent wreath—this time for peace. When I reflect on what our world is longing for this season, peace stands out more than anything else.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Loving: Everything about this season–the music, the traditions, the decorations (like the adorable print from Minted shown above). I adore this time of year, and I’m so excited to soak it all in with people I love.