What I’m Into – May 2013


I wish I could say that this month was just GLORIOUS, and the spring energy just made me estatically happy…but that would not be the truth.  This month was REALLY HARD.  There, I said it – it just was.  I don’t mean to bring the pity party to this post – there were some beautiful moments amidst the tough stuff, and I’m glad I was looking for it because I really needed some beauty and goodness this month.   In one week alone, I lost a step-parent, sang at his memorial service, then rushed home and attended my college graduation ceremony the next day…

When I think of May 2013 in the future, I’ll probably honestly think of most of the things I wasn’t into, but I’m so grateful for this linkup to remind me of God’s blessings and gifts that helped me try NOT to focus on the darkness, but the light.

Favorites in the Blog-world:

I took a wee bit of a blogging/online break this month that was so needed.  Interestingly enough, the day after I wrote my post about the quiet I needed, my husband and I got the urgent calls you don’t want to hear, and travelled immediately to another state to be with my family during a time of grief and loss.  (I’m being cryptic to protect family privacy).  It turned out God knew that I would need the quiet much more than I anticipated.  For this reason, I didn’t read a lot online, but the gems I did were just wonderful.

Ashleigh Baker: Sing Loud
We’re all in this together, me with my discretion and you with your open book. You keep your secrets, I’ll tell mine, we’ll see-saw our way through this journey of ours, toward becoming ourselves, toward growing up, toward learning what it is we’re even trying to say. We’re telling our tales as we live by them, we’re singing our songs with full lungs, we’re dancing until our limbs go numb, we’re discovering truth in the dank cellars and the sunshine.


Katie @ Cardigan Way:  Books That Have Changed My Life {Linkup}
If your life had one bookshelf, what would be on it?  What author{s} have moved you?  Which series was so compelling, you forgot to eat?  You met the characters in your dreams?  The thinker’s question still rings in your ear?  What books…shifted your paradigm?
Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy:  2013 Summer Reading Guide

For the second year in a row, I enjoyed Anne’s summer reading pics.  She’s got a great variety here – I’ve read a good few of them myself.  I’ve already started one of her YA recommendations, When You Reach Me.  I was intrigued in part because the story incorporates elements from  one of my faves, A Wrinkle In Time.  I’m looking forward to checking out lots of these books this summer.

On My Blog

I took great delight in joining Katie’s linkup and writing about the books that changed my life.  Find that post here.

Books I Read


I felt like I was reading like crazy this month, but I actually only finished two books. (Though one was from a few years ago that I picked up to finish.  So really, I guess I only fully read 1 and 1/2.)  I finished Kathleen Norris’ Quotidian Mysteries and Mark Buchanan’s The Rest of God.  Buchanan’s writing is a thing of beauty, and in particular, the chapter Feast: Stopping To Taste The Kingdom was exquisite.   Its a beautifully written reminder of the excess of food in our culture, and the importance of differentiating between fasting and feasting.  It’s a worthy contemplative must-read.

In the Bible, food is food–a gift of the earth that makes our bones strong and straight, that lends joy to our gatherings–but it is also a picture of something else: the way God fills and nourishes us.  Sometimes our feasting expresses this, and sometimes it eclipses it.  Sometimes our abundant meals reflect God’s abundance.  Other times, all our eating dulls us and lulls us into forgetting Him altogether…
I have two suggestions for this Sabbath Liturgy.  The first is that you receive your very next meal–breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever–as a gift from both heaven and earth.  Partake of it with thankfulness and simplicity, eating just enough to fill you, then stopping.  Nourish your spirit and your body together.  Try to do this whenever you eat and drink.  The other suggestion is that your next Sabbath meal be a feast; a time of enjoying the sheer bounty of God and His creation…
Mark Buchanan


In the midst of a week of mourning, the UPS man delivered a literary gift to me in Carry On Warrior: Thoughts On Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton.  (Apparently, I’m the last blogger hiding under a rock that didn’t know about her blog Momastery, but then again, I usually don’t frequent the Mommy blogs.  However, her blog really doesn’t feel like one to me.  Her writing is so fantastic and real and raw, and she seems like one of the ‘cool kids’ that’s somehow lovely and accessible.   I’m now a regular reader of her blog after this fantastic book.  I’m almost done with this one, but I’m purposefully going slow.  Her life and struggles are very different than mine, but through her story I’m learning much.

Currently reading

I just started Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Riehl, The Summer of Great Grandmother   by Madeleine L’Engle and I’m still struggling through Start by Jon Acuff. (NOT because it’s a bad book, it’s just the life season I’m in right now.  I’ll probably put it down for awhile and finish it later this year.)  I’m also watching the videos & reading the lecture articles of Beth Moore’s Deuteronomy series–it’s fabulous.  I recently renewed my library card after 10+ years away, and checked out a STACK of books to peruse–I’m sure you’ll hear more about these in later posts.  I find when I’m going through a tough time, I gravitate to books.  Sometimes I just want to ‘numb’ out, and sometimes I just want a delicious escape.  I’m also an avid reader in the summer.

Movies I Saw

I absolutely loved the new Star Trek movie – we went on my husband’s birthday.  I have to say, I have a new favorite movie star/talent crush: Benedict Cumberbatch.  Oh.my.word…and can we agree he has the coolest-sounds-like-a-literary-character name ever?   I also watched a beautiful movie on a peaceful afternoon at home that has stayed with me: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  I even wrote down some quotes from Judi Dench’s character in my journal:

Like Darwin’s finches, we are slowly adapting to our environment.  And when one does adapt, the riches that are available!  …There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it; only a present that builds and create itself as the past withdraws.


Most Fun & Thrifty Purchase


While in a small Missouri town this month, I found this cute little summer purse in mint condition at a thrift shop–score for summer!

Journals & Pens Galore


I treated myself to one of the best writing pens EVER upon my graduation.  (Pictured above)  I’m also journaling more than I have in years.  For the first time, I’m branching out and keeping multiple journals for various topics, which strays from my usual lifelong method of keeping everything in one book. (Except for my happy list/gratitude journal).  I’ve started a lovely food journal (one of my favorite Write Now Journals) where I’m listing all of the different food items I buy at Trader Joe’s (‘Cause I’m nerdy and addicted to TJ’s, I admit it), as well as being diligent at keeping a food diary whilst on my diet to help keep me accountable.)  I also started a ‘Reading Journal’ that I’ve had for awhile, as a way to write more about my reads and write down my favorite quotes all in one place.  I’m rounding out this journal pile with my happy list/gratitude journal that I love, and my current journal – a beautiful leather book with one of my favorite places in Europe on the cover, Rome’s Trevi Fountain.  Add in my favorite writing pens, and I’m in journal heaven.

Important {and Fun} Life Moments



Seeing my brother and his beautiful family was an unexpected blessing in my month.  Watching my little brother step up and be an incredible father to his precious baby girl made me so happy and proud.  We took a brief moment and took my niece and her cousins to the a fishing dock, and holding my niece made my heart sing.


A thrilling event that happened for me this month was my graduation with my undergraduate degree in Musical Theatre!!  I had been swept into a cloud of grief up to the morning of the services, and had to honestly talk myself into going to the ceremony.  Of course when I did, I was refreshed, re-energized and so grateful to celebrate a year and half’s worth of work with my colleagues, professors and sweet husband and aunt.  I hope my parents were smiling down from heaven – it was a happy and proud moment I’ll always treasure.


May also held a fun weekend with my best friend at her bridesmaid luncheon followed by her bachelorette party.  Even though the bachelorette shindig was held at a casino, it wasn’t as racy or crazy as that could imply–it was a delight! My friend’s idea of gambeling is the penny slot machines, so we had fun eating bbq, watching her/making her ride a mechanical bull (all part of a fun scavenger hunt), and just hanging out.  Since cigarette smoke pretty much knocks me out, I had to take breaks and hang out in the hotel room.  I pretty much watched others gamble more than doing it myself, because a)I’m pretty unlucky with throwing money into a machine  b) I’m kind of bored by it, but mostly because (c I would rather use the money for books. (yep, I’m just that excitin’.)  Thankfully, my best friend/soul twin knows that about me, so we all had a blast.  I snapped this pic of her at dinner (pre-bullride)–I was happily tickled that she embraced her hilarious pink (NOT her favorite color) bachelorette attire.  I can’t wait to watch her walk down the aisle and marry her best friend in June!


What I’m Looking Forward To In June:

My best friend’s wedding, trips home, reading to my Grandmother, taking my sweet pup on walks with my husband, continuing to eat right, working out regularly, dreaming up a short fun summer getaway or two, and spending time writing, particularly at my favorite bookstore.

What were you into in May?  What’s in the works for your summer?

 {I’m always happy to link with Leigh each month – affiliate links used.}

12 comments on “What I’m Into – May 2013

    1. Thanks so much Cara – and thanks for reading! I’m just finishing ‘Carry On Warrior’ – her writing is so fun to read – she reminds me of Anne Lamott’s sister–if she had one, that is! 🙂

  1. {Hugs to you Sarah.} Your very brave for sharing here about your loss.

    I read Comfort Me with Apples years ago and really loved it. I started Garlic and Sapphires but didn’t get far. I need to pick it up again. Have heard great things about Tender at the Bone, too.

    1. I’m glad to hear you liked ‘Comfort Me With Apples’ – I first heard of it on one of author Shauna Niequist’s booklists. Garlic & Sapphires didn’t look as interesting to me–glad I chose the right book. 🙂

  2. I am so very sorry about your step-dad!

    I would love to know your favorites at TJ’s… There’s one in Spokane and I like to stock up when I go into town. Plus, I just love TJ’s. I used to work at Coach and that stye of purse is one of my favorites. Major score! I think I’M the last blogger to hear about momastery. Thanks for the heads up 🙂 There’s something about her book that’s so visually appealing. Heading over to ready your book list now…

    1. Thanks so much for reading Emily! (I love your blog!) You have inspired me to start writing a TJ’s blog post, and Katie had a great idea to do a linkup with that – love it! I was so psyched about my Coach find – the thrift store was lITERALLY in the middle of nowhere, and the bag was under $30–yippee! I agree about ‘Carry On Warrior’ – it kept drawing me in visually with the cover as well! Really enjoyed your booklist on Katie’s linkup!

  3. You have been on my mind lots, dear friend! I hope that June has invoked some peace and hope in your step. I am so, so excited to FaceTime sometime soon…especially with school out now {for us both!}.

    I LOVE your idea of a TJ’s list. And I want to know your favorites! After reading Emily’s comment, I’m thinking that maybe a TJ’s faves list would make a great link-up… 🙂 I would totally link up if you did!

    Let’s talk soon…blessings on you all and prayers for your coming days.

    1. Hello Friend! Thanks SO MUCH for your sweet and encouraging words! YES, we.need.Facetime. 🙂 I was actually just journaling my TJ’s list, but Emily has inspired me, and I LOVE your idea of a link-up! I’ve definitely got to do that – I’ve never done a linkup post! (confessional time 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading – it means alot!

  4. Oh, Sarah, what a bittersweet month for you. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and of the other matters you’ve been dealing with. I hope June will be filled with better days for you and that God will draw near to you as you mourn.

    Congratulations on your graduation! I hope you’ve found time to celebrate this accomplishment. Glennon’s blog really does feel like it’s for everyone, doesn’t it? She’s coming to town in a couple of weeks so I plan to read my copy before then. I read Tender at the Bone while I was out of town and plan on reading Comfort Me With Apples next- Reichl is an impressive writer! Awesome thrift score!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Leigh. I think you’ll love Glennon’s book – I’ve highlighted it like crazy – she sort-of reminds me of a sassy Anne Lamott. 🙂

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