What I’m Into – November 2013


What an incredibly busy and fantastic month!

I’m happy to be celebrating  Leigh’s one year anniversary of What I’m Into being a linkup.    I’m also pretty blown away that this post marks a full year that I have been participating in Leigh’s linkup!

 There were times when I barely finished the post minutes before the linkup closed. {Including this month…ahem.}  There were months the posts were full of  joy, there were months when I was searching for the joy to write about amidst pain and grief, and pretty much everything else in between.

Like so many others who link up with Leigh, I have had such a wonderful time with this linkup because not only do I read the other linked posts, {I truly do – I usually sit down with a hot cup of tea and a notebook and take inspiration notes}, but because writing these posts have helped me document the moments of my life this year.

Leigh, if you’re reading this post– I’m so grateful to you for creating this linkup – its been such a gift to me this year!!


 Blogisphere Faves

Cups Tap video (discovered on Annie Down’s blog).

I just can’t even express how happy this video makes me.  The rhythm the tappers are riffing on in this video comes from the song ‘played’ at many a youth group gathering far and wide – the ‘Cups’ song.  The late Christian recording artist Rich Mullins recorded his own version called “Screendoor On A Submarine”.  {If you sang it, girl, you know you remember it!}   I have my own favorite memories of performing this back in junior high with my youth group and Rich himself.

A no-doubt brilliant choreographer {who reminds me of my friend and favorite tap teacher, Amy Schwiethale} took this rhythm and set it to a song off of the Pitch Perfect movie soundtrack.  I’m pretty sure I know two of the tappers in this video {or have heard/worked with them in the very small 6-Degrees-of-Separation theatre world}, and seeing that they filmed and worked on the video at Pearl & Ripley Greer Studios in NYC just makes me miss my NYC and college tap classes all the more.  Come to think of it, I think I may just dig my tap shoes out of my dance bag, and find a local tap class – its my dance-class-favorite!

Simple Mom’s Re-Branding: The Art of Simple


I have to confess, I LOVED Tsh‘s re-branding of her blog empire The Simple Mom to The Art of Simple this month.  I’ve been reading her words and listening to her podcast for the past few months now, and  I’ve gleaned so much from her words that didn’t have to do with  wee ones.  I feel like the new title reflects the way the material has always been, and widens the official audience of her legions of fans.   Tsh’s new book, Notes From A Blue Bikeis coming out at the beginning of next year.  It’s amazing – go and pre-order it right now!  {And no, I wasn’t paid to say that – I’m just a big fan.  And you will be too.}

Katie @ Cardigan Way:  The Grace of Gratitude. Again. 

This is a beautiful post–just.read.it.

Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy:   What’s On YOUR Bookshelf? (A Linkup)

This post was by far one of my favorites of the month–both to read and to write.  I was a wee bit late {notice a theme, here?} to the linkup, but was thrilled to share the gritty and lovely details of my own bookshelves.


I read some incredible books this month!  That being said, I didn’t do near the amount of reading I’ve done most of this year, because after waiting and waiting – our schedule was not only chalk full of traveling, but moving home.   It was wonderful to read most of Jesus Feminist on airplane rides, and in snatches of time on vacation.  It was also a gift to finish Soil & Sacrament slowly and contemplatively –  like the book itself.  I’ve had Luci Shaw’s book on journaling for quite some time, and finishing it this month was full of serendipitous moments of reading passages at just the exact moment I needed their wisdom.  A fine month of reading, indeed.

What I Read

Soil & Sacrament by Fred Bahnson; Life Path: Personal & Spiritual Growth Through Journal Writing by Luci Shaw & Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

What I’m Reading

A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman; On Writing by Stephen King;  Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung, The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp & Allegiant by Veronica Roth.



I downloaded some music lovelies this month at Noisetrade; among them, the Paste Magazine 2013 Christmas Music Sampler & a collaboration between Josh Garrells & Mason Jar Music for a documentary.  I also discovered a new song by U2 on a Nelson Mandela Documentary – check it out below:


The Month of Travel

Its hard to believe when I type it, but I actually was traveling almost every single weekend of November, despite an out of state move the day before Thanksgiving! {I know, I know…stop the insanity.}

Our first stop this month was a trip to Texas…pre-move.  We moved furniture around, fretted about the amount of ‘stuff’ we’ve acquired that needed a place to land in our house, and generally smiled the whole way through the weekend, as we fully realized in less than a month, we’d be home.


The next weekend was a blissful and relaxing time with my family in Arizona.  As we had decided to stay at home this Thanksgiving {a perfect move–no pun intended– since that later became our moving weekend}, we visited family a few weeks earlier than usual.  The weather was balmy and absolutely beautiful for the desert.  We took walks {while I snapped too many pictures of cacti}, ate homemade meals {including incredible vegan recipes} around the family table, and simply just spent quality time with one another.  I thought traveling before a move was crazy, but that weekend provided the much needed rest and restoration we needed before the chaotic crazy kicked in.


Emily Freeman’s Day At The Barn

The next weekend found me in the gorgeous hills of North Carolina – both visiting my friend Katie, and attending Emily’s Day At the Barn.

I’m still processing through the beautiful and peaceful moments I experienced there.  A roundtable discussion of sorts involving questions/answers/tears and laughter brought me  to some important conclusions in my current artistic process.

We ate delicious vittles, hugged one another, laughed, and gave ourselves permission not only to dream, but to be ok right in the present moment.  I hugged Emily’s Mom, and marveled at how her daughters take after her–in smile, looks and charm.   I happily hugged one of my favorite kindred spirit bloggers Reeve and chatted as much as possible before she gave us the beauty and grace of her voice and songs, and I was so happy to see {and hug} a fellow blogger and kindred spirit Caroline, who is Myquillyn‘s virtual assistant.

I not only had a wonderful afternoon at the Barn with my favorite online kindreds, I was beyond grateful to spend a few days with my friend Katie and her husband.  We talked about books and pastors and theology and grace.  We ate a delectable breakfast at a local restaurant that I want to go to everyday.   Katie & I also caught a {FANTASTIC!} showing of Catching Fire.


Our Big Move

After almost two years {when, originally we thought it would be one year}, we received the most beautiful present indeed–we moved back home to our beloved Texas before the holidays – literally!  The moving truck loaded us up in a morning, and after a frenzied last minute flurry of clearing out our rental house, and a harried drive through 3 states when both my husband and I were out-of-our-mind tired, we pulled up to our home the day before Thanksgiving, and our boxes were unloaded just hours before my in-laws arrived!  We spent Thanksgiving weekend unpacking, cooking, feasting, sleeping and watching too much football. It was my first Thanksgiving in my own home {with my soul mate husband of course} since we usually travel out of state to one of our families.

Hosting our First Thanksgiving At Home


I can barely adequately express how perfect it felt to have our family gathered around our dining room table for the first time.   It was also the first time to use our gorgeous wedding china.  We had flower arrangements courtesy of my mother-in-law in my own mother’s delft collectibles as centerpieces.  We ate delicious food our hands prepared. {Along with the awesome-sauce turkey we ordered from the family store around the corner.  Arriving the day before Thanksgiving and trying to cook a turkey from scratch for the first time for my in-laws? No thanks!}

Being at home after 2 years away, sharing a meal with my husband and his family, and reveling in the abundance of blessings and grace-gifts made for one of my most favorite Thanksgiving holidays ever–full of moments to treasure and savor.


What I’m Looking Forward To In December

Packing, moving and now unpacking and settling in  took the bulk of our time and attention in November.    Because of that, I am most looking forward to being settled back in at home.  I’m also excited to sit by the fire with my husband and puppy dog, sing in our church’s Christmas cantata, visit my husband’s family for Christmas in the South, and perhaps cook up some special New Year’s Plans.  And of course, there is the most glorious and wonderful season of Advent, which I seem to enjoy more and more every year.

{I’m happily linking with Leigh for my 12th consecutive month.  Any compensation from affiliate links in this post go toward supporting this blog–thanks as always!}


What were you into this month?  What’s on the docket for your December?


One comment on “What I’m Into – November 2013

  1. Whoa – what a month! I am amazed that you even attempted to pull off a Thanksgiving dinner so soon after moving, and it looks like you did it wonderfully! I’m glad you linked up — better late than never!

speak your mind, share your heart