Books I Read:
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
First, a disclaimer: I love Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I recommend it all the time. I also liked the Maddaddam Trilogy, although a long book series can sometimes weigh me down. To be fair, I enjoyed the writing and the story in The Heart Goes Last, at least up to a certain point. Then I didn’t anymore. I felt like the whole thing left me hanging. Maybe there’s supposed to be some existential meaning to it all and I’m just not smart enough to understand. But I was disappointed. 3/5 stars
For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
This one’s been on my “to-read” stack for a while and I finally managed to get to it while traveling. Chock full of Jen’s witty style, it’s an easy and important read, but not an earth-shattering one. Jen has great things to say about Jesus, parenting, church, community, and — bless — food. She kept me entertained the whole way through which is definitely saying something. 4/5 stars
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
With a unique and interesting premise for a novel, this one bowled me over by how close to modern life many aspects of it actually are. What if we got so wrapped up in using emoticons and memes and abbreviations that we actually forgot how to use words? What if we became so dependent on our gadgets that we weren’t able to think for ourselves anymore? Doesn’t seem too far-fetched in today’s technological world. The New York Times Book Review calls this “a nervy, nerdy dystopian thriller.” I liked the book, but I have to admit, the lofty language–and then the disappearance of language altogether– made it hard to read. I found myself wandering and having a hard time staying focused while reading it. 3/5 stars
The Lake House by Kate Morton
This novel was what I’ve come to appreciate as classic Kate Morton. A modern story intertwined with an older one, lots of mystery and intrigue and second-guessing. And all of it thouroughly enjoyable. The Audible version is fantastic! 4/5 stars
Freeing Christians from Americhristianity by John Pavlovitz
My Own Most-Read Posts:
What I Watched:
We went to the movies twice this month. Twice!!! It’s unheard of!
Anyway, we saw Suffragette which was dull in some places, even though it was inspiring and well-done overall.
We also saw Room based on the book by Emma Donoghue. I loved the book and the movie was excellent–so close to how I pictured it as I was reading. I’m not sure if this film is in wide release. We had to go to an out-of-the-way “artsy” theater to see it, but it was definitely worth it.
Other Stuff I Did:
- I celebrated my 17th anniversary with this guy!
- I gained about 37 pounds over Thanksgiving so I’m trying to cool it a little before Christmas hits. I’m thinking of trying Trim Healthy Mama once January arrives. Anybody had any success with this diet plan?
- I’ve started gearing up for a busy concert season this December. Musicians are in high demand come Christmas season, and my calendar is completely booked for the next two weeks with rehearsals and performances.
- We drove to Indiana from Texas to visit my sister for Thanksgiving. I wrote about it in my High Notes post!
What I Wore:
I’ve been spending a lot of time in these leggings. They are super comfy and thick for wearing under tunics and long sweaters. I wore them over Thanksgiving and I didn’t have to unbutton my pants once!
What I Learned:
1. How to work a Keurig.
Yep, I’m probably the last person in America to figure out how to operate one of these gadgets. My sister has one and my niece showed me how easy it is. Still not sure I want to plunk down the dough to get one of my own though!
2. Mucinex Sinus-Max Day/Night pack is the bomb.
The day we left for Indiana I came down with a terrible cold and felt miserable. We stopped at a Walgreens’ and I payed $20 for this little pack. But after the first night I was sold. Made all the difference and helped me get through the week without dying.
3. I truly enjoy reading blogs about blogging.
I discovered A Problem Like Maria and it’s a new favorite. She has a great 31 day series for bloggers that I’ve been devouring.
4. The secret to depuffing puffy morning eyes (that doesn’t require pre-freezing spoons or cutting up a cucumber).
This little Eye Refresh roller is awesome. I don’t know if it’s the eye serum or the roller ball that does it, but I’ve struggled with morning eye puffiness all my life and this is the best thing I’ve run across yet to get rid of it. When I wake up and notice puffiness, I apply this before getting into the shower. By the time I’m ready to apply my makeup, the puffiness is reduced considerably. And it’s cheap!
6. I already knew it but. . . my body does not like it when I don’t take care of myself.
I let myself get overstressed and overtired and ended up getting sick. Thankfully, it hit me right before the Thanksgiving holidays so I had some down time to rest and recover. . . even if some of that time was spent on the road. I preach it to everybody else all the time, but sometimes I forget to take my own advice: self-care first!
7. L-Methylfolate is changing our lives.
We had Travis tested for the MTHFR gene mutation and he tested positive. Since my sister also has the gene mutation, he likely got it from me. We started him on a high dose of L-Methylfolate per doctor’s prescription, and his mood has improved significantly. Something I didn’t know: about 80% of people with autism also have this particular genetic mutation, so it’s worth looking into if you have a child with autism who also has anxiety, depression and/or mood disorders. I wouldn’t say it’s a magic pill (nothing is), but we’ve seen significant improvement since starting it.
That’s what I’ve been into and up to this past month. How about you? What’s going on in your life that you’d be willing to share in the comments? I’d love to hear about it!