Sunday, February 01, 2015

What I'm Into: January 2015

[photo credits]

I've decided January and September are equally guilty in the way they fool me every year.  It's the beginning of a fresh calendar that you assume -- even though you've been alive for 43 years already -- will begin at the first day of the month, but really will be more like the last couple days of the month. It takes just about 3 weeks to recover from the previous season of hedonistic feasting to get back to any sort of rhythm and rhyme to life.  Thus was this January, including a nasty bout of sinus illness and the upheaval of getting two children shipped back out to their respective college homes hither and yon.  For my part, I'm always glad when October/February rolls around.


Ida was as visually beautiful as everyone said it would be -- both the scenes of winter in Poland and the wide-open canvas of Agata Trzebuchowska's remarkable face.  I was glad for all the beauty since the story was quite bleak.  What If was just plain fun and charming romantic comedy.  Fun to watch Daniel Radcliffe as a grown up.  American Sniper was heartbreaking and interesting to watch in a theatre full of Texans.  As for the criticism of glorifying war?  I don't get it.  Not even close.


I can't stop watching The Waltons.  The whole week I was sick I played episodes on repeat.  And Grantchester is just another reason to love Masterpiece Mystery!

in the kitchen

With the cold temps and the sinus suffering in January, my best experiences in the kitchen this month came in liquid form!  Our dear Rebekah made us the homemade Spiced Pear-Infused Vodka (after soaking pears for like 2 weeks!) and made perfect hot toddys.  The box of Twining's tea was a gift from our friend Jodi -- if Winter has a flavor, this is it. I've decided that I really do believe raw garlic and lemon heals.  Try it.  The trick is to pretend you're eating an Italian appetizer. 


I listed this months reads in a post:  My top 5 favorite reads in January

This year, I'm using a fun challenge checklist with a Facebook group of friends (and sisters!).  You can find the checklist here:  Take Our Ultimate Reading Challenge  If you'd like to join our Reading Challenge 2015 group on Facebook, let me know and I'll send you an invite! 
February's hope-to-read list: (finish) The Former HeroOur Town, The Pearl, and Country of the Pointed Firs (not all at the same time, of course!)

listening experiences

Audio streaming anything makes the daily mundane of my life better:  albums, playlists, podcasts, sermons, live concerts, your kids saying cute stuff on Facebook. On rare occasions (rarer than I'd like) the sound comes alive in a concert or house show or public reading. Here's some of what I heard and enjoyed in January.


  • Dallas -- we visited the JFK site, walked historic downtown and met Kendra for lunch!
  • Belton -- a short and sweet trip for my cousin's daughter's 5th birthday party -- we dressed fancy like Fancy Nancy.

neighbors and friends

  • small groups kicked off spring semester at Christ Church
  • co-workers keep making me laugh and providing the best part of my job
  • daughters saying good-bye after winter break in a big old group hug 
  • the loud celebrating the Sunday morning when Christ Church voted to purchase a new-to-us building in East Austin!
  • the 3 women around the world who sneak time to talk on the phone like this
  • the friend who fought for a parking spot in downtown Austin just so she could meet me for Vietnamese Pho within walking distance of my office
  • the friend I get to see for snatches of time each time I run through the lobby of the YMCA, in such a dang hurry
  • my sister who texts me recordings of my 2-year-old nephew singing Jesus Loves Me
  • I have been deeply enjoying each visit with the WALKING EPIPHANY guest bloggers

On the blog

Epiphany daybook posts  look, read, pray, listen do for the weeks of witness
WALKING EPIPHANY 2015: neighborhood notes from all over the world I had so much fun curating photos and words from friends who shared their neighborhoods -- from Austin to Southwest China and many places in between
What were you into in January?
Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately. 

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