What I’m Into – December, 2012

HopefulLeigh_What I'm Into

Dude, what a month December has been.  I’ve been so busy revamping my life that I haven’t had much time for books or TV or movies.  Revamping my life is what I’ve been into in December, because I refuse to go into the New Year weary and ragged.

And though I haven’t had a ton of time for movies or books or TV, it’s not going to stop me from linking up with my buddy Leigh for this month’s “What I’m Into” sharefest.   So…


I’m still working my way through all things Ann Rinaldi, this month taking down “Time Enough for Drums.”  Another great one about the Revolutionary War and about finding love (romance, friendship, and family) in chaos.

And for Christmas, my aunt got me a couple of books on kayaking.  She says she wants me to be prepared before I put my boat in the water, but I got distracted by the discovery that you can build your own wooden kayak. One day, my friends, you’ll see that that in the “doing” section of a warm-weather “What I’m Into” post.


With all the Christmas specials on TV this month, I haven’t been watching much.  Admittedly, my Castle obsession has only gotten worse and I’ve been back-tracking to catch the episodes from early seasons that I’ve missed.

At the beginning of the month, in those late night hours that are really very early morning, I got sucked into a documentary on MTV called Catfish and have subsequently been watching Catfish: the TV Show.  It’s about people who meet and fall in love online, and the train wrecks that happen when they meet in real life and one of the people isn’t who they presented themselves to be on Facebook.  (I take solace in the fact that my guilty pleasure is not Teen Mom.)

And for the first time in many moons, I went to the theater, dropped $10 on a ticket, and saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Since I read the book in 6th grade and pretty much think Tolkein is the most boring writer in the history of the world, I was glad not to have remembered much of the plot when I saw the film.  I could actually enjoy it and enjoy it I did – minus the Orcs; they’re just creepy.


Awesome finds on Noisetrade again this month.  JJ Heller released a sampler of 8 of her songs, 3 of which are new songs to be found on her March 2013 release called “Loved.”  And if these 3 songs are any indication, it’s going to be a good one!  Also, for a short while, Donald Miller shared his audiobook Through Painted Deserts, which recounts his experience of roadtripping from Texas to Oregon with his buddy Paul in a beater Volkswagon van. It should shock no one that his story of friendship and self-discovery resonated with me.


I joined a gym and started working out with a trainer last month, so I’ve been working out regularly, eating smarter, and generally having a good time getting healthy.   In this vain, I’ve started training for a half-marathon and running more than I ever have in my life.  And I’m seriously considering giving the Warrior Dash a go with my uncle and my cousin in May, but given the amount of mud involved, I’m less excited about that idea.  I like being clean so very much.

So, poll time:  to be a warrior or not? And what’s your favorite workout music?


What I’m Into – November, 2012

HopefulLeigh_What I'm IntoNovember was time for family, both of blood and of choice.  I spent a lot of time on the road too, listening to podcasts and reading novels I haven’t had time for until now.  As such, it’s the perfect time for me to jump on board my blogger friend Leigh’s  What I’m Into link up.   Leigh regularly posts about the things she’s into, and because of it I’ve been introduced to new bands (The Avett Brothers) and new books (too many to name) and have found someone to chat with about the goings-on in the TV world of the Bravermans (NBC’s Parenthood).

What I’m Into has been a cool way to connect with someone over a shared love of music and movies and books and writing and a plethora of other things.  And since I’m all about anything that connects people to one another, I’m all about playing along and hoping that you guys also find yourselves connecting.

Now…let’s have some fun:


When my family was sorting through my aunt’s worldly possessions after her death earlier this year, I was allowed first crack at her books.  It was like mining for gold. She was a language arts teacher for older elementary school (4th -6th grades), and she collected classic, well-told stories. As such, I was introduced to the historical novels of Ann Rinaldi, and I have been devouring them since March.  I read 3 this month:  Juliet’s Moon, An Acquaintance with Darkness, and Or Give Me DeathOr Give Me Death is about Patrick Henry’s family, and told from the perspective of his daughter, gives the account of how they survived his absence at the beginning of the Revolution while their crazy mother was locked in the basement.  (And let’s not kid ourselves, the psychology of the family dynamic, though fictional, was fascinating to my psychologist self).

What’s been the coolest part of the Rinaldi novels is that it has given my friend Amy and I something really nerdy to talk about.  I mean, we’ve camped out in her living room for hours, her baby taking turns sleeping on our chests, dissecting the nuances of these novels.  (Okay, so we spent more time cooing and watching the baby, but still…when I finished Juliet’s Moon and was baffled by the weirdness of it, Amy was my go-to. And I will always love her for that.)

My Tuesday Night Bible Study girls and I have been reading Christine Caine’s Undaunted, and I recommend it if you want to be blown away by the story of woman who has experienced the worst that life has to offer and has maintained a deep faith that God is good and is in the business of changing the world for the better.  It’s challenging to say the least. And if nothing else, she will definitely open your eyes to the tragedy of human sex-trafficking that is plaguing the women of the world right now.

And I’ve been obsessed with Addie Zierman’s blog, How to Talk Evangelical. She wrote a great piece yesterday about “Church home,” and her story is so similar to my own that it’s a little bit scary. I finished and I sent her a tweet, but what I really want is to sit down with her and have a cup of coffee, coming together as two women who love Jesus and the church and have a lot to say about both.


I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I’ve been on a bit of an ABC’s Castle bender lately.  Probably because it’s been syndicated and every Wednesday is a marathon on TNT.  And probably because the main character is a writer, who’s quick with the puns and the snark, and something in that appeals to me.  I can’t possibly imagine why.

As I have been for the last two seasons, I’m hopelessly hooked on NBC’s Parenthood.  I’m not proud to admit this, but I actually rush home from Bible study to catch up on what’s happening with the Bravermans.  It’s the greatest combination of sentimental and hilarious, and I find myself hysterical with laughter and tears by the end of every episode.

But, my absolute favorite show as of late is NBC’s Go On.  Matthew Perry returns to sitcom TV as Ryan King, a widower who finds himself in a support group for people who are grieving.  And while it doesn’t sound like it would be, it is hands down the funniest thing I’ve seen on TV since Perry and Friends went off the air in 2004.


This is the part where I give you a list and let the music and the artists speak for themselves:  Audrey Assad (always!), The Lumineers, and Page CXVI.

I’ve also been keeping regular tabs on Noisetrade because they are offering (for free!) a boatload of really great Christmas albums: Sleeping at Last, Over the Rhine, Fiction Family, Sufjan Stevens, and a great sampler called Fireside Songs that features the music of JJ Heller, Katie Herzig, Ben Rector and other really great singer/songwriters.

Also, one of my favorites, Shauna Niequist, delivered a message a Willow Creek Church earlier this month called Iron Sharpens Iron from Proverbs 27:17 that highlights the beauty of trust and truth-telling in friendships – “The idea is that the people we live with are changing and shaping us, making us better, making us more like Christ.”   I swear I’ve listened to the podcast four times already.


After a season of really intense care-taking for other people, I have decided to take up a hobby: kayaking.  And without even putting the boat in the water yet, I am obsessed.

For Christmas, my parents bought me an Emotion Glide 9.8 ft lime green, one-person kayak.  We pick it up from REI on Monday.

And the thought of being able to grab the boat and an oar and ignore my cell phone and be on the water makes me, probably for the first time ever, wishing winter would pass and spring would come, like, next Tuesday.

So now, you tell me: what are you into?  And if you happen to be into kayaking, please tell me what your must-have item is that isn’t the boat or the oar.