It's hard to believe Christmas season is upon us. Especially since it was 70 degrees over the weekend! We're in the middle of a cold rainy spell so it's harder to be in denial about winter's imminent arrival. For now, here are a few of my November highlights.
Read and Reading:
My friend Jennifer Luitwieler's book Run with Me is tremendous. Even though "running" is in the title, it's really not so much about running as it is a reckoning. Jennifer explores her past as she becomes an accidental runner and finally frees herself of the crap that's held her back. Someday I hope to sit down with her and talk through all that became unloosed through the reading. This line stuck with me for quite awhile: "Lies are fictions that keep us from trying the challenges we want to face, from stepping up to something new, from embracing the uniqueness we each have."
I finished reading Consumer Detox (Powley). Full review is on the way. But for now: read it.
The other book that absolutely blew me away was Orange Jumpsuit. I'm a little irritated if you are already aware of the talented Tara-Leigh Cobble and never told me. Not only is she a great author, she's a wonderful musician as well. Orange Jumpsuit reminded me of a cross between Don Miller and Shauna Niequist. Annie Blogs first mentioned this book a couple of weeks ago and I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I dived in right away and couldn't put it down. There's a lot of Tara-Leigh's story that's similar to mine, though there are differences as well. I was encouraged by the ways she wrestles with God, sees Him in all things, and how she handles relationships. I totally owe her a cup of coffee for her words of wisdom. Now on to read her first two books!
(I read 6 books this month. It is killing me that I haven't had time to read more. Too. Many. Projects.)
TV: My must-see TV: Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Parenthood, Chuck, Parks & Rec.
I hope that you already love and appreciate Psych. Here's how to take your appreciation to the next level. My friend Clay and I have put together a Twitter group of Psych enthusiasts, which we have dubbed #psychophants. Let me know if you want to be added to the list. We'll be chatting during tonight's episode, which I assume will be comprised of quoting Shawn and Gus's best lines.
The Thanksgiving episode of The New Girl gave me hope that the show is finally hitting its stride. It doesn't hurt that Justin Long is on a 3 episode guest stint either.
I finally watched an episode of Downton Abbey and I now cannot wait for the second season to start. January 8, baby. Just in time for my birthday.
Movies: I just realized I get the Hallmark channel. This means I have more than met my cheesy romance quota for the next decade.
Music: New discoveries include Matthew and the Atlas, Farewell Milwaukee, and Liz Longley. I'm working on my annual Ode to Friendship mix CD. Fingers crossed it'll be done by Christmas. And when I'm not working on that, I'm listening to Christmas music. Last night I went to my first Christmas concert of the season- Amy Grant, Point of Grace, Melinda Doolittle, and other guests for a free show at Lipscomb University.
In the Kitchen: I made my grandma's Cream Cheese Jell-o for the first time and it was a big hit at Thanksgiving. I love introducing family recipes to my friends!
In the Blogosphere:
Along the same lines, I loved this guest post of Nish Weiseth's over at Mason Slater's blog on the plight of women in the church.
I'm a new fan of Cakes, Tea, and Dreams. Katie has one of those blogs that you read and swear you'd be real life friends if given the opportunity. We're total reading twins- in fact, she just might outread me. I never thought that would happen!
Kristin talks about "both-and" Advent, the notion of waiting and acting at the same time. This really resonated.
I'm a Christian, unless You're Gay. This is one of the most powerful pieces I've read in some time. It's lengthy but well worth it. And then read the two follow up posts. This message is saving lives and reuniting families. Incredible!
I'm toying with changing up these monthly recap posts. I sense that people are more interested in my reading habits, than what I've been watching on TV. To that end, I could borrow Katie's format and simply list each book I've read with a few thoughts. Thoughts? Opinions? Outcry?
What have you been into this month?