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Reading: January 2017

One of my goals this year is to journal more regularly regarding what I’ve been reading. Here are my notes from January.

Currently

Emma
I’m trying desperately to finish Emma. I love Emma and it’s probably one of my favorite PBS Masterpiece shows. I’m loving the book too, but I’m choosing terribly bad times to read it – like right before bed. I end up falling asleep after only 2 pages; which to be fair contains a lot of text, but still. The more I read Emma, the more I realize I’m so much like her. I’m so quick to make assumptions, the self-talk that Emma goes through regarding her frustrations with people around her is so similar to me…her self talk regarding Mrs. Elton, for example, absolutely cracks me up.

Upstream by Mary Oliver
I lucked into this book at the library last week and quickly snatched it up. I wasn’t sure what to expect with it, but I had seen it around the web-o-sphere so much that I felt I needed to read it. I knew it was a collection of essays, but honestly I feel like it’s more a stream of consciousness from a poet. I love the descriptions that she gives and it’s a book I do think I’d like to have on my shelf. I’ll write more about it when I’m finished reading it I think.  My favorite quote so far has been:
The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work. who felt their own creative power restive and uprising and gave it neither power nor time. from p.30

Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson
This has been a great book. I’ve only got a few chapters left and overall I’ve really enjoyed her approach to writing. It is a book about humility (and pride), but it’s written in such a way that it’s truly convicting – yet hopeful at the same time. More on this when I’m finished with it too.

On Being a Writer by Kroeker & Craig
I’m on the fence about this book. I’ve liked it and I’ve participated in some of the exercises in it, but I’m not sure that it was what I thought it would be. I am about half way done and I was very gung-ho with it when I first started, but now my desire to read it has kind of waned. Honestly now I just want to cross it off my list.

The Signature of All Things by E. Gilbert
This one I’m listening to on audio. I’ve loved it for the first hour; the story and characters have been so interesting. But as I listened to it yesterday I became a little nervous about where she’s heading with these characters. There were some parts of the book that I wouldn’t want to read, let alone listen to. So I’m a little bummed out and wondering if I should keep listening or not? It’s hard to abandon a book when you’ve invested an hour of listening time versus just a few chapters of reading.

The Headless Cupid by Z. K. Snyder
Ms. Snyder was one of the first authors I read and then proceeded to read all of her books as soon as possible when I was in upper elementary school. She’s been one I’ve been eager to share with my daughter based on my own memories and love of her stories. It has been an interesting read. I didn’t remember all the witches, magic and occult stuff in it and I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out if we should keep reading it or not. I know that in the end it is a ghost story/mystery and the witches part of it really isn’t the focus. It’s definitely led us to have lots of conversations about magic etc that I don’t think we ever had while reading Harry Potter.

Finished

Heidi
We read this for my daughter’s book club and it was the sweetest book. You do have to be careful which version you read. Ours was the original version by Joanna Spyri and was a copy from Veritas. It was such a great story about waiting for God and resting in his timing from the perspective of a little girl. Such a sweet mother-daughter read.

Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
I’m not sure about this one. I gave it 3 stars on goodreads. It was a fine mystery story and there were moments where it went along quite well, but overall it sort of dragged. It wasn’t a book where I wanted to read it during the day so it clearly remained my “just before bed” book.

Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry
I’ve long been a huge Anne Perry fan and honestly I think it’s more because I’m invested in her characters more than anything. Her older books are wonderful reads if you love a good Victorian mystery. The last few I’ve read of hers haven’t been quite as compelling. I do wonder how long she can keep going after having written so many books about the same groups of characters? This one was one of her better ones about William Monk, but it was really just a story focused on him. I love his wife and really missed the the interaction and just her story too.

What’s Next?

I don’t know! I have a few I grabbed at the library last week – one from my master list and then a Wally Lamb book I hadn’t read before (love him). But I am making myself finish Emma before I pick up another fiction book. I’m really wanting to read The Nightingale because I keep hearing it recommended so I think that’s where I’ll head next. After Humble Roots – I’m not sure what I’ll focus on for my spiritual reading.

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Wardrobe Architect 1: All About Style

Wardrobe Architect 1: All About Style

WAbanner

 

I have a brother that is nearly 8 years older than me and he was really the first person who introduced me to the idea of personal style. He was the person who introduced me to the idea of “pegging my jeans” and all sorts of other crazy 80’s fashions. If there was anything I would say about him though, it’s that he’s always been confident in his style and who he is with it. But me, no way. I know what I’m comfortable in but I’m still playing around with what my style is. That’s why I love and hate this wardrobe series. It’s asking questions I’ve never really considered.

The focus for this first section is all about your personal style. You can find the style worksheet here. The worksheet is broken down into different sections that should help me figure out how I dress and what I like. Here’s how my answers shook out.


History

How has your personal history informed the way you dress?
I think I started out being a little different (thanks to an stylish older brother), but over time I got nervous and I’ve gone very plain and traditional. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve really realized what I like, what I feel good in and what fits my body well.

Philosophy

How does your philosophy, spirituality or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits?
I’m not super fond of short skirts or showing off my back. I don’t mind a good tank top, but overall I’m pretty modest. I’m not sure if that is as much a reflection of just who I am deep down or my religion.

Culture

How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older?
When I was young, I wanted to dress cool to impress my older brother. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve started to slowly let go of the desire to dress to impress others and focus more on what I like.

Community

How are you influenced by the people around you?
Their encouragement definitely plays a role in what I wear and sew. I do dress for the different communities that I’m in. If I go out, take my daughter to her homeschool cooperative group, hanging out with friends or traveling to a bigger city. Each of those places plays a big role in what I’m going to wear. If I sew something and get compliments on it, I definitely get a boost in my confidence – not only in my sewing ability but also in my sense of style.

Activities

How do you day to day activities influence your choices?
I tend to be at home a lot so there are many days that I honestly just throw on something super comfortable and throw out the idea of any sense of style. When I do go out for different activities, I do try to be more intentional about what I’m putting on. But honestly, most of the time I’ve got on stretchy shorts and an old t-shirt 🙂

Location

How does climate factor in?
I live in the Southeastern US and the climate changes for sure around here. Layers are key in the spring and fall. Winter can be fairly cold and summer can be miserable humid and hot.

Body

In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing? What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in? What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?
I like fairly loose fitting tops, but yet tailored. I like skirts a lot, especially long flowy ones and can live in a soft, knit tee for days. I love cardigans.
I’m not a fan of tight tees or shirts with collars. I have almost completely lost my love of capri pants, although I do like to roll up my jeans just a little bit above my ankles. I don’t like cropped shirts and want my shirts below my hips most of the time. I’m also not a big fan of hoodies.

31 days {random writing}

I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound…in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:12-13

The last part of verse 13 has been our son’s “verse” for the longest time. For the years that he was wrestling, it was the verse my husband prayed with him before he went to the mat. It’s the verses that come before it that speak into my heart. I feel like I’ve been in this cycle for so many, oh my goodness, so many years.
Heaviness, weariness, burdens…so, so much. My response to this has been to count all of that as hunger and need. Now I’m wrestling with the thought of: was it all?
I can get stuck so easily into a habit: good or bad. Carrying my burden like a trophy. Thinking that our financial struggle is a burden. Never thinking that maybe it’s not. Maybe I am living in abundance, but I’m refusing to call it that. Maybe I am living in plenty, but I sit ignoring it because it’s not the plenty that I want.

I want so desperately to wake up in the morning looking at my day as a day filled with abundance because it is a day I know that He is in with me. The longer I ignore and call a goose what is really a duck the further and further I sink away from the world around me. This cloudiness that sits around my head is so much the result of my sin and failure to live here and now…this place and this season with my words and thoughts to His glory instead of my failures. Knowing that although we live not yet where we are meant to be, we still live in the time and place and circumstance that He is in with us.

No matter what time it is we learn to adjust to it on the basis of hope and purpose that GOD IS IN IT. ~ Z. Eswine