What I’m Into {March 2014 Edition}

What I'm Into ~ Plumfield Dreams

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What I’m Reading

Pandemonium ~ This is the second book in a young adult trilogy by Lauren Oliver. Like all YA trilogies, it has its flaws, but I am enjoying this one more than many. I like YA dystopia because they are quick, easy reads. I read them for a brain break, and this series has been good for that. I’ve got the final book on my nightstand now.

The Cuckoo’s Calling ~ This is the mystery JK Rowling wrote under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym. I don’t typically read mystery novels, but I had to give hers a try, and I loved it. It was entirely engaging, and of course beautifully written. I’m looking forward to the next installment, which comes out in June. (Oddly, I read two mystery novels in March, because The Maltese Falcon was our book club choice – also excellent, and a short, quick read.)

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches ~ This was a reread for me. It’s my favorite “parenting” book. It’s a slim volume with short chapters, easily digestible for a busy mom. I think I’m going to start reading it once a year. It challenges and encourages me. I find Jankovic’s straightforward, friendly writing style refreshing, and, my word, does she have some wisdom.

A Million Little Ways ~ Oh. There are no words. I LOVE this book. I may write an entire post on it soon, I love it so much. It’s all about living intentionally and bravely where you are, the way God made you – in the slow and the quiet and the unglamorous (or the opposite, if you’re one of the few for whom that’s reality). Freeman’s writing is always comforting to me even while it challenges me to move beyond my comfort. You know how some writers always seem to say just what you need them to? Just that thing you are struggling to absorb, to fit words around? That’s what Freeman does for me.

Others: Stories I Only Tell My FriendsThe Maltese FalconMr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Currently reading: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against ExcessRequiemBread & WineUnbroken

What I’m Watching

Veronica Mars ~ The movie dropped mid-March, and I watched it that day. I’m guessing it’s featuring in most What I’m Into posts this month. 🙂 It has its flaws, and has taken much criticism for catering to the fans. Being one of those fans, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and don’t see why giving the fans what they want is supposed to be a bad thing. I’m thinking some writers just had a quota to fill on the subject, so that’s the angle they chose. I was thrilled to see the end left it open for the story to continue.

Pretty Little Liars ~ I’ve been watching through this series on Netflix. It’s addictive. It has flaws, of course, and as usual with teen shows, it is ludicrous in many ways, but that’s not the point, so I’m cool with it. One of the main characters is named Aria. I knew that, but it’s strange to hear my daughter’s unusual name used with such frequency on a television program.

Gilmore Girls ~ I’ve been rewatching this old favorite. I find I am viewing it with new eyes. Never before have I found the Gilmore ladies so irritating. I think I will always love this show for its quirky characters and fabulous dialogue; but, my word, could these women make more ridiculous, self-sabotaging life choices? (The answer is no, no, they could not.) But hey, Melissa McCarthy has never been more charming or funny than as Sookie St James.

The Good Wife ~ If you aren’t caught up on this show (as in, last night’s episode), you may want to skip this part of my post.

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

I cannot believe they killed Will. When I realized this was really happening and they weren’t going to take it back, I did some googling and found the actor wanted to move on. He just got married and no longer wants the long hours of TV filming. Good for him. Also, I’m mad at him. The Good Wife has some of the best writing and acting on television right now, and I am intrigued to see where they go from here. But before I can move on I have to mourn. I cried a lot last night. And then I stayed up way too late, because I couldn’t sleep after that. Look, I’m an emotional person. I know it’s a TV show. Shut up.

END SPOILER

What I’m Listening To

Christa Wells ~ I heard about Wells’ music for some time on the blogosphere before I checked her out. I shouldn’t have waited so long. Beautiful and deep. I highly recommend.

More Than Rubies ~ More Than Rubies is a duo, half of which is Christa Wells. Not only are their melodies and lyrics fantastic, they do interesting, unexpected things with their harmonies. I love it when a musician surprises me (it’s pretty hard to do).

Nickel Creek ~ I am currently listening to their new album, which technically comes out tomorrow, but arrived in my mailbox over the weekend. It is fantastic. I can’t stop smiling.

Around the Web

Tim and Emily have a guest space in their beautiful Kentucky home now, and I want to go stay with them. Honestly, it’s not so much because I have a yen to visit their city. I mostly want to go pretend we’re best friends for a weekend. They’d be fine with it if I took the kids down and just followed them around for a couple days like a puppy who has tiny children…right?

Sally Clarkson has created a free, digital devotional called “Taking Joy to Heart“. I haven’t dug into it yet, because I’m finishing up the current session of HelloMornings, but I’m eagerly anticipating it, because I love this lady’s heart. The devotional only covers 11 days, so it’s a good length for those afraid to make a commitment.

What I’m Pondering

I haven’t been posting around here much this year, and this is why: Everyday Rest.

 

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into. Check out the other fantastic blogs for more fun and inspiration.

You can see what else we’ve been up to this month by checking out my 5 on Friday posts:
The One with the Fun Weekend Plans (in which I share a yummy paleo BBQ sauce recipe)
The One That’s Nearly a Week Late (in which I get my first Quarterly Book Riot shipment)
The One That’s Only Five (in which I share a gorgeous Christa Wells song)
The One with a Jim Gaffigan Show (in which we, well, you ought to be able to figure out the highlight of this one)

What I’m Into {February 2014 Edition}

What I'm Into ~ Plumfield Dreams

{This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Plumfield Dreams!}

What I’m Reading

The Antelope in the Living Room – Oh, my word, Melanie is hi-lar-i-ous. I read her take on motherhood when it came out last year, so I knew I needed to read this book on marriage immediately upon its release. I was right. Do yourself a favor and read it. It’s just a happy-making book. This post by Boo Mama is a great introduction to the book (also, her story at the beginning is so my marriage).

Quiet – I’ve wanted to read this for ages, so I was excited when it came up in my book club’s rotation. Imagine my surprise, then, to find myself underwhelmed. (I know, I know – don’t hate me.) Every review I’ve seen has been favorable, and when I realized all those reviews were written by introverts, I could see why. The book entirely, and rightly, validates the feelings and preferences of the introverted among us. Personally, I fall right down the middle on the introverted/extroverted scale, and I couldn’t help but notice that Cain’s take on extroverts was markedly negative. I also felt the book skittered around without cohesion. There were sections I thoroughly enjoyed, and I would still recommend it to introverts, or anyone who loves an introvert and wants to understand them better.

Eleanor & Park – This is an interesting book. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, frankly. There were things I liked and things I didn’t, and I finished it feeling pretty “meh”. It’s a young adult novel, and I don’t love that – I think the language and some of the content are inappropriate for young people. It kept me engaged, though it was longer than I would have preferred. I’m intrigued enough to go ahead and read another of the author’s books, Fangirl, which I currently have on hold at the library.

Currently reading: Stories I Only Tell My FriendsThe No-Cry Sleep SolutionA Million Little WaysLoving the Little Years, and Walt Disney: An American Original.

What I’m Watching

I have joined the rest of the world (or just the rest of the blogosphere? Sometimes I get them mixed up) and watched Veronica Mars. And then watched it again. Because, oh, my word, how did I not know how fantastic this show is? I LOVE it. I’m glad I didn’t know about it ten years ago, because it would have been horribly wrenching to be left dangling like that. What a relief to only have to wait a month for resolution. Because they’re going to put Veronica and Logan together, right? RIGHT?! If not, you’ll be hearing from a bitter me at the end of next month.

On a related subject, have you seen this video? It is potentially the cutest thing I’ve seen yet this year. And I have a toddler AND a baby.

What I’m Listening To

Nickel Creek is releasing a new album in honor of their 25th anniversary, and THEY ARE TOURING. I have me a ticket. Check out these two new songs they’ve released on YouTube:

Around the Web

I love me some Neon Fresh, and this particular edition of This is How I Feel is brilliant.

Why You Really Matter: An Anthem for Women by Ann Voskamp. I look around at all these women, scarred and banged up and brave and still standing, and the singer is standing there a bit bare and all I can hear is their song. All I can hear is the whole uncontainable song of this sisterhood of women and I see how their lives break the refrain and the whole place reverberates with a truth that rolls over…. rolls like thunder.

Sally Clarkson’s wisdom slays me over and over again. Are You Raising Warriors or Refugees? Often I see parents who raise their children to run away from the cultural battles and to stay far off from those who are lost and broken and who have scars and difficulties.

This is where my heart is right now. Why It’s Really Okay: The Need to Slow Down (Ann Voskamp again). God’s Word never says Hurry Up. God words only whisper: Wake Up.

Geeking Out

I’m excited that Roo from Neon Fresh has started a blog for parents of kids with allergies and skin issues. Her most recent post was a response to that whole ridiculous cupcake hullaballoo, and she nailed it.

HelloMornings is back! A new session started this week, and I am grateful to be back on Twitter chatting with my sisters in my group. And the study of Ruth is so well done. The format for HelloMornings has changed, with shorter, more frequent sessions. I am glad for that, because I think it will make it easier to stick it out the entire time. Here’s the schedule for the rest of the year:

 

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into. Check out the other fantastic blogs for more fun and inspiration.

What I’m Into {January 2014 Edition}

What I'm Into ~ Plumfield DreamsThis is my first time participating in Leigh Kramer’s monthly “What I’m Into” linkup. I’m excited! I love this sort of thing. Hopefully some of you gentle readers do, as well. (Speaking of what I’m into…when I typed “gentle readers” my mind went to a specific Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode. Can you go there, too? Oh, I hope so, because that means you lead a happy life.)

What I’m Reading

I’ve been sick so much, and subsequently so busy when I’m well, that I haven’t gotten much reading done. I even missed book club. A Million Little Ways has been my primary read this month, and it is fantastic. It’s been a while since I’ve done much underlining in a book, but this one is getting heavily marked up. It has inspired a lot of thoughts, all milling around waiting for me to have the time to focus properly on each. It’s a book to savor, for sure.

The books most heavily in rotation with the kids this month are Katie Loves the Kittens, a couple I Spy books Aria got for her birthday, Madeline’s Rescue, one of Andy’s Garfield comic strip books Aria found on the bookshelf, and Charlie the Ranch Dog.

What I’m Watching

Downton Abbey AND Sherlock came back this month, so I’m basically in television heaven. I’ve also been rewatching NCIS. I’m up to season nine, which is the last one I own (no, I did not watch nine seasons this month). There are many things to appreciate about this show, but one of my favorite aspects is the subtlety. They don’t spell things out, and they don’t show a lot of the relational situations. Instead, they drop hints – verbal, contextual, and physical – and trust the viewer to follow. It’s refreshing.

Geeking Out

I just learned about this awesome curated box of bookish things you can receive quarterly. I AM SO EXCITED. I only wish I had learned about it before the first box went out, because I want everything in it. Oh, and I also wish I could afford to do this one, too. And that I could gift one to everyone I know.

Around the Web

Emily Freeman is one of my favorite bloggers (she also wrote A Million Little Ways). This post about Choosing the One You Least Expect is moving and inspiring.

I can very much relate to the whole waffling thing Anna discusses in Moms Need More Swagger (also to the idea my mom knew everything with confidence, and to the waiting for that to kick in).

The Kids Are Learning 

Aria (two) has started saying “I love you” and “I like you”. The latter is a song from her favorite TV show, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”. She has also started singing – more than just mimicking me – beginning with the “I like you” song. She has become extremely polite. It’s cute. She says “thanks” for pretty much everything, is getting quite good at remembering her “pleases”, and (my favorite) says “excuse me” if she needs to pass you. I hear “‘Scuse me, Mommy” a couple dozen times a day. She has also learned to apologize to her brother if she does something mean, or something thoughtless that results in him getting hurt. She’s pretty good about it, but sometimes I feel badly because I’ve heard her saying “Sowwy, Noey” when he cries about something totally unrelated to her. It’s cute, and a little sad, but I think she just doesn’t quite understand it yet. She seems to be basically trying to get him to be quiet. 🙂

Noah (6 months) is starting to play independently on the floor for short periods of time. Yesterday I left him in the Bumbo seat on the living room floor, and when I came back ten minutes later he was hanging out on his belly on the floor. We may be about done with the Bumbo seat. He isn’t crawling yet, but he does push himself up almost onto his knees regularly, and he pulls himself around the room. He got three more teeth in a period of about four days, so he now has a total of five. We started him on solids a couple weeks ago. Thus far he’s eaten avocado, banana, sweet potato fries, roasted carrots, green beans, and homemade chicken fingers. He seems to have enjoyed all of it.

What I’m Pinning

Super Bowl food! We started our clean eating endeavor this month, and I’ve been pinning food like crazy.

Here’s what we think we’re going to try for the Super Bowl:

Buffalo Wings with Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Spinach Brownies

Texas-Style Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

 

What I'm Into

Things I’m Loving Right Now

I’m not going to do a Book Stack this week, because it will look largely the same as last week. Instead, I’d love to share a few things I am enjoying right now.

I just finished 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and it is WONDERFUL. I cannot stress this enough. The writing is beautiful, and the humility with which she invites the reader to journey with her from fear to thankfulness is inspiring. Each chapter prodded me more to remember in my daily life that, as Ann says, “all is grace”.

It’s Christmas music time in our house, but I have been taking breaks from it to listen to this self-titled album by singer-songwriter Josh Doyle. Every time I listen I like it more (that’s what usually happens when I find an album that I end up adding to the “love” list). I highly encourage you to check him out. On a side note, when I was a tween (though we weren’t called that then), I danced with him during the dollar dance at his wedding, and I remember being astonished that anyone could dance that smoothly. It felt like he was part of the music. So, yeah, music is intrinsic to this guy. To this day he’s the best dancer I’ve ever had the privilege of dancing with.

Other random things I’m getting a kick out of right now:

  1. Omelettes and hot chocolate – my breakfast each morning for the past week, and man, is it goooood.
  2. Friends reruns. I had forgotten how funny that show is. Also, I had no idea how much of it I had already seen. I do not want to know how much of my life I have spent watching television.
  3. My Christmas playlist. Top picks right now include Bing Crosby, James Galway, and Amy Grant.

And, last but not least, some blog posts I’ve found interesting/inspiring/amusing:

Melanie at Only a Breath challenges us to live fully When Life Seems Too Fragile.

There’s a beautiful free printable over The Nesting Place.

Seth Godin has an idea for getting unstuck.

Sweet Amy at Raising Arrows gives us ideas for Slowing Down for the Holidays.

Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace has ideas for how you can have Christ in Christmas.

Be blessed, friends! All is grace!

Katy

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