Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Song #2// Put on Your Sunday Clothes

Hello Dolly will always be one of my favorite musicals and I think this song will always be one of my favorites from the film!! Last week I was a little blue with Austin being gone and so as I would get ready in the morning, I would play this song. It’s hard to be sad when you’re singing and dancing.... although Luna is definitely not a fan of me doing either!!

Xo- kel

Friday, January 31, 2020

January 2020 reads

For 2019 my goal was to read 100 books.... I think I got to the mid 60's. 
So this year, I am determined to read 100. 

I've also joined some awesome facebook reading groups- Silent Book Club, PBS Reads, and a private 202 Reading Challenge group that a friend invited me to. Each one has great discussion, great ideas, and even ways of tracking books.  So let's just say that my "to be read" pile has increased expediently!! 

January reads and how I rated them: 

( I actually picked this for our Ashes' Book Club- our family Tea Room's book club which meets every 3 months). 
Okay so I enjoyed reading this story, but it also brought back painful memories of when my dad left my mom so it was hard to get through. Luckily it had humorous parts and was relatively short. 

(This was a book club pick for my friends book club group, but I was behind on reading it. I do plan to read the whole series this year). 
A classic. I cannot believe I haven't read this sooner. And of course the ending made me cry. 

I've had this book waiting to be read for awhile. Maybe if I had read it earlier I would've liked it better, but for where I am now I just didn't enjoy it. It wasn't consistent in its point and I didn't agree with a lot of what I read. *

Galatians.... Edited by James Merritt ***
To be fair, I was co-leading a Bible Study group with my mother-in-law on Galatians the last couple of weeks, so I used these books as resources. The book by Mr. Epp was actually my grandmother's and her handwriting is in it, which made it even more special. I learned a lot from each of these books though and loved all three. 

Absolutely loved this book. Austin and I have been married 3 and 1/2 years and I feel like this book taught me so much. It is written by husband and wife in such an honest fashion that it could be read by long term spouses to just married spouses, to engaged or dating couples, and even singles. I definitely recommend this book!

One Day in December by Josie Silver ***
I finally read this book after my friend Kelly told me that while yes it was chick lit, it had a different ending than you would think. I liked that it was original and not like every other girl falls for boy story, but I'm still not the biggest fan of romance novels...

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri ****
Another recommendation by my friend Kelly (she really does pick good ones). It was beautifully written and I enjoyed learning more about Indian culture, especially this family's transition from India to America.

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis ***
I'm really enjoying this series (more than I thought I would).

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine ****
This was a book club pick and I am so glad it was chosen. It was such a great and interesting read. I could not put it down!!!!

Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie ***
Another great Agatha Christie read and twist. I don't even try to guess the murderer anymore... I never come anywhere close, but I love that about her books! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020 soundtrack// song 1: Be Okay

Spotify's Discover Weekly is one of my favorite things! I heard this song on that list this week and I have it on repeat now! 

"Thank the Lord I am here and now".
-Oh Honey

xo, kel

a year of habits/ Weeks 3-7

The good and hard thing about starting something so big in December is that sometimes the holidays take over more than I mean for them to.  Christmas and New Years is an incredibly busy time with retail and the tea room (which is the opposite in teaching).  Then New Years Eve I got super sick and it took awhile to get back to normal.

With that being said, I haven't done as well as I wanted with these habits, but at the same time I've also discovered which ones I want to be daily habits, which work better as a weekly or monthly habit, and which are just an occasional habit I want to make time for.

So here's how things have been looking so far....
Praying before every meal is something I want to do daily.
Confession is something I want to end my day with every night.

Meditation and Study are things that I want to incorporate into my week, but not necessarily every day.
Sabbath Rest and Silence can actually be a part of all of these other disciplines, so they won't stay on my habit list as is for the month of February. 

Then there is fasting..... So I did decide to try a three hour fast (basically 10pm I cut myself off from eating until I fell asleep. But the big thing with fasting is that it is not to be done lightly. The more I talked to people and the more I read, I realized that in giving up food- yes I am saying God is all I need, even more than food and He will provide for me and keep me going. But it also needs to be a time where I am grieving or burdened by something in relation to God's kingdom on earth and right now I just don't feel that pull on my heart. So instead of practicing this discipline right now, I'm just trying to learn more about it. 

Overall I am really enjoying this habit practice. I've not only learned a lot, but I feel like I have grown so much closer to God in this experience. It's taught me that I am incapable of so many things and I really do need to rely on Him for every single thing. 
I may not be the best at keeping up with these habits, but I am tracking them and reflecting on them every week. 

xo, kel

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 reads

This year I decided to track my reading throughout the year (of course I also tried to track each month by goals and awesome events, but that didn't work out so well).  Tracking the books I read was more of a success though- I actually did it throughout the entire year (thanks to Goodreads for helping). And yes, I get that writing it down when I have a GoodReads account may be redundant, but I don't care. It makes me happy.

So my list of 2019 reads (and how I rated them-- out of 5 stars):

1. What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst ***
2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker ***
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith ***
4. Mary Poppins by PL Travers ***

5. It's Not Suppose to Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst *****
6. In Bloom by Kayla Aimee ****
7. In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson ****
8. Chase the Lion by Mark Patterson ****

9. Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie ***
10. Everybody Always by Bob Goff ****
11. I Gave Up Men For Lent by Kacie Main *
12. A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans ****. (Her passing this year was horrible, and I wish I had found her and her books sooner!
13. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney ***
14. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles ***

15. The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie *** (The Amazon Mini-series of this is awesome by the way!!)
16. Living Jesus by Randy Harris **
17. Forgotten God by Francis Chan ****
18. Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie ***
19. The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton ****
20. In 50 Years We'll All Be Chicks by Adam Corolla *
21. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson **
22. Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie ****
23. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear ***
24. If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries.... by Erma Bombeck *

25. The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict **
26.  Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans ***
27. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson **
28. The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell ****
29. Becoming by Michelle Obama ***

30. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens ****
31. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles ***
32. Experience God by Henry Blackby ****
33. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote ***

34. The First Mistake by Sandie Jones ***
35. Wunderland by Jennifer C. Eptein ****
36.  Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff **
37. Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie. ***

38. Furious Hours by Caey Cep ***
39, Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin ****
40. When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton *****
41. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee **

42. Mademoiselle Chanel by CW Gortner ***
43. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris ****
44. Children of Nazis by Tania Crananski ***
45. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Daughty ***
46. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly *****
47. The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe ****
48. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella *
49. You have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles **
50. Thank You Notes by Jimmy Fallon **

51. Next Year in Havan by Chanel Cleeton ***
52. Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly ****

53. The Road Back to You by Ian MCron ****
54, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides ****
55. Appointment With Death by Agatha Christie ***
56. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult *****
57. The Four Loves by CS Lewis **

58. The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy **
59. The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis **
60. The Gown by Jennifer Robson ****
61. A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous

Monday, December 16, 2019

a year of habits//week 2 confession

I'm going to be super honest- confession was a discipline I thought about skipping. The word itself brings to mind a wooden box where you are made to confess your sins to another person in order to gain God's forgiveness. Take into consideration I am not Catholic, so my idea might not exactly be what a Catholic would appreciate (sorry about that), but nevertheless, it is how I view it. 
BUT I decided to take my own approach with this discipline. I wanted to mainly journal my confessions so that it was something only between God and myself, but it would also be something I could look back on and see how my relationship with God had grown.  A few of the days this past week though, I didn't want to journal- either my thoughts seemed to sensitive or I was too tired. So instead, I just went to God in prayer. And I counted that still. 

It's funny how most days I didn't feel like I had messed up or had been in offense to God, but after this past week and really looking into my actions and thoughts, I realized how even the little things started to stick out. Journaling and confessing even those tiny instances made me feel closer to God because it made me realize how much I don't consider Him in every single thing I do. And I really want to change that.

Update on my Habit 1: 
I also am still working on my first habit- prayer before each meal, which turned into prayer each time I put anything in my mouth-even a mint. It's still a hard habit to get into and most days I still fail- but at least I still am trying. 

This week: Habit 3: meditation.
This one I am a little overwhelmed with. It's not like in yoga or the other types of modern-day meditation where you just clear your mind. That's just the first step. But the second step is to fill yourself with the person and Word of God. The book I'm reading, Enjoying Jesus, gives the example of meditating well as "pick[ing] a quality or promise of God and turn[ing] over and over in our minds, seeing the different facets of truth as we consider it first from one angle and then from another." Finding time to do this is harder than I thought. Although the book does suggest doing this on your commute, somehow I feel like I need even less distraction for the first few times I do it- and then of course when I get home I haven't made the time. 
So if you have any suggestions for how you've done this, please, please share!!! 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Christmas Tree 2019

Last night Austin and I put up our Christmas tree and as I was looking at the ornaments I got sentimental (as always).

 Some ornaments have been with me since childhood, in fact I still have my baby's first Christmas ornament!
And then there are the ones Austin and I have been given while being engaged and married. The other fun ones though, I started noticing a pattern with.... Auburn (WAR EAGLE), ones to remind me of travels, alcoholic beverage ones, music ones (for Austin of course), and tons more Disney ornaments than I thought we had. 

I even have one of my dad. My Aunt Nancy had this made for me one year- it's a photo of when he graduated law school and it's one of my favorites!

Then I got to thinking about what other Christmas trees are decorated with... so tell me: 
What ornament patterns do you have in your stock?
What is your favorite ornament?

xo, kel