the good list. jan 2021

1. HAIR-CHOP! apparently this is a thing for mom’s with babies around a year old… your hair falls out because of postpartum hormone mess, which makes you sad, but then it slows down and all of a sudden you want a new do’! So i did it, chopped off a solid 4 inches and it feels SO GOOD.

2. the joy in this boy’s eyes. ask anyone that knows him and i will bet you they will say, “he is such a happy baby” at some point in the conversation, and it’s so true! Huck loves to smile, laugh, and play. getting him to giggle is one of life’s greatest joys of late. every night I thank God for the JOY He has put in his heart. i recognize the gift that he is and i some days i never want him to grown up. but as you do grow my boy, please keep laughing and reminding me that it is the best medicine this life has to offer.

3. sledding. I thought this would be a bad idea, i thought Huck would be pretty indifferent to it, i thought there were other (better) ways to spend my time on a saturday in winter in montana, i thought it was too cold… I WAS WRONG, yes sweet Adam, I admit it, you were so right and I was so wrong. Holy moly, sledding as a grown adult on gooood powder is so so FUN! I giggled like a little kid and felt like I was breathing major LIFE into my lungs. Huck loved it too, which was the sweetest thing to see and made me so excited to have this beautiful place to raise him in. We are going again this weekend and I can’t wait.

4. bible reading. reading the bible in 90 days is no easy feat, but gosh I am learning a ton and feel so excited to keep going! I have never read all of the bible. there are plenty of books that I have never even cracked open (hello, Old Testament!). My dear friend Lydia and I are doing this plan together. I couldn’t be more grateful for her encouragement. No, we won’t remember every detail of Leviticus or Numbers, but we are getting a very clear zoomed out picture of God’s story – His Good Story of redemption, albeit messy and wild.

5. copy-cat chipotle vinaigrette. this vinaigrette. Y’ALL it is so so good. I did swap the vinegar for fresh lime juice and the vegetable oil for a mix of avocado and olive oil, but maybe that just made it even better!? I could almost drink it. We used it for these big mexican salads we made with black beans, chicken, corn, avo, sweet potato chips, lettuce, and cheese. So basically, what I am saying is this vinaigrette changed my life and I will shout it from the dang rooftops!

Books I read in 2020:

I read the most books I’ve ever read in one year in 2020! Considering our baby Huck came into the world in late February and I didn’t open a book for a few months (hello, newborn sleepy days/survival mode), I feel pretty proud that I read more than I did in 2019. I found that the key to reading more was not taking a break between books so that the momentum stayed strong. Reading on my kindle was another game changer in my reading. I would read while nursing Huck, while he was sleeping on my chest, and in bed after the light was out. One handed reading for the win!

I also was able to hone in a little more on what kind of books I really love to read! I truly like all of the books on this list and I set down any book I started and wasn’t truly enjoying, which felt really good. Reading for fun should be FUN – hah! obvious i know, but important for someone who like to get through a book just so they can add it to a list. So, I bought into that truth this year and every book was FUN 🙂

Here is my list in the order I read them in:

  1. Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glenda Vanderah (Fiction)
  2. The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin (Fiction)
  3. Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen (Fiction)
  4. In Pursuit of Love by Rebecca Bender (Christian Non-Fiction)
  5. The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser (Historical Fiction)
  6. Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry (Christian Non-Fiction)
  7. Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn (Romance, Fiction)
  8. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (Fiction)
  9. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (Romance Fiction)
  10. The Guest List by Lucy Foley (Romance/Thriller Fiction)
  11. Beach Read by Emily Henry (Romance, Fiction)
  12. Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton (Historical Fiction)
  13. Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson (Christian Non-Fiction)
  14. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Fiction)

Gosh, I am sitting here trying to pick my FAVES and they all really were so enjoyable to me! But for the sake of narrowing it down and encouraging you to pick one of these up this year, here are my top picks.

FICTION: TOP 2

  • Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glenda Vanderah: I read this book a whole year ago and I still remember so much of it. The characters in this book are wonderful, intriguing, and well developed. The plot kept me SO engaged. It felt real, but also magical and charming. There is a little romance involved, but it the most tasteful way. I want to read another book just like this one.
  • Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton: This book convinced me that I really dig historical fiction, especially when it is set in America. You follow the stories of three different women and by the end of the book you see how they are all related — it’s shocking and so satisfying! I want to read more of this author’s books this year!

NON-FICTION:

Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson

So I only read 3 non-fiction books and I would highly recommend them all. Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson absolutely rocked me. I need to read it every year – especially on the years that I bring home a new baby. It is all about how humility leads to rest, deep soul reviving REST. It is so full of truth, wisdom and beauty. It is unlike a lot of Christian self-help-y type books. Hannah can really write and uses what she knows about the natural world of her small town in Appalachia to draw strong metaphors that I really connected with.