What I’m Into: January 2013/Cabin Fever Edition

cabin fever

It’s deep winter. In Minnesota. We have been bundling up against the negative temperatures and harsh wind chills, and I’ve been putting off essential, life tasks like grocery shopping and library trips (currently The Circle Maker is three days overdue). I just can’t seem to force myself out into the cold.

The boys are wild with pent up energy, riding their bikes down the hallway, wrestling on the floor. Fights over toys are more explosive than ever, and we are watching way too much PBS.

I love the northern Midwest. My heart was made for this landscape. But the winters. Oh the winters. They do me in every lousy year. My McDonalds consumption goes up exponentially in January, and my Swear Monkey comes out in full force.

Things I’ve Been Reading

I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflowerin the theatre by myself a couple of months ago, and I loved it. It was the kind of movie that made me want to create art that matters to somebody. I finally read the book this month and was pleased to see how close the movie stuck to it. (Possibly because the author was also the screenwriter and director.) Beautiful, beautiful.

I finished the second book of Madeleine L’Engle’s Crosswick Journals, The Summer of the Great-Grandmother. It took me a while. I kept getting bogged down in her family history. But still, many beautiful moments and a worthwhile read.

I also read Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection which rocked my world and the evangelical bestseller on prayer, The Circle Maker, which took me three posts to work through. (The final reflection is here.)

Currently Reading: The Book Thief (Zusak), The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway), and Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart (Backman) (I can’t wait to tell you more about this one!)

(I read 4 books this month; aiming for 5 in February!)

What I’ve Been Listening To

My parents gave Dane a kids’ music CD, Slugs & Bugs & Under Where? for Christmas, and he is OBSESSED. There is a song about the stinkbug that cracks him up every time, and if we’re in the car, we’re pretty much listening to this album.

I’m happy it makes him happy but bummed that he’s no longer content to listen to my music. (On a related note, it’s really inconvenient when you get the potty-themed song, “Where You Gonna Go?” stuck in your head.)

Back before I had kids, I used to do a monthly mix exchange with my close friends, and I loved the way it drove me to explore new music. I’m trying to compile one just for the winter of 2013, but it’s slow going. I’m so much more aware of my need for silence in Stir-Crazy January, so I haven’t been listening to as much music as usual.

So far I’ve only added two songs to the playlist: Let It Go, a haunting song by The Murder of Crows, and Matt Redman’s 10,000 Reasons, because it does something to my heart. Hoping for more great new discoveries in February.

What I’ve Been Watching

It’s January, which makes it officially Bachelor time. I can’t believe I watch this show, but I also can’t stop watching this show. The drama! The cat-fights! The roses! Knox McCoy calls it “The Hunger Games of Love,” and though his weekly re-caps of the show border on over-the-top mean, my Tuesday morning is not complete until I’ve read his hysterical commentary.

We had to take a little break from one of my favorite shows, Parenthood, because all of the story lines felt so dark. Every now and then, I work up the courage to watch one and then feel depressed for a while. Speaking of depressing, Downton Abbey. Enough said.

Loving Nashville and my pre-teen staple The Vampire Diaries. I’m behind on New Girl and Happy Endings, but will catch up over laundry at some point. This season of Revenge isn’t grabbing me like the last one did, but I’m invested in the characters now and will have to see it through to the end.

Also, Andrew finally talked me into trying The Walking Dead, and we devoured the first season. I don’t really like horror or scary stuff, but the relational dynamics of this show sucked me in. We also just finished the first season of Sherlock, which was quirky and smart and totally addicting.

Wow. Does it seem like I watch too much TV? It’s possible I watch too much TV.

The Basement Room

Remember back in November when the basement room looked like this?

messy basement - before 1

And this?

messy basement - before 2

And then you were kind of scared that I was a hoarder?

And then remember a few weeks ago, when I was stuck deep in the messy middle, and even after seven hours of cleaning and organizing and rearranging, it still looked like this?

messy basement - middle

Well, now it looks like this:

messy basement - after 1

And this:

messy basement - after 2

And this:

messy basement - after 3

I still want to do a few things. I’m planning to hang a lot on the wall, and I just ordered a new comforter (since this one’s falling to pieces). I’d like to sew some cute pillows and new curtains too.

When spring comes, I’d like to repaint the dresser and bookshelf all cool and distressed-looking. But at this point, I’m just thankful that it’s clean and it’s organized.

Addie Zierman for the win!

A Few More Things that Happened in January

1. My Mama friend and her husband went on an anniversary trip to Mexico, so we took their two kids for a couple of days.

It was pretty much as exhausting as it sounds. But it was also a lot of fun. The three big kids managed to actually sleep all in the same room two nights in a row…and there’s nothing quite like a first sleepover.

first sleepover

2. During our Adventure in Babysitting, we ventured out in the sub-zero weather with all four kids to go to the Reptile Zoo south of the Cities. It was totally worth it.

reptile zoo

Highlight for the Dane and Reese: holding an alligator.

Lowlight for Addie and Axel: holding an alligator.

holding an alligator

3. Liam tasted play dough.

the eating playdough face

4. I ate an entire serving bowl of pasta. By myself. On two different occasions.

serving bowl of pasta

5. Dane had his pre-school screening and I started researching options for the fall. UNREAL. This is us on our post-screening slushy-and-chocolate-bread date at the Starbucks in Target. (Only the best for my man.)

slushie date with dane

On the Blog

I announced my One Word for 2013: Ask and confessed some of my prayer baggage. I told you about five things I’ve kept from my Super-Evangelical-Jesus-Freak (SEJF) days, and you told me about yours.

What about you? What have you been into this month?

(Joining up, as usual, with the lovely Leigh Kramer for her monthly What-I’m-Into linkup.)

36 thoughts on “What I’m Into: January 2013/Cabin Fever Edition

    1. … or ice fishing. I’m going ice fishing this afternoon in below-zero weather … in the freezer case at Trader Joe’s. I’m sure to catch something good for dinner.

  1. yay, I love these posts. That room is impressive. Perks of a Wallflower is at the top of my list to watch. Would you say the book is necessary? I want to read those Brene Brown books so bad but they’re all out of stock at all our libraries 😛 I might have to suck it up and buy them.

    1. Brene is worth buying. And you know that books are always better than movies. In this case, not much, but the book is entirely done in letters to a stranger…much like a teenage “Dear Mr. Henderson” (tell me you loved that book back in the day). You’ll miss a few great lines and a few great moments. It’s a short read. Just do it. 🙂

  2. Yea for Room Success! I bet you go down there when you need to feel good about yourself, I would. I made myself a sewing nook last summer, in our bedroom and it absolutely rocks my world. I don’t have to haul out the machine when I need to hem PJ pants or whatever.

    I’m also into Bachelor while wondering while I still watch it, I don’t read Knox’s blogs but I know that I need to start.

    I’m working on Book Thief in Feb, when Kel finishes it… and I really need to get into Brene Brown.

    I just finished my What I’m into as well, I love these!

    1. I got halfway into the Book Thief once before, and then life exploded (or something…I can’t remember), but I never finished it. So I restarted it this month. I’ve heard way too many good things about it to not finish it. I’m almost back to where I was before now, so that’s good.

      And yes. I’m sooo glad it’s clean down there. It’s an amazing feeling to know exactly where every single thing is and to not get swallowed up by the crazy when I go down there. Thanks for the kudos!

    1. No problem. It’s one of my favorite Tuesday traditions. Even though it’s a little harsh sometimes, I thought your argument in the “So I’m a Bully” post last season (http://www.knoxmccoy.com/2012/06/27/so-im-a-bully/) was so compelling. Yes, the show is a bastardization of love in so many ways. And your (super-addicting) commentaries expose and confront that in their own hilarious way. So thanks!

  3. Such a great post! (Found your blog thru this linkup, but have heard your blog’s name tossed about in other blog/twitter convos – and for good reason! 🙂 You are such a wonderful writer!) I lived for exactly one year in Minneapolis/St. Paul many moons ago. I loved the city, and the people I met there, but whoa.THE WINTERS. (I feel your pain.) I would rather be in the cold than the heat, but that particular winter took it’s toll. Loved finding out that the ‘Perks of Being A Wallflower’ flick is also a book. (Aren’t the good ones usually based on a book, it would seem?:) Looking forward to checking out your recommendations. I would LOVE to read/listen to your winter playlist! 🙂 Blessings!

    1. Thanks so much Sarah! Yes, definitely read Perks! It’s a quick read, and you’ll feel infinite. 😉 (And I’ll definitely post my winter playlist…if I ever get it finished.) Thanks again for the kind words!

  4. Good job on transforming your basement, and for making it through 4 books (This is impressive.).

    I got your comment on my blog post, but it’s not showing up. I sometimes wonder what women without daughters feel like. But I suppose my husband as the father of two girls is a good gauge, just reversed. I know he cherishes the girls, but I think deep down, no matter how many push and pull ups he does with our daughters, he misses pumping iron with a son. 😉

  5. I spent hours upon hours in January crawling along the narrow beams up in our attic, attempting to wire speakers into the ceilings of several rooms of our house, so our music wouldn’t be limited to the tiny computer speakers we would connect to our ipod in the kitchen. Now that it is finally finished, my 2-year-old has completely taken over and all I hear are the constant sounds of The Wiggles and The Hit Crew Kids singing “Shake Your Sillies Out” and “Don’t Bite Your Friends“.

    You’ll hate me forever if you click on those links.

    Reading: Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee, per Rachel Held Evan’s community discussion, and A Place In Time by Wendell Berry. Both are fantastic.

    Watching: Finally got around to starting Homeland. 5 episodes into Season 1 and we’re hardcore addicted.

    1. Love the idea of ipod capability in ever room. Hate the idea of The Wiggles in every room. (For the record, I did not click on the links.) Torn is on my list, and I’ve never read any Wendell Berry, but I came across a quote by him recently that was so stunning that I think I’ll have to start.

  6. I just finished “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown. Loved it so much that I’m going back to reread some sections I highlighted in the Kindle edition. Huge take-aways from that book. I’m trying to get some guys to read it. Vulnerability is scary for guys for some reason (that I don’t understand, even though I am one). So far only one of our pastors and one other have started it. All the others are only glancing at it rather obliquely.

    Chapter 7: Daring to Be the Adults We Want our Children to Be.

    Ya, that.

  7. You finished the basement!!! I’m impressed. Job well done and celebration earned.

    I want to read everything on your To Read list, save one. I didn’t realize you used to make monthly mixes. We should talk music more often. I used to make a mix every December but it didn’t happen this last time. I’m glad I’m not the only one putting Parenthood on hold. Just can’t handle it right now. I do want to watch Sherlock. And I think you watch a respectable amount of TV. Just like me. 🙂

    1. You guys! The finale redeems Parenthood — sunshine and roses wrapped in happy, fun candy — I swear! (Though, I understand and can’t fault you the pause. This season was rough!)

      1. Good to know. I just watched the one about the thing that happens with Drew and his G/F (won’t say anything else…don’t want to spoil) and it undid me. Need a week or so off.

    2. My music palette is not nearly as refined as yours. Most of the “new” music I find has been around forever and is only new to me.

      I spent all of my high school days and much of college listening entirely to CCM, so branching out into the world of other music has been a big part of my process of figuring out who I am. It was extremely healing for me in the Dark Days. I really want to get back to it.

      (Thank you for calling my TV show list “respectable.” And for having a similarly long one yourself.)

  8. I am so impressed (and a little intimidated!) by your basement. What an effort!
    I saw Perks of Being a Wallflower this month too and adored it.
    Parenthood has just returned here in Aust. You know my heart of stone. Let’s see if this season breaks it! 😉

    1. If this season doesn’t make you cry at least once, you’re officially a robot. 😉 And the basement took many long hours of middle-mess to get where it got. Many, MANY hours.

  9. This Miami girl wanted to go to the beach today, but the temperature will be into the 70’s – Brrr.
    I must say that I’ve lost a little a bit of respect for you because you watch “The Batchelor”. Shame.

  10. “Matt Redman’s 10,000 Reasons, because it does something to my heart”

    I really love the part that says, “Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.” It’s a prayer I pray for myself on really rough mornings. : )

  11. Nice job on the room (your post about the messy middle really has stuck with me all month. I’ve been oddly reassured by the fact that I’m ALWAYS in the messy middle and should probably stop yelling, “Why is this always so messy?!? Who takes care of this woman?!?” and just start picking up some things and working through them.)

    Also – the Walking Dead – I normally hate horror/gross stuff, but I do like that show. And I have to say it got even better after the first season. Keep watching.

    1. Your “Who takes care of this woman?!?!” comment made me laugh out loud. Yes. I think especially having kids means being CONSTANTLY in the messy middle. We muddle by the best we can.

  12. You are such a rockstar – that room is fabulous. And intimidating as all get out. I got me some closets like that. Sigh. I cannot tolerate The Bachelor but I think I’ll have to Tivo “Happy Endings,” because you’re the second person today who has mentioned it positively. (Preston Yancey). I know you didn’t post this today, but that’s just how far behind I am. . .

    1. Yes. The Bachelor is terrible. I am simultaneously horrified that I watch it and excited for the next episode…

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