Tag Archives: music

What I’m Into – October 2014 Edition


We have had the most amazing October.

I’ve complained enough about the Minnesota weather on this blog for you to know how completely awful it is for much of the year, but this October? Magical. Perfect fall temperatures all month long…and the colors!

It has been a full and beautiful month, and I feel very grateful for its gentle loveliness, easing us toward the cold slowly.

What I’m Reading:

I’ve been all over the place this month with my reading. Normally, I’m a finish-one-book-before-going-onto-the-next kind of girl, but this month I’ve been scattered. I’m reading bits and pieces of several different books.

books i'm reading

In the mornings, by my sad little light-box, I am going back between Levertov’s collection of faith-based poems, The Stream & the Sapphire (which is stunning) and Debbie Blue’s Consider the Birds (which is completely brilliant.) I love both but can only read each in small bits because they give me so much to think about.

I’ve had a couple different opportunities this month to talk about the intersection of faith and art. It’s a conversation I’m so interested in…but haven’t thought much about lately. So I picked up an old favorite — Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on WaterRe-reading this is bringing me back to a sort of “home base” as I work toward finishing Book 2. Why I do this anyway. What it means to be a Christian and a writer. What it means to find cosmos in the chaos. Beautiful stuff.

I’m trying to read Kate Morton’s The House at Rivertonbut I’m having a hard time getting sucked in. And I can’t believe I still haven’t ever read The Joy Luck Club. I’ve had it on my shelf for years, but I just started it this month. I’ve only read a few pages, but I can already tell it’s going to be exquisite.

I’m hoping to do better with finishing books this month, and am hoping to play along with Modern Mrs. Darcy for her monthly Twitterature roundup — where you write super-short reviews of everything you’ve read lately on the 15th of every month. Fun right?

What I’m Watching:

I’m loving fall television, as usual. On my list of regulars: Scandal, Grey’s, How to Get Away with Murder, Nashville, (ahem) Vampire Diaries (ahem), and Marry Me.

I had high hopes for Red Band Society, but I lost interest pretty quickly. And I was super sad when they cancelled Manhattan Love Story. I thought that one had so much promise!

Andrew and I got all caught up with Parks and Recreation on Netflix. I keep hearing rumors that there’s one more season coming. Is that true?! Please tell me it’s true.

We also started watching The Blacklist, and though we can’t stop calling the main character Robert California (his Office name) instead of Reddington (his Blacklist name), we’re definitely sucked in.

When I’ve caught up on everything else and there’s still laundry/dishes/projects to do, I’m rewatching ABC Family’s Greek on Netflix, which I’m way too old for but which still makes me laugh.

What I’m Listening to:

This month, I discovered the gorgeous worship music of The Brilliance. I’ve only listened to their free live album, Road Recordings, from Noisetrade so far, but I’ll definitely be buying more soon.

I couldn’t stop myself from downloading a couple of songs from Nashville. (“Joy Parade” and “When You Open Your Eyes.”) I also grabbed a couple of song off of Andrew McMahon’s new album, In the Wilderness, (because Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate will always remind me of some of the best times of my life.) “Maps for the Getaway” is my favorite off the new album so far, with “Rainy Girl” a close second.

Other Things I’m Into:

– Leaves, leaves, leaves. Beautiful, crunchy, golden leaves and the boys who love to play in them.

fall collage– Green smoothies. I cannot believe I’m even saying this, but it’s true. I made a whole bunch of bags ahead of time this month and have been whipping them up every morning LIKE A REAL GROWN UP.

– Don’t worry. I’m still into McDonalds. And Diet Coke. And coffee. And wine. And gigantic piles of pasta. So pretty much all the goodness of the green smoothies are counteracted by the rest of my life. BUT STILL.

– A family trip to Duluth over a long weekend.

duluth collage

– Scraps of paper with carefully written “I love you”s from my kindergartener, who is so proud to be learning to write.

– Infinity scarves.

– Potato soup. I make this recipe exactly, except I add ham, and I cannot stop eating it. Seriously. I’ve probably made ten batches this month alone. So good.

– Bonfires with friends.


– Carving pumpkins with my loves

pumpkin carving

– A kindergarten Halloween party (and parade) in which 6 of the 23 students in Dane’s class were dressed as Elsa.

– Apple cider candles

– The ducks on the pond in the evenings, making all sorts of lovely racket.

– Holding a chicken for the first time at a pumpkin patch. How cute is he?


Blog, Speaking, Writing…

I had the chance in October to speak at some really cool places, including Imago Dei church in Peoria (you can listen to that recording here if you want to) and the Emerging Artists Collective in Minnesota. I haven’t done much speaking since the Epic Road Trip last winter, and it felt good to get back out there. To say things out loud and to interact with real, wonderful people face-to-face.

Lately, the animosity of the Christian Internets has kept me from wanting much of a part in “The Conversation” happening around faith. (I wrote a little about that here). But being in those rooms, filled with genuine people, talking and listening to one another, I was reminded of everything I love about that Conversation. The honesty. The hope. The expectation. I was honored to be part of it.

speaking collage

I’m continuing to make slow (but steady) process on Book Two. Over the last couple of months I’ve turned a corner and am no longer deleting more than I write. So that’s a good thing.

I’m hoping to have a complete draft to my editors within the next couple of weeks. If you are the praying type, continue to pray for clarity, insight and attentiveness to God’s Spirit as I work to finish.

wine and writing

I bounced back into the Blog World this month after a pretty long hiatus, and it’s been so good. The post In Transit was my attempt to capture an incredibly meaningful spiritual insight I had at the airport on my way home from Peoria. One of my most unexpected and favorite days of this month.

I also started a series of Modern Psalms this month. So far, the ones I’ve done have been a way to honor hurting friends and to enter into their world — Psalm for a Lost Child for my friend whose son died last month, and Psalm for Wednesday Morning Chemo for a friend with cancer. Each of these posts has been deeply meaningful to me as I struggle to figure out what it means to enter into the suffering of others and wait.

I celebrated my book turning one year old and then I celebrated the simple beauty of One Day through an Instagram challenge with Hollywood Housewife.

It’s good to be back.


If you’re just finding me here, you can also follow me over here on Facebook or here on Twitter. Or on Instagram here.

As always, I’m linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into. So glad she does this fun linkup!


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

What I’m Into – June 2014

june 2014

Is anyone else just totally baffled as to where June went?

Truly. It is absolutely terrifying to me, how fast summer is going.

Still, it’s been an incredible month of sunshine, swimming, reading, and resting. We are scratched up, mosquito bitten and a little bit blonder. I am grateful.

What I’m Reading

books june 14

I loved everything I read this month. What Alice Forgot is a great, fun summer read, and I think I Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments was fantastic, and she captured the year 1999 perfectlyI finished Daily Rituals: How Artists Workwhich I raved about already here. And I finished my first Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the Worldwhich may have actually changed my life.

What I’m Watching

I had every intention of quitting my re-watching of Desperate Housewives after I got through the first season. But really, who are we kidding? I just started Season 5.

My name is Addie Zierman. I am addicted to TV.

Also this month, I took myself to The Fault in Our Stars and sobbed alone in the theatre for two hours. (Good, cheap therapy.) And I saw the new X-Men movie with Andrew. Summer is for comic book movies.

What I’m Listening to

This month, all the country music. But also Of Monsters and Men, Cat Stevens and Angus & Julia Stone.

One of my favorite bands, Sleeping at Last, is giving away their entire 36-song Yearbook project on Noisetrade for a limited time (July 1 – 14). All the tips that you leave go to the Preemtive Love Coalition, which facilitates life-saving heart surgery for Iraqi children in need. Awesome. (I downloaded it yesterday. I know what I’ll be into for most of July!)

Other Things I’m Into

– Lots and lots of mornings spent at the park


– Frog catching. (This was the morning that we found the motherlode of frogs and toads in the egress window: SEVENTEEN!)


– Spring cleaning. I cleaned our insanely messy guest room and play room and went through all the kids’ toys. For kicks, I counted our accumulated tiny animals as I cleaned. (Tiny animals are my kids’ major obsession. Some kids like cars. Some kids like blocks. My kids? All the animals.) Any guesses on how many we had?

animal explosion

The grand total was 695. And I didn’t look under any couch cushions. So I’m guessing the total is actually somewhere over 700. We have a problem.

– Falling cotton seeds. Summer snow.


– A spontaneous family getaway to Duluth…

duluth collage

– …where my five-year-old lost his first tooth. Woah.

lost tooth

Blog & Writing Stuff

This summer, I’m deep in the process of work on Book 2. As I’ve been thinking deeply about my own struggles with my faith in that draft, I’ve had less energy to do it here. So I featured some of the brilliant words of other writers on the subject this month instead. (The one slightly deep spiritual post I managed this month was over at Deeper Story and was about that rotten phrase, “If you feel far away from God, guess who moved?”)

Instead of writing about my usual faith-y topics, I shared some of my favorite books on writing and my favorite literary memoirs and did a week-long series on everything I know about blogging. At the end of the series, many of you shared your own blogs, and I’m looking forward to checking them out over the month of July!

I’m linking up as always with the lovely Leigh Kramer. What have you been into this month?

What I’m Into: May 2014

what i'm into may

This month, spring came, at last, to Minnesota. If I’ve been more absent from the online space than usual it’s because I can’t seem to leave the sunny spot on the deck. When I do get myself to move, it’s only to work on Book 2.

We have waited so long for this weather, and we are a skinned-kneed, dirty-footed, bug-bitten kind of happy. This month Dane learned to ride his big-boy bike (without training wheels) and Andrew got my old Schwinn Roadster fixed so that we could go on our first family bike ride. We had our first summer beach day and spent hours and hours at neighborhood parks. The tree frogs have started showing up on the sliding door after dark, suctioned to the glass, eating bugs.

For one consistent week and half of another one, I was committed to potty-training Liam. In the end, he bested me with his stubbornness and the constant smell of pee. I’ve regressed to a sort of half-assed kind of training in which I make him use the potty at home but put him in a pull-up when we go out. Probably this is screwing him up irreparably, but I don’t even care, because summer.

This month, I wrote nearly 20,000 words for my new manuscript (after trashing the first 12,500) and drank an unbelievable amount of coffee. I filled my house with lilacs and we left the windows open at night, falling asleep to the sound of toads on the pond. May.

What I’m Reading

books i read

I didn’t have time to read much at the beginning of the month, but over this past couple of weeks, that’s all I’ve been doing. I read my first Kate Morton — The Forgotten Garden — which was rich and enchanting and addicting. (I read in two days during the first warm weekend. I barely left the patio.)

I worked slowly through Cheryl Strayed lovely memoir about her time on the Pacific Crest Trail, Wild. And then for a change of pace, I read Lauren Graham’s first foray into writing: Someday, Someday Maybewhich was a fun, quick read. I’m just about finished with Lauren Winner’s Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith CrisisIt’s deep and slow and brilliant, of course.

What I’m Listening to

I’ve been slowly working through your excellent list of music recommendations from last month…which is how I discovered Beach House and rediscovered my eternal love for both Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver.

I’ve also become a little bit addicted to The Rural Alberta Advantage, which I found on the too-cool-for-me NPR station The Current. Thanks to a Pandora radio station based on their music, I’ve started compiling a Summer 2014 Playlist that so far includes stuff by them, Noah and the Whale and The Lonely Forest.

And of course, it’s summer, so there’s country music in the car. I can’t help myself.

What I’ve Been Watching

All of my shows have faded out for the year after a giant grand-finale of dramatic plot-twists and relational fireworks. With our Internet, we scored a free session of HBO-Go, so we’re watching Game of Thrones in real-time instead of 10 months later on DVD, which is kind of awesome.

Other than that, I’ve mostly curtailed my TV viewing entirely. I’m finishing re-watching the first season of Desperate Housewives, and then I plan to cancel my HuluPlus for the rest of the summer. It’s too nice for sitting inside in the dark, and frankly, I’d rather be sitting on the deck reading these days.

Other Things I’ve Been Loving

– Dane’s fifth birthday party. He wanted a “komodo dragon birthday party,” but luckily I talked him into a Super-Hero theme instead. Which would have been simple and straightforward, were it not for that beautiful tyrant that is Pinterest. As it turned out, I ended up staying up until 3:45 the night before his birthday, putting this together:

superhero party

At the party, my Mama Friend’s husband said to her, “What’s wrong with Addie? Has she been hitting the wine too hard?” “No honey,” she said to him. “She’s just brain-dead tired.” Hopefully in the end, Dane will remember a fantastically awesome party instead of the zombie that was his mother that night.

– The teeniest baby turtles you ever saw. They are so adorable that I’m almost tempted to keep one as a pet. Almost.

tiny turtle

– Purging. (I started All the Spring Cleaning this month and finished about 2% of it. Oops.)

spring cleaning

– This incredible patio that my rock-star husband built us. So pretty.


– Cheap, short summer hair cuts and the faces the boys make when they get them.


– The last day of pre-school and a boy who has changed so much I almost can’t believe it.


– Dandelions by the handful.


Blog and Writing Stuff

I’ve been a little absent again this month here. Sorry about that. I’ve been so thoroughly immersed in my work on Book 2 that by the time I get done for the day, I have nothing much left to offer to The Internet. (I talked a little bit about that writing process in this post here.)

I wrote over at Deeper Story this month about faith and parenting and about how there’s no shortcut to raising godly kids — No Way Around But Through. I also wrapped up our beautiful series of small, intentional acts of everyday justice — One Small Change — and told you why I tend to avoid writing about “Hot-Button Issues.”

I’m planning a couple of short series for June — one on favorite books and another on blogging tips and practices. These are both questions that people ask me a lot, and I thought they might be good, practical things to tackle while my creative voice is all tied up in Scrivener with the new book.

You can keep up on all the things going on over here by following me on Twitter or Facebook or subscribing to the blog!

Linking up as always with the fabulous Leigh Kramer. What have you been into this month?

What I’m Into – November 2013 Edition

what i'm into - nov 2013

It’s November, and Minnesota is cold again.

This month, the pond froze and the ducks flew away, and we transitioned from days spent down by the water to mostly indoor activities. It’s meant lots of PJ days, too much TV, and too many trips to the McDonalds playland.

But it’s also meant we finally made it back to some of our favorite indoor spaces around here: Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store, Brown Family Adventure Park, and the library. (Let’s not talk about the fact that I have consequently paid $11.35 in library fines this month. I like to think of it as giving back to the community instead of total library deliquency. It’s all about perspective.)

It’s the time of year when the darkness sweeps in suddenly and intensely…but I’m doing okay. I’m taking small steps towards health and wholeness, and so far the small bits of light I’ve added into my days have been enough to keep me (mostly) afloat. Glory.


suttonI’ve been terrible on the reading-front again this month. What is wrong with me?!

I have started quite a few books. The one I’ve read the most of is Sutton by J. R. Moehringer. Last month, I raved about his memoir, The Tender Bar. This is another nonfiction-based project of his on the life of notorious (and beloved) American bank robber, Willie Sutton. I love Moehrenger’s writing style and am enjoying this book so far.

I’ve started working on my second book project, and so I’m reading bits and pieces of all of my favorite memoirs and essay collections. Most recently, I’ve been re-reading Jo Ann Beard’s The Boys of My Youth, trying to figure out her structure and what makes the book work as a collection.


This month, I discovered Gregory Alan Isokov, and I cannot get enough of his music. I finally just bought myself one of his albums – This Empty Northern Hemisphere, which is beautiful and haunting in all the best ways.

empty northern hemisphere

TV Shows

My must-see list of TV shows is getting out of control. At the top are Parenthood, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, and Scandal.  Andrew and I are also loving Brooklyn Nine-Nine…because Andy Samberg. And when we’re all caught up on that, we’re re-watching Chuck – one of our favorite shows of all time.

I’m still watching The Vampire Diaries, but I’m a little less enthusiastic about it lately. I don’t know. It’s not that the plot twists have gotten more crazy necessarily…but I’m losing a little patience with some of the drama.

I would tentatively say, Maybe I’m actually outgrowing the CW! Finally! But I’m not. Because also on my must-see list is Hart of Dixie, and I recently started watching their new show Reign…mostly because I’m intrigued about Megan Follows making a comeback as the conniving and suspicious Queen Catherine.

I watched my first two super-sappy Christmas movies and loved them both. I tried to do The Christmas Cottage the other night, but as soon as I saw it was a Thomas Kinkade movie, I knew I wouldn’t last long. Sure enough…I had to turn it off halfway into the teary, over-acted conversation with the dying grandfather. Oi.

Other Things We’ve Been Into

November brought the first snow and Dane and Andrew’s first snowman of the year.

Yes. That's a yellow pepper on his head.
Yes. That’s a yellow pepper on his head.

Liam quit his nuk – and, unexpectedly, his blanky too – which is 90% great news, and 10% the most terrible thing ever because it means we’ll never get to see him like this again:

pacifier and suitMy brother-in-law got married, and Dane embraced his inner male model.


The kids spent the reception alternating between sobbing and running around in circles shrieking. Clearly that was a mistake. But still – we felt so honored to be part of such a special day. Congratulations, Aaron and Jenny!


I spent a week slowly setting up our Christmas decorations, and yesterday we spent a stressful afternoon trying to get our Christmas tree to keep from falling over. I’m ready for it all this year, and I’ve been thinking a lot about ways we can be mindful as we begin this season of Advent and celebration.

(I’ll be posting some great tips and ideas beginning this Monday – the 2nd. Make sure to stop by every day this week for the Christmas Mindfulness series!)


Book and Blog

November started with a flurry of book insanity. On November 1st, Publisher’s Weekly published their Best 101 Books of 2013, and When We Were On Fire was named one of them. The whole thing continues to make me shake my head in awe every time I think about it.

In the course of one weekend, I had a piece appear in The Washington Post, an interview in The Christian Post…and I shared my story for the first time ever at a women’s retreat.

I drove home from the retreat that weekend feeling so exposed and exhausted. I don’t regret writing so vulnerably about my life and my struggles in my book, and I’m thankful for the way truth sets us free. But some days, it’s all a bit much.

On the blog, I responded to the question people keep asking after they read my book: How Then Will You Raise Your Kids? I also addressed why I call myself a recovering Jesus freak and decided that I’m going to just ask people how they’re doing no matter how awkward it feels – in case it’s the right question.

I’ll be linking up with my dear friend Leigh Kramer when she gets home from her epic Thanksgiving vacation.

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

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