The State of Affairs: January 2013

Trips/Outings:  NONE, and that was absolutely fine by me.  After the whirlwind holiday season, the quiet weekends at home have been fantastic.

Oh, wait...I did go on a youth retreat with the kids from church.  This was my second time on this trip, and it is my most favorite kind--quiet, relaxing, and no phone service.  We don't have to lead anything or be anywhere; we just make sure the kids are doing what they're supposed to be doing.  It was like vacation for me!

 Books read:  5
The Duck Commander Family:  How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty--Jeremy and I really got into the show Duck Dynasty late last fall, so I ordered this book for him for Christmas.  It was fun to learn a few new things about the family, and their unabashed sharing of their faith is refreshing.  (It seems like nearly everyone around here is watching that show...is it just a southern thing?)

The Willpower Instinct--I had doubts about how much I would enjoy this book, but I am so glad I read it.  Excellent book for starting a new year.  Reviewed here.

These Things Happen--This was okay.  I could have liked it quite a bit, but the writing and the dialogue felt very pretentious and ended up being a little confusing at times.

Here I Go Again--Fun, fun, fun book.  Perfect light weekend or vacation reading.  Reviewed here

Into the Darkest Corner--Creepy, suspenseful, and chilling.  I'd definitely read more from this author.  Review here.

The girls received a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible for Christmas, and they (especially Mackenzie) are absolutely loving it.  We read 2-3 stories from it most nights, and it's the only book M has chosen to read in bed for the last month.  Though I'm sure I will be tired of reading it aloud before too long, it thrills me to see how much they are learning from the stories.

I had a couple of iTunes gift cards from Christmas, so I uncharacteristically bought two albums this month:  Fun. and The Lumineers.  I'm liking The Lumineers, but I haven't listened to it all that much yet because I am completely in LOVE with the Fun. album.  Seriously, I want to listen to it all the time.

(It may sound a little cheesy, but parts of this month were very, very difficult and the words to this song ("Carry On") became something of a mantra for me.  I can't get enough of it.)

"Hey Mom, take a picture of this!"

I didn't start out this year with grand plans to make big changes in our lives.  I didn't want to get caught up in the January resolution-making, particularly the kind of dramatic resolutions that disappear by February 1.

Still, the changes seem to be creeping in on us, most noticeably for me in the area of food.  I am making big efforts to change my diet (and Jeremy's too, as a result) to a whole-food, plant based way of eating.  I am far from an all-or-nothing type of person when it comes to things like this, so I make no sweeping declarations in this area.  I'm okay with an 80-90% non-processed diet on a daily basis, and I won't feel bad for indulging or having a lazy moment here and there.  It happens, and it will continue to happen.

In the month of January in particular, I probably ate out fewer times than ever before in my adult life.  There were a couple of weeks when our Sunday dinner was my only restaurant meal of the week.  I feel good about that, and hope to keep that up and continue the new habits we're creating for our family.  I have been consistently eating less meat over the last few months, something I want to keep up as well.  I tried to keep track of my meatless meals during the month, and I think it was around 11-12 (that's lunches and dinners...my breakfasts almost never include meat anyway).

Finally, I can't really talk the "whole foods" talk with a Diet Coke in my hand, so that's something I'm working on too.  Again, no sweeping declarations, but I drank the last Diet Coke in my house a couple of weeks ago, and I don't intend to replace them.  I am quite sure I haven't had my last soft drink ever, but it's a start.  My water intake increased at least 100% this month, without a doubt.

This wasn't the greatest January on record, mainly due to the tragic events involving our family friends, but it was otherwise a good month.  I am still struggling with that situation, and I imagine many of us will be for a long, long time to come.  But we are "carrying on"  (see? mantra.), and keeping strong in our faith.

How was your January?


  1. I love these posts so much!

    My January was great - I'm not sure if you read that post - but I got almost everything done - socials, productivity and lots of fun!

    Interested to read more about the food and see some recipes!!! :)

  2. I MUST share!
    I too am obsessed with fun. and the Lumineers. It turns out at the end of January they were both coming to DC to play the same venue a day after each other. I nearly bought tickets on the spot for both and made a mini getaway for the hubs and I!! Completely careless and it would have been wonderful, but he had a work obligation. Boo.

    On the upside, a week till Mumford! I'll think of your fondly!

  3. Yes, I love these posts, too!!!

    I, too, gave up Coke a few weeks ago. The thought of a Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper kind of gags me now, already! :) (Can't say a root beer doesn't sound yummy, though! HA!) I've been doing fine...although I did have to make a small cup of coffee for this afternoon. I just needed a little pick-me-up...and coffee has antioxidants (or something), right?! ;)

  4. yea for you and eating. i swear budget bytes and six sisters changed the way that i do things. :) i KNOW you shared budget bytes with me, but did you know about six sisters? i can prep several meals together at one time and put them in the freezer. i love the fact that we don't WANT to eat out anymore. at least i dont. m still says, "can we go to a restaurant???" haha. but great job for you.

    and sometimes you just need some time at home, you know? jan-feb-march are kind of good months for that!!! :)


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