What I’m into (January 2014 Edition)

Linking up with Leigh Kramer for a (very belated) edition of What I’m Into.

January started with me a little wine-tipsy on the couch, because surely I’m not the only thirty-something finding midnight a stretch these days. But it really wound up from there, starting with Kel’s first day at his new church planting position with the “church that shall not be named… yet.”

Month in pictures

We had a ridiculous amount of snow days this month and in fact my birthday was defined by it, we celebrated sleepily in PJs and only ventured out once for pizza with friends.  A few days after my birthday Caedmon turned the big 03 and we did it up with a train party.

The middle of the month was a flurry of Young Life and Church work and I hit a stride with working from home that feels both hopeful and a little oppressive. I still struggle with the idea of working where you live yet also feeling “done with work” for a while. One of the keys to my progress this month has been setting up a bare bones office for myself in one of the bedrooms. This involved putting the kids together in one room which left me feeling nervous and selfish but in the end it’s gone perfectly.

Then the last week of the month saw us doing a road trip to Florida complete with stops to meet four blog friends!  The point of the trip was for Kel to take his last class of Seminary and while he did so I hung out with my cousin and our kids while we toured the greater Orlando area soaking up all the sun the weather would allot us.

Soggy day at SeaWorld!

Soggy day at SeaWorld!

It was a great trip but I’m happy to have the suitcases put up for a bit.  We put 2,500+ miles on the ol mini van and that was just a lot of in-car togetherness.

February is going to be a new month with revamped rhythms and the new task of house hunting as we are really feeling drawn to live in the neighborhood in which we are planting a church.


Got to meet the AMAZING Amanda Williams, Abby Norman and spent a week with my lovely cousin Amanda

On My Nightstand 

This month saw me completely immersed in the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth.  I flew through Divergent in one day, Insurgent in three and tried to pace myself through Allegiant because I didn’t want it to end.  It’s good and more addicting than a pan of brownies, you know how you go back to neaten the edges?  You’ll do that with this series. (also this is 3 500+ page books so it was no small undertaking in a month)

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld– This is a novel that is loosely designed to mirror the life of former First Lady Laura Bush. This was my first novel by Sittenfeld and I liked it enough to pick up another at the library this morning.

Red Cat, Blue Cat (for the kids) I picked this one up on a whim from the library simply because Noelle is crazy into kitties and I fell in love with the creative illustrations, british whimsy and underlying message that “being you is better than getting worked up about who someone else is.”  (any other adults need this one?)

On the Small Screen

We gobbled up the new installation of Sherlock this month, because, FINALLY NEW SHERLOCK!

Also kept up with Parenthood, what’s up with Joel? Does anyone else feel like there was a personality change there?

Cooking club

Best Bites

So this month a group of friends and I got together and started a cooking club, mostly because we heard Shauna Niequist do a reading over it and wanted in ASAP.  Our first meeting was Italian themed at Alyssa’s house and we are all already in love with the idea of gathering and cooking together. I made The Pioneer Woman’s Warm Spinach Salad, Lisa made Pasta Carbonara, Alyssa made a cheesy poppyseed bread and Courtney made warm sliced tomatoes topped with cheese and basil.

This month’s theme is belated Valentine’s Day at our place.  Can’t wait.

Random Love For

I got a Jawbone UP this month, which is a wrist bracelet that tracks your movement and sleep. My neurotic side loves being able to keep track of all of this and I have 0 regrets with this purchase. In fact I think I’m in love.

Also have to give a shout out to the Nars Matte lip pencil (I got it in Cruella) which I purchased for my first speaking gig. Don’t underestimate the power of the power lipstick my friends.


In my Earbuds

I share all my music favorites on Spotify, a program and app for which I do pay a monthly fee and would gladly do endorsements.  The current New Year, New Playlist can be found by clicking that link.  You’re welcome.

Non Verbal Creativity 

Well I made that slouchy hat that you see Kel wearing above, a failed Red hat for Caedmon and that’s about it really. I’m still plugging away on a granny square afghan that feels eternal.

On the Blog

The three most popular posts on the blog this month were mostly guest posts!  I love being able to share this space with friends and their amazing words. In case you missed out please check out Addie Zierman’s and Tanya Marlow’s posts for the Love Showed Up Series.

You all also resonated with this post on how to stop worrying about who isn’t listening and start loving who is.  The title speaks for itself and it truly is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned lately. Always need a reminder here.

Well that’s in for the (late) January update.  I’m sick of talking about myself… What have you been up to? In to?  Reading? Eating?

Are you so over winter too?  Le Sigh….

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  • Mark Allman

    I loved the Divergent series too and look forward to the first movie coming out in March. I became a follower of Dr Who recently and have been enjoying those shows which move me more than I ever expected. I like Elementary on CBS which I think was developed from the Sherlock show? I’ll have to look for Sherlock. Blacklist and Intelligent are a couple of other shows I am enjoying this month. I follow Abby Norman’s blog.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      So much goodness mark!!!

      Sherlock is waaaay better than elementary. Which is good but pales in comparison.

      And yes for more whovians

      And double yes for Abby Norman!!

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ Leigh Kramer

    I’m so sad it didn’t work out to see you while you passed through Nashville. I was such a sick kitten. Glad you had a good time away! Love the Divergent trilogy, start to finish. LOVE that your friends started a cooking club. That’s fantastic!

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Really? Finish? Oh man my book club and I contemplated matching to roth’s house and demanding a do-over. There MAY have also been talk of a “punch Veronica Roth in the crotch club”

      I’m a sucker for a bow… I know it’s doesn’t always make the best literature. Trying not to spoil here…

      And cooking club is fast becoming my favorite night of the month!!!

      • Mark Allman

        I did not like how the last book switched between persons and I really did not like how it wrapped up. I think there is more she could do with the series. I hope she does.

  • Lisa K

    I seriously can’t believe all you do in a month. The energy you have should be bottled and sold.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Thank you for this. I feel behind and lazy and like whimpering right now.

  • http://dontstopbelieving.me/ Brenda W.

    I borrowed the whole Divergent trilogy from friends on Sunday and already have a good start on Insurgent. I haven’t been this sucked in by a story in a long time – I want to cancel all my commitments and just read. Yay for waiting until the series is all published to start! :)

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      I know Brenda, just SO good!

  • http://www.allmannerofinspiration.com/ Sarah Caldwell

    So much goodness here! I loved the Divergent books too. I also enjoyed your New Year’s playlist. (I’m doing monthly playlists on Spotify too. I’m bookmarking a good few of your posts – congrats on your speaking gig! As someone who has lost both of her parents as well, I’d love to hear your story–have you written about it on the blog? Thanks for your post!