If you’ve been around this blog for any length of time, you know that I hate winter.
I have more than a touch of SAD, and even though I’ve been popping Vitamin D like an addict and working my sun-lamp overtime, the cold is getting to me. My initial response to the entire concept of February is to burrow into a pile of blankets like a hamster and not move until spring.
But if I’ve learned anything in these last years, it’s that hiding never solves anything.
So this month, I put on my giant, puffy coat and my hat and my gloves. I left my cute boots inside, and instead I wore the sensible ones: those hefty, black waterproof gals with the slip-resistant rubber-soles.
I bundled up and I went out. I walked long stretches on frozen lakes and hiked on the ice-coated shores of Lake Superior. I wasn’t even really that cold at all.
Winter, it turns out, is kind of beautiful in her own haunting way. And looking at the delicate hanging icicles and the way the sun rises behind the bare branches, you could almost start to like winter. You could almost forgive her for being such an evil, cold-hearted shrew.
Things I’ve Been Reading
I was going for five books this month, but I only managed four. I’m blaming February.
I finished The Book Thief, which was, admittedly, beautifully written. But, I don’t know. I think all the rave reviews and hype set me up for disappointment. I wasn’t crazy about it. (Don’t hate me.)
When I was home for Christmas, my Dad lent me his copy of The Buddha in the Attic – a short little book told from the perspective of the Japanese wives who came to America in the years before WWII. It was the most beautiful, haunting thing I’ve read in a long time. Five stars.
Keeping with my One Word for 2013 – Ask – I finished another prayer book: A Praying Life, by Paul E. Miller. This book was water to me. It spoke to my dry, dead places, and it dared to address my lingering cynicism. It gave me permission to come weary. To come imperfect. To believe anyway. It was the inspiration behind most of my posts this month, and I’m so grateful to those of you who recommended it to me.
I also finished Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart, but I’m going to wait and tell you about it.
I’m starting a new blog feature in which I’ll write about (and hopefully give away!) a book on the first Monday of every month. (I’m saying “write about” instead of “review” on purpose. I didn’t like The Book Thief, after all. Clearly I’m not qualified to “review” anything.)
I’m kicking it off this whole thing on Monday with this great little book. So make sure you stop by and check it out!
What I’ve Been Listening To
As a subscriber to Relevant Magazine, I’ve been receiving free music compilations several times a year…which I promptly download and never really get a chance to listen to (except as background music while I’m stressed out, trying to get dinner on the table).
This month, I got a chance to sit in a chair and really listen for the first time, and I came away with a few new favorites. They include “1957″ by Milo Greene, “Girl” by Lovedrug, and “Apples (When You Lost Your Belief)” by Neulore. Also, I loved “See the Conqueror” by Jenny & Tyler, which sounds like Easter morning.
I added my new finds to the growing Winter 2013 Playlist on my phone, and I listened to them while I walked frozen landscape. Some music needs air.
Sidenote: I am thisclose to buying the Nashville soundtrack. If there were more Scarlett and Gunner songs on there, I would own it already.
What I’ve Been Watching
We are a mere two episodes away from The Bachelor choosing his wife! Except, of course, it’s not his wife…just another doomed relationship. You know it. I know it. Chris Harrison knows it. You’d think that would discourage me from watching. But somehow, it does not. I am stuck in the Bachelor/Bachelorette-Loop-of-Insanity, and I can’t get out.
The second season of Game of Thrones came out this month, and we bought it immediately and couldn’t stop watching it until the end. Yes, the nudity is excessive (thanks HBO); yes, the violence is over the top (Severed heads! Sadistic kings! Creep-tastic warlocks!). But the story. The story is fantastic.
I’m behind on almost all of my other shows. I watched the first of the Terrible Episodes of Downton, but haven’t gone much farther. Thanks to the delights of social media, I have a pretty good idea what’s coming, and I think that maybe if I don’t watch it, it won’t actually happen.
First-World February Problems
- Dane hates Finding Nemo; Liam is obsessed with it. Which means on any given morning, one or both of them look like this:
- It is the month of toddler snot. So much toddler snot. That’s all I can say about that.
- Our TV is getting old and finicky. Currently, it overheats and turns off randomly after 1-2 hours of viewing. Last week, it powered itself right down just before Sean was about to hand out the Final Rose on the Bachelor.
- My brain is so overcrowded with to-do lists and vital information that I am starting to forget really basic things. Last week, I sent the registration papers to Dane’s preschool and forgot to sign the check.
A Few Other Things That Happened in February
1. We got to hang out with my good blogger-friend Kim and her son in Rochester one morning. I love it when my kids get a chance to bond with my friends’ kids. Seriously, how cute are these two?
3. My fantastic Mama Friend and her husband took our kids for three nights so that Andrew and I could get away for the weekend. We went to the North Shore of Minnesota (one of my favorite places in the world).
The couch in our hotel room looked like this.
Note: My sensible boots broke the second we got home from our trip, which officially means it’s time for spring.
5. Dane and Andrew made this snow fort. OK, mostly Andrew made it.
On the Blog
I continued my journey into the heart of prayer by thinking about what it really means to Come Weary. I also thought a lot about cynicism. As the cynic voice in my own heart begins to grow quieter, I’m aware of the importance of remembering what it was like to feel so alone.
I wrote this Open Letter to the Church (on how to love the cynics) in response…and it turned out to be one of my most-shared posts of all time. Thank you for your comments and the way you passed these words along. May we learn what it is to be people who really see one another.
I’m working hard to engage more on my Facebook page. If you don’t follow me there, you can do so easily from the sidebar. If you’ve followed me but rarely see updates, there’s a quick fix for that: simply go to the Addie Zierman page, hover your mouse over the Liked button, and select Show in News Feed. Simple! Quick! And you’ll never miss an update (or a cute picture of my kids…) again!
As always, I’m joining up with the fabulous Leigh Kramer for her monthly “What I’m Into” linkup. Be sure to stop by there and say hello.
What about you? What are you into this month? (Seriously — this is not rhetorical! I’d love if you’d answer in the comments.)