What I’m Into (October 2013)

My kids put on their winter coats and hats last week for the first time this fall.  Last spring, once it was finally warm enough to quit wearing winter gear, I abandoned it with gusto, leaving receipts in the pockets and not bothering to dry clean or wash anything.  And yet winter returns, and with it two blessedly excited kids re-discovering their pink polka-dotted and blue camouflage fleece hats.

Leigh posts a monthly linkup on her wise and vulnerable blog, Hopeful Leigh, called What I’m Into.  Here’s my take.

Read and Reading (it’s been a month of pastor memoirs):

Nadia Bolz Weber is an ELCA pastor in Denver.  Her memoir, Pastrix, was released in September to critical acclaim and a #17 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list.  It’s a profound witness to and study of God’s grace and is well worth reading.  Nadia was a stand-up comedian in her former life, so it’s also hilarious, but gentle readers beware:  it contains lots of profanity.

Richard Lischer’s Open Secrets is a deep, wise, candid memoir recounting the author’s first congregation in rural Missouri.  His descriptions of life as a young and arrogant pastor in a small town are funny, poignant and heartbreaking.  I could relate well to much of it.  I paused often to re-read and admire his beautiful writing style.

I’m in the middle of Heidi Neumark’s Breathing Space, her memoir of life as a pastor in the South Bronx.  It’s gorgeously written with metaphors that make me gasp.  I’m reading it in small chunks to fully process the depth of despair and hope found in her moving stories.

Purely Practical: 

I checked out Sink Reflections from the library on a whim a few weeks ago and am surprised at how much I’m taking from it.  The author breaks home organizing and cleaning into manageable pieces I can grasp.  I’m realizing how much I prefer doing a little bit every day as opposed to doing hours of chores on the weekends.

I own Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and use it as my go-to cookbook.  I checked out his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian from the library and am tempted to buy it too.  I’m trying to do meatless meals once a week in our house (as well as mostly meatless lunches during the work week).  It doesn’t always happen, but at least I’m trying–and this book has lots of accessible ideas for vegetarian options.

Also reading: Holding Your Family Together (Melheim), Christianity for the Rest of Us (Bass), When Organizing isn’t Enough (Morgenstern)


My husband and I discovered Modern Family recently–we’re late to it due to always working on Wednesday nights–and we’re finally caught up.  Not many shows can make me laugh out loud at every episode…

except for Parks and Rec.  Leslie Knope is one of the better female characters on television.  I’m sad to see it’s going on hiatus this fall, but this season does feel stale with a bit of desperate humor.  I’m also lamenting the loss of Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe.

The Glee Cory Monteith remembrance episode: tears.  It was a bit heavy-handed at times (in true Glee style), but a good reflection on grief.

Dancing with the Stars sucked me in with my sentimental connections to Valerie Harper and Jessie Spano.  That’s all I’ll say about that.


Fall weather makes me want to listen to jazz non-stop.  My car radio’s been set to Jazz 88.5 and my Pandora is flipping between Nancy Harms, Heather Masse, Nina Simone and Cecile McLorin Salvant.


I finally put all our photos and videos from our various cell phones and cameras into Dropbox and made Shutterfly photo books for each of the kids for Christmas (bonus: these books are great grandparent gifts too).  It’s been two years, so I’m relieved!

Worth Watching:

As a child who loved The Princess Bride, I loved this even more:

Things I Loved in October:

Best of all: becoming an aunt to another beautiful niece.

Candy corn and salted peanuts, Peppermint Mocha creamer in my coffee, slow cooker applesauce

Brian McLaren and Phyllis Tickle speaking about the future of the church at the Celebration of Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary

Time away with fellow St. Paul pastors at the Bishop’s Theological Conference in Trego, WI (including a beautiful run on the trails by the conference center on a free afternoon)

Wicked seats at the Orpheum for my husband’s 40th birthday

BodyPump and yoga classes at the Y, as well as nervous training for my first 5k on Thanksgiving Day

Trick-or-treating with two ecstatic small children

Finally getting family photos taken with our kids (for the first time ever).  Thanks, DW Photography!

Family Pic

4 thoughts on “What I’m Into (October 2013)

  1. I am desperate to read Pastrix! One of these days I’ll get to it. I haven’t heard of Breathing Space before but I’m adding it to my To Read list. Also need to read How to Cook Everything. My friend raves about it. I’ve been disappointed by Parks & Rec this season and haven’t really bothered watching. It is such a smart show but it does seem like they’ve settled for cheap humor, unfortunately.

  2. Loved the video of Mandy Patinkin! Perfection! Pastrix is on my GoodReads list, and I keep hearing such good things about it that it may have to move up on my list! 🙂 I’ll be putting the other books that you mentioned on my to-read list! So many books, so little time. 🙂 Hoping you have a wonderful November!

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