This week I’m blessedly shutting down my screens (and microphone) and enjoying the time to savor the holidays with my family.
On Christmas Day we’re doing our usual routine at home (cinnamon rolls, presents), then later in the day, we’re driving about 30 minutes away to my aunt and uncle’s house in the country for some laid-back hang-out time with my cousins, where we’ll most likely play board games and do a white elephant gift exchange.
The next day we’re hosting some of our dear friends for our annual Christmas cookie exchange. (Thankfully, all these friends of ours also get the whole twelve-days-of-Christmas gist. It’s just beginning!)
The rest of the week… I’m not sure what we’re doing. But I do know we’ll love being home, hanging out all day in our jammies, going on walks (maybe a hike or two), and enjoying the fantastic weather this time of year here in Texas.
Thank you so much for being loyal readers and listeners here; you guys are the best community on the internet, in my opinion! I’m so grateful for you.
To give you some good stuff to chew on this week, should you need it, here are my favorite posts and podcasts from the year, one from each month.
• January: Crystal Ellefsen shared positive changes she made for handling her news intake, and in tandem, Erin Loechner and I started a three-part series on knowing the news without losing your mind.
• February: Then there was Back to The Future, The Sandlot, and 19 other gems catalogued by Alysa as great films to stream with your kids. Kendra Adachi and I did a deep-dive chat on our favorite podcasts and music.
• March: Nicole Bennett loves YA lit, so she wrote a lovely essay about why we adults love fiction written for teens, and Stephanie Langford and I did a four-part series on travel — specifically, how to make the most of your two weeks’ vacation time.
• April: I love it when Shawn Smucker shared vulnerably about when the art you create disappoints you, and Haley Stewart and I did a four-part deep-dive on the realness of relationships (specifically friendships) as adults.
• May: Oh man, I loved Joy Netanya Thompon’s one simple question that unlocked her best self-care (I still think about it regularly!), while Erin and I did a deep-dive on what it means to relearn life stuff as adults.
• June: Amber Black shared seven fantastic mindset shifts for parenting teens, and Kendra and I did a super-fun series on grown-upping our own summers.
• July: Since I was heading to London, I shared my basic go-to philosophy for packing when I travel, and then we ran a fun series on What’s Saving My Life (now called My Good List).
• August: Holly Pennington shared vulnerably how she learned to stop listening to the experts, and Emily Freeman and I debriefed with each other after co-leading Literary London.
• September: Rebecca Moore shared the do’s (and don’ts) of helping someone who’s scary-sick, and you guys loved this four-part deep-dive on kitchen basics I did with Kendra.
• October: I surprised my 13-year-old on a mother-daughter trip to NYC (and shared the details), and I loved this chat with a (woman!) rum distiller in Colorado.
• November: Laura Szaro Kopinski shared how motherhood changed her reading life for the better, and to no surprise at all, you guys ate up this deep-dive with Haley about the liturgical calendar.
• December: This month, Robin Dance reminded us to put on our own oxygen mask first, and I just loved this conversation with Jacqui Skemp about her Good List.
I’l be back here on New Year’s Eve with our annual reflection questions list — it’s always one of the most popular posts of the year around here — and then we’ve got really good stuff headed your way in January. Look for posts on what it’s like to love yoga so much you decide to become an instructor, what our 40s are teaching us, asking YOU to show us what you wear when you hang around the house, and more.
p.s. Follow the blog on Instagram, if you haven’t yet! (We’re dusting off this account for 2019.)