January Notes.

31/31 days in January – 31/31 days in 2017


Favorite Moments

One evening we drove around with our windows open, singing loudly.  The clouds were pink and the temperature had tipped its hat just shy of 70 degrees earlier in the day.  Tears sprung to my eyes because it was one of those rare moments where a few seconds fill with gratitude and I was actually able to experience the goodness and the sunset and the people with me at the same time.  That’s my definition of happiness.

The culmination of election season meant Scott and I ate our dinner around the coffee table while watching the nightly local and national news, asking questions like, “How does the Secretary of Education get confirmed?” and then googling said questions.  I think Mrs. Dees, my eighth grade government teacher, would be proud.  The night we watched the Betsy Devos hearing sounded like a normal family watching sports – yelling, sighing, pacing, anger.

We had a guest pastor at our church this weekend and after the service he asked to meet me.  I sent The Dark Ferret Society with our pastor when he traveled and it ended up in the hands of the guest pastor’s twelve-year-old, Hannah.  Guest pastor Elliot had to get a selfie with me and then asked, “Is Ruby going to be in the third book?  Hannah has to know.” You can imagine what it’s like to hear someone preach and then leave the pulpit and ask to meet you/get a selfie with you.  Thank you, North Carolina Hannah, for making my whole January.


Recipes to Keep

These are the recipes I tried and have a five star rating from the Humpherys House:

Chicken Meatballs – made with a side of broccoli and a side of flash frozen green beans.  Super flavorful and healthy.

Chicken Caprese – I’ve seen a lot of recipes for this, but I loved the use of balsamic vinegar over all the chicken.

Chicken Parmesan – I got a cast iron skillet and this was the maiden voyage.  Super easy.

Simple Butternut Squash – FOUR INGREDIENTS.  I added three sliced apples because apples and squash are best friends.

If you are feeling a little bit more adventurous, I also made Pasta Me Fresca Vontana from a recipe we tried at our friend’s house.  It includes eggplant and is categorized under the best thing I’ve ever made in my kitchen.  I tried to find it online, but I couldn’t find anything close to the original recipe.  If you need it, comment and I’ll send you a picture!


Books Read

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham.  I picked this up for free because we had cartwheel points at Target.  I liked reading it because it’s basically Lauren Graham talking to you for 200 pages and I like her writing/comedic voice, but I don’t love it enough to keep it on my minimalist shelves.  Comment and it’s yours!




La La Land – We’ve been singing City of Stars for weeks.  If you love old school musicals, this will not disappoint.  It even includes a few dreamlike sequences, which is as musical as you can get.

Hidden Figures – I cried through half of it.  Go see it.  Take everyone you know.

Finished rewatching Parks and Rec – I cry whenever Leslie accomplishes something against all odds.

New STL Places

Salt + Smoke – We went to the location on the Loop.  Get the cracker mac and cheese.

Snow Factory – We stood in line for an hour and had the best time talking and watching the ice cream get made.  Also located on the Loop.

Pieces Board Game Bar – Three bookshelves stocked with games.  People sitting around playing Dream Phone while their real phones aren’t anywhere to be seen.  It’s right across the street from the Soulard Market and they were geniuses to open in St. Louis in the winter.


You Need To Listen To

Harry Potter and The Sacred Text – This podcast reads Harry Potter one chapter at a time and looks at it through a liturgical practice!  Everything about me is geeking out right now.  The hosts BLESS A CHARACTER at the end.  Lori, my cousin, was absolutely right when she said, “You will love everything about this.”


Currently Writing

I’m writing a letter to every day and calling it Dear 2017.  They letters appear on my Facebook Author Page and my Instagram.


Parting Thought

“God certainly is the keeper and creator of our stories.” – Sarah from Neighbor’s Table


2 responses to “January Notes.”

  1. Susanna says:

    If you really want to give up “Talking as Fast as I Can”, I’m interested! Plus, it would be great to see you!

  2. Tim says:

    I’m so glad Pasta Me Fresca Votana made it in this blog post! Also, when it’s not cloudy and gray, Illinois/Missouri sunsets ARE THE BEST SUNSETS IN THE WORLD. I’m certain of it.

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