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Celebrate January [What I Learned, Loved & Reads month]

In these fast paced days with a million things flying across across our paths, in these seasons of dozens of interruptions tugging at our already distracted hearts, in these months that keep turning on ahead right ahead of our eyes, I am on the search for things that keep my soul grounded and my feet rooted. I am making room to process, space to dream, time to remember. I am taking soft pauses in my days for coffee and thoughtful words, and hard stops in my year for reflection on where the months are taking me. So, following in my habits of past months, as the ice of January snow days freezes onto the pavement of our February paths I pressing pause on the forward motion and remembering what I learned, loved, and read this first month of 2017.

What I Learned

The Office is re-watchable 

Thank goodness for this since I’ve been going through Office withdrawls since finishing the series last month. I watched a few earlier episodes with my sister last week and found it just as hilarious and wonderful as always. Maybe even more now that I am attached to all the characters.

Starting slow is not a bad thing

Between traveling and sickness and post-Christmas blues January goal making and routine finding never really happened this month. Now that we’re four weeks in, I’m at last organized and ready to face the rest of the semester while also feeling rested and motivated. Maybe this will become a regular January pattern.

I can curl my hair and make it pretty in 10 minutes

So why don’t I ever do this?

Decluttering is a relief

I made the drive to a thrift store and dropped off two full bags of unused items that had accumulated in our home over the past few months. I know marie-kone said this was supposed to be a one time thing, but I think gaining stuff is part of the human existence and a quick 10 minute decluttering session every few months will always be necessary.

Cross Country Skiing is harder than downhill skiing.

Or at least requires a different skill than the one I’d been practicing on the slopes for the past twenty years.

I am emotionally unstable after 10 p.m. or with less than 7 hours of sleep.

So don’t try to talk to me about life decisions or panic at tearful phone calls, and definitely ignore my late night complaints. But give me a full seven hours (and a cup of good coffee) and I am quite tolerable.

College Greer is gone, the adult Greer has arrived

In other words, my capacity for caffiene has decreased considerably. Gone are the days of four cups of multi-expresso shot coffees and baristas who asked if they’d already seen me that day. One full cup in the morning followed by a hearty breakfast is the perfect amount, and if more is to follow it better be laden with large amounts of milk or (prepare yourself) decaffenated or I end up with jittery hands and a stomach ache. (Who am I? What has become?)

My brain doesn’t work well under timed challenges

But escape rooms are fun. Even if you lose.

What I Loved

Family time

With full-grown siblings spread across the state, country, and world, we have been so thankful for the chances this month to be together, play games, commiserate about adulting, and laugh. (The laughing is probably what we do best.)

Moana Soundtrack

Especially when we hold after school dance parties to this fun Disney music with the little ones I nanny for. (The freshly one-year-old has the best moves.)


I get two or three days a week with this precious little one, and each time I arrive he has something new to show me. His latest trick is clapping and we couldn’t be prouder.

Preparing a bullet journal

I probably spent more time researching and making fancy title pages and organizing boxes to check off than is actually worth it, but it has been fun and I am excited to have the majority of my life’s details, plans and ideas in one place.


I could go here over and over again and still want to go back. Trust me, I’ve tried it. After my husband and I returned from our epic Disney roadtrip over Thanksgiving we found out my entire family (eleven people total) were going in together. It was a hilariously delightful, absurdly joyful experience and I am absolutely in favor of pursing fun. 

What I Read

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple A sweet, intriguing novel about an excentric mother and her Antartica bound daughter, and the path through dysfunction and into unconditional love.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling Because of course every Potter fan needed to read this at some point. I began it skeptically but got into it pretty quickly, and finished it reminded why I fell in love with this world in the first place.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke This audio book got us through our many Christmas travels and entertained us across miles of Kansas highways and Colorado mountain passes. It was a fun fantasy, and a book lovers dream read.

Truly, Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty I keep returning to this author for compelling plots and relatable characters and am rarely disappointed. This story of parental guilt, marriage obstacles, dysfunctional friendships, and hoarding complexes and the way the characters worked through these struggles was everything I look for ina good novel.

Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark by Addie Zierman I love everything about this creative non-fiction author – her authenticity, her word painting, her life story. This was a sweet story about her efforts to fight her depression and seek out God as she road-tripped  from a cold Minnesota winter to the Florida beach with her two young boys. Addie is lovable and relatable and I have adored getting to know her in both her blog and her books.


What have you been learning, loving, or reading lately? I’d love to hear a little about your January in the comments below!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    April Box
    February 2, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Enjoyed your list 🙂 And don’t worry too much about starting decaf coffee. I’m 32 and pretty much only drink decaf now because I get very jittery and anxious, etc. with caffeine these days. If you like bold coffee I’ve found that Cafe Verona Decaf from Starbucks taste very much like regular coffee!

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