Well I started this post on New Year’s Eve and then it disappeared under the long list of to-do’s that the New Year ushered in. But I’m excited for 2014 in a nervous kind of way. It holds so much promise, of joy as well as challenge, of celebration as well as hard work.
We spent the Christmas week with my family in Oxfordshire and made the eight hour car journey home on 29th, with a short stop for meatballs and frites (hello Belgium!) in a dark service area. It feels nice to be back, to stay in my pyjamas all day, get all the cleaning and clearing done before the new year really kicks off tomorrow. I’ve cleared my desk (ok, only half done – the piles of things I removed from it to the sofa still need sorting), and strung up my fabulous new fairy lights over my desk (thanks mum and dad!) and now I’m actually excited to be able to sit down there every day and work on my various projects.
December seemed to go by in a flash, even though I gave most of it over to just resting, after a frantically busy (and nauseas) November. We saw our baby twice last month (thank you baby, for not being in the right position at the first scan so we got to see you again) and my permanent nausea finally lifted mid-month to a chorus of hallelujahs.
And then we spent Christmas back in the UK, although actually Christmas day was mostly spent in bed or on the bathroom floor, getting to know the toilet very well, when I got hit by a 24 hour stomach bug. Not exactly how I (or Rasmus) imagined spending this day that is so long anticipated. But we got to catch up with relatives after all the next few days, which was wonderful, and the sun shone so bright all the way back to Folkstone, leaving me with happy thoughts of our trip.
And so, for the last time in 2013 (even if it’s a little late), I’m linking up with Leigh to let you know what I’ve been into.
This month I’ve been mostly…
I have a whole bunch of on-the-go’s and no completions this month, but I’m ok with that. I’m embracing slow-reading recently – the practise of pausing to underline, to scribble notes and thoughts in my journal, to lean back and consider what I just read.
I love to read and I believe reading can be transformational, but there seems to be this growing competition to see how many books we can read. I have such a long list of books I would love to read (see my pinterest board for some of them). But I want to be able to absorb the wisdom and experience and stories of all those books, not just get through them.
That said, these are the books I’m part way through: Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey, Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber, A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, and In the Sanctuary of Women by Jan Richardson.
Here’s to slow reading and none of the guilt of a small book list!
I went to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with some girlfriends and loved it. I have a huge girl-crush on Jennifer Lawrence! I’m interested to see if I’ll like the film-adaptation of the last book, since it was my least favourite of the three, but they’re doing well so far.
I also saw The Hobbit when we were home, with Rasmus and my parents. There was a lot of commenting afterwards about how much they’ve stretched out the book, and I do agree that the action feels “slower” than in the LOTR movies, even though it’s fast-paced, because it’s all kinda the same thing over and over. But I still really enjoyed it as a film, for all its differences to the book (although I’m kinda over all the giant spiders in these films – too freaky).
On Christmas Day, to take my mind off the fact I couldn’t even keep down water, I watched episodes of New Girl for the first time, and really enjoyed it.
Family. I got to see my parents, my sister and her boyfriend, an aunt and uncle, three cousins and their partners and children. There’s something about being around people who are committed to you because of a random family bond, but who actually like you too. Win!
Telling friends we are pregnant. From the cup of hot chocolate that went flying in a Luxembourg cafe, to the high-pitched squeals from girlfriends at our Christmas party, to all the thrilled comments on our instagram picture… I was nervous to start telling (what if I jinx it?) but the JOY directed at us and our little one over the past two week has been stunning and has increased our own joy in this moment.
A friend recommended Catherine Larson’s devotional journal Waiting in Wonder. It walks you through week by week of your pregnancy, telling you how your baby is developing and linking that to spiritual insights and thoughts for you to journal on as you go. I’ve really enjoyed using it to channel my numerous thoughts and feelings as I walk through this process.
The church bells ringing in my home church. One of my dad’s friends took us up the tower to see the newly-hung bells (some from the 1600s!) before I got to sit in my old seat in the window, watching the team play the rounds to call villagers to the carol service. It took me back twenty years, to sitting there as a little girl watching my dad ring.
Rugby Games. My Dad, Rasmus and I went to see the London Welsh play London Scottish. For a random reason, we apparently support London Welsh, even though we have English, Scottish and even a little Irish blood, but no Welsh as far as I know. I got frowned at for singing along to Flower of Scotland (Uni days memories), but I thought the kids in front of us had figured it out – they were chanting “Go London!”. Way to hedge your bets…
Voxer. I got a new smart phone just before Christmas because my current one, although still working fine, had a teeny tiny memory, which meant all of four apps on it. The new one has HUGE amounts of space so I finally downloaded Voxer app and it has been such a treat getting to hear the voices of far-away friends. It’s basically like a vocal text message app. If you use it, look me up (Fiona Lynne) and let’s start talking!