2013 Book List

one of my goals for this year was to read twelve books. One a month. No big deal, right? Well, considering over the previous 5 years or so, I’d not read more than 2 a year, it was kind of a big deal for me!

And I did it!

These are the twelve I picked out at the beginning of the year, but I didn’t read a few on the list and did a few that weren’t on the list.

  1. Give Them Grace – Elise Fitzpatrick
  2. The Power of Prayer – E.M. Bounds (started, but didn’t finish)
  3. Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton (read 2 more chapters)
  4. Don’t Make Me Count to Three – Ginger Plowman
  5. The Faithful Parent – Martha Peace
  6. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley
  7. Peter and the Starcatchers – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  8. Peter and the Shadow Thieves – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  9. Peter and the Secret of Rundoon – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  10. *The Dragon’s Tooth – Ashtown Burials #1 – N.D. Wilson
  11. *Unbroken – A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand
  12. Real Marriage – Mark and Grace Driscoll

Bonus Books:
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender
Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (read before but it is beloved)

Not on the list, but ones I read:
*Erasing Hell – Francis Chan
*The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Alan Bradley (sequel to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
*A Red Herring with No Mustard – Alan Bradley
Adopted for Life – Russell Moore
*The Man Who Knew too Much – G.K. Chesterton

(*the asterisk denotes books that I read on my Kindle app, borrowed from our local library via free download. Half of the twelve books were read in such a manner – I found it to be a very quick and almost hands free way to read while we’re driving, while holding a kid, traveling on planes…etc.)


For 2013, I’ve added a few books to my goal, kept some from the 2012 list that went unread and found some more that I wish to read. I’m excited! (Again, in no particular order.)

  1. Real Marriage – Mark and Grace Driscoll (Kyle and I are reading this together and discussing it.)
  2. The Explicit Gospel – Matt Chandler (this is for our church small group)
  3. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Eric Metaxas
  4. Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl – N.D. Wilson
  5. The Connected Child – Karyn Purvis
  6. The Grace Effect – Larry Taunton
  7. Thinking. Loving. Doing – John Piper & David Mathis
  8. Peter and the Starcatchers – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  9. Peter and the Shadow Thieves – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  10. Peter and the Secret of Rundoon – Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  11. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  12. Fit to Burst – Rachel Jankovic
  13. Building Her House – Nancy Wilson
  14. Forgotten God – Francis Chan
  15. Seabiscuit: An American Legend – Laura Hillenbrand
  16. The Kite Runner – Khalid Hosseini

Finish Orthodoxy & The Power of Prayer

Bonus Books:

  • Parenting with Love and Logic
  • Surprised by Joy – CS Lewis
  • Assassination Vacation – Sarah Vowell

What books are on your list for this year? Are there any I MUST add to my list? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Tell me!

2012 Year in Review

The Year that Was – 2012

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before? fostered kids that aren’t mine. Considered and moved forward with adoption. Filled out more paperwork than I’ve ever had to before.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I made goals again, not resolutions and accomplished about 50% of them. What I didn’t reach: memorizing Ephesians, training for/doing triathlons (couldn’t figure out how to make time!), throw a cool party for Kyle and I for our 30th birthdays, keep track of birthdays and send real cards like I used to do so well and making time to blog.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Several friends. 🙂

4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year.

5. What countries did you visit? Some year I hope i can put countries in here and not just states. I went to Nevada in January with Taylor to see our friends Rob and Rosanna and meet their new little man, Maxwell! Kyle and I went to GA (again with Taylor) in September for the Together for Adoption conference and then I went to WA (with Tayl0r) to visit my brother, friends from WBC and Heidi, who had just had her newest little guy, Jack (yep!), two weeks prior. Taylor was quite the traveler this year! And a good travel buddy too.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012? another child at home with us.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? My birthday – ’cause I turned THIRTY!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? starting the mountain of paperwork necessary for adopting.

9. What was your biggest failure? not sticking with exercise at ALL this year. Seriously did a horrible job of staying in shape. I’m in probably the worst shape ever, not counting being immediately post-partum.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? the usual basic colds/sore throats/stomach flus, and mild sleep deprivation. 

11. What was the best thing you bought? Gosh – I’m not sure! Plane tickets? Shoes?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My parents. They helped us so much this year while they lived with us. So unselfish and kind.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? those who took the lives of innocents. heart-breaking and appalling.

14. Where did most of your money go? housing, food, church/missions and gasoline. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Adoption! Adding to our family through adoption.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012? To The Ends of the Earth by Caleb.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? happier. glad to not be two months post-partum this Christmas. 🙂

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? exercising, reading, writing and praying.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? sitting on my butt, whining, frivolity, and judging.

20. How did you spend Christmas? We’ll have our own little gift opening and breakfast as a family, followed by brunch at Kyle’s parent’s home, followed by Christmas dinner at my parent’s home. That is, if we not all still horizontal with the Plague of Christmas 2012. 😦 Everyone but me is down for the count today with coughs, fevers and body aches. :sob:

21. How will you spend New Years? I’m not sure – Kyle is working, so it will probably be me, some champagne and the ball dropping on TV.

22. What was your favorite TV program? Parenthood, Southland and The Office.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? no.

24. What was the best book you read? Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, hands down. Super amazing.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? JJ Heller.

26. What did you want and got? a new grill! a trip to WA to see friends and family. a promotion for my amazing husband. a closer walk with Jesus.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Really liked the Avengers! Lincoln was also fabulous. We didn’t see many movies in the theatre this year..

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? turned the big 3-0! We had a fun party at our house, complete with a delicious spread of appetizers, grilled chicken on my new grill and a cake from Wuollet’s, my favorite.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? spending more time at the feet of my Savior.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? much improved! I loved participating in the Dean St. Society Style Challenges several months in the year. Hilary’s style prompts were just what I needed to get out of my style shell and try some new things.

31. What kept you sane? my husband, my parents, coffee, and support from awesome girlfriends.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I am seriously drawing a blank here. Real people in my real life are far more interesting and inspiring.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? the election didn’t stir me, but it happened.

34. Who did you miss? my best friends that live far away. and my Grandma Alice.

35. Who was the best new person you met? she’s not a new friend, but until this month, I’d never met my dear katy~* in person. She was just as wonderful as I imagined and already can’t wait for the next (much longer, I hope) visit.

36. Tell us some valuable life lessons you learned in 2012:
~I operate better on 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, but can manage without totally losing my mind on 6, interrupted.
~She Reads Truth is great! Their reading plans made it possible for me to get back into the regular and life-giving habit of Bible reading.
~It’s okay that my kids are my life right now, that I look like a mom, and that there isn’t as much time for “me”.  This too shall pass – the days are long, but the years are short.
~Balancing a marriage, two kids, a household and side jobs is almost more than I can handle, but there is grace. So much grace.
~I feel amazing and am incredibly slim when I don’t eat sugar, most dairy and refined carbs. Remember this, Johanna of 2013!

applesauce cupcakes w/ brown butter cream cheese frosting

Applesauce Cupcakes
(recipe from The Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge, TN)

1 C butter
2 C sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 C applesauce
2 t soda
4 C flour
1 T cinnamon
1 T allspice
1 T vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter & sugar; add beaten egg. Heat applesauce; stir in soda. Add alternately with sifted four, spices, & vanilla to cream mixture. Bake in greased muffin tins until light brown, approximately 15 to 20 min. Batter will keep covered in refrigerator for several days.

Browned Butter and Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, browned in skillet
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat well. I say 3-4 cups of powdered sugar because I can’t remember how much I used! But obviously, you want it to be a good spreading or piping consistency.

And if I were a good blogger, I would have taken a picture, but I didn’t. 🙂 Enjoy!