February 2014 Highlights & Reads

Highlights from Last Month

  • Tom went to a football conference in Concord while I visited with San Jose friends
  • We celebrated the 3rd anniversary of our first kiss and the 2nd anniversary of closing on our house
  • We had an amazing dinner with some new friends from church who have also journeyed through infertility (and survived!)
  • Tom went to Fresno to attend the premiere of a friend’s movie

Books I Read in February

Favorite Podcast Episodes

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Top Books, Blogs, and Podcasts of 2012

Happy new year!  I thought I’d start off the new year by listing my favorite books, podcasts, and blogs of 2012.  Some of them have been around several years, but all of them were new to me in 2012.  Also, I can’t take credit for the idea to list my favorite media of 2012.  Several of my friends have done the same thing on their blog. I loved reading their lists, so I thought I’d steal the idea.

Books

  1. Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.  This book actually came out in 2006, but I first came across it this year.  This is a book I wish I had read in my early 20s, even though I was no where near the point of thinking about getting pregnant.  Whether you want children or not (and even if you’ve already had them), this book helps women go beyond the basics and really gets into the nitty gritty of fertility and conception.  It also gave me a renewed sense of awe at how women’s bodies were created and how they function.
  2. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt.  I like practical, nuts-and-bolts books, and Platform is just that.  It’s basically a manual for using social media to get your message (whatever that may be) out there.  I found it relevant for me as a budding blogger and as a school librarian.  Plus, I listen to Michael Hyatt’s podcast (see below), and I’m just a fan of whatever he does.
  3. Prayer of Heart & Body: Meditation & Yoga as Christian Spiritual Practice by Thomas Ryan and Holy Yoga by Brooke Boon.  I listed these two books as a tie because they went hand-in-hand for me.  I was doing a lot of yoga at the beginning of the year.  I firmly believe that movement can be a form of worship, but I was often uncomfortable with the philosophies and meditations in the classes I was attending.  I wanted to explore Christian thinkers in the yoga world and these two books were immensely helpful.

Blogs

2012 was The Year of the Blog for me.  I was trying to cut back on how many books I bought, so blogs are the perfect quick-fix for a reading addict like me. I have over 100 different blog subscriptions, but these are the three I’ll be sure to read if I only have a few minutes to spare.

  1. I Heart Organizing by Jen Jones.  I love reading anything about organizing.  It’s so fun to me, even if my execution isn’t always perfect!  This blog is the ultimate in eye-candy for organizing aficionados.  Beautiful pictures, easy ideas.  Love it!
  2. Her.meneutics by Christianity Today.  There were several essays on this blog this year that kept me thinking for days.  They’re always thoughtful and the comments are usually pretty interesting, too.
  3. Kitchen Stewardship by Katie Kimball.  I love the idea behind this blog:  that working in the kitchen is an opportunity to serve God and our families.  I will admit that some of the projects and tutorials on this blog are a little too “granola” for me, and some require time that I just don’t have.   But, it has made me a more conscious cook and eater.

Podcasts

I spent the first six months of 2012 commuting 75 miles each way, two days a week. The other three days, I worked alone at home.  Music made me sleepy, so I ended up getting hooked on podcasts.  I probably listened to at least 20 different podcast shows this year, but these three were my consistent go-to’s.

  1. This Is Your Life by Michael Hyatt.  Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson, one of the largest Christian publishers in the world.  He writes (and podcasts) practical articles on leadership, productivity, social media, and writing.  I love the variety of his topics and  how he puts his decades of leadership to good use.
  2. Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn.  I’ve become really interested in the idea of entrepreneurship/home-businesses, and I stumble across Smart Passive Income from another blog.  Pat Flynn is known as one of the most transparent and honest internet business owners out there.  He seems like a really genuine guy and it’s been fascinating to hear about internet business.
  3. This American Life by Chicago Public Media.  Okay, I’ve been listening to This American Life for several years now, so it wasn’t new in 2012.  But it’s so consistently good that I have to list it here.  Each week brings another story and they’re all amazing.

I’d love to hear your recommendations for books, blogs, or podcasts I should check out in 2013!