Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022- recap and memories

 


Happy New Year's Eve! I'm giving a quick recap of this year for my memories, but feel free to join me as I look back. 


January: I love January! I love the slowness of the month after the busy month of December. We had a light dusting of snow in January, which I always love. I love how our home looks in it too and will always stop and take a picture. 




One of the most meaningful things I've ever done was this night pictured above. A group of ladies from church went to my friend Wendy's house on the night before she had surgery for the breast cancer she had. We went to pray for her and we ended up singing her favorite song together that night, It Is Well, that beautiful old hymn and what would become her anthem. Update on her: she is doing great! She is cancer free and will go back regularly for check-ups. Praise God! 


February brought a little more snow and some ice! I remember driving to our town square to look around and stopping to take this picture. Also during this month, I went to the wedding of a sweet young couple, Josie and Drew.  




March begins the birthday season in our family! Look at baby me holding my newborns. I was 26 when Jonah and Noah were born. Graham turned 4 the day after I had them, and Drew was 2 on that day (he turned 3 a few weeks later.) Also pictured with Jonah and Noah is Mom. 




Graham turned 23 this year, which doesn't seem real. He's such a great young man! They all are, actually. (This is him below with his longtime friend, Ellen. She came over a couple of nights ago and I was struck at how amazing these adult people are as we sat and talked. Ellen was another one of "my" girls that I taught in youth when she and my oldest two were in high school. I'd never have dreamed they would remain friends for this long, but she has been the best friend to both Graham and Drew. She lives in Chattanooga now and was home for a long weekend. I told them they should make a marriage pact, and that if they weren't married by a certain age, that they should just marry each other. 🤣 I'm kind of kidding.)




Also in March, I went on a really fun two night women's retreat with a bunch of friends from church. How adorable was our chapel? Look at all of us!  There were about eighty-something of us there. 




In April, Drew turned 22! Every time I think that he's 22, I am reminded of Taylor Swift's song, 22. In the chorus of that song she says something about it being both miserable and magical. That sounds about right! 😉


Also in April, I went to the beach with my writing friends below. (Left to right: Lynn, Barbee, me, Dedee, Amy.) We had a blast and laughed ourselves silly for a few days. 


In May, Todd and I traveled to Nashville with his friend Chris (and his wife Terra). This was a trip completely paid for by our county government and a bunch of them were awarded the Star of Life for saving the life of a young man impaled by a tractor spike in early 2021. 



In June, my best friend Missy and me went on a daytrip to a cute little town in Arkansas.


We celebrated my dad, stepdad, dad-in-love and hubby for Father's day.


And Mom and I drove to the beach together! She stayed with her best friend Pam and I stayed with Dedee again. 



In July, Drew moved into a new apartment and was robbed a few weeks later. I'm rolling my eyes. I will be glad when they leave here in the spring or summer! 


And also in that month, I spent lots of pool days here with my mom-in-love. 


In August, I got a part time job! 


Also in that month, I met up with my blogging and now real life friend Marilyn


In September, I took the most amazing trip with two of my sisters, Lisa and Debi. We went to Cape Cod and ate #allthelobster. 






In October, Todd and I celebrated 26 years of being married, I spent time with another of my best friends, Andrea, and I traveled to Denver.



In November I got to see my brother Paul, my sister Terri, my niece Amanda, and my great niece Claire!



And in December, we celebrated #allthethings with Christmas and the season became what I fondly call, A Comedy of Errors as people got sick, things went crazy, plans changed, and we adapted and scrambled and got it all done. We only accomplished what we did by the grace of God! I do not say that lightly, I promise. I am thankful for Jesus, for His love, wisdom, and how He guides my life. Do you know Him? 


It was a great year and it was a sad year as I adjusted more to being a mom to adult sons and the changes in life that brings. I'm getting there! I cried less about that this year. Working part time helped by keeping me busy. I have some new and exciting things that could be coming in the near future, which I'll be excited to share with you when I know a little more. My life is always changing and I am always embracing new things and seasons it seems. I am here for it all, though and I know the Lord will help me through. Thank you for reading my blog, friends. Have fun doing whatever you're doing tonight and stay safe! Love to all! 




Friday, December 30, 2022

last Friday Favorites of 2022

 


Happy Friday, friends! What a week. It was a great one, but I am tired! I have some favorites from this week that stand out that I want to share. 



The candlelight Christmas eve service is my favorite. This year was extra special to me, because not only did I get to help lead worship for it, all of my sons sat beside me AND so did my mom and stepdad. I could cry looking at this picture. The only dicey part about the night was when Jonah started messing with Noah with the flame on his candle and I thought they were going to catch their shirts on fire. Insert emoji with the girl and her hand over her face. I'm literally rolling my eyes as I write this. 






Another favorite was being back at church again on Christmas morning! I am so glad we had church. Someone actually said to me that they were surprised that it wasn't canceled and I thought to myself (and said), what better day to be at church worshipping Jesus, than on the day that we celebrate His birth? It was very special and I loved that all six of us Goodwins were there in attendance. Another favorite thing from that service was getting to help lead in worship again and seeing the entire praise team dressed in red! I kid you not. From red plaid to red sweaters/shirts/dresses, we all matched. I loved seeing friends there that morning! The young girl in the middle is one of "my" girls that I taught while she was in high school. I never get to see Emma anymore since she lives out of town now, but it was so good to see her and to hug her. Her mom is also pictured with me in the picture below Emma and me. 



 On Christmas eve I was upstairs looking for some earring backs, which led to me cleaning out a jewelry box, which then led to me finding this picture. It's my favorite of my sisters and me! Left to right are me in Lisa's lap, Trish and Debi. This shows you our age differences. Lisa is 14 years older than me, Debi is 13 years older than me, Trish is 8 years older than me. Sisters are my favorite! 




This new coat I got from Walmart last week is my new favorite. I love the length, the weight and the fact that the pockets are lined with fleece. I only paid $34 for this!



Our Christmas lunch was my FAVORITE! We had an Italian themed Christmas this year and it was amazing. 




Favorite picture of this week! After so many tries, we finally got one or two that were decent. 



Sleeping in the early morning hours is their favorite. Don't they look sweet and cuddly? 



This shirt is my favorite Christmas gift! I'll share a better picture next week. 



This pallet tree is my favorite! My awesome stepdad Bill made it for me several years ago and wrapped it in colored lights, but since they were starting to go out, Todd replaced them for me this week and it's now my "winter tree" that will stay out until February or March. I think it's beautiful!




My favorite thing that I saw in a boutique on Wednesday...



And my dinner on this night was my favorite. Todd and I went on a date and tried some new food! We went to a Vietnamese restaurant and had spring rolls and pho. It was delicious! 


It's been a busy week! Here are my other posts from this week:


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Bonus post about the books I read this month and my favorite books this year.

 

And one more thing—


Just a reminder that the Currently link party is on schedule for next week, Wednesday January 4 of 2023! We'll be talking about what we're currently loving, resolving, organizing, anticipating and eating. I'd love for you to join us, so add it to your calendar! That post will always happen on the first Wednesday of each month. In February we'll be talking about what we're currently loving, feeling, posting, receiving and seeing.


Thanks for reading my blog, friends! I'll be back one last time this week for a quick 2022 recap of highlights, then next week I will be back to blogging only Monday through Friday. Love to all!  

Thursday, December 29, 2022

The books I read in December and my favorite book of 2022! ❤ A favorites post. ❤

 




Happy Friday, my friends! Have you enjoyed this week between Christmas and the new year? It's one I always love and look forward to, especially in the busy days leading up to Christmas. Since it's the last Friday of the year, it's time for my monthly bookish post, with my favorite books of the year thrown in at the end. Click on the picture and you'll be directed to Amazon. Happy reading! 


Before I begin, there was a theme for me this month and it's that almost every book I read was nonfiction. I love nonfiction, I just usually pick fiction over it...but since every other book I picked up turned into a dud, I went with it and stuck with the theme. And Bill? Thank you for checking those books out for me yesterday! I already two of them. 🤣


I read ten books this month and one of them was one that I worked on all year...more in a minute. 



⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Christmas on Nantucket by Leslie Linsley was my first book for this month. I loved every beautiful page written and pictured! It's cool reading a book about a place I've been...and I could picture it in my mind. Here's how Amazon describes this picturesque book:


People from all over the United States come to Nantucket Island to celebrate Christmas in the charming Early American setting. From the Christmas Stroll along cobblestoned Main Street to the Festival of Trees held each year at the historic Whaling Museum, Nantucket celebrates the holiday season with traditions and decorations that transform the island into a winter wonderland. Join renowned style and craft expert Leslie Linsley as she takes readers on a holiday tour through this picturesque island, offering her own ideas for recreating a quaint Nantucket-style Christmas along the way.


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Next up was English Country by Julie Fowler. I love books on design! I'm always curious about my style, because it's something I find interesting. I always think I'm an "eclectic" decorator, or maybe "shabby chic", but after reading this book, I definitely love the style of "cottage" or "English country". How do I know this? Think of cozy spaces, colored paint that brightens the walls of a home, different textures of fabrics and materials, lots of books on shelves and every other nook and cranny, ambient lighting, candles, things that involve all of the senses...I could go on, but this is basically how I decorate in our home. 



⭐⭐⭐

My third book for the month was French Country Living by Caroline Clifton-Mogg. I liked this one, but it wasn't quite my style. I thought about my mom the entire time I read through it, because this is her decorating taste. It was still an interesting read.


Fourth on my list is this that I just finished:



I love to read, and as much as I do that and devote a lot of time to it, I always want to make sure and devote time to the Word of God. So, I've been reading through the Bible every year now for about twelve years. I will always do this in some form. Sometimes it may be in chronological order, sometimes it may be in my Bible that I used last year (Everyday with Jesus), some years it might be the old testament and others the new testament. I just want to always prioritize this in my life. I'll be doing it again in 2023! I am not entirely sure yet of how I'll go about it, but I am thinking and praying about which route I want to take in order to finish it again. 


I read One Last Gift by Emily Stone.


⭐⭐⭐

From Amazon:

Cassie and Tom lost their parents at a young age and relied on each other—as well as a community of friends—to cope. They were especially close with Tom’s best friend, Sam, who always made sure that Tom and Cassie were surrounded with love. But, twenty years later, Cassie has lost Tom as well. And in a way, she’s also lost Sam; over the years they’d drifted apart, and now the man she always had a crush on is someone she doesn’t even recognize anymore.

She’s never felt more alone.

Then Cassie finds an envelope with her name on it, written in Tom’s terrible handwriting, and she knows immediately what it is. It’s the first clue in the Christmas scavenger hunt that Tom made for her every year; he’d promised her for months that this year’s would be the grandest one yet. At first, she’s too scared to open the envelope—what if she can’t figure out the clues without his help? Or what if she does figure them all out and her last connection to Tom is gone?

Tom’s present sets Cassie on a heart-wrenching and beautiful journey that will change her life—if she lets it. And as she travels from London to the Welsh mountains to the French countryside, she reconnects with old friends, rekindles a lost love, and, most important, rediscovers herself. But once she’s solved the final clue, will she be brave enough to accept the gift her brother has given her—and the love it’s led her to?


My personal thoughts were that it was a good book, but it went on for too long for my taste. I do enjoy this author, though and will try her again. This is my second book by her.


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I read Bring on the Merry by Candace Cameron Bure. Here's what Amazon says:


This Christmas devotional journal includes a short devotion from Candace Cameron Bure, a fun interactive activity such as a graph or a list to fill in, and a coordinating classic Christmas story. Known as The Queen of Christmas on Hallmark Channel, Candace encourages you to pause and reflect on the reason for the season while making quiet time for inner peace, finding joy in the chaos, and selflessly serving others. As you read the Christmas devotions and complete the activity journal pages, you'll rediscover the wonder and amazement of the season and draw closer to the Savior. You will personally connect with Jesus in ways that will change your perspective and your response to the timeless Christmas story. Bring On the Merry will help you stress less and enjoy the season more as you put your focus on what really matters JESUS!


My friend Bri and I read this at the same time this Christmas season. I really enjoyed it! I love Candace Cameron Bure and grew up watching her on Full House. Everything she writes is great. 



⭐⭐⭐

I like this author and will keep reading her books, even if this wasn't my favorite. It's a cute story about a middle aged mom of five who is struggling with things in her life changing that are beyond her control. I'm moving on quickly, because this post is growing long.


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I love a practical book and this one by Alexandra Kuykendall is both an excellent read and a practical way to love our neighbors, both in real life and in general. You should check this book out on your own, so I'll let you read about on Amazon, but there were a couple of quotes I loved. One is the reminder that we don't always have to contribute to conversations we have. Sometimes we need to be quiet so that we can listen. That spoke to my heart in a way I can't begin to explain. Other things she talked about in the book are ways we can practically love our neighbors—we can be kind, we can show empathy, we can lighten up and know when laughter is needed, we can use food to connect with our neighbors, we can give freely and we can be known for our joy. You should read this book! 


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love these little books by Fiona Ferris! Do you read her books? They're delightful and practical books and always include ways to incorporate joy in your everyday life. I can't recommend this book or author enough! 



⭐⭐⭐

Lastly, I read this book and thought it was just okay. It was a new author and though it wasn't a favorite book this month, I love to read about the art of hygge and the meaning behind the word. I love to incorporate it into my life as well, especially during what I call the cozy season. 

......................................................................................


And now, my favorite part! I read 77 books in 2022. Here are my top books from the year that I am still thinking about in one way or another. I'll start with my number three choice. Once again, you can click on the picture and be taken to Amazon. 


#3

Becoming Mrs. Lewis was one that I couldn't put this book down! At over 400 pages, that is something. I don't enjoy historical fiction books, but I loved this one. It's fiction, but reads like nonfiction. Have you read it yet? It's not new! I loved reading about C.S. Lewis.



#2

The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara was my second favorite book of the year. Just a hint about this one: if you have a Kindle and are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read this for free right now! I thought about this book long after I put it down, even though it was fictional and what would be considered a romance—there was just something about it that I loved and still love! It was clean, it was funny, it had great anticipation throughout the length of it, it surprised me and I loved the ending. All of that makes a near perfect book! In my humble opinion, I think it would make an excellent movie. I will definitely read this again in a few years. Do you do that? Read books again that you know you love?




And my favorite books of the entire year were a tie, so I'm giving them both the honor of that #1 spot.

#1

Not only was After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid my favorite book of 2022, it is one of the best books I have ever read. I've read a lot of books, so that is saying something! 



This is a story of a couple whose marriage is struggling. They come up with an unconventional plan to try and fall in love again....I won't give you anymore than that, but you should definitely read it for yourself. I am still thinking about this book! There are a couple of reasons why I love it so much. I'll share them below:


This book was a reminder that marriage is hard! It takes devotion, commitment, and a resolve to stay even when times are hard and even when you don't like each other. I know you know what I'm talking about when I say that. I always love my husband, but sometimes I don't like him. I have told him that and he has said the same thing to me. This book also reminded me that communication is vitally important. 


It was a great book, and I think you should make it one of the first you read in 2023 if you haven't already. 


And my other #1 was Loving My Actual Neighbor that I read this month, by Alexandra Kuykendall that I wrote about above in my December books.



You should definitely add this one to your list of books to read in 2023!


So, how was your month and year of reading? Do you have some favorites? I'd love to hear from you! I am always looking for books to read, so will you share some with me? I have a challenge for you fellow bookworms— do you keep up with the books you read throughout the year? You should! I use the same composition book that I use for my blog schedule to keep up with what I've read all year...you could do that or do your own thing and buy a new journal to use. Consider paying attention to what you read in 2023 and share about it on your blog or on social media. It's inspiring to see the accomplishments of others. I'd love to follow along on your journey and I hope you follow on mine as well, because I'll continue with these bookish posts in 2023.


As always, thanks for reading my blog, friends! I'll see you back here next year! 😉 Stay cozy this weekend and have fun ringing in the new year—happy new year and love to all! 


Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...