monthly recap: december 2018.

december started off strong but was ultimately probably my least favorite month of 2018, and i am not sad to have it in my rearview.

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st jude 10k starting line. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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memphis sunsets. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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fun friends. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.

december highlights.

another awesome st jude memphis marathon weekend. hosting a holiday happening in our home. exploring the children’s museum with lisa jain and her family.

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tacky sweater love. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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my girl. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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when she gets left at the office she becomes mine. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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christmas traditions. cordova, tennessee. december 2018.

december books.

i found my reading groove again in december and managed to finish 4.5 books [one was started earlier this year].

silver sparrow by tayari jones. i picked this up on a visit to oxford and sailed through it in the first week of december. this story of two daughters – one legitimate, one not – growing up in atlanta kept my attention throughout. i loved how the book was written from the perspective of both daughters, one of whom knows of the other’s existence and one who does not, to see how their parents’ decisions impacted them both in similar and different ways. i look forward to reading jones’ an american marriage next year; if it is anything like silver sparrow it will be hard to read but impossible to put down.

singin’ and swingin’ and gettin’ merry like christmas by maya angelou. the third installment of angelou’s autobiographical series picks up when maya is a struggling single mother in san francisco and follows her through her career as a singer and then her time traveling europe with one of the early tours of porgy & bess. her life continues to fascinate me – i never realized how much she did – and i look forward to reading the heart of a woman in 2019.

time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.

all the light we cannot see by anthony doerr. i first read doerr’s novel in early 2015, and it was one of the best books i read that year. when i decided at the beginning of 2018 to re-read two of my favorite books, this was one of the first that came to mind. doerr’s parallel tales of marie-laure and werner are lovely and heartbreaking, and it was interesting to see how much i remembered and how much i didn’t; even in three-and-a-half years this felt like discovering a new book, and i am so happy i had the opportunity. this one remains on my top 10 list.

she looked up at his face, even though she knew how that was going to feel, like someone was hooking her insides out through her chest.

eleanor & park by rainbow rowell. i don’t even know what prompted me to open this on my kindle app while at my parents’ house over christmas, but i do know i finished it in just over 48 hours. this story of first love and everything that comes with it – impossible hope and crushing despair all at once – was impossible look away from, and it made me remember how great love can be when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open to what life can bring. i don’t know that i’ll ever love that simply again, but i will forever cheer for the eleanors and the parks of the world.

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daring greatly by brené brown. i actually started brown’s book in august, got about halfway, and then got distracted by something and never finished. i figured it would be a great book to finish the year with, and i was right: it was exactly what i needed to read at the end of december. i want to enter this year allowing myself to be vulnerable and open to hard conversations in the hopes they can lead to more fruitful opportunities, and daring greatly was exactly the pep talk i needed to push me to make it happen.

the best things i watched.

creed ii, again. because michael b jordan will continue to melt my heart until forever.

bao. this short film is so interesting, and i have been telling everyone i know to watch it.

samin nosrat’s salt fat acid heat, based on her bestselling cookbook by the same name, was such fun to watch. each episode breaks down one of the main elements of cooking, and samin travels to italy, japan, yucatan, and her own backyard to share those basics with her viewers. it is a visually stunning creation, and she so clearly enjoys learning about food that you can’t help but be carried along. just don’t watch it when you’re hungry!

i also started season 2 of the marvelous mrs maisel. i loved watching the first season in the fall, and i am 3 episodes into the second. it’s such a fun show.

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christmas eve lunch. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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she loves gus’s. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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love my grand big sis. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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can’t get over how big he is. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.
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carousel fun. memphis, tennessee. december 2018.

the best things i read online.

should the strand be designated as a historical landmark?

6 things real bookstores have.

tiny love stories.

julia louis-dreyfus is one of my favorites.

this slate column is my new rabbit hole.

which book covers do you like better? i was pretty evenly split between the u.s. and the u.k.

happy 2019! may this year bring you only good things.


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