What We’re Into: January/February Edition

Today’s post by Marybeth Whalen and yours truly | @MarybethWhalen @ArielLawhon

Marybeth Whalen

Marybeth Whalen

Marybeth Whalen

I’ve been into organization, healthy eating, productivity and all the other typical things people are into at the beginning of the year. I jumped on the bandwagon for Modern Mrs Darcy’s 2015 Reading Challengand created a Pinterest board of my specific books for each category.

I binged on the new episodes of Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU that were added to Netflix. Yay for that!

I counseled my adult children on everything from how to cook crockpot meals to internships to theological issues. Parenting, I am learning, does not end at 18. It’s really only getting started.

On my personal blog, I started a series each Wednesday of sharing what worked for me that week– little things that made my life better. It was nice to think in terms of what worked… instead of what didn’t.

My son and I saw Paddington and both loved it. Very cute film to take the kids to. Put it on your radar if you haven’t already.

I’ve enjoyed (and learned from) these blog posts this month:

5 Tips for Being a Better Listener by Gretchen Rubin. Her books on happiness, and her new one on habit are on my TBR list for 2015. I am late to her party.

I like seeing more and more information coming out that print books are superior to ebooks. Here’s one: Do You Get The Same Experience From Audiobooks and Print?  And  this post about how ebooks are bad for you. I knew it!

I’m stalking this daily page notepad as a means of organizing my day to day. January was definitely a month where such thoughts featured prominently in my mind.

And along those lines, this post about The Ten Things Organized People Do Everyday was a good one with some tips we can all use without a lot of fuss.

And here’s 21 Books To Read Before They Hit The Big Screen in 2015As if I needed MORE books to read. My list is depressingly long already. While not all these will make it to my list (no thank you Fifty Shades), several of these looked good. If nothing else, I want to see the movies.

And finally, because I’m sharing these posts with you, I will finish with this bit of wisdom from Seth Godin. “The culture we will live in next month is a direct result of what people like us share today.”

Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon

We’ll call this the “What I’m Into — Instagram Version” since I am (apparently) quite into Instagram these days. It feels safer than other forms of social media to me right now. Maybe because you have to tell a story with a picture? Maybe because it’s less frantic and opinionated? Or maybe just because it’s on my pone and I spend a lot of time in car pool lines waiting for children. Regardless, if you happen to kill as much time on that app I do, you can find me here.

So here’s the deal. Life has been really hard/strange/wonderful/exhausting the last few months and I’m the kind of person who only feels comfortable sharing something once it’s already passed. I need the perspective that distance can give. So I thought it fitting to share these moments with you now that they are in the rear view mirror. Moments captured on Instagram. Some of them filtered. Some of them not. But these are the things I’ve been into recently.

My Stuff

Left: I have been growing out a pixie cut for exactly one year now. If not for the coolest hair stylest in the world I would have just shaved my head and gone for bald. But he has somehow made the process fun. I call him the Magic Hair Ninja Wizard and thanks to his skills I can now get this sad hair of mine into two tiny pig tails. So, I am into those clear little plastic baby hair ties. (I borrowed these from my niece)

Center: Two years ago for Christmas my sister gave me these red rain boots. Given the amount of snow and slush and ice we’ve gotten lately I have put them to good use. But I also wear them in the summer. And the spring. And the fall. Also, my sister and I have a standing agreement that we wear our “big rubba boots” (name that film) every time we go see a movie.

Right: Here’s the deal. I’m 36 years old and I ought to be able to wear red lipstick with a straight face. 2015 is the year I am determined to conquer this skill. Results so far: fair to middling. I’m experimenting with shades (almost everything turns hot pink on me) and I’m forcing myself to wear it out in public. But, for the most part, I’m totally into red lipstick right now.


Left: My beautiful, kind, classy, amazing grandmother. She passed away in January and I will spend the rest of my life feeling gutted by her loss. Even now I’m struggling to find the right words to express what she means to me. For a woman who makes her living with words I just can’t find them right now. Maybe soon. So I will simply say this: at the moment I am very much into looking through old pictures of her. Remembering. Laughing. Crying. Marveling at how shockingly pretty she was, even into her eighties.

Center: When we went back for Mamaw’s funeral, I found these old croquet balls in the barn behind her house. I remember playing with them as I child. And there they were, lying in a tattered box, covered with dust. So I brought them home and washed them off and set them in a bowl on my coffee table. I don’t think I’ll ever move them. I am very, very into these old battered croquet balls at the moment.

Right: A candid photo of my grandparents snapped by a street photographer on one of their first dates. She is so happy and he is so dashing and I look at this photo when I feel that life has gotten heavy or unmanageable. Because what a miracle that two people met and fell in love in the 40’s and that I exist today because of them.

Road Trips

Left: I’m totally into road trips with my sister, Abby, right now. As you can see, we started early. I believe this was on a motorized car outside a grocery store in Lubbock, TX circa 1986.

Center: Abby and I drove back to Lubbock for our grandmother’s funeral last month. She lived on a cotton farm “out yonder.” And that farm is populated by more than one John Deere tractor. So, when in Lubbock, drink coffee like a farmer. I really wish I’d brought this mug home with me. I’m into it.

Right: The drive home from the funeral was a butt-numbing sixteen hours that we covered in one day. And it took us five days but we finally instituted the “French Fry Clause” established on day one. It goes something like this: “I’m a grown woman and even though there are no children with me right now I will have french fries if I want them.” I suggest you try it sometime. And if you do, go for the ones at Smashburger. Totally worth the calories.

The Boys

Left: My oldest child is dancing on the edge of adolescence and the closer he gets the curlier his hair gets. He hates it and makes us cut it often. But every once in a while the haircuts grow few and far between and his hair starts to flip behind his ears like it did when he was a baby and I am reminded that no matter how big he gets he’ll always be the boy that turned me into a mother. I am so grateful for this. And I wish he’d just go for the curly surfer dude look.

Center: There is a forty-five minute stretch of time between carpool runs every day when my oldest and I are home alone. We sit on the couches and read during this time. It is precious to me

Right: This one is hard. My youngest son had surgery earlier this month. He is fine. Thank God, he is fine. But there were a few weeks when we didn’t know if he would be and I’m telling you this did something permanent and terrifying and holy to my heart. But that little health detour is now part of his story and we’re deeply aware of what a gift it is to have healthy children. It’s not something I’ll ever take for granted again. Also, aren’t those kid-sized scrubs the cutest thing you have ever seen? I wish the hospital had let us keep them. But no, they are washed and dried and folded and put on the next precious little body that needs the sure and steady hand of a surgeon. I just never knew how many of them there were until we stood in a hallway watching this one be wheeled away on a stretcher.

So, in case it isn’t obvious from all these little snapshots of my life, I am into my family. Relationships. My home. I am into the small moments–the vast majority of which I will never photograph–that make up a life. I’m trying to be online less because I’m trying to be with these people. I am trying to be present and accounted for.

4 Responses to What We’re Into: January/February Edition

  1. Lori Fisher February 27, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I love you two! I thoroughly enjoyed this latest blog and photographs.

  2. nylse February 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    maybe i’ll upgrade my phone and start instagramming because i absolutely loved this post.
    keep reading, keep writing, keep sharing

  3. Susan G. February 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Thanks Marybeth and Ariel for all the sharing. Nothing harder Ariel than losing someone you love. I so see your face in your beautiful grandmother! To ease the pain, I just have to remember ‘we will see them again’…
    SheReads Rocks!

  4. Jhoei August 27, 2019 at 10:17 am #

    Thank you for sharing. I love your photos. It makes me want to keep a journal of my own. I don’t really share photos on social media so maybe I will be journaling and whenever I want to, I can go back to the memories.

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