What We’re Into: March 2016 Edition

Today’s post by Marybeth Whalen and Ariel Lawhon | @MarybethWhalen and @ArielLawhon

As always, we’re linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer to discuss what we’re into this month. We’d love to hear what you’re into as well! Let us know in the comments below.

MARYBETH WHALEN

MB Collage

This March has meant surprisingly warm temps, which has sent everything into full-blown green/spring mode. We’ve taken full advantage of this wonderfulness, venturing outside every chance we get. We’ve taken long walks up to our neighborhood lake, snapped pics of sunsets as we dined al fresco, and loved all the blooming flowers.

The kids got Enos for Christmas and have finally been able to put them to steady use. Whether it’s in our backyard alone or with friends at our community lake, they’ve gotten much mileage out of these portable hammocks in March. And I’ve enjoyed seeing them do something other than watch tv or stare at a device!

This month I got to go to lovely Montauk NY to stay at the Montauk Yacht Club for a meaningful, memorable weekend with some lovely women as I led one of my More To Your Story retreats. I don’t get the chance to do that very often but every time I do, I’m reminded how much I love to do it. This setting was particularly inspiring.

Easter happened in March this year, which meant it snuck up on me. We had one of our most low-key Easters ever– and this mama loved it! I had all my chicks in the nest at one time (increasingly rare) which meant picture time, much to their chagrin. But they played along and we got a shot everyone was pleased with (also increasingly rare).

Spring break also happened in March and with different kids on different schedules, that meant we had someone out of school and home for three weeks straight. Though I love having my kids around, that kind of schedule will mess with a mother’s productivity!

We didn’t go anywhere this year for spring break with the youngest three so we promised we’d take them to do fun stuff all week instead. We went on walks, to movies, to the trampoline jump place, to the zoo (with grandma) and– the artistic youngest’s pick– to paint pottery. All in all, trip or no trip, it was a nice, much-needed break from routine, lunch packing, homework, and carpool schedules. And a nice taste of summer to come!

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ARIEL LAWHON

Ariel Collage 5

Our new house. One day, hopefully in the near future, I will tell the story of why our family didn’t have a home of our own for the last three years. I’m not quite ready yet. I still have a bit more processing to do. But here is what I can say: my husband and I finally bought a new home in January. It’s our hope to live here for the rest of our lives. To raise our boys here. To hold our grandchildren here. Having a home is something that can be taken for granted but we hope to never do so again.

Pencils. This one is weird, I know. But I am really into pencils right now. I think this is a side effect of finally having an office. I’m collecting supplies like Office Depot is going out of business. It’s like a disease. We won’t even talk about the post-it-notes right now.

My office. Here’s what you need to understand: I’ve never had a place to write. Yes I only have two books out there in the world but I’ve been writing for a very long time. My writing space has always had to be portable. But for the first time I have a dedicated writing space. And my husband–good man that he is–is slowly remodeling it for me. As you can see from the picture above we’ve stripped some wallpaper and put up a chandelier and painted walls. We’ll deal with the icky carpet and much-needed bookshelves later. For now I’m happy to have a room of my own.

Listening to my son play the violin. If I could live my life over this is one of the only things I’d change. I’d learn to play the fiddle (same instrument, different type of music). There’s just something about it that moves me. So when my son decided to play the violin in school this year I almost wept with joy. Mostly it sounds like a dying cat right now but my gosh, there’s something there. I can hear it. He can hear it. And I hope he continues playing.

Keeping fresh flowers in the house. The lovely Anne Bogel taught me the simple joy of keeping fresh flowers in the house. We all need a bit of simple joy now and then. So I’m embracing this habit enthusiastically.

Pat Conroy. I’m reading through Conroy’s entire body of work this year. I’m working on an essay about the why behind this decision. For now I’ll just say that it’s the only way I can honor his legacy. I think he would approve.

 

What I'm Into

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

3 Responses to What We’re Into: March 2016 Edition

  1. Heather April 1, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    Love these updates and I’m so glad you are both doing well!

  2. Leigh Kramer April 2, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    Mary Beth, that retreat sounds lovely!

    I can’t wait to hear more about your house, Ariel! I also love that you’re reading all of Conroy’s work. Beach Music remains my favorite.

  3. Leah April 4, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    I’m currently reading “The Death of Santini” and reminded of how much I love Pat Conroy’s writing. I was inspired to read it as a tribute in a way. “Prince of Tides” still remains a favorite of mine.

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