pale the winter days after dark

I thought we were turning a corner out of The Sick that's plagued us off and on since Thanksgiving, and then Dylan woke up hoarking again this morning, so I guess not yet, huh?

Sweet mercy.

She actually appears to be quite all right now, which is awesome, but not awesome enough to earn us a trip out of the house. So we're camped out in our pjs, reading stacks of library books, and breaking our No-Morning-TV-Rule. And I'm linking up with Leigh to share a few things that caught my eye this month.

Books: I already told you how much I love Introverts in the Church, but this month I finished another stunner, Barbara Brown Taylor's An Altar in the World. Rich and lovely, I know I'm going to want to re-read it and am grieving its inevitable return to the library.

Movies: We rarely see anything in the theater, but there have been a few goodies on the small screen of late. Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom was perfectly delightful. Words can't do justice to the magical Beasts of the Southern Wild. Quvenzhan√© Wallis is the youngest actress to be nominated for an Oscar, and her performance is truly mesmerizing. Pitch Perfect was fun, and I may or may not have watched the final musical number six times. Anna Kendrick and whoever played Jesse are so dang adorable, and I've always loved Brittany Snow. (Anyone else remember her on American Dreams, where she danced on Bandstand? That was such a good show!)

TV: I watch entirely too much tv in the winter, but when it's this cold, dark, and sick, I'm not even gonna apologize for it. Parenthood had a great, if not sob-tastic, season. Jim and I both love us some Downton Abbey, although I'm still borderline despondent about how things ended Sunday. I also really enjoy Happy Endings, but I won't even pretend that Pretty Little Liars isn't my favorite thing on tv.

Aside: in the episode of Happy Endings where Brad works at a kids' gyms, Jim and I about died: "Dylan, Sophia, girl-Dylan, Madison, Madison, Madison." Is Dylan really that popular a name for little girls right now? How did I not know this?

This month, the on-button on our tv broke off inside itself. The remote busted a while back, but I Macguyvered a way to turn it on with a flashlight and a chopstick and was pretty satisfied. Now the kids couldn't turn on the tv when I wasn't looking, finding some daytime train wreck in place of Arthur. (Mute! Look away!) They would actually have to wait for my Go. This was great!

But Jim saw it differently. This was the break he was waiting for! The very next night, with Christmas money burning a hole in his pocket, Jim borrowed a van and took both children with him after work to purchase Our First Flat Screen while I was out at a meeting. (He also got us a Roku, which we are still getting the hang of, so if any of you has any tips on that, I'm all ears.) Look out! We fancy.

I don't think we're really eating, listening to, or doing much of anything new lately.The truth is, we've barely left the house all month, and I'm finding it difficult to conjure any kind of creativity out of pale January. Jim will be traveling for work most of February, and I'm feeling wary. I'd love to know,

what are you finding to be life-giving? How do you cultivate energy in the midst of winter doldrums? How do you fight the stir-crazies, and what's catching your breath and capturing your heart? Exactly how many girl-Dylans do you know?

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh

{top image of a page from the delightfully illustrated Extra Yarn, Barnett/Klaussen}
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