Grayceful Library: Live Abundantly

Happy New Year everyone!  As exciting as the fresh start is, I'm also realizing that my haze of "what day is it??" is quickly coming to an end. Other than some small celebrations with grandparents and our community, we really haven't left the house much at all over the past two weeks. I had all of our Christmas decorations away and our garage completely cleaned out by the end of Friday last week, which has made for some lovely margin in all of our brains.  The girls were so wired that they could have put Buddy the Elf to shame by the time Christmas Eve rolled around, and I've noticed that they are finally settling and playing well again.  It's also left plenty of time and space for me to read and putter around the house with no real agenda.  I've never been a huge New Year's Resolutions person (ask my friends; the idea of setting a goal and aggressively pursuing it makes me want to break out in hives... no Peloton for Christmas here, folks), but I do love finding books that bring fresh inspiration, and what better time than January?

Last year, for the first time, I chose a word of the year - abundant.  After having the girls so close in age and feeling forever limited by having babies and toddlers, we had really gotten into the habit of saying no to almost everything.  Don't get me wrong, M was such a terrible sleeper when we traveled that our year-long travel ban was absolutely necessary, but we had also reached the other side of that season without really noticing and adapting.  So for 2019, I spent a lot of time re-discovering inspiration (I even have a whole "Inspired By" series ready to go!) and saying yes to all the fun things, really pushing our family to transition from an in-the-trenches season of survival to enjoying life abundantly.  Anyway, all but one of these are books I read in 2019 that spoke to the quality of life I want to live - abundant.

1.  Paris in Bloom - I can't remember if I got this for Christmas or just purchased it for myself because it looked so darn beautiful, but I spent hours pouring over the incredible images in this book.  I have a whole post coming on Georgianna Lane soon, but suffice it to say I am daydreaming of springtime in Paris.

2.  A Simplified Life - Emily Ley does such a good job making margin and simplicity practical and achievable.  Nothing in this book was earth-shattering to me - so much of what Emily shares reminds me of the way my mom lived - but it's such a good, solid, refresher course on clearing out the "extra" in all areas of our lives.

3.  When Less Becomes More - I obviously love Emily Ley.  I could include Grace, Not Perfection in the list as well, but I have a Kindle copy instead of a hard copy (ha!).  This might be my favorite, though.  It's so poignant (dedicated to her daughter who is about the same age as my girls), vulnerable, and it resonates.  Yes to less busy and more community.  Yes to not always doing things the more efficient way and savoring the process.  Yes to retaining the joy of a little girl.

4.  Whiskey in a Teacup - Listen, Reese has been my girl since the first moments I laid eyes on Legally Blonde.  I've always felt half-Southern (that first year of life I spent in Virginia left an impression), and I love the way Reese writes about what it means to be a Southern lady.  We have obviously seen so much of the worst of Southern culture lately, and I continue to believe that it is so, so important to root that out - but there is beauty there, too.

5. Living a Charmed Life - I haven't actually read this book in a long time, but it was one of my mom's favorites, and I have it on my TBR pile once I finish #6.  I remember it as a short, practical read about bringing joy into your life everyday.  I mean, the pink binding alone is enough for me!

6.  Gracious Living in a New World - Currently re-reading this one.  Alexandra Stoddard was my mom's favorite author, and she was even featured in this book!  It's funny that this book is as old as it is, because it feels so relevant to today.  She speaks to the value of building community and simple routines, whether you live in the village of Stonington (we visited this fall and it is every bit as dreamy as she describes...) or a crowded city.  I have been re-inspired to get back to our routine of walking to school, among other things (including the name of this blog!).

7.  Home Grown - not pictured, but this cookbook really spoke to my season-loving heart.  Matt Jennings writes of winter stews and summer lobster rolls, and the whole thing just has me drooling.  Especially after we spent a week this summer in Connecticut, I see how much better the lobster rolls and ice cream are because they can only be experienced for a short time.

I've collected these and a few others I would like to add to my collection in my Grayceful Library.
I would love to hear your suggestions for more!

No comments