Monday, December 31, 2012

Welcome, 2013!

As I've probably said on this blog many times before, I love a new month and a new year! I'm the kind of girl that derives much pleasure from flipping the calendar page over to the next month. And this year I have a happy, lovely Disney calendar featuring Thomas Kinkade's artwork hanging by my bed:


I'm looking forward to enjoying those pictures all year long!

Blogging in 2013

What else am I looking forward to in 2013? Well, I'm excited to announce that I will be hosting the Contentment Reading Challenge again! I started the challenge in 2011, Katie from Legacy of a Writer was kind enough to host it in 2012, and now it's back at "Seasons of Humility" for its third year! Click on the page link in the upper right hand corner (or at the beginning of this paragraph) to learn more and to sign up, if you're interested!

As for other 2013 posts, while I can't say for sure what the days will bring, I'm hoping to cut back on the review books I request (in the past I have tended to go WAY overboard on my requests)... So the idea is that there will be 2 to 3 full reviews a month. That will force me to pick the books I really want to read, as well as open up more time for re-reading for the Contentment Reading Challenge (as well as catching up on my TBR stack!). =)

But for those of you who follow me on Goodreads or Shelfari, you know how I generally don't review the books I don't have to review? Well, my hope is that by reducing the pressure of writing so many longer reviews, I can share some mini reviews of books, movies, and music!

I was inspired by Juju's "Wham-Bam Reviews" at Tales of Whimsy. I love the idea of two-sentence reviews that share general impressions of various items without taking a ton of time to put together!

To keep the "seasons" theme here, I'm going to call those posts "'Season'-ed Snack Size Reviews." The "season"-ed part comes into play because I'll still be giving my seasonal ratings along with the mini book reviews. There might also be some mini music and movie reviews thrown in, "unseasoned." ;)

Hopefully, there will also be some personal posts and other non-book stuff occasionally on the blog, as well!

One Day of 2013 at a Time

The year 2012 was full of great joys and lots of challenges for me. One of the big things I had (and will still have) to keep learning over and over again is trusting in God. One year ago today I made "to trust God" my New Year's resolution (you can read that post HERE), because I knew that with college graduation would come some important questions about my future, as well as some worries and uncertainties.

This year I have some resolutions I'd like to try and generally keep regarding exercising, getting my driver's license, reading, and writing. But I think the most important thing I need to resolve to do, through God's grace, is still to trust Him - to wait on Him, to believe that His eternal perspective is much better and broader than my limited one, to rest in the moment, and to do what He would have me do each day and not worry so much about what I can't know right now.

There's a lot I have to work on, but God is so good, patiently walking beside me one step at a time! No matter what 2013 brings, I truly am blessed.

Blog Design

Lastly, I always enjoy changing the blog design for each new season (thank you, Ashley, for giving me that idea back when I started the blog!). I love this particular background from Scrappin' Blogs, because it shows the cold and calm of winter as well as the bright and blooming hope of new seasons to come. I took the header picture on a walk at Corban University last winter, and it, too, shows the starkness of winter in contrast with lightness and brightness.

I look forward to celebrating this winter season and this new year with you here at "Seasons of Humility"! Thank you all for your friendship through the seasons! God bless!

16 comments:

Bluerose said...

I like the idea of the mini reviews! I may have to do something similar just to catch up. :) I also like the idea of having a set(ish) amount of reviews a month. It is all too easy to lose track of just how many books I've requested.

As always, I love your new background! ;)

Rissi said...

Love the new look, Amber! It's SO pretty. :)

Looking forward to 2013 - Happy New Year.

Cathy said...

I agree mini reviews sound great! Look forward to them. :)

Also love the Thomas Kinkade Disney calender. Just showed it to my daughter (who is a big Disney fan) and she loves it! Thanks for sharing.

Happy New Year!

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

Juju's mini reviews caught my eye - and I'm glad she's OK with me incorporating a similar idea! :) Isn't it crazy how quick the reviews and the requests pile up??

Thank you for your kind words, and especially for your friendship! :) Glad you stopped by!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Rissi,

Thank you! I always love how professional and stylish your blog and Twitter account look. :)

Happy New Year to you, as well!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Thanks, Cathy! :)

And isn't that calendar gorgeous? I saw it at a Hallmark store in Oregon, and my mom was kind enough to pick it up for me and then wrap it up for Christmas. ;) I love it!! It's kind of funny, though, because I've been getting Thomas Kinkade calendars for so long now, and I wanted a break from it...until I found the Disney one. :)

Happy New Year to you, too, and thank you for stopping by!

~Amber

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Awwww I'm so glad I inspired you. You're going to love it! They're so fun and I bet you'll get great feedback on them. Good luck sweetie. Thanks for the shout out. :)

Oh and Happy New Year!

Amber S. said...

Juju,

Of course you inspire me - you're such a creative person with a charming online presence! :) I'm looking forward to putting together those snack size reviews! Thank you for the encouragement and understanding!

Happy New Year to you and all the Whimsy's! :)

~Amber

Ganise said...

Oh my goodness, what a delightful discovery!

:-) Hello Amber! Happy New Year!
Your blog is very lovely!
1) LOVE the idea behind it!
2) Trusting God is my challenge for this year too.
3) You seem to be a lovely person too. :-)
4) I like your background!
5) Would enjoy following you on Goodreads!

Thanks for sharing! Hope to visit again. :-)

Amber S. said...

Ganise,

Welcome to "Seasons of Humility"! It's a pleasure to meet you, and I'm delighted you found your way here! :) I'm honored by your sweet words - thank you so much for your thoughtfulness!

Here's the link to my Goodreads page (at least, I hope it takes you to the right place!):

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3571177-amber

I'd love for us to be friends there, as well!

Happy New Year to you, as well, and God bless! Please feel free to visit often and make yourself at home here. :)

~Amber

Amanda Stanley said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, AMBER!!!!!

Gosh, have I missed you, my friend!! Sorry I haven't been around much. Wanted to say hi and check in before Christmas but so many things have been going on lately that I never got the chance. I hope you and your sweet family had a nice Christmas; was praying for you guys :-) And thank you again for the lovely Christmas card! Was so neat to see you and your family hanging out and having fun! I hung your card up in the kitchen with our others and everyone who came in kept asking, "Who's that? Love the card." So, again, you and yours were never far from my thoughts and prayers :-)

My mom hurt her right arm just before Christmas, so I got a crash course in running a household myself, lol! It was a little overwhelming and, WOW, you don't realize just how much mom does until you have to step into her shoes! My dad and brother helped but, really, how much can boys do?? ;-) But the Lord was with me and we had a pretty good Christmas, if I do say so myself ;-) Mom is feeling better now and can move her arm again. Praising the Lord for that healing.

LOVE the new blog design!! Very classy and perfect for the winter season :-) I also liked reading about your goals for this new year. What you shared about trusting God more blessed me, as I feel the same way. I tend to worry a lot. Second guess myself and if I heard His voice correctly. I want to trust Him completely, nothing wavering. May the Lord strengthen you with His Spirit to accomplish all that is set before you this year. May He guide your every step and draw you ever closer to Him.

God bless you richly, my friend!!
Amanda

Amber S. said...

Amanda!!

Happy New Year to you, as well, my friend! :) Hope it's off to a great start for you!

Christmastime is always such a busy time of year - so many events going on and so much to prepare! It sounds like your Christmas was even more hectic this year! I'm sorry to hear about your mom's arm, but I'm so happy to hear that it's healing! I'm sure your mom really appreciated all that you did to make Christmas special for your family. :)

I'm honored that our Christmas card got a spot in your kitchen, and that people seemed to like it! My mom did a great job designing the Christmas card, picking out the pictures and all that. :)

Thank you for your words about the blog design and post - and especially for your prayers!! You are such a thoughtful and caring friend, and I'm so grateful for your friendship. :) Keeping you and yours in prayer, as well!

Worrying comes far too easily for me, too... I appreciate your understanding and your encouragement! May God bless you and yours in this new year and always! :)

~Amber

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Amber,
Have a pawsome 2013.
You're new look for the blog is terrific and <3 the direction you're headed (especially with a driver's license in the works - ha!)...
All the best!
KC and May

Michelle said...

Hi Amber!

First of all, I have to say, you have great taste in calendars! Would you believe I have the very same one!?! I was browsing amazon.com for a Disney calendar, because as you know, I'm a HUGE fan, and when I came across this one . . . I knew it was the one for 2013! : )

Love the look of the new blog design, and your plans for 2013 here on the blog and your personal endeavors. I pray that God continues to bless you, and this is a fantastic year for you!

Hugs & Friendship,
Michelle : )

:::waving hello to my friends, Cathy, Amanda, and Ganise!:::

Amber S. said...

KC (and May!),

Aww, thank you for the compliments and the encouraging words! :) ("Ha" is right when it comes to my delays in getting my license...LOL!) Glad you stopped by, and wishing you all the best, as well, with your writing and life in general!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

LOL! That is awesome! "It's a small world after all!" ;) Like I told Cathy, as much as I love Thomas Kinkade's work, I thought it was time for a break, so I didn't want to get another Kinkade calendar this year. But when I came across the Disney one in Hallmark, I couldn't resist asking for it for Christmas! :)

Thank you so much for your kind words and your friendship!! I'm blessed to know you, even if we haven't met in person! :) God bless!

~Amber