Well, I managed to write more posts here last year than I did in the previous six years combined. I feel good about that. You can see on the newly rolled out year and month archives that I averaged 14 posts a month and I’d love to keep that going this year. There was a dip in the middle of the year as I had lots of projects outside of computer time (the Banger, baby rattles, a kitchen island, and more) and a few major roadtrips (DelFest and Denver). December dipped too because, well Christmas ate my month. Mostly good, but I was away from my desk a lot.
Golly, this has been something I have needed to do for a long time. See, many of my friends think that I read a lot more books than I ever have. It’s not that I fake it, I’m pretty straight up about it actually. I read a ton of shorter form content, such as long-form blog articles, podcasts, etc. But I have over the years gotten really bad at reading books. Like, I start lots of books… and then stop a few chapters in. In 2023 I changed that by picking up audiobooks. Kind of a finally thing, really. I had reasons for avoiding them but most of those reasons were wrong. This last year I “read” ten books and almost completed another four. That feels great.
Some may assume that I consume a lot of political content. This is only really only true in the sense that everything is political these days. Of the ten books I read this year, three were parenting books; three were on theology, philosophy, and science around transgender issues; the other four were ranging from drug use, to evangelism, to a theological view on writing and gardening.
Obviously I want to keep this trend going and finish the four remaining books and read even more after that.
To say that music is one of the foundations in my life is an understatement. In 2023 we made it out to DelFest in Maryland and soaked in music for four days. Our older two kids went with us too. Let me say clearly, you should really bring you children to a music festival when they are young. They’ve been talking about it ever since.
But that isn’t the only music we got in this last year. We saw Zach Bryan in Kansas City, Needtobreathe in Independence, Missouri, and Rend Collective in Columbia, Missouri in the second half of the year. These were amazing date nights with my wife.
And I haven’t just consumed music, but recorded quite a bit too. There are a couple acoustic covers that I’ve posted here and more on my Instagram.
And I make instruments too. This last year I built a beautiful acoustic mandolin and am preparing to build a couple more in the next year and hopefully sell one or two.
The aforementioned mandolin, baby rattles, and kitchen island are just a few of the projects that were on my bench last year. I built my bench last year too. I bought a table saw, a routing table, a jigsaw, and a drill.
My shop is finally reaching the point where my quality is catching up to my ambition. Which means it’s time to increase my ambition.
I ended the year with a kitchen island build starting, which should be done this month, and will be building a huge queen size bed for my wife and myself early this year too. Those two projects are certainly some of the biggest, most complicated projects that I’ve tackled and I love it. Switching between fine woodworking like my instruments & toys and the more carpentry side of wood has been a blast and I love it all. It gets me away from glowing screens and is where I have gotten the most reading and podcast listening in.
We have a baby due in a month, have a couple projects lining up for the bench, I met with a friend over the weekend that gave me another list of books to read, and I’m working on joining another worship team. I can’t speak for tomorrow, but the outlook is good for 2024. If God wills— Deus Vult— this is going to be a good year. But if God has different plans, I will take the ride, mando in hand and worship on my lips. Let’s go!