Monday, January 22, 2018

Snow Day

If only every day could be as peaceful as a Snow Day. Yesterday, we woke up to the world blanketed in white.

I spent the day indoors, thankful that Dan offered to go to the grocery store for a few things that we really needed.  More milk for hot chocolate was on the list.

Today is cold and brisk and windy, which makes me want to stay in for yet another day. But, I'm afraid I'll have to venture out for a bit to run a few errands.

Happy Monday to all,

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January Daybook

For Today . . . Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Looking out my window . . .The sun is shining, bouncing off ice and snow.

I am thinking . . . how I got lucky today, that our computer software at work is down, so I have the rest of the day off.

I am thankful . . .for the massage gift certificate I received for Christmas. It will be put to good use this afternoon.

 One Some of my favorite things. . . White chocolate mochas, new notepads, crunchy snow.

I am creating . . . a photo album for my grandson.

I am wearing . . .Sweater, jeans, boots, and earbuds to block out the conversation at the table next to me.

I am reading . . . I Like My Life by Abby Fabiaschi. (Just finished it! Fabulous!) Next up: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

I am hoping . . . we get dumped on with snow this weekend.

I am learning . . . to go with the flow.

In my kitchen . . . homemade broccoli cheese soup with Red Lobster biscuits.

In my garden . . .

Post Script . . . One of my favorite authors is Katrina Kenison. Here is the link for her website.

Shared Quote . . .
 “It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now ­­– the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.”  ~ Katrina Kenison

A moment from my day . . .

Closing Notes . . .
 The best thing I did for myself last year was to enroll in the Inspired Writers Studio, sponsored by WritingStrides. If you are a writer and interested in finding a terrific online group, check it out!

If you would like to create your own Daybook, here is the link to the format, prompts and signup.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Books and more favorites

This was my first full week back at work (full for me, being three days), and it feels like I'm in the flow for the new year. It was a nice week overall. Here are some of the highlights:

A freshly painted office space. Our office suite got a sprucing up over the holidays, with lots of fresh paint and some new furniture. What a great way to start the new year! We all feel like we got a present over the holidays, and it has made coming back to work all the more fun.

"The kids" were here for dinner on Saturday night. Brooklynn wanted someone to read (and re-read, and re-read) a story to her. After I read the book three times, I suggested that her uncles would like to share in the fun. Uncles are a lot better at storytelling, and soon Brooklynn and Bentley and Joey and Sam were all on the sofa, acting out the story. Sweet times.

Keeping a bit of Christmas. I took down all of the Christmas decorations, except for a string of lights in my study and a little lighted tree in the dining room. They will brighten up the dull days of January through March, and are a reminder of the Light of Christmas that is with us year round.

Post-holiday grocery shopping. It's nice to have a cupboard of healthy foods and snacks, with the last of the Christmas sweets pretty much gone.

Dinner and books. Last night, Dan and I went to dinner with my aunt and my dad . My stepmom wasn't feeling well, so she didn't join us. (We missed you, Carol!). We all love books, and love sharing the latest on our reading list. Always a nice way to spend an evening.

How was your week?

I'm linking up to Friday Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Warming up the engine and 68 degrees

It's already the second week of the brand new year, and I'm still warming up the engine. The house is clean, the Christmas decorations are down. I left up a string of white lights in my study, and a small tree in the corner of the dining room. I can see it from the kitchen and it gives off a warm, cozy feeling. January through March can be so dreary, and I can't bear to put the house back into darkness after we waited all through Advent to welcome the Light.

So, with the holidays tucked away and a new year before me, I've been looking back at 2017. Sometimes it's easier to figure out where you're going when you can glance back at where you just were. I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I do try to think about things I want to be more intentional about each year. I’m a list maker, so whether it's the beginning of a new day, another week, or whatever, it helps me to jot down things I want to focus on.

In 2017 I chose a ‘word for the year,’ as many in Blogland do. My word going in was Love. Determined to be better at loving people, particularly someone who I would die for but who keeps making stupid choices. The quote that spoke to me was: “Am I trying to control an outcome in this situation, or am I trying to reinforce the love in this relationship?”

I was struck by this, because for a long time now I have been banging my head against the wall, trying to maneuver this person back to sanity. Even though I was doing it out of love, I was ready to relax my shoulders and just put the love part front and center. So, that’s how I went into 2017. And then, about six weeks later, something turned my head, and I decided what I really longed for was peace and quiet, and to hide under the covers, so I took on the word Sanctuary. Yes, that felt so much better. I just wanted Sanctuary from the whole situation, so that would be my new word. I would focus on making my house the home of peace and love that I longed for. I went about this for a couple of months. And then, this Love Challenge of mine, moved back front and center. I was once again struggling with how to love this person who was back in my space and making terrible choices. So my word became Love again, and, once again, I picked up the challenge of how to Love. But, this time it was how to love someone else without losing myself. And I learned some stuff. A lot of stuff.

Overall, 2017 was a pretty good year. In fact, (other than the diet and exercise thing), most of my efforts went pretty well, and I think it makes sense to just continue on with some of the things I was working on back then. So for 2018, my goal is to keep moving forward with some intentions I put into place last year. I haven't found a word yet for the year -- or it hasn't found me. But my list of intentions for 2018 includes:

Simple, healthy meals. I'm going to put away the cookbooks and give myself and the kitchen a break. We'll eat soups and stir fry and things I don't need recipes for.

A simple, easy plan to manage our finances.

Make a housekeeping plan that is simple.

Do you see a theme here? My plan is to make it easy on myself so that I have more time to devote to soul care -- reading, writing and gardening.

I made a reading  plan that includes a list of books I've been meaning to read with space for new things that come my way. (I will share some of these in a later post).

I found a writer's group last September that gives me the support I need to keep my writing projects going.

And, I'm doodling away at drawings for the garden, so that when the soil warms up in the Spring, I'll be ready to go.

By the way, yesterday, it was 68 degrees outside when I left work in the afternoon. Unexpected. I hope all of the unexpected occurrences for 2018 prove to be as pleasant.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Welcoming 2018 with Friday's Fave Five

My first official post of the new year, and what a better way to begin than with Friday's Fave Five.  This is a meme hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.  Every Friday, Susanne invites us to be purposeful in taking notice of the good things that happened during the week.  So here goes.

1)  Welcoming the new year . . . I can't remember the last time Dan and I stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve. We typically celebrate east coast style and call it good at 10 p.m. This year we watched a movie on Netflix -- Our Souls at Night, with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. It was lovely and funny and real.

2)  New Year's Day . . .  Keeping with tradition, we celebrated the holidays with my family at my dad and stepmom's house. It has become one of my favorite traditions. We all bring a dish, squeeze in around the table, and it's one of the few times of the year that I see all of my family together. As many come as can make it, and it's a great way to kick off the new year.

3)  Not such a great way to start the year . . . I was sick for two days as in I-wish-I-was-dead sick. But, there's a bright side! That is in how good I feel today! And in that I have an awesome husband who takes over and cares for the house and for me when I get that sick. I'm still sipping on flat ginger ale, but I do feel worlds better.

4)  Time with friends . . . On Tuesday night, we went to dinner with some friends (okay, I'm pretty sure this is what led to #3, but we'll set that aside for now).  The 'girls' and I have been best buds for years. It's the first time we've been out with our spouses/significant other. So much fun!

5)  A good book . . . I finished a book, on the cusp on the New Year, so I'm counting it for 2017.  I read 30 books in 2017, which is awesome for  me.  The one I just finished is All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick. I really enjoy this author, and this book really hit the mark for me. Historical fiction, a story that is relevant for my life right now, and so beautifully written.

How was your week?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Year in Review

I'm sneaking in one last post for 2017. Yesterday I was watching one of those 'year in review' segments on the news. It was so disheartening, looking back on the difficult times we've all been through this year. And equally disturbing that I'd already forgotten some of the events. I was ready to say 'good riddance' to 2017.  Then I started to think about my year, personally, and while there were some tough times, there were a lot of good times, too! So much light in the darkness if you just look hard enough for it. And there lies Hope.

So, here (drumroll) is my year in review. 

Joe and Sam's wedding! Surrounded by beloved family and friends, all coming together to celebrate the love between these fine young men.  One of the best days of my life.  

My 10-year blogging anniversary. Another celebration of community, in the people I've met through blogging and the friendships formed.

A day trip to Leadville, Colorado, to scout out places for my friend Mary's son and his fiancee to have their rehearsal dinner.  So much anticipation in that lovely day, in such a gorgeous setting.

In April we traveled to Wisconsin to see Luke and Miranda and the kids. Such a joy!

Road trip! to Santa Fe and Taos with Aunt Ann.

I took a blogging break for most of June. One of our accomplishments this year was getting in the last of the flower beds in the backyard.

Baseball! and family visiting!

Lazy days and ice cream. . .

California wine country trip and yet another family celebration.

Another trip to Wisconsin. . . !

A mild autumn. Sixty days with no precipitation and the gardens continued to flourish.

Where did the year go? Here's to 2018 and a year of peace, hope and light.