Snow is more exciting the first time around. Added to the frustration of having to pretty much rewrite my syllabi. Added to Scott being stuck in Ohio all week. Added to the threat of power outages. We are pretty much over it, but we’re making the best of it as well we know how.
When this happened a couple of weeks ago, we saw so many neighborhood kids out playing in it. This time, I’ve hardly seen anyone at all. It was mostly ice the first two days, and then the snow finally came.
For the most part, we are hunkering down and waiting for it to pass. We’ve colored and played a lot of hide and seek and baked cookies. They’ve watched a lot of television (or kind of in ten minute increments for Norah who won’t really watch much) and I’ve caught up on a bit on Downton Abbey. The latest Norah has slept all week is 5:15. All I want for Valentine’s Day is a shut bathroom door and a lonely, quiet bath.
I’m achy from the laziness. C’mon, spring!
Sometimes the passage of time makes me sad, but this time of year, I love flipping the calendar to see a new month.One step closer to spring.
For the most part, I did pretty well on my January goals. The laundry routine sis not happen on some days, but when it did, it greatly helped my stress in that area. So now I know what I need to do there, but I need to be sure I remember to do it each day when I get home. In general, I made time in the evenings to relax if at all possible, and it helped my stress load. I managed to stay sane even though we were crazy busy, and that was in part due to my evening recharging, I think.
January was a somewhat stressful month, and February is pretty full, too. It seems like all of my important or really demanding work deadlines fall in this first half of the semester. I had to teach a workshop to a cohort of MBA students at one of our additional campuses in January. It was completely out of my element – a 90 minute drive, teaching at night when I am normally at home in pajamas, talking to adult learners who were mostly older than me and have spent years in the corporate world. But at the end of the day, I think it felt good to mark that one off the calendar and I did fairly well. The feedback was positive which made me feel good.
And now I am gearing up for an out-of-town conference next weekend – the first time I’ve left the kids for something like this. Scott and I have traveled away before, and I went away a couple of times for girls’ nights. But it is really strange to have a professional commitment like this that has me away. Such a role reversal over here because Scott is usually the one gone for work! I’m looking forward to learning more about Writing Center instruction and listening to my group of student presenters who I know will do great on their portion. And I will sleep! Alone! In a huge hotel bed! I am admittedly a little excited about that part. Half the time here, I am in an out of sleep with kids climbing on me when they wake up and want to sleep next to me.
In the meantime, between that travel, a really heavy travel month for Scott, and a couple of kid birthday parties, February is shaping up to be madness. My one and only goal for this month? I need to finish Norah’s room. We slapped a few things on the wall when we moved in, but it still doesn’t look like what I want it to, and her closet is a disaster organizationally speaking. I am saying it aloud here so that I will be held accountable and get it done. I’ll try to post pictures of the finished product in a few weeks, too.
So that is how my February is shaping up, and I hope yours is off to a good start. Thanks for reading!
The university closed at 3:30 today, but as I walked out of my class at 12:20, I realized it was almost nap time at the Child Development Center, and I wanted to get the kids before they slept to head home. I picked them up and began the 45-minute drive home, and the last 20 minutes or so were a little treacherous. But we made it safely and all was well.
Then as the afternoon went on, I heard from more friends and family who were not so lucky and were stuck on the road. As I write this, people I know who left their jobs SEVEN hours ago are still stuck. It is crazy. Atlanta just doesn’t have the snowplows and salt trucks and such because this doesn’t happen much. Plus this came on a few hours earlier and a lot heavier than expected, so it snuck up on us. It is nuts out there.
So I feel lucky I have all my chicks in the nest. (Scott included because he left work at 1:30 and had only a three hour commute.) We got some time to play in it today, and school is canceled tomorrow. Yay, snow day! Stay warm and safe, Atlantans.
Did you know this little gadget can do fun things like make curly fries and vegetable noodles?
I found it for $28 last week on sale and jumped on it. I’m on a moms’ message board I don’t check as often as I used to, but I always make time to look at the recipe section, and so many people raved about spiralizers, I decided to give it a try. We made zucchini noodles tonight, and the kids ate them up! So good. It’s such a handy way to get in more veggies. I’m hoping to do homemade sweet potato curly fries this week in my oven. I know all of you Paleo people would use it to replace wheat noodles, but for me, the main motivation is just getting in another serving of veggies and giving some fresh ideas to my stale meal planning.
Jude loved turning the handle to create the “noodles” or zoodles as we called them. Because it was our first try with this, I dumped marinara on top like usual spaghetti to appeal to the familiar. (And they take 3 minutes to cook in a skillet, much faster than pasta.) We might branch out to other veggies soon. Like this recipe, or this one, or this one.
Just passing along the recommendation. Wild Saturday night here with veggie pasta and a blog update! Ha. Happy weekend.
January and February are never really my favorite months. As I look back and see this, I am reminded that seasons change and dreary skies turn to sunny ones eventually again. I do the January doldrums every year, I suppose. And I eventually recover.
But this year is especially cold in Atlanta. (And everywhere, I guess. Thanks, Polar Vortex.) Single digits this morning and schools were even cancelled a couple of weeks ago due to such severe cold. The ten-day forecast is not helping me feel better. This is sticking around for a while. Ugh. Do I even have enough sweaters? I guess I need to keep up on the laundry this winter.
I intend to check in about my January goals soon, but right now I am just going to vacation a moment in my old pictures. Ahhh, summer sun. I miss you.
I hope you are staying warm wherever you are. I am trying to enjoy the winter hibernation as best I can. Lots of soup on the menu lately. This one was new to me and I LOVED it earlier this week. And this old favorite is making some reappearances as well. Stay cozy, friends.
January. In some ways, this is my least favorite part of the year. I am not a fan of cold weather, and I love the holidays. It’s always just a little bit of a let-down as you slowly get back in the swing of things with real life schedules again. We are currently enjoying the final day of vacation time before we all head back to work and school routines tomorrow. The kids and I could use a trial run on a Friday before doing the real thing next week, so I like the opportunity to go back tomorrow and then having a weekend to get used to the idea.
Looking back at all of my January posts on this blog from 2011 onward, I am really good at making plans and resolutions, but not so consistent about keeping all of them. (Some of them, yes! But not all.) This year, I’ve run through a long mental list of all the things I hope to accomplish ….. I want to write more here and get back into gratitude journaling. I want to somehow create a routine that allows more space and time for myself. I want to get my house in shape and my organization on track here at home. I want to begin to teach my kids some good habits and make health a priority for all of us. I want to continue to learn more about food and nutrition and use that knowledge in my own kitchen. I want to work on making this house a home and tackle my blank-slate backyard this summer. And my list goes on and on.
All of those things really stem from using my time more efficiently and intentionally and making thoughtful goals that get real progress. Long-term goals are hard for me with two little kids in tow. It’s all I can do to meal plan on a weekly basis, and I find it hard to plan much farther than month-to-month. I’m hoping to use this space as a place to set some goals and reflect on those plans – and maybe share some ideas with you as well.
So I guess my plan is to write more on this blog and to make thoughtful monthly goals expressly stated here to hold me accountable. Some of these goals will undoubtedly be boring (drink more water, anyone?) and others more interesting. But one thing I’ve learned is that saying something aloud – whether that is in person or in print – makes it far more likely that I’ll accomplish something.
My January List:
- Drink more water.
- Spend a few hours on Sunday afternoons doing healthy food prep – baking bread, pre-chopping veggies, getting healthy lunch options in the refrigerator.
- Get Jude on track with a chore chart. (Ironically, we attempted this long before he was really capable, and I have not done it since he’s been old enough to actually contribute.)
- Do one load of laundry every evening when we get home. (This one is boring but so huge for me. Laundry has been burying me since I went back to work, and I’m sadly realizing I cannot save it all for the weekends.)
- Put away my phone and computer after the kids are in bed each night, and use my time intentionally to do something I really want to do – knit, read, watch television, etc. I can’t create more hours in the day, but I can use them a little more efficiently to carve some space for myself.
Thanks for reading or skimming along and holding me accountable. I hope you’re using January to stay warm with family and set some solid intentions for the months to come. Happy 2014!
I am a sucker for year-end posts and reflections, and what a year it’s been. I know that is the trite thing to say when December closes, but really this has been quite a year for me. So many changes. We moved to a new home, and I started working again, and our day-to-day lives are so different because of those decisions. And of course my kids are at those ages where they grow and change with each passing week. It’s amazing and terrifying all at once.
I’ve loved watching milestones happen with that same happy-sad feeling that comes with motherhood.
There have been exciting trips and special occasions.
But they were punctuated by those everyday moments which are just as sweet.
Everyday exploring and regular life-living can feel mundane in the moment itself, but not so much as we look back.
So many prayers and hopes for the new year. Health and growth for my family. Personal growth, too. But more gratitude and contentment above all else, I think.
“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” – Walt Whitman