january round up

 

  • Running! Chris and I are training for the Holy Half on April 4. Chris schedules everything he does and we switch off with the girls and it has been so fun for me to be serious about running again! My goal is 3 runs/week and I’m up to 6 miles and it feels good to be out in the cold and getting stronger. I’m super hungry all the time, and more tired, but endorphins!
  • Decluttering and cleaning. Over Christmas I made a list of places in the house I wanted to reorganize, and I hit the ground running when we got back home. Basement, pantry, girls’ clothes bins, both hall closets – woot! Linen closet is next on the list. It feels like something I can control as we await news about Chris’s PhD applications and is weirdly energizing. I asked my friend Annie for help with organizing/house stuff and she gave me a tip that keeping cleaning supplies in each bathroom makes it easier to just do a little bit of cleaning whenever you have a moment. And she also pointed out that our downstairs bathroom is used by all visitors, but has no storage space and therefore is hard to keep clean. So I got this, and Chris mounted it and here’s to keeping this bathroom a bit cleaner for the sake of hospitality!
  • Feedback. That interaction reminded me how hard it is to get feedback, lol. Chris read a book for a class last semester called Thanks for the Feedback and he told me about a part that has been helpful. The idea is that when you receive critical feedback, you can be emotionally triggered in one of three areas – truth, relationship, and identity. This observation from Annie touched on my identity as someone who tries to be hospitable and to create a beautiful space to welcome people into. Because I never once thought about the fact that it’s my guests who use that bathroom the most! Eek. It also made me reflect on how often I used to receive critical feedback in my previous job and how the work of sorting through the emotions and responding well was probably the source of a lot of my stress. Phew! (Love you, Annie.)
  • Books. I finished The Overstory and Commonwealth over Christmas and read This Must Be The Place at the recommendation of my MIL. All very good. The Overstory made me sad about deforestation and the dire situation of the planet, but in a very compelling, well-written way. I recommend. Then I read Circe and loved it. Felt like my third grade Greek mythology-loving self again. Just finished The Dutch House and now reading A Gentleman in Moscow while I await other holds to come in. (Waking up to nurse 2-3 times a night is infinitely more bearable when I have a good book to read.)
  • Big girl Zelie. On impulse, I decided it was time to graduate Zelie from the pack n play and set her up with a “big girl bed,” aka the crib mattress on the ground in her closet. But it turned out to be a great move (go me) because 1) she’s sleeping with a comforter now and 2) she (mostly) stays in bed until the alarm clock turns green! She does wake up at 5:45 still, but she lies in bed singing and talking until 6:15 and it doesn’t alwaaaays wake up Evange. Progress! In my search for a toddler size duvet for her I discovered Kidizen and found a great deal on an IKEA bedding set – score. I also started having her do a 30 minute morning quiet time when we get back from dropping E off at preschool. So far, it’s going pretty well! IMG-2130
  • Prayer. I gave a reflection at our parish’s mom’s group this month and really enjoyed the process of praying and thinking about what to share. It was sort of about Mary as Theotokos – because I was asked to do it right after that solemnity – but more so about finding freedom from things that hold us back from seeing ourselves as God sees us, and being a God-bearer, like Mary. As I was thinking about this, my friend Adrianna shared an article with me and I really loved this quote from it. “The longer I walk under [Jesus’s] gaze, the more even all the wounds I have, my littleness, my sorrows, the things I do not understand about myself, the fears, the pettiness, and the sins, become dear to me. I know that they are my only opportunity to intercept the Lord passing by, because they leave me disarmed, needy and small. I am amazed how I no longer want to censor anything about myself; on the contrary, I stubbornly want to look at everything, down to the bottom. My humanity is only dear to me because it is embraced by the Lord who comes.”
  • Lions. We’ve watched The Lion King a few times now, and Zelie will tell anyone that it’s the best and her favorite. It’s also meant a lot of roaring at each other and endless questions, mostly about Scar. Evange and I also just finished The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe and immediately started rereading it. I’ve been getting a lot of questions like, “Why does Scar want to be king?” and “Why isn’t the Witch the true Queen of Narnia?” that have made me reflect on the parallels between these stories. Good times. IMG-2150
  • Outside time. We had a great two hours at a county park last week and it reminded me that we never go outside anymore, and we should. I feel like we live in the backyard all summer, and then I hibernate all winter. But the girls played together so well and were loving it! And I love watching them explore. So, going to try to start a weekly park play date with a friend and maybe even track our outside hours to stay motivated! Here’s to a mild February!

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