Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February, Day by Day

The shortest month of the year has felt a little long, but since the days seem to pass so quickly in general, I'm not complaining about that.  This month I...

1.  enjoyed the lengthening of the daylight hours - We're no longer leaving school at sunset.

2.  drank up the rest of the flavored coffee I brought back from home this Christmas.  I've found that these little things make a day feel happier.

3.  kept on taking pictures of the sky.

4.  photographed a Daddy Daughter Dance.  It just makes your heart feel good watching those dads and their little girls.

6.  walked to the doctor's office in the freezing fog, stopping for a picture along the way.

7.  decorated the chalkboard and taught the kids.

9.  received a fun all-American gift.

10.  made a lot of pancakes.

11.  bought a couple of plants.

12.  celebrated an early Valentine's with my husband and kept up with my manicure really well. 😏

14.  helped Ella make a Valentine treat with one of her Christmas presents.

15.  celebrated a friend's birthday in this cute little spot.

16.  watched the sun rise a little bit earlier each morning.

17.  marveled at how in the middle of the night flowers can magically appear.

18.  took a Saturday morning walk.

19.  never took the sun for granted.

20.  took the kids on a bike ride to the park.

21.  read a novel containing this very true insight.

22.  got out all the teas for Wednesday night church meeting at our house.

23.  noticed a gate that blended in very well with its surroundings.

24.  watched these boys run wild and free.

25.  kept a close watch on my tulips' progress.

26.  took another group of kids to the park in the wind.

27.  contemplated the weather.

28.  stopped to enjoy our back garden.

From the contents of my camera phone, my February was full of love, sunshine, rain, and flowers.  How about yours?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I expected to have a bad day today.

"Mom?  Mom?  I had a bad dream."  

Those were the words slowly pulling me out of the deepest of sleeps around midnight last night.  I was sleeping so soundly that I had to ask James to repeat himself several times before I could understand what was going on around me and get out of bed.  I walked him downstairs to his room, used the restroom, and crawled back beneath my own covers, hoping to slip back into the oblivion of sleep quickly.  But alas, the story of my life in recent years has been one of struggling to go back to sleep once I spend several minutes awake.  I blame it on having children.  Last night I didn't manage to get back to sleep until 5:30 a.m.  

On the positive side, K.J. had taken Tuesday off work to do something fun with the kids who are on their half-term break from school.  On the negative side, I had an eye appointment that I needed to leave the house for at 9:30 in the morning, and the prospect of starting a day out with so little sleep makes me feel so very despairing even with Marilla Cuthbert's voice ringing in my ears, "To despair is to turn your back on God."  She's so right.  

On sleepless days I fear the loss of self-control that leads to a short temper, overeating, and a general sense of feeling overwrought.  Most of the time what actually happens on those days is a sweet sense of God's provision and grace because I am so desperate for Him to provide those things.  I'm so aware of my need on the sleepless days that I don't entertain the slightest notion of being able to do anything myself.  At the end of days like today K.J. always points out how a day that began with so negative an outlook turned out much better than expected. He also has a habit of saying, "Everything always works out for you, Lynn Pugh."  I usually don't like it when he says this because I feel like it makes me sound spoiled, but to paraphrase something I read by Oswald Chambers once, "We're all just spoiled bairns of the Almighty."  And that doesn't seem so far off the mark at all.

I added these things to my thankful list tonight:

  • KJ planning to drive me to my eye appointment
  • being able to sit quietly and read in the waiting room while KJ waited in the car with the kids
  • being able to sit in the theater and watch the LEGO Batman Movie
  • all of the creative genius that went into making the LEGO Batman Movie!
  • remembering family memories watching Batman with my brothers
  • coming home to rest
  • KJ going out to get fish and chips for dinner so I didn’t have to cook tonight
  • encouraging text exchange with Laura
  • making up with KJ after some tense words trying to find a parking place before the movie
  • energy to follow-through on cleaning the bathroom (I always feel like I need a medal for doing that least of all glamorous jobs.)
  • grocery delivery at night
  • reading Nancy Drew to Ella before bed

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Week in the Life of a Slow Month

February often gets a bad rap for being the dead of winter, cold, and blah.  It's been the dead of winter, often cold and blah, for us so far this month, but I am enjoying it, really savoring the time to go slow.  December and January were full of parties and gatherings and international travel and jumping headlong back into life and routine.  February's slower pace feels like a gift.  It's not a flashy month, but I am liking it for more nights to light a fire and snuggle under a blanket with a book, drink hot coffee, and just be still without the rush and the frenzy.  The days are already lengthening (as every grocery deliverer has remarked to me in the past two weeks), and spring will be here soon.  It feels like one last month to be cozy and practice the hygge that has taken over the western world.

February has brought play-dates with friends and noticing that the tulip bulbs I planted in the fall are actually sending up their shoots.  A miracle!  It's been going to see the chemist, the GP, and finally the optician to figure out why my eye was red and itchy.  Having a bright red demon eye has been a more blah part of February, but it did feel miraculous to have a thorough eye exam by the optometrist and get a helpful diagnosis.  And it is feeling better even if it doesn't always look better.

February has brought lingering around the table with new friends and giving cousins a chance to FaceTime.  It's brought a family writing project that I'm not sure if I'll have time to complete this month since I'm only giving half hour pockets of time to it, but nonetheless it's lots of fun.  Through a character profiling exercise in which I was asked to describe a strong character, I easily wrote 3/4 of a page on Rhett Butler.  Clearly my early teenage obsession with him has not cooled in the intervening years.

I have that exact copy of GWTW!

In other news, I'm wearing a shirt that matches this cake I saw on Instagram this week.  Isn't it amazing?

It might be worth signing up to learn how to create that!  

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Thanksgivings

For this month's day-by-day I thought I'd turn it into a way to be thankful, which is really what the recording of daily pictures has always been about for me, but to be more explicit, in January 2017 I am thankful for...

1.  Seeing family at Christmas

2.  Beauty above the Clouds

3.  A Peaceful Return to Boroughbridge

4.  Winter Sunsets so Early in the Day

5.  Laughing with friends on Instagram about the horrors of picky eaters

7.  Embracing winter and lighting more fires

8.  Having church family over to celebrate KJ's birthday with an assortment of games

9.  Having a child who still likes setting up a shop/office like Ella used to do (also, James's knack for mixing and matching pajamas)

10.  Kids who are friends and enjoy each other most of the time

12.  The mystifying way it stays cloudy all day in an English winter, but then the sun comes out in all her glory for the sunset, reminding us she's still there

13.  Pretty new journals for fresh starts (Now it's just making the time for all those dreams and aspirations...)

14.  When the sun shines brightly, revealing the glory of God all around

15.  This Girl:  and watching her down that entire burger like it ain't no thang

16.  that he still fits in the buggy

17.  finding a job for E to do in the kitchen that works for my "control everything" mindset (I find it so hard to give her more freedom in the kitchen sometimes!)

18.  Leftover Taco Tuesday in a bowl

20.  making some forward progress on a chair re-covery project and friends who make that progress happen

21.  Girl Time

22.  Sun on a Sunday Morning

23.  the benefits of cooking a big meal on Sunday, including not having to cook on Monday night

24.  the promise of spring even when the ground is at its most frozen

25.  Birthday flowers hanging on and making the sunshine look good

26.  birthday celebrations

27.  the encouragement it gave E to be awarded the Effort Shield

28.  that sun again (it always feels photo-worthy)

29.  the beauty of this scene

30.  watching him write to Kung Fu Fighting

What caused you to stop and give thanks in January?