Tuesday, January 15, 2013


The week after Christmas break is always a bit tough.  I woke up our first morning home and was inundated with multiple loads of laundry, bags that needed unpacked, gifts that needed to find a place in our house, old stuff that needed to go to make room for new stuff, and Christmas decorations that were ready for storage.  And I felt like it all needed to be done right away.  Oh yeah, and then there were the New Year's goals that I was already a day or two behind on.  Thankfully Jon had taken off the first week of the year and between the two of us we got our little family back on its feet within a few days.

Planning it all out ... (Cleaning my desk area is one of my January goals.)
Organizing: Time and Hair Bows
I've said it before, I'll say it again, I love the freshness of a new year - a blank calendar, a house that seems bigger once the Christmas tree is down, and new "toys" to play with.  This is also the year we'll be adding a sixth member to our family and the necessary space for Baby is not lost on me. So in addition to the toys, gadgets and other things we cleaned out I also filled two boxes of my clothes for the yard sale and freed up half a closet for the newest one.  And it feels good.  Some of those things I hadn't worn since Jack was born, not because I didn't like them or they didn't fit, but simply because I seem to have more dress clothes than opportunities to wear them.  I love the idea of paring down and simplifying my wardrobe.

Once all the Christmas decorations are taken down the house had a bit of an empty feeling.  We enjoyed it for a few days and then I was ready for something new.  So, despite the 40-degree and rainy weather we've been enduring these past two weeks, it's snowing in our house!

Julia was a huge help in "flakifying" our window.  She kept handing me snowflakes faster than I could hang them. Girlfriend likes to make a home!

Big helper!
 As tradition would have it, my husband bought me a new agenda for Christmas.  I take a moment to enjoy it's crisp untouchedness, breathe in that new paper smell, and then I love to watch our next year fill up - birthdays, anniversaries, weddings; my pregnancy weeks (because by baby #4 I have a hard time keeping it straight), appointments, and vacations.  There's something about booking a summer vacation in January that gives me strength to face the short days and long dark nights.

Tubbies, many of them, are also how we get through the long winter days.
We've also added one more weekly event to our calendar this winter - Jack is back in school!  It was a tough decision since we're still trying to figure out the best way for our family to live on a single budget, and in this current economy.  But one look at Jack's face that first day we took him back and I'm fairly certain we made the right decision.  He's excited about friends and letters and numbers.  He loves to talk about what he's learning, his eyes light up when you tell him how smart he's getting!  Of course there's the old issues of pushing and stealing toys and time-outs that have also re-appeared.  But those are good too, everything is a learning experience ... for Jack and his parents.

My two at-home kids!

He wants to know why he can't go to school too.
So we're breaking in 2013 like a new pair of shoes, wearing it daily, treading softly, trying to figure out the best fit.  I will say, that for the first time since my job ended last fall, I feel like I'm really able to enjoy just being a stay-at-home mom.  Holiday busy-ness combined with first trimester woes have kept me occupied, but lately it's all coming together.  It will be a while before I get my housecleaning on a proper schedule, and something tells me meal planning will always be my biggest struggle.  But fun, relaxing activities are well under control - I've read several books, revisited my honeymoon-age hobby of Soduko, watched some movies and a few seasons of shows with my Handsome Coastie and have even picked up my crochet hook for the first time since college.

Mama was craving ice cream, daughter helped out with the clean-up.
So yes, I've got high hopes for 2013... and lofty goals.  And since normal life-as-we-know-it will probably be ending sometime around July 27, that doesn't give us much time to hit these goals.  Onward!

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