Friday, January 28, 2011

Celebrate Winter: In the Morning

The times of day that tend to be most difficult for me in the winter months are the later mornings and earlier evenings- this lack of light really affects me. I don't want to get out of bed, the house is cold early on and without light flooding in I'm just not that motivated to take that first step out of bed.

Those morning hours are the hours alone I need to get ready for the day both physically and mentally, to spend time with God, to get the day started off in a meaningful way that will spill over into the later hours. By starting off my day later and without preparation for the day to come I turn grumpy and impatient, neither attitude useful.

So I'm trying something new.

I decided to set a new morning routine to take me through these cold days. I needed something to help me leave the warmth of my bed with a little enthusiasm, something to help me get my day going when all I can think about is how cold and gray everything is.

The new morning routine actually starts on the previous evening. I'm taking a few extra minutes before heading upstairs to set up my teapot, set out a new type of tea I want to try, and rounding it out with the beginnings of my breakfast all ready to go. Nothing makes cold mornings better like a hot mug in your hands.

I wrap up in fleece as I step out of bed, and head downstairs to this waiting breakfast. And even though I set it up myself the night before it almost feels like the breakfast elves were here.

And then there was this morning when the water was already hot when I came downstairs, thanks to that husband of mine getting up extra early without waking me... *love* him!


Do you have a morning routine? How do you get moving in the morning?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Day

Bed unmade, new music for the praise team at church, re-reading old favorites for refreshers...

Art from the previous day greets us...

Our book baskets, complete with fishing net...

The downstairs cabinet, evidence of morning projects...

A second pair of socks already begun...

This made me laugh this morning- the table was clear the night before when Brian brought the flowers home, but by the time I got breakfast to the table the space had been claimed by boy toys...

A lone Christmas craft that escaped the trip back to storage...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Whirlwind Revisited

The boys expect a fresh story every night before bed and Brian has been sharing stories from his childhood, dubbing these tales "The Adventures of Brian and Heather". Brian has his very own version of "George Washington and the Cherry Tree" (except for forgetting to mimic the "could not tell a lie" portion), and some of the sticky situations he and his sister found themselves in? Hilarity ensued.

While these adventures have kept the boys in stitches over the last few months, Brian admitted to me that he was just about out of stories. "What should I tell them now?"

I thought about traditional fairy tales, you know- Goldilocks and the Three Bears and those type of things, but that didn't seem right. Hero tales? Not those either. By coincidence a new story was due the next night
and Brian was out of town leaving me with the storytelling for the evening.

I ended up going with "Let me tell you how Daddy and I met..." which isn't terribly romantic, but then again, little boys don't really care about romantic. The fact that I found their daddy at Wal-mart was apparently a riot.

They did care about the beginning. "Why did you like him?" Ender asked.

"Because he was so kind to me."

And he really was. And he IS.

"And then you got married?"

Yes. But in between the liking and the marrying was the whirlwind that felt so long in that moment and now seems like a vapor.

How long has it been since I revisited our beginning and the reasons why we became we? Why we chose to come together to build our lives, to build a family, to build hope?

I can't recall the last time.

The man asked me to marry him before we even went on a real date, and after that first date came around he was even more certain that this was the real deal. A short seven months later (almost to the day) we were married, and well... almost ten years later finds us here.

It was kind of crazy.

And the mother in me is a little appalled that my mother thought it was perfectly fine.

I'm sure she worried way more than she told me about.

I certainly would have.

But in that young marriage was born this marriage, almost ten years old now. We have messed up and messed up big, but if there is only one thing we have learned in the time we've spent together it is that love isn't in the whirlwind, it's in the time it takes to build true things.


Ann Voskamp invites us to write about the practice of marriage this week. You can read more at A Holy Experience.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Celebrate Winter: Marshmallow Men

Part of celebrating winter here means pulling out a few special activities that we only do a few times a year. One of our favorite activities to pull out every few months is building with marshmallows and toothpicks!

It is interesting to see how much the boys' building skills have grown after a few months away from this particular activity.

This is an easier activity if you use stale marshmallows- you can get them to stand up very easily, and build pretty tall structures, but when I asked the boys, Ender said he didn't want to do it that way- he wanted to eat them when he was done, of course!
Snow men laying on their beds....

Um, Ezra eating the snowman's head...

Take a picture of my snowman before I eat it!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Celebrating Winter

I wrote earlier this month about making this a Year of Change. Can I be honest and say I'm a little scared? 

You see, me and change? Not friends.

I've struggled with change since I was a child, to the point that no matter how much my parents tried to prepare me I was still filled with anxiety over slight things. I'm much better with twenty-something years of experience behind me, but as the word for this year indicates, this is my big struggle.

Step one for this year?

An attitude adjustment.

This week and through February I'm choosing to find the great things about this season instead of choosing to remember the past few years where it's been a struggle to get through long gray days.

I'm choosing to see this time as the season to plan, to be quiet, to hunker down on snowy days for extra knitting time, to see days stuck inside as great opportunities for extended projects or time to build a tent and play cards inside... all the things we never do once the weather has changed and we practically live outside.

Will you join me in celebrating winter?
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