17 January 2012

facing the new year

I know I say this every year but it is hard to believe the holidays have already come and gone.  This week we were graced with a beautiful snowfall and I have to keep reminding myself that Christmas has already passed!  With that the excitement, the travel, the cooking and baking and the ending of one year and the beginning of another have already happened.

For us it was a trip to Oregon to see family, time spent catching up with family and of course baking and eating.  It was Aven's second Christmas but the first one she could truly participate in which was fun.  Abe and I escaped to California for a night away from dogs and first time we were both away from Aven overnight (thank you Grandma's).   With this relaxation brought the craziness and the hecticness of a new year.

For me this year I feel the need to purge my things.  I have already gone through my closet twice and gotten rid of two bags of clothes and a bag of kids clothes too.  We have taken a few tools and small pieces of furniture to the reStore and I've already thought about how this year could look different.

Another year has begun and with it so many questions.  What will this next year bring?  Will I finally return to school, being a Master's Program?  Will we move away, finally remodel the kitchen and bath?  You know, just those minor questions that plague you daily.

I have also attempted to make a conscientious effort to slow down and enjoy the moments.  With a toddler and life at high speed, it is easy to miss the little moments that make life enjoyable.  It is easy to get caught up in the shopping, bill-paying, chore and errand running and forget to sit down on the ground and play wood-cutting fruit with your daughter or indulge in one more story or sit on the bench in the kitchen and share a bowl of yogurt or a banana together.  These moments are simple and in many ways ordinary but they are also the things that can bring you joy and help you to slow down and enjoy the intricacies of life.  A good friend (who is also the mom of twins) told me that she sometimes lets things go so that she can spend time with her kids.  This advice has left an impression on me.  She said, I am never going to look back at this time and think "gee, I wish I would have done more laundry or vacuumed more, but I might look back and wish I spent more time with my kids."  I try to focus on this thought when it is my day off and I am looking at a daunting list of chores.  Should I just give in and sit on the floor and scribble crayons with my daughter; should I spend some extra time making a meal for my family and sitting with my husband in his shop as he assembles cabinets or should I join the rat race and cram as much into a day, hour or minute that I can?

Don't get me wrong.  I am the queen of multi-tasking at both work and home.  If I am doing something, I am usually doing another at the same time but sometimes I force myself to STOP and just do ONE thing....or nothing at all.  That is also refreshing.

On another note, those of you who know me know that I don't ever make New Year's resolutions.  Mainly because I feel that people make them to break them; however this year I am focusing on a few things this year.

  • slow down and enjoy time with my family
  • make more food, cook more and use my wonderful kitchen gadgets
  • finish my book club books (I don't know why this is so hard!)

Just a few things to get myself going.  This is a bit rambly but I haven't written awhile and I suppose it is the way my brain is going right now too.  And, it wouldn't be a complete blog post without a few pics.

Pic of Abe in Eureka, CA on our way to Fort Bragg just outside of Lost Coast Brewery where we stopped in for lunch.

Ahmah Bates, Aven & Daddy before the long ride home to Bellingham

Aven playing with her Hanukkah gift from Ahmah- only trouble is she fed all of the little candle flames (made of felt) to the dogs, literally....oops!

Aven and Cousin Asha Rose on Christmas morning- very focused on opening their gifts.

Aven and Daddy getting up close and personal with Granddad's neighbor chickens!  Notice Abe's face.
I do sincerely hope your holidays were well and that you have started 2012 with a fresh look;  that something on your mind or heart is helping to make your life better.  Here's to it all!  Blessings.

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