Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January = Catch up month

One of the best things I did this year for my own happiness was to decide that December didn't "count" as a month to do things in.  All "normal" chores and activities and responsibilities are out the window.  December is just for Advent, getting ready for Christmas.  House, heart, family, everything.

Then in January, as I saw the giant piles of EVERYTHING, there were a few moments of panic.

And then I decided that January didn't "count" either!  It's just a catch up month.  All of the digging out from Christmas, all of the beginning of the year work-the filing, the photo ordering, the thank you writing, all of it happens in January.

It has been such a help to me!  Instead of worrying about getting it all done in the first week, it gave me a whole month to do all of that stuff.  And instead of feeling behind, I feel right on track.  I know it's all arbitrary and ridiculous anyway, but if I can get my inner boss to give me a little slack we all fare better.

Here are a few fun things I've had saved in my reader. is a new blog I'm really loving.  Not that I've had time to make anything at all, but I like it nonetheless.  Projects, sales, ideas on how to refashion things, it's all about sewing on the cheap.

Pleats and Ruffles is another blog I just started following.  It's "real" sewing, not the kind I do where I'm just making it up as I go.  I'm hoping to learn something and be inspired to try a bit harder.

I loved this post on "Protecting your Creativity" from an art teacher blog that I follow (did you know I'm also certified as an art teacher?  I thought I ought to be reading a little in case I ever end up there!)

Anna loves having a "craft box" full of junk that she can make things out of.  Sometimes I get cranky about it, which is crazy (and probably reasonable) because I'm always battling myself on the same issue- "But I could make something out of it!"  I laughed to see this post about having a box of junk- much more exciting to call it an Inventor's Box.  I liked the idea cards that you can download from the post.

Since Katie happily entertained herself in my office yesterday while I was at a meeting after school by cutting two measuring tapes to bits, I think she would love this Valentines Day project I had saved.  :)  I had to quickly change my face from appalled to pleased when her unsure little face looked up and said "I made you a blankie."

And a question.  We're out of TV to watch on our Amazon Prime.  We tried "Mr. Selfridge" but I don't like to watch shows where the people are being rotten (which eliminates almost everything on TV, I know).  I like happy shows best, but detective shows are also good, as long as they're not too creepy or gory or violent or yucky. Poirot, Monk, Suits, Parks and Rec, Chuck, these are all things we've liked.  Honestly, it's amazing we've found anything to watch ever.  I just don't like watching TV very much, but MJL really does.   I try to watch something with him at night, but it's so hard to find something I can stand.  Any suggestions?  

Happy Kansas Day!

Monday, January 13, 2014


You've probably heard the thing on the internet where you pick a word for your year.  I thought it was an interesting way to tap in to one concept for the year. On New Years Eve MJL and Anna and I filled out these papers (after a great game of Ticket to Ride!  So fun that she's old enough to play that with us now).

Anyway, my one word came to me quickly.


I think it works for me on lots of levels.  I've been busy sorting and getting rid of things and trying to make room to get to work on the basement.  I've been trying to sort out and get rid of things that take my time away from the things that really matter, and most of what swirls around in my head can be solved with less too.  Less worry, less thought of myself, less judgement.  

It's working marvelously so far.  I found myself feeling a little wanty about these beautiful Christmas plates which of course were on super sale all over the place after Christmas but I remembered "Less" and happily closed the browser window.

And when I worry about planning things and doing more and fitting in another thing I remember "Less" and take a deep breath.

As I sort through things I ask "Do I love it, do I use it, and does my home NEED it?" and I end up with less in the cupboard and less in the closet and more on its way to Salvation Army.

And sometimes, when sitting in front of the fire looking at Pinterest, I wonder if I should get up and work and I think "Less" and I choose less worry about wasting time, and enjoy being toasty and looking at pretty things.

Here's a lovely New Year's blessing.  Never too late, I think.

May God, the source and origin of all blessing, 
grant you grace,
pour out his blessing in abundance,
and keep you safe from harm throughout the year.  Amen.

May he give you integrity of faith,
endurance in hope,
and perseverance in charity
with holy patience to the end.  Amen.

May he order your days and your deeds in his peace,
grant your prayers in this and in every place,
and lead you happily to eternal life.  Amen.

And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever.  Amen. 

-Roman Missal, Solemn Blessings, “The Beginning of the Year”-