Monday, January 4, 2016

Feeling very blessed indeed, in this new year...

Another new year? I feel old. :0 But I also feel SO HAPPY. Welcome back everyone!


I often find this post (the after-Christmas-staycation, what the heck day is it?! Oh yeah, the day I have to go back to being an adult and stop lounging around the house knitting in my pajamas, post) the most difficult to write of the year. And I think it's because I'm such a spontaneous writer - I like to write stream of consciousness, about whatever is going on with me right at that moment. And now, after not blogging for nearly 2 weeks, too much has happened that I want to tell you all about, and I feel overwhelmed and do not know where to begin. I am easily overwhelmed, have you noticed that about me yet? ;-)

So here I am, looking a little sour faced in my office, because I'd rather be home brewing tea and contemplating which craft project I should pick up next, or maybe I should take a walk with Anne in her wagon? And do I *really* need to get dressed to do either of those activities?! But sadly, here I am in my work clothes trying to look alive. Because my break was AWESOME. Really, really great, I can't remember feeling so content in quite some time.

*blissful sigh*

I was dreading the time coming to an end. And last night, trying to go to sleep before The Wake Up That We All Fear? It wasn't good. The whole family has been sick (except for me, who paid her dues back in November with The Cough That Would Never End, and The Fever Rash That Sent People Fleeing In Terror) and last night poor Mike's cough worsened.

He was being so sweet, doing little things to cheer me up because he knew I was dreading going back to work, but he was COUGHING. I felt bad for him, but every time he erupted in a fit of super loud coughing I couldn't help inwardly cringing. Mike and I are real marital nerds in that we don't like to sleep apart.  The only exceptions are if one of us is traveling without the other, or if one of us is sick and coughing to the degree of potentially disturbing the others' sleep. I was thinking last night was going to qualify for exception #2, but Mike didn't seem to think so, settling into bed beside me sweetly and happily to read. And cough. He didn't seem to pick up on my discreet side eyes every time the noise barrier was breached, and I didn't want to hurt his feelings.

He fell asleep before I did. I was reading on my Kindle and trying grumpily to get sleepy when he started to snore. And Mike doesn't usually snore. But the congestion had obviously gotten the better of him, because he was snoring LOUD. Obviously, this is not his fault. But thus began a cycle of: (1) Snore. (2) Wake self up by snoring. (3) Get annoyed with self and angrily rustle around in the bed, elbowing pillows every which way. Repeat.

Didn't exactly make for easy sleeping for either of us. ;-) Oh, and did I mention that Anne woke sometime in the middle of the night, inexplicably demanding that a book be read to her? That happened too.

Sooooo, we were all tired this morning. And it's finally cold here, in the teens temperature-wise this morning when we left. Sadness, so much sadness. Have you seen Inside Out? I did, several times over the break. ;-) If you have too, you know what I'm talking about.

All right, so let's do as thorough a review of the holidays as I can remember, which doesn't bode well right from the outset, but we'll do what we can.

We hosted lots of fetes and family over both Christmas and New Years. It was LOVELY. True, I did a bit of tornadoing, but on the whole I kept it to a minimum. It helps that I have a wonderful husband who works so well with me to get things ready and make everyone feel welcome when they're over. It was also nice to not have to go anywhere besides Mass over the course of Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Since everything was at our house, we stayed put for the most part.

And Christmas day was BEAUTIFUL. We opened gifts in the morning prior to heading to 11 am Mass. I received many fabulous gifts (I am spoiled, truly) but one of my very favorites is my new orange Fitbit:

Isn't he fabulous?!
What should I name him?! It's very easy to anthropomorphize this thing since it says good morning to me, and congratulates me on achieving my daily step goal by lighting up and vibrating happily. I love it so much that I have become quite obsessed with it. Mike has teasingly threatened to hide it. :0 I'm doing all of these fun daily and weekly challenges with my friends who are on Fitbit and I have become consumed with getting to or near 10,000 steps per day. The kids don't even question it anymore when they see me walking randomly in circles around the kitchen table, trying to get in extra steps. I have to say, I LOVE IT, I really do. Are you on Fitbit and want to connect with me for walking challenges? Leave me a comment and we'll find each other. :)

As for the kids, we focused on crafty things this year, or generally creative things that they can work on for some time. I really tried to get away from the big plastic toy phenomenon (which inevitably, after taking 20 full minutes to extract from the package, drawing blood in the process, break before the end of January) with the exception of Anne's new play kitchen, which she loves:

Notice, also, her new apron. It matches mine. *beams*
My nephews also had a grand time in there playing over the holidays. Henry even had lunch in there with her one day:

Aren't they darling?
And so everybody loved their gifts. We went to Christmas morning Mass which was so spectacular I can't even describe it. The pianist and cantor sang a rendition of "What Child is This" that brought tears to my eyes. I feel especially blessed this Christmas.

The rest of the week we just enjoyed being together and eating leftovers. SO MANY LEFTOVERS. My family is part Italian, we can't help it. We overfeed. It's how we show love. :) I went on lots of walks (Fitbit!), we brewed lots of tea (even the children, I've indoctrinated them well) and the time was generally quite restful and invigorating.

New Years Eve found me knitting and crocheting like a mad woman to finish up the kids' handcrafted gifts prior to the Epiphany, and indeed, I finished that night as we all watched E.T. together. Here are Henry's gingerbread socks:

He's already worn them, he's such a good child.

And Anne's amigurumi cat:

A cat. Right?!

Well...she's cute, but she doesn't *exactly* look like a cat. Both children asked, separately of each other:

"Is that a mouse?!"

She's mouse-like, I suppose. But the important thing is that she is DONE, and Anne loves her, and has named her Mary. Quite fitting that she was born on the vigil of the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. ;-)

Towards the end of my time off, on Epiphany weekend, we took a short pilgrimage to a shrine to Our Lady of Fatima that is about a half hour from our house:

They have a festival of lights each year, which of course, is kept up through the Epiphany. :-) It was beautiful, and I asked for the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima as we move into this new year. Life can be challenging, but above all, it is GOOD.

We have lots of fun stuff coming up, my friends! I have a bunch of ruminating thoughts that I'm hankering to write about (prayer routines for the new year! dance and fitness news!), including the fact that I started reading Raising the Barre over the break, and I can't wait to review it on here! I'll set a date for the discussion likely within the week. My Kindle tells me that I'm about 35% of the way through. I'll also start recording short Tea Time videos again beginning this week. Oh, and amusing crafty news with the Downton Abbey knit- and crochet-alongs starting this week. Let's just say that last night involved a cast-on experience that has left me scarred for life. Details to come!

How is YOUR new year starting out, dear reader? And don't forget to write to me if you have a Fitbit! I demand this. ;-)


  1. I have a fitbit somewhere...I got out of the habit of wearing it/using it b/c it annoyed my wrist for awhile. I need to get back into it. I think I added you as a friend via the facebook connect on my account. Many people must have gotten fitbits for Christmas because I had a lot of new people to add. :)

    I totally feel you on that week between Christmas and New Years. I had no idea what day it was and I was at work everyday! I got a knitting loom for Christmas so I have been trying to figure out how it works and making projects. So far I have part of a headbang made. It is very exciting to have a new project in the making. :)

  2. Beth Anne, I found you, yay!!! You're on my Fitbit friends list now. ;-) Yes, get back into it, it's fun!


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