December 6, 2011

A December Daybook

Outside my window...
no rain, for a while now. This has been one of the best autumns ever. The kids are outside almost everyday and even if it is raining, our garage is finally cleaned out (and parked in!) which means I turn on the music and leave them to ride around for a while. It helps that my laundry room has tons of windows that face the backyard which means I can stay warm, fold clothes, and have some mommy time. Oh, and outside we have all our Christmas lights! And a new lamp post that I (we) have been waiting to put in for a long time. Our little Christmas cottage is slowly taking shape...


I am thankful for...
embracing simplicity. I have always craved a simple life - one free of stress and being overwhelmed - and the past few months we have put many things into practice to make this a reality in our home. And I'm telling you, a simple life is the best kept secret out there. I plan on devoting an entire post on the ways we have embraced simplicity but I will say that my mood, our children's attitudes and obedience, our faith lives, and everything in between have all benefited from slowing down and living in every moment.


I am thinking about...
this little one and how much I just want to meet him, or her. But for the record, I'm betting on girl. Just a big hunch (which was right with the other two) and a whole lot of this pregnancy a lot like the one with Avila.


We are learning...
right now we are focusing all of our energies on preparing for Jesus' birth. Our "formal" schedule has taken a back seat to fitting in other things like our Advent Calendars, Jesse Tree, crafty things, and reading/writing/math using different Advent printables I've found. With our outside of the home schedule a little more full, I'm trying to keep what we are doing straight and to the point so that when Christmas comes our hearts are ready to celebrate and welcome our Lord. Plus, the kids have serisouly been into forts lately and sometimes they are building and playing in them all. day. long. Heaven forbid if I interrupt them.





From the kitchen...
lots of people over! Thanksgiving, lunches, dinners, parties. Since I'm not super crafty in the kitchen and I hate following recipes, I have a few go-to-meals that are yummy, gluten-free, super inexpensive, easy to make, and really healthy. With that combination you can't go wrong. One of them is: roasted broccoli (with a little melted cheddar cheese), quinoa, fresh fruit, and oven baked chicken thighs rubbed in cumin, garlic, onion powder, paprika, a little bit of chili powder, salt, and pepper (no real specific amounts, I just throw it all in a bowl and rub skin-side up before baking). Oh, and I made my first turkey! We hosted Thanksgiving and I am officially initiated into womanhood. 17 lbs of bird brined and baked with lots and lots left over for days after.





I am creating...

waaaaaaaay too many Christmas decorations. If I don't stop now I am going to regret it come January when I am even more pregnant and have to taken everything down. I think I'm just too excited to actually have the space to decorate. But I realized I had a problem when I started making snow to hang from the ceiling...


I am working on...
finishing lots of projects before baby is born. I spent a few days going through 17 boxes of boy and girl clothes and organized them by type and age; now they're all stored away ready to pull down when need be. I also finally put together an emergency kit including things one hopes one never will have to use (and things one never really wants to spend money on like an emergency radio and space blanket sleeping bags). Fire extinguishers are located throughout the house, new carbon monoxide smoke detectors are put up, spreadsheets are created for car mantinence, and other essentials are take care of. My dad must be getting to me...plus I figure what's everything worth if it's not maintained properly and prepared for in case the worst happens?




I am going...
well, this one I'm jealous about, because it's not really me going. But St. Nicholas (aka: someone from daddy's office) brought us two tickets to see Cinderella! And Avila will be going with daddy because every father needs the memories of taking his daughter to something like that. We love the story of Cinderella so dearly and think she is a great example of grace, humility, and hope. Sooo excited to curl her hair and give her an early Christmas present (a Cinderella dress, something she has been dying for since August) and watch her drive away with her very own prince (daddy) to the ball.


I am hoping...
that I can keep working out for as long as possible before this baby comes. I had to take almost a week hiatus because of contractions that were getting worse, but I think the stress came from a combination of the baby growing and not drinking enough water. I felt a lot better yesterday (although I should probably still stay away from the gym because my belly doesn't fit under any of my workout tshirts and that is so not pretty) but I made it in for my class and it felt great. One of my weight class instructors actually trains pregnant soldiers and it's been helpful to have her give me modifications so I can stay safe and still get a good workout in.

I am reading...
not a lot, honestly. But I do spend a few minutes with The Way by St. Josemaria Escriva (fouder of Opus Dei) everyday. Love love love this book. Great practical points of reflection for the average person.


I am praying for...
my children, constantly - that they will grow up to love the Lord and embrace their vocations. I am also praying a lot for what they will face in the future (because we know this world will only get crazier) and that they have the grace to say holy and raise holy families of their own.


I am hearing...
right now, Cinderella. Avila is watching it again and again to get ready for her special night.


Around the house...
a light picking up that turned into 4 hours of cleaning. It's not like things were super dirty but I was motivated and there was no stopping that. It's amazing how bleach-white sinks can make one feel so happy.


One of my favorite things...
laughing with my kids. They bring out the goofy kid in me and I love it.


A few plans for the rest of the week...
Cinderella, a visit from the parents, Mass, and our 3rd annual cookie exchange. I have already eaten half a batch of the chocolate bark I made that was supposed to be for Sunday.


A picture to share...
like mom, like daughter. Daddy dressed her (in a sweatshirt, fun skirt and boots) and look what mama came down in. We were certainly ready for our date to the library!

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