Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Pointless Lists

Eric is up early this morning, banging around the house as he gets Abby's room ready to paint. I'm kind of surprised she hasn't crawled into our bed yet to get away from the noise, but maybe she's just excited to be getting rid of that horrible green she chose when she was 10. Anyway, Eric has picked painting the bedrooms as his winter project (I told you that boy never sits down), and that's how he's using his vacation this week. I tell you what, things get done in this house. 

Right now I'm feeling very grateful because A) I thought I had erased my entire post, which I began working on last night and was 90% finished, but I got it back, and 2) all in all, this has been a pretty good year. Maybe not the best year ever, but when you tally the bad alongside the good, the good comes out on top. I think sometimes you just have to choose to have a happy heart--or that's what my mother says, anyway, and so far the evidence points to her being correct. Hey, we made it through the year. That's wonderful in itself.

Tonight our little Walker Four will make Pad Thai together and maybe watch a movie. Eric and I will most likely be in bed by 10 p.m. Abby will probably stick it out to midnight. This sounds like a most perfect New Year's Eve to me. All my favorite people! And tomorrow, Johanna will bounce out of bed at 7 a.m. and we'll see what kind of mischief we can get into to start the new year off right. Probably we'll make pancakes. That's as mischievous as we get in this house... I don't know, maybe we lack creativity.

Anyway, Happy New Year, my internet friends. Thanks for reading my pointless ramble.

Pointless list time!

Books read:
I finished Stephen King's 11/22/63 early in the month and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was kind of heartbreaking at the end (and also kind of confusing because would the world really rebel like that?), but was totally worth the effort. I've read some comments about the pacing, but I thought the pacing was fine... I mean, you have to work up to these things, right? Anyway, highly recommend.

My next book was Courtney Carver's Mini-Missions for Simplicity. I follow her blogs and find her to be rather a breath of fresh air (she's so dang positive!), and figured this would be something I'd enjoy. And it was. Lots of good ideas for simplifying your life. And this is why I am now flossing my teeth every day in the shower. (Don't judge.) It's not a "this is how you become a minimalist" kind of book, but rather "you've already been simplifying, and here are some ideas on how to expand on what you've done." I recommend this one, too.

And then I downloaded Dangerous Women, a compilation of short stories by a variety of authors, because I wanted to read "Virgins" by Diana Gabaldon. Um, that's an Outlander story, and I think by now everyone knows how much I love Gabaldon's books. I regret nothing, even if this is the only story I've managed to read so far. I have 20 more to go...

Christmas update:
We had three Christmas' this year, which is about par for the course. We opened gifts with my parents on Dec. 22 (usually we do it on the 23rd, except someone scheduled basketball practice for that night. And by "someone" I mean Dad and Eric, just to be clear) and found out that our Very Minimal Christmas Present* this year is a trip to Leavenworth, Wash. TOTALLY EXCITED. We spent a lot of family vacations there growing up, but I haven't been back in ages. It will be so fun to share this with Eric and the girls! My parents are awesome.

On Christmas Eve, my parents hosted another gathering, this time with my in-laws, my Aunt Ann and Uncle John and cousin Seth, and my brother Tim. Well, and the Walker Four and my parents. Anyway, that was really, really fun--we mostly just talked and ate Mom's wonderful dinner (hellooooooo, Orange Charlotte!), exchanged small gifts (I scored coffee!), went to Mass and then came back and played one of my mother's patented Christmas games. This one involved wrapped packages and stealing. Somehow they all do...  

Johanna woke up sick sick sick around 3 a.m. Christmas morning (way too many sugary treats. Her stomach totally rebelled, as it is prone to do) and I had a mild IBS attack, so Christmas Day wasn't quite as much fun as I'd hoped. But Santa came (of course he did, our girls rock) and the girls opened their gifts (they each get three plus whatever Santa brings) and we hung out together until about noon, when Eric and Abby went off to Eric's brother's house for a Walker gathering and Johanna and I stayed home to nap (okay, that was just me) and cuddle up to watch "Fantastic Mr. Fox." Tangent: We love and adore that movie.  Anyway, so it wasn't exactly like I'd pictured, but still, not a bad day, either. When you look at it from the whole? I don't know, work with me, people.

Project 333 update:
I picked my items for the January 1-March 30 round of Project 333 this weekend (I'll post details later) and am feeling pretty good about where I stand. This time, I plan to stick it out the entire three months instead of switching things up monthly. I'm excited for the challenge. We'll see if I'm singing that tune in a month or two. :)

Things I've learned:
You cannot eat like a maniac from Thanksgiving to Christmas and expect to feel good. (Fine, I already knew that. I just forgot.) Making my coffee with a brewing cone is the best decision I have ever made. (Um, more or less. Marrying Eric is up there, too.) Watching 3-4 grade basketball after a freshman game is kind of enchanting. (That one I really did learn.)

*I admit, a trip with my parents to a really cool locale doesn't seem very minimal at all. Sometimes minimalism is ironic...

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