Simple Woman's Daybook: The Back From The Break Edition

Outside my window:  It's still black outside, but I can tell we had a snow dusting last night.  It wasn't much but it did stick and it's cold.  I am wrapped up in my new faux fur blanket John gave me for Christmas.  It's the softest, nicest blanket I've ever owned.

I am thankful:  for the wonderful Christmas break.  Even with the two weeks of the Bubonic plague we endured, we still had a great holiday.  John was off for a chunk of it and we spent time together eating and watching movies and lounging in our pajamas.  I'm not going to lie, it was hard to go back to the real world yesterday.

Christmas morning

Williamsburg "Vacation"

I am creating:  Lenten plans.  After focusing on a Christmas with less material things (overall a rousing success), I'm geared up to try the forty bags in forty days.

I am reading:  I just finished All The Light We Cannot See.  It was gorgeous.  I can see why it made the New York Time's Top Ten Books of 2014.

I read Boundaries:  When To Say Yes, How To Say No To Take Control of Your Life but I bought Boundaries With Kids over the holidays. 

Fun Christmas reading, right?  Insert snicker here.

I'm about 30% through the book and I keep putting it down because...it exhausts me, even though I know I need to read it.

I also just started The Invention Of Wings.  I've heard good things about it, so we'll see.

I'm also in the middle of The Discernment of Spirits:  An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living.

My new saint for the year:  Last year, I had St. Lucy.  This year?  St. Rita.  She's the patron saint of vanity.  I'm not going to discuss it.

My new word for the year:  last year I adopted the word PEACE.  I'm not so sure how well I lived it out, but it was a helpful little word to hang onto.  This year, like last year, my word chose me:  TRUST.  Yeah, that sounds about right...

I am hoping:  for a good second half of the school year.  May really isn't that far away, though it feels like it's to the moon and back right now.  I hope we can finish strong.

I am learning:  John gave me Adobe photoshop for Christmas and my parents and Sarah and Ted gifted me with new camera gadgets.  If I ever want to use them well, I have my work cut out for me.  I've been really thinking about how fun it would be to offer photography sessions for families on the side.  I'm not sure I'm organized enough to make it happen, but it would be a lot of fun.  And Sarah has offered to make me a website.  Just what the world needs, another website run by Colleen Duggan.  

Around the house:  I don't know if I'm just in a weird stage of my life or what but I have a deep need to purge this place from excessive amounts of stuff.  Over the years, I feel like "MANAGER OF ALL THE STUFF" has evolved as one of my roles as a stay at home mother.

Do you know that a few months ago, I got so tired of picking up the same ten or fifteen stuffed animals every time I went into a room I gathered them all into a trash bag and stashed them in the attic?

Do you know that not one of my kids never asked for a single one of those stuffed animals one time?  Not once!  Yet everyday I spent several minutes picking that junk on the floor or asking them to pick it up off the floor.

I keep reading advice about simplifying our lives so we have more time to do the stuff we want to do and I can't help but think if I got rid of some of this excessive stuff laying around maybe I might find out if I do in fact have more time.

In the kitchen:  ugh.  The holidays.  Before December hit, I was doing really well with regular exercise and meal planning.

Then Christmas.

The Duggan's certainly embraced the whole feasting aspect of Baby Jesus's birthday.  I've never considered a three day juice cleanse detox until....yesterday.  I'm not that committed (insane?) but the very idea I even considered a juice cleanseshould illustrate how indulgent I've been.

Yesterday, I got back on the treadmill yesterday.  I walked over 12,000 steps.   It was hard, but it was good.

A favorite quote for today:  From Brideshead Revisited:

" D'you know, Bridey. If ever I thought about becoming a Catholic, I'd only have to talk to you for five minutes to be cured. You manage to reduce what seem quite sensible propositions to stark nonsense." 

A peek into many of my days: