While I only wrote a few of these last year, I loved the concept and still do. I'm challenging myself to try more writing that is fast and perhaps less...emotional? Doosies like yesterday are important but take it out of me. Sometimes fewer words are enough. (Remember that last sentence. I love a good teaser.)
Remembering...Highlights from January will be the quick 2 night getaway with Mike to sort of celebrate our 10 year anniversary (10.5?) in the North Shores of Minnesota. The North Shore is like the Hamptons meets your Swedish great grandma. It's breath taking beauty yet casual vibe. Think flannel, snow boots and stocking caps all weekend long. We stayed in this cozy cabin studio with a fireplace to keep warm and deer munching outside the window. It may seem crazy to get away from the winter by going further into the winter but it was exactly what we needed. I read three books. THREE BOOKS! Perfection (one we listened to, but still!) I can't wait to do it again with the kids this summer to really get the whole beauty of this place. We kept pinching ourselves feeling like we had gone on this incredible adventure and it was only four hours from our home. Amazing.
Also, I watched children speed skate on a lake in our city and it was so cool. Winters suck up here, which is not at all a lyrical writing sentence I am proud of, yet quite simply true. But they can also be magical and beautiful. If you are dressed right.
Drinking...mostly water. Not sparkling, Not flitered. Just straight from the tap water. My palate craves very simple flavor profiles to manage the nausea. But when I do switch it up, I am LOVVVVVING a nutty flavored caffeine free hot tea. I first found one from David's Tea last fall called Forever Nuts. David's is amazing. It's like the Target of tea stores, as my brother says. You will go for one thing and end up spending $100. Their tea is not cheap. Delightful, but not cheap. And then Mike surprised me with an identical tea called Nutty Almond Crema by Tiesta Tea for almost a quarter of the price from, yep, Target. Winning. This tea is made of nuts and apples and steeps this beautiful shade of pink because of beetroot (don't be turned away from that part. You don't taste it, if the earthiness of beets are not your thing.) My kids love it which is fun to find a tea that they enjoy. And I will sometimes just steep the tea without a basket and munch on the soft apples and nuts.
Eating...ugh. Nothing and everything. I will eat food, plenty, don't worry. But nothing that really makes sense, or is really all that healthy. I can't handle looking at cookbooks or food blogs for fear of nausea setting in. Cooking is a chore. Which is all so sad for someone whose greatest source of creativity thrives in the kitchen. I'm hoping by the time the farmer's markets open I will be ready and raring to go. With all that being said, I am digging the simplest of snacks (which often also become lunches) in raw cucumbers, peppers, cherry tomatoes and a Sriracha Ranch from Trader Joe's. The crispiness of the veggies and the heat from the dressing matches my fave criteria. And when you find something that works, you stick with it. Sometimes it's the little things we forget to tell people about.
Reading...sooo many good books have sat upon my night stand recently that will need to be a further topic for another day. But let me give you one. I read Reading People by Anne Bogel for my book club and it has entirely changed my perspective on myself. Hyperbole? Maybe. But personality tests and learning how to properly identify yourself as well as your relationships with others is making so much sense to me. I can't wait to talk more on this. But if your curiosity is peaked, I will leave you with this...I am an Introverted, Highly Sensitive Person, Quality Time Love Languager, Idealist Temperament, INFP, and Enneagram 9. And I am proud of it! Who are you?
Listening...to my new record player! I joined the ranks of a proper Hipster/Yuppy and added a record player to my home after Christmas. After polling the internet and my much more musically superior cousins/siblings (see also younger and more hip), I chose my first record to be a classic Jazz staple in Miles Davis Kind of Blue. Now I have a new hobby of popping into record stores or garage sales in search of the perfect records to add to my stash (or raiding my parent's collection.) I am on the hunt for a Beach Boys album, a Beatles (not digitally remastered,) and maybe some Joni Mitchell and other awesome female crooners. On a date night last weekend Mike and I stumbled into an incredible record store and we found two records for .$50 a piece, Dan Fogelberg and Gershwyn's Rhapsody in Blue. Now, I am asking you, my friends, what would you say are the must own records for my baby of a collection?
Moving...not enough. Exercising this summer and fall was impossibly easy. We live in a perfect location surrounded by incredible trails and running or at the very least prickly walking was a daily task. But then Winter happened. And icy covered sidewalks aren't exactly the safest place for person who is technically not supposed to fall. So sadly the reward of fresh air and deep breathing is greatly missed. This week, fed up and desperate, I loaded Elliott into the stroller, we hopped the train, and landed at the Mall of America. One hour later I had listened to two podcasts and clocked in three miles side by side the senior community. Elliott was happy as could be with plenty to look at, a few handfuls of snacks, and with the awareness of a train ride reward on his way home. It was such a good idea. No shame in my Mall Walking Game.
Watching...This is Us. So basic, I know. But we never got around to it when it came out, despite 137,000 people telling me we just HAVE TO. So we did. And they were right. It's great. You know, great if you are the kind of person that loves to be undone each and every episode with a box of tissues between you. Obviously there is some drama with a crock pot that I will need to wrestle with later, but I have never been a big fan of my crock pot anyway so I'm not too worried. You could send me more ideas of what to watch but I probably won't listen because frankly I just don't have the capacity to make it through much show watching these days. I'm sure my time will come.
Looking forward to...A very busy month of February! February is celebration month for us. Here's what we have coming up.
- Two Birthdays and one Half Birthday, not to mention all the other birthdays in the extended family. No big plans this year other than celebrating them for what they love, perhaps a sporting event for the 35 year old, and likely a steak dinner. Pancakes and trains and Mac n cheese for the 3 year old. And probably donuts for the 5 1/2 year old because donuts are always a good idea. I love birthdays to feel personal and I love that we aren't thinking of parties, just family time.
- Thanks to the Super Bowl excitement of this weekend, Minnesota is workin' HARD, y'all, to prove to the rest of the world how Bold they can be in the North. This means there are activities all over the place to choose from that celebrate winter in all it's glory. We braves the frigid temps in multiple layers to check out the Super Bowl Festivities and it was awesome. I sure hope visitors to Minneapolis leave with happy hearts because I am nothing but impressed with the city and how welcoming they seem. Other things on the itinerary involve hockey games, ice palaces, pond skating, and probably much more we haven't even uncovered yet. I'm trying to keep us busy celebrating winter as best I can, while still dreaming of those summer days on the beach.
- OLYMPICS!!!!!!! No more needs to be said. I am pumped. Winter Olympics are my jam. Bring it on.
- We'll cap the last weekend of February with a weekend in Wisconsin for the big Cross Country Skiing Race, American Birkibeiner, my family (NOT ME) participates in every year. Cabin time with family and hopefully not too cold temperatures to cheer on the 50K skiers as my mom and I balance parenting 4 children under 5.
Working on...my small goals for February are as follows:
- Clean out my closet. (It's bad. Like hoarders bad.)
- Schedule dentist appointments.
- Make and send valentines.
Simple goals means simple lists. Three seems to be a good number for me. Looking forward to checking in after the month. Cheers to a short month!