1. Sleep in.
2. Stay in your pajamas.
3. Play in the snow.
(Under their snow clothes, they are still wearing pajamas.)
4. Do whatever else you want, in your pajamas, of course.
I didn’t intend to take such a long break from my blog after my last post in April. I thought I’d give it a rest for a few days, maybe a week. I kept taking photos and making notes about the stories I wanted to end up here, when it felt right to share them again. But, as you and Alan Parsons know, time keeps on flowing, like a river. To the sea! Till it’s gone forever!
By June, I couldn’t remember what all my scribbled notes meant. And then my hard drive failed and the SD card in my camera went kablooey and I lost everything I’d been saving for months – piano recitals, dance recitals, Jack’s first hair cut, Julia’s tenth birthday, and so much more.
For almost eight years, I’d written here. I spent a lot of that time trying to figure out exactly what I was doing and who I was doing it for. Over the summer, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I realized what this blog is: a treasure house of happy memories. My Mommy’s Place makes me happy. My family, too. I feel good when I look back at what I’ve written. I get excited when I think about what I’ll publish next. And it forces me to do the everyday tasks it takes to build a legacy. Like uploading photos, for example. Reguarly. You know, before I stuff so many in my camera it gets corrupted.
Also, there’s something else I read, in the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, and it’s this excerpt about her mother:
She could be cool and often distant with her friends. She loved them, but she kept them at arm’s length. I don’t think she truly let any one of them all the way in. She held to her belief that “blood was thicker than water,” in spite of the fact that my family was rather short of blood relations who didn’t live hundreds of miles away. She maintained an air of insularity and privacy, participating in the community of friends, but also sealing off our family from it. This was why no one had swooped in when she died, I supposed, why her friends had left me in peace in my inevitable exile. Because she had not held any of them very close, none of them held me. They wished me well, but they didn’t invite me to Thanksgiving dinner or call me up on my mom’s birthday to say hello after she died.
I think I do this. And this is something I don’t want to do.
So, it’s 2015. Blogging year 9.
Because one day I’ll find it hard to believe that there was a time when they all fit in the tub together.
This year, our Christmas Countdown is threefold. Each day in December leading up to Christmas we have (and will continue) to:
1. Place a cotton ball on Santa’s beard. (This is where you can get the Santa’s Beard Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar Free Printable we’re using.)
(It’s a great visual representation of how long we have left to wait.)
2. Take a wrapped Christmas book from the Santa sack, open it, and read it.
(We’re honing our unwrapping skills. We’re gonna kill it on Christmas.)
(Also, if you want to know what we’ve been reading, you can see the list here on Amazon.)
3. Open a packet containing a piece of chocolate for each child and a slip of paper with an activity printed on it.
We eat the chocolate. We read the paper. We do what the paper says. For example:
I actually had the countdown prepped BEFORE December this year. I’ve never been so prepared! I think it’s all that time I’m not spending on Facebook. Or out in the world, in general. I’ve sort of been hiding out, I guess. That’s something I’m hoping to change.
I handed her the recipe and surrendered the kitchen. I actually, physically removed myself from the kitchen. I did not stand over her shoulder or lurk and provide “helpful” advice. I left her to it. She rewarded me with delicious sugar cookies.
She was so proud. And all went well. Nothing blew up or got cut off or burn- well, there was that batch she forgot about.
You burn, you learn. (Another Law of Food.)
*Unless it’s food you don’t like. Or you really like making food and are very good at making food. Or the person who makes you the food isn’t great at it.