What's giving me life this winter

If I can make it through winter, I’m gold. I’ve noticed a pattern the past few years in that the 2nd half of winter drags on, for me, mercilessly. And that’s difficult to picture right now because winter has already been whammy after whammy after whammy—to the point where it nearly feels funny. Nearly. . . 

We've had sickness after sickness and then the audacity of the cub scouts to not award Thomas a trophy at his first pinewood derby race. He took it well though . . . 

(He is on the far left in case you weren't sure.)


But there are some good things I think that will get me through to the other side of the Easter eggs.  I’m tagging along with Modern Mrs. Darcy in sharing some of those gems. 

1. My pregnant peoples.  Winter feels like an enduring wait, a heavy stretch of quiet and hope for spring’s dotted green buds. And so it feels perfect, on dreary days or just because I can, to think about and pray for the women I know who are beautifully pregnant right now and doing their own quiet waiting. Some of these ladies are ready to be handed their babies within this next month. Others… haven’t made their pregnancies public yet, and I relish in knowing their sweet secrets. I love all of you ladies (if any of you happen to be reading here) & I’m so excited for you to meet your littles soon—-ish.

One of these beautiful mothers is my sister, Amanda, who is pregnant with her first child,          Amelia.  We celebrated her this weekend at my house. Amanda and Jesse have been so helpful with the whole gaggle of nieces and nephews who “came before”, so to speak, and I think I speak for all my siblings when I say that I’m excited it’s her turn to be doted on and cared for, even if it is mostly in extension by way of our snuggling with and affection for her baby. 

2.  Saturday morning Adoration appointment.  Our parish, Holy Trinity, kicked off perpetual     adoration at the start of this year. I go at 6 am Saturday morning and it is absolutely, hands down the highlight of my week.  I can’t imagine a better way to start the  weekend than to sit with Jesus and say hello. I had forgotten how much the act of Adoration allows for deep digging and sole searching in a way that just isn’t accessible from the comfort of the couch or at mass among my squirrelly children. 

If I can pray for you and your intentions, I would be honored. Comment below or private message me and I will take your intention with me each Saturday until I hear otherwise from you. 

3.  Tickle My France-y O.P.I. nail polish. I love this ashy pinky purple-y (making this description up as I go) nude shade. Taking a few minutes out of my day to steal away and paint my nails feels like the biggest bang for my buck in terms of self-care. I showed Paul my new obsession, even I think declaring that I was just going to wear this for all of winter and he said, “But isn’t that just how your nails looked before.” I was in feigned shock, but it’s not entirely untrue. Women are a  mystery and I’m just playing my part well. 

4. The “Know Who You Are” song on the Moana soundtrack.  

"I have crossed the horizon to find you.

I know your name.

They have stolen the heart from inside you,

but this does not define you.

This is not who you are.

  You know who you are." 

I find solace in these words.  I keep repeating them to myself as if a key, singing them over and over into the grip on my steering wheel. Solitary acts of love where we recognizes the pain in others and work to help restore, protect, and make whole—my heart cries out, YES! It’s my belief we are good, but there are things in life’s journey that dam up our rivers so that we stop watering others or scorch us so that when others come across us they are met with an ashen mess. But it doesn’t have to be like this. We can seek to understand more than to be understood. This is good work. It’s everything I’ve ever learned in the parameters of my vocation as wife and mother, and one I need to start practicing a heck of a lot more in my relationships outside of that commitment. 

5. More of the stuff I enjoy about homeschooling. February is widely feared as the soul crushing (dramatic?) month for homeschoolers. Ok, yes. Soul crushing is a bit melodramatic, but February is definitely rough.  So my attack plan is to do more of the things that I love about homeschooling than I normally would. It’s like a double down approach instead of folding when things get tough.  So I’m doing more art with the kids and reading tons of poetry right now.  The twins are right at the age that Thomas was when we read TONS of poetry, and it is so fun to circle back. 

6. Taking back the dinner table. Confession. I had gotten into a nasty habit of not having sit down family dinners with the kids.  It snuck up on me.  Since Paul travels quite a bit, there was a mix of “gosh, just getting dinner in front of the kids is hard enough” and “I can't bear to see Paul’s empty spot at the table” that had me unconsciously serving the kids almost all meals at the kitchen counter while I hunkered over at the table on my own praying they wouldn’t bother me for a solid five minutes so I could just enjoy hot food sometime this decade. And what do you know but I would pull out my phone because… no one is at the table anyway, so what does that rule really matter? So yeah. I’m in the process of reclaiming the family meals. Asking the kids about their day. Having the kids really pray rather than rush out the words like I’m trying to say it faster than the burger meeting their little mouths. As it always shamefully turns out in this parenting stuff, a little bit more intentionality shockingly makes things more enjoyable and fun. 

7. High-waisted jeans. No explanation needed. It’s winter. My brain is telling me to consume rolls pasta cookies stews steak potatoes second helpings cheap t.v. while eating all this stuff snacks creamer that I had successfully turned my back on for almost all of last year and anything that’s clearly not salad. It’s a struggle. 

Ok. That’s a wrap. What’s giving you life this winter? 

And don’t forget that I said I would carry your intentions with me when I go say hello to Jesus. So let me know.