Monday, January 25, 2016

On reading, making it through and Downton Abbey

Our days are a flurry of repetitious, usually wonderful, sometimes stressful, almost always loud and busy series of events.

He has been in Texas all this time: first to San Antonio, then to Austin, back to San Antonio.  He was supposed to be home for all of 22 hours - which I was really, REALLY looking forward to! - but, because DC was in the path of the great snowpocalypse 2016, his flight was rerouted and he bypassed Colorado.  Presumably to make it there before DC became entombed and Andrew Lincoln commenced riding a horse down the deserted streets of the Capitol.

It was a little ridiculous how very disappointed I was, considering it was only 22 hours at home.  Still, that would have been my husband's first hours at home in 2016.

The kids and I have fallen back into our usual routine:
5:30 - Mom wakes up
5:30-6:15 - Exercise and Bible study
6:30 - kids wake up
7:00 - breakfast
7:30 - get dressed and make beds
8:00-11:30 - School 
12:00 - lunch and play time
1:00-3:00 Nap (aka mom's chore time) 
3:00-5:00 - afternoon activities
5:00 - Make dinner and helper jobs
5:30 - Eat dinner
6:30 - baths and get ready for bed
7:00 - Livvy to bed, kids read or watch a show
7-7:30 - big kid night time routine and to bed
8:00 until quarter past forever - Mom cleans up, folds laundry, tidies, finishes jobs, preps for tomorrow and maybe gets some quiet TV or reading time.  Maybe.  (But probably not.)

The two big ones are doing swim lessons twice a week, and Leah is getting ready to start piano lessons at the beginning of February.  We also have CC every Monday from 9-12, and when you add in play dates, field trips, library visits, church, grocery shopping, doctor's visits and errand running, it's more than enough to keep us hopping.  

I have decided that 2:30 is tea time in our house.  Possibly because I've been watching too much Downton Abbey, but also because I desperately wanted a dedicated, relaxing, set apart time each and every day for me to rest.  

{See?  I'm really trying to make sure I schedule that in!}

Each day, I prepare my tea and a scone and settle in for thirty solid minutes of quiet reading.  It's heaven in the middle of my busy day.  If there are dirty dishes, they stay dirty.  If there are piles of half-folded laundry, it remains half-folded.  

That thirty minutes is my gift to myself.  

I'm also trying (hard.  And most often unsuccessfully) to get myself in bed at 9:00 to read, pray and wind down from the day.  I have such a difficult time sleeping when Casey is gone; I'm on extra-heightened alert all the time.  I hear each tiny whimper the kids make through the night.  I interpret every perfectly normal middle of the night noise as cause for serious alarm.  So going to bed is a legitimate challenge for me, but also incredibly necessary for sanity and patience and not losing my every loving mind purposes.  

Back in December, Casey and I made up our minds to quit Facebook and social media.  It has been such a blessing!  And frankly, I'm amazed at how much time it allows me to reclaim.  It's embarrassing, really.  

I've made it through five of the books on my 2016 list (and it's still January!  Score!): The Martian, Educating the Whole Hearted Child, Things You Won't Say, The Daily Five and One Thousand Gifts.  

The Martian was my favorite by a long shot.  And Matt Damon was adorable in the movie adaptation, which I watched one night having ordered myself Chinese take-out after the kids went to bed.  To eat All. By. Myself. {which, in case it was in question, is a ridiculous luxury.}

See?  Look at that awesome self care I'm practicing!

Sundays are my favorite, though.  I've given myself permission to let go of my usual evening routine - which, more often than not consists of chores, meal planning or prep, school planning or prep and a basket of laundry - and actually be in bed at 9 with the added bonus of Ben and Jerry's so that I can watch Downton Abbey.  It's my very favorite, the only show I consistently want to watch every single week, and it's the very last season.  

Plus, every now and again it strikes me that in my own home, I perform every single function of the entire cast of characters in Downton Abbey.  Hopefully with at least one tenth of the witty repartee.  

So January has been swallowed up in a fast-moving haze of motion and activity.  I'm blessed beyond measure that we usually do just fine on our own, even though it can be difficult and exhausting.  My kids are awesome, so helpful, and typically easy to manage.  I truly enjoy being their momma.  

And, with a little more emphasis on taking care of myself, the on and on-ness of it all is pretty manageable.  Of course... we're only three and a half weeks in. 

There's still time!

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