Life Lately | January

We kept our Christmas lights up much longer than necessary. We also started a new advent calendar the day after Christmas. If you want to teach a kiddo to recognize numbers, let me suggest an advent calendar. This little turkey knows straight up to 25 now, no problem. 

Keeping the Christmas Lights Up |

I celebrated New Years weekend by telling myself every single day that I would leave the house, or at least go outside, and then spent the entire day binging The Crown and eating Diet Coke slushies on my couch. Sometimes I got up and put a puzzle piece in place, self congratulated, and headed back to the couch. For the record, this describes Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday.  

I did carry the Christmas tree out to the garage one afternoon and decided right then that it counted as being outside for the day. And also counted as "being productive" for the entire weekend.

Anyway, how is your new year going? Are you hopeful for 2021? I am. The division we saw in the first week feels disappointing, but I guess I believe that decent people still far outweigh anything else. Decent people who have different values and don't agree on everything, but that don't resort to violence to repair fissures. I am hopeful that this majority manages to shine a little brighter than the turds this year. I'm foolishly optimistic for a better year. 

In other news, I blasted through The Crown this month and damn, that Charles. Speaking of turds. To be clear, I'm talking about the character on the show, rather than the actual person. The real guy might be a delight, but man, the TV version is such a stinker. Anyway, I casually started watching it maybe a year ago, but got really serious about it in December. I have to have the subtitles on though, which is a little annoying, but otherwise I'm constantly voluming up and down. Anyone else? The music is SO loud that I'm always turning it down, but then when it's over, I can't hear any of the dialogue. 

House Stuff

Moving along to my annual report out. House stuff is always a goal I put on my New Years list, but it's so low priority that it always gets shifted. I think we make one serious change every year before calling it a day (a year?). Two years ago we refinished the wood floors. Last year, Ryan stained the house. This year, we're replacing carpet. We finally decided on a sample, ordered it and got an install date, but only after about a hundred years of waffling on the decision. Seriously though, if you stare at the samples long enough (and 5 seconds oughta do it) every color starts looking the same. 

Carpet Color Samples |

The fun bit about this picture is you can see the original carpet which is somehow a mix of every single color on the sample board. I guess the previous owners couldn't make a decision either? We'll take 'em all!

I also ordered new curtains, a coffee table, a bookshelf for the living room and got a new couch and loveseat. In all likelihood, that completes my house updates for 2021. Every January, I come in full steam armed with a Pinterest board full of inspiration, but usually lose the motivation by February 1. We'll see though. Not leaving my house at all, ever, seems to be boosting my desire to see some changes around here.

I'd like to do something about the situation under the TV. Right now, it's a perfect springboard for George to launch himself at the TV anytime an animal shows up on the screen (the reindeer on Frozen is a real antagonizer) and I'm not sure the trunk is helping or hurting. I'm concerned about my walls if I free up the space. 

Updated Living Room Arrangement |

The bookshelf hasn't arrived yet, so I guess this is an "in progress" shot. But if you're curious, here's what the living room looked like last week, with the old couch, old curtains and old coffee table. 


I started the year without any reading goals, but flip-flopped after finishing the first book of 2021. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, my all-time favorite book. I've read it countless times over the years (I still read the dog-eared copy I got as a Christmas gift in 2001), but I purposely hadn't picked it up for probably 3-4 years. I know I over consumed it and even though I tried to create a refresh, it didn't really work.  I'm sad I did that to a story that I love so much and I think I have to leave it on the shelf for at least a decade before picking it up again. I never want to not enjoy that book. Anyway, I decided mid-read that my reading goal this year is to read only books that I've never read before. 

I finished Where the Crawdads Sing last night, which has been a very "it" book for a while. "It" books are usually pretty black and white for me -- either I fall right in line and love it, or I find it overhyped and hate it. This one felt overhyped for what it was. It was fine, but nothing spectacular and ends exactly the way you think it will. 

January Reads |

I'm going to start Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer today and I have high hopes. Kingsolver has never wrote a dud in my opinion and it comes highly recommended by my Oma. We have similar taste in books, so I take her recs seriously. 


Hey, how are those new years resolutions going? It's the end of January, so I think statistically here's where they drop off. I've written approximately 200 words on the 4,000 count goal I made for the month, so I guess you know where I'm at. Sometimes I'll just stare at my computer, fingers perched up on the keyboards and wonder (Carrie Bradshaw style) if I even like writing, or if I've beaten it into my identity so much for so long, that I can't self-identify as anything except a writer. I guess we'll find out. Check back December 2021 - I might still be at that 200 word count - ha!

I have been reading with Duke every day though! It's not really a routine that we do at a specific time or anything. I just randomly ask he wants me to read him a story when I have a free minute and lately he's been showing up with a book in hand completely unsolicited. If this is the only success I have this year, I think I'll be pretty happy with it. So far, so good. 

The Inauguration

Okay, last bit. I loved Amanda Gorman's inauguration poem. She is just such a lyrical talent. It was beautiful. I thought this particular stanza is a nice way to go into the new year . 

Amanda Gorman's Inauguration Poem

January is always feels like the longest month to me, so I'm delighted to see it swiftly coming to a close. It's light at 5pm lately, and I just know that spring is on its way. 

Happy Friday!

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