Rest

We have a week before Baby Greene’s due date.

Everything on our long list is done. Our hospital bags are backed, car seat installed, meals prepped, nursery functional and stocked, birth class over.

Luke and I worked hard to have this time, to be present and find rest.

So now we are in a time of waiting. Neither one of us are good at being patient. It is difficult to intentionally slow down, stay in the moment, sleep in, simply be with and enjoy each other’s company. Yet that is exactly what we need.

If you have been following my blog, this past year has been a crazy roller coaster.  The transition preparing for a first child stressful. We added a move across the country, new job, selling a house, finding and moving into the new home and buying another car, to that list. And that of course is the short version.

Luke and I both have been running on a high speed since last July when the job hunting started. Then the speed picked up even more by October when we realized I was pregnant. When you have been running that hard and fast for so long-it feels counter intuitive to put up your feet for awhile.

But that is what we are going to do: rest. It’s long overdue. So if you do not see blog posts for awhile know that is because we are taking a break, focusing on each other, and joyfully waiting for Baby Greene to arrive.

Staycation

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So it’s winter break. A week long holiday that doesn’t exist where I grew up in SoCal and still confuses me a little. But with it being in the single digits for Valentines day and an official snow day for schools on Tuesday. I was grateful Luke took an extra day off and I didn’t have to drive to Rochester.

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I have to say I’m not very good with staycations. I am learning, but it’s not easy. The fireplace is on the view outside is beautiful and cold. Kira is getting spoiled with so much more attention then she normally gets from both of us.

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But I have a nagging feeling I need to take this time to get ahead with lesson planning or do early spring cleaning. Although yes, I will probably do some of this, Luke is encouraging me to Blog, journal, play piano, sleep in, and overall just rest.

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I do not have a personality that rests very well.  It takes a lot for me to “stare out the window’ and “just be”. Usually I do this best when I’m physically away from the everyday environment.

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As is I am having a hard time adjusting to the slower pace of this semester compared to the fall when I taught everyday in Rochester at two different schools. But I am making an effort to fill that “extra time” with items that matter just as much as official work like exercise, reading, meal planning, house cleaning and organizing and so on.

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Learning to take advantage of the quiet seasons, the silent snow days is hard. But I am always reminded that I have this season as a blessing, as a moment to sigh and regroup from what was behind, and to prepare for what is ahead.

Anyone else struggle with snow days or staycations?

Busy Holiday Season

It has been a very busy holiday season. Because I am a teacher not only is the holiday season busy because of holiday parties, gift-buying, etc. but also because I am grading final project and proctoring finals.

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I am in the count-down, not to Christmas, but to the end of the semester. T-minus 8 days. In those 8 days I have 25 final tests and 17 research papers to grade. Almost there (with many cups of coffee).

That of course does not include:: taking, creating, and writing holiday cards, strategizing long distance about presents and wish lists, and planning holiday travels or outings.

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In this busy-ness it is difficult to focus on the importance of the season, to find rest, to be present in the traditions and activities. But I have managed to enjoy participating in our church Christmas choir, going caroling, and of course holiday baking (more on this to come). These types of actives help me de-stress and re-focus.

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This weekend Luke and I plan to get and decorate our Christmas tree and  the outside of the house. Both will be new challenges since we were not home last Christmas.

Plus we have to consider what to put on the tree with a curious almost 6 month old puppy (who I have already had to scold for trying to steal candy canes off a shelf).

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But I am looking forward to it and am going to do my best to be in the moment enjoying these activities instead of thinking about grades and grading.

Anyone else struggle to stay focus on the importance of the season? Some advice I am working on myself: take breaks, do de-stressing activites, rest, laugh, determine to not over multi-task, and get time for yourself and others.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season.

Tis the Season

Tis the Season to be busy. . .  fa la la la la . . . Last year Luke and I had a very quiet holiday for two. We had barely any presents to buy, few holiday decorations to put out, no family visiting us, and we were still so new to the area we had only one holiday event to attend. It was peaceful, calm even if at times a little lonely. But this year that has all changed. To give you an idea of what I mean I thought I’d share a little about what this week looked like; packed full with Christmas activities:

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Monday: I was at home baking, baking, and yes more cookie baking and organizing to fit all the cookies in the freezer.

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Peppermint, chocolate, and original tart with chocolate dipped marshmallows

Peppermint, chocolate, and original tart with chocolate dipped marshmallows

Tuesday: During the day I went grocery shopping, picked up our ornaments from The Corning Glass Studio, did more baking, and addressed Christmas cards. Then that evening I picked Luke up from work and we drove to Sweet Frog; a local yogurt place. There we met up with our friends from our small group and bought yogurt as part of a fundraiser for a mission trip with our church. We then went out to dinner  and ran some errands getting home around 9:30-10ish.

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Wednesday/Thursday: I was busy cleaning, doing laundry, wrapping gifts, writing Christmas cards, chocolate dipping peppermint Jo Jo’s, making haystacks (Luke’s favorite), organizing the freezer (again) and filling baked goody tins for presents.

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Friday: Today I am cleaning up the baking mess and doing needed maintenance around the house. Tonight we will go to Luke’s work Christmas dinner at Sorges (see Sorge’s: local food and wine).

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Last year’s Christmas Tree

Saturday/Sunday: Luke works in the morning on Saturday and we currently plan on getting a Christmas tree and getting it all decorated. We also have the opportunity to go caroling with our Young Adult group at church on Saturday and I have been invited to a  girl’s only Christmas event Sunday afternoon.

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So  . .  ’tis a very busy season. In-spite of the business we are trying to keep perspective. This time of year is not about making everyone happy by being the perfect host, guest, or by bringing the best cookies or buying the best presents. It is about taking time to recognize what we value most and setting time aside to enjoy, rest, and be with those we love.

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For the first time, our second married Christmas, I am seeing how hard it is to keep that perspective, to create boundaries and balance priorities through the holiday season. But I feel like I am learning.

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Speaking of being with those we love, in T-minus 5 days my parents will our first house-guests enjoying a white Corning Christmas holiday with us!!

How about you: how do you handle the business of the season?

What are your priorities/What does this time of year mean to you?