I blogged for The Chronicle Herald on Wednesday about wanting to start a Christmas countdown tradition in our home. The idea that I liked best, of out all of the great ones I found on Pinterest, was a holiday activity for each day of December.
- Install new (just purchased!) dining room chandelier and fire place sconces.
- Strip wallpaper downstairs. Repaint.
- Work on updates to J’s big boy room.
- Put a happy wreath on our new front door.
Lovely friend H bought the house of her dreams last week. So, the fact that I’ve been surfing MLS non-stop for the past week or so can be squarely blamed on her.
1) Grocery shop less. I feel like I did well with this. I wasn’t on a strict budget, but I tried to think about what we already had in our cupboards before going out to buy the things that I just wanted instead of needed. We got out to farmers’ markets several times for fresh, local produce, which was part of this goal. Now, we’re in the midst of revamping our family budget plan, so I’m trying to see how inexpensively the three of us can manage. There will be more to this as the month goes on. So far, a success!
3) Take Jacob to the beach and dip his toes in the ocean for the first time. Take millions of photos.
5) Go camping. This was a lofty goal with a less-than-one-year-old, and it didn’t happen this summer. We’re super excited to take him out as soon as it’s warm enough next year, though!
6) Keep my hanging basket alive. All. Summer. I’ll spare you the photographic evidence on this one. I’d lie, but I know my neighbour friend reads my blog and would rat me out. The basket is dead. Dry, crunchy, dead. Never to be revived. Maybe next year I’ll fill it with artificial flowers.
9) Wash both cars inside and out. We did clean both cars already, and just recently gave the Kia a second vacuum and wipe down. Being down to one-car family, for a while made it simpler, but we’re a two-car household once again and I’m making it my mission to keep “my” car spotless.
12) Purge. Success as shown here.
13) Fix the DIY curtains I made for the front door. I haven’t done this yet, mainly because I still don’t know what I want to do. Must hit Pinterest for ideas.
14) Do a few little home-improvement projects, like touch up some paint, etc. This was so easy. In less than an hour, we patched holes in the Gyp-rock and re-painted some spots. Plus, we exchanged our kitchen hardware, which made a huge difference.
15) Scrapbook (or come up with a reasonable alternative). Even though I still have lots of scrapbooking supplies, I’ve put them aside in favour of organized photo albums for now. Rather than doing a rushed job on our scrapbooks, our albums will serve to keep our memories until I have enough downtime to do it properly. I also cashed in Pampers Gift to Grow points for a free Shutterfly photo book of J’s first year, which may be my forever alternative to scrapbooking — it’s so easy!
If you were a hoarder, based on your personality … what would you hoard? (better yet, ask someone who knows you well, what they think you would hoard).
Am I the only one who has a love-hate relationship with vacation?
I anticipate time off for weeks, sometimes months, in advance. Planning, organizing, packing. As the time approaches, I’m filled with a mixture of excitement and apprehension … What do I need to remember? What have I already forgotten? Then, after hours in the car, I fall into that magical bubble of family, swimming, smores, and sunbathing. Then, when it’s time to drive home, I’m filled again with the same mix of stress, but in reverse. Decompressing, unpacking, cleaning and regaining some semblance of routine.
Having a baby adds a unique element to the situation. I anticipate time with family in a different way — I was thrilled to introduce Jacob to my fun relatives. I worked to make sure conditions are perfect — that Jacob had what he needs to be in the best mood possible for being passed around by people he still (somewhat) considers strangers. And he didn’t disappoint. Despite some obvious teething discomfort, Jacob was cheerful and fun the whole time we were away. Love.
But in the end, summer vacation is always wonderful. Each year, I’m sad to leave my family and return to real life. Thanks to all of you who helped make our whirlwind vacay pretty great. xo