Preschool Has Begun, and So Has My Writing

My tiny little baby started Preschool yesterday. I am so in love with this school, and I think Finn will be, as well!

photo 5For him, this is a time to learn how to play with children, become comfortable with adults other than family members, and explore. The Montessori curriculum is so amazing at fostering independence – even on the first day of school he was setting out his own dishes, being assisted with pouring water, and sitting at a children’s table with others as everyone had a meal.

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photo 3What this means for me is time to work on my grad school thesis, as well as do a bit of writing for myself! Ah, the freedom of listening to a podcast while writing these words.

Friends, I want to apologize for not making time in this last season. We all get busy, but for me, this is not only a personal journal mixed with a bit of therapy; it’s my creative outlet. It’s also something I need to hold myself accountable for, because I have started projects (such as the 52 project) and then fail to see it through to the end. I refuse to be a person that doesn’t finish the things they start – even if it’s a project on my own blog.

So expect more from me, and more pictures courtesy of his wonderful teacher!

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CrayonsGriffin: You’re such a dreamer. You ponder activities, wanting to perform them just right. When introduced to the crayons, you meticulously began taking each one out and testing the color on paper before moving on to the next. And you’re so great at putting them all back in when the task is completed!

Taking Stock

I’ve hardly had time to sit down and look at the computer screen, much less write something other than Brit Lit papers. But I thought it was high time to get something on the blog besides a weekly (or close to it) portrait of my child.

Chicago7So in this rare moment of down time, I’m checking in with me.

Making : Sentences form Paragraphs
Cooking : Paleo/Primal – tonight it was Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan
Drinking : Mother’s Milk tea and Eberle Cabernet
Reading: The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Wanting: To take pictures that capture each moment as I really see it
Looking: To the present
Playing: Carla Bruni Pandora radio
Wasting: Too much raw milk – 1/2 a gallon is too little, yet a gallon is much too much
Wishing: That the breastfeeding acne would disappear
Enjoying: Large glasses of wine and deep, dark chocolate (no matter how cliche)
Waiting: For sandy baby toes in two weeks’ time
Liking: A few good Irishmen – Yeats, Joyce, and Wilde
Wondering: How I’m going to write a thesis
Loving: Local, organic farmers like the Vincent Family
Hoping: That daylight savings time doesn’t ruin deliciously long naps
Marveling: At the skill of women writers – Bronte, Woolf, Atwood
Needing: To accept the body I now have and all its wonders
Smelling: The cinnamon raisin bagels that were a Pinterest fail (Paleo bagels just may not be in the cards)
Wearing: Yoga pants all day, every day
Following: More blogs than I can keep up with
Noticing: How much I need to express myself through writing
Knowing: I need to be more laid back
Thinking: That that a good haircut is sometimes hard to come by
Feeling: That I need a spring cleaning
Bookmarking: This blog – so much talent
Opening: The door for creativity to rush in
Giggling: At my son’s new-found ability to sing along with me

I have been so inspired by Inked in Color, where I also got the idea for a challenge that allowed me to simplify my life. Looking over this list, it seems I’ve been in need of a few things for myself – not the tangible sort. This was a great exercise to allow me to focus on something other than chores, the little one, or school work. It also made me realize I never posted any pictures from our Valentine’s getaway to Chicago! Enjoy

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Griffin: You are such a little lover. All of your pals get hugged and kissed on a regular basis – including mommy’s favorite doll from her own childhood! Patty and I became friends when I was only two years old. Since telling you this, you’ve loved to climb up on the bed in the guest room and shower my friend with kisses.

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Griffin: I have to apologize that this was your first experience playing in the snow, considering there was hardly any on the ground. Although it was coming down thick and pillowy all morning, by the time I got you all bundled up it had diminished to hardly a flake. The teddy bear outfit was adorable either way.

One Month of Simplicity

Simplifying my life hasn’t been as simple as I had hoped.

For starters, Griffin is a 14 month old. Although many clothes have been packed into boxes and stored, replacements have had to be purchased. I just couldn’t allow for him to wear high-waters – not just as a fashion faux pax but for the practical reality of cold temperatures on bare skin. We also went ahead and purchased some springtime things for him since we’ll be traveling to warmer climates in the next month.

There is also the not-so-small issue of my migraines. I’ve gotten a few new pillows to try out, hoping that one of them will help me to sleep better and eventually get better. No such luck so far. I guess in that regard it was a wash, because the new pillows will be sent back.

However, I can honestly say I haven’t gotten anything new for myself this month other than the headache accessories! And while that may seem like a trivial statement, it feels like a fairly large accomplishment to me. I really hope that the first month was just a training period, and February will be even better.

The more I think about this project, the more passionate I become about it. I want to clean out my closets, my drawers, the dusty back corners of each room. I would love to see some bare space – space that represents a step away from the main stream and a step in the right direction. Against the grain.

Consumption.

Why do we spend our money – 0ur hard earned money – on all this meaningless stuff? Stuff that will mean even less a year from now…perhaps even a month from now.

SatisfiedGrad school and its accompanying reading load leaves me little time for personal reading. Because of that, I’ve only been able to make it through one chapter of Jeff Manion’s Satisfied – Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption. But that one chapter is dog-eared, underlined, and has frequent notes scribbled illegibly in the margins. I’ll leave you with just one:

Contentment is the cultivation of a satisfied heart. It is the discipline of being fully alive to God and to others whatever our material circumstances. Contentment is not achieved through getting everything we want but by training the heart to experience full joy and deep peace even when we don’t have what we want.

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bathtimeGriffin: Bathtime is one of the sweetest moments of the day for us as a family. Lately you’ve been getting your own washcloth so that you can wash your toes while mama starts on your back. You have so much fun with your tugboat, and always blow kisses to the blue whale that covers the water spout. And although you really like your baths, you love your bed even more – you’re always ready to climb into the crib when the lights go out!