going to the beach

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Recently, when the sun is actually shining on an afternoon where I don’t have anything going on right after work, I’ve found myself sitting in my reading corner (properly placed couch and foot rest and side table right next to a window) and actually reading, sometimes knitting. I can feel my spirits rising like a solar-powered battery. It’s become such a tiny luxury that I am constantly checking the weather forecast for sunshine and pushing all other activities aside for 30 minutes (maybe longer if it’s been a bad few days). It does me absolute wonders. One day, I noticed that the sun was shining more on the floor (rather than my reading nook) and created a pallet in the floor. It was a weekend and I promptly ran to get Andy and told him “We’re going to the beach!” And there, on our pallet in the sunshine, we silently fell asleep pretending we were at the beach. It was the most relaxing experience I think I’ve ever had. Probably more relaxing than driving in the car for twelve hours, plopping down on the beach followed by sand getting all over you and loud people ruining your nap (at least, for those like me that would rather stay home than travel anywhere and would do anything to avoid a crowd of people, you know, all those fun-suckers in your life). So now, our favorite form of having a date (because we’re fun-suckers with no money, you know) is saying, “Hey, do you want to go to the beach this Friday? Hey, do you want to lay at the beach this weekend?” And there, we will read or sleep or talk and it really is perfect. I can’t wait until we have kids to enjoy this with, too if we ever live somewhere with unbearable winters with them. (Is that a dream? Like, do people have kids that are quiet and weird and like to lay in the sun imagining things with their parents or is it just a weird mid-twenties thing?) Does anyone else do something similar or have ideas for free fun during winter? xo

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…. In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.
~Ruth Stout

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our own little Christmas

This is what our Christmas looked like:

*eating Chinese food {and I had to BEG for this one! One of my guilty pleasures that Andy finds repulsive is Chinese restaurants next to grocery stores. The minute I saw the “open on Christmas” sign + my life long dream of having Chinese food on Christmas + Andy tricking me to not eat there for months I knew I could break him.}

*doing a marathon : quilt and pillow fort on the couch with seasons of our favorite shows

*reading and listening to books

*making fudge and sugar cookies on Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve church service, and had the Arkansas gang over for warm food and sweets!

Traditions we do/traditions we plan to start next year:

We always get each other a pair of socks. We both love a good pair of socks, but we do it to remember the simple and little things in life, which to some people are very, very big.

Eat Chinese food!

Send Christmas cards. This was our first year to send Christmas cards and it was so much fun. I love sending and receiving happy mail. I finally decided that just because there is Facebook in the world and just because we don’t have kids and a dog doesn’t mean we can’t send Christmas cards!

Next year we plan on changing our gift to each other a little bit. It always felt weird to receive Christmas gifts from Andy and makes it easy to become discontent and selfish. I think part of this is I’m in charge of the budget, so it’s weird seeing my gifts in the spreadsheet. Next year we plan to give each other a gift to last all year long–planning dates and fun things to do together. We didn’t this year (because I found the perfect gift for Andy) but I’m so excited to start this next year. A new plan of action for gifts for others will be featured in a January post. Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

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Christmas in Kentucky

We have hardly done anything Christmas-y this month except decorate the tree and hang up paper snowflakes. The first week of December was finals and we have been in survival and recovery since then. Now that things are back to normal I’ve been wanting to slow down and celebrate the advent season. We are having “Christmas in Kentucky” this year and I’m so excited! This will be our fourth married Christmas together and every year before we have tried to start traditions, but each year I cannot  remember what we did the year before. The only tradition we have been consistent with is giving each other a new pair of socks for Christmas. If we come up with anything else this year I am writing it down for next year!  (I am planning on making these sugar cookies once I’m off for the holiday with a Christmas movie playing in the background. We also plan to start daily advent readings with Desiring God’s advent readings.) Does anyone have any good Christmas traditions for couples without children?

p.s. Last night we did make “Christmas” cookies together to give to friends that asked for some of my cookies (ask and you shall receive). But me making four batches of cookies (because we wanted some too!) and Andy doing the dishes doesn’t seem Christmas-y. These are one of our favorites though, here’s the link.

Notes: I recently purchased a coffee grinder and I love making flax eggs now! Be sure to start your flax egg around 30 minutes-1 hour before you start making the cookies and also don’t forget the dough needs to set up in the fridge for 2 hours. I use regular brown sugar and cinnamon for the recipe and it is still fantastic! Oh, and the best part about vegan cookies? You can eat as much raw batter as you want and you never have to make midnight runs to the grocery store for eggs! ;)