Here we are almost at the end of December and I’m doing my November recap. I feel like every year when Thanksgiving rolls around life goes into hyperdrive and doesn’t slow down until we hit Christmas. We’re finally to the part of December when the social engagements have petered out and we’re left alone to
recover spend time with our families and do things like reflect on how we got here.
Looking back, November was a pretty good month overall. It was a trial month for whether Noel and I felt we have it in us to train for a 31 mile trail race. We were surprisingly dedicated – running in the cold, dark, and the one day it snowed. Registration opened for the race in December and after days of waffling we bit the bullet and signed up. We figure we aren’t getting any younger, but we also feel a little bit like, WHAT have we done!!!! Eeek!!!! Deep breaths, it will be fine . . .
The 2nd Saturday in November, our good friends, the Lewises, came to visit. It was so good to spend the day with them. We launched bicycle pump rockets and then let the kids play at the park while the adults caught up. The Lewises are some of the best people I’ve met. It’s rare to find a family were all the relationships across the board are compatible (husbands, wives, and kids) so we’re glad when we can make meet-ups happen.
Ellen slipped this note under our door one morning. It says, “Mom and Dad, we know how to take care of ourselves. Love, Ellen and Cooper.” It’s good to know our work here is done 😉
Getting the kids ready for school is on my list of least favorite things ever. The kids need to be to school by 7:55, but if Ellen had it her way she’d still be in bed. We are late a lot and there is often a lot of, shall we say, contention. Noel said when he was a kid his mom took a paper plate, made it look like a clock, and turned it into a visual of what they needed to be doing when each morning. We decided to try it. I would say nagging has decreased by 50% (which still leaves a substantial amount of nagging) and we have been on time more. Maybe someday we’ll get to a peaceful, self-motivated morning. Baby steps.
I’m taking over the school garden. The first grade classes helped me do a significant amount of winter clean up and then the garden committee helped do the rest. The kids had a blast taking out all the plants and getting their hands dirty.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, we had a quick little getaway to Glenwood Springs. We missed out on a big ice storm at home and had a nice little vacation. We went on a beautiful winter hike, ate delicious donuts (including our first cronuts), and visited Glenwood Hot Springs.
On night two, Cooper woke up complaining that his ear hurt. He had a cold earlier in the week, but had seemed like he was doing alright. I took him to the doctor the next day (Monday) where we discovered he had an ear infection. We got him some antibiotics and proceeded to continue on with our Thanksgiving break plans.
We played sight word candyland and had picnics.
We had mini art lessons and worked on creating pieces that could be used for the kids’ school art gallery.
Tuesday when I taught my class, I commented that I felt like I was fighting something. By that evening I started coughing and didn’t sleep well. Wednesday morning, I hardly had a voice and didn’t feel well. For the first time since I’ve started working at the Rec Center, I scrambled to find last minute subs for my classes and ended up cancelling one of them. I spent the day on the couch watching the new Magic School Bus reboot on Netflix.
We were supposed to spend Thanksgiving with friends. I’d volunteered to bring croissant rolls and two kinds of pie. I took precautions and proceeded to bake in hopes that I’d feel better by Thanksgiving. It took me all day to make the two pies because I had to keep taking breaks – it just seemed so taxing. Noel ended up laminating all of the croissant dough for me.
Unfortunately, I did not feel better the next day and spent most of the day curled up in front of our space heater. Noel was a champ. He bought store bought pies and rolls to drop off at the friend get together so they’d still have rolls and pie. Then he made a ham, baked the croissants, and made a few sides.
I continued to feel crummy and sounded like a chain smoker. I subbed out my last class of the week on Friday and went to the doctor. They ruled out flu and strep and concluded I had a viral sinus infection and recommend I use a netti pot. I wish I’d thought to use that sooner as it considerably helped with the pressure I’d been feeling in my head. We soldiered through the rest of the break and by Monday everyone felt well enough to go to school and work, although most of us had residual coughs. Tuesday was my birthday. Noel took most of the day off and after I taught my class we went to brunch and then made a trip to one of our church’s temples. My grandmother was a convert to the church and I’m slowly working my way through doing temple work for this branch of my family tree.
We made it back just in time to pick up the kids from school. We celebrated as a family with Indian takeout and white chocolate lemon cheesecake. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but well enough to feel alive and appreciate what a gift that is. It was a good birthday filled with some of my favorite things and people.
That’s a wrap for November. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with the December recap.