Before Hannah and I say good-bye until 2021 (though you’ll like be able to find us a bit on Instagram), we’re sharing what’s bringing us joy this December. Of course there are the usual holidays, but what else? What happiness can we find in our every day lives?
SNOW! We finally got a big snow storm here in New Hampshire. It had been feeling like a bit too long. Apparently Concord got the most inches in one day since they started keeping records. Woah! Drastic weather patterns are part of climate change (think no rain and then a deluge) but I’ll take it for now. It was fun to pull out the sleds, snow pants and hot cocoa. I’m sure the ski slopes are happy too.
At-Home Yoga. I’ve been practicing yoga for over fifteen years, and usually at a studio. However I haven’t been to a studio since the pandemic started. While I can design my own practice, I like following a guide for some creative moves and motivation. After trying a few different teachers, I landed on Lesley Fighmaster. We have a small extra room in our house that’s designated for meditation/yoga (I realize this is fortunate), and our whole family gets into it! She has a wealth of free yoga videos on the web. I sadly learned that Fightmaster recently passed away, but enjoying her lessons seems like a great way to honor her. They vary in length and difficulty, and are perfect for when you need to stretch your body and breathe. Especially right now.
Simplicity. My younger daughter turns six this week. We’d normally throw one of those big parties that cost too much money and involve excess and waste. (We try to be reasonable during the year, but make an exception for these parties.) They are fun but often cause a lot of stress. We are obviously skipping the big festivities this year and celebrating quietly at home. And you know what? My daughter doesn’t even seem to care. She’s excited about the presents we bought for her (half are used), the cake my husband will bake and the fact that she gets to choose the day’s (Covid-safe) activities. I hope we keep this tradition going. On a related note, I had plans to read the above book but abandoned them when quarantine started because I didn’t want to add extra pressure. I might start, though, because cutting back feels really nice.
Snow! I know Rachel said snow, but I’ll say it again for emphasis. I know we’re in for (relatively) warm weather and rain on Christmas – yuck! – so I’m trying to enjoy the snow while we have it with lots of outside play. Also, while I’m copying Rachel, I have read Simplicity Parenting, and it is a great book. I highly recommend it.
Fresh lemons! What? Snow and then fresh lemons? It’s true. My husband gifted me a lemon tree on Mother’s Day last year (and a mint plant for Valentine’s Day – what a romantic) and the lemons are finally ripe! We had so much fun watching the plant flower and set little green mini-lemons. Now the lemons are big and yellow and ready to make into something special. Ideas?
See the new flowers? We are so excited for our next set of lemons. By the way, the plant wanted to grow four lemons, but our toddler saw to it that only two made it to maturity.
Birds! We love watching all the birds (and squirrels) who visit our “bird tree” every day (If you haven’t read our guest post on birding yet, now’s a great time). But I am especially grateful that the entrepreneurial little junco who got trapped in our screen porch (and ran into the screen multiple times) was able to escape and survive.
I actually took these photos in 2013 right before I gave birth to my first child. That was the last time I had time to sit around and photograph birds quietly. Hopefully I will again some day. 🙂
Hope. Climate change keeps me up at night. I want my children to grow up in a stable world that is still home to wonderful creatures and beautiful places. I want their children to have snowball fights in New Hampshire in the winter. Often, I worry these are just dreams. But reading this recent Times opinion piece by Al Gore gives me hope. Working with Rachel on this website this year gives me hope. 2021 is a new year. We can do this!
What’s bringing you joy in December? From us to you, we hope you have a happy holiday season doing what brings you happiness. We will see you in the New Year, rested and ready to keep working on our climate change goals. XO, Hannah and Rachel