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May Focus: Gratitude

            This month I'm experimenting with gratitude. May is the last month of the school year in Colorado, so it can get busy with all the special events for end-of-year special events, final grades, etc. We're having a few visitors this month, and it's also Joel's birthday this week.       My hope is that having gratitude as part of my daily routine will help me to slow down and appreciate all the little moments this month that might be lost in the shuffle. So far, I've tried a few approaches to make this routine work. Originally I envisioned adding a section to my daily planner for gratitude, but I found I used my planner most heavily at work and wouldn't always remember to complete it in the morning or evening when it felt most natural to gratitude journal. I decided to add it to my morning journal routine. Stacking a new habit onto an existing habit that feels rock-solid made the whole thing feel a lot more effortless.     Since I've decided where an
Recent posts

Mountain Getaway

   The view from our Airbnb        It was Spring Break last month, and we decided to get an Airbnb in the mountains for a change of scene. It was a lot of fun! I feel like our expectations were a lot more reasonable about what a vacation with a toddler during a pandemic would be like, and we ended up having a great time. Some highlights:   *Going to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. It was a super snowy day, but it was still an awesome experience. Avi LOVED feeding the baby giraffe lettuce and was obsessed with watching the river otters. I think she would have stayed there all day had the otters not gone to the indoor part of their exhibit, and she she still talks about the "awthers." This is also one of the first memories I've noticed she's held onto. She will make signs for giraffes eating and talk about lions sleeping and mention the otter in the bath.  *Going on a hike and seeing the river and canyon near Canon City and driving to the highest suspensi

Start Tiny

      I definitely fell out of the habit of blogging. I think when Avi switched to only one nap a day it threw off the routine, and I haven't quite been able to fit it back into a regular routine.      So today, inspired by the book Tiny Habits . I thought I'd start tiny and write a short post about my goal this month.       This month I'm experimenting with drinking more water and hydrating. I'm hoping it will help me reduce the amount of headaches I get and overall just feel better. Teaching with a mask on makes it easy to go throughout most of the day without taking a lot of water breaks, so I wondered what might help me.      B.J. Fogg, the author of Tiny Habits , recommends picking a tiny habit that links to your overall goal. The habit should be easy enough that you can do it even on your busiest days. In the book he gives the example of flossing one tooth to get started with a flossing habit. Normally if you floss one tooth, you'll keep going, but it makes th

21 for 21 so far

            Normally I love to reflect at the end of the month. The end of February felt out of routine, and so it took me until a week into March to realize I hadn't set any goals for the month or reflected on February. I thought I'd mix it up and reflect instead on my 21 for 21 list and take more of a yearly lens.      I was pleasantly surprised to see that I actually had  made progress on many of the things on my 21 for 21 list so far!  Made Progress with: Hosting gatherings adapted to the season. We've had lunch in the park on nice days and met up with friends for walks and hot drinks outside.  So far Joel and I have gone on monthly dates in January and February, which has been great. We've been to two new-to-us parks: Kanemoto Park and Sandstone Ranch. Avi LOVED Sandstone Ranch, and the trails are flat enough that she can navigate much of it on her own :) I've done some work on shutdown rituals, and less distracted parenting. Having the phone in a basket helps,

Amaryllis Blossoms

      I know I'm not alone in writing after a weekend of below freezing temperatures (when I check the weather app it was -7). Sometimes we get a little stir crazy when the weather dips like this given the limits on indoor activities right now. One thing that's making our house feel alive and joyful right now, even with all the time we are spending inside, is the amaryllis I planted at the end of the year.      Planting an amaryllis bulb was on my 21 for 21 list , and the first item I was able to check off! It's a small start up cost and effort, but then it's really easy to maintain. And even though it seems like kind of a random addition to my list, it's brought an unexpected amount of brightness to our kitchen and living room.      Ultimately, I think my love for the amaryllis plant and how happy it's made me this winter comes down to this: there's a beautiful symbolism of a plant that is able to grow and blossom during the coldest time of the year. There&

Currently: January 2021

     Loving:  Cooking on the weekends, walks around frozen lakes, warmer days where we can spend time with friends outdoors, marking shabbat each week and setting aside screen-free time to connect as a family and with our family's Jewish identity, and moving in some way almost every day.      Listening to:  The Good Ancestor Podcast   (especially the most recent episode with Christine Platt),   The Creative Classroom  (which makes me feel inspired and creative professionally even in a topsy-turvy teaching year).      Reading: I've been reading a lot this month! Some favorite reads this month include: The Warmth of Other Suns, The Mothers, The Unhoneymooners, Transcendent Kingdom, and When the Stars are Scattered.      Watching: The Queen's Gambit, His Dark Materials, and Bridgerton.      Grateful for: Time spent walking around the neighborhood and reading with Avi. Thinking through parenting inspired by Montessori without getting to caught up in doing it perfectly. Presi

Mood Reading and the TBR shelf

My current TBR shelf       At the end of the year, I loved reading all the best books of the year posts and reading round-ups, and I've also enjoyed seeing all of people's lists of books they want to read in 2021. I'm always tempted to make my own reading plan, but I tend to be more of a mood reader. I have eclectic taste in books ranging anywhere from sci-fi to literary fiction.       When I'm stressed I gravitate towards fast-paced mysteries or romances with a guaranteed happily-ever-after. I almost always have a nonfiction and fiction book in progress at the same time. If I make a list of books to read, it often feels more like homework or a to do list for me. Normally I love to do lists, but for me I like feeling the freedom of choosing exactly what I'm in the mood for (or I need to read before it's due to the library or my book club meets).      Yet, if I don't have any plan at all, I can get out of the habit of reading because I have no good books cued