Tuesday, May 6, 2014

January 2014 (I'm baaaaaaaaack . . .)

Sigh. (Happy sigh.) It feels good to sit down at the computer to relieve my brain of thoughts, and the hard drive of pictures. It's been way too long since I've logged into Blogger--longer than ever before. And I've had mixed feelings about being away.

The pro's? Not worrying about chronicling my life as much as living it. Being in my own little bubble. Feeling free of the pressure to keep up with my blog like it's a project, and wondering who, if anybody, is reading. (And caring.) Having more time in my schedule for other things besides sitting in front of a computer. Technology has felt like a burden to me lately. An indispensable burden. This is probably the biggest pro, because for some unexplainable (and some explainable . . .) reasons, my life feels busier now than ever before even though I no longer have any babies or toddlers clinging to my body all day long. (Actually talked about this in a segment on Studio 5 yesterday.) I just really feel like I don't have the time anymore to keep up with regular blogging, and who knows? That might be the long-term reality. Only time will tell.

The con's are that I realized I really, really do need to write for my own sanity. Writing my mothering articles for Deseret News and Power of Moms is a wonderful outlet, but I need the perspective that comes from writing about and chronicling my family's constantly changing life. And I want to chronicle my family's life. If I don't, who will? It's really important to me that it happens. So while I have been an Instagram regular all along (@brandonandallyson if you want to know), I need to have a place where I can really dig in and write more than a one liner--though I find it pretty amazing how much those snapshots and one-liners can communicate! Plus, I know my mom would like a few more details and pictures of our comings and goings. So here I am.

So if anyone is reading, and if you have read my blog in the past, then you know that I get totally weird about trying to catch up when I've been away for awhile, and yes, that's what I'm feeling compelled to do now. I just can't resist. So even though I'm in the middle of end-of-school-year craziness and the full onset of a Utah spring, I'm going back to January. That's right! Don't argue with me. This is my blog.

But first, a bit about my feelings for January. I think it might be my new favorite month. January-March actually. The very three months I used to dread so much here in Utah after leaving our sunny and fragrant L.A. winters, these months have become a respite in my otherwise crazy year driven by school/extracurricular activities and seasons/holidays that take over every square inch of my time and energy. January to March is so quiet and undemanding. No holidays, no yard work, no birthdays, no breaks that call for vacation planning, no end-of or back-to season/school year anything. It's just dead in the best kind of way and I really do love it. Because of the dearth in the schedule, and the dark, cold days, I feel completely licensed to hunker down at home and do whatever I want to do and not what everyone else wants and needs me to do like during the busier months. It's almost like the nesting instinct of pregnancy in the sense that I feel super homemake-y and have this urge to put my home and family life together and keep to myself while doing it. It's like I'm trying to realize my unrequited (and wholly unrealistic) dream of living in the 1800's when a person would have to actually rig up their horse and carriage and travel over miles of terrain if they wanted to talk to me and make a request of my time and energy. (Only, I still want to be able to drive to Costco when needed.) 

And maybe that's why I stopped blogging in January. Because when I blog it feels like I am reaching out to and inviting the outside world into my life, and I think I really just wanted to hide out for awhile and do my own thing. And truthfully, part of me still thinks that sounds like a good idea. Sure, I could just have a private blog and only invite certain friends and family to read, but then why blog at all, right? Just send a mass email. Who knows. Like all forms of technology and social media, things change and evolve so quickly that blogging might not even be around in another five years. But I guess I haven't moved on or gotten entirely sick of this mode of communication yet, which is why I'm here right now.

On to January! (Or should I say back . . . ?)

Good-bye Christmas! It was nice seeing you:
Disney Just Dance:

Some people sleep in even when school is session. Oh, to be an afternoon kindergartener! We only have one child left who occasionally wanders into our room at night. Look at those lashes:
I was unusually "regular" in the kitchen making many home cooked dinners, hot breakfasts, and even packing lunches the night before. This is what happens when there is nothing else going on! First Sunday of the month during the winter months is always--always--Japanese curry rice:
My kids didn't know how good they had it. Most of our current school week breakfasts are just cereal:
Yes! Downton Abbey returned! The best part of January:
Does this take you back to your childhood like it does me?
The temple is beautiful year round, but there is something about a white temple with a white winter background:
Kindergarten carpool minus one:
We enjoyed lots of specialty hot cocoa and Teavana tea in January:
Pumpkin hot chocolate:
My favorite flavor of herbal tea was a white chocolate peppermint:

Another favorite:
A lazy pre-kindergarten morning at the McDonald's playland. Considering these two spent months and months pretending to be cheetahs, this picture had to happen. Rachael is in her ready-to-pounce position with her "paws" also in character:
Cheetahs like ice cream, too, you know:
An afternoon lunch at Zupas with this cute girl after something that had to do with that sticker on her shirt which I can't remember now:
We enjoyed lots of lazy Sunday morning brunches since our congregation doesn't meet until 1:00 in the afternoon:
The little girls made Olaf:

Doing a segment on Studio 5 was the one and only slightly stressful "extra" during the entire month of January. And when you only have one "extra" in an entire month, it just doesn't seem that bad. Maybe I could learn something from this? (You can watch the segment here.)

My requisite trip to the Salt Lake Trader Joe's after:

I got so homemake-y in January that I started organizing and using my food storage. What?!
We called this "bugs" when we were little. Cooked whole wheat berries with warm milk and honey. Mmmmmmm . . . .
I cleaned out both the garage and the basement. DID YOU HEAR THAT?! The garage AND the unfinished basement:
I've been buying 2 or 3 boxes each month in an effort to get a year's supply. I'm using my good friend Liesa's program (which involves more than these boxes I know most people have no clue how to use) because it's so super easy to understand and follow and, honestly, it just makes sense. Go check out her blog and buy her book. Doesn't this look so neat and tidy? 
Gonna get me some shelves for this stuff when we figure out exactly what we're doing with this basement of ours:
While cleaning out the basement I also recovered this gem that I purchased for nothing months ago at NPS (with Liesa, who introduced me to the place) which I intended to give Brandon for Christmas. Think he could learn anything in here?
This is about as stressful as life got for me in January:
Cute girls playdate. We've gotten a lot of mileage out of these Asian dresses I bought for nothing years ago at my favorite second hand store in Iowa City, "Stuff". Kate was the first to wear them:

We watched the Martin Luther King "I Have A Dream" address on MLK day:
And I struggled through the SOTU (these speeches are always so hard to stomach):
I actually started and finished a book during the month of January! Well, more like over a weekend. It was too compelling to put down:
I love these pictures of the "bookends: doing their homework together:

Brandon and I convinced Elizabeth to wear Kate's old green velvet dress that was also found for nothing at "Stuff" by Grandma Reynolds to use as Kate's post-baptism dress. Doesn't she look gorgeous?
We have an identical picture of Kate twirling in this dress. This has got to be THE MOST twirl-able dress on the planet:
We dealt with Rachael's bedtime issues in a variety of ways. (The girl CANNOT wind down at night!) I have since gone to the use of melatonin thanks to the suggestion by multiple friends on Facebook:
Rachael was complaining that she never had any fun socks for "Crazy Sock Day" at school, so I went out of my way to get her some and get her all dressed up only to realize after the fact that we got the week wrong. And yes, we forgot when it was the real "Crazy Sock Day" . . .
(This is such a perfect example of how most things go in my life.)
Oh, nothing. It's just nice to throw in a cute dog picture every once in awhile:
And beautiful sunset pictures never hurt anyone either:
January, I miss you!


  1. So it's like that, huh? Gone for four months and you expect us to come crawling back? You're lucky I have such low self-esteem.

  2. I love reading your blog - so keep it up Allyson!!


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