1. I didn't really mean to take a week off of blogging. I sometimes get overwhelmed, overwhelmed with what's going on in my life and around my life that has direct ramifications for me. There was a time not so long ago that things I wrote and thought out in words were used against my family in a devastating way, and so when life got crazy tough again, I closed it up, not even consciously, but I let fear dictate what I would and wouldn't say. I have been repeating to myself that "I won't be that person this time" but in an effort to not be that person, I think I tried to become no person, and that's really not an answer at all. I am me, and I have learned. I'm not going to let fear take my voice again. But I also choose to let my voice be one that builds and not one that tears down.
2. This December has been a strange month for me emotionally. It's always one that has its highs and lows. We have two children with birthdays and our anniversary. It also contains both my father's birthday and the anniversary of his death. My sweet Nattie also has a birthday this month. Five birthdays without her rubbing in that I am six months older than her. It seems oddly empty. We learned Thursday that a young man, Trent, from our Florida youth group was killed this week as well. Life and death seem so closely joined for me this month. A time of birth and a shadow of mortality. The story of Christ. So sweet it burns.
3. We finally finished up school for the year. We have completed 101 out of 180 days required, and man-o-man am I ready for the break. Our Decembers are generally pretty school free but this year a family vacation in January means that we won't start back until the 15th, so we stayed in school longer this year. I don't even start to understand how people who hold a job and have their kids in umpty-million activities even survive this month. We have neither and it is has felt crazy busy and hectic. Just completing school was a challenge. I'm glad to have some time to breathe.
4. If you follow me on Google Plus you will already have heard this "story" but we've been having quite the rodent adventure here at Chez Portwood. Sunday we discovered signs that we had at least one mouse in the house. He's been sampling both the dog food and the cereal, oddly the dog food seems more popular. I think that snap traps and glue traps are insanely cruel and disgusting, and even worse is the thought of poisoning the mouse and him dying and rotting somewhere in my house where I can smell him but not find him (I seriously almost vomit just thinking about that--ugh!). So we loaded ourselves up with a few live traps, and in the last twenty-four hours have been rewarded with two captures! Apparently peanut butter trumps dog food and cereal. We've been taking the little creatures to the airport field at the far end of the road (our house is surrounded on three sides by water, ain't no way those rascals aren't coming back in if we free them here!). The girls think the release process is hysterical ( "We didn't know mice leaped!" ), and hopefully they are learning that you don't have to kill things to prove you are the dominant species.
5. We're singing this version of this song on Sunday. I get to stand in front of the drums. This means I get to sing very, very loud. I love when that happens. I tend to have an overpowering voice, there aren't many times I get to sing full bore. It's my favorite.
6. I actually have a plan for blogging this week (you may remember, I do better with a plan). I'll be talking about next year's theme, some goals, what I didn't do this year that I hoped to accomplish, and why. What I did accomplish and why it brings me joy. I realize this isn't the type of blogging that floats everyone's boat, but it is very good for me to publicly evaluate my year. It makes me more honest and less likely to justify, and it provides a level of accountability. So if that sort of thing is what interests you, then be sure to stop back by.
7. Today is the first day in several weeks that I have absolutely nothing that I must do. I love when that happens. I hope to be puttery and restful all the day. I will also spend time icing my ankle since I decided to turn it yesterday and now it's many lovely shades of green and purple. I'm hoping to be able to run on it again tomorrow so ice, ace and elevation will be my friends today. There's yarn and House reruns to watch. Laundry to do, books to read, and a little sorting and purging to finish. All in all, a good, summery warm day in December!