+ Decorating for Christmas has felt very therapeutic this year. It's been a couple years since we put up a tree of our own (due to traveling over the holidays) and I've loved having it light up our apartment since the day after Thanksgiving. Granted, Cora is removing ornaments about as quickly as we can re-hang them, so that has been delightful for my perfectionism. (Motherhood does a good job at lowering expectations of things like home decor. But the above shelves are safely out of reach, hallelujah and good night.)
+ This month we received our first Surprise Ride box for Eisley, and it was so fun to get something like that in the mail. Inside we found two creative projects for her to complete, a chapter book she adored, a snack, and several little extras. The whole thing is educational, which is a plus for my mama self. We haven't done a subscription box since our Citrus Lane days (a company which is now defunct, sadly) and I'd love to continue getting this one to add to our homeschool routine each month! I'll post a full review later this week, but if anyone is interested in checking it out, click here and you can get your first box free, just pay shipping (this is how we were able to get our first box). Even if you cancel, it's more that worth it to get the free one, I say. You can even tuck it under the tree as a Christmas gift!
+ I recently discovered how to cook bacon in the oven and it has changed my life. 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes on a foil-lined cookie sheet and BOOM. It's done. Without any hassle or grease splatters on the stove or your favorite cardigan. Has everyone else been doing this forever? I don't even care. Just give me bacon every dang day. (After many years of being mostly vegetarian at home, I've been buying meat again and have no regrets. It's possible I'm eating too much bacon, however.)
+ This week I've started sleep training Cora because it's been 16 months of multiple nighttime wakings and I'm pretty close to losing my mind. I'm taking a very gentle approach, but it's going well so far. The dream is to have both girls in their room together as soon as humanly possible. And for me to feel human again as soon as humanly possible. Say a prayer and send cookies!
+ I'm currently reading Simplicity Parenting and, oh, is this book exactly what I need right now. This year I've thought a lot about how to simplify our lives (both in the things we do and with the things we have) and it's so reassuring to read all this research on how having less and doing less can greatly benefit a child (not to mention the parents). I definitely recommend this book to any parent trying to figure out how to navigate these things in the over-scheduled, materialistic culture we currently find ourselves in.
+ I love December. And thinking about the year that is coming to an end, as well as the one that is just around the corner. It's really the best.
— Further reading: more small lists of good things