100 small things: 2015

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy almost new year!  Gah, what an exciting time of year; the freshness and clean slate feeling that the new year brings makes me so happy that I'm practically giddy over here.

Vincent Van Gogh said,
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."

Over the past two-ish years, I have become more and more passionate about leading an intentional life.  I want the things happening in my life, the experiences, and relationships to bring happiness, beauty, and joy into my life. Yes, there are frustrations and challenges, but I want to spend my energy intentionally building a daily life that is fulfilling and inspiring to me.

So, with intention as my inspiration - and taking a cue from Ashley from The Big White Farmhouse I've decided to shake up my 'new year's resolution' for 2015.   (thank you Ashley, you are always inspiring me with your intentional life!)

I'd like to present my list of 100 small things to complete for 2015.

My list of 100 things was compiled using lots of different bits of inspiration.  Things that have been weighing down my mental to do list, plans I wanted to accomplish this year anyway, I looked to Ashley's list, my pinterest projects board, and my own lists I have tucked into notebooks and the back of my planner.

Throughout the year, I'll come back to this page (or re-post with updates) about the things that I complete on the list.  There are a few items that are quite lofty, but I'm going to try to go for them anyway.  I hope my list will inspire you to create one of your own for a more intentional year in 2015!

1. move photos to external hard drive/shutterfly
2. take each kid on an individual date
3. dress-up/out date with Brandon 4 times this year (2/4)
4. "Get to 'The End" of the first draft of one novel
5. Run/walk at least 30 miles one month
6. Read 12 books that I've never read before:  (Two of which are 'classics')  (1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver, 2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson 3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson 4. The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermoutx 5.The Husband's Secret by Lianne Moriarty 6. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston  7. Make it Happen by Lara Casey 8. Paper Towns by John Greene 9. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng  10.This Much I Know is True by Wally Lamb 11. The Winter of our Disconnect by Susan Maushart, 12. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline 13. All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 14. One More Thing, Stories and More Stories by B.J. Novak 15. Those Who Save Us by Jenna Plum)
7. make jam
8. organize the upstairs office space
9. take kids and grandmas to a city
10. throw out 50 things & re-read Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life (31/50)
11. Host 12 family dinners at our house
12. Host an 'art gallery opening' with the kids artwork with family/friends
13. create books with kids from their own stories and drawings
14. try Zumba
15. take down and wash, kitchen and living room curtains -
16. buy plastic cups
17. buy new plates -
18. create individual memory boxes for each family member
19. finish 2014 family yearbook
20. finish 2010 family yearbook
21. order personalized keepsake Christmas stockings for each family member (Brandon, Tabitha, Greyson, Gemma, Violet, Bully/Trixie, Lola)
22. make dogprint frame for our hallway
23. blog 3 times a week consistently
24. submit 4 articles/posts for publish to other blogs/sites
25. camp out with the kids
26. visit an indoor water park
27. kid playdate with Katie & Karpy -(twice!) January in Fredricksburg, VA and October in Altoona, PA
28. Dominican Republic family vacation - May
29. update my blog pages
30. create and manage The Hunting Daddies Youtube channel
31. serve a meal at the Winder Area Community Kitchen 
32. keep a daily gratitude journal
33. officially complete our wills
34. pour patio on the side and front of the house
35. plant a "garden"
36. participate in Screen Free Week 2015 -
37. fix the curtains in the kids' rooms
38. get new carpeting upstairs
39. go roller skating
40. hand-build a hope chest with my Dad
41. make enchiladas with my Mom
42. Learn to drive stick from Rudy
43. make homemade pierogies with Marianne
44. sew matching nightgowns for the girls with Grammar
45. make pysanky eggs with Pap
46. watch 5 documentaries (1. The Dark Matter of Love 2. On the Way to School 3. Alive Inside! 4.Hoop Dreams 5. Twinsters)
47. SCF weekend
48. create a family time capsule
49. create 5 gallon emergency bucket kit for the house
50. make handwriting page for school years for Greyson
51. build laundry pedestals
52. 12 month long deep cleaning schedule
53. Host a book exchange party
54. watch 15 TED talks (1. How not to be ignorant about the world 2. Connected, but alone  3. How to overcome biases? 4. How to Live a Life of Purpose  5. Creative Confidence  6. Got a wicked problem, first tell me how you make toast.  7. Why a Good book is a secret door  8. The math behind basketball's wildest moves  9. Practicing Intentional Empathy 10. How to let altruism be your guide 11. A radical exercise in empathy 12. Why are these 32 symbols found in ancient caves? 13. The art of asking 14.The surprising science of happiness 15.How to start a movement 16. Why city flags may be the worst designed thing you never noticed)
55. make Spend/Share/Save piggy banks for the kids
56. make a Hawaiian vacation trip book with our photos for the kids
57. make a Costa Rica trip book with my photos for the kids
58. visit Flight 93 memorial
59. get the dogs trained
60. organize/clear out junk from holiday decorations
61. take a photo of Gemma in my wedding dress
62. paint the breaks in the kitchen stone backsplash
63, scrub kitchen table & chairs
64. organize fridge documents (calendar, photos, etc)
65. 'finish' basement bathroom
66. take kids to a Curve baseball game
67. bike ride at Ohiopyle
68. go coal tubing
69. get everyone new bikes
70. convince Brandon to get rid of some clothes -
71. hang a clothesline
72. have a sleepover at Aunt Kitty's house
73. run in a 5K- May; Path of the Flood 5K
74. go one whole month with NO dining out at all- 
75. blog every single day for one whole month- October (26/30 days)
76. plant a tree on Earth day
77. subscribe to the Sunday local newspaper
78. read my writer's manual from front to back
79. take an online writing course
80. re-read my favorite book:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
81. get a couple's massage
82. get my hair done (highlights/cut) 
83. host an oxfam america hunger banquet
84. make homemade bread
85. eat one meal a week at the dinner table with candles/flower centerpiece
86. put in new french doors in the dining room
87. summer outdoor brunch/meals
88. campout under the tree before Orthodox Christmas
89. remove all blinds in the house
90. re-paint the living room
91. start to wear aprons while cooking dinner
92. order another Brian Andreas print
93. go eye-bombing with the kids
94. order a lovely print from a artist friend (!) that makes me happy
95. comment to other blogs and be better at replying to comments on my blog
96. remove TV from our morning routine -
97. start a 'first day of school eve' tradition
98. add Violet's birthstone to my Mother's ring
99. design my 3/4 sleeve tattoo
100.  make a 2016 list!

So here's to a new year!  To a year of doing small things to help accomplish the BIG life I imagine for myself and my family.  Here's to living intentionally in this one great life!

12 Months of Kindness 2014 Recap

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We are closing out another year of 12 months of kindness and I wanted to reflect back on the year. In January, we had planned to do mostly gifts of time for our 12 acts of kindness in an effort to save money as it was our first full year living on only one paycheck.  We planned out each month to dedicate to a certain group of people to give gifts of time (ie. heroes, neighbors, each other, etc).

Taking a look back at our list, we did not do so well in comparing it to what we had initially planned.  The thing about gifts of time (although so important and my favorite) is that without a concrete event; it's pretty hard to track and keep ourselves accountable.  So lesson learned for years to come.

The first part of our original plan was for three of the first four months to do things for/with people in our family (our parents, grandparents, and extended families).  Gifts of time and extra attention.  And although I can't think of any glaring particular things we did - I know we spent lots of time and made wonderful memories with them; all throughout the year.  We have a lot of built-in family time already (holidays, fishing season, Grandmas & Kids NYC trip, birthdays, family reunions, parties), and some special family time too (baby showers, births, going-away parties, weddings, baptisms). The truth at the foundation of all truth is: we.are.infintely.blessed in the family department.

It was our 6th year choosing a high school senior for our Studer Scholarship at our alma mater this May.  We selected two students to receive our award and scholarship based off of their essays that explained to us how they left a positive impact on the school, community, or friends while in school.  It is always so refreshing to hear directly from the students about all the good that is happening.  Young people generally don't leave status updates that proclaim they are mowing the grass at their church for free or cleaning up the little league fields with volunteer groups - but that doesn't mean it isn't happening!  You just need to ask and you'll be happily surprised to hear all the good kids are doing these days!

June brought my first attempt at planning a 5K, which was exciting and scary.  I worked with the Conemaugh Valley Alumni Association to set up a Superhero 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk to benefit the organization and school district.  The 5K was just an out and back timed run - we even had some folks dress up like superheroes!  The Family Fun Run/Walk was out and back with some added superhero obstacles!  I was lucky to have the grandparents take our little superheroes while my husband and sister Tasha were geared up with bikes and supplies to set the whole trail up (luckiest girl ever that my family goes along with my wacky plans).  We had a pretty good turnout for both events during the day and learned a few lessons for planning for next year too.

July always holds our biggest kindness event of the year, our Invitational Beer Olympics event.  This year, it was co-sponsored by The Hunting Daddies and we raised over $530 to support the Hunt of a Lifetime organization.  

While we were in the final few weeks before our new baby was to arrive, we made a trip to our local Humane Society to drop off treats and donations in September.  Both of our pups were rescue dogs and we are so grateful that someone was willing to take care of them before they came to be part of our family.  We dropped off the goodies and visited with the animals for awhile.  The kids love visiting with them and we always make a little wish that they'll each find their family soon.

In October, we painted #tealpumpkins for trick-or-treat night and made sure to have halloween tattoos available to hand out for kids with food allergies.   We also secretly dropped off treat bags with candy & a homemade halloween craft for our neighbors as a Boo! Surprise for them.

getting ready to deliver our Boo! surprises

In November, we signed up to sponsor a kid through WorldVision.  We chose to support a 4 year old boy named Raph from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  We like talking about him and including him in our bedtime prayers.  Raph's picture is hanging on our fridge and the kids love saying hello to his sweet face in the kitchen.

I also gave our annual contribution to Oxfam America.  If you are still looking for last minute gift ideas, check out their Oxfam America UnWrapped page for amazing "in honor of" gifts that have printable cards to include to the recipient.  My sis just was gifted one that informed her that books were donated in her honor to kids in need.

By December and the end of the year, I knew we were well behind schedule for our acts of kindness, so with the holiday season in mind - we are working to try to make up for lost months.  We went big with #GivingTuesday this year and knocked three items off of our list:  Purchasing gifts for our adopted family through the Salvation Army, Donating money to the Salvation Army through my sister's Red Kettle Lips campaign, and baking cookies with homemade thank you cards for our local volunteer fire department.


dropping off our adopt-a-family gifts

show your Red Kettle Lips!

cookies for the fireman

I also stopped by a local blood drive to donate in December.  It was my first time eligible to donate again after being pregnant - so it felt good to get back into it again.  I also learned about platelet donation, which I am considering doing once a month after February when Violet's nursing schedule is less demanding.

This month, I also organized through the Conemaugh Valley Alumni Association a "Human Library" for the current high school juniors and seniors.  What is a human library; you ask?  It's an opportunity to speak to a variety of people about interesting topics from their experiences - sort of like 'checking out' a book at the library, except the books are people instead and the stories/information come from their experiences.

We enlisted the support of 16 young alumni from the past ten years of graduating and gave the students an opportunity to speak and ask question in a low-pressure atmosphere about what to expect for post-graduation.  There was a lot of great conversations and connections made throughout the morning.  One sweet student came back in before we left and thanked us for holding the event. She said, "Ya know, I thought this was going to be weird, but it turned out to be really cool."

We have one kindness (at least!) left before the end of the year, and that's visiting and dropping off cookies with our neighbors before Christmas Eve.  Just a batch of cookies and chocolate covered pretzels separate us from that yet....which speaking of...I really should get a'bakin.'

I'm really looking forward to 2015 and the 12 Months of Kindness challenge.  Even though our year wasn't successful month by month, it was an important year for learning a lesson about making more clear and trackable goals all through the months.  Despite our challenges, we did still have a very kind year - always remembering that the place to start with kindness is at home in the way we speak and relate to each other.

Did you participate in 12 Months of Kindness?  Or are you doing something big for the holidays?  I'd love to hear about it - comment and link up below!!

hi! I miss you!

Friday, December 12, 2014

hi.  I've missed you!  I wish we could grab a cup of coffee with our kids running and laughing in the background while we each sighed about the gifts we have yet to buy and the Christmas cards that still need sent.  Maybe we could slip a little bailey's in the coffee and eat a cookie or two without letting the kids know.  Let's pretend that's what's happening?

How are you?  What has been keeping you busy and feeling so happy and grateful?  What's been wearing on your mind?  I've been thinking of you.

In case you've been thinking of us too -
Here's the skinny on what we've been up to.
First, YAY!  It's the holidays!  And yet, we are not even close to being ready!!  hahha, but I'm still laughing about it so that's good, I guess.  Our Christmas cards just arrived yesterday and I got them all addressed and then looked at the stack yesterday and knew I wanted to get them in the mail asap but between bathing the baby, making the kids dinner, and getting to B's basketball game - they were definitely NOT going to get stamped, sealed, and return label'ed.

And so I called in my elves who were overjoyed to help "do some hard work."  Which is why for those of you who receive our christmas cards - you'll see that they've been closed up by two little darlings...which would explain why most of them have double-stamped return addresses, kid stickers on the back closing them up, and the stamp is sort-of in the right place.

Besides Marco and decorations - we haven't done too many holiday traditions, except celebrating St. Nick's day on the sixth.  But lots of our traditions begin this upcoming week with our annual Polar Express party with the Fiores, Santa and pizza with the Stahls, and Christmas with my parents and sisters in a week a day (gulp.  must start shopping).

It is also basketball season and I am so happy we are back into the swing of the season.  I love Coach Daddy.  He is passionate, time efficient, and a major hottie...hah, but seriously.  

The team just had a big win last night, so we are all feeling proud and excited for more games to come.  Our whole family is so invested in these boys and watching them try their best and work together.  They're like an extension of our family during the season and it makes me so glad to know my kids have role models to look up to.  While watching Reindeer Cam yesterday, Santa said that "Cody" was on the good list (also the name of a player on B's team) and Grey looked up with a huge smile and said, "Cody!  I have to tell him he's on the good list!"  And yesterday Gem put stickers all over a piece of cardboard and told me she made it for Coach and I asked "Coach Daddy?" and she said, "No, Coach Furman." (our assistant coach).

Our kids LOVE basketball season.  Grey has attended a ton of practices with the team and both kids ride the bus home with B and the players from away games - which have meant Mum&Violet home alone for a little while after away games - which has been wonderful.  They use the game time to practice sitting and watching (keyword being Practice; we are pretty antsy-pantsy in our seats) and then can hardly wait for halftime and the end of the game to get out on the court and run around like wild animals.

Brandon was on vacation last week and he and my dad got to work remodeling our upstairs bathrooms (the kids/guest bath and our master bath).  Both of the rooms had old linoleum floors and my dad (also known as The Tile Master) ripped them up and got to tiling them both.  (Hello, clearance tile racks at Home Depot!)  The guys worked tirelessly (thank you!!) while also being patient with the kids occasionally during the day when they escaped me and snuck up to "help Daddy and Chum."

The kids' bathroom is now almost done (needs painted) and looks beautiful.  Our bathroom still needs the floor and side-tube tiled, grouted, painted, and put back together.  Full update to come when everything is done.  In the meantime, our bedroom looks like this -

Grey has been attending "Ninja School" (also known as Karate) with Pappy for the past few weeks and loves it.  He is really doing well in the class and comes home so proud to show us his new moves and how he is learning to count in Korean.  Such a big kid these days!  He is really very sweet and patient with his sisters 95% of the time and wants to be helpful to us.  It's baffling to me that he was ever a baby at all; he has always seemed like such a boy trapped in a too little body and now he's really hitting his stride being 'big enough' to do all the things he wants to.  He makes us very proud.

He and Violet are absolutely obsessed with each other.  He is madly in love with her and regularly says "She's so cuuuuute!  Sometimes I feel like biting her!  But I won't Mum, because I love her, but she's just so cuuute!"  If he comes near her she start smiling and talking like a little maniac and it's so sweet I could faint.

Gem has been her regular, ridiculous self.  The girl does not stop talking which is both hysterical and exhausting.  She has been trying to use "Actually" and "Also" this week.  I had to go through the heartbreaking talk with her this week that people only grow bigger not smaller - as she wants to be older than Grey someday.  (it's heartbreaking to me, not to them).  She seamlessly plays wrestling with Grey while holding a purse and wearing princess dress-up clothes.  Have I told you all yet that she no longer calls Grey "Booboo" (which she used exclusively for the first 2 years of her life), and now she only calls him "Greyson."  Sometimes Grey will say, "Call me Booboo, Gem."  And she flatly says no.  She takes nothing from nobody and it makes us feel both proud and terrified.  She's a force to be reckoned with, our Miss Ro.

On Wednesday before Ninja school, Gemma dived into a 30 minute diatribe on how there should be a girl ninja school and she doesn't care if she's not old enough yet, it's not fair that she doesn't get to go too.  So, I figured, if she can eloquently argue the situation, it's time for her to attend a class and so the girls and I headed to her first class of gymnastics.  She was shy at first and then got comfortable and took to it like a fish in water.  She's in with the 3-5 year old girls and since she is fearless and already wild, it's really a perfect fit.  Also, her little butt in that leotard; I could die.

Grey and Gem together are like a little tornado blasting every corner of our house with destruction and roughness.  I'm so grateful they have each other to play with though, especially with all the cold weather.  Having a new baby in the house has been infinitely easier since they have a playmate.  Not that they don't fight (THEY DO), but they mostly get along which allows me to run through the house getting small cleaning/cooking/bill-paying/organizing/phone call/newborn tending tasks completed without having to entertain the two of them too.

For part of the day they get 'gated' in their room with the understanding that they can do whatever they want, but they'll need to clean up the mess after.  The other day, I was folding clothes when they both came sneaking in my room.  I asked how they got out of the gate and they showed me...they used the bunk bed ladder to escape.  Also, that huge pile of pillows/blankies are for a landing spot when they cannonball off of their dresser.  Welcome to the Studer Zoo Crew, folks.

And then, we have this girl.  She just slays us all.

It already feels like she is growing too fast and getting a little bigger after each naptime.  I can not overstate this next bit - she is the best baby on the whole planet in the history of babies.  Seriously.

The only thing she really doesn't like and screams about is getting boogies sucked out - but I mean, come on - who doesn't hate that?  Other than the boogies, she is an angel.  An absolute angel and I think a hundred thousand times a day what in my life have I done good that lets me get to be the mumma of this baby.  I know it sounds over the top, but this girl is honestly heavenly.  Sleeps so good, hardly cries, sits for long periods of time and occupies herself, sleeps right through the two loud, crazy ones, and gives her smiles away generously.  

Gah, I am in serious love with this child.

Violet loves to chat, she just wants to coo and talk all day long.  If you look at her face and start talking she acts like you've just given her a million dollars.  She just wants to talk, talk, talk and it's with the sweetest sounds in all the land.  Grey and I have started calling her Little Goo (as in baby talk "Ah Goo").  The other night, I was getting ready to put her to sleep and I whispered, "I love you"  She made a little humming sound that sounded like she was trying to repeat me, so I started giggling a little bit.  Well, that woke Violet right up and she got to her talking and cooing like we were going to grab some coffee real quick instead of bedtime.  Oh, this girl makes me so happy.

Brandon and I have done only a few of our adult advent calendar items, but we've mostly been fondly calling them "the tasks we probably won't do tonight."  HAHAHAHHAH.  We have on multiple occasions both passed out at night to wake up in a panic to lock the doors, turn off the lights, set up Marco, and barely make it to bed before falling back asleep.  Between the kids, basketball, work, and the holidays - we are running low on energy.

But that doesn't mean we aren't squeezing in quality time together and giggling over things that are so dumb but we both think are hilarious.  (Most recently laughing and using the young person fad of commenting with the use of "dem" and "doe" in place of "them" and "though".  #weareoldlosers

Overall, it is a daily whirlwind over here, but one that feels steady and comfortable somehow.  So far, having three under five has definitely been exhausting but also so full of love and hilarious personalities that I am truly loving our little family of five.

Last night at the game, someone with three grown kids asked me if I had gotten 'to the point of giving up the idea of perfection yet?' and it was such an accurate description of what it feels like that I heartily laughed and exclaimed, Yes!  That is what it feels like with three; like somehow I have let go of this pressure I've been putting on myself for things to be perfect like I did with only one or two kids.  And now, our days are so full of movement and loudness and giggles and things that need done - perfection has been removed from an item on a goal list.

It is finally like I've realized perfection is not something we are striving towards, but rather perfection is the sum of all of us all together.


In short, inside my bones, I feel like this Story People One of Us from Brian Andreas*, (of which had me in tears the other day) explains exactly how I feel.

Happy holidays to you!  I hope you are remembering to feel the joy of the season right along with the hustling and bustling.  xxox

*If you are not familiar with the work of Brian Andreas, I would strongly suggest discovering him.  His words make my heart float.  We have a print of his (No Words) in our bedroom.  He is magnificent.

is there more fun to be had than countdowns?

Monday, December 1, 2014

...but is there anything more fun then squeezing every last drop of anticipation out of an upcoming event by counting that thing down?  Over here at Team Studer, we're going to go with Nah, there isn't.

We love us some countdowns, we do countdowns for anything and everything in the upcoming future that us parents accidentally mention too early which then causes our sweet, curious children to ask incessantly on the half hour daily "Is it time now?"

And so, as we now have sufficiently stuffed ourselves with delicious turkey and thanksgiving merriment - it is time to move into the holiday season.  Which means our favorite jolly elf friend, Marco arrived again at our house on November 30, under the tree in a sparkly box all the way from the North Pole with a note from Santa.  best.day.ever.

We have been talking Marco up for the past few weeks actually, because Grey could barely stand himself in how much he was hoping Marco would come stay with us again.  He's mentioned quite a few times (read: approximately 7500 times) which of Marco's antics are his favorites (underwear in place of stockings -obviously; potty humor never goes unappreciated in our house).  So, with Greyson's favorites in mind and a little help from Pinterest - I've created another 24 days of Marco Mania in our house for 2014.

If you're a regular around here, you already know that we do Elf on the Shelf a little differently than the book goes - so Marco has spent his last two days here with us in the arms of my kids most of the time.  He's sort of like just another person in our family and we find him all over the house participating in our normal routines; at the dinner table, watching movies with the kids, and snuggling up at naptime.  Marco is our Christmas Countdown helper and someone that helps our kids to remember kindness, patience, and love is what the season is about.

While I was thinking about Marco and his tricks a few weeks ago, I got to thinking about how much effort goes into the whole countdown.  Every night, setting up these little scenes and making sure I have the accessories for each on hand for the right day.  I mean, it's not elaborate or anything but it is an effort and such a fun way to make it through the crazy weeks leading up to the season....and I got to thinking....Sheesh, what if we put this much effort into something special for Brandon and I every night?

And thus, our grown-up advent countdown was born.    This is not revolutionary - see this beer advent calendar, this sexy one, and this lotto ticket one.  But it is for us because we are notorious for putting our alone time dead last (like laster than last).

So - Quick, funny story -
B texted me last week "I have a surprise for you tonight" and I literally thought, "oh, I hope it's a chance to get an uninterrupted, unnecessarily long hot shower when he gets home and we go to bed early."  not.kidding:  this is my current fantasy with three kids under the age of 5.  super sexy.

Anyway, the surprise was actually our first solo dinner out at a fancy-ish restaurant in a reeeeeally long time (i'm talking like months...a year?  oh God).  So, I put on a dress and heels (!!!), ya know the whole nine yards, Gigi&Pappy watched the kids (thank you!) and just the two of us got to go to a restaurant where the floor wasn't sticky and there were no kid's menus.  it was delightfully disorienting.

Then the waiter comes over and starts telling us the specials using phrases like "pan-seared" and "resting on a bed of arugula" and I kid you not, I was smiling so wildly that I was near the point of giggling.  The 'Shouldn't laugh in church but now I can't stop' sort of stuff...all because I was honestly holding back moans of ecstasy at the sound of grown up food that I wasn't in charge of making and that no one was going to try to steal from my plate.  It was ridiculous. There must be a stay-at-home-Mom specific version of Stockholm's syndrome...no?

Okay - Back to our grown up advent calendar
It's super duper fancy and elaborate.

just kidding.
it's on post-it notes
and we had one rule: we aren't allowed to buy anything new to complete the activities.

The point is to set aside time after kid bedtime to do something together that we don't normally make time to do.  Some of the activities are short & sweet:  hand massages for each other, or slow dance to our wedding song - and some more time consuming like a game of scrabble with wine or our favorite Christmas movie and popcorn.

Tonight?  I'm taping The Voice to watch while we enjoy a beer together on the couch when he gets home from practice :)

Is your family fans of countdowns too?
Yes?  How are you counting down the season?