Then, I’d start off by apologizing profusely for not catching up more often. Can you believe it’s been eight months since the last time we saw each other? We really have to get better about carving time out for our little dates. You’re so important to me! We’ve both just been so darn busy enjoying our wonderful, glorious lives.
Gosh, how do we even start filling in the last three-quarters of a year? I’d ask you to kick things off by you telling me all about how your beautiful family is doing. You’d tell me all about how healthy and happy your family members are. You’d tell me how you feel supported and loved every single day. And I would smile ear-to-ear, because I love it when people I love are happy.
The conversation would transition over to me, and you’d ask me about my own family. I’d tell you that Craig is as amazing as ever. He’s the best diaper-changing, hug-giving, coloring, bubble-blowing, story-reading, craft-doing, snuggling Daddy a little girl (and her Mama) could hope for. He’s working hard in school and graduates this May! It’s been a long road, but he’s the first person in his family to graduate from college, so it’s a huge deal in my eyes. I’m so proud of him. I’m so lucky to have him as my partner in this beautiful life. We’ve been together for a decade now (!), and it seems like with each year that goes by, I find a new and different way to love him. I know a lot folks warn off from marrying young, but for us, growing up together has been such a blessing.
And then there is my heart. My brilliant, adorable, clever, hilarious Juniper. Can you believe she is almost 20 months old now? Time flies when you’re the most awesome kid on the planet. She is sharp as a whip and talking up a storm. Her favorite things right now include: jumping (anytime, anywhere), dancing to the intro music on All Things Considered, Legos, playing in the mud, owls, and reading. Always reading. Give that girl a pile of books, and she’s a happy, happy toddler.
I’d tell you that I could gush on about all the awesome things about my kid for hours, but I don’t want to suck up all of our limited time together with talk of me. Let’s talk about you! Did you do anything interesting for Valentine’s Day?
Once you had finished telling me about your amazing, love-filled Valentine’s Day (seriously gushing over here), I’d tell you that we kept it pretty chill around here. We had plans to get together with my whole family to celebrate my Dad’s birthday, but a snowstorm put the kibosh on the party. So instead, we just drove the 1/4 mile over to my parents’ house to have dinner and watch a basketball game. And drink a lot of good beer. Chili dogs and beer might not be the most romantic of Valentine’s Day dinners, but they sure were delicious!
Mentioning beer would remind me that I brought you a gift! We’re a full-bore homebrewing operation now, so we constantly have a supply of (really flipping good) beer in our house, so I pulled together a mix-a-six for you. I highly recommend the Scotch Ale, it’s my favorite (and SO good with pizza!).
And then I remember that you aren’t a huge beer drinker (silly me, I forgot!), and give you my second gift—a jar of our maple syrup. I’d tell you that after taking a few years off, we’re back to home sugaring, and it feels so good!
Making our own maple syrup is one of my favorite farm tasks. It’s just so flipping cool! I mean, you drill a hole in a tree, put a bucket under, and then that stuff becomes syrup! For pancakes! It’s amazing.
Speaking of the farm, you’d then ask me about how plans are going for the summer garden, and I’d sheepishly tell you that we now know we bit off way more than we could chew in the past few years. We just got so excited when we moved here and had all this space that we started running before we even knew how to walk. We just weren’t ready to make that big of a transition. So this year, we’re going back to basics.
Our plan is to plant four raised beds, and that’s it. It’s 97% less square footage than we planted last year (literally, that’s the actual percentage), but we’re excited to get back to fundamentals for a year. We might even have time in the summer to focus on other fun homesteading tasks (we’re currently crushing on the idea of getting ducks).
I’d then tell you that this is garden stuff is all kinda related to my overarching theme for 2016—simplify. You’d bust out laughing and almost do a spit take, because, I know, I know, simplicity has never been my strong suit. I like bright colors and glitter and 12 fonts and stickers—at least I used to.
The past year or so, minimalism has really been growing on me. Maybe that’s just what happens when you get older? Or when you have kids? I dunno. Whatever it is, I’m seriously craving simplicity, calm, and peace in my surroundings. My goal for this year is to simplify the shit out of my life.
Speaking of calm and peace, I’d ask if you wanted to take a yoga class with me? I’m not sure what “clicked,” but I’ve been doing yoga everyday for the past six weeks, and I feel amazing. At some point, yoga stopped being about fitness and started being about my self-care. I know those sound like similar things, but in my mind, they feel distinctly different. Those 20 or so minutes I get on the mat each evening are as essential to my life as breathing oxygen or drinking water.
I’d tell you that yoga is teaching me so much (most importantly: I don’t have to beat my body into submission to fit a certain definition of “healthy”). I’d love to take a class with you if you’re free anytime soon! I know you are a super swamped, so if you can’t do an in-person one, I also am signed up to take an online series starting in a few weeks. Maybe we could do it together?
Okay, I hate to cut this short, but I have to run to the grocery store (I swear the grocery store is my second home; hazard of the job, I suppose). Let me know the next time we can get together! Let’s make it soon, okay?