Sunday, January 3, 2021

Happy New Year

Happy 2021!
I make no predictions about the year ahead, but I took off work from the Dec. 24th until tomorrow Jan. 4th and it has been the most wonderful, restorative 10 days.
I thought I might ruminate a bit on the good from the prior year, focus on what I want to do more of, what I'd like to change, etc., but no.
We celebrated in high indoor style on Thursday night (the girls picked out every element of my outfit), eating our favorite foods, playing our favorite games, and watching the fairly sad ball drop in Times Square at midnight EST.
We had a really great night and I've had a really great last 4 days, but I have not been introspective for even a moment. Instead, I've played 600,000 games of Skip-Bo and a new card game my parents taught us called Golf with the kids.
I have watched the entire Bridgerton series on Netflix during cozy mornings snuggled on the couch with my new tea from James while my family sleeps in. I have re-read four books and started a fifth. I have watched the new season of Dream Home Makeover with Claire in the afternoons, played even more Skip-Bo with Cora, assisted with Lego projects, and cooked up a storm.
I marshaled my troops to clean out and reorganize the playroom and kids' rooms and I now don't have to avoid eye contact with the playroom bookshelves.
I have not exercised beyond some short, chilly walks with Maggie and she resists them as much as I do.
We've continued our goal of one activity per day and last Wednesday's was ice skating at Panther Island just north of downtown.
Usually I'm too cheap to do anything that costs money within our own city, but, holiday break goals! I set them!
And it was so fun.
Despite all our skiing and sledding over the years, the kids had never been ice skating! And thanks to their regular roller-blading on our walks, they were GREAT at it!
It was super fun, even in the upper 30's and slightly rainy, and we picked out a takeout treat for the way home and topped it all off with hot chocolate and a movie in the new living room where we spend every single waking moment together and I could not love it more.
On Friday the activity was "family games and painting" and James finished painting one more wall of our bedroom (I decided we needed our side walls to also be dark teal, instead of just the back wall, after James had already painted the side walls white; he was obviously super excited about the change in plan but it looks GREAT). On Saturday we went on my favorite long walk through the neighborhood that ends at the park we found on our first day living here.
I love that the kids still enjoy our rambles, love that we now have 3 of them along for the ride as opposed to the 2 we had when we arrived in this neighborhood we were so lucky to fall into, and love that they play hard together every second until we force them to go home.
(They move a lot faster on wheels than we do on foot, so it's now tradition for the kids to race ahead every half mile or so, go on some off-path adventure, and then join back up with James and I as we pass.)
Today's activity was a day date for James and me. As fun as it's been being with the kids every second of the last week (and I mean that genuinely; it's been really great), we needed some grown-up time, and with Landon going to bed later and indoor dining not being something we're comfortable with right now, the opportunities for non-bedroom quality time and conversation are sparse indeed.
So we left the kids at home midday and went to the new Queen Nefertari exhibition at the Kimball Art Museum. It was so great! Very spread out and safely spaced, it was absolutely amazing to see the 3,000 year old artifacts in such incredible condition and to not have to worry about anyone in our party touching anything they shouldn't. Holding hands and walking through a quiet beautiful space was deeply restorative and I'm so glad James came up with the idea as we were getting ready this morning. Though my whole body kind of freaked out after 2+ hours standing in wedge heeled boots- I'm not sure if it was the verticality or the heels, but my whole spine was wtf'ing on the way home in a way that reminded me that the one-day transition back to normalcy will be its own challenge.

I changed out of my jeans and booties immediately upon returning home at 2:30 p.m. and put back on the Vuori long joggers I ordered not long after my favorite things post and you guys, they are the greatest pants I've ever owned. They are so light and SO soft and they hug my legs in a way that is so flattering (unlike my pj pants) but that isn't restrictive (unlike my leggings). I wore them for nearly 72-hours straight after I opened the package and realized I should probably wash them sometime. This is not something I usually have to remind myself. They're pricey, but I had a 20% off coupon code and they are by far my greatest personal treat purchase of 2020.

I hope to be reflective and introspective at some point soon- 2020 was been a big year in many important ways, but with work gearing back up tomorrow and the kids going back to school Wednesday, I can't make any promises. I can tell you it's Day 73 and I toasted to the New Year with Trader Joe's Sparkling Sugarplum Beverage and I'm more proud of that than anything else.
On a light-hearted note, we have spent a lot of time watching shows this year and need some recommendations for more. We just finished three seasons of Killing Eve, which was great, and need some more gripping, smart, fun, maybe not enormously depressing shows to watch next (James doesn't mind depressing and normally I don't either, but I like to at least alternate with something not completely dark and hopeless).

My absolute favorites of the year were:
The Great- SO good and fun and dramatic
The Queen's Gambit- loved every minute; rewatched the last episode again yesterday
Ted Lasso- THE BEST show I watched this year. It really did not have to be nearly as good as they made it to be, but it was so charming and had such depth in its characters- particularly its female characters- and went well beyond the SNL-like skit setup I assumed I'd be watching. Highly recommend.

We watched a million more I can't remember now and I look forward to your recommendations! I hope you all had a good end to 2020 and good start to 2021. I'm so thankful you're still here reading along and hope to see more of you in this space in the months ahead. Happy New Year!


  1. You guys should get dominoes to play. We got some over the break and we can’t stop playing. Have you guys watched Schitt’s Creek? It’s a great light hearted show. You need to watch several episodes in the first season and it continues to get better as it progresses. Happy New Year.

    1. I've never played Dominoes, which seems crazy! We definitely need to get a set. And I loved Schitt's Creek!! We watched it early in the pandemic, but I enjoyed it so much. (And agree on the "get through several episodes" and it gets better and better as you go.)

    2. There are several different dominoes games tonight can play. We play one called chicken foot and Mexican Train and I’m sure there are others if you google. Your family would love it based. We are also a huge Skip-Bo playing family as well. Do you have Phase 10? That’s a good one too.

  2. so glad to hear you love the long joggers as much as I do!! I ordered another pair b/c I realized that I am always waiting for them to come out of the laundry and I would rather spring for another pair than do laundry more often :) I watched Bridgerton in ONE sitting on Saturday evening into the early morning which is something I NEVER do with TV shows (though I do it with novels and have to plan accordingly). So fun!

    1. I LOVE THEM. I ordered two in order to get free shipping and planned to return whichever color I liked less (since there's free returns), but quickly realized I just need them both and I don't even feel bad about it. They are the best.

  3. Your break sounds very similar to ours and it was *the* perfect way to end 2020!

    I'm not sure what streaming services you have, but here have been some of our favorites from the year that both the Hubs and I enjoyed together

    - What We Do in the Shadows (TV series is on Hulu, original movie that the show is based on is on Amazon Prime. You don't need to see the movie to enjoy the show. Movie and show created by Taika Waititi)

    - Letterkenny (Hulu- dry, very quick witted Canadian sitcom)

    - Schitt's Creek (pure joy on Netflix)

    - Manhunt (Netflix- there are two seasons. Season 1 is about the hunt for the Unabomber, season 2 is about the hunt for Eric Rudolph. Both were great, but I thought season 2 was fantastic. You don't have to watch the season in order)

    - Umbrella Academy (Netflix- so, so good. SOOOO good)

    - Cobra Kai (Netflix - cheesy, nostalgic goodness with more depth than you'd think)

    Happy watching!

    1. We have all the streaming services- loved Schitt's Creek and Cobra Kai (it's bene our special tradition with Landon to watch one episode a night after the girls go to bed; he was SO excited about Season 3 launching on the 1st). Haven't watched the others, but they sound right up our alley!

  4. It’s a few years old now (ended last year) but The Good Place is available on Netflix. Was on NBC. Four seasons, half hour comedy. Similar to Ted Lasso in tone (but definitely not plot!) — it’s got great characters, is very funny, and is about people truly trying to be better and helping each other be better.

  5. Highly recommend the one season show of "Teenage Bounty Hunters." It's on Netflix, and was tragically not renewed for a second season, but it is highly engaging and boatloads of fun. (Despite the name, it is not a reality TV show, but rather a scripted show about two sisters who sort of stumble into becoming bounty hunters.)

  6. I've had very similar watching and rereading - I think Ruth Gemmel captures Vicountess Bridgerton of the books exactly, Regē-Jean page captures the book Simon perfectly and Adjoah Andoh is brilliant as Lady Danbury (better than the book IMO). I've also watched 2 series of Virgin River, and read those books too.

    I'm hoping for an emmy noms for Ruth and Adjoah myself.

  7. I am only two or three episodes in, but I am enjoying Corner Gas (on Amazon).

  8. OLD series, but we just started Friday Night Lights. It's about so much more than high school football.

  9. Jane the Virgin is on Netflix and really enjoyable. I watched on a friends recommendation and was pleasantly surprised. It’s light, funny and just really well done.

    Parenthood on Prime. I probably cried during every episode but I loved it.

    The Americans on Prime. Dark and stressful but one of my favorites.

    If you have Hulu, I believe Rescue Me is still on there. Tense and stressful but well done.

  10. I found The Crown on Netflix pretty engrossing. I hear the recent season of Fargo is good, too.