5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu 1/3/15

celebrate link up

Ruth Ayres hosts a weekly celebration on her blog. I appreciate this invitation to reflect on the positives of my week.

1. We made it! I love my son so much, but seventeen days straight of 24/7 parenting with no school, no after-school club, no respite of any kind is daunting when your child comes from a trauma background AND it’s the holidays, which can be very hard for traumatized children. Either my husband or I has been with him every waking second of the day for 17 days straight except when he (occasionally) showered (what is it with tween boys seeing no need for the shower?!) or used the bathroom. It was hardcore. There were many difficult moments, but also much laughter and fun and healing too. And I have played far more Yahtzee in the past 17 days than I would have thought humanly possible. I hear dice roll in my sleep.

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2. I woke up to snow! I have this fantasy that I live in the Pacific Northwest, but I think the weather there would kill me. I do miss rain (it doesn’t rain that much in South Dakota), but after four days of mostly overcast weather here, looking outside made me feel sad. It turns out that overcast is vastly improved when it’s accompanied by a few inches of fresh snow and I don’t have anywhere to go.

3. I finished my 200 book challenge! As of 11 pm on December 31, I still had two books to read. Could it be done? Thanks to graphic novels, YES! I finished my 200th book at exactly 11:59. I loved Book #199 (Matt Phelan’s gorgeous Around the World) and didn’t like Book #200 at all (Explorer: The Lost Islands) but I will at least be able to booktalk it. It has also been lovely to RELAX and read at a very leisurely pace since I’m not frantically trying to finish 12 books in 4 days.

4. We started a new holiday ritual! I’m Southern, so my holiday rituals are all about the food. I’ve had Thanksgiving and Christmas down for years, and this year I decided we need to have a New Years tradition too. New Years Eve is going to be all about appetizers for dinner. This year’s inaugural meal was very much chosen for the kid palate, as it included pigs in blankets. (Ugh. And yet also fun.) In addition to the pigs, we had spinach-artichoke dip, deviled eggs, an assortment of veggies and chips and crackers, and a wonderful cranberry cake for dessert. On New Years Day, I made hoppin john and improvised a kale dish that my son pronounced “perfect”–which means I finally nailed the Ethiopian greens dish I’ve been trying to get right for over a year now. We had grandparents over twice this week for meals and games (hello, Yahtzee!), and that was nice too.

5. I’ve binge-read my favorite kind of blog reading: annual wrap-ups, reviews, resolutions, goals, one little words, #nerdlutions, and more! I love reading everyone’s reflections on 2014 and plans for 2015 and even felt inspired to make my own #nerdlution15 this morning!

Happy New Year!





11 responses to “5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu 1/3/15”

  1. Linda Baie Avatar

    I know that you expected challenges, but also am happy that there were good times, too, Elisabeth. Dreaming of dice made me laugh out loud, but I also played lots of Uno (Ingrid’s new game) & regret that there’s no way to cheat at least once in awhile. Congrats on finishing your reading goal, & now relaxing in the reading again. I enjoyed Around The World (read sometime this year) & don’t know the other one. Happiest of your beginning to 2015-excited to hear what you do with your class!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Seriously, I hear those dice rattling in my brain. Yahtzee is SO LOUD. We have played a lot of Uno over the years. You should meet my son because he has LOTS of ways to cheat at UNO, LOL. The Explorer graphic novels are collections of short stories based on a topic/theme–great for elementary and middle school classrooms. Not my personal favorites, however. I decided I’d better start working on my classes today, so we’ll see what I can cook up!

  2. carriegelson Avatar

    Congratulations on all of it! I made my Goodreads goal of reading 650 books literally at 11 p.m. – I read over 30 picture and nonfiction books on the 31st. I had to abandon the hope of reading 100 novels because of this nerve pain issue. But I did try . . .

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      11 pm! We were both reading down to the wire to make our goals! I have never hit 200 books before–at least not in the 14 years of reading lists I have in my current reading notebook–but I did come close once: 191. Now that I’ve done it, I can say I’ve done it and not shoot for that many ever again!

  3. Jackie Avatar

    Congratulations! I hate to tell you, but tween girls often have to be herded into the shower too–my girls have so much perfumy lotion and so many hairbrushes, but it can be like pulling teeth to get them clean!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Really?! I figured tween girls would be all about the showering and lotions and CLEAN, LOL. My son has been on a twice a week shower kick over the holidays and it just didn’t seem worth the battle for me. Whatever, I say. As I always tell him, “don’t worry about it. I can love a stinky kid!” Which usually gets him right off to the shower, after which he complains about “that reverse psychology stuff you’re always using on me.”

  4. Michele Avatar

    Happy 2015!
    The picture of your son is awesome 🙂 I enjoy seeing his personality! I’m glad he has those moments to make you smile!
    11:59pm??? Now that’s precise! Congrats on the finish.
    I love your #nerdlution goal. Mine involves some professional reading!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I hope to do some professional reading this year too. Last year I set my goal at 12 books for the year, which I thought was really low, but it turned out that I just managed 12, so…. maybe that’s the right goal. I do so much of my PD on Twitter and blogs now; books don’t always seem as relevant to me. I do love that photo of my son. So silly!

  5. Carol Avatar

    Congratulations on reaching the vacation finish line. Sounds like there were lots of good times! I know there were probably challenges too, but hey, you did it! Hurray! (If you get tired of Yahtzee, try Kismet or Uno!)

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      We’ve definitely played our share of Uno but I don’t know Kismet–thanks for the recommendation! I am always looking for new games that we will enjoy. I don’t like games very much but I try to play with a good attitude, and while my son does love them, he REALLY struggles when he loses. Sadly, there is usually no way to throw Yahtzee, though my husband and I sometimes try!

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