5 Things I Loved About Last Week 1/10/15 #celebratelu

celebrate link up

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

I had big plans involving lots of reading, writing, yoga, and course design for my final week of winter break, but that’s not what the week ended up looking like. I don’t think I opened a book at all during daytime hours. I did yoga once. I hardly wrote. And I didn’t start working on refreshing and redesigning my courses (which start MONDAY!) until Friday night. It was a weird week of fractured attention, lack of focus, difficult parenting, half a dozen meetings, dog sitting, and middle school crises. Instead of feeling bad over what I didn’t feel like doing or get to do, I embraced my distractibility and focused on various house projects  and tidying that kept me busy and productive.  Here are 5 things I loved last week.


1. My old dog. It’s easy to take Roxy for granted. She spends most of her day sleeping. She’s peppy for her daily walk (and still, at age 11, mistaken sometimes for a puppy when she’s out and about), but then she’s ready to crash on the couch for the rest of the day. This week, I took more time to notice and appreciate her. I wish her old age could be quiet and mellow. The crazy energy in our house distresses her, and the energy has been crazier than usual this week. She wants so badly to help those who are suffering and she doesn’t understand why every problem can’t solved by a pit bull cuddle. She has such a good soul, and I appreciate how she reminds me to slow down and calm down. Her usual quiet daily routine was interrupted on Monday, when Quincy came to visit.


Though neither one of them likes other dogs all that much, they LOVE each other. They were a whirling, writhing mass of pit bull, tearing up and down and all over the couch. Unfortunately Roxy doesn’t have the stamina to keep up with Quincy’s capacity for play (which appears to be endless), but she does have fun until I make them separate and take a break.


2. Reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I read a couple of reviews of Marie Kondo’s guide to “decluttering and organizing”–both of which insisted that the book is indeed “life-changing.” I’m absolutely loving it–not so much for the tidying advice, though I think that’s quite good too, but more for passages like this one:

I visited the home of a client in her fifties. As always, we started with her clothes…. But when she pulled open her sock drawer, I could not suppress a gasp. It was full of potato-like lumps that rolled about. She had folded back the tops to form balls and tied her stockings tightly in the middle. I was speechless…. Let me state here and now: Never, ever tie up your stockings. Never, ever ball up your socks.

I pointed to the balled-up socks. “Look at them carefully. This should be a time for them to rest. Do you really think they can get any rest like that?”

That’s right. The socks and stockings stored in your drawer are essentially on holiday…. The time they spend in your drawer is their only chance to rest.

That’s crazy awesome, right?

When I was folding laundry this morning, I couldn’t resist folding my socks in thirds, as Kondo recommends, rather than balling them up as I usually do. I’ll be paying close attention to whether my socks seem happier and more rested as a result.


3. Framing and hanging my children’s art. I have been intending to create an art gallery along the staircase for three years now. My mom offered to help, and we got more than a dozen pictures framed and hung. I also got this year’s school pictures framed and displayed (just three months late!) and printed Christmas family photos to frame. AND I finally got mirrors and pictures rehung in the dining room. Well, my mom hung everything. But I provided moral support and gratitude!


4. Writing time at a coffee shop. The only way to get any writing done this week was to leave the house. I spent a couple of hours at one of my favorite coffee shops, revising a Slice about motherhood and adopting older children. Strong coffee, gooey sweets, plenty of conversations to eavesdrop on… that’s writing perfection for me.


5. Pancakes with ice cream for breakfast. This morning started out rough, but things began to look up when my son asked if he could have ice cream on his pancakes. Such an easy thing to say yes to! And you know what? It was so good that I put a scoop on my pancakes too.






18 responses to “5 Things I Loved About Last Week 1/10/15 #celebratelu”

  1. carriegelson Avatar

    Okay now I want to go sit in a coffee shop, eat something especially sweet and think about socks. 🙂 Instead, I am doing mountains of laundry, eating lots of little oranges and trying to convince myself that I don’t need to go to the bookstore. Sometimes, there is a magnetic pull . . .

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Ah yes, I well remember the magnetic pull of the bookstore. Of course, now the nearest bookstore is 60 miles away, so the magnetic pull isn’t quite so magnetic. Unfortunately, Amazon is always only a click away…. Your little oranges sound much healthier than my ice cream pancake!

  2. Kara Newhouse Avatar
    Kara Newhouse

    Lovely! I was reducing a lot of my clutter around the new year, but already my fervor for that has waned, so I might need to pick up that book! (Or borrow it from a library, so as not to accumulate another book, lol.)

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I do like her advice: keep only what gives you joy. Let your intuition, not your rational mind, guide your decluttering, since intuition will let you know right away if an item sparks joy. I’m planning to attack my closet next week and I’m looking forward to greatly reducing the number of things I have and never wear!

  3. Carol Avatar

    Sorry it was a tough week. My guys never did the transition back to school very well. Absolutely say yes to ice cream on pancakes! And everything else that isn’t life changing! Why not???

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Any kind of change of schedule or transition time is so, so tough. Hoping next week will be a little smoother for everyone, especially as I go back to work and will need more energy and focus for that. My son loses his mind when I say no, so I try to say yes to everything I possibly can. He has decided that ice cream is the new pancake syrup. YES!

  4. Andrea Payan (@payanar) Avatar

    Ooh! Pancakes and ice cream sounds amazing! I love the picture of your old dog sleeping with her belly in the air. My dog loves that position too. It sounds like a very tough week for you. I hope you get some stability this week with the return to routines. I also hope your socks are more relaxed from the change. I have requested that book from the library and I am now looking forward to it even more.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      LOL to the relaxed sock comment, Andrea. Too funny! Hope you enjoy the book too.

  5. Linda Baie Avatar

    I do hope that the rested socks help your feet, too! I’m often amazed that what I thought might be a good week (or day, or lesson) doesn’t happen. Often all is well, but those times that are discombobulated… Sounds like an ice cream on pancakes kind of week to me! Actually there’s little difference between ice cream & whipped cream, & people do whipped cream all the time. Glad you did get to the coffee shop. I had so many errands today, & a venti iced chai was what kept me going. Best wishes for Monday!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Yes, that gap between plans/expectations and reality can sometimes be huge. I just knew last week was going to be all about quiet solitary reading and writing time. Not even a little bit! Maybe next week…. Glad you enjoyed your venti iced chai! Errands most definitely deserve a special treat like that!

  6. Deb Day (@mrsday75) Avatar

    I loved reading about your celebrations this week, even though the week didn’t go as planned. I think that’s when we find the little JOYs in our lives. You may not really have appreciated Roxy if you were doing those “planned” activities or paid attention to your socks (I may have to get that book).

    Have a good week. I’m going to go and have some ice cream on my pancakes!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Good point, Deb. I’m sure if I’d had a “normal” week–the week I was expecting to have–I would have taken Roxy just as much for granted as always. I have to say, vanilla ice cream on a pancake is pretty special! And I think my son is entirely hooked now and will be requesting more ice cream and pancakes next weekend!

  7. Lisa Patrick Avatar

    We grew up eating vanilla ice cream and strawberries on waffles! Good for you! I just ordered the tidying up book from the library. Thanks for the title!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      That sounds delicious, Lisa! I’ll remember that combo in a few months when there are delicious strawberries again. The tidying up book is a delight, even if I’m finding it impractical to fold my socks in thirds and keep track of them!

  8. Michele Avatar

    Writing, reading and folding socks. Well, 2/3 works for me 🙂
    I have some photos that need to be hung up, as well. Maybe a future post for me!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Funny how some tasks like that can be indefinitely put off. My kids are so enjoying seeing their art hanging up–and my older son was motivated to make a new drawing over the weekend and demand immediate framing and hanging. So the project is also having the secondary effect I was hoping for–inspiring more art!

  9. […] celebration of fine old dogs, tidying up, relaxed socks, pancakes with ice cream and […]

  10. Elizabeth Avatar

    Quincy is just so handsome! He’s like the Ewan MacGregor of pitbulls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: