The Orange Slate

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Friday Links

This and That.

December 30, 2016

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There is nothing quite like this quiet week between Christmas and the new year, is there? This year it feels particularly sheltered, falling, as it does, over exactly one real week.

This has been a December of lots of reflecting, lots of half-finished posts, lots of good intentions, not much social media, plenty of activites with my littles that fell short of my Pinterest dreams but that hopefully carved out some real impressions and memories in their little sweet hearts, and some unusally warm weather that gave us opportunities (outdoor family pictures!) often impossible this time of year.

So often we talk about how our littles won’t remember – and that’s fair and true – , but I think it’s still so important to set an example during this season. Memories fade, but family rituals have a way of burying their way deeply into a child’s being. So we selected special ornaments to cmmemorate the year (four matching gold bells to mark our first Christmas as a family of four!), we shared cookies and cinnamon rolls with our neighbors and friends, we convinced our kiddos to join us for half of our church’s candlelight service. Miles and I made it through exactly half of a very-very-abridged-for-children Christmas story before he had a complete meltdown for absolutely no reason at all.

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Now my 8-month-old has the flu virus despite our best efforts to vaccinate and wash and disinfect and we’re quarantined for a few days and I made a barley stew (a recipe modified from this cookbook) while praying that Violet’s afternoon nap was long enough to help make up for the many hours she and I lost two nights in a row and listened to this wonderful playlist on repeat.

This post is a perfect example of how I feel right now – lots of random ramblings all sort of taking off and forgetting to land. There’s a term that counselors use called “spider-webbing” and of it I am currently the queen.  But isn’t that sort of what this week is for? Spinning our quiet webs, preparing, reflecting, waiting  – Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas without this week of patient magic (and if you are curious about some actual liturgical basis for this, this piece provides some wonderful background).

And while you’re spinning your 2017 webs, here are a few pieces to inspire your heart, encourage your intentions, and quiet your soul.

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I’ve been trying to establish a consistent cleaning routine for our home so that I’m not always tackling fires and feeling behind. The schedule I used for the fall didn’t feel quite right, so I’m changing it up for the rest of winter. Here and here are some suggestions for routines if your home feels out of control.

Here’s a cozy recipe to try during slow mornings this week.

An interesting piece on balancing home-roles and a career for both men and women.

These bookshelves will make the whole world seem right.

Fika and hygge – two words to chase away the winter blues.