Thursday, February 4, 2016

Happy making: wool socks edition

Lest it sound like my whole life is doom and gloom, I want to put it out there that there are things making me happy these days. I need to complain about anxiety every now and then, and I want to document things I notice so that I am armed for the future, but it isn’t the whole story lately.
So what things have made me happy lately? Let me count the ways.

Wool socks. Oh my gosh, I forgot this when I first posted this. How could I forget though? I went hiking in October with my sweet mother-in-law and she brought me a new pair of wool socks. I looked forward to wearing those socks every week, and so on the day after Christmas, I bought a four pack of the very best socks in the world: Merino wool socks from Costco. I have worn fluffy, warm, beautiful wool socks all winter since. And, I just bought another 4 pack last Friday. I'm sort of a sock slut. But I have no shame in that. No, none at all.

Running. Can I just tell you (again!) how much I love winter running? I am going to. I love the cold air. I love getting warm and sweaty at the same time as my face is delightfully cool. I love running fast in the winter. I even love my treadmill these days. I’ve been doing some different kinds of workouts thanks to the inspiration of taking an Orange Theory fitness class last month. At Orange Theory, they hook up you with a heart rate monitor for the entire workout, which consist of 23 minutes of cardio and 23 minutes of strength. All you have to do is follow the workout plan as set forth by the instructor while trying to keep your heartrate monitor color in the orange or red sections. These are the anaerobic thresholds that, once reached, can help burn calories after the workout has ended. I discovered in the class just how much I love working in the green section – the one right before orange & red. Why? Because I’m not out of breath as much in the green. After the class, I decided I could get myself in the orange by doing pick-ups of 1 or 2 minutes at a faster pace during my runs. I feel like it’s helping. I’m also getting back to doing some high intensity interval training on run days and cross train days. I haven’t done much strength training in the past few months, and I’m can tell that I need it.

Running clothes. I count this in a completely different category than running! I got a running skirt and long running tights for Christmas that make me so happy. Shane also gave me an awesome running jacket that I never would have bought for myself but absolutely love. It is perfect for an outdoor run and keeps me so warm I barely notice the wind and cold. Plus it has a cozy soft inner lining that is bright pink. I love running in pink.

Eating Lindor balls. Shane brought home a giant gift bag of assorted Lindor balls right before Christmas. How had I not discovered their particular brand of deliciousness??!! My faves are the light and dark blue, red, and black. I’ve since bought 2 more bags, and Shane also scared up another partial bag from work that have fed my addiction nicely.

Sewing. As one of my ways of coping with anxiety, I started sewing at night. I had started a Christmas tree skirt 2 Christmases ago that had tons of hand stitching. I spent many nights sewing on that and finished it right before I decorated. I then decided to make table runners as gifts. These were fun projects that forced me to finish the items I was working on, thus helping me get better at quilting and binding. I even tried my hand at free-form quilting, something I had never done before but now adore. In the midst of it, I found an awesome sewing machine that I ended up getting for Christmas. Sewing is so fun now, and I feel like I can do things I couldn’t do with my old machine. I have a few other projects in the works, which is exciting.

I have made three of these as gifts...we'll see if I ever finish the one I  started for myself.

Christmas tree skirt

Finishing our basement. Back before I went to Italy, Shane started working on finishing our basement. It took 2 loooonng years to finish. We used electricians, plumbers, and heating and air professionals early on to finish those jobs, but the rest was done by Shane. After spending all spring and summer sheet rocking, we saved up and had pros do the mudding and taping in the fall (I will forever be grateful for them! They did such a great job at helping our walls look good.) We also had a guy do the tile in the shower and bathroom floor. The boys helped us paint, which was pretty fun. We just got carpet 2 weeks ago. We finished it with all the same paint, doors, and trim so that it matches the upstairs. It’s so exciting to have it all done.

Reading. I’ve finished a couple of books lately, and started a few that I may or may not finish but still enjoyed. My favorites were The All Girls Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg and The Lake House by Kate Morton. My least favorite was The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood…I didn’t finish it, but I may, eventually. I’m reading The Library at Mount Char currently.

My family. We’ve had some really fun times at home lately, watching The Office reruns (because Thomas, at 14, decided he wanted to watch the series again now that he “gets more of the jokes.” Teenagers. I just cringe!) and our TV watching staple Modern Family. Shane and I had a really fun and casual anniversary dinner together (we were both filthy, having worked in the basement all day cleaning and then went to a late soccer game for Ben – seriously, the game started at 5:40 in the evening. The opportunity to go out sort of just evolved out of a very nice offer of Ben’s friend’s parents who were also at the game.) Shane and I had some very important conversations and started to understand a few things about ourselves and about each other that can help make things smoother. I’ve enjoyed watching Ben’s soccer team get clobbered each week by the club teams he’s playing during indoor soccer. We are like the ragtag team from the wrong side of the tracks with our cotton t-shirts and mismatched shorts, but the kids are learning a lot and getting better thanks to playing teams that have played for years together in indoor and outdoor soccer.  

Meeting someone again that I haven’t seen in over 25 years. It was something I had dreamed and hoped for and am so very grateful happened.

Knick knacks from my mom’s house. While helping her pack, I brought home a few items that have made me so happy. I got a painting that my grandpa painted. I also got a milk glass bowl that was my mom’s moms, and a pitcher with cups that was my dad’s moms. I didn’t bring home a lot of stuff, but what I did get, I really love and am trying to incorporate into my house instead of just shoving them into a cabinet somewhere to never see the light of day. I also brought home a giant secretary that I still have sitting in my garage. The thing is massive, almost 7 feet tall. I want to put it in my basement, but I don’t know if it can fit and haven’t convinced anyone to pick it up and attempt to take it down the stairs. (If any of you local readers have a moving-company hookup that would do a house call and tell me if it will fit or not, I might just love you forever.)

So what is making you happy lately? I want to know.


Feisty Harriet said...

I started using wool running socks a few years ago, and they are absolute heaven. Have you tried them?

Love this post!