January can be a bleak month for some after the joy of holiday celebrations in December. My January birthday makes the festive and fun vibes continue on even after the Christmas season has passed and we’ve welcomed a New Year. I’m all for making my birthday into a celebration that goes beyond the actual date of January 14th. Not only my birthday, but January itself affords many other moments of celebration. It’s the small, simple joys that add up. They add some confetti to the middle-of-winter atmosphere.
We finished our 18th week of school on Thursday. We are officially halfway through our school year!!! Since we don’t have teacher conferences to reward the kids for positive feedback, we developed a reward system of our own. At the end of the 1st & 3rd quarter, the boys can select a $10 reward. At the end of the 2nd & 4th quarter, they receive a $20 reward. It’s essentially our version of paying for good grades. Making the “grade” isn’t really the focus, though. It’s a reward system based on completion of work and the general attitude of the quarter. I’m thankful my kiddos enjoy being students. It makes being their teacher rewarding and I want to honor the effort they have made.
This weekend was a fun one! The perfect mix of productivity, rest, and socializing. Friday was my weekly “clean the house” day. I do a list of chores once a week to get the house to its base level of clean (bathrooms, floors, dusting). Housecleaning day depends on our plans (and if the house should be tidy for company). Cleaning never takes a full day so there was time to rest before a late night out at book club. The post-Christmas book club is special because we all have new books to share.
Saturday, we had my forever friend, Maggie, and her family over for the the day. The kids happily played with toys while the adults played Wingspan and watched the Chiefs play the Jaguars. Maggie and I share a birthday month with our birthdays only a couple weeks apart. This last weekend was in the middle of our two birthdays so we took a moment to celebrate 37 with brownies, candles, and a song.
Sunday morning was church and then a quiet afternoon/evening. It was also Lunar New Year which our kids latched on to celebrating a few years ago. It has turned into a low-key tradition for us. Our version of Lunar New Year consists of red envelopes with a small amount of money and then Chinese food for dinner. We certainly don’t go all out, but it’s fun to make the day a little extra.
One last highlight of the week was finding a new quilt for our bedroom. Our comforter set has been showing its age for a while, but I’m so picky when it comes to bedding. The stress of finding the right bedding almost paralyzes me. In my opinion, the bed is a huge focal point of our room and I want it to look put together. Too many throw pillows or throw blankets or added layers start to overwhelm me, though. After a long search, Jeremy and I settled on a navy quilt with a herringbone pattern to it. It works well with the sheet set and throw pillows we already have. Jeremy was the one who suggested we move from gray bedding to navy and it certainly makes the bed pop on the gray wall. I’ve enjoyed seeing our color palette of blues, grays, and creamy whites expand throughout the house.
That sums up the January celebrations for now. Small things, but definitely bright spots in the midst of the cold wintertime. The holidays might be over, but the time for celebrating is not!