Afternoon Showers and 6 Other Things I’m Loving

I was taking a shower one afternoon. The kids were playing calmly like I’d asked them to do, and as my soapy fingers massaged my scalp, the quiet solitude massaged my soul. Ahhh. Time to re-energize. Time to think.

I love afternoon showers.

My thoughts flowed warm and free as the water overhead, and in my mind, this list of things I’m loving began to write itself.

1. Getting Up Early (after a full night of sleep)

I am not historically an early riser because I’m typically a late nighter. In recent months, my normal routine had been to stay up late (way too late) and then get up whenever I’ve met my minimum sleep needs. It was working, but it’s not the most efficient way to run a household.

Thankfully, my husband just began a new endeavor in self-discipline (i.e. Farrell’s), and it has helped to draw me out of the night owl rut. Since his 6:15 a.m. class is getting us up earlier, we’re ready for bed earlier. I love the discipline of rising early – but only when it follows the discipline of turning in on time.

2. Having a Gym Membership

Travis isn’t the only one getting into shape. My birthday wish was to start a membership at the YMCA, and though that’s a gift that keeps on giving (or should I say “taking” – money, that is), Travis satisfied my request.

I’ve had a few short-lived gym memberships in the years since becoming a mom. Getting one would seem like a good idea, then the expense of childcare or the limit of my energies would cut it short. Somehow, I think this time will be different.

The kids love it, too. The girls have been won over by the Frozen coloring sheets in the kids’ room, and Abel by the “big kid” privileges of an eight-year-old. He can shoot baskets in the gym, or he can work out in the cardio area alongside me. It’s a special time for all of us.

A Family Membership at the Y is working well for us in our current location and life stage.

A Family Membership is working well for us in our current location and life stage.

3. My NIKE Legend 2.0 Slim Poly Training Pants

I bought these with birthday money in preparation for my gym membership, and I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on such wonderfulness all this time! Well, actually I can. I’ve tried on dri-fit pants from various brands before, but always stripped them right back off thinking my legs looked hideous in them. But this pair is different… to my eyes, anyway. The fit is perfect and the feel is fabulous. The only problem is that I can’t wear them every day. 😉

4. My Kindle Paperwhite

I am a book lover. Like, a lover of the physical book. I love reading books, but I also love seeing them, holding them, owning them. That’s why I was hesitant to think I’d like a Kindle – because owning one would necessitate, at least to some degree, that hard-copy books give way to their ghostly counterparts. But seeing some potential value in that, I asked for a Kindle Paperwhite at Christmastime and haven’t regretted it. Sure, there are some books of which I would still choose a hard copy over a Kindle version, but there are several books (or ebooks) that I wouldn’t read at all if I didn’t have the Kindle option. (Plus, it’s kind of fun being able to take a piece of my book collection with me wherever I go!)

Two places I love to use my Kindle Paperwhite: in bed and on the treadmill.

One place I’m looking forward to using my Kindle Paperwhite: at the pool!

It's no book, but it's earning its place on my bookshelf.

It’s no book, but it’s earning its place on my bookshelf.

5. Being in a Writer’s Group

Speaking of the pool, it was there one day last summer that I was telling a friend I had been thinking of joining a writer’s group but hadn’t because I was afraid I wasn’t qualified and wouldn’t fit in. She encouraged me that I was qualified and that I should absolutely give it a shot. (I can’t tell you how much her belief in me meant.) Coincidentally(?), a few days later another friend told me about a Christian writer’s group that local author Elaine Marie Cooper was starting up. I contacted her, she welcomed me, and I’ve been meeting monthly with this group ever since.

I’m not sure what the Lord would have me to write outside of this blog, but I do know that He’s given me a passion for writing and that I feel fulfilled when I feed it. I’m so glad my friend encouraged me to do that.

One resource my writer's group led me to. I chose to buy it in hard-copy. :-)

One resource my writer’s group led me to. I chose to buy it in hard-copy. :-)

6. Chore Training

The realization that my kids are old enough to be truly helpful around the house is revolutionizing my life. They’ve always been expected to pick up their own toys, but my perfectionist nature has kept me from handing over more household responsibilities to them – until now. In the days leading up to the selling of our house, I realized that I was drowning. I am one person, and I was spinning my wheels trying to keep up with the messes of a six-person family. It had to stop – for more reasons than one.

That’s why I’m viewing our time in this rental property as training grounds. The fact that the place isn’t mine helps me to let go just enough to let my kids learn, mess up, correct, and perfect their new chores; and my hope is that by the time we move into our new house which will host twice the housework of the former one, the kids will be in the groove of helping – and doing it well.

The kids are learning to help with meal cleanup. Revolutionary.

The kids are learning to help with meal cleanup. Revolutionary.

What things are you loving right now? Would any of these make your list?