I said that I hadn’t taken any pictures during our time in Indiana over Christmas, but I uploaded pictures from my camera and was pleasantly surprised to find a couple Midwest gems in there. I’m tossing them above with some other random shots from lately, and then plastering some disjointed words from life these days in hops that two means of hodgepodgeness makes at least a consistent mess. Yes? No?
We, along with half the world, are doing a round of Whole30 this month. This is our 4th-ish one, meaning we have done one other hardcore one and 2 that were “mostly Whole, Maybe 30,” a much more sustainable version, where you follow the spirit of the diet at home, and give grace when out. We are falling on the strict-ish side of laid back this time around, which means a couple allowed premeditated moments of weakness and the occasional use of butter before I made it to the store to get ghee. Because if butter is wrong, maybe I just don’t want to be right, you know? It feels easier this time around, partially because I just don’t have energy to focus as much, and partially because I set out to do the World’s Laziest Whole30. This meant planning a simple rotation of about 10 meals all month long before the month started, using my Crockpot as much as possible, and purchasing any and all compliant condiments. We have loved the Tessamae’s ketchup, BBQ sauce, and dressings, and Nutpods are my life saver, as this is my first W30 (that’s right, we are on a abbreviation basis) as a coffee drinker. If you follow along on Instagram, you have probably seen some of my lazy recipes through Instastories. Even in our lazy, I-have-no-time-to-experiment Whole30ness, I feel really good. I needed a cleansing reset after the holidays, and months of just slow decline in healthy inclination. I’m reading the book of Proverbs alongside the plan, a chapter a day. Wisdom for the body and mind. If you have any easy Crockpot Whole30 meals, feel free to dump them in the comments so I can dump them in my Crockpot/mouth.
I am late to the party, after having first arrived and found it highly overrated. But alas- I submit: Hamilton is kind of catchy. And by that I mean that Henry and I listen to the full thing at least once a day, preferably when he’s eating and I do really intense dances to accompany the rap as I feed him. I know, he’s one lucky baby. He also might start associating the Revolution with pureed vegetables.
Our ability to enact said daily dance party is due entirely to the fourth member of our family, Alexa. Y’all. I was skeptical when we got her as a gift, but she has revolutionized my home-vibe. I query her on the weather approximately 678654 times a day, because I CAN. Whereas I used to have to find music to play, I can now just call from the bedroom “Alexa- play Enya!” and walk out into the smooth ambiance of a car commercial.
This month it is back to work. My job includes teaching and an administrative role along with my own academic work, but I have had two semesters in a row with only administrative duties. I know, you were wondering if I actually worked. Yes, but gimme that sweet sweet academic schedule forevvverrrrr. It was beyond wonderful to have last spring to devote more time to writing, and this past fall it was absolutely priceless to have so much time home with Henry. I can’t imagine a better schedule for welcoming a baby into our lives than the one I have enjoyed the past year. But I really miss teaching and I am looking forward to stepping back into the classroom on Wednesday.
And then of course, there is that pesky dissertation. I have been too frazzled for New Years resolutions, but if I had to make one it would be:
Finish that dissertation, finish school forever. Finish well, finish strong. Graduating “on time”- an idea in perpetual air quotes for PhD students because HA – would mean finishing writing by mid March and that will not be happening. I really thought I could do it, graduate on time with a dissertation in one hand and a baby in the other. But I can’t, or at least, I can’t unless I seriously compromise the quality of both. I don’t want to write a crappy dissertation… and I am unwilling to miss out on Henry’s first year of life to devote all my time to writing a good one. So I’m dragging it out just a tad, but I’m determined to finish before 2018.
I have all sorts of blog posts and thoughts cluttering up my brain and drafts, but every time the myriad of daily things is done, they don’t get written. So in the meantime, just a couple January snippets of the things filling our days.