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My sister wrote me the other day that she was struggling with these shorter days, so like a good big sister I sent her some advice: “Make sure you are getting outside everyday and try to plan some cozy projects for after dark. Focus on cozy rather than dark. Light candles.” I would add to that: play music you love. For me, right now I am rotating through Mozart piano sonatas and Vivaldi cello concertos. I’ve also played Vivaldi’s “Winter” so many times that Seth has started complaining.
But still,that first week after we set the clocks back was hard for me too. I just felt weird and low in general. Shorter days are hard! Of course that was the week our kitchen plumbing went downhill and we felt downhearted about that situation. (Plumber finally came on Monday, and we received the news that our problem is not a clog, but a broken pipe under the foundation of our house. We’ll just not even talk about that… just know that I was brave and didn’t cry.) At any rate, I started thinking about my own advice, and how I want to live that too, minus the candles. (Too many little pyromaniacs living in this house. Advent candles are a big enough challenge.)
I’m really trying to get outside everyday, but it’s hard because all of a sudden it’s 5 o’clock and it’s dark! I was in the habit of evening walks, and will need to find a break in my mornings or afternoons instead. I’m doing better on the cozy projects front. More hours inside has been translating to more crafting time. I’ve been waking early every day and spending a few minutes working on last year’s winter cross-stitch kit from Alicia Paulson. She recently released her newest winter pattern for pre-order, so in order to justify buying it, I ought to finish the one I started last December. I’m getting closer, and it really is cozy to sit next to my big windows with a fire going and stitch away while the house is still quiet. Then at the end of the day, I knit.
I’ve been sewing too, though that isn’t my favorite activity. It does make me feel good to complete a sewing project, especially one that has been requested by one of my children. Beatrix will have a birthday dress this year! All that’s left is to sew on buttons. Another request made by girls last week was to make lip balm. We followed this recipe and then decorated our tubes with my wildflower stickers. It was easy and fun, and I suspect we’ll be making more.
I’m starting to make our Advent plans. That is certainly something cozy and wonderful to look forward to. Motivated by Sue’s Advent runner, I ordered a candle ring and new Advent candles. We’ll add some fresh greenery when the time comes. Ann’s new book, The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent, arrived last week, and I know my children are going to love that new tradition. But maybe the most important thing for me this season is my plan to work through the latest scripture journal from Take up and Read, called Rooted in Hope. In addition to scripture study and devotions there are planner pages that make this an incredible tool for Advent. There is a free children’s guide as well, and I plan to print that and have it bound for Larkspur.
Rather than feeling sad about the shorter days, I’m getting pretty excited for this new season! It’s going to be good, busted pipes and all.
p.s. Right now, I’m aiming to update my shop with lots of gorgeous naturally dyed yarn on Friday at 11 a.m. EST.