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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back to Life, Back to Reality

So, it is three days into the new year of 2012 and real life begins, again.

I'm up at 5:15 a.m., gathering the tubs of dirty laundry from upstairs and dragging the entire load down the stairs, one step at a time.  While the kid is in the shower, I begin to sort by color:  greens, reds/purples, black, greys/beiges, blues, and whites.  I end up with a total of seven loads not bad for a family of four over five days.

The bagel is made, the lunch (already made the night before) is placed near the book bag, and I open a cup of yogurt.  By 6:10 a.m., I grab my big grey sweater and greet the 20 degree early morning with a shiver as I unlock the car door.  I'll warm up the car for a few minutes before I drive the kid to the bus stop.  Kids are spoiled these days.  In my mind I find myself saying (to myself), 'back in my day, I had to walk to the bus stop and wait for it to come no matter what the weather; even in rain and snow.'  But, there's only three and a half more years left until he graduates so why stop now?  I think we agreed this year that we would drive him to the bus stop in the morning if it was raining or under 40 degrees.  So far, we've been blessed with a mild winter, knock on wood.

I restart the boiling pot filled with the leftover chicken carcass from our Sunday dinner.  I plan to make homemade soup today, using the bag of spices and vegetable soup mix that my mom gave to me over the holidays.  After the meat cools and I pick off the meat and shred it I'll prepare the carrots and onion.  I'll also add some diced tomatoes and great northern white beans for texture and flavor.  The chicken broth already is permeating throughout the house.

By the time I'm done folding my first load of laundry I am peeling a grapefruit.  My neighbor gave us some beautiful fruit for the holidays.  So, while I didn't specifically declare losing weight as a New Year's resolution it is kind of a no-brainer that I will adopt a healthier eating regime with the promise of a new year and fresh start.  The grapefruit was pink, plump, and delicious.  I already feel 50 pounds lighter.  Ha!

Okay, now to weed through my 'in' box.  Sorting receipts from the last couple of days and gathering the most recent stuff to add to my pile of 2011 tax documents.  Working on the tax stuff is priority one this week and next.  I hope to have my spreadsheets completed by next week so that when we get the W-2 I can get to H&R Block, file, and then complete the FAFSA so that my kid can continue to go to university.  No pressure.  Ha!

I've got an entire Sunday newspaper to go through today in between cooking and laundry.  Read, go through coupons, cut coupons, organize coupons, and file coupons.  Yes, organization is really not a problem for me.  I've got some thank you notes to do, birthday card to sign, and then back to taxes this afternoon.  Load  number five is in the wash and I have a hankering for something warm.  How about a hot chocolate with marshmallows?  Of course, and don't forget the pumpkin spice muffin that we got from Mimi's the other day.  Delicious on a cold winter's morning!

Other stuff on the horizon this week?  Organizing the linen closet to accommodate my new linens for my new KING size bed that was purchased on New Year's Eve.  Yes, we are super excited since we never owned a bed of such stature.  Plus the fact that it's been over ten years since we had a new bed of any sort.  We had a fun time searching for some bargains yesterday when I hit the retailers with mom:  Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods.  I hate spending money but I love getting a bargain, if you can call it that.  I got two different comforters(one is Ralph Lauren, yay) and three sets of sheets.  I will be preparing our room in the next seven days to welcome the new addition.

Later this week I'll be heading toward Greensboro to drop off our eldest back to his dormitory for his spring semester.  Before I get to that point I promised myself to devise a budget for him and a daily time management calender so that he can begin with his best foot forward.  As parents, we have to give our kids the tools they need to succeed.  The rest is up to them.  I will continue to nag, support, and encourage.  Oh yeah, and pray.  A lot.  And, crossing my fingers wouldn't hurt either. 

Dr. Phil is on now, as background noise, while I think about everything that kept me from a good night's sleep last night.  I may have gotten a full two hours of sleep.  I'll see how long I last today and whatever I don't finish today, I'll finish tomorrow.  Hakuna means no worries.  Yeah, right.  Actually, I am off to a great start so far.  I am proud that I had such an ambitious list of things to do as I hit my reality head-on.

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