The art of staying in


Yesterday, we stayed in.

All day. The whole day.

I didn’t even shower until 1 p.m., which is . . . well, it’s unusual, friends. Because since Spence and I married, thus blending our schedules, I’ve been forced to become a morning person. He gets up at 6 a.m., I get up at 6 a.m., you know?

(Well, “get up” is a relative term. I give him an ugly look before ramming a pillow over my face, then eventually rise to see him off to work. And then I pour my sorry self into the shower, so on and so forth.)

But Sunday was a lazy day. The weather outside was truly frightful, as they say, and I planned — planned, I say! — to make no plans. I got up early, plunked down to watch the Food Network, worked on a slew of crochet projects that have come in before Christmas. I made a real breakfast. I drank coffee in a ceramic mug.

I put my feet up. And I stayed there.

In the afternoon, we wrapped presents. Spencer worked. We cleared some space on the DVR, emptied the sink of its many dishes, read, cleaned, admired the tree. We burned a Christmas candle for 12 hours, watching the flame sink deeper until the evergreen wax. And we actually smelled the evergreen.

It was glorious.

I often think about the speed of life — how quickly it moves, especially at this time of year. We look forward to Christmas all year long, then find ourselves consumed by the many things on our to-do lists when we would really like to just soak up the atmosphere.

And I’m the schedule-keeper. Spontaneity is my enemy. I like to plan my time to maximize fun, if you will, which can often . . . suck the fun out of everything.

That’s a lesson long in the making.

After the chaos of wedding-planning, I vowed to focus on what truly matters this holiday — and to get many of our “must-dos,” like shopping, done as early as possible. I’m not a Christmas Eve shopper, zooming around the mall in a state of utter panic. That makes me feel like I’m going to have an anxiety attack. I like to get done early, loaf around, wrap stuff.

I try to find some real peace. To stay in the moment, and to learn to be still.

And I’m proud of myself. Really proud of myself. This year has running over with changes: both the big, sparkly, obvious ones and the tiny, personal shifts. The ones you can’t see at a glance.

Less flashy, but no less important.

The promise of peach wine


I like lazy days.

They don’t happen very often. Especially in light of wedding prep (four months to go! Holy cow), so many weekends brim with schedules and plans and checklist items that must be marked off. I’m not spontaneous, preferring my days to maintain a sort of predictable order that might be off-putting to some, but . . . I don’t know. I like knowing what I’m going to do before I do it.


On Saturday, Spencer and I left relatively early to go check out a local Amish farmers’ market (photos coming tomorrow). I say “relatively” because, you know, early to my fiance means 5 a.m. and early to me means . . . oh, maybe 8:30-ish? I get the sense that our marriage will be one long negotiation on when and how much to sleep, but I’ll work with it. Relationships are all about compromise, no?

So, we left “early” to check out the local produce and came home with all sorts of goodies. I couldn’t resist the allure of green tomatoes — and can’t remember ever actually seeing them in person before. I sliced one, gave it a healthy dash of pepper and salt and promptly fell in love with its firm texture and fresh taste. Way better than those common ol’ red ones, especially given how mushy they become. Love at first bite.

I took my camera with me because, once upon a time, Spencer and I often spent lazy Saturdays wandering around Southern Maryland just looking for places to stop and snapping pictures. I’ve missed that aspect of our relationship — mostly because, as the years have gone on, we’ve gotten busy and life is chaotic and weekends once spent getting to know each other and wandering around holding hands have morphed into photography club meetings, wedding vendor meetings, scheduled events, family functions.

I love that — and I love our lives, and our life together — but it’s nice to have a down day, too. So this rare Saturday was not one to be missed.

So we looked at pies (but didn’t buy — victory!), bought zucchini, admired bunches of sunflowers with the light hitting them just so. The sky was unusually clear for a late June day around here and the humidity, miraculously, was low. Now that I’m 25 pounds down and fully committed to healthy eating, I was entranced by all the vegetables and fruits just ready to come home in our eco-friendly green bag (what grown-ups we are). I felt . . . at peace. Adult. Happy.

And the cartons of peaches Spencer bought from one of the Amish families will, in a few months, morph into some of his sweet, delicious homemade wine.

Peaches 2

Peach wine. My 28th birthday. A double bridal shower. Finishing three major work projects. A visit from my soon-to-be mother-in-law. My first dress fitting, stamping our invitations, getting ready for my sister’s wedding in three short months . . .

So much to look forward to — and how sweet it will be.