new leaf, day one

January 1, 2017 @ 7:30 pm | Filed under:


Up before dawn to comfort a sobbing seven-year-old who awoke to the sad realization that he fell asleep before the New Year arrived. We cuddled on the couch for a long while, chattering (him) and murmuring (me). Then I let him play Minecraft for a bit so I could get more sleep.

Late morning: bacon sizzle drifting down the hall. Mmm. Scott served a New Year’s breakfast of eggs, bacon, and almond bear claw. The younger kids and I sat down together and had devoured second helpings before the first teenager made an appearance. Excellent way to start the year. Everyone was singing Moses Supposes His Toeses Are Roses all day due to last night’s viewing of Singing in the Rain.

Early afternoon: my annual New Year’s Day cleaning frenzy. I didn’t realize I was singing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” until Jane chuckled at me. She says I always sing that on this day. It’s true: I love fresh starts. I love packing away Christmas and sorting through books in preparation for a new season. Sometimes I get carried away—I have mouse-cookie syndrome something fierce—and commence a heavy-duty purge. This year I seem to have gotten the pattern backwards: I started by reorganizing the boys’ dresser and wound up purging shelves in the laundry room and cleaning out under my bed. The bed part was a continuation of yesterday’s grand overhaul of my desk and all my art supplies. I keep bins of paper and ephemera under the bed, and they wanted tidying.

Then I rallied the kids to help me take down the Christmas tree and decorations. I never can last the full Twelve Days. Too much depends upon that clean, fresh January first beginning.

Scott, my hero, remembered to soak the black-eyed peas last night, and all afternoon they were simmering away with a hambone. Just before dinner, I rounded up my younger set for a readaloud. Since my last little guy is about to turn eight, I want to read our way through all our favorite picture books before my picture-book audience is grown. Of course you’re never too old for a picture book, but you know how it is. They do grow up, these children. 🙂 I just don’t want to blink and realize Huck is twelve and has never heard Borreguita and the Coyote.

First readaloud of the year: Jan Brett’s The Hata perfect follow-up to the kids’ favorite holiday book, Christmas Trolls.

At dinner we discussed goals and resolutions for the coming year. Lots of “I’d like to learn __” plans. 🙂 My own goals—besides the picture book readalouds—are to sort through all our books and pare down by rather a lot; and to continue my daily sketchbook habit.

Speaking of which: I haven’t picked up a pen today. Better get to it!

P.S. Cybils finalist lists are out!

    Related Posts


13 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jamie says:

    There’s no leaf like a new leaf! Isn’t there an Anne Shirley quote about the promise of a year that has no mistakes in it (yet)?

  2. selvi says:

    Nature’s first green is gold

  3. sarah says:

    What a delightful post! It makes me smile to read it. But oh, the passing of the picture book days is always sad.

  4. phoebe says:

    You’ll inspire me! If nothing else I can blog.

  5. Rachel says:

    Mine are 12-18 and I’m still in denial about the picture book phase. Understanding now why women look forward to grandchildren.

  6. Nancy says:

    Mine are 12 and 15. I’ve managed to get in two of the Xmas picture books (my 15-year-old demanded we read “the one with the pigs!” But the stack’s not put away yet — we have to get to Christmas Trolls before I tuck them away.

  7. Von says:

    My 7-year old made it to midnight, but fell asleep on the couch fifteen minutes later. My cleaning and tree undressing took place on Friday, but my over-the-top curriculum planning waited until last night–even bought two used books on Amazon at around one a.m. BTW, I am determined to READ blogs like it’s 2005–I’m in deep need of the inspiration, connection, and assurance I used to find in blogs.

  8. Melanie Bettinelli says:

    I want to resolve to be more consistent with blogging too. I’m hesitant to set a concrete goal, though, lest failing to meet it plunge me into the abyss. But you inspired me to put up a post today as a best foot forward for the new year. Here’s to 2017, the year of the Blog!

  9. Tabatha says:

    Enjoyed your post! I wish I loved packing away Christmas stuff. (Your little Cybils P.S. just filled my book cart.)

  10. Jennifer says:

    Loved reading this. I’ve been missing blogs lately. What a gift.

  11. Eva says:

    You’ve inspired me to take down the tree today. Well, you and the cats who keep trying to climb it. Thanks for this and for posing the link to your blog on FB. I tend to forget about blogs until I need inspiration for work. Inspiration for life is good, too. 🙂

  12. sarah says:

    Hurrah for new beginnings, new goals, and old habits revised!!! I, too, am trying to return to a regular blogging habit. Thanks for the kickstart.

    What are your latest favs for math apps to solidify multiplication skills–mainly for 8 year old, but my 12 year old could use some work on speed as well. We FINALLY have an iPad, so I’m excited to use it!

  13. Kortney Garrison says:

    Packing away Christmas?? The horror! 😉 I mean, there’s a tree *inside* my house. I’m going to keep that going for as long as possible!