I’m not very good at blogging about our daily lives. That’s no surprise to those of you that have been reading here for awhile, I’m sure. Although I love reading blogs by bloggers who regularly share the more personal aspects of their lives, I haven’t quite been able to do that myself. As far as bloggers go, I guess I’m a pretty private one. It doesn’t bother me one bit to share the details of our travels, all the way down to where we stayed and what we ate, but ask me to get personal, to share what goes on on an average Tuesday or, even worse, my feelings about what goes on on an average Tuesday, and I shy away. I wouldn’t have a problem telling anyone these things over coffee and crumb-cake, even if we were just meeting for the first time, but putting them on the internet seems an entirely different thing.
Late last year, when I was beginning to put together my resolutions, the only one I formally wrote down in regards to blogging was just to continue doing it, but I had another that I hesitated to write down, just in case I didn’t follow through. And that was to share more about the days when we aren’t doing anything remarkable or what I’d consider blog-worthy. You see, when we’re not traveling, our lives are almost exactly like they were before we moved here, minus the chicken poop landmines in the backyard and the 12-mile drive just to get Lexie to school. In other words, our day-to-day life is pretty normal, certainly not anything to write home about. But since I do not write a journal – this blog here is my journal, I suppose – this is the only place I’ll ever have a record of ‘the little things’, so here they’ll go, once a month or as often as I can muster the courage to let you all see just how boring we actually are.
For us, the month of January is unusual. The other eleven months of the year we go to all the places and see all the people, but in January, we hibernate. Just like bears. We watch movies, read books, play games, and single-handedly keep our local Thai take-out in business. And I love it, because I know come February, life will resume as usual and I’ll be grateful for those four weeks we had to recharge.
This year, February brought the first snow in London we’ve seen yet. It wasn’t much, just a dusting on the grass and the rooftops of our Chiswick neighborhood, but it was beautiful. And fleeting. I woke up to see it falling in the pre-sunrise early morning light, but by the time I’d shuffled an uncharacteristically ornery Lexie off to school (she was so disappointed it was still in session!), it had stopped. Less than an hour later, all but the bits hiding in the shadows of the rooftops had been reduced to grey puddles. Still, an improvement over last winter where not even the smallest of flurries was sighted.
Our one snow day aside, the first two months of the year have mostly looked like this. Don’t let those blue skies and puffy clouds fool you – it’s still been bitingly cold, but we, thankfully, have not had anything similar to the 6-8 straight weeks of rain we had last year. That was the gloomiest winter I’ve ever experienced. This one has been much more pleasant. (I’ve just realized, all three pictures in this post so far are from my kitchen window. Sorry for the repetition, but the only other windows in our flat face an office building across the courtyard. Not exactly a scenic view, unless you like to watch people at their desks, which I sometimes do, but we won’t get into that.)
We really haven’t been going into central London very often lately, but when we have, I’ve tried really hard to remember to take some shots for Instagram. I know, I know. Everyone else does this naturally, like all day every day, but I still need reminding to post my 1-2 pictures a week. I had hoped that getting a new iPhone would be the kick in the butt I needed to take more “random” shots, but it sadly hasn’t. My iPhone 6 does take shockingly good photos in comparison to my old 4S, though. It’s nice to know I’ve got something to use when I don’t want to lug around my heavy Canon.
Poor Lexie has had a bit of a rough start to the year. First, a boy in PE intentionally threw a basketball right at her face which broke her glasses and cut the side of her eye. I swear, when I found that out I was so angry I wanted to march right up to the school and confront that boy This Is 40-style, but I was truly afraid I might actually punch him in the face if I did. When I get angry, rare as that may be, the redneck tendencies I’ve worked so hard to bury come flying out and there is literally no telling what I might do. Still, this isn’t the first time this boy has physically hurt her on purpose, so if it happens again, and the school does nothing, then I’m sending Cory up there to have a little chat with him. (If I do it, there will be lawsuits.) To add insult to injury, we couldn’t find anyone who could repair her glasses, so I had to superglue them until we can get her a new pair this summer. Needless to say, she’s been wearing her contacts to school everyday.
Then she had her wallet stolen. You’d think having a kid’s wallet stolen wouldn’t be as big a deal as an adult’s since there are no bank or credit cards to cancel, but Cory and I spent two full days last week sorting all that out – canceling and reissuing tube passes, library cards, replacing her house keys, trying to get the school to issue her a new locker because whoever stole her wallet now has her locker keys. Ugh. What a freaking hassle. As far as how all of this has been affecting Lexie, well, that’s the sort of thing I’m not comfortable sharing on the blog because it begins moving into the realm of feelings, and someone else’s feelings at that, so suffice it to say, I’m very, very proud of how well she’s handled herself given the circumstances.
Given everything that’s happened, no one needed a day off more than Lexie, so when her school offered a Take Your Child To Work Day and Cory couldn’t take her, I decided to loosely translate the rules of this excused day from school and claimed my hobby as a job. This blog is not my job, and it never will be, but sometimes it feels like one, so that’s enough to count, right? So I took her through the process, start to finish, for compiling a proper blog post. We went to Chiswick House and Gardens armed with the task of taking less-obvious photos of things. She did a fantastic job with the prompt and after only an hour or two, we were ready to come home and get started on our post.
We did everything – came up with a good title and URL, and then we wrote about where we took our pictures after doing a little online research. It was pretty fun, actually, to show her all the work that goes into making these posts. I even showed her how to use Twitter and Facebook, which is kind of a joke since I am the worst at being a social blogger.
And although it’s not something I usually do, I also took Lexie through the photo editing process I should be doing. All I usually do is brighten and resize my images before slapping them on a post, but that’s boring, so we opened up PSE6 (that alone should tell you how infrequently I edit – they’re now up to version PSE13) and brightened the photo, increased the contrast, evened out her skin tone, and then applied a pretty creamy filter on top. And that took like an hour because I literally had no idea what I was doing. Giant kudos to all of you that do – teach me your secrets! I just don’t have the time to do this to the 10-15 photos I include in every post!
That being said, I’m about to have at least a little more time because I am finally caught up with all of our travels, which means only two posts a week from now on – yay! Who knew that taking nine weeks off for the summer would have me playing catch up for the next five or six months? It feels good to finally be current. We’ve just returned from Sweden and I’m so excited to write next week about something that just happened instead of something that happened months ago. It’s harder than you’d think to do that! Anyway, I really nurtured my ADHD tendencies today jumping from topic to topic like this! Thanks to anyone who hung in there and suffered through all my rambles! Happy weekend y’all!