Sunday, March 5, 2017

Our Kind of March Madness

{Loving the brave little blossoms starting to appear!}

You know the saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb"?  Gosh, I hope that's true.  

A week ago Tuesday, I went to a super fun game-turned-karaoke-night with some of my friends here, and as I was walking home, my phone rang.  It was Matt.  "You need to get home right now.  The baby just threw up."

Do I even need to tell you that was an awful night?  Or that the bug had gone through the rest of us by Friday?  So.... yeah.... last week was not my favorite.

And the weird thing is, this is not the first time we've had the stomach flu on these exact dates.  I'm sure because of a picture that popped up on my Facebook timehop, and I remember thinking then how we'd been sick with it before on those dates when we lived in Virginia and also (!!) when we lived in Spain.  It's almost like I should block out the first weeks of March.  "Sorry, we won't be attending ____. That's our annual stomach flu week."

March is... just a weird month.  It's the month my husband was born, so that automatically makes it awesome.  But besides our tendency to get the stomach flu, it's historically been a month with a lot of upheaval -- and I mean that not just in reference to our digestive systems.  One March I left the country of my birth, the place I'd called "home" for almost all of my first 11 years.  One March, I got my braces off and went to youth group, and saw this incredibly cute guy across the room, and because I'd just gotten my braces off, I smiled at him.  It was in a March that I found out my first baby was a girl.  March eight years later, I conceived her second sister. (Sorry, TMI?)  Another March we found out we were moving to Hawaii (two weeks later!!!).  March three years ago started out terrible but ended with the great news that we were moving into the base housing we'd waited almost a year for, a change that brought a whole world of goodness to my time in Hawaii.  The past two Marches (even in otherwise fantastic 2015) were hard, messy low points of the year. Times I think about and kind of shudder, if not actually get a lump in my throat.  

This March will bring more change to our family, probably the news that will decide where Jayna will be attending college this fall.  That, to me, is so weird. 

But I've done a lot of cleaning this week, and with that came a lot of thinking.  And with all that thinking came this blog post, to catch you up on the strange goings-on inside my mind.

I apologize in advance.

1)  I don't share a lot of "what I've learned" posts because I don't usually feel like I can ever say, "Yup, got that down. Check!"  I've been accused of not having a "useful blog" because of this, but I'm sorry.  I don't feel "wise" or "learned" enough in most cases, and writing that kind of thing makes me feel like a fraud.  

Then again, I would probably get more traffic from Pinterest if I retitled my posts things like "How to Plunge Your Toilet Without an Actual Plunger."  How's that for useful?!

But I digress.  And I'm here right now to share one incredibly valuable lesson I've learned, so lean in close.  These gems are few and far between:  

If you think you're going to come down with the stomach flu (or for any other reason find yourself hurling), eat pizza.

I've tested my hypothesis many, many times.  My reasoning is this: you will never not want pizza.  When I was pregnant with Jayna, literally every time I ate pizza for something like five months, I'd throw up.  Did that stop me from eating pizza???  NOT ON YOUR LIFE!!!  Every time someone put pizza in front me, I'd go, "Mmmm, that looks good."  Also, since pizza isn't exactly great for you anyway, if there were a chance you would never eat it again, would that be such a bad thing?  No, right?

Instead, last week I ate a bunch of healthy food, thinking foolishly all the while that the healthy food would keep me... you know, healthy.  It didn't. And now that I have my appetite back, do I want any of that stuff??  Heck no.  I want pizza.

2) Remember my assessment of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) last time I had the stomach flu?  Yep, still true.  It did not prevent my getting it.  BUUUUUT!!!! At Matt's suggestion (he'd read it somewhere), I did drink a dilution of it when I woke up still feeling blah two mornings later, and you know what?  It helped!  I think I was the first to get fully back to speed.  

3) Okay, you probably don't want to read any more about stomach illnesses, so let's talk about bowls.  About five years ago, I bought a big set of plain white Corelle dishes.  They were simple, so they'd go with everything, and they were inexpensive to replace.  Perfect.

But they were a little plain. And I've been wanting something pretty, especially bowls because you use bowls for almost everything, right?

Anyway, I went to Costco one morning a couple weeks ago and found the prettiest bowls for a good price.  The box said there were eight, but when I got home I realized four were small and four were the size I wanted.  

So I went back the next day and bought another box. Then I saw another box just down the aisle, donburi bowls from Japan.  
They were so pretty, and inexpensive, too.  I bought a set.  Did I necessarily "need them"? Well, no.  But every time I open cupboard and see those bowls, I genuinely feel a little happier.  Sometimes I open it just to peek at them.  

I've also started making a point to set the table with them.  One thing I think my family does well is that we commit to dinner time together. There are no electronics, just us and a lot of talking.  We fill our plates in the kitchen, usually, and sit around the table to talk.  It's good as far as being useful and not dirtying too many dishes.  But sometimes I feel like our system makes meals a little more "feeding trough" than "festive", and I want our dinners together to be a celebration of coming together.

The bowls kind of do that for me.  Maybe I'm not so weird?

4) Related: my book club just finished reading Shauna Niequist's Bread & Wine.  I'd read it four years ago, but it was fun to read again with friends.  It's kind of a kick-in-the-pants to get you to open your house and practice true hospitality, the "come-as-you-are-and-find-me-as-I-am" kind.  I highly recommend it; I just love her closing words (they're not a spoiler, you need the rest, trust me): "If the home is a body, the table is the heart, the beating center, the sustainer of life and health. Come to the table."

So tell me, friends.  How have you been?  What have you read?  And most importantly, seen any pretty bowls lately?

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