hyggelig months. kind of.


What I typed in January:

Since I’m not on Facebook anymore, and I’m kind of slowing down from everything in general, I thought it would be good to start writing blog posts again. When I have time. Usually during the child’s nap. Or one of the many snow days we’ve had so far this month.

I haven’t really reflected too much on my previous words [of the year], but wanted to check in with y’all and let you know what I’ve done, changes, and feelings I’ve had.

If you remember, this year’s word is hygge.

In January, I have:

  • Completed a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Read books.
  • Watched several movies.
  • Played in the snow. And the leaves. And the mud. And the ice. And sun.
  • Stayed off Facebook 90% of the time, thus, stayed off my phone more.
  • Picked up some knitting needles & yarn to start a small project. (Did not finish…)
  • Not spent as much money. I didn’t buy anything extra or unnecessary.
  • Played some board games with my husband.
  • Carried a Rubik’s cube around. For me and the child. (You’re never too old for that, right? Maybe? Oh well.)
  • Drank cups of tea, and warm water with lemon/honey/cinnamon for health.
  • Attended my women’s small group (new study – Armor of God!).

The child also spent the first weekend of January in the hospital; we brought him to the doctor, confused that he wasn’t walking/putting weight on his leg. The doctor sent us to the ER. We spent all day at the ER, and an overnight in the Children’s hospital. There was a lot of waiting. A lot of waiting. The child was happy and cheerful, which I am so grateful for. The times he was napping, my husband and I were just sitting, waiting. I know it was hard for him to wait. It was hard for me too. But oh, what a reminder to be still and know that He is God! In the end, he was diagnosed with transient synovitis and sent home with some Motrin. I am so thankful that it was just a strange, treatable infection in his hips, but it was definitely worrying.

And then there were all the school closings! And unexpected snow days! And more rest. And sledding and snowmen and catching snowflakes with our tongues. And as quickly as the snow came, it melted away to 50 degree, rainy days. Only to snow again the following week. Crazy. When I was a child, I always wished I was in a place where the weather was different nearly every day. …..I think I got my wish!

Along with this, I have been feeling a shift inside myself. The more I dive into God’s Word, the more the world I live in breaks apart into tiny pieces and fades away because the things we see just don’t matter. The colors we have chosen to paint our walls with, the dishes we use, the clothes we have, the decorations (or lack of) on the front door, the cars we drive, our jobs, it just shatters into pieces….. replaced with a blanket of white. A blanket of peace and truth and grace. God. These…. things don’t matter. I need to remind myself of this. I need to remember this. I need to remember this that I had remembered and held onto just a few short years ago. Shed myself of the expectations that others… and let’s face it.. our selves.. have placed on us. Mascara has been tossed in the garbage. No more of that. You’re getting me, stripped down. Focused on taking care of my body, simplicity, etc. etc. Not sure how to put this into words.

What I typed in February:

Well. After that last thought in my previous paragraph, I stepped away from writing this post and there was another shift. A not so good one. I went back on Facebook a little bit this month. I started falling into discontentment again. The child got sick, I got sick (flu + pneumonia, actually, for the first time ever). Husband got sick. I fell behind in my housekeeping, my work, my schoolwork, my bible study, life in general. Right now, I feel like I’m swimming against the current, more and more things piling up. More bills. More sickness. More repairs needed. More messes. The further forward I go, the more I feel like I’m slipping back. I’m in a slump right now. Just feeling blah. I am overwhelmed and worn down. Trying to do everything at once. Trying to keep up. Not sure where to begin. Trying to shake this feeling that life has been consistently falling apart ever since we moved to Kentucky. There has been so much good in our lives, but I am constantly blinded by all that is not good. Trying to push that aside and just focus on the good. I don’t know. Februaries have never been my favorite months.

Now, it is March. Today:

One week in this month and I already feel a lot better than I did in February. Still coughing, and my own health not feeling 100%, but not as bad as it was. Someone rear-ended me the other day when leaving work, so that was fun (not). At that point, I was nearly numb to the incident because, well, let’s just keep adding more stuff to my plate, right? There’s nothing I can do but react calmly, and deal. January was definitely hygge. February, not so much. March? We’ll see. I do feel that positive shift coming back, though. I no longer feel behind in life. I have been writing down all my thoughts and plans for this month in lists and calendars. Things feel a little more organized again. It was 60 degrees a couple days ago and the following morning, we woke up to snow on the ground. Kentucky weather is funny. It keeps me on my toes. Life keeps me on my toes.

books read so far:

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner
There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda McGurk
The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well by Louisa Thomsen Brits
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch
Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Soderberg
Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
Moo by Sharon Creech
…and of course, Llama Llama Red Pajama and God Bless You, And Good Night.

movies watched so far:

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
Moonlight (2016)
Spotlight (2015)
Get Out (2017)
Dunkirk (2017)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Semi-Pro (2008)

How has your year been so far?

Much love, Laura

Getting the RV Ready for Winter!

Although it was fifty degrees and rainy today, we hit below freezing temperatures last week — it was like Februrary in early November. Too cold, too early. We had to quickly get the RV prepped for colder weather. We knew that winter in the RV would be a challenge — we were just hoping that winter wouldn’t be too long this year. Chicago winters can be long and snowy, but Kentucky winters are typically not as cold and have less snow. Unfortunately, I think we’re in for a long, cold winter. Our budget is also pretty tight right now as we’re still getting settled with everything.

So here’s what we did:

1) Dropped about $100 on 25 bales of straw and stacked them under the RV for insulation.

This was our biggest expense and the most time-consuming (Kyle spent about two hours stacking and packing the straw). The purpose of this was to block out all the cold wind that blows under the trailer and keep the floor temperatures a bit warmer. I honestly don’t know if it’s making a difference (the weather has warmed up since we got the bales), but I think it really helps.

2) Plastic sheeting on some of the windows.

Just like most people do in their houses.

3) Spicket insulation cap over city water hookup. 

We disconnected city water and filled our holding tank. The water in the holding tank is still very cold, but at least there aren’t any hoses hooked up that could freeze. And of course, our hot water heater works fine (when one of us dares to go outside to turn it on). We need to fill the thirty-gallon holding tank about once a week; that’s not a big deal….. at least for me. Kyle is the one that goes outside to take care of everything (oh, how thankful I am for him)!

4) Wrapped all grey and black water piping outside with fiberglass insulation wrap.

5) Plastic sheeting around slide-out seam to prevent drafts.

Our slide-out seams were soooo drafty! If you put your hand over a seam, you could feel the cold air blowing in. The plastic sheeting helps keep the cold air out and the warm air in!

6) Stick-on door gap insulation on ‘front’ door to block drafts.

Our front door was also incredibly drafty — and you could see the outside light coming in through the cracks. A little bit of gap insulation was an easy fix to the problem.

7) Put stick-on insulation around outdoor cubby holes.

All the little doors outside that lead to little cubby holes/storage spaces are also places for cold air to seep in and warm air to escape. Insulating them made us feel better.

8) Use a space heater.

Space heaters are helpful for heating small spaces when you have enough power to handle them. We did use space heaters for a bit, but unfortunately, the 110 outlet we are hooked up to cannot handle too much wattage (in addition to heat lamp for farm animals). A 220 outlet (as found is RV parks) can handle a space heater just fine.

9) Stock up on propane gas.

We do have a heating system throughout the RV that works well. However, since the RV itself is generally poorly insulated, the heater works harder to keep the heat in and we run out of propane gas a couple times a week. It’s a pain. All the steps we took to insulate the RV helped a lot, but it’s not completely airtight. Fortunately, we keep back-up tanks of propane on hand so we’re never completely out of propane while in the process of filling up another tank. Soooo thankful for the farm stores around here that fill up propane tanks!

10) Layers, layers, layers! More clothes! More blankets!

Layering up is key. If you can keep yourself warm (even in a regular house), you can cut back on heating costs. We’ve worn sweatshirts and slippers to bed, while wrapped in layers of fleece blankets. It’s sooo cozy, especially with snuggling cats. Consuming plenty of warm drinks and foods is also soothing (and the heat from the stove is nice).

So… that’s what we’ve done and we’re hoping it will be enough!

Winter, we’re ready for you!!