January is a fantastic month. Here are my favorite aspects of January. 1-It is a new beginning and a time of renewel 2-It provides for a recommitment to fixing personal mental, emotional, and physical problems. 3-The days are short and the nights are long, tending in my domain to help me sleep more. 4-The weather makes you want to wrap up in the cocoon of your home and just stay toastie with your family.
My January was fun. It began with an extended stay from my sister Christina. She is a decade younger than me but you would think after meeting her that we were twins who were fed from the same umbilical cord and she just stayed and fermented for another 10 years. She is my clone in every way and her obsessive compulsive behavior could only be described as “worse than Jill’s.” So, while she stayed for 7 days after my family left, we commenced on a lifetimes worth of project, most notably, the facelift of the alcove bathroom. This included wallpaper removal, removal of a toilet, replacement of toiletries and faucet, new paint, and new accessories. The end result is smashing (a remodel edition blog is coming) and couldn’t have been done without her help, especially dealing with the kids.
The next great thing about January was that I overcame my fear of the chickens and held the one Lizzy calls Nana. The kids think this is no big deal but I was quite excited! I chased the chickens squeeling like a child until I cornered Nana and gave her a big squeeze. She preferred to perch on my arm.
We also had many friends come visit the ranch where they all got turns with holding the chickens, feeding apples to the horses, and getting a picture on grandpa’s tractor.
I also got a rare photo with Ethan. Since I am always on the other side of the camera it was nice to finally have a picture with the “Little Guy!” The other photo is him in his cute church outfit that fit him for all of 3 sundays. He is so fat that he officially was too big for his car seat at 3 months of age (he graduated from it just this week after being over the weight limit by 5 pounds for months)!
We also had one of the greatest snowfalls Medford has seen in over 20 years. The night the snow started falling down, the kids put on their coats and bolted out taste the snowflakes and make snowmen. Our street is very steep and made the best sledding hill in the valley. Neighbors had to park at the bottom of the hill as there were no snowplows doing neighborhoods. Families came and joined in the fun during the day since the schools cancelled classes and many people chose to stay home from work. One neighbor on my street brought hot chocolate out for all to enjoy while sledding.
This month also was the end of my nursing days. This is a picture of my last stored breast milk that I pumped. I was forced into early retirement due to some medications that make me a more mobile and pain free person (due to my R.A.). As my mother-in-law Rosanne pointed out, it is better to be able to chase after 4 children and be hugging them than to be crippled in a chair all for the fat heathy child to eat gourmet milkings. But you have to admit, when there is that kind of layer of cream on the top of my pumped breastmilk, no wonder my kids are fat. I was able to pump 8-10 ounces on demand off either breast. Yep, I am the ultimate dairy cow. I could have marketed my milk as “Jill’s Dairy Delight” -whole milk of course, nonpasteurized, and definitely “Organic.”
January also marks the month Elizabeth was born. I remember that January day very well as I was induced at 4am while Brian was the OB anesthesiologist on call. No epidural until Brian was officially off duty (he was to be the father not the doctor on this day)! Roger and Rozanne came into town the night before and were there to help me out for the first week. Lizzy came out cute as a button after two pushes. She looked just like the baby dolls you see on grocery shelves. She had a creamy complexion and just the hint of blond hair. She was such a good baby and slept through the night almost instantly. Rozanne was a big help on that front. The above cake is the barbie cake my dear cousin-in-law Sarah R. taught me how to make. It, along with a pirate ship cake taught to me by Sarah’s sister Christina are my only claims to fame on the Martha Stewart front. My girls have now both had princess cakes and I will continue to make them for their birthdays until they grow tired of them. Then, I will be making quick phone calls to Sarah and Christina for sure! Also, no Hall family birthday is complete without a pinata. This time around, a princess castle of course!
January also meant a visit from Steven and Brianne as they were on Winter Break from class/work. Steven saw his incredible hulk nephew Ethan for the first time and then showed us Leila’s new trick of catching snowballs in the air . Andrew couldn’t get enough of it and Leila ate a ton of snow!
One of my friends from church Vicki Russell came over one day for a little girl pampering! She felt that with Ethan getting all the attention the girls might feel slighted. So she intervened with full on manicures for the girls (as good as in a salon). I was envious! Her visit wasn’t complete until we ate the brownies she baked at our house while we were pampered!
Nana also intervened with a little pampering for the girls on Lizzie’s birthday (actually she pampers us daily). She came with presents she had gotten the girls for Christmas but held onto them until now. They were little purses filled with odds and ends that only little 3-4 year old girls would delight in! They had funny glasses, little jewelry, a pen and notebook, a little princess flashlight, treats, and much, much more! My girls still walk around with those purses and LOVED those shades (until of course, their obvious demise from my shoes).
As you can see, January, although not full of huge events and lavish vacations, was a pretty wonderful month! Now, it being July of course, 6 months into my personal goals, some fullfilled better than others, I will recommit this day to do better, be better, and serve better!