Saturday Traditions & Lazy Sundays

EJFP ChaptersIt’s a rainy Sunday here in Metro-Detroit. A gray, calm, quiet Sunday. This weather makes me feel cozy and happy. It’s a time to just sit back and relax, to not worry about a growing to-do list, to enjoy and recharge.

Yesterday was a more productive day, a little more active than usual. After spending the morning watching Netflix with Justin on the couch, I decided to make a menu for dinner with my parents. Usually, we make the quarter-mile trek to their house, for whatever meal my mother has chosen that weekend, but when she texted to see if we were coming over I decided to instead extend the invite for them to come our way. She seemed excited to not have to think about dinner for the day, and I was excited to get creative myself.

I spent some time on Pinterest, thinking of things to make. While brewing my second cup of coffee, I looked at the Detroit Red Wings game schedule on our fridge and suddenly I felt inspired. Hockey Snacks! A tradition in our family that occurs several times each winter, a variety of appetizer type of foods sprawled out on the coffee table in the living room while we watch a hockey game together. It’s one of my favorite family traditions. I had never been behind the scenes for a hockey snack dinner, so I was pumped to take it on. I searched for over an hour to assemble my menu and grocery list.

I came home from my pilgrimage to Kroger to a clean house. Justin had spent the hour making sure the house was clean and presentable for my parents to arrive in a few hours. All I had to worry about was the menu. I started with dessert and worked my way backwards through the list of appetizers. Making up my own rules as I went. Three hours later I was 3 episodes of One Tree Hill deep, out of counter space, and my parents were walking through the front door. I went non-stop for over three hours and was baffled by how much organization it took to pull it off, but it was all done: Taco Pie Rolls, Meatball Bombs, Baked Potato Slices, Mini Italian Subs, Banana Bread Muffins, and Mini Apple Pies. I was impressed with myself. I still am, quite frankly. I gave my mom props for pulling this off several times during the hockey season, it’s quite a feat!

We spent our evening snacking, watching hockey, chatting, playing with Bruno, and relaxing. I was very grateful to have the ability to host my parents so my mom could have a day off. I even sent them home with leftovers so Dad had Sunday dinner. I went to bed shortly after they left, exhausted but happy.

So, for today, I am grateful for this gray Sunday. I spent my morning tracking my friend who was running the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon, watching Sunday Today and Meet the Press, sipping on coffee, and snuggling with my puppy. I have my laundry going, a clean kitchen, and full fridge as I continue along my lazy Sunday path. Go ahead and rain, Mother Nature, I’m loving it!

The New Normal: Pause 

It’s a quiet Sunday at the Paff household. It’s a chilly, rainy, gray day outside and we all seem incredibly content to remain in cozy positions easing in and out of naps. I have a snoozing puppy wedged between myself and the back of the couch, a husband next to us snoozing in the lazy boy, and two cats snoozing close by. The front window is cracked just enough to bring in some fresh air and noise from the outside world. It’s like the universe put us on pause for the day. 

  
There is a long list of things that I should be doing today. I should be getting the laundry started, I should be making a grocery list for tomorrow, let’s be honest, I should be grocery shopping today, I should be bringing in all of the boxes in my car so we can start packing for our move in six weeks. Chances are I might get to a couple of those things later today but for now I’m going to enjoy the stillness in my house. I am going to enjoy quiet moments of calm amongst the chaos that has been swirling around our lives lately. We are on pause. 

Justin had ten appointments at the hospital last week. Ten appointments packed within four trips to Ann Arbor for the week. It quickly became overwhelming for both of us. They have told us that the next two to three weeks will be the craziest for us in terms of coming and going, and afterward things will become more regular as he starts treatment. I think they managed to pack those two to three weeks into one week, as the next seven days are seemingly empty in comparison, with only one appointment on the books. This will be the first time I will be working a full week since the end of January. I will have five whole days to focus on work and gearing up for the two big things that are just around the corner: clinical trial treatment starting and moving. Justin will be able to rest, play video games, and focus on conserving his energy for the first two days of his treatment starting. 

We are on pause. 

Yesterday, I spent the day with my mom, we had breakfast and then spent the rest of the day preparing my grandmother’s house for moving and an upcoming estate sale. While we were eating breakfast I was telling her about what our week was like and in the middle of talking I looked up from my plate and just said: 

“I’m not dealing with this as well as I have before.” 

“No, you’re not.” 

We smiled and kept on talking. It was that moment that gave me some clarity. 

No, I wasn’t dealing with it in the same way I have before. It’s harder this time, it’s different, bigger, more difficult, and the third time. The first time we just powered through, the second time we were more angry but we knew how to cope, we were more prepared. This time is kind of like Charlie Brown kicking Lucy’s football. Eventually we will get the football on the other side of the field but in the meantime we are taking everything as it comes. I’ve accepted the fact that I won’t be able to control everything, that I will have to ask for help from people I trust, I will cry at inopportune times, and I will have to stop feeling guilty for having to ask for time off and for being not my usual self. I will use the moments when we can pause to recharge and gear up for when I feel like I’m not “dealing” well. Life isn’t convenient and I can’t control everything. My job is to support Justin. End of story. That, I can do. 

Today is a pause day. Puppy snores and cuddles are calling me. 

On Sundays We Wear Pajamas

Congratulations Sunday, you’ve moved up in the ranks. My seething hatred for everything about you has subsided and I have found a way to love you once again!

I am a creature of habit. I need structure and consistency in my life, which, I imagine, isn’t that novel of a concept. Sundays used to represent “the day before” going back to reality- a fast forward end to your weekend that never holds the same sanctuary that Saturday brought front and center. Somehow, over the last few months I have had the opportunity to create my own routine on Sundays, a routine that is so wonderfully lazy that it has brought me comfort and helped me prepare for the week ahead.

Saturdays are filled with family, if Justin is not working we make the time to spend part of the day together, sometimes that means we just fall back asleep in the living room shortly after waking up, other times that means a delicious breakfast of eggs on toast followed with hours of movies or our favorite TV shows and sometimes that means we have some time on our own before coming together for dinner with my parents. Saturdays are for us.

Sundays are usually for me. I put on an (almost) acceptable version of my pajamas, make myself a cup of coffee and go through my line up of preparing for the week while getting my fill of news and guilty pleasure TV. With my small coffee mug full of Gevalia cappuccino I grab my recipe notebook and sit down to watch Meet the Press while making my grocery list for the week. I enjoy Meet the Press, Chuck Todd has the ability to bring you all of the pertinent information regarding politics and what’s happening in Washington in an engaging and interesting way – the round table portion of the show is my favorite. I’m a sucker for engaging conversations with opposing viewpoints, that’s how democracy is supposed to work! Meet the Press feeds my inner political nerd and makes me feel like I’ve accomplished some geniusness on a Sunday morning. In an effort to keep the ball bouncing between something to feed my brain and something to feed my soul, I move from politics to a couple of hours of In the Kitchen with David on QVC. Rarely do I actually purchase anything from the show, but it helps spark my food planning for the week and fosters my creativity in continuing my grocery list. One thing that I’ve noticed about these two choices is that both shows are live and have consistent hosts with a rotating list of guests. It makes me feel useful with my time, there are things to learn from the new people each week, I’m not just sitting on the couch watching endless episodes on Netflix. Don’t worry though, that comes later. When I’ve had my fill of my second nerdy routine of the day I typically put on my manager hat and start putting together my to-do list for the week and get a jump on it by writing my weekly e-mail to my team, putting together the agenda for our Monday meeting and looking at my calendar. Going through this routine makes me feel accomplished, informed, and prepared to start my week. The rest of my day varies, but it ranges from load after load of laundry to napping to prepping lunches for the week.

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To some my Sundays are lazy, nerdy and just plain silly. That’s fine. For me, my Sundays are the recharge. The day when I get to be quiet and prepare for the week ahead. When I’m with my team on Monday morning sharing the details of our weekend, I rarely have anything exciting to share, and to me, that’s making Sunday one of my favorite days of the week.

No expectations, no schedule, just me and my house full of animals getting nerdy.