It occurred to me recently, while reading through a beautiful book, that often those who read my writing know very little about the things that make up ME... my passions and preferences, the things I love, the things I like to do...
It should go without saying I love (adore) my sweet husband and my gorgeous, amazing children. I have eight of them (so far) for those of you who didn't know. My oldest is currently twelve and my littlest is seven months old. I have had eight children in twelve years.
If you were to ask my husband and I if we were going to have more, we would likely smile and shrug. We don't know. We aren't opposed to the idea, but at the same time we are content where we are.
I live my life with the goal of knowing God and following hard after Him.
We homeschool. This keeps us very, very busy, and my house far less tidy than I'd like. But life is all about trade-offs, and I assume there will be lots of years when babies don't interfere with immaculate houses. I also assume when those years come, I will miss those babies tremendously and will beg to babysit their babies. I hope there are always enough babies to snuggle in my life.
Having said all that, there are seven simple pleasures in my life.
1) Books. My great love, I have surely spent more money on books than any other non-essential in my life. I am never bored as long as I have a stack of good books. I am an autodidact, and love others who share my passion for constantly, consistently educating yourself with good books.
2) Chocolate. Preferably dark. I don't need a lot at a time either, just a little bit and I am perfectly happy. Best coupled with a book and a glass of wine. Which brings me to number 3...
3) Wine. I prefer reds, but on occasion a nice chardonnay, riesling or moscato is nice. I usually only have one glass, on rare occasions two. Lovely with dinner or just a simple square of chocolate, accompanied by a warm bath, chocolate or good company.
4) Bubble baths. I love a good, hot soak. I really love good, quality essential oils to breathe in or some yummy bath salts to soften up the skin. Very relaxing.
5) Good coffee. An aroma that could wake me after the most sleep-deprived night, most appealing in the morning, but also lovely to sip with friends, regardless of the time. Tea is an acceptable substitute on occasion, although I confess I am a purist- herbal teas are fine but when it comes to black teas I don't like a lot of fuss. I loathe bergamont. Chai is nice on occasion as well. I drink my tea with cream and sugar. My coffee I drink either black, with a little cream or occasionally with a tiny dollop of Baileys.
6) Lemons. An odd addition to my list, I know, but there is rarely an item where lemon is a main ingredient that I can turn down. I love lemon bars, lemon cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, lemon pound cake with lemon curd sauce... I squeeze it into my water every day. You can use it to clean and restore ph levels and so many other things. Just love lemons.
7) All things artsy. I know, it's kind of cheating to be so vague, but I don't know how else to pare it down. I love yarn- along with crocheting and knitting, embroidery fascinates me and I would love to make a quilt. I want to learn to make my own candles and soap, and I love to draw with pencils and pastels. I play the mandolin, and am also interested in the piano forte, violin and flute. I love cooking and decorating and scrap booking and I am a voracious journaler. I could spend thousands of dollars buying beautiful leather-bound journals and fountain pens and handmade lace bookmarks.
And although it didn't make the list, I should add that I love Birkenstocks and flip-flops and I wear them year round. I was born and raised in California, so even though I don't live there anymore, I wear flip flops and Birks with jeans in January. I could count on one hand the number of times in a year when I wear heels.
This winter my husband bought me my first pair of real Uggs, and I wore them every day from the day he gave them to me in December until mid-April, when it was just too hot to wear wool. Then I pulled out my flip flops and Birks (for the record, in CA we call flip flops thongs, but I had so many people on the east coast look at me in horror when using that word that I quickly adapted....) I suppose when it gets too bitterly cold and frostbite is imminent in my Birks, I will pull my Uggs back out. I get an obscene amount of pleasure and satisfaction in my simple, comfortable shoes and the fact that as they get old, I can replace the soles and keep them for many more years. (My first pair of Birks have had the soles replaced twice now. They are like old friends.)
Anyway, the cool thing about all the things I like the most is that they are pretty darn wonderful together- like drinking a glass of wine while eating a square of good chocolate and reading a book in the tub with a few drops of lavender. :Sigh:
Or a hot cup of coffee (and it MUST be HOT. I even heat my cream so it does not lower the temperature of the coffee!) with some gorgeous skein of yard and a fun idea or a pretty journal and fountain pen and the contents of my mind (and possibly a bagel or scone with some lemon curd...)
These things do not define me, they are just some of the things I enjoy. It is always growing, but the list I mentioned seems to stick around. Just thought some of you might like to know a thing or two about me. And if you wanted some ideas for some lovely things to try... enjoy!