Family, Family Fun, Life Lately, Monthly Recap, Sentence A Day

Finally, Some Back Relief + a Return to Running! {February in a Sentence a Day}

If you’re new around these parts, this monthly series is an exercise in brevity as I try (but not very hard) to summarize each day of our month in one sentence. (Also, I’ve been taking a picture of my daughter – and now my son, too – every day since they were born, and this is a GREAT place for me to share several of those photos!). Although I’ve almost always included the photo at the top of its corresponding day, the daily captions of what we did and the photos often do not match. (Just to clarify!)

Thanks to the wonderful Rebecca Jo for the post idea!

Note: There are some affiliate links below, which help support To Love and To Learn.

Friday 2/1 – It was a good thing we had a fun little lunch date with Matt at Sam’s Club because the grocery trip quickly went downhill once he left, as the baby decided to start screaming at the top of his lungs, and I made a rookie mistake by leaving the pacifier at home. Basically I ended up trying to prop the baby up to sit in the front of the cart (which lasted about 7 happy minutes) before having to carry him on my hip for the majority of the grocery haul.

Saturday 2/2 – We drove down to Bountiful midday for some plans we had, which started with my mom and I going to the fabric store to pick out some material to reupholster our piano bench and a few couch cushions, as well as some plastic vinyl to cover the two new (to us) kitchen chairs we got. After, Matt’s parents watched our kids so we could go out on a date to the temple and then out for Chinese food (his parents had given us a gift certificate to The Mandarin for Christmas). The restaurant ended up being beyond packed even though we got there soon after opening time, so we ended up ordering it as takeout and eating it at the local Target in their cafeteria, ha ha. Actually, considering that we saved ourselves over an hour of waiting time AND the price of the tip, I’d say it was a pretty awesome move! (Plus no one else was eating in the little cafeteria at Target, so we had the place to ourselves.)

Sunday 2/3 – At church, I got put into my new calling as secretary of the Young Women’s organization, and then right after church we ended up driving back to Bountiful for the Superbowl party my in-laws were throwing. We hadn’t intended to go initially, but as they’ll be leaving on a mission (in April) to Hawaii and we won’t see much of them for 18 months, we decided to take advantage of every event we could.

Monday 2/4 – A pretty typical weekday. We went to Smith’s in the morning after the baby had taken his nap, and we had a Family Night lesson after dinner all about choosing the right. Raven’s only been in Primary for a month, and she already knows the songs they’re learning so well!

Tuesday 2/5 – After starting to read Laura Vanderkam’s book Off the Clock, I started tracking how I spent all my time on this day. (If you’re interested, I ended up writing a post on my observations!).

Wednesday 2/6 – About once (sometimes twice) a week, I try to avoid scheduling anything so that we’re home all day, mostly just so I can get a lot of stuff done that I need to. This was one of those days, where I was able to give Raven a bath in the morning (since we’d missed her usual weekend bathtime and I figured we’d better not put it off until the next weekend, even if she’s not the kind of kid that gets dirty at all), call the insurance company, get all the outlines and other stuff prepped for a Young Women’s meeting I was running the next night, etc.

Thursday 2/7 – This day was kind of nuts (and ended veeeeery late), as it involved two play dates and a big meeting I was hosting at my home. I actually blogged all the details hour by hour of this whole day in my Day in the Life post I did last month, so you can check that out if you’re interested in seeing an hour-by-hour (and at times, 15-minute by 15-minute) breakdown of my life.

It’s like I blinked my eyes and she no longer looks like a toddler

Friday 2/8 – Raven ended up going over to our neighbor’s house to play with her friend for a few hours and the baby slept for an insanely long amount of time, so I got a long, glorious stretch of uninterrupted time to work on personal projects. (Time and space to think without constant interruptions? The definition of heaven for me nowadays!)

Saturday 2/9 – We didn’t have any plans but wanted to get out of the house, so we ended up going to the local (small) library as a family (Matt had actually never been before). Raven particularly loved “showing off” the library to Daddy, and Mathias enthusiastically tried to help turn the pages as Daddy read book after book to the kids.

Sunday 2/10 – After church, we drove down to Bountiful to my mom and stepdad’s monthly family party, where we enjoyed brunch foods, making valentines (well, the kids did, anyway), and a rousing game of Children’s Quiz, which I haven’t played in probably over 20 years. We had to cut our visit a bit short because of a bad snowstorm blowing in, and our normally 70-minute drive back home ended up taking us about 120, and it was terrifying (I literally felt like throwing up as we drove through the canyon, it was just so intense). Luckily we all got home safely, and we were really glad we had left as early as we did so it wasn’t any worse.

Monday 2/11 – For Family Night, we helped Raven make a bunch of homemade valentines for all her grandparents, her preschool teacher, and the friend that she’d be seeing at a play date on Wednesday. She absolutely LOVES making valentines, so the night was a total success.

Tuesday 2/12 – This was a day of “getting stuff done,” as I checked several things off my personal to-do list, including picking up some stuff for Valentine’s Day, finally picking out a plant for the bathroom, working on a bunch of stuff for my new church calling, and putting up some new Ebay listings.

Wednesday 2/13 – Had our now-weekly play date at McD’s followed up with a grocery shopping trip. Later that night, I went to the temple as per usual, only to find out unexpectedly that it was closed for the next two weeks. (Bummer!)

Thursday 2/14 – Valentine’s Day! We’ve largely made it a habit of celebrating small holidays like this one a day late to take advantage of everything being 50% off the day after (true story), but we did make this day special by driving out to Matt’s work to take him lunch (takeout from one of our favorite local eateries, Angie’s) and eat with him there, which was just a lot of fun. Both of us commented to each other later how having that lunch together in the middle of the day just made both of us really happy for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Awww…

Friday 2/15 – Raven had her Valentine’s Day party at preschool (which she was over-the-moon excited for), and we did our special Valentine’s Day dinner together as a family (to take advantage of everything being half off AND the fact that Matt could be home with us, since he had his class the night before). Raven absolutely loved all the Valentine surprises Matt brought her home from the store, and we had a fun night of pizza and games together.

Saturday 2/16 – Our favorite day of any month—the day of our day adventure! This one was particularly fun because we were joined at the aquarium by my mom and stepdad, who we then treated to Leatherby’s after (as our birthday gift to both of them). We also made an IKEA trip right after, which made us decide that IKEA *could* be fun…if we didn’t have kids with us. As it was, it was just really, really stressful (ha ha). To round the day off with some more busy-ness, I spent a couple hours in the evening working on our taxes (with my mom helping me), then went over to my in-laws’ to chat with them for a short while before heading back home. A full full day, but overall a really good one.

Sunday 2/17 – A day filled with a LOT of stuff for my calling (meetings, our regular church block, a few hours in the afternoon making agendas and putting together information, etc.). I began to have a dawning realization of just how much time this new calling was going to require each week…

Raven’s first experience with Fun Dip (yes, she’s a fan!)

Monday 2/18 – This was a stay-at-home day, in which I spent a lot of time doing blog-related things and trying to pick up the house a bit.

Tuesday 2/19 – While Raven was at preschool, I took our car in to get the oil changed and to get the check engine light looked into. To the surprise of nobody, the news wasn’t great…the repair will cost us about $400. We also got a firm recommendation from our auto mechanic that we actually keep our Buick (which we’d been planning to sell) and sell our Mazda instead, just because he thinks the Buick will last us much longer. Matt was super duper happy about the thought of continuing to drive his grandma car for the foreseeable future 🙂

Wednesday 2/20 – A busy day, but a good one. We had our weekly play date at McDonald’s with Katie + kids, my mother-in-law stopped by briefly while she was in town to say hi and drop off the painting she did just for our kids’ room (soooo excited!), and I managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Walmart too to pick up some essentials that I didn’t want to put off any longer (like nursing pads).

Our lucky kids inherited Daddy’s eyelashes…

Thursday 2/21 – My mom drove up and spent the whole day helping me do several house projects, including hanging up some new curtains in our basement, hanging up the painting my MIL had delivered the day before, covering one of our new (to us) kitchen chairs with vinyl (she took the other one home to see if she could get it any cleaner before we covered it), covering our piano bench with a new pattern, setting up the sewing machine I inherited from my grandma but hadn’t ever used, and making a new throw pillow cover for an old couch pillow I had (we bought the fabric to make three more but ran out of time). It’s been a lot of fun seeing some progress made on our house projects lately! We basically haven’t done anything inside since about a month after we moved in, so it’s great seeing what a difference it’s all making.

Friday 2/22 – After picking up Raven from preschool, we decided to do something a little fun and spontaneous, so we stopped by Wendy’s to pick up frosties and fries and took them to Matt’s work to surprise him. We also tried out the new double stroller we got from my sister and took our first family walk in months (and it was FRIGID outside, but felt awesome to be out all the same).

Saturday 2/23 – My stake (which is comprised of all of the wards, or church congregations, around here) put on a special Women’s Conference, and Matt was awesome and took over all childcare and house duties so I could go and fully enjoy myself at that for several hours. The meeting was exactly what I needed to feel totally rejuvenated, and I even made a new friend while there!

Sunday 2/24 – With my new calling, Sundays will always be pretty full from now on, and on this particular Sunday, we had a special meeting to plan our Youth Conference coming up in May (where they actually ended up selecting my idea for a venue based on a Youth Conference I’d done when I was younger, which is fun).

Monday 2/25 – I took the kids to the library for storytime in the morning, where I noted the big difference that being in preschool and now Primary have had on Raven—she was much quicker to participate, to follow the directions of the leader up front, to volunteer to do things, and even took the lead in helping a lot of the younger kids when it came time to do a little round of Ring Around the Rosies. She’s grown up so much this year.

Tuesday 2/26 – After talking extensively with a former neighbor who’s now about thisclose to being a licensed physical therapist, I went on my first run in probably over a year, since it was the only exercise other than walking that he advised me to try for now (due to my back). I went slow and only went for a mile, but I was still able to run the whole time, which was a big relief–I thought that not exercising for the last 3 months would mean I was starting back at square one, but I was super pleased with how the run went (and it didn’t make my back any worse! hooray!). He also advised me to be much more consistent in wearing the SIJ support belt I’d ordered (like, he told me to basically never take it off if I could help it), and even though it’s been kind of annoying, it HAS really helped a lot. Finally—some relief!!!

Wednesday 2/27 – At least one day a month, I have a pretty down day (for no particular reason, per se), and this was that day for February. Luckily I had some really good parts of the day–a play date in the morning, the temple was finally open again and I was able to go that night, and I had a wonderful, long conversation with Matt when I got back about anything and everything, which gave me the emotional support I needed to feel back to my normal emotional levels the rest of this week.

Thursday 2/28 – Since Matt leaves later in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays for work, I took advantage of the extra half hour he’s home and went on another run, this time for a mile and a half. It feels SO GOOD to be able to really exercise again! It just makes the biggest difference in my mood.

Even though February was WORLDS better than January, I always feel such a sense of relief every year when we finally make it to March, since it means the worst of the winter is over! (At the very least, it means we have more hours of daylight!)

Here’s to March!

P. S. If you haven’t heard, I’m finally starting an email newsletter, which will include more chatty updates, stuff I’m learning lately, and exclusive content that won’t appear on the blog. If you’re interested in signing up, just click here!

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