Monday, March 31, 2014

Little Happies ~5~

This week for Little Happies, Stephanie made the suggestion for a joyful pictures edition.  Yes, yes I would love to join in with that suggestion.  Umm, but seriously. How do you narrow it down for a post like this?  There are so many pictures that could and should be included!

1) Okay, how about the one where I was hiking and feeling particularly hopeless and apparently God though I needed a little clearer sign that normal?

2) These have never been a part of a post before, but I just love them.  These are the boys of two of my closest friends, and they are just being everything that boys should be, leading to two pictures that absolutely delight me.

3) This one will forever be a favorite.  Here's why.

4) Right at the moment, I am trying to remind myself why I like climbing.  (It's spring, and it's like I have to relearn to trust the system every year.) But I do.  I like climbing, I like overcoming the physical and mental challenges, and even though as of today even an easy climb is giving me dry mouth.  These make me happy, because they are all about climbing.

5) My sisters and I went on road trips in 2008 and 2009 (we TOTALLY need to do that again!) We pulled off to a random stop and decided to eat our glamourous peanut butter sandwiches.  This bird hops onto a fence in front of us and cocks his head, clearly wanting a bite.  We said hi, but we don't feed the wildlife.  He hops closer.  Still nothing.  He hangs out waiting.  All of a sudden, he's down on the ground acting like he is going to DIE if we don't feed him RIGHT. NOW! (Hypoglycemic, much? I feel your pain, Bird.)

Then, when we laughed and were STILL heartless enough to not feed him, he hopped up and flew away.

Okay, this is really fun, and I wish I could just keep going, but I'm running out of time and I have other things that I should be getting done. Thanks again for hosting, Stephanie!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Little Help?

The other day in spin class, the instructor was helping some new people set up their bikes, and then she asked the room in general, "Does anyone else need help?" Two of us regulars that ride next to each other raised our hands.  She gave us a Look. "Does anyone else need help setting up their bikes?"  We lowered our hands.

Yeah, in general I could use some help.  But in particular, I could use some help making some decisions about some clothes.  I am the epitome of low maintenance.  I joke that I have the shoes for every occasion- hiking shoes (AND hiking boots; different footwear for different hikes), climbing shoes, cycling shoes, etc.  But not so much when it comes to regular outfits.  My idea of accessorizing is wearing black or brown shoes. I don't wear jewelry.  I like the idea of trying new things, but I get overwhelmed before actually trying anything new because I completely lack confidence with that.

Anyway, I do NOT expect you to help me fix all of that (I would not set you up for such a large task).  I did however decide to try Stitch Fix after seeing Steph's post about it. What I need help with is trying to decide what, if anything to keep from it.  I am so sorry to not post the whole thing here, but I still like my illusion of anonymity and I just couldn't deal with a whole series of headless pictures, so I'm going to post them at my private blog here.  Oh, you didn't know I had a private blog? No wonder.  I only dust it off occasionally to use it.  If you are actually interested in reading it and you're not already on the list, just leave a comment or send me an email and I'll be happy to send you an invite.

Apparently they start off in about the same way for people; that or Stephanie and I had a lot of the same answers to their questions, because if you looked at her post, you'll see some of the same things. Or if you want to see them on me, go here.  If you are kind enough to actually go through the hassle of going to a private blog to give me some opinions on the outfits, I really, really appreciate it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Little Happies ~4~

I swear I can write blog posts that are not link ups.  I really can!  I even have one in the drafts right now.  But for now I will be linking up with Stephanie because I want to and you can't stop me, so there.  Also because it's been a Monday (nothing big, just glitches with scheduling and the like) so I need something to cure me of that.  This seems like the ticket.

1) Not to copy John, but bacon.  Really, really good applewood smoked bacon.  It hit the spot tonight after a long day of work.  And, honestly, even if I am a copy cat, bacon should be on everyone's list.  It's that good.

2) One of my friends started a fa.cebook group for all the Midwest friends that I miss so much.  Too many of us have moved away, and even though it's nowhere near as good as hanging out, it's a nice way to chat.

3) That it's looking like I will get to be one of the annoying hikers this summer!! Yay! I have hiked hundreds of miles, y'all, and I have done a lot of hiking with people who are in better shape than me.  What happens is that we're going up some steep grade, and I think I'm not going to make it and they're not only fine, they're talking.  It annoys the crap out of me, but now I can talk on steep grades! Sweet!

4) Here's the nerd coming out, but I have really been enjoying reading some Sherlock Holmes.  For the record, I don't think I've yet come to a place where he says "Elementary, my dear Watson." At least, not it so many words.  Good stuff, though.

5) I really need to get my butt to bed, so I'll leave you with: being above tree line and that feeling of being on top of the world and like you can touch the clouds.  Love. it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday

1) Somehow I managed a typo in the title so that it originally read "2 Quick Takes".  I guess we're going to be taking REALLY quick today.

2) How is your Lent going?  Mine has been sort of low key.  Not that it's bad to be low key; it's kind of nice.  Things are a little quieter and there are little things that are noticeably different, but it's nothing huge.  I like it. It seems to strike a nice balance.

3) I probably shouldn't joke that I have a tapeworm, but I do joke about it.  (I named him "Steve". I don't know why.  Maybe low blood sugar at the time?) I do NOT have a tapeworm, it's made up because I eat a lot. Seriously, I eat All. The. Time.   The other day, I got curious as to how many calories I am actually consuming.  I added them up, and you know why it seems like I eat all the time? Because I do. It's kind of funny.  The first day was probably a little higher than my norm, but it was 2800 something.  I can't believe I had almost 3,000 calories in one day! (It was the first day in a while that I actually felt full for multiple hours in a row.) The next day was closer to 2300. Oh, well.  Apparently I need them, because the scale is not objecting.

4) And for those of you that think that I'm hungry because I don't eat the right things, I eat a lot of protein and a lot of fat. Some of it is even healthy fat (okay, most of it is, depending on how much you object to meat as being healthy or unhealthy. The rest is stuff like nuts and avocados and flax seed.)  Mmm, food!

5) I'm still working on my recipe for chia pudding.  My first batch was okay, but not great.  Obviously I don't need to share my recipe, because there are plenty online, but I probably will if I can get it to turn out well.

6) I really, really need to get some taxes done. I like to get them done and over with in February.  I don't know what my problem is this year, but if I don't get on it this week, I'll be staring down the deadline much more closely than I'd like to!

7) No objections to one or two more photos from my snowshoe last weekend?  Okay, good.

While it was still snowing and the sun was thinking about coming out.

I love the mountains! 

Have a wonderful weekend and head on over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Little Happies ~3~

Joining up with Stephanie and crew again, because I love this link up! :)

1) I'm happy that the temps are really nice today, even if we might see snow again tomorrow.  It's March and such is life!

2) SPEAKING of snow, I got to play in the snow this weekend and it was so much fun!  I slid down a waterfall!  Because it was fun, not because I slipped and fell.  This one:

Ha! It looks much more impressive that way.  Here's what it looked like yesterday:

Then we continued walking down the creek on our way back to the car.  I love the way winter changes things!

3) I am also very happy about the way mountains and clouds can interact.  It's so much fun to watch the peaks go in and out of the clouds.

4) And this guy makes me happy.

He was a beggar looking for handouts.  We did not oblige, but we enjoyed looking at him while he followed us a bit.

5) The blue sky coming out to play!

So I guess it's fair to say that living in the mountains is a big happy thing in my life. Can't wait to see what everyone else is happy about this week!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Rant

Grr. I have this post from several years ago that somehow keeps getting a few views and a couple of comments.  The last two or three are kind of aggravating to me.  It's not that the commenters don't have a good point.  Prayer is beneficial.  I get that.  I wouldn't keep it up if I did not think so.  Further, I think some prayers take a long time to be answered and it is only perseverance in prayer that gets us to that point.  I always think of St. Monica praying for St. Augustine; 30 years of prayer, but he then has influences more than a thousand years of Christians by his writings.

However, I wrote that post from the perspective of someone who has prayed a lot and for over a decade for a particular intention with no end in sight.  That was at least two and a half years ago.  There is still no end in sight. To spend time talking about how prayer CAN change God's mind leads me right back to the place that I was trying to get away from: that I must not be praying hard enough, must not be doing something right, because even though He apparently listens to everyone else, He can't seem to hear me at all.  I am just glad these comments have trickled in over a long time, and did not appear immediately when I wrote that post.  Had they come then, I'm not sure I could have handled it, because I would have seen it as more "proof" that God apparently listens to everyone else and not to me.

I do believe that prayer is effective, that it is a necessary part of bringing His grace to bear fruit in the world and in each of our lives.  I think that He is waiting to pour down grace on us all, but He will never force that grace or Himself on us.  I think that prayer and asking for those things that we need and want is a part of our participation in a beautiful relationship with God and that our asking means that He will respond with grace beyond what we can imagine.  The point of that post was that when we turn to God in prayer, grace is flowing and pouring over us, whether we see it or not, whether we feel it or not, whether we get what we are asking for in this moment or not. The point is that He may be doing amazing things with those prayers while we are convinced that absolutely nothing is happening and that He doesn't care. Arguing that "God can change His mind" when we pray just makes me ask "well, then why in the heck has He still not changed His mind in my case?"

Okay. I think I'm better now.  It's frustrating to have people seem to miss the point.  They seem to think that I am saying that God is not good and that He does not hear, and it seems to imply that I'm not doing something right if I don't understand how well prayer works.* The real point I was trying to make that He IS good, and that He DOES hear even when it seems like He doesn't. I still believe that, even though to this point in my life- to all outward appearances- the novenas still "don't work".

*At least, that's the implication that I hear, and the one that I have heard many times in my life when someone tells me "Oh, just do this novena/prayer/trust in God more/let it go/work harder at it, etc." or any variation of them explaining to me what I must be doing wrong in comparison to what they apparently did right. Because it's my fault that I'm single and childless, doncha know? Also, I don't love God enough.  That or my faith is too weak. That or maybe I would be a horrible wife and mother, and God knows that, so He kept if from happening. People! These lines of thought are ridiculous!  We have to stop it!  There is not always a discernible reason why something works out for one person and it doesn't for another.  It doesn't meant that God loves one person more than He does another, or that the first person loves God more than than the second person does and that's why their prayers are answered but not the second person's. Dang it!  I hate that kind of talk, because when someone's current suffering is not enough, let's just make it worse by trying to figure out what they did wrong so we don't accidently do the same thing and suffer the same fate.  No! That's not it!  We all have different paths, and I don't know why they look like they do sometimes, but I do know that God walks with us on each Via Crucis. Which we will all have, because that is life.  Let's help each other carry those crosses and not add to them!

Okay, obviously I wasn't done ranting.  Let me be clear, I don't think that the commenters were trying to say those things.  It seems from the few words used there that they were working out some of their own thoughts on the subject from their own particular perspectives right now.  Good for them, but I just wish they would work them out elsewhere because it obviously drags up some baggage for me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Call for All Women

Rebecca started it.  Before I use the dreaded phrase here, let me be clear that it's Rebecca's fault. (Just kidding, Rebecca! You know I love you, friend!)  Okay, the reality is that she wrote a wonderful post that made me actually think about instead of run away from the phrase and the commenters made me think some more.  And the phrase is: "spiritual motherhood".

Let me tell you something about that phrase.  When you long to be a wife and mother and someone offers "spiritual motherhood" as a substitute it becomes much more than two words put together.  It becomes the specter of all your dreams gone up in ashes.  It's the story of your life, which has become to try to fill the emptiness with something that is not filling at all.  I once heard someone who was struggling with fertility say that spiritual motherhood was not at all what she wanted, and I thought, "Amen!" and then she finished with something like, "that's fine for those in consecrated life and single people", and I stopped reading her blog for a while (she is a wonderful person, and I get the point that she was making that when you are married, it's not enough.  I'm just saying, when you're called to marriage, it's not enough, either.) Spiritual motherhood is not a substitute for physically being a mother.  It just isn't.

When I write things like this, I often lump infertility and singleness together.  I recently heard someone refer to being single in your 30's to "circumstantial infertility" and there's a lot of truth to that.  It is not exactly the same.  I know that there are a lot of the medical things that I am not dealing with, etc.  But the pain of pregnancy announcements is the same, Mother's Day still sucks, and it's at least as isolating if not more, since you don't even have a spouse to share at least some of the feelings with.  Not to mention that we seem to be even fewer and farther between than couples dealing with IF. Anyway, the point being that I know many single and infertile women who hate this phrase with a passion.

However, as Rebecca pointed out, this is not a call for only infertile women or single women, or women that do not have children for whatever reason.  This is a call for all women to fully live out their femininity, to love and nurture those in our lives and circle of influence.  Even before Rebecca's post, my mom was talking a little about this.  My mom always wanted to be a mother and married young and had 6 kids. The road was not smooth, but now she is facing a transition as my youngest two siblings are making their way out of the house and she has no grandkids to focus her energy on (my sisters and I are in the same boat, and my older brother and his wife have also had to struggle with subfertility/pregnancy loss).  It stinks for her, too, but she is starting to think about how she can pour that mothering energy into others that need it.

Every woman is called to this.  As a single person, I try to make an extra effort with my patients, since that is who is in my life.  I remember that perhaps part of my calling is to pray as a mother might for my many friends that have no real concept of God, and whose own parents were often less than stellar examples of God's love; and not only to pray for them, but to try to love them unconditionally in our times together. As for other people living this out, I'm going to call Rebecca out, since I've already picked on her so much this post, but seriously.  Most of you that read my blog read hers, so you know.  I want so much for her to be able to experience physical motherhood, but she absolutely lives this out her blog posts and thoughtful comments that have ministered to me in so many ways, and I know that they have to many, many others as well.

But looking for and finding ways to nurture the people in our lives is the task of all women.  I do not need to look extra hard to find people because I am single and have nothing better to do.  Neither does a mother with 7 children get to ignore the needs of those in her life and hope that there are some single/infertile/consecrated women around to do that task.  Yes, it looks different.  After all, the mother of seven must first seek to fill the needs of those seven children, as those children are the people in their lives that are most in need of their love and nurturing. The point is that we are all called to spiritual motherhood and it is not something that divides women that have children from those that do not.  It is something that every woman is called to fulfill in their own lives and circumstances.

To steal from a comment that I left on Rebecca's post as I was thinking about all of this:

In summary: Spiritual motherhood as a substitute for physical motherhood, gag me with a stick and then leave me alone to crawl into a dark hole of misery. But spiritual motherhood as a way that all women are called to live their lives is an opportunity for me to discover that call in my current place and situation in life, not because I am single, but because I am a woman.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Little Happies ~2~

Linking up with Stephanie for another round of celebrating the little things in life.

1) So happy for a lazy, relaxed Sunday which included a delicious nap where I woke up feeling refreshed and not hung over.  Just what I needed!

2) Saturday I got to go skiing (always cross country skiing, never downhill) with a friend and then she and her husband took me out to sushi, so really the whole weekend was just nice. Skiing conditions were kind of crappy, and I was kind of exhausted so I was skiing horribly on top of that, but who really cares?  We were outside, the mountains were beautiful, the weather was beautiful, the snow was beautiful, and life was beautiful.

3) The beautiful weather this weekend, minus the snowstorm, that is reminding me of Spring and Summer to come and I'm getting really excited to hit some peaks this year! I just got a hiking magazine last week and I don't read many of the articles, but they had some great pictures of high alpine lakes and wildflowers that had me drooling to be on the trail right now.  Even though I know those lakes are buried under ice and many feet of snow right now, summer is coming, and I will be there.

4) Lately I've been buying these "Chia pods" which I have been loving.  Basically, someone has made a pudding type of thing with chia seeds (you have to like the texture of tapioca pudding, or you'd hate these) and sells them in individual serving sizes.  Last time I bought them, the sweet cashier told me how to make it on my own.  Sounds super simple, cheaper, AND I don't have to look like such a fool for buying so many at the same time.  Can't wait to try it!  And, yes, if it works, I'll be happy to share the recipe.

5) A couple of weeks ago, I was standing in line at the grocery store, and though I rarely fall prey to the impulse buys there, I did see a row of fun chapsticks one day, and the "Mojito" really caught my eye.  It may be silly, but I do enjoy it every single time I put some on.  Not regretting that impulse at all!

Friday, March 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday

1) I keep thinking of different posts to write, but then I don't write them, and somehow they don't just appear on their own.  What is up with that?  Anyway, I'm going to try to at least write some Quick Takes.  If you're reading this, it would appear that I was successful.

2) Today the weather was beautiful. It's been doing that some lately, but typically on days in the middle of the week. Now this weekend there may be some more storms moving in.  They have incredibly bad timing, always showing up on the weekend. However, I am just going to remind myself if I get stuck inside again this weekend, to be grateful that I haven't been stuck inside for all of February.... and January... and March so far.

3) I'm eating baked oatmeal right now.  It's not too bad, but it could really used some sugar... Only, I'm trying to cut down even further on my sugar, so it's only sweetened with applesauce (that didn't have any sugar added to it). It's warm and I'm hungry enough and need carbs badly enough that I kind of like it right now.  I'm curious to see what'll be like tomorrow cold and possibly without being quite as hungry. Although, if I'm not hungry enough, I usually only need to wait a few moments and that problem is gone.

4) You know, being stuck in my house last weekend really wasn't SO bad, but all I did is clean.  And now it looks like that never happened. (How? I live alone.  I hate the inevitable truth that must be the answer... I am apparently a slob.)  Anyway, the moral of this story is that I will not be rearranging my schedule any time soon to take more room in my weekends for cleaning.  Might as well go out and have fun clanging around the mountains.  No one can take the fun away when it's been had, unlike the cleaning. I will, however, work on trying to clean a little more during the week.  I don't WANT to be a slob.

5) Maybe it's the tease of spring, but I'm starting to think of getting a bike.  I haven't had one since my nifty Huffy from 5th grade.  It was so pretty (well, my 11 year old self thought so, anyway); teal with purple and yellow paint splatters.  I haven't gotten one yet because I've been too busy to add another sport.  That's probably still true, but I want to get on bikes and ride outside, dang it!  But not up mountains and not on roads.  The roads wouldn't be so bad except that cars are not so good at watching out for cyclists, and some roads are pretty narrow.  As for the mountains, I love them, but if I want to go up a steep trail in the mountains, I'll hike it. The bike may not happen, because those suckers are not cheap, but I'd like to.

6) My friend challenged me to climb today without using my pinky fingers.  It was crazy, ridiculously hard!  I didn't think it would be easy, exactly, but I thought that it would be doable, especially on a much easier climb than we usually do.  I almost didn't make it up one of the easiest climbs in the gym.  I still can't believe it!

7) I haven't been out. I don't have any new pictures.  I suppose I could search the archives, but it can be difficult to find anything worthwhile when there's nothing specific in mind.  If you want pictures, talk to the weather man and let him know I need some decent weather on the weekends!  Also maybe blame me because we had a gorgeous frost Sunday that would have made for some great pictures, but I was too lazy to put on all the layers that are required to stand around outside in 10 degree weather.

Have a beautiful weekend and head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Little Happies {Uno}

I know, after daily posts from me for a week, you missed hearing from me yesterday (ha!).  I promise, I meant to give you more of a break, but I love this link up that Stephanie has started so I wanted to join in the fun.  I was going to wait until later in the week since the link up will be open for a while, but then I started thinking of lots of things and wanted to join NOW, because I hate waiting, doncha know.

1) My fleece pants that I am wearing right now.  They are so ugly, but I love them so much. Warm. Comfy.  What more could you want? No, no you do not want a picture.

2) I have several things that I am interested in taking for further education for my work, and my boss was very supportive today when we talked about it.  I love that I get to keep learning more! (And no longer have to deal with school, with weeks of group projects and finals and entire classes about things I couldn't care less about but apparently have to learn.)

3) Due to not getting out to ski or hike or anything this weekend, I was good and rested up for spin class today.  During one interval, I was able to hit 400 watts of power... the highest I've ever gotten.  The instructor also gave me a "Nice!" after class, and it means a lot when she does.  She doesn't say it lightly or often. She had no idea how many watts I hit, but she can tell when people are working hard, and when they are not.

4) Kind of happy about Lent starting.  There is something beautiful at times about the simplicity and austerity of the season that I am really ready for this season.

5) For a beautiful day... even though it's Monday and I had to stay inside all day.

Okay, I think that's good for now.  It's getting close to my bedtime. Yeah, it's early.  That's just how I am.  Early to bed and early to rise.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sabbath Rest

I find myself with an unexpected day home.  At least I'm not sick or anything.  The bad weather moved in before I was able to get anywhere to go skiing, so I'm staying home today.  The road reports were not great this morning and the forecasts were for the weather and the roads to continue to get worse as the day goes on.  I do want to ski, but not bad enough to risk my life to get there, or to spend the time on the road stressed out by bad conditions, or wonder if my car will be able to make it back over one of the mountain passes that I would have to take to get home.  Nope, boring as it may be, I'm here for the day.

I may eventually kick it into gear and get productive for the day.  For now, I am just hanging out.  I did "get dressed", if you count all fleece as being dressed.  I'm comfortable, so what do I care that I look like a walking carpet?  I have also eaten breakfast, because who can relax with an empty stomach.  Other than that, I started reading a book, and I have been enjoying catching up on some of the 7 in 7 posts.  I may get outside and do something exercise-y later, but I may not.  We will just see how it goes.  The upshot to all of this is that I have time to write about that word that is so often considered a 4-letter word (in the figurative sense, obviously it IS a 4-letter word in the literal sense): rest.

I know I talked about this already this week, but I think it's so key.  I really enjoyed hearing that some people already make Sunday a day of rest, but I know a lot of people that don't.  I get why a lot of people don't.  They have no real relationship with God, so why would Sunday be a day to take it easy? I mean, I think we all need a day to rest, but why not make it any other day that works for you if Sunday doesn't?  It doesn't matter if you do not have a relationship with God.  What breaks my heart is the huge number of people that I know that do want to know and follow God, but Sunday is only different in that it is the day they go to church (obviously, that is a key part of it), then they come home and immediately go about getting all their other stuff done in the day.

I heard an explanation once of the reason that 7 was considered to be such a holy number by the Jewish people (PLEASE take this with a grain of salt, because I am going by memory and can't remember the source to double check myself and refer you to it).  It had a lot to do with the fact that it was a covenantal number and that it had to do with renewing the people's covenant with God and God's with the people.  This is why the seventh day was holy, it was about the covenant. It was about taking time to set aside all other things in life so that we could renew that covenant with God, and celebrate our family relationships as His people/

We are so frantic in our society by all the things that we have to get done.  Run here, do this, finish that project, etc.  I know my own list is never ending, and I don't even have kids!  I can only imagine how that list grows with so many more people contributing to it. As I mentioned earlier, we act as if everything will all fall apart immediately if we stop Doing. All. The Things! We know that we don't have enough time to get it all done, so we panic about one less day to do it in.

Keeping holy the Lord's day is not just a great suggestion for those who can happen to manage it.  It is, in fact, a commandment.  Like all of the commandments, it is not some mere rule to follow, but rather something that is meant to keep us from harm and help us to thrive in our lives and relationship with God.

As I know I have mentioned before, my parents realized years ago that this was maybe a commandment that we should try to follow.  It seemed strange at first, but I think that it is absolutely necessary now.  Because I have been doing this for years, I will tell you some of what works for me, but keep in mind that I don't do this perfectly and what works for me is not perfect for everyone. For those of you that also make a point to keep Sunday as a day of rest, please share your thoughts also!

1) I have to remember that it's not just a break in the time that I have to get all my stuff done.  It is a time to set it all aside and trust God with my time, with everything on my plate.  It's scary sometimes, but He won't let you down.

2) I have to be mindful of what I am doing.  I love to procrastinate, but I can't just leave it all because I know that Sunday is coming, and because it is not a day for catch up, so I have to stay on task.  I don't always stay on task, but I stay on task better than I would otherwise.

3) I don't schedule things on Sunday.  When my friends want to do something, I always tell them to text me on Sunday and I'll decide then.  I think that Sundays are made for family and friend time, so I don't say no, but there are some days where going somewhere is a lot of effort and other days that it's a lot of fun.  So I try not to schedule rigidly.  That way I can adjust the activities of the day to whatever feels right in that moment.

4) I do like to have especially good meals on Sundays, something that I really enjoy.  It's another way to set apart the day, and since the rest of the day is more low key, I have the energy to focus a little more on good food.  Though I usually don't make really labor- intensive meals.  Where's the fun in that?  One of my must haves on a Sunday? Chocolate milk for breakfast.  It's the little things, people. (And chocolate almond milk is ALMOST as good as the real thing.)

5) In a society where Sunday is just another day on the weekend, it is hard to get people to understand why you won't run around as crazily that day as every other day.  Once you tell people enough times, though, they will expect it, even if they don't fully understand it.  My friends know that as much as I love hiking and climbing and skiing and all the rest, that I usually won't go on Sunday because I'll be at church and then taking it easy.  I help out with some volunteer activities that sometimes go the whole weekend, and I'll usually tell them that I can help out Saturday if that's helpful, but I won't be able to help on Sunday.  No one usually blinks anymore, and they're usually just happy for whatever help I can offer. (These are not activities such as feeding the hungry; obviously that needs to be done on Sundays as well!)

6) I really try to avoid shopping on Sunday, too.  Running errands is not restful for me, and I don't want to contribute to someone else having to work on Sunday.  Is it really changing anything in the world as a whole?  No, the stores will still be open and doing brisk business on Sunday, but it definitely changes me, and it's not bad to be mindful of what you need ahead of time or to go without for the day.

7) I really try to have the house fairly clean by Saturday night.  Sunday is much more relaxing without the clutter.

8) I do like looking at Sunday as sort of a sundown to sundown proposition.  I don't quite do sundown, but I try to stop working by about 7 or 8 Saturday night.  Sunday night, then, at 7 or 8, I will do a few things around the house to get ready for Monday and do a few of those things I didn't get done before.  The rhythm of that works better for me.  I'm ready for the rest by Saturday night anyway, and getting those few things done Sunday night (I usually limit myself to about an hour) helps me be more relaxed and ready for the week to come.

I think that's all I have off the top of my head.  I would love to hear others' thoughts, too.  I'm starting to hear a lot of rumblings around the internet about the topic of rest, so I think we're starting to pay more attention to how important it really is.  I obviously don't live this perfectly, so I'm going to use Lent as a time to get rededicated to Sunday rest.  Even though in a way it sounds like an anti-sacrifice (whoever complained about having to take it a little easier?), it is, I think, a great way to celebrate Lent, because it is about giving up our time, letting go of our schedules and our lists, and opening up a time in our lives for Him to enter in.  What is Lent really about if not opening up spaces in our lives for Him?