In My House

The Happy Category

There is something so refreshing about sweeping, mopping, and dusting after putting away the Christmas decorations. I know I have said this before and I probably sound like the ultimate Scrooge, but it is such a good feeling to transition from the excess of December to the simplicity of January. January brings a sense of renewal and the opportunity to press the reset button. Further, we are actually encouraged to take care of ourselves!

I’m not talking about setting unrealistic or unattainable New Year’s resolutions, but instead seizing the opportunity to make time for own well-being. January can be a difficult time of year for me if I let it. I don’t enjoy the extreme cold, and several of my saddest memories (loss of grandparents, etc.) have been in January.

As I look back on 2021, I have to say there was much for which to be thankful. Although the world was not back to normal and working in healthcare continued to provide plenty of challenges, it was a good year. Our daughters are healthy and happy. We traveled a bit and spent a lot of time outdoors. I spent some quality time with my nearest, dearest friends. I read, ran, and usually got enough sleep. I bought concert tickets (fingers crossed) for this coming May.

So as we begin January, I have to be mindful to not let myself slip into a rut. So this year I’m going to keep it simple and try my best to stay in the happy category. I’m also setting some modest, attainable goals for 2022 that remind me to keep doing what I love: Run 365 miles, read 20 books, and post on A HOUSE WITH CHARACTER twice a month. Of course I will also try to weave in some travel, live music (again, fingers crossed), spoiling Norman, hanging out with the kids, and going on dates with my husband.

I hope you, too, are finding ways to stay in the happy category in 2022. Whatever curveballs the world throws us, there is usually something to laugh about. Even if a Chihuahua is biting your ankles. Cheers.

In My House

Eight Reasons to Be Happy Christmas is Over

I hear a lot of people say they feel disappointed and sad when Christmas is over. The gifts are all opened, the tree has to be taken down and put (or thrown) away, and our calendars are no longer filled with holiday gatherings.


There is no reason to feel depressed after Christmas. In fact, there is plenty to celebrate about the hustle and bustle ceasing!

We had a wonderful Christmas, but there is still something so great about returning to normal life again.


Here are eight reasons I’m glad Christmas is over:

8. New Year’s Eve plans. These plans have definitely gotten low-key in the past few years, but it is still fun to plan a little something. This year, my husband and I are taking advantage of a baby-sitter back from college for winter break to go have a romantic dinner just the two of us. We will be back on the couch by 9 p.m. and I’m certain will be sound asleep before the ball drops on television. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

7. The major cleaning spree that goes with putting away Christmas decorations. Yes, I’m the super OCD gal who cleans up my tree on December 26. I can’t wait to get the house back in order and organized to my little heart’s content. I swept and mopped a little spot under the couch that I’m pretty sure had not been swept since we moved in. Nearly three years ago. Gross.

6. The endless barrage of holiday television specials gives way to legit programming. Welcome back, How to Get Away with Murder and Vikings.

5. You can enter Target without being trampled alive.

4. Weekends can be weekends again. Holiday parties and preparations are fun, but oh-so-time-consuming.

3. Days get longer. I realize this happens on December 21, not Christmas itself, but there is something so inspiring about the fact that the days are now going to get longer instead of darker and darker.

2. Spring coming.

1. Plans for the upcoming year. I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but it is fun to anticipate what 2016 will bring. I hope it will bring a few opportunities to travel, and some organization to my Tupperware cupboard.