In the Sweet Sunshine

Seeking simplicity and rest in a tired world

What’s saving my life right now: Winter 2018

Traveling on Christmas Day

According to the calendar we’re almost halfway through winter! While the beginning of this season occurs right when we’re all crazy busy with holidays, around this time of year life begins to settle and we often hit a wall. The calendar turns to February, and at least here in Michigan we know that means more snow and more cold and more clouds. (and let’s be honest: in Michigan, winter actually begins in November, regardless of when the solstice is!)

Instead of dwelling on the bad things (which most of us can put into words VERY easily), let’s try to name some good things. The big or little things that help us get through each day. Here’s a short list of some of my highlights right now:


1.  Morning me-time. I’m a super-strong introvert with three very active kids, the youngest of which is almost to her first birthday. My husband and two older girls get out the door at 6:30am each weekday, and the baby has been getting up at 6:35 lately… If I have any hope of enjoying a cup of coffee and reading a little bit, I need to get up at 5:30. While I also love sleep (see point #5 below), I’m a much better person the rest of the day if I forego that extra half hour and get some awake-alone-time instead.

2.  Cute coffee mugs.  If I’m going to get up early, I might as well include some little things that make it more enjoyable. No Folgers in this house, no Keurig, no boring mugs. Give me the good stuff (my favorite is “Our Best Blend” from a local roaster), a programmable coffeemaker so the deliciousness is ready when I get up, and a fun mug to pour it into.

3.  Laundry Day. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s seriously changed my week since I started doing it in December. By having one set day each week where I do 6-8 loads, I eliminate the anxiety of wondering if my big girls will have enough socks or when the last time was that I washed the baby’s blanket. Plus having a specific order of loads makes the process even better.  Kendra, you’re a genius.

4.  Pizza Night.  95% of the time we are home on Friday nights, and we’ve dubbed it homemade pizza night. It’s so nice to make the meal plan for the week and not have to make another decision (that’s also why we do Taco Tuesday – some form of Mexican food every Tuesday). I got a big cast iron skillet for Christmas, and have learned to make ahhhhh-mazing pan pizza. Seriously like what you’d get from Pizza Hut. Yum. Is it Friday yet??

5. Naps. I’ve become fascinated by the Enneagram over the last few months, and one of the things I’ve come to grips with while learning about being a Nine is that naps are okay. In college I thought something was wrong with me for wanting to get 8-9 hours of sleep at night, and now that my kids are growing up I feel guilty for using “sleep when the baby sleeps” as an excuse for an afternoon nap for myself. But a couple of particularly enlightening podcast episodes from Typology and Sorta Awesome gave me the strength to acknowledge that sleep (napping in particular) is just part of who I am.


What simple things are saving your life right now, in the dead of winter?


It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. -Ecclesiastes 5:18 NLT


  1. Love your list! Pizza night and naps are favorites of mine that I didn’t even think to include : ) I’m also mentally filing away that laundry day suggestion for the future if/when we have kids.

  2. I love naps too and have learned to not feel guilty about laying on the couch for a bit in the afternoon or after a long day.

  3. I don’t have a set pizza night but it’s my favorite food and makes me happy whenever I manage to make it. Maybe once a week would be a good idea…

  4. Love your list! I seriously need a laundry day not a laundry dribble through the week. Maybe I’ll stay inspired. Have a blessed day.

  5. I’m a multiple-loads-in-one-day sort of person, too! I’d rather get all the laundry done and know that I’m just at home or running close-by errands for the day. 😉 Plus, my introverted youngest loves her at-home days!

    • Carrie

      February 2, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Exactly – anytime I have a doctor’s appointment or something on a Wednesday, it messes up the rhythm of our week!!

  6. I’ve never thought about making pizza in a cast-iron skillet. Great idea!

    • Carrie

      February 2, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      Ohhh it’s DIVINE. Not healthy though… but maybe loading it up with veggies offsets the oil that the crust is fried in?? 😀

  7. I love cute mugs too! And as an Enneagram 3 I never used to nap, however now have come to see it as a beautiful gift to recharge my energy for the rest of the day.

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