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Want to know what we've been up to? Here's what we've been doing, reading, wearing, and sharing! Check out our new favorite vitamins, the cutest baby outfit, a kite that actually flies, and all of our current favorite books.

This year, I want to try something new. In an effort to blog more regularly and casually (instead of feeling like I need to write some huge profound perfect article), I’m going to do weekly recaps.

I haven’t decided for sure what day of the week I should try to do them… before the weekend, after the weekend, or during the weekend? Haha. I can think of pros and cons to all three options. Anyway, today is Saturday and I’m writing up the first one.

What we’ve been doing.

Last weekend, my big kids went out with my husband to fly a kite. This was kind of exciting for them, because they have always LOVED the idea of flying kites, and even tried to build their own on several occasions. Even with my husband’s help and internet tutorials, the homemade kites never flew. So for Christmas, “the kids” (*cough*Itwasme*cough*) gave my husband a fun-looking kite.

It flew wonderfully, and the kids were super happy!

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Henry didn’t get a chance to fly the kite… I don’t think he would have really understood. But one highlight of his week was getting an awesome Happy New Year balloon at the grocery store. When we were checking out, the nice cashier told us we could take one for free (since New Year’s Eve was over).

I mean, what is more thrilling to a little guy than a big shiny helium balloon??

I’ve been just doing my normal everyday focus-on-keeping-the-kids-alive-and-also-working stuff. But trying to make a point to notice the little everyday amazingness in my life and our world. Like this sunrise from the other day. I mean… gorgeous. I can’t even with this sunrise!

We’ve also been taking new vitamins these days. I’m a huge fan already. Before, the kids and I were all taking this prenatal vitamin (the kids were at a half-dose) because it has the right forms of B vitamins and stuff for people who have MTHFR mutations (like we do). But holy cow, I was not happy with the amount of sugar in the vitamins! I mean, my kids even eat unsweetened yogurt, so it was more sugar than they’re used to getting. Every single day. And for myself, I’m avoiding all sugar, so I definitely don’t want it in my vitamins!

So we found a new kind of vitamin that is a powder you mix with water twice a day. With all of the right forms of vitamins – they won’t clog up our methylation. AND they’re stevia-sweetened, not sugar-sweetened. Perfect. We ordered a sample pack a while back to try all of the flavors, and voted on our favorites. And since then, it’s been love! (Our favorite flavors are the original AM/PM flavors by the way – citrus and tropical).

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The big kids went back to school, and Henry and I spend the mornings alone together. We play for a while, until he gets sleepy, and then I put him down for a nap. Though sometimes, he still wants to sleep on me, and that’s okay.

(Though I do like it when he naps in his crib, so I can work on bloggy stuff or take care of the house!)

What we’ve been reading.

Last year, I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and loved it so much that I immediately decided that it would be an annual re-read. I don’t re-read a lot of books, so that’s kind of a big deal. It. Is. Awesome.

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Actually, I have to confess. I didn’t read it. I listened. I “read” most things via audio-book. I listen on 1.5-2x speed while I’m in the car, taking the kids to and from school and running errands (or sometimes while I do chores at home). It’s an awesome way to read because there’s nothing else you “should be doing instead.” And for some reason, I soak up audio books really well.

(If you want to get 2 free audio books, try out Audible here for free. I highly recommend Big Magic and You Are a Badass if you’re looking for some New Year’s inspiration).

I asked my big kids what their favorite books have been this week, and these are the two they chose.

Joey’s current favorite is Mixed Up Trucks. He says, “It’s about trucks that are mixed up. The characters are Baxter, Rosie, and Gus. They dump, cement mix, and dig. But it gets mixed up how many holes to dig, what they do, and how fast they cement-mix. They were supposed to make a pool that was a bone shape, but Gus mixed too fast, Rosie digged more than only one hole, and Baxter dumped right in Rosie’s holes! They had to have a chat, and then they did it correctly! Then they had open swim at the pool! And they swimmed.”

Anneliese is loving The Rainbow Goblins. I got it for the kids just recently, because I remember absolutely loving the gorgeous illustrations when I was a child.

Here’s what she wants you to know. “The rainbow goblins search for the rainbows, catch the colors in their lassos, and eat the colors. The animals do not like it, and the whole valley does not like it, because they love the beautiful rainbows. Well the flowers drain the colors in their petals so the rainbow vanishes. And fortunately the goblins’ lassos zap back at them and tangle the goblins in the lassos. Then, when the goblins get tangled, the flowers released the colors, and it made the goblins drown in the colors and die.”

Yeah, it’s a little intense. But so good!

I don’t have a picture of him with it, but one of Henry’s favorite books lately is In My Tree. It has a soft little puppet owl in the middle, and as I read it, he pets and grabs the owl. Then, at the end of the book, he leans in to give the owl a sweet little kiss. It’s soooo adorable.

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What we’re wearing.

You know that moment when you put on a new shirt and it’s instantly your favorite? Except it’s not your shirt. It’s your baby’s shirt?

Yeah, that. I looooove this… and it came with matching striped pants with little yellow cuffs. Gahhh! So cute, you guys. And it’s only like $10.

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What’s going on on Social Media?

A couple of days ago, I posed a question on Instagram that got a LOT of people talking. Please click over to comment and let me know your thoughts (or leave them in a comment on this blog post).

Meanwhile, on Facebook, we all collectively gasped as this dresser fell over on a little boy, then double-checked to make sure all of our tippable furniture is anchored to our walls.

And on a lighter note, Joey showed you his new favorite toy, a color-changing Tow Mater.

What’s happening on Joyful Abode?

This week, I changed over my recipe plugin to a new format. So the printable recipes look MUCH nicer than before! But I started blogging before any plugins for recipes even existed, as far as I know, so many of my older recipes aren’t formatted for easy printing. Please let me know in the comments if you have favorite recipes on my site that you’d like me to convert to the new plugin so they’re easier to read and print!

I also shared why I love living in the desert. It might surprise you, but I love this climate!

Living in the desert has tons of benefits - here are just 7 of them. From no mosquitoes and gorgeous landscapes to beautiful wildlife and more.

And a new guest poster joined me this year. She’s going to be sharing really cool round-ups throughout the year, finding the best posts from around the internet! To start our year off on a good foot, this week’s was the 25 best Meal Prepping tips.

And finally, what’s going on on Etsy?

This week, I worked super hard to bring you my  new fitness and health organization printables. It’s a whole binder full of charts and planners, so you can follow your daily progress toward your health goals, whatever they may be. There are 12 different planning sheets, plus a binder cover, dividers, and spine labels, so be sure to check it all out! You can buy it as a bundle and save money, or pick and choose the sheets you want, a la carte.

Grab your printable health and fitness binder - stay on track with your health goals all year long! Workout logs, food logs, goal planner, progress tracker, workout planner, and more. 12 sheets, plus binder dividers, cover, and spine labels.

So, this post was a REALLY long recap! It was a busy week! I’m sure some weeks will be shorter, and others will be longer… I might miss some, and double-up other weeks. But it was really nice to write a post and share what’s been going on with you without feeling pressured to make it a perfect, useful, touching, whatever… post.

Writing this felt like the old days of blogging, when I just logged on and poured out whatever was happening. It feels more personal, and it made me smile to do it.

What do you think? Should I make these recaps a regular thing?

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  1. I like the recap! I don’t always have time during the week to read separate posts, so I can catch up on the weekend all in one post (& not have to search my inbox for individual posts).

  2. Love the recap!! It’s the only way I get to keep up with most of my favorite blogs lately and yours has always been a favorite!!

  3. Love the recap! My husband and I have declared 2017 the “Year of NO SUGAR”! Since you mentioned you’re avoiding sugar yourself, it’d be neat to read a post on that and what your motivations & parameters are. For us, it’s no added fructose, so fruit is fine but not much else. 🙂 In just one week I’m seeing symptoms from my autoimmune disorder, PCOS, improve and we are both loving how much healthier we feel. Also… you may be interested in the book “Year of No Sugar” by Eve O. Schaub. Endlessly fascinating! Super inspiring!

  4. I like the recap, as I may miss a daily post.

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