January 1st – Just after midnight, giving the girls a glow stick each and watching their faces light up in neon green and pink smiles.
January 2nd – Grabbing a single pair of jeans off the sale rack and trying them on just as a formality because I already knew they were The Ones.
January 3rd – Going to see “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” in a nearly empty theater and sharing the magic of 3D glasses as a family. (Natalie: “Mommy, did you see that cat that came too close to me?” Sophie: “Sophie has glasses on! Mommy has glasses on! Daddy has glasses on! Natalie has glasses on! Wow, meatballs!”)
January 4th – [Censored… ::grin::]
January 5th – Seeing genuine smiles on the faces of our overworked friends as we played Perudo together into the late hours.
January 6th – Sinking down into our soft bed after eleven days away from home.
January 7th – Unpacking my baking supplies with a chatterbox Sophie who frequently stopped talking to give me pretend cupcakes and real kisses.
January 8th – Doing an obstacle course on Wii Fit with Natalie who mostly ran in circles around me giggling and cheering “You can do it! Go! Go! Oh man, try again!”
January 9th – Winning the Wii Olympic Winter Games championship with Dan and finding out the agonizing truth that we are great at curling.
January 10th – Making myself a better-than-Starbucks caramel coffee, lighting a gingerbread candle, and plopping onto a pile of pillows to write.
January 11th – Sitting down as a family to homemade sundried-tomato risotto and four-way conversation.
January 12th – Being greeted by all the cashiers as Sophie and I walked into our neighborhood grocery store.
January 13th – Crowding around the living room window with the girls to watch the sunset glow pink and orange on surrounding hilltops.
January 14th – Realizing that I haven’t changed a diaper in over a week. (!!!)
January 15th – Walking home from the bakery in the breezy, blissed-out morning sunshine—more April than January.
January 16th – Hearing the entire theater cheer around me when beauty and wonder won over evil in “Avatar.”
January 17th – Triumphing over the gloomy weather with a silly family Lego session involving swimming pants, noseless sharks stealing fried chicken, and the girls’ quirky imaginations at their best.
January 18th – Flirting with Dan like newlyweds after the small ones went to bed.
January 19th – Bouncing, sliding, climbing, crawling, diving, tickling, and giggling with my girls for three straight hours at our neighbor’s amazing indoor play place.
January 20th – Filling the house with the magical scent of baking banana-orange-pecan bread.
January 21st – Snuggling a sleepy-eyed Sophie in the rocking chair at nap time.
January 22nd – Ploofing homemade marshmallows into powdered sugar with Natalie and licking our fingers with a delicious, guilty thrill.
January 23rd – Indulging in an old-fashioned pancake brunch after a hopeful suggestion by Sophie.
January 24th – Reading Winnie-the-Pooh in a dog pile on our bed with Sophie occasionally dive-bombing everyone and Natalie adding “tiddely pom” to the end of each sentence.
January 25th – Watching Natalie fall over from laughing so hard when we all died in Super Mario Bros.
January 26th – Sitting at my desk by 7 a.m. with coffee, candles, and a yummy burst of writing mojo.
January 27th – Spying on my sexy husband as he rocked an apron and cooked dinner (an expat ode to Taco Bell!) for our in-home date night.
January 28th – Joking with my ESL students entirely in English and feeling that warm sense of teacherly accomplishment.
January 29th – Remembering at the end of a long, hard, poo-intensive day that I really do love these daughters of mine with every scrap of my heart.
January 30th – Catching hail on our balcony for the girls to taste and marveling at the wild beauty of storms.
January 31st – Closing out January with a family storytime, little fingers wrapped around big ones, big hearts bonding to little ones over Dr. Seuss.