7 Quick Takes 65: Coughing, Christmas Surprises, and Procrastination

Christmas is right around the corner. It’s been a busy week of Advent preparation, Christmas tree decorations, and some holiday shopping. This weekend, Joseph and I are taking a drive around town to check out Christmas lights, chilling around the house before the holidays kick into gear, and having some friends over for a holiday brunch after Mass.

But before the poor, overworked UPS delivery person puts the last package on our porch, here’s a look back on the past week with the Langrs!

1. ‘Tis the season for coughing and sneezing

Saturday morning I woke up with no voice and an awful cough. All weekend plans of productivity were tossed out the window in favor of naps, cough drops, and hot tea.

Thankfully, it looks like I’m clearing up - except for that notorious cough that sticks around for at least 8.7 weeks after the cold is gone. That’s here to stay for a while.

2. An early Christmas surprise

Tuesday morning I woke up to find an insta-pot sitting on our front porch. It took me by complete surprise, and I stared at it a while before realizing that it was actually a package from Best Buy, where Joseph did some Christmas shopping.

Sadly, they’d totally failed to put the insta-pot in another box, so the contents of the box where incredibly obvious. The insta-pot is now sitting by the Christmas tree, a Christmas surprise that came a little early.

But I am so excited to use this insta-pot. I’ve been wanting one for a while, and I can’t wait to try it out. I tried to convince Joseph to let me unpack it and start cooking with it over the weekend, but it’s still a “do not open until Christmas” gift.

Are you a lover of insta-pots? Drop your favorite recipes in the comments, I’d love to try them out!

3. Hitting the “snoop” button

Last weekend, Joseph and I set our morning alarm with our Amazon Alexa. When the alarm went off in the morning, Joseph sleepily asked Alexa to “snoop” the alarm.

“You want me to play songs by Snoop?” Alexa asked, confused.

“No! Just snoop the alarm,” Joseph clarified.

I only let their argument go on for a little while before I asked Alexa to “snooze” the alarm.

Mornings are rough, friends.

4. Professional Christmas procrastinators

This Christmas season, I’ve been a professional procrastinator. I knew what I wanted and needed to pick up from the store, I just kept putting things off. Low energy and feeling under the weather didn’t help much, either.

But I finally wrapped things up on Wednesday of this week!

The only bad thing is that all my packages are arriving Christmas Eve, so I’ll either have to have a gift-wrapping party after midnight Mass or count the Amazon packaging as gift wrap.

5. Gearing up for the 2019 reading challenge

I was over the moon excited when Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas posted her 2019 reading challenge. It’s going to be CathLIT. There are 19 categories and tons of beautiful suggestions that I’m excited for. I think my reading list for the new year is going to look something like this:

  1. My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell. I’ve read it 5 times, but it’s fantastic.

  2. Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux, a saint who followed me around this year.

  3. Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary by Brant Pitre, whose work I love.

  4. Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy, an author I’ve been wanting to get to know better.

  5. Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI, the pope who followed me around this year

  6. The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander, I’m reading this with my Well Read Mom book club.

  7. The Spirit of the Liturgy by Pope Benedict XVI, because you can’t have too much of Benedict.

  8. An Immovable Feast by Tyler Blanksi, a conversion story.

  9. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, another author who friends have encouraged me to read.

  10. The Brothers Karamazov, which has been sitting on my bookshelf for almost two years now.

  11. Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset, an unread book by one of my favorite authors.

  12. Kristin Lavransdatter, also by Undset, a book I adore and need no excuse to re-read.

  13. Leisure: the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper, whose work on holy leisure is fantastic.

  14. The Divine Comedy by Dante, which I’ve read in chunks but need to read all the way through.

  15. A Spiritual Reader by St. Hildegard von Bingen, a saint I’ve been wanting to get to know.

  16. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which comes highly recommended.

I still haven’t picked a book by an early father of the Church, a book about a Catholic monarch, or a recently published Catholic book. I’d love to hear your suggestions (and your 2019 reading list!)

6. Speaking of books, you know what I’m doing over Christmas break

One of my favorite secular authors is Louise Penny, a mystery novelist. I discovered her books during the Spring of 2017 and have devoured them (out of order) since then.

Her latest, Kingdom of the Blind came out this year and after months and months of waiting for everyone in front of me in line at the library to read through it, I’ve finally got my hands on a copy. Just in time for Christmas reading!

I’ll be snuggled up with a warm blanket and that book for a majority of next week and can’t wait to see how Penny surprises me this time!

7. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! It’s been such a joy to share life with you this past year, and I’m so excited for all that 2019 has in store!