#atozchallenge Day 1: Appreciation and The Hygge of Hometending

Welcome to Day One of the 2019 Blogging from A-Z April Challenge!

I missed this year’s Theme Reveal, so let me start off by explaining what you can find here this month. 

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah)is the Danish art of coziness. I began exploring it in my own life and home in the aftermath of my husband’s death in January 2018. My goal is to create an embracing, cozy space for my two teens and I to pursue our separate passions and connect with each other before they move off into their adult lives.

I’m pairing the concept of hygge with the Love the Home You Have 31 Day Challenge (yes, I’ll have a few leftover days, which I will carry over into May). For a bit of added fun, I’m also using an alphabetical list of happy life qualities a friend shared on social media. This will sometimes require me to look at things from a different angle than I might normally – spring is a good time to shake myself up a bit!

First up is a perfect match: The list says Appreciate, and the 31 Day Challenge says Home Gratitude.

So… off we go!

As I move through the house, I give thanks for blessings large and small – the new non-leaky roof over our heads, the plumbing issues that no longer exist, the increased order emerging in several rooms and the yard, the candles that wait add a touch of magic to a simple shower, and the kids taking an interest in cleaning their rooms, so they will each have their own sanctuary.

 And then there’s the kitchen…

This used to be an area of deep resentment. Not that long ago, the counters were so stacked high with dirty dishes and random clutter that things would fall off if I even attempted to move something.

But today, the counters are clear of anything that doesn’t belong  there, and the dishes…

Well, here’s a quick snapshot I took a week or two ago.

It wasn’t easy to get to this point. I had to let go of resentment and feeling that the kids should be taking as active a role in the cleaning process as I was. I needed to stop trying to get other people to do something about it and do something about it myself.

So that’s what I did. Some days, I did four or five loads of dishes. I discarded things which once belonged to my chef husband but weren’t wanted by any of us, and those which were broken. I sorted others, keeping the things that are truly useful to us, and letting the rest move on.

Now that things are tidy on the counter, I’m creating a new habit of doing a sinkful of dishes each day. I’ve discovered that if it’s just a part of my routine, I will do it without resentment. I’m even starting to look forward to those few minutes of putting things in order. There’s a certain meditative quality to it, and it’s satisfying to put things to rights.

These days, when I walk into the kitchen first thing in the morning, blearily ready for coffee, or when I leave the house, I see a clear counter, and that brings a sense of lightness and gratitude.

My Day 1 challenge:

Today, I will find something in each common space of our home I am thankful for, and something I can improve, so I can be thankful for that in the future. I’ll share those in the opening for tomorrow’s post.

Get more amazing A posts here!

What are you thankful for in your home?

What can you improve in your home?

Share your ideas in the comments!

Till next time….


  1. So that’s how you say that… I’ve seen it a few times but didn’t know.

    I’m thankful that we have a roof over our heads, free and clear (we paid off the mortgage a few years ago). As for what we can improve… gee, what can’t we?

    • It is indeed how you say it! I know, because I had to go look it up myself!

      A roof overhead is a good thing. Ours is free and clear, too – we bought modestly, with a ten-year mortgage, which I am now very thankful for even though our very humble abode needs some work.

      And that last sentence…. oh, do I know that feeling well?!

    • Hi there, Tarkabarka!

      I try to look at the dishes as a blessing – we have food to eat, else there wouldn’t be dirty dishes.

      Also, my kids will be 15 and 18 this summer. I’m becoming keenly aware that my days of doing their dishes are numbered. It kind of takes some of the edge off, thinking of the days in which I will be doing only dishes for myself.

      The bit by bit approach was sometimes mountain by mountain, honestly – but I did get them caught up, and for the last week or two, there has seldom been a need to do more than a sinkful a day, which is very manageable.

      May you find a way to be at peace with yours… somehow…. somewhen!

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