Back to reality! I am blundering around warming up after an amazing week-and-a-half vacation. I contemplated blogging during my break, but I really wanted to sleep, spend time with L, my friends, and family, and just to relax. I needed some time to decompress and have fun. Fortunately, that means all sorts of good stuff to catch up on!
+ Our first Christmas actually took place on the 20th at my mom’s house. She has started a tradition of doing a big appetizer buffet, which I love. She also does a great job of decorating her mantle with her giant collection of Santas. We had so much fun with her and her boyfriend and their dog! Among my other beautiful gifts, I’m excited about my new leather riding boots and L’s new firepit!
+ On Christmas Eve, we went to my dad’s house for our traditional meal. I shared our Christmas Eve Menu, which we stuck to — other than him making a Swiss corn dish. It was delicious, and I donned a pair of reindeer antlers and put Santa hats on both L and my dad for the evening. We watched Christmas movies and were in bed by 11:00. I woke them up We all woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 7:00 on Christmas morning to open presents. Dad loved the Roku we got him, and I got some beautiful new bedding and L got a croquet set. So many wonderful gifts, and so much wonderful family time! We had brunch before departing for Christmas #3
+ We spent the rest of Christmas Day with L’s family a few miles away. We swapped gifts — I got a gorgeous cherry wood salad bowl and some other things — before eating a lovely Christmas dinner and drinking lots of Chilean wine. L’s family is much more traditional about Christmas than mine is, but I really enjoy the contrast. I get to enjoy the traditions I grew up with and I get to experience his family’s traditions. The best of both worlds! 🙂
+ Throughout the break, we got to reconnect with some of our friends who were in for the holidays or who we just don’t get to see very often. My friend Sara joined us for lunch at my favorite Thai place in the area, then we joined L’s college friend Kelly and her husband and friends for a few drinks downtown. We spent a night watching football and playing board games with the Hodgson clan (three brothers and their significant others whom we hang out with), Kelly and her husband came over for a Mario Party marathon, we went to trivia, we went on another bar tour, and we watched more football. We don’t get to see many of our friends frequently since everyone is so busy and has such different schedules, so it was awesome to spend time with them.
+ Since I got beautiful new bedding, I started to redo our bedroom. I went with Cumberland Fog and I’m so thrilled with how it turned out. The bedding is 100% cotton, making it breathable and warm. Much to my delight, L loves the new color and new bedding — or maybe he just likes how happy it makes me! All I have left to do is buy new window treatments, refinish my jewelry board, and hang some artwork. In the homestretch!
+ The week after Christmas, I decided to overhaul my diet and exercise regimen. I’ve majorly plateaued since starting my job in September, and it’s making me really unhappy. Our refrigerator was empty, so we restocked it with fresh produce and I’ve been cooking us healthy, delicious meals. I also joined a January DietBet since I had so much luck with it last year. I’ve actually already lost 5.4 lbs!
+ For New Year’s Eve, L and I decided to keep it quiet and calm. I made us a tasty curry dinner and we tried out his new firepit (in 19 degree weather). We have some things to learn about building fires, but all in all, it was very successful. We ended up toasting to 2015 inside the door to our backyard with our elliptical in the background. Nonetheless, it was romantic, and I’m so grateful to be spending yet another year with L.
+ The last few days of vacation have been blissfully low-key. Friday, we went out with the Hodgson clan to try out some bars that they hadn’t been to, then on Saturday, we went over to their house to watch the Steelers game. Yesterday, L and I bummed around and enjoyed our last day of vacation…
All in all, it was a fantastic way to spend the holidays and to ring in the new year. I am so lucky to be surrounded by friends and family who love me. I’m especially grateful for all of the people who follow this little blog of mine, and who touch my life in such a positive way. Thank you!