In the not-so-bleak Midwinter

In the not-so-bleak Midwinter

I know it isn’t technically even winter. And I’m not so sure I know what “midwinter” really means. But it’s Advent and Christmas is coming and ’tis the season for carols and cozy warm drinks and favorite winter movies like Elf and Christmas Vacation.

The three of us went back east for Thanksgiving (Penny and I had to fly without Derrick and I was pretty nervous, but she actually did pretty good for a squirmy 9 month-old stuck on a plane for hours on end)  and it was refreshing and good for my soul. It was amazing to spend time with my parents, see my sister and her family, enjoy a quick visit from my best friend from college and then travel back to the south to spend the holiday with all of Derrick’s family, none of whom besides my SIL had ever met Penny.

Penny was teething and grumpy and was (maybe still is?) going through a stranger danger phase where she has to be clutching to me like a starfish if new people are around. So that was a little frustrating. But she warmed up to most everyone by the end of the trip, so I think everyone got to enjoy time playing with her.

As with all good and lovely things, it was over too quickly and we were heading back to California before I felt ready to go, but PJ seemed to be happy returning to her house, her things, and her routine.

And now my wee one doesn’t seem quite so wee these days! With her one tooth and her desperate desire to figure out that whole walking thing, and her new (and only!) word, mama (or most of the time ma ma ma ma ma), she is becoming more and more her own little person and I love it. She’s still pretty easy going and happy and has starting laughing and giggling more than she’s ever done before.

So I’m really enjoying this Christmas season and thinking about the traditions we want to have with her. I’m looking forward to seeing what she thinks of presents and wrapping paper and shiny bows when we open presents on Christmas.

Other than our trip home, we’ve just been taking it easy, catching up on some TV shows, and decorating and baking for the holidays (well, Derrick hasn’t done so much on the decorating and baking front, naturally).

Since it’s Friday and it’s been a few months since I’ve done it, here’s my December edition of Friday Five:

  1. Sure and you’ve all been missing my random news articles from BBC News, but don’t despair! The drought is over! You should check out this article about a runaway pig, this article about Robert the Bruce (it’s a really fascinating article about the facial recreation they made from a skull cast), and this article about the history of ale-brewing in Britain
  2. This cookie recipe for chewy chai snickerdoodles. They’re pretty tasty and are the perfect kind of flavorings for this time of year, I think. I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m thinking this Christmas cookie season might need to include these and these as well. Oh! And I forgot I made these maple pecan shortbread bars and they were really delicious too.
  3. T-rex Tuesday videos! As usual, I know I’m behind the times, but recently there was a T-rex Tuesday in Scotland and it was awesome. But there are a lot of pretty hilarious videos of these people running around in T-rex costumes
  4. FIXER UPPER IS BACK! I want to be Joanna Gaines when I grow up. Seriously. She and her sweet family are just too cute. And it makes me wish we had our own home that I could do all sorts of fun projects in, except for mine would certainly not turn out nearly as beautiful.
  5. And I’m kind of out of things, so here’s a picture of Penny with a giant leaf!img_2295



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