Hello Blog Friends! Oh, how I have missed you! While my little blogging break was much needed, and afforded me the chance to have adventures worth blogging about, I am eager to get back to the daily practice of reading, writing and commenting on posts across the Internet. I've got some fun things planned for 2011 and I can't wait to share them with you - but first, all the things you missed these last two weeks!
Christmas in Illinois
We made our yearly pilgrimage to either New York or Illinois to see our respective families. This year, it was Illinois' turn - also known as my in-theory-laws. While I miss my own family terribly every other Christmas, I accept this trade off as one of the many compromises that a relationship demands. Lucky for me, I love my in-theory-laws and visiting them is always a treat.
A few years ago, Nathan's parents bought ten acres of land in Southern Illinois. Last spring they started work building a house on the land, and this summer they moved in. We hadn't seen the house yet, and it lived up to our highest expectations. Light and airy, spacious and homey, green to the max (heated with a pellet stove!), and home to a good sized garden and a budding farm. Yes, that's right - Nathan's parents now have 18 chickens and four miniature cows grazing on their land. Every morning, I helped his mother collect the eggs from the chickens, thanking each of them for their generosity, and helped feed the cows their hay. I also ate eggs every morning I was there. I am telling you - when you can see the chickens for yourself, know they are happy and cared for and that their eggs are just sitting there, well.
We enjoyed a big Christmas dinner featuring a Tofurky. The past few years I tried to make tofurkies from scratch, but I have to say - when visiting your meat and cheese loving family and staying in their house and kitchen, the Tofukry is the way to go. So easy to prepare, and delicious to boot.
In addition to caring for the animals and eating faux meat products, the rest of our time was spent reading books, playing the Wii Fit, opening presents (I got Vibrams!!!) and shooting guns. It *almost* felt like home.
Home Sweet Home and New Year's Eve
We left Illinois and headed home after about five days, which was great because we had ANOTHER five days of vacation to spend in our own apartment. We cleaned, we organized, we purged our home of clutter and garbage, we (finally) painted the bathroom, and we got ready to host a slamming New Year's Eve party. The party was fun and, since all my friends are now moms, the first half of it was promoted as "child-friendly." My mom friends did not disappoint!
Speaking of kids, Calvin was amazing around the little ones. I worried how he would react, having never seen a little person before, but he was calm and gentle and just about perfect. Seamus spent most of his time trying to stick his nose in various diaper bags. Dogs are just the best!
New Year's Blogging
I couldn't help sneaking in a few posts while on vacaction, mostly because they were timely. In case you missed them, check out my Top 10 Moments in 2010, my 2010 Resolution Recap, and How to Make New Year's Resolutions. As for this year's Plan of Attack, check out yesterday's post.
And I think that brings you up to speed! Whew. Now - onward and upward, to Oh'leven and beyond!