baby open up your eyes

I must say that being “home” has definitely given me a boost that I needed at this time of the year. Although I hadn’t been to my parents house in Illinois yet, I am happy to announce that it definitely already feels just like what Camp Waterloo was.

I’ve been instagraming a lot o my days since it’s easy for me to post photos on the road then upload them, sort through them, edit them, and upload them when I am busy nearly all day every day.

And by busy, I mean watching movies, hanging with the family, and heading to the museum. And eating. Lots and lots of eating.

Here are a few choice instagrams for those of you who don’t follow me, or don’t have facebook, or maybe have just been as busy as me!

My parents’ Christmas tree, which is losing needles but is still beautiful.

Fried shrimp from Christmas eve dinner.

The wrapping paper my mom used for my presents, because she said it reminded her of me (I wonder why? Because I had a bright red coat circa 2005? Sometimes I wonder why SS, K, and the rest of my Boston gang were even FRIENDS with me.)

My family’s new neighborhood! We’ve been taking daily walks around the neighborhood, which has just been a splendid addition to my life.

A photo from the Dr. Seuss exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry! We spent five hours there today, touching all the exhibits, making tornadoes, seeing trains, eating ice cream, and learning about the human body. I think I could spend three days in that museum and still have things to see!

What have you all been doing over your holiday break? I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas and is enjoying some time off with family and friends!


wherever you find love it feels like Christmas

Last night my family and I watched Muppet Christmas Carol after taking a walk in my parents new neighborhood and getting a drink at the local pub. Which was after we went to the Italian supermarket and got our second-to-last fish purchase to round out our feast of the seven fishes (for us: smelt, cod, shrimp, lobster, clams, crab, and mussels.)

My first twenty-four hours home have been splendid, and have included Christmas Jax (sorry Grandma Grace, we couldn’t wait to open them!) and steak ’ems, and seeing my puppies, learning my parents new house, skinning a fish, mincing four heads of garlic, and preparing for the feast.

Today, we head to Costco to grab our final fish, then will spend the day preparing for the most wonderful meal of the year. Hopefully before that feast I will get some yoga in, or at least a walk with Bailey, so I can get to know this new neighborhood that has a Dunkin within reach.

Have a lovely Christmas eve, all, and I’ll see you on Christmas!

yankee swap success

For the past four years, we’ve been hosting a Yankee swap for friends in Los Angeles. A few weeks ago, we had our fourth annual swap. It caused me to look back on years past and remember our four Christmases on Mansfield.

Our first Christmas tree in Los Angeles.

We’re all sitting on the floor because we didn’t have chairs or furniture yet. Those two in black got engaged that night.

In 2009, the hot gift was the slanky (aka the fake snuggie) of which there were two to win!

The 2009 tree, in all its glory and all its Yankee Swap gifts.

2010 brought presents that people were VERY excited about…such as coloring supplies.

And mustaches for all.

2010 also brought another lovely tree.

2011 brought some new faces.

And some exciting gifts.

And a baby tree to replace the big ones that always seem to leave a trail…

2011 marked our fourth yankee swap, and I’d say it was an overall success. Here’s to a fifth anniversary next holiday season, but for now, a Happy Holidays to everyone off in their own corners of the country – I miss you, LA family!

when my baby brother visited.

We went hiking.

Then, there were horses.

I call this “Ode to Horse Bottom.”

Not pictured: fish tacos, melissa’s birthday party, the muppets, dinner at home restaurant, laughing, racing around town, phoenix, kinky, and blueberry (two babies and a dog), the Grove, lots of friends, the Hollywood sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, brunch, coffee at all hours, and “How old do you think I am?”

I love having family around.