Giveaway Winner: The Round House

The Round House

I got swept-up with the holidays and almost forgot to select a winner. The winner is Jamie H.! Congrats to you! Hope you enjoy the book! I sent you an email!

A Post-Christmas Hello

Well, hello there! The holidays are always a bit crazy, but this year they came up too quickly for me. I had planned to be online for most of it and I was for some of it, but then the days got away from me and before I knew it, Christmas was here and then poof, it was over and done with. Isn’t that how it always is?

We did have some fun though.

Leading up to Christmas we went to Disneyland and California Adventure. I love Disneyland at Christmas but the Boy and Hub wanted to see all the new stuff at California Adventure so we did both in one day.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

We got there before the park opened and stayed for over sixteen hours. Towards the end of the evening, I was hobbled in a big way (like that guy in Misery), but we saw almost everything we wanted to. There is nothing like Disneyland at Christmas! I love the lights, the holiday atmosphere and who am I kidding? Starbucks! California Adventure has a Starbucks now! After sixteen hours of dragging myself all over the park, it felt so good to get a REAL coffee drink instead of the watered-down “tea” they call coffee.

Of course, there were other treats to be had such as the caramel apple and turkey leg I sucked down but I digress.

It was an amazing day. Bliss! I am a bit OCD when it comes to making sure we do stuff but all in all, it was a great day. Tons of people but our fast passes (strategically obtained) came in handy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Boy move so fast but he used those cross-country skills to get us passes for Radiator Springs Racers and it paid off because they were sold out by 11am.

On the Saturday before Christmas, we met-up with our friends for a driving tour of the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. We do this every year and have been doing it for well over fourteen years, if you can believe it. Anyway, I didn’t capture any pics because it was raining, but it was still fun to drive around and check out all of the lights. I made my giant ginger cookies and two kinds of fudge and we sipped hot chocolate while driving around. It was great to see everyone again.

On the Sunday before Christmas, we went to my Mother-in-law’s house. We got there a little late because I had a laundry faux pas but let me tell you… it was nice to be late for a change. We are always the first ones there and the party was in full swing when we got there. Felt good to arrive to a crowd of happy, smiling people. The food was great and everything was very casual and relaxed. A perfect evening.

Christmas day, I made cinnamon rolls and a pile of bacon. We watched movies at home and then headed to a restaurant for Christmas dinner. I ALWAYS cook and usually enjoy it but I was just sick of making stuff so this year, I made reservations instead. We like this one restaurant that is right next to the airport and they offered a Christmas buffet this year so I thought, why not?

The Girl and Boy at Christmas Dinner 2012

I think each kid ate their weight in food. The sun was setting in this pic but that’s the air field right there! We got to watch the planes take-off and land while we ate. It was perfect and a lot of fun. I especially liked the fact that there was nothing for me to clean-up afterward!

After dinner, we drove home and watched It’s a Wonderful Life. A perfect end to a perfect evening.

I think everyone on the planet was watching this movie though:

Les Miserables

My son got to see it with friends but I seriously feel as if I need to get myself to a theater to see it.

Anyway, that’s it from me. I just started my last book of the year, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Murakami) and tomorrow, I plan to just lounge around and do nothing. I do have two reviews to write-up. We’ll see if that happens.

Is it Christmas Yet?

Today is my last day of work until January 7th. No big plans which is perfectly fine by me. After the winter concert we attended last night (The Boy was fabulous), we walked into the parking lot and was greeted by freezing weather and snow flurries! Very slight and it only lasted for a few minutes but it’s gotten really cold here. Tonight’s low is supposed to be 38 degrees which is pretty cold for these parts.

Later this week, we have a little surprise for the kids and then we take our annual Christmas light tour with some very close friends. I plan to make fudge and these giant ginger cookies. They were a big hit last year. This year, my friend is bringing a new guy so we need to make room for one more. We’ll be crammed in the van like sardines but it will be cozy. REAL cozy. Hopefully not as cozy as a few years back when The Boy barfed all over everything. He’ll never live that one down. Ever since that night, Dramamine is required and plastic bags can be found in strategic locations throughout the van.

Christmas Eve, we’ll be heading to my MIL’s house. She lives very close-by so it’s an easy jaunt across town. Christmas Day is still up in the air. Not sure what we are doing yet. What I do know, is that I don’t want to cook. I usually love to cook but I am not feeling it this year. I cooked too much at Thanksgiving and then promptly got sick and so food is still a bit of a turn-off for me. Not that I am still sick. I’m not, but when you cook that much food while sick, you just get tired of food. Period.

I have no expectations for Christmas this year. We’ve been trying to save money and with the events of last week, simple is fine by me and frankly, I think the kids are okay with it too.

I’m not going offline between now and the holidays but in case you are, I just want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Endings and Beginnings: What Book Will You Be Reading?

For some reason, the beginning and end of a year seem more important than the rest of the year. Fresh starts? Happy endings? I know for me, the end of the year is usually bittersweet. Another year gone, and usually so many wonderful memories to keep me company.

At the same time though, I am ready to put 2012 to rest. I know you know what I mean. But does it filter over into your reading choices? While other readers work on their “best of” lists, I find myself considering what my last read of the year will be.

It could be any one of these. Click on the covers for more info:

Flight Behavior

Dear Life

Sweet Tooth

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

I ended last year with a Murakami book and I may do the same this year. His work has a tendency to scrub me of the year before. If that makes ANY sense at all. My brain is numb by the end of the year so stimulating reading tends to put me in the right frame of mind for the next year.

Have you thought about this at all? If so, what book do you plan to end the year with? I have to decide so I can decide on what book to begin the year with. Of course, as fickle as I am, I could change my mind and not go with any of these. I’m just not sure. I have two books to finish right now and then maybe two more depending on how long and involved they are. First world problems!

Also, I have been thinking of hosting a read-along for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami next year. Maybe April? Anyone want to join me? If there’s interest, I’ll get the details together.

The Sunday Salon: Family

Sunday Salon

After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, I find myself not wanting to do much but hang at home with the family. So that’s what I’ve been doing. Last night we attended a winter concert which was a lot of fun. Today, we’ve been sipping cocoa, reading and just watching whatever is on TV. Later, we’ll watch a movie or two while eating Chicken Marsala.

It’s rainy and cold so it’s a perfect day to just crash on the couch with a blanket. I really don’t feel like doing much else. What are you up to?


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