First, thank you for your thoughtful comments about holiday stress. I have been enjoying my month since I last posted. Sometimes it's about frame of mind!
Secondly, Anna asked whether it wasn't time for a picture of my garden in the snow, so I took this picture yesterday morning. We have had three snows this fall, and each time I think I'll wait until it piles up a little, but by the time an hour has passed, the snow is all gone. I guess I should be watering the yard still; we could be having some nice green grass!
I've mentioned my mom's homemade soup recipe. We've had lots of runny noses and sore throats around here lately, and when I saw my sister-in-law Thursday morning, she was also sick. I knew it was time to make some chicken noodle soup. My niece helped me roll out the noodles.
She also had fun getting her hands floury like Aunt Karen was doing.
After my sister-in-law was feeling better, she brought me the most delicious smelling lemony candle for making her some soup. Wasn't that nice? Lemon is definitely one of my favorite scents: it's the smell of summer lemonade, clean house, fresh ingredients.
Yesterday evening, we went out to dinner with some friends and had a great time just visiting. I had some fajitas with excellent guacomole and Mexian Coca-Cola. It was so fun, eating and laughing. And one of these friends gave me my first birthday present of the year, some Godiva chocolates! I love chocolate.
This morning we went to my cousin's house for the sixth annual family brunch on my mom's side. Some highlights of the gift exchange are pictured below:
Aunt Banana started out with the Gopher, which she used to pick up trash for several minutes until it was stolen by Aunt Carol.
My dad did end up with the Handerpants - underpants for your hands. I guess every body part needs an extra layer of clothing at this time of year?
And Uncle Radish (he's married to Aunt Banana) will show up to the next party with bells on - bells on his shorts, that is!
There was lots of good food. We hear next year there'll be food judging so luckily we have a year to plan our dish. There were prizes for December birthdays, and this reminds me to wish my mother-in-law a Happy Birthday!
The afternoon wrapped up with a trip to the theater to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I really enjoyed sinking into this movie, the fantasy, the beautiful boat, the regal costumes. As with most books made into movies, not all the details fit into two hours, but it was a fun family movie. And then, more wonderful birthday gifts! I left the party with a plate of Aunt Sharol's peppermint cheesecake brownies. Think I'll end the day with a few bites!