Happy New Year!


Didja miss me?

I missed you. I definitely missed blogging. Having a week or so off was really good for me though--I had a very relaxing and refreshing holiday, and was able to get in some really good paper journaling, which I've been trying to get back to and being distracted by blogging. So all in all, a very good thing.

There's lots I want to tell you, though. I've been thinking a lot about progress and goals, as one is apt to do at this time of year. I've also been really really inspired by the blogging my friend Rachel is doing at Crunchy Turtle these past days--she's captured a lot of what I want to do. So Rachel, be forewarned--I'm going to be copying you in my next few posts, which are all going to revolve around those subjects.

In the meantime, though, how about some pictures from our holiday in Minnesota?

(You can check out the whole bunch here.) Mark gave me a new camera for Christmas, and I am in the gooey early stages of love with it, so I've been snapping a bit excessively.

Before we left for Minnesota, we opened the presents my folks sent us here. Here I am peeking over that pile. It contained books, wine, and coffee!

Grace peeks over presents
(Please note that my hair is wet, not greasy, here.)

Since we flew in on Christmas Eve, one of the first things we had to do when we got to Mark's parents' house was to wrap the gifts we'd brought with us. Not Mark's favorite chore, clearly:
Mark wrapping packages 2

Christmas Day itself started with a lovely breakfast, complete with mimosa action and cappaccinos (they have a machine, and now I really really want one). Then, presents! Here I am showing off a favorite present of mine, a Liverpool FC t-shirt:
Me with Liverpool t-shirt

Both the food and the decor at Mark's parents' house is amazing. Wanna see some antipasta?

And how about this tree?
Harnett tree

Not to mention, the wine! Both of these bottles were older than I am!
Decanting wines

The weather was a trip as well. Winter Wonderland! It was well below 0 when we got there and when we left, but got up above freezing a bit in between. Always too cold to spend much time outside. Lovely from the window, though. See?
Back of the Harnett's house

And I know you want to see that snowman closer (and check out the power of my new zoom!).
The snowman, Day 6

Does it look like we had a fantastic time? We certainly did. It was a perfect holiday, with no stress, no responsibility, and no worrying. It's actually a little bit of a bummer to be home and face the animals, and the house, and the plans that need to be made and goals that need to be committed to. But I think that is, in part, how you know a good holiday--you miss it when you get home.

Now, for some less happy news--for those who don't follow me elsewhere and don't yet know, my grandmother is dying. She has been declining for a few weeks and is now almost certainly in her final days. She is 98 (would be 99 in March) and has had a long and full life, and she is ready to leave this world, but it is still heart-breaking and I am having a much harder time dealing with it than I would have expected (in part, I'm sure, because it's hard to be so far from home when something like this happens). I likely won't say a whole lot about that here, because it's not something I am really ready to talk about publicly, but I thought you should know.


How did I NOT KNOW ABOUT RACHEL'S BLOG. Good grief. I've been living under a damn rock.

LOL @ Frog.

Grace, seriously, I missed you! So glad you and Mark had such a good time. That snow is amazing and so is your new camera. What brand/model is it. I've really been enjoying all your flickr pictures! Their house is gorgeous! Mark's family is either really short or you guys are tall.

Also glad I'm inspiring you! Now we're even.

Happy New Year Grace! Those pictures are wonderful! Just like one would imagine the perfect Christmas to look like, and I'm so jealous of that snow!

So sorry to hear about your grandmother. Mine was 93 when she died which is a fantastic age, but I wished she could live forever. I still miss her a lot because we were really close.


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