Holiday wind-down

We had a lovely holiday and now it’s time to return to count the final days of 2014. It has been a busy year.

Our Christmas eve celebrations as a family went off without a hitch. We had a good meal, lots of lively conversation, and lots of paper-ripping gift opening. The gifts given and received were wonderful, and I am happy to report that probably 90% of the clothing items purchased were right sized. The other 10% … I somehow had brain fade and ordered my bulking-up son small casual shirts rather than the mediums he now wears to accommodate the arms, chest, and shoulders he is steadily building. Two of the three sweater dresses for K were also a bit tight, although she was extraordinarily gracious in telling me that she was hugely flattered that I thought her so tiny. Shopping at Macy’s has its rewards, though, in that she was able to try on the next size up to ensure right fit prior to exchanging.

M and I had a leisurely drive to Monterey on Christmas day and fabulous seafood for dinner at one of the restaurants on the wharf, followed by a long walk down Cannery row to look into shop windows and view Christmas lights. Friday morning we had more fabulous seafood and spent the day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Since we have been visiting at least once a year for the last 7 or 8 years the holiday crowds did not really bother us. Our primary goal was to see the octopus exhibit, and we took our time and waited patiently to get close enough to see the inhabitants at each station. It is a fascinating place and definitely a favorite destination that never bores us.

Saturday we did 17 mile drive in Carmel. Again, the holiday crowds were out in full force, but since we do this drive every time we go to Monterey, we were content to drive slowly and soak in the beautiful coastal views. Our drive home was leisurely without any crashes or traffic jams. All in all, a perfect, relaxing holiday getaway.

Our holiday decorations have mostly been disassembled and boxed for another year. Our exterior lights will stay up until New Year’s day, when we will take them down and cart the whole lot of stuff back to our storage unit. With that, though, the decluttering and organization of our home has begun in earnest.

I have to work most of this week, primarily by choice. M and I rarely venture out on New Year’s eve, and this year will be no exception. I imagine we will do some grocery shopping tomorrow night, and I expect to be leaving the office by 3 on Wednesday and again on Friday. Life will get back to full normal next week.

Still pondering and working on goals for 2015. I have some ideas, some thoughts swirling, but I’m not sure enough to publish yet. Our year had its share of downs, but as 2014 comes to a close we recognize how fortune and how blessed we are despite the losses and setbacks we have experienced. Our family is growing, with G and K adopting an adorable new puppy just before Christmas. The fluff buckets apparently missed us during our brief trip away and have barely left the deck since our return. Lest you think us terrible pet parents, our neighbor did put their food out and topped up the water dish each morning and put the bowls in at dusk as is our custom (keeps the skunks, possums, and raccoons from the deck).

So our holidays to date have been happy, and I am hopeful the same is true for each and every one of you.

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