Katie and Eric are both finishing afternoon naps, a rare moment in our house. What to do, what to do?

When I last wrote, I was in the middle of working the kinks out of a trying week. So often circumstances which seemed stressful are not nearly so bad when we’re on the brighter side of them again. Fixing the cars next week will still be a hassle, but when I look around me at all that is good in my life, I find perspective and gratitude.

While I was preparing parts of our dinner for tonight (filet mignon with crispy shallots, roasted beets with a cottage cheese dressing, and zucchini muffins), I thought about all that I was loving this week:

* Our battery-operated memorial candles from Nana: we have them on fireplace mantle in honor of family members who have passed. They come on every afternoon at 4:00 PM and glow until after we go to bed. In a season of thankfulness and light, these candles represent people that I am grateful to have had in my life.

* Gingerbread lattes—need I say more? I am mostly a tea drinker, but those grande red cups are liquid joy.

* Rain

* Die Hard, one of my favorite Christmas movies. No, seriously. And it is streamable from Netflix—after the kiddos go to bed. And the husband, who generally likes violence and cussing even less than I do. Die Hard is my exception to the rule. I’ve actually watched that movie more times than I have watched The Sound of Music. I know—what?? Just when you think you know a person… 😉

* My editing client who was admitted to her first-choice MBA program! Wahoo! I love seeing people succeed.

* Seeing my OB from afar while out on Friday. He tended to both of my children, and frankly, it was like seeing a rock star. I almost wanted to call out to him. His car has super-tinted windows for a reason. 😉

* Hot chocolate: Costco has been selling Starbucks hot cocoa powder, and it is GREAT. Tastes just like a cup of hot chocolate from the barista. My mom said that she has seen on eBay that people are scooping them up and trying to sell them online. For me, this product rivals the Williams-Sonoma hot chocolate, which I also like. I tend to prefer my chocolate on the bitter side…

* Christmas organization: our photo cards are here, the “Santa” presents have been finalized and ordered (just stocking stuffers left to do), the kiddos have their Christmas Eve and Christmas Day outfits, and the house is (slowly) getting cleaned and prepped for decorating this weekend. Oh, and we’ve cracked early and have been playing some Christmas music. Yes, it is true.

* Wagon rides, mist or shine:


* My parents: my children are always so excited to see them!

Look how happy both the kiddos are to see their Boppa!


* Playtime in the backyard:


…and two little climbers! Eric can climb up the ladder all by himself (although I always spot him) now, and he also can launch himself down the slide! It isn’t safe for him to do this without supervision, though.

I am excited for heart-rejuvenating family time this week. Kd and I have a sewing date tomorrow here at my house, and then I am eager to fill my eyes and heart with my family on Thursday for Thanksgiving.