Monday, January 1, 2018

December + Year's End

December was a unique month because it was only the second time in just over three years that our family has spent an entire calendar month in Alabama.  We were able to welcome Christmas and send the old year off in our home state, and we are thankful for that.

December 1 - Firing up the grill for birthday hamburgers for my Dad

It's been awhile since K.J. fired up a grill in December.

December 2 - E.P. and E.P. (We had a surprising number of family birthdays to celebrate this month.)

December 3 - Mother/Daughter Shopping Trip

December 4 - Christmas at T's House

December 5 - Chuck E. Cheese Fun

December 6 - Bosom Friends

K.J. and I were talking last night about how strange it feels to be surrounded by people who have known us through all the events of our past lives.  

December 7 - A Christmas-y Scene

December 8 - Candlelight Chili (highly recommend)

December 9 - Back in the Land of Blue Bell

December 10 - It's hard to get a family photo.

December 11 - Dinner with the Richardsons

Last time we were home was for their wedding.  It was sweet to eat dinner in their home.

December 12 - A Surprise Trip to the Salon

December 13 - A Lovely New Bookstore in Town

December 14 - Christmas at Home

December 15 - So Much Cousin Fun

December 16 - Alabama Sunsets

December 17 - Southern Cooking Perfection

December 18 - Star Wars was made for Christmas vacation.

December 19 - A Lady Cardinal

December 20 - The raindrops on the bare branches were beautiful.

December 21 - Worth the Wait

December 22 - A Red Ryder for Christmas

December 23 - Target Practice with B.P.

December 24 - Candlelight Service

December 25 - Shining Morning Faces

December 26 - Full Speed Ahead

December 27 - Christmas Dinner

December 28 - Pugh Christmas Morning

December 29 - Rehearsal Dinner with Old Friends

December 30 - Lots of Time Alone with My Husband

December 31 - Lots of Cousins in Church Together

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Four Autumns

Nearly every morning in North Yorkshire I would begin the day writing out thoughts and events.  I would look out the window of the conservatory, and my opening lines would always be a weather report.  This always made me laugh at myself because it seemed to be a consequence of living in England where so many conversations begin with the weather, apparently even conversations with myself.  So this morning, from my parents' couch in Alabama, I report that it's 23 F, but the high is predicted to be 49.  I'd nearly forgotten the great swings in temperature here.  (That's -5 C to a 9-degree high for my European friends.)  We've experienced all sorts of weather, all sorts of landscapes, and all sorts of cultures in the past few weeks.  We left the perfect autumn landscape and muddy boots in North Yorkshire.

In Paris we traipsed through busy city streets strewn with leaves, tried our meager French at the local bakery, and looked in beautiful shop windows too intimidated to go inside.

We arrived in Florida, stripping off layers as soon as we stepped out the airport doors.  The days were longer, the bread was smaller, and the kettle took longer to boil.  I came kind of close to pulling out into the left lane leaving the grocery store.

Then it was on to Alabama where somehow, the skies really are so blue in a different kind of way, and the southern pines tower over you like old friends.

Autumn, or fall, is beautiful wherever you go.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November, Moving Month

November 1 - Last Wednesday night for Late-Night Snuggles with this Precious Girl

November 2 - A million birds in an early-morning sky on the way to my surgery

November 3 - That Surgery Recovery Life (K.J. picked up Chinese.)

November 5 - Desserts (Pudding!) at our Farewell Lunch

November 6 - Golden Autumn Light

November 7 - Cake-Baking Friends

November 8 - These Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Scones were so divine.

November 9 - A Glorious Sunset

November 10 - There were lots of good-bye coffees this month.

November 11 - A lovely day with friends + a family photo

November 12 - Good friends made us feel so loved with this chocolaty goodness!

November 13 - The Most Beautiful Meringues (I admired them each time I walked past this cafe.)

November 14 - Curry with Tamsin

November 15 - English Breakfast for Supper with Church Family

November 16 - A Rainbow-Filled Morning

November 17 - My foot gave out, so I had to pack with crutches.

November 18 - Windmills on the North Sea

November 19 - Preaching at Emmanuel International Church

November 20 - Fancy McDonald's Floor

November 21 - Trying to find kid-friendly sandwich bread in Paris

November 22 - A Beautiful, Sunny, Parisian Day

November 23 - So many hours awake, but we made it!

November 24 - Santa Fe Sunset

November 25 - Misty Santa Fe Sunrise

November 26 - Sweet Grammy and Ella

November 27 - Overwhelmed by Fall Beauty

November 28 - Festive Mornings

November 29 - Sunny Mornings

November 30 - Falling Leaves after the Rain

It was so nice to make it home just in time for Thanksgiving.  We're extra thankful to have the time to visit with dear family and welcome in Christmas together.