Christmas was great! This was the first year that we didn't travel (so there's blown excuse number one for not posting-I've been home for weeks!). Since Doug and I will be renovating our half-bathroom in the basement this winter, we decided on stockings only, but you can still fit a lot of randomness in a stocking! My favorite present was a super warm stocking hat with a faux fur lining. It's so thick and so warm that it makes it hard to hear people talking. We ate a lot, we hung out by the fire a lot, we slept a lot. This is my new Christmas tradition!
Between Christmas and NYE, I had off work (blown excuse number two-not too busy with work to post!). Instead of catching up on a ton of reading or prepping VBS like I planned, I took up my dog Lucy's daily schedule which looks a little something like this: Wake up, have breakfast, sleep until noon, wake up, play, have a snack, sleep until four, wake up play, have dinner, relax with the people, go to sleep. It's a great way to live but you get nothing done! I actually did make significant progress on cleaning up our third bedroom which has become a total dumping ground (mostly mine) but there's more to be done before you can call it a proper room with a purpose.
On NYE, Doug and I managed to stay up late enough to watch the ball drop in New York, and we felt confident that 2014 would come to Illinois despite us being asleep. But then things get a little exciting.
On January 2, we boarded Amtrak for Chicago and a weekend of fun camped out at my sis-in-law's condo. She was sunning in Costa Rica, which was preferable to being in -20 degree Chicago with 8 inches of snow on the ground. During our stay we jumped Kristen's car, took her dehydrated Christmas tree out of her third floor walk-up condo, and swept up three garbage cans full of needles. We're still finding needles in our clothing, shoes, and such two weeks later.
But the real reason for our stay was to see college friends. About 17 of us got together for a fancy dress party to act like the adults that we pretend to be during the week. It turned out great. It was a ridiculously snowy night, but kinda pretty when you knew you didn't have far to travel and you were in a warm restaurant. But we all paid the next day when the snow just kept coming down. Couples came from as far away as St. Louis and Ohio, so some made it after hours of trying, others gave up and grabbed hotels half way, and some just stayed put in Chicago.
But Doug and I played it safe and took Amtrak. The train it totally better in the snow than a car, right? Maybe? What normally takes 3.5 hours took us more like 9.5. I had at least 3 panic attacks and we didn't get home until 4:15 in the morning. We were plowing through snow drifts that were close to 10 feet high and it really felt like we were going to go off the rails. I still think Amtrak is great, but I'm not riding it anymore from December to February. Life's too precious!
I would love to say that with all of my free time, I did a ton of reading, but no. I hibernated. I'd been wanting to try it for a while, and it turns out that hibernating is just as fun as I expected, and I'm pretty bummed that there's still snow on the ground and that I have to function like a normal person. Winter is totally not my scene!
But I am slowly getting back to the reading thing and I'll have some cool reviews for you soon. And I have some pretty awesome book news that I'll share tomorrow. I apologize for abandoning you for so long, but I'm back now with plenty of posts to come!