So apparently I decided to play hooky all of last week…oops. We’ve had incredibly dreary weather, and since I’m currently unemployed (have I already mentioned that?), I’ve found it hard not to spend all my time curled up on the couch with my cozy flannel blankie, some good movies, and a cup of hot chocolate/coffee/apple cider. But I can’t spend the rest of my life (or even the winter) on the couch, so I guess I better get back to my regular obligations (like dishes, grocery shopping..ugh, and generally not being a lazy slob).

And before the entire month of January has passed and I end up posting Christmas pictures in February (gasp!) I figured I better show all of you what I’ve been meaning to show you…so here goes:

First, let’s rewind the clock all the way back to my birthday (can we all remember back that far? it was a while ago, I know.) It also happened to be the day of our ThanksMas party, so in celebration, J ordered two dozen cupcakes from our local bakery. They were AMAZING! So incredibly delicious…probably the best cupcakes I’ve ever had.

J also got me a Wacom Bamboo tablet, which had been on my wish list for a while. I’m still so excited about it! Though, sadly I haven’t had it out of the box yet. I’m a little scared of it for some reason, like I’ll be so incredibly disappointed in my own ability to use it successfully that it will only prove to be a source of self-loathing pain….yeah, crazy talk, I know. Also, there’s no room on my desk.

I also received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my mom and her boyfriend (which I forgot to take a picture of) and some cash, which I used to purchase these lovely items…


…as well as a much-needed Flickr pro account (Yay!).

But perhaps the best present came from my dad (no offense to everyone else). Remember this recipe box? When I bought it I said I was pretty sure my grandma used to have one like it. Turns out, not only was I right about her having the exact same one, but my dad still had it. He saw my post about the box and sent me the original for my birthday present!


And the best part…


…it’s still full with all of the hand-written recipes and clippings my grandma and her sister, Hulda, saved over the years! I guess I have some baking to do! Thanks again dad!

And now finally on to Christmas. J and I both got several restaurant gift cards, which we’re still enjoying and some money, which we’ve yet to decide how to spend. I got a couple ornaments to add to my collection and a Christmas cactus from my mom, which has been blooming ever since…beautiful! Dad gave us a couple new recipe books to try out, which was perfect, since we’ve pretty much exhausted THE recipe book.

My gift from J was a last-minute trip home to see my family, who I don’t get to see nearly often enough. Despite bad weather and cramped quarters, I couldn’t have asked for a better present from him.

I didn’t get to half of the projects I had planned for the holidays, but I guess they’ll keep till next year. And I am thoroughly disappointed in myself for not taking more pictures…but that’s a common problem for me, and something I plan to work on in the coming year. So now I can finally leave Christmas behind me and focus on the year to come. I have a lot of plans, many of which I’ll be sharing with you in the next few weeks. All that time spent resting also allowed me to clear my head and focus on some changes I need to make. By the way, this blog just had its first birthday! I can’t believe I’ve been blogging here an entire year! And I’m just getting started!