Merry Christmas!

xmas2013.jpg

We used Minted again for our Christmas cards this year. Love them! I kind of want to throw a party or ten just to have a reason to browse something other than the Christmas cards on their website. Here is our 2012 card :)

 We're on our way to celebrate my incredible Oma's 80th birthday in Las Vegas, and then we'll have a white Christmas on a ski trip in Utah with my parents and brother. Can't wait! After a year full of deployments, lots of travel, moving to a new city, starting a new job, and all of the general crazy blah blah blah that goes along with all of that, I am so excited to unplug, unwind, and enjoy having my favorite people in the world all in one place at one time. Sweet silver bells, indeed. Wishing you a very merry Christmas! 

27!

San Simeon, CA. August 2013. 

San Simeon, CA. August 2013. 

I'm 27 today! December birthdays are pretty much the best. The whole world is already decorated in twinkle lights for someone else's birthday at the end of the month (ahem), so what's the harm in pretending it's all for you for a day? 26 has been pretty great, and I think I'm going to like 27 just as much. Here's a list, off the top of my head and in no particular order, of 27 things that make me oh so happy lately:

1. The fact that my parents rarely miss a phone call and are always game to talk about anything.

2. If Joel is home before I get home from work, he lights my favorite candles. 

3. Chloe. Her snores, and how she prefers to lay on her back and let it all hang out. Her belly is SO FUZZY!

4. Candy Cane Joe Joe's from Trader Joe's. We go through 2 boxes at a time in this house. And by "we", I mean "I". 

5. These sheets. If you're going to spend (or aim valiantly for, in my case) 8 hours in bed every night, good sheets are worth it.

6. Taking the Metro to work. Starting the day off with Real Simple instead of a traffic jam just makes more sense.

7. Christmas! I love everything about it. The reason for it, the food, music, travel...all of it!

8. "Tall soy chai". It only takes 3 syllables to make anything better. 

9. Bubble baths. These bubbles are my favorite, and the tubs in this new apartment are extra deep. Score!

10. A good book. I'm binging lately on Susanna Kearsley

11.  Stretching out the kinks after a long day. 

12. Balsam candles. 

13. My rain boots. They always make me feel indestructible.

14. I have a hair appointment on Wednesday. Hallelujah. No one said this list was going to be profound.

15. Wandering around in a big city. 

16. Being a Marine wife. Well, Joel's Marine wife. There's no way I could do this with anyone else. I'm constantly amazed by the people I meet. 

17. Living in a beautiful area that is so full of history.

18. Living near airports with direct flights to California. 

19. J.Crew sales. I love stalking the things I like until they're (somewhat) more affordable.

20. Listening to ballet music at work and picturing the choreography while I navigate spreadsheets.

21. Being near water. Preferably a beach. Especially those of the southern California variety.

22. How my Oma always answers the phone. "Hello, my Eri!"

23. Girlfriends in all corners of the country who are always just a text/phone call/email away. 

24. Snail mail

25. Lists, especially those in my notebook that is strictly for things not work related

26. Living with Joel. When will it stop being so awesome? Never is the right answer.

27. Twinkle lights!

slow down

My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.
— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

That's how I feel most days, anyway. It's tough to keep up! This weekend was the total opposite, though. No hustle or bustle whatsoever. My birthday is this week, and we celebrated over the weekend because of schedule craziness on Tuesday. Joel took me to Old Town Alexandria for the first time, and was a total sport when an hour went down the drain after I spotted Paper Source. Old Town is easily on its way to the top of my Favorite Places list. Wow is it beautiful! After exploring there for a couple hours, we stopped by to see the new house & meet the newborn baby girl of friends from Camp Lejeune who just moved to the area (yay!). Add an incredible husband-cooked steak dinner and (lots of) homemade sangria at home, and the day was exactly what I wanted for a low-key birthday adventure. Today was for stomping through the SNOW (!!!) and decorating for Christmas. We got a REAL TREE, too! Sure, it's teeny, but it's perfect for this year and I love it.

All evidence to the contrary, this season is about hitting the brakes and focusing on what's most important. This is my favorite time of year, and this weekend was a great way to kick it off :)