We Christmased

We got a new tree to fill our larger space. We decorated it with some of our Alaska stuff and some of the Christmas stuff that was packed away for four years. I honestly don’t know what we’ll do when we get all of our stuff back because even this much fluffier tree is already teeming with ornaments.

Rolo and I also attended The Nutcracker Ballet after doing a little shopping for appropriately festive attire.

I’m missing the Alaska Christmas traditions a little right now (not including the forsaken ice park), but we’re working to establish fun new ones here. And guess what? Only eighteen days until we’ll be home for a fun, old-fashioned Baxley/Barron family Christmas.


I woke up yesterday and realized that I had completely forgotten to post again. I’ve done that several times this month. There are just so many places for my brain to focus right now, and I’ve decided I’m okay with that.

Instead of deciding to rush a tiny thing out for no reason, I just decided that failure on this self-imposed task was fine this year. In the past, the posting everyday thing was meant to accomplish two goals. The first goal was to force good content out of me. The second came along in Alaska when I needed something to keep me distracted from the extreme dark and cold.

First of all, I was not producing very good content this year anyway. Instead I was just doing tweet level posts in order to meet a quota. Second, I found that I don’t need the distraction anymore.

(Side  note: I love the extended daylight that being back down state provides, but can we just go ahead and eradicate daylight savings time? It is the worst. Even stealing that one stupid hour of light from me has had an impact on my productivity and energy level. I’ll be organizing a march against DST soon. Join me.)

It’s so nice not to feel like I am just counting down November. I’ve even enjoyed this month for all of it’s extended fall qualities! What a relief. We’ve been running around like crazy people working on the house, moving out of the apartment (officially turned in our keys Tuesday), working, being parents, and hosting visitors. It’s a lot!

(Additional side note: Does it make me extremely annoying that I also find myself missing the calm, cozy routine of a quiet Alaskan winter while also celebrating that I’m not there doing that? Being a human is so complicated.)

Anyway, I started listening to Christmas music two days ago. We broke out some old Christmas boxes that Sergio’s parents delivered to us (they kindly stored many of our belongings while we lived in Alaska). We had the best time going through our stuff and reminiscing over what we found, or asking ourselves what something was and why we decided we should keep it. Four years away from things will break you from a decent amount of your sentimental attachments.

(Probably the final side note: We also kept some stuff that seems useless now because we were not sure we would make it in Alaska for a whole year, or more than one year. It seemed stupid to throw away utilitarian items that we might need again in six months if we ran screaming from Alaska. Now it seems silly when we have long since replaced those items with newer items, but that’s the reason some confusing things come out of the boxes. Most of the stuff is sentimental though.)

Our plan is to do something about a tree and outdoor decorations this weekend. We’ll eventually buy a big artificial tree, but I think we’ll participate in the Every Kid in a Park program’s tree program in which fourth graders get into National Parks free and then can also cut down a tree from National Park land. Might as well take advantage of that for the one year she is a fourth grader. Obligatory social media holiday decor pictures to come.

(Actual real final side note: Enjoy the rest of your November, everybody!)


Broken Promise

I didn’t gather that many pictures today, so I guess now I’m lying to you on top of posting willy nilly. Wow. Autocorrect is not a fan of the phrase willy nilly. It wants it to be silly billy so badly. You wouldn’t believe the amount of effort I’ve put into typing the last few sentences. Crazy.

Instead of gathering pictures today, I put my energy into finding a new petsitter. It didn’t take an incredible amount of actual energy. It was more of an internet search and lots of texting back and forth situation, but it still took some time. We also did some work to get fully moved out of the apartment. I bet you thought we were done with that already. Nope! Told you it would be disorganized. I think we have one trip left to go for the last miscellany and clean up. Almost there.

Here are a couple of pictures that Sergio took from the Tramway hike that I meant to post that day because they are my favorites.

Making Up My Own Rules

I didn’t post again! I was aware of my decision this time though. I found myself already in bed trying to figure something out, no pictures or musings to show for our day, and I just decided it was fine to go to sleep instead. All of my Thanksgiving sleepies hit me hard yesterday. I even found myself asleep in the car at one point!

Despite my lack of evidence, we had a great day. We hiked the tent rocks trail, watched football/online Black Friday shopped, perused a thrift store, and shared a charcuterie dinner. I enjoyed it all! I just didn’t take any pictures of my own. Oops.

Speaking of Black Friday shopping, the only deal we took advantage of was for ourselves. I think we did it wrong?

Later, Retha, Rolo, and I ventured out to a thrift store for in-person shopping. I somehow managed to snag a 30% coupon from a worker so that our whole stash came in under $20. I personally ended up with a serrated bread knife, a small print by a local artist, a doll, and five books (I guess Rolo personally ended up with the doll and books, but you get the idea).

Since I am making up all of my own rules about posting everyday, I’ll round up pictures from everyone else today and do a picture post this afternoon. Somehow that will be the same as posting each day, right? Sure. Why not?

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ve already gone out for kolaches, ridden the Tramway, and hiked three cold miles. Now we are relaxing at home with football.

I made cranberry conserve, pumpkin bread, and pecan pie yesterday. We also prepped the sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. It feels weird, but there is nothing left to be done for a couple of hours!

I hope you find that your Thanksgiving is just as relaxing, food-and-fun-filled as ours, or at least as cozy and nap-filled as Eliot’s.


I Dozed Off Trying to Title This Post.

Thanksgiving feels a little aggressive this year, right? It’s just a little SOON is all.

I’m not complaining though because it means I have one more work day this week, and a break is a welcome treat.

Here are a couple of convos I’ve had recently that didn’t contribute to my need for a break, but did make me giggle.

Conversation 1-

Student: I like your shirt, Miss.

Me: Thanks! It’s really one of my workout shirts, so I don’t usually wear it to work.

Student: You almost look fresh in that.

Me: Oh, thanks.

Student: (Long pause) Almost.

Conversation 2 in which I have just wrapped up a story about the beheading of Anne Boleyn after having gotten distracted trying to explain the backstory of the Separatists that colonized Plymouth-

Student: That was lit, Miss.

Me: I figured you would like that one. It’s a crowd-pleaser.

Students: Can you tell us stories like that more often.

Me: I have tons of stories like that if you’ll ever just let me complete a lesson once in a while.

Student: It’s so much better than when you make us work. Working just kills the mood.

Me: Of school? Studying kills the mood . . . of school? You’re in for a rough year.