home for the holidays

Last Thursday, Christmas Eve, David and I headed to my parents’ house. On Christmas Eve, Papa came over to have dinner with my parents, Sarah, David and me. For dessert, we had our traditional Risgrynsgröt, Swedish rice pudding. A mandel, or an almond, is put into the pudding and whoever gets it is either the next to get married, or receives seven years of good luck. David got it this year!

My parents held their annual Christmas day open house–lots of family and friends! I received so many wonderful gifts and ate so much (too much) food.

Looking out through the screen door at my favorite tree.

David, me, and Sarah on Christmas morning.

David opens the snowshoes and poles from my parents (from www.ems.com, in case you are in the market!).

I am so lucky to have my family.

On Sunday, the girls met for brunch at The Black Forest for our annual holiday book swap. Amanda and Abby couldn’t make it this year, but it was so nice to see everyone else. It’s really comforting to be around people who have known you–and been your friend–since you were a little kid.

Anne & Danielle

Sarah N & Julie

Danielle, Sarah, me, and Alexis

After brunch, I drove Danielle home. It reminded me of all those hours we spent driving around together in high school… I went in and sat around and talked with her parents and Taylor, Tiff, and Tanner (Danielle’s siblings) for awhile. They gave me a glass of apple juice with crushed ice, which is what I always have at their house. I’ve spent so many countless hours with them; it was so familiar & warm. I need things like that more often.

I have spent much of break in bed. I’m getting so much sleep, but feel totally exhausted. I thought this would go away as I tapered my heart medication, but I feel even more wiped out than I did a week ago. Hopefully this will get better!

David and I came back home to our apartment on Sunday. Since then, the week has been filled with lots of small things: lunch in Portsmouth, working on my Personal Statement (the first grad school application is due January 15), seeing Avatar in 3D, a haircut, breakfast at Sarah N’s house, a dentist appointment, lunch with my dad, running into an old friend unexpectedly, catching up on grading…

I’m so grateful for this break!!

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