Tuesday, December 23, 2008

belated, as usual

Dad says I should just write a bit, every day, until I'm caught up. Right now it's been so long that it's daunting to try and get in here and cover everything. Today is the last day of work until Monday, and it's pretty quiet. I've still got some Christmas-present-related projects to work on for my personal self, and will probably get some of it done tonight.

We've got a week's worth of good food at home, starting with Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini tonight. Yum! The recipe has like 170 positive reviews on Epicurious, that's a good enough endorsement for me. And tomorrow night we're doing Austin's favorite rigatoni with (um) Italian sausages and mushrooms. Yes, it's poor menu planning on my part, so many sausage dishes in one week, but really, who cares? I'm also going to make a treat just for us to split on Christmas Eve: jasmine rice pudding. It's a ridiculously elaborate recipe but what else would I do with my time tomorrow? Will report back.

Let's think, what else haven't we covered? Thanksgiving, for one. It was a triumph, as hoped. I think we ended up having 19 people over to eat, and with lots of help we pulled off a major feast. I'm sure I was a high strung maniac in the weeks beforehand, but honestly, it couldn't have turned out better. I was having especial difficulty focusing on a dessert plan, but ended up making Raisin Cream Pie (per Austin's request), Caramelized Apple and Pecan Pie (best of both worlds), and Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Maple Marshmallow Topping. Yum! I'm getting closer and closer to a comfort zone with pies/pie crusts, and the apple/pecan pie came out really amazing. Special shoutout to Austin's mom, who was a HUGE help and also great company the whole weekend.

Then two weeks later we had a massive housewarming party, which also came off pretty danged well. I'd guess we had about 90 people come through the door, including lots of kids and babies! Which is fun. I only ended up making about half of the snacks and treats I wanted to make, but it still went great. VIP to all my kitchen helpers, and to DJB for the BACON WEAVE, which was slightly more popular than even my freaking adorable godsons. What's up with that?

What else is happening? We got the fireplace serviced, and just got firewood delivered on Sunday, but have had two consecutive nights of failed attempts to start a fire. We'll figure it out, it just might take a while. I lost the battle of wills re: a Christmas tree, so we're going without for the first holiday in our new home. But it's fine, honestly. I'm just looking forward to several days with no obligations and a chance to get caught up on some work without distractions. Or, more realistically, play Mind the Blox while halfway watching movies we've seen a million times before. For like 8 hours straight.

Other house updates: kitchen cabinet doors are installed, we got some nice matching towels for the bathroom (thanks, Joan!), and finally found and installed curtains in the living room (thanks, Brian!) so that we can sit in that room in the early morning without going blind. The early stages of the man room are coming together, and we moved the big entertainment center down there and put a much smaller one in the upstairs living room. Brian and Austin hid all the boxes that were cluttered in the office before our party, so that room *looks* finished, even if that is sort of an illusion. Joan also got me an earring holder that is PERFECT in the bedroom and holds literally exactly as many pairs of earrings as I own. I bullied Dad into hanging our new mirror over the mantel right in the middle of the housewarming party. And Kim, god bless her, brought us back a set of matching runner rugs from Ikea for the hallway. So basically little things are coming together, the small details as we settle in. We're hoping to start framing one or two pieces every month, and slowly start getting things hung on the walls, and then maybe we'll be ready to tackle the bigger projects of man room, garage and laundry room once the weather warms up.

I will try to check in again over the next 5 days of sloth. Why wouldn't I? But if I don't, have the best holiday ever, wherever you may be.