The Sweetest Winter

Finally taking time to read through new cookbooks, like Near & Far by Heidi Swanson. 

Finally taking time to read through new cookbooks, like Near & Far by Heidi Swanson. 

The Christmas tree skirt I sewed two years ago is still my favorite holiday decoration.

The Christmas tree skirt I sewed two years ago is still my favorite holiday decoration.

I feel like this has been the nicest winter. It's rare that I have weekdays off to spend at home, and with a few days before Christmas, plus New Year's Day free, Trae and I have been both quite industrious and quite relaxed, hard at work on our house, which we hope to finish in a month or so, and making the most of our hours at home, whipping up ambitious meals like Jamaican spiced meat pies or homemade falafel to go with the last of our fall cabbages we've made into miso slaw.

Without grad school classes in the evenings (and the hour commute), I've been reading more (currently Monique Troung's The Book of Salt. I heard her speak at SFA in Oxford this year, and she was fabulous! You can watch that speech here.), compiling lists of sewing projects (embroider curtains for our new house, figure out how to make bias tape), catching up on new TV shows (Transparent is my favorite.), and -- one of my favorite winter activities -- pouring over the new Fedco catalog, dogearing every other page and dreaming of all the herbs and flowers I'd like to grow this spring. 

Second year growth in my wild orange tree, indoors for the winter.

Second year growth in my wild orange tree, indoors for the winter.

This winter we also welcomed some additional news -- the expected arrival of a baby around July 1! Trae and I are thrilled to finally be three of us, and we feel lucky to realize this dream. I feel like this is one of those winters we'll look back on and remember so fondly many years from now -- going over to friends' houses for potlucks, scrambling to pick out paint colors and door knobs, stealing away to catch a movie and dinner in Chattanooga, entertaining neighbors who stop by to check on our house progress, and wondering all the while about who the newest family member will be -- our last time it's just the two of us.

I hope your year ended well and wish you a happy 2016.

It was so warm this December, our quince started blooming.  

It was so warm this December, our quince started blooming.