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Hi.

Welcome, friends! This here slice of the Internet revolves around lattes, bookshelves, Pinterest, Emily Henderson, white wine spritzers, China, brass anything, passports and my sweet family. Grammar and important worldly events? Not so much. Consider yourself warned.

Bend Breakdown

Bend Breakdown

There is a small part of me that wants to give you an excuse for why I have not blogged over the past few weeks, but I can’t do that because excuses are off the 2015 Menu. They have been 86ed.

So instead I will just this post start by saying, “Happy 2015 y’all! ”

Oh. My. Gosh. It just occurred to me that if it is actually 2015 (which all the calendars I have just referenced, Mayan excluded, seem to confirm) then I am 20 freaking years out of high school.

Holy. Shit. Say it ain’t so! That probably explains why my high school students do not actually get any of my pop culture references (circa 1992) and why I look a little akin to a person who has played the part of the piñata at a 4 year old birthday party when I wake up…and sometimes even after I “get ready” (i.e. throw hair on top of my head and slap makeup on my face while driving to school).

Hmmmm…yeah. It is all making sense now.

In other not-news, we had a fantastic holiday visiting our friends and family in Bend, Oregon. We rented a little house, invited the family to come stay with us and just relaxed for 3 weeks (or as much as you can with two little ones at your feet. Which, as it turns out, is not actually that much. Who knew?).

For those of you out of the loop we chose to spend the holidays in Bend because we are thinking about purchasing a home there in the near future. We are pretty desperate to set down roots somewhere, as Brado and I really don’t have a home base. He is from Minnesota. I am from Virginia. His parents live in Idaho. Mine live in South Carolina. His brother lives in Seattle. My siblings are scattered all over the map – Virginia, Maryland, Norway. And to top it off we met in Dubai, UAE and now live in China.

Someday I will write at length about feeling “homeless” but, for now, suffice it to say that this feeling has taken its toll on us. We have loved living overseas but after 10 years, 2 countries and multiple living arrangements, it feels like it is time to establish some degree of consistency. If not for us, than for our kids. But let’s be real….mostly for us.

And because looking at pictures is way more fun than listening to me jabber on about our vacation, here are a few pictures that sort of summarize our stay.

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I am not sure if the pictures can even begin to capture it, but we had such a fun time playing house in Bend. We drank coffee and wine, went on snowy walks, hung out with our with family, decorated a LIVE Christmas tree, baked cookies, played board games, watched movies and marathons of HGTV, went shopping, built forts, house hunted, drove on roads that felt remarkably empty and quiet compared to China, shoveled snow, talked to the locals (in English), went grocery shopping (this is seriously one of our favorite things to do when we go home. We fight over who gets to go to the grocery store), went to playgrounds, went sledding, wrapped presents, watched Elizabeth open presents (ha ha! Seriously, y’all that girl must have been REALLY good this year!)…yadda, yadda, yadda. I won’t bore you with all the details but I think it is safe to say that we fell a little bit more in love with Bend while we were there. But more importantly we fell head-over-heels in love with the idea of unpacking and being “normal”.

So there you have it. It was a remarkably unremarkable holiday. And yet quite possibly my favorite one to date. There is something to be said for quiet roads, grocery stores stocked with every brand of pickle known to man and fresh air. Count your lucky stars if you can lay claim any of these as your every day reality. You really do miss it when it’s gone.

Help Wanted

Help Wanted

Holiday Roundup

Holiday Roundup