Tonight, to break my fast, I made avocado/apple/turkey enchiladas. I know that sounds weird, but boy oh boy they were yummy. As were the Black Bean Brownies I made this week, off a recipe on 101 Cookbooks. (Note on brownies: You can't taste the black beans. Really, honest, you can't. Also, I substituted 1/2 cup of applesauce for 1/2 the butter, as a cup seemed like a lot. And I mixed agave nectar with honey and maple syrup 'cause agave nectar costs 4 million dollars and didn't want to use it all.)
My kitty, Meatsock, is curled up beside me. Occasionally I can hear him make a small kitty squeak. Sam is asleep on the couch, snoring much louder than a kitty squeak, and listening to Bach on Pandora Radio. (Note on Pandora Radio: If you haven't discovered the joy that is Pandora, get yerself over to that website. Such a happy place/thing. Sam and I are obsessed.)
Anyway, I'm thinking about Christmas. We had such an exquisite one. Maybe my favorite yet. Here's a list of my favorite things about Christmas, in no particular order:
1. Our three one-year-old nieces. Sam fell hard for them. Aren't they astonishing? Such a joy to watch them waddle and play. The two are twins, Alana and Alexa, belonging to my brother Garret and his wife Girlie. And the blondie is the fair Maggie, belonging to my brother Gavin and his wife Erin.
2. Our new Cat Nativity set, from Sam's parents. Baby Jesus is a tiny kitten. We love it.
3. Sam's Christmas card to me, which read (and this will really only make sense if you've seen Twilight, which I made Sam see with me on Christmas eve-eve.): "I only knew three things with any certainty: 1. Deja was a Mormon. 2. Some part of her--and I didn't know how dominant that part--wanted to convert me. And 3. I was hopelessly, irrevocably in love with her." He's a clever man. He got me freshwater pearl earrings and a bracelet, so he's also my favorite.
4. My freshwater pearl earrings and bracelet from Sam.
5. The food. Fancy restaurants and delectable pot roast dinner in Tucson, Christmas Eve sandwich fiesta and Christmas day turkey dinner and Cafe Rio in Sandy.
6. Hanging out with my sisters and my mom. After five months out here, where Sam is my best but only friend, I was happy to remember how it feels to be surrounded by people that I love and trust, a whole gaggle of them.
7. Not thinking about school.
8. Reading whatever I felt like reading.
9. Sleeping as much as I felt like sleeping.
10. A sweet, peaceful, happy conversation with Sam over lunch at the Cleveland airport on our layover coming home, in which we discussed our future, our love, our astonishment at how lucky and happy we are to be together. Poor other people in the airport Outback: we were leaning over our salads to kiss, holding hands next to our water cups, and I for one had tears in my eyes, spilling. Vacations are good for love.
11. Playing Rockband with my nephews. Have you guys played this game? In what other venue am I allowed to scream the lyrics to Radiohead or Weezer with such pure abandon?
12. Seeing the beautiful quilt that Sam's great-grandmother made, his childhood (and ongoing) collection of Christmas ornaments, etc. The man basically has a trousseau. Which is good, because I certainly don't. From what I understand, the trousseau is enroute at this moment. His mom is wonderful for keeping it safe and shipping it so carefully for us.
13. When we ran out of kids willing to dress up for the nativity, my mom had to play Joseph. Isn't she so cool? (I dearly love Maggie's skeptical look here.)
All in all, a lovely season with delightful, generous family. We're grateful we got to go.