Christmastime

ChristmasHow pleasant it is to be home with the whole family; how quickly it always passes.

ChristmasThis year, I was particularly grateful to have such an extended amount of time with Grace, whom we now get to see only a few times a year, owing to the fact that she lives in Germany.

Christmas times

Christmas timesChristmas times We got to meet sweet baby Covin, our second cousin.

Christmas timesEden was strangely good and cuddly.

Christmas timesCheers for the new year.

Xmas lovers

In the Pines (Christmas, Part I)

We had a lovely Christmas holiday with both of our families in North Carolina. Part I!

With Guion’s family

Christmas shepherd is all tuckered out.

Cuddling with his niece Adelaide. #realdog #cockapoo @tracydare
Cuddling with his niece, Adelaide.
Christmas in the Pines
Official sister!
Christmas in the Pines
My common smirk.
Christmas 2013
Multi-dog household.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013
Checking out how hot they are.
Christmas 2013
Drinking from the Christmas tree.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013
A real smile!

Christmas 2013Part II coming shortly…

Over the holiday

The tree

We spent a peaceful holiday week-and-a-half with our respective families in North Carolina; it was difficult to come back home. We do love them so much.

There was dear brother Win:

Win on Christmas morning

And general family merriment at my grandparents’:

Sam on Christmas morning

Present time

Dear Da-Dan

I was able to spend an afternoon with Emily in Asheville before she flew back to Amman, which was a wonderful gift in itself:

Asheville with Emily

Far-flung friends

Plenty of lounging occurred.

Holiday lounging

Box makes a nice bed

Enjoying her cow ear by the fire

And there was the presentation of this year’s Christmas miracle: “Ziggy + Seahorse,” an original by Grace Farson, which we are excited to prominently display in our home.

Ready for the unveiling

Ziggy + Seahorse

An ideal vacation, an ideal way to close 2012 and welcome 2013. Hope you all had equally enjoyable holidays.

Monday Snax

Big city living. Davis, West Virginia.
Matt, Liz, and Ross, surviving switchbacks.

We took a very short weekend trip to the tiny mountain town of Thomas, West Virginia, so the boys could visit Mountain State Brewing Co. (Liz and I were able to find a coffee shop, to our amazement, which provided some respite from the bar.) We narrowly survived the seemingly endless switchbacks and hairpin turns and the little Versa even trucked it up there. A fun and very different way to spend the weekend; more photos on Flickr.

Snax:

Longform’s Best of 2011. The best long-form journalism from last year. I really want to read all of these. I love a good, thorough, and fascinating article. (Longform)

The 25 Greatest Epigraphs in Literature. I love a good epigraph! This is a great and comprehensive list. Have you read any of these novels? Do you agree? (Flavorwire)

World’s Biggest Websites at Launch, 1990s. Wow, Amazon. Looking pretty rough. And Google, that exclamation point? Garish. (Retronaut)

Best Correction in New York Times History. This takes the cake. You have to admire their commitment to accuracy. (Best Week Ever)

Christmas Time with the Family. Grace’s touching recap of our (lovely and goofy) family holidays. (Como Say What?)

Most Anticipated: The Great 2012 Book Preview. Wow. Apparently, there are a lot of great books set to come out this year. I’m looking forward to reading many of them! (I’m especially excited about Marilynne Robinson’s When I Was a Child, I Read Books.) (The Millions)

Dallas Calligrapher: Fabulous Forty. Now that is impressive calligraphy: Flexible nib with white ink, slanted, on a hot pink envelope. I’m jealous of her skills. (The Lefthanded Calligrapher)

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Cary Grant’s Intimate Bromance. Thoughts on the beautiful and peerless Grant and his versatile loves. (The Hairpin)

Tuesday recap

Here’s some stuff I did over our Christmas break. Now I need to catch up on work… clean the house… nap…

All holiday photos on Flickr. Maybe later I’ll talk to you seriously. And then debut my top 10 (fiction) books of 2011!

Early darkness

Click for source.

Early Darkness
Louise Glück

How can you say
earth should give me joy? Each thing
born is my burden; I cannot succeed
with all of you.

And you would like to dictate to me,
you would like to tell me
who among you is most valuable,
who most resembles me.
And you hold up as an example
the pure life, the detachment
you struggle to achieve–

How can you understand me
when you cannot understand yourselves?
Your memory is not
powerful enough, it will not
reach back far enough–

Never forget you are my children.
You are not suffering because you touched each other
but because you were born,
because you required life
separate from me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Merry Christmas, everyone! I’ll be back at the blog in early January. Until then, I am going to enjoy a blissfully computer-free vacation down south. Hope your holidays are merry and bright.

Warmly,

Abby

Distracting thoughts

Thoughts to distract me from tinnitus, which I recently contracted and recently discovered may have to live with for the rest of my maddening, whooshing life:

  • Nail polish! Nail polish is pretty!
  • Christmas is almost here. I can go home and sloppily wrap some more presents.
  • Reading W.H. Auden’s poetry is like turning on a different switch in one’s brain.
  • In the scale of chronic health problems, this one is minor. Right.
  • The Joy Luck Club.
  • I can get a dog in five months.
  • It didn’t snow last night and I am relieved.
  • We’re going caroling and bar hopping tomorrow night!
  • Did I mention Christmas?
  • What style of writing + color of pen to use for our Christmas cards, which are coming soon.
  • Can you blame everything on birth control?
  • The relationship between your heartbeat and the ocean.
  • Learning how to run for a long time.
  • Running with a dog.
  • Coming home to a dog.

… In the end, it all just disintegrates into dog thoughts.

Monday Snax: Back to reality

Whew. What a lovely, busy holiday vacation we enjoyed in the great state of North Carolina. A brief photo recap:

We ate many lavish meals... (Here, the annual Christmas Eve dinner at the Pratt's.)
... got dressed up...
... received the most amazing gift of all time: The long-awaited pop art portrait of Tracy Morgan, by the one and only Grace Farson.

(More on Flickr!)

It’s hard to transition back into the real world, but we did have a magical holiday. Guion, however, is now sick again and I have probably the busiest week ever at work–which is why this post was written in advance.

Snax with leftover holiday honey-baked ham:

This Is Insane. Snow kind of makes me cranky when I have to travel, but I have to look on the bright side: At least we don’t live HERE, wherever this is. A time-lapse video of a blizzard. (Dooce)

Frost (24). Winter in France. (Flora Douville)

Satomi Kawakita. Such delicate, beautiful jewelry. If only I had $1,180 lying around for a ring… (All the Mountains)

Making Amends with the Guy Upstairs. The sweetest–and possibly most heart-breaking–prayer from a child. (FOUND Magazine)

The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas. It’s just… amazing. I have no other words. Childhood Christmas memories illustrated in MS Paint? It’s the greatest. (Hyperbole and a Half)

Hark, a Vagrant: 292. Hunks in the war and The Yellow Wallpaper! I am endlessly enthralled with Kate Beaton’s work. (Hark, a Vagrant!)

Pomeranian puppies. Don’t like little dogs, but these little fluff-balls are killing me. When they bark? Just sounds like a flock of chickadees. (Cute Overload)

Quote, a Waste of Eliza Dushku’s Talent. I love the Hylton family. (Mixed with Gold)

Holiday Slideshow. Slideshow of the annual door decorating contest at UNC Press, where I was an intern my senior year. I really miss these people. (UNC Press)

Natalie Portman in Vogue: Behind the Scenes. I think she is one of the most beautiful women alive and I love hearing her talk. I’m also looking forward to seeing and being thoroughly creeped out by “Black Swan.” Anyone want to go see it with me? (Faye Dinsmore)

Lars Wastfelt. Absolutely gorgeous and sweet family photographs from, of course, a Scandinavian photographer. I know, I have a type. (Miss Moss)

We’ll meet again soon, and I’ll start talking about my Top 10 Books of 2010. I know you’re thrilled.