I have my house back.
Don't get me wrong--I love having visitors, but there is something wonderful about the day or two after guests leave, after everything is put back in its place, after you reclaim your bed and the kitchen and your schedule, when life slows back down to its normal place and you remember the deliciousness of monotony and boredom.
Christmas was a little hectic this year. First off, we didn't have many decorations and, 'cause that's what Derrick and I are like, we decided to make some. The tree turned out a little sparse, and perhaps I should have chosen a smaller tree (though I object to trees that are only a few inches taller than me), but I like it. I thought it was a good start, especially for a couple of people who aren't so into the holidays anyway. Here are some pictures of the tree.
Neither of us had to do any last-minute Christmas shopping this year, though we did have to buy all the food for Christmas dinner. Again, 'cause Derrick and I are ambitious, we decided on a dinner of stuffed pork loin with pear salad, three-cheese risotto, stuffing, zucchini with wild rice, and roasted smashed potatoes for dinner, and a mixed-berry pie and a pecan-caramel tart for dessert. Basically all of which we made Christmas day. Derrick's Mom was quite happy to keep Sylvia occupied and out of the kitchen, leaving the rest of us to get the food made.
Sadly, cooking was apparently a dangerous undertaking for me Christmas day. I skinned my thumb grating apples for apple latkes (which we had with the caramel-apple reduction and Derrick described as apple pie without the crust) and then, while pulling the roasted potatoes out of the 500 degree oven for smashing, I stuck the other thumb down on the pan. I spent the next couple of hours cradling my injured hand, resting my burned thumb on an ice cube. Still, it's healed pretty well--I finally took some Tylenol for the pain and, even the next day, it didn't feel too bad.
Dinner was excellent, if you can't tell.
I realize this is out of chronological order, but we spent Christmas eve at the San Diego zoo. I'm going to include some of the pictures from our trip (mostly taken by Derrick) to finish off the post.