Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, along with the freak Thanksgiving week snowstorm in Seattle (fun, but it's nice to be back in the 40s again!), the boys and I sat down to write our letters to Santa. Here they are, in their own words: To: Santa From: Carson, age 3 Dear Santa, I would really like a pizza cutter, and my very own tape and pen. I would also like a white puppy, a blue teddy bear and a truck. And some salami would be nice too. I love salami. I love you, Santa. I will leave some cookies for you on Christmas Eve. I've been a good boy this year. Love, Carson To: Santa From: Russell, age 1 (as dictated by older brother Carson, with input from Russell) Dear Santa, I would like a cookie, and a doggie, and a bear. I like garbage trucks. Can you bring me a garbage truck? We have a big one that comes on our street. I would also like a Thomas book, and a garbage truck book. I will leave a carrot for Rudolph. I don't like carrots. Love, Russell


Do you have any New Year’s Day traditions? I was just telling someone on the phone that I always feel sleepy and melancholic on New Year’s Day. Maybe that’s because I live in Seattle and it’s always, and I mean always, rainy and miserable on this day. It’s probably, also, because I drink champagne on New Year’s Eve, and everybody knows how they feel after a few glasses of champagne–even if it is in moderation. So, determined to do something uplifting and fun this year, I pulled out my new bread book and started baking. Let’s just say, after digging into the pages, I may never buy store-bought bread again …

Isn't this the most beautiful thing? This salmon-colored amaryllis was a gift from my mother-in-law. She brought it over a few weeks before Christmas when it was just a little sprout. Then, miraculously, it bloomed into this on Christmas morning. Of course, I had to snap a photo of it with my new macro lens. (Thank you Santa!) Swoon! This flower always reminds me of my late Grandma Cecelia who loved them, and had a pot on her mantel every Christmas.