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I find it so hard to believe that it’s been a year since we were painting the kitchen, cleaning the hardwood floors, and listening to the Yellow Jackets fall prey to LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.  It’s been a full fifty-two weeks since then, when we were so hopeful for the future, the house only two days away from being put on the market.

We were so sure that in a couple of months, we would all be on our way to Seattle.  We couldn’t fathom that we would make it just in time for the ’09-’10 school year, rather than in the midst of the ’08-’09 year.  We had no clue that our family would be split apart for five months in order to make it happen.

But oh boy, was it worth it.

I can honestly say that I have never been as happy and content as I am right now, in this place.

2009 was a most difficult, and a most triumphant, year.  Happy January 1 to you all.  My wish for you – for all of us – is a 2010 to rival the joys and contentment our family has found in 2009.

It’s not a standard celebration tonight – not by our standards, and certainly not by the world’s typical New Year’s expectations.

No parties, no crowds, no noisy plastic and paper horns.  (But we have champagne.  Oh yes, there will be champagne tonight.)

Last year, we began a tradition of fondue supper, followed by fondue dessert, then a family viewing of The Princess Bride, ending just in time to watch the ball drop and have champagne and strawberries.

This year, the fondue pot is in a box in my in-laws’ basement, although I made a pretty incredible double batch of Turkey Tetrazzi.  The Princess Bride is on, and (as usual) Kalen is already asleep.  Nicky is watching and may make it to midnight again this year.  Jason is in the kitchen caulking the seam between the counter top and the wall, and I have been baking an apple pie (for tomorrow’s gathering) and steam cleaning the hardwood floors in preparation for refinishing them before we climb in bed sometime after midnight.  We have the Chick-Fil-A Bowl game playing in the den, where Georgia Tech is getting soundly whomped by LSU.

Not the most together, family celebration, eh?

Yesterday, we hired our Realtor, and made the decision to paint over the goddess-awful purple grape and blue flowered wallpaper in the kitchen.  (Yes, you read that correctly.  Purple grapes, on grape vines that happened to also be bearing blue flowers.  That’s a big WTF?)  Last night, Jason and I were up ’til the wee hours applying primer, and we spent much of today on the two coats of paint and touch-ups.  I also created swagged valances out of the most incredibly perfect sheer fabric I found at Joann’s.  (Sometimes it’s a sad thing when the stash won’t suit…and sometimes shopping is just plain fun!)


This is a really poor photo.  The fabric isn’t leopard print; those are leaves, which just happen to be precisely the shades of brown that appear in the woodgrain of the cabinetry and floor.  One of the greatest staging abilities I learned from my mother is creating window treatments out of pieces of fabric and not much else.  Those swags are held up by elastic pony tail holders and nails.  That’s it!

The oven is about to beep and produce the pie, and the kitchen floor awaits my mad cleaning skillz.  May you all have a happy and prosperous 2009.  I hope it lives up to your expectations for happiness, that any sadness is appreciated for its counterbalance, and that you are surrounded by those you love.

Blessed New Year!

My boys

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