1. The holiday decor is put away, and now our house looks so plain in contrast. I don't want to go nuts with tchotchkes, but we definitely need to accessorize around here.
2. Tomorrow is our first New Year's Eve here in Portland. We're not partying it up, which is not our style anyway, but we will get to catch up with some friends. I'm very much looking forward to it.
3. December has been an near-record dry month here, but the past few days are certainly making up for it. The rain coat I ordered from Lands End can't get here soon enough.
4. Brent is on vacation this week, and we had planned to take a daytrip to a local ski area so Em could experience her first snow. However, it's been raining on top of the snow, as well as something we'd never heard of, called "graupel." We'll hold off for a better weekend to check out.
5. Em has a rare but terrifying habit of bolting off in public. It's happened on our neighborhood walks, in the bookstore, at the craft store -- and while I'm always quick to catch her, it scares me to no end. I've started explaining stranger danger, and she's taken it to heart. "What could happen if you run away, Em?" "I could get hurt. Someone could take me. Mommy and Daddy would be very sad. I'd be sad, too." Ugh, it hurts me to even have to think about it, but it's a very important part of this whole parenting gig.