She’s Making a List, and Checking it Twice…

With Ian and Emily before her Nutcracker recital last Christmas! ...Christmas simply captivated me as I was writing-I can't help it. If you know me, you already understand.

Two weeks from today! Two weeks. That’s fourteen days, kids. How did I get to this place? Life happens so quickly.

This is one of my very favorite ways to slowly start the day-I’m up before anyone else, sitting in my living room with a giant vanilla hazelnut au lait. I’m one of those odd people that revel in early, lazy mornings alone-…as long as I don’t wake up to an alarm. :) The only things that could make this more perfect would be a Christmas tree with sparkling white twinkle-lights, a gloriously overstuffed chair, a cabin in the mountains, bucketfuls of snow softly blanketing the world outside my window to the tune of James Taylor’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and a roaring fireplace. Christmas is always magic! S’marvelous.

Last night, Dayton and I sat around singing Christmas carols at the piano for a couple of hours in a happily successful attempt to avoid working post eight o’clock. I’m probably daydreaming so much about mountains and snow because we’ve hit new levels of scorching, searing heat in Dakar lately. Additionally, in a perfectly ghastly turn of events, our running water has decided to…well, run. Probably off to the Alps.

This weekend has been consumed with checking off my ever-growing “must-get-done-before-I-hop-on-a-plane” list. After inventorying everything I’m leaving in Dakar to make sure that I don’t buy things that I don’t need for next year, I’ve come to some rather startling conclusions…

1. Nobody needs this many Hello Kitty bandaids. Nobody. I’m going to have to get some sort of gaping, gushing wound to save face. Or, given the fact that I brought boxes of Hello Kitty bandaids to Africa, is it already too late for that?

My roommates from college and some of my best friends after one of our epic Christmas parties. This picture is so indicative of our personalities...

2. I have enough advil to supply every pharmacy in Dakar for at least a month. What was I thinking? I barely ever need it, but something about “I’m moving to Africa” sent me into a sort of panic that resulted in obscene amounts of medications that may forever go unused.

3. Rainboots? Really? I lugged my bright blue, polka-dotted rainboots across the Atlantic? Cheers to being prepared for anything, …but let’s take those home, shall we?

4. Two very full bottles would suggest that I have barely touched the vitamins my sweet Mom insisted on buying me at fancy-shmancy GNC. Sorry Mom.

 Life is rather frenzied because on Friday, my team and I are taking the SP to work in some villages a couple hours away, and we won’t be back from that and the SP’s debrief time at the beach [it’s a dirty job…] until next Thursday. And then, in case you haven’t been counting with me, I fly out just a few days later, at the crack of dawn on Monday morning. Thus, I have been determined to finish all of my shopping, do massive amounts of laundry in the sink one last time before I’m back in washing-machine-land, say goodbye to all of my students, pack as much as humanly possible into just two little duffels [cross your fingers], and check off the rest of that to-do list all before Thursday night. Type A personalities like mine absolutely thrive on weeks like these…

Christy and I ice skating in breathtaking Paris just after Christmas this year. Perfect.

Have yourself a merry little Monday. :)


  1. Tricia King says:

    LOVED this! It is never too early to be thinking of Christmas. We Christmas fanatics must stick together. . . Hope to see you soon.

  2. We do! I would say the hardest thing about this year was missing the whole Christmas season. It’s a rather different phenomenon when you’re spending December in a hot, Muslim country. :) You’re one of the only people that probably understands the fact that I’m ALREADY excited about Christmas of 2011–when I’m back home!

  3. You are a glorious, precious, creative mess and I love you just the way you are!

    Adore your blog posts and can’t wait to see your face in person!

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