This year has been tough. Really, really tough. So here’s some stuff that’s going well, because that’s what we should be dwelling on right now.

1. Pretty soon, we are leaving for eight days in the south of France. Avignon, Arles, and Aix. We’re going to see the land that inspired Cezanne, Monet, and Van Gogh; we’re arriving in time for the start of the grape harvest. I personally plan to eat the cheese. THE cheese, not just cheese. As in, I’m going to eat ALL the cheese. No more for you, France. Mine. Merci. The expected temperature? Mid-80s. That noise you heard was my very soul giving a deep sigh of relief.

2. Moira’s birthday presents (FIRST BIRTHDAY OH MY GOD) have been purchased from Etsy and are en route: a personalized name puzzle and two pumpkin figurines for our collection of wooden nature fairies. We also ordered the girls’ big Christmas gift back in July–a refrigerator to match our little wooden kitchen–in anticipation of a major holiday mail delay, and it arrived last week. That was…unexpected. Awesome, but unexpected.

3. Tom is working on mastering a new English dessert every month for a year. I don’t think that requires any further explanation, do you?

4. As of today, my parents have been married for thirty years. May my hair look as good as my mother’s does after living with Tom for thirty-plus years.

5. Both girls are, in spite of various obstacles and hurdles, thriving and happy. They are so, so, so very happy and they are loved by so many people. This is what my days are like all day, every day. I love it.


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