1. Poor Juliette has what must be the 37th or 38th cold of her life. She's been much healthier since having ear tubes, but she still seems to pick up hacking coughs and conjunctivis at the drop of a hat...er, germ. I'm listening to her cough uncontrollably in her sleep.
2. We spent a week in Ohio for Thanksgiving. Juliette and I headed off on Sunday, and then Ben carpooled with a friend on Wednesday. It was a really good week, though I wish I could have seen more friends. I loved experiencing firsthand that we really are only six hours from home. I did make the trip to Kent a couple times. I'm convinced that a piece of my heart makes permanent residence on the backroads of Franklin Township, somewhere east of Larry's Stables.
3. Juliette (sporting her cute new pixie cut) and her beloved Taylor cousins:Juliette and Charlie had some really cute conversations, but really: there is nothing an almost-3-year-old girl loves more than a 5-year-old girl who will lavish her with attention. Do you see how she's looking at Lily?
4. I cannot wait to read this:
5. I've been on a big YA lit kick. I found some of my Laura Ingalls Wilder books in my parents' basement and carted them home. I've already finished Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie. I loved them as a kid, but I didn't realize I would remember so much about them. They don't have the best reputation for political correctness, but I think they're such an invaluable window into the worldview of white settlers who, while clearly prejudiced against Native Americans, are also essentially good people. Still, a part of me wishes they would have stayed put amid their family in Wisconsin; my favorite of the little houses will always be the one in the big woods. I'm also rereading another one of my favorite childhood books. I would tell you what it is but I've tracked down a used copy (it's out of print) to give one of my nieces, and I'm not telling until after she has hers in hand.
6. And, I reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in time to go see the movie on Thanksgiving with Ben, Marie, and B.J. Sadly that wasn't such a great idea; I thoroughly loved the book again, but I was hyperaware of the ways the movie just did not live up to the book. It's a great movie, and perhaps I would have loved it if the literary details hadn't been so fresh in my mind. I get the need for abridgement, but some of the cuts were inexcusable. [Spoiler alert!] For Harry to fail to reassure Ron that he loves Hermione like a sister after that nasty Horcrux exploited Ron's fears was just wrong. And where was Harry's anguish over Dumbledore's true character? You just don't get the nuance and interiority of a book in a movie.
7. Yes, I have been reading far too much and writing far too little. Must remedy this.
8. My hair is as long as it has ever been in my life. And it really could have used a good brushing before this rare family photo: I have a matching pink sweatshirt; they both say First Congregational Church Preschool. We wore them on the way to Ohio.
9. I momentarily thought I was stuck in a out-of-the-way bathroom today. There is a new air freshener in the regular ladies' room at church, and while I do not ordinarily hold anything against seasonal scents, every time I walk in there I feel like I am being attacked by an angry cinnamon stick. (This admission might trespass against my Thou Shalt Not Blog Anything Negative About Thy Church rule, but I feel like it might be okay to bend that rule when the subject at hand is merely a Glade PlugIn.) So. I was walking up a stairway that I seldom use and I noticed that there is a tiny women's bathroom on the landing. I availed myself of its unscented (though unheated) splendors, but on the way out the door stuck. For a split second. But a split second was plenty enough time for me to envision myself getting stuck in this out-of-the-way and frigid bathroom for hours, until someone finally wondered where the new Associate Pastor had disappeared to. And then I would have to explain my falling out with the potpourri. I was very glad that the door opened with a good hip thrust, and that I could just tell the Internet instead.
10. We had to take two versions to include both grandparents. We missed the Dillows terribly, but were glad that they were having a wonderful Thanksgiving of their own out West. (Why yes, I do wear gym socks underneath my fake Uggs.)