I’ve been away forever, it seems, and not just in the sense that my last post of any substance is dated Dec 8. Traveling for Christmas and spending most of my time at home with my parents trying to relax and forget all my responsibilities made the nine days in Montana more like a winter quarter away on exchange, and I’ve returned feeling like a foreigner in my own country. Coming home to a new house that’s piled high with unopened boxes and half-started moving-in projects has left me longing to go home *for real*, to the apartment I left behind in November where things were put away and I could walk in the dark without shin guards.

Christmas at home was great, full of amazing meals and happy family moments, an endless feast for the body and soul. I’m very lucky to have a family that is as supportive, as joyful and as appreciative of each other as mine is. We focused less on gift-giving this year and more on just enjoying each other and our time together free of duties and deadlines. I highly recommend it.

Mom arrived last night and Dad is due in Wednesday to help us paint this weekend and otherwise do some fixup work. They were excited to see my first real estate purchase so they’re here in Seattle only a week after we were home in Montana. It’s great to have them, though, and their help and ideas. I can’t wait to paint over the peach walls, it’s going to totally transform the place. Goodbye Barbie dream house, hello my dream house.

I had my first 6am appointment with Austin, my personal trainer at the gym, and feel great afterward even though I had trouble even getting out of my truck in the parking lot because I couldn’t sit up. I’m excited for the goals he and I have set together, and so begins yet another January remodeling project – here’s to the new year and no one recognizing me on the lake this summer.