Because, let's face it, as an instructor of over 150 students, "quiet contentment" is a commodity that's hard to come by.
So we've done the crazy/fun (loud family Christmas parties, a New Year's Eve involving way too much food and sparkling cider and plenty of games with friends), we've done the new (our elk-watching "sleigh ride," going to see the new Star Wars movie), and now, for the little holiday break that remains, I am firmly going to revel in each and every moment of blissful quiet contentment spent with these two right here:
Largely thanks to the fact that I'm no longer stressed out of my mind, and partly thanks to the fact that I'm reading Ruth Reichl's latest book My Kitchen Year, I'm finally starting to get my cooking mojo back. It ran screaming out the door when I got hit with not just one, but two massive student projects to grade last month, and I feared it might never come back again after I started on my elimination diet.
But come back it has, thanks to a little recipe called "Avgolemono" in the self-same book mentioned above. This soup recipe is little more than broth, eggs, and rice, but with a few hefty chunks of sauteed chicken in there and a healthy squeeze or two of lemon, we had ourselves a zippy little pick-me-up that seemed to melt the weariness out of our bones and open our eyes to the beautiful way the bubbling soup steamed up the kitchen windows, making the white wonderland outside seem like a frothy cloud enveloping us with feelings of home and comfort and love.
A good soup can do that, you know.
But seriously, this book is the cookbook I've been dreaming of without realizing I've been dreaming of it--it reads just like a blog (complete with gorgeous, "everyday"-feel photos) and contains just about any kind of recipe you might be in the mood for. I had originally planned to just check it out from the local library and call it good, but now that I'm almost finished, I'm pretty tempted to go out and buy my own copy.
In other news, the baby has been pleased as can be to have both of us home so much, and she has provided ample entertainment by learning to pull herself up to standing on pretty much everything and now seems to be graduating to trying to use the wipes box as a step in order to get closer to her ultimate goal of climbing up onto the couch to snuggle in beside us. I also have felt a grand rush of motivation fueling my new-year fire, and I've *almost* decided what my resolutions will be in this new year (post to come, hopefully by Monday morning). Additionally, I remarked to Matt that after almost three weeks of being on this elimination diet, I finally realized this morning that my body finally feels quiet on the inside--for so many months, I got so used to feeling inflamed internally and having cramps and discomfort and just a general sense that my body's systems were in overdrive all the time.
But now, I almost feel as good as I did way back when, before I got parasites, before I developed my AI disease.
So thank you holiday break, for bringing back my sanity. (And the best part is, I've still got two more days!!)
2016, you're looking good already.