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‘Tis the time of year for baking, snuggling, Christmas-cake-eating, roaring-fire-making-and-setting-off-the-fire-alarming, and general hunkering, not otherwise specified. Which means logging off the computer for as much time as I can muster…Hope everyone is likewise enjoying the holiday season!

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I’m well aware that these may be the last of my Fall images. It was perfect weather until two weeks ago when the polar ice caps did their dance, vortexes (vortices?) brewed, and two unwelcome sets of Arctic winds swept through the East Coast. Fortunately we were in California last weekend and missed a cold Thanksgiving. But the weekend before, brrr……

I’m still sorting through the hundreds of images that I took on our trip to LA – I’ll post a few of those next week. My family can expect an album-length synopsis of every waking minute from touchdown to wheels up. A new camera will do that to you.

I bought my camera as an early Christmas present – to myself – which I never do. But I’ve been lusting after a new camera for years. I’d done the research, I’d picked out the lens. I’d even rented both pieces, just to be sure.

It’s a genius camera and a joy to use. I’ve loved taking it on long walks with the kids, and bought it just in time to catch the last of our Fall colors.

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Last week Rodney and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I’d like to say that we planned an extravagant evening out on the town, retreated to a luxury hotel room, and enjoyed some breakfast mimosas in front of a roaring fire. 

Instead, it went down like this:

Phone conversation, transcript, November 13, 2014, 8AM: 

MUM: “Happy Anniversary Jess!”

ME: “What?!”

MUM: It’s your 10th anniversary today, remember?

ME: [silence]

We are not good at remembering dates.

Each year my Mum reminds us of our anniversary by sending flowers. This year, I could tell that she was somewhat shocked that we hadn’t even remembered our 10th. She tried to brush it off “Well, there have really been so many anniversaries, it is hard to keep track…” but in her voice there was a trace of “get it together people.”

It’s not that we don’t care for each other – in fact it’s the opposite. Every day feels like a celebration. We eat most dinners at home together, often after the kids have gone down, accompanied by a glass of wine. We make each other laugh; bleary-eyed tear-filled laughs. Yes, we irritate each other in the way that couples do. I am mostly to blame. But there is love, lots of it, and we remind ourselves of that frequently.

But 10 years….it’s something that should be commemorated, if not with a bronze plaque, then at least with some tequila.

By some twist of fate, there were exactly two tequila shots left in our bottle of Jimador that we smuggled back from our wedding in Mexico. Not easy for a Tuesday night, but sometimes you just have to do what it takes.

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We’ll plan a big dinner out soon – once we get through the holidays, the merriment, the wrapping, the unwrapping, and the sheer happy fatigue of it all.

For now, we kept things simple, because a weekend at home beats any evening out….

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It was the Mister’s birthday last week. 5 golden years, how quickly they’ve gone. I can still remember the day he was born. I’d snuggled him close to my chest and that evening asked the nurse if all seemed OK. He hadn’t made a peep. Just slept and ate, slept and ate. In hindsight I should have recognized a little personality in the making: easygoing, not one to make a fuss.

It was with this no-nonsense attitude that he tagged along to Lauren’s doctor’s visit the day before his birthday. The older kids were off school that day, and it was a perfect opportunity to spend a few hours in Central Park…

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Eating Oreos. While wearing a Mustache sweater. It is Movember after all.

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Maybe one day his grill will look like that. For now we’ll chalk it up to a good case of Oreo teeth.

Central Park is so pretty at this time of year…..

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Did you know that wild cats live in the Park? Sam found a leopard and stalked it…

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We spent a weekend at home. No Saturday morning scramble to New Jersey, which I admit was a nice change.

But keeping kids entertained in New York City for the weekend is no small feat. That nice little sliding glass door to the backyard doesn’t exist, making it essential to plan activities with military precision. Comfortable footwear? Snacks packed? Game plan sketched?

With the grandparents in town for a visit, we hit the park at 0500 hours.

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It actually wasn’t that early, but it sounds cool.

Speaking of the military…

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