and it's over for now...

And just like that, in what seemed like the blink of an eye the magical trappings of Christmas vanished.  This morning the tree still glittered bright, the lights at the mantel still charmed and the magic of having my babies and both my grand babies home for Christmas seemed to have only been a moment ago.

Sitting here in the stillness, with no colored lights and the everything "normal", I realize that it's been a few weeks since my youngest and his sweetie headed back west.  They are back living their lives, in fact tomorrow is my youngest babies birthday.  I wish I was there to celebrate with him.  Instead I will go to work and it will be just another day.

I haven't even spent much time with the oldest.  Although we did go to the Ice Festival yesterday. Despite being freezing, it was great fun and I was in awe of the skill of the ice carvers. I can't even imagine trying to carve ice.  The cold factor alone pretty much guarantees I will not even try.

I finally …

and a new one begins...

Happy New Year!  Can you believe we've already hurried through another year?

2018 came to the mid-west in a bitter fit!  It's cold!  -6 is not a temperature that I am used to waking up to, that's for darn sure.  And I have no idea if it was colder before I looked at 730 am. Sad to feel thankful that it's climbed to a balmy 9.

Today marks the start of another 365 days to have great experiences and enjoy life.  Although I am pretty sure that could be said for any day.  I am not sure what makes January 1 so significant.  It really is just another day. A bitterly cold day this year, but it really isn't all that special.

It's a day.

Now it is a day to slow down and enjoy family, friends and life.  And for that I am grateful.

Both of the "B's" were supposed to come ring in the new year last night, but unfortunately one of the B's was sick.  And although we missed her, it was a fabulous time for us to visit, talk, sip wine and enjoy the fire.  The Hu…

and that's a wrap...

It's super silent in the house this morning.  Literally all I can here is the clicking of the keys as I'm typing.  And this darn ear. It's odd.  It's actually a bit creepy.

There are no animals outside making any sounds, the bitter cold has them all tucked away somewhere warm.  Six degrees is just plain cold and they are saying it will get colder.  The inside babies are all snug on their sofa's.  Warming up from their very cold walk a bit ago.

Here it is New Years Eve, another year has come and gone.  It feels like I was literally just typing that about 2016.  Time flies so much the older and busier you get. 

2017 has been an incredible year, full of firsts and beginnings.  A few endings.  Some overwhelming, some barely noticeable.  I can honestly say that it's the first year in a long while that hasn't been filled with non-stop negative stress. 

There have been some supremely sad times.  Things that I am still struggling to come to terms with. People have…

in the silence...

I can't sleep this morning. 

I've been trying to fall back asleep for almost two hours, I finally gave up. Now I'm sitting here waiting for the coffee to brew.  I thought Hubs was awake, but it appears he's fallen back to sleep.  I am not about to wake him.  Our vacation days are drawing to a close and sleeping in is rare for him.  He's always been an early riser, the older he gets I question if he gets near enough sleep, as he know wakes up in the middle of the night (yep, I consider 3 am the middle of the night).

I was stunned to open the door to let Neeko out, it's been bitterly cold and I was excited to see that it was a whopping 21 degree's when I checked.  Imagine my surprise to open the door to gale force winds that were bitterly cold.  I know it's "officially" winter now, but it sure seems like Mother Nature waited until Dec. 21 and then started throwing a tantrum.

If it's going to be this cold, I would prefer the snow my family i…

day dreaming...

It's still, quiet and cold. 
The perfect formula for a quiet and lazy day at home.  Hubs is watching TV in his recliner - although he's napping a bit more, one of the joys of vacation time. The boys have both curled up on their respective sofa's, softly snoring and being lazy. 
Me?  I'm just enjoying nothingness. Is that a word?  Today is the first day in almost two full weeks that work has intruded, but I'm okay with it.  My boy has returned west and I am finally feeling a bit better.  I still can't hear, the echo and ringing is getting tiresome, but I am not exhausted and just plain sick. 
I have thought of a few different things that I want to do, but frankly, I am enjoying just sitting quietly.  
Flipping through my new cookbooks, daydreaming about what I will make first.  The decision is very difficult. Breads, soups, a meat dish?  I love German food and it feels like I have a recipe now for almost every dish I love, except for the elusive Brotchen recipe.

the void...

The silence is deafening.

The feeling of not knowing what to do next... almost maddening.

It's the dreaded void.

That first bit of time after.   It doesn't matter what's it's after.  Simply "after".

Right now, it is the after of my sweet boy and his girl boarding their plan back west.  I will feel lost for a few hours at least.  I am anxiously awaiting the text message that tells me he's safely back at his home.  The flight went well and that they have started to unpack and put their Christmas treasures away in their home.

Sitting at the island in the kitchen shivering because it's only hit a balmy 13 degrees here in the Midwest.  I keep looking at the temperatures they will arrive back at... 75... and it will be warmer by the time they land.

There are remnants of our time together everywhere I look.  I'm hesitant to change any of it, it will make it real. I'm not ready for it to be real.  I like seeing the last bite of banana bread that he co…