taking stock: december

Making: lots of lists - things to pack, to-dos, sights to see, and so on

Cooking: not much!  Today's the start of our three-week Christmas trip, so cooking for the next little bit will probably be minimal

Drinking: tea - we came away with two mugs (stuffed full of goodies!) at a White Elephant exchange this week

Reading: all the guidebooks, all the time.  Have you been to Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Malta, Venice, or Milan?  Then I want all your tips!

Wanting: to be with my family for Christmas...I know I said something similar last month about Thanksgiving but this time between the two holidays maybe makes you ask yourself a time or two if you still want to live abroad

Looking: for slippers and a cozy knit scarf

Playing: Ticket to Ride like there's no tomorrow, or like I won't be able to play for three weeks, which is true

Eating: leftovers galore to clean out the house, but tonight, BELGIAN CHOCOLATE, and tomorrow, WAFFLES

Wishing: for warm weather in Malta so I can dip my toes in the sea.  Wishful thinking, I know, as it's winter.

Enjoying: becoming more and more acquainted with Madrid

Loving: my students.  Christmas presents, Spanish lessons with one of their parents, laughing about how crazy English is, talking about life...I really like my job.

Hoping: for a white Christmas!

Listening: to Metro musicians, and most of them are pretty good!

Needing: internet at home - our options for finding it elsewhere are dwindling, so we're getting desperate and would really like to figure out how to connect at home

Smelling: chestnuts roasting over open fires, literally.  This is really popular in Madrid, alongside stands selling street corn and roasted sweet potatoes.  They're really fragrant, but I'm not lining up to try them as you have to crack them yourself, and that seems like quite a task.

Feeling: excited (about our trip!)  but nervous (about the approximately 37 flights, bus rides, and train trips before us - that's a lot to keep straight!)

Wearing: boots - and not winter ones.  This is the most beautiful winter I've ever experienced!