Into Winter...

The holidays are upon us! Now that it's December, I feel as though someone reminded Mother Nature she is supposed to be churning out icicles and snow and she's suddenly obliging. Seemingly overnight (again) it's become much, much colder with wind gusts that'll knock you off your feet. The grass is frosted over each morning and cars are beginning to ice during the night. We saw one small SUV that had been driven in from just outside town and it was absolutely caked in icy slush. Brrr.

Weather aside, I knew the month of December would get busier and it certainly has. Mike and I are packing for Paris and leave Thursday morning for four glorious day in the beautiful city!! We are both so excited and look forward to romantic excursions, incredible history, delicious wine and new foods. For some reason, I'm stressed out about what to pack since it's only one of the most stylish, chic cities in the world. I want to look least like a tourist, but am not convinced that will be the case. For instance, in spite of my efforts to adapt to the style in Scotland, people can still tell I'm an American from afar. Maybe it's the way I walk.

But not getting too far ahead of ourselves, we enjoyed a really great Thanksgiving. Terri and two guys from Mike's work joined us for a literal feast I'd been working on all day. I cooked my first-ever turkey, which came out just as good as I could've hoped for, and we had all the trimmings: stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cream cheese corn, cheesecake and chocolate cake (thanks to Terri). It was delicious! After dinner, we watched Varsity Blues and it was somehow comforting to hear country accents dripping in twang, albeit from a TV.

On Saturday, Mike and I went out for a couple drinks and ended up at Soul Casino until 4am. It was so much fun, I love that we can have such a great time with just the two of us. Those are our best moments together and we enjoy getting into whatever comes up. Which is why I can't wait until we're in Paris, running around town and experiencing whatever looks fun!

In other exciting news, my mom and step-dad should be arriving next week!! I'm excited beyond words, I haven't seen them since we left Texas in August. We rarely go longer than a month without some sort of visit, so this will be a much-needed and long-awaited reunion. Mike and I are thrilled to be able to show them around town and share our experience with them both, and it'll be nice to have them staying for nearly three weeks! They weren't originally scheduled to arrive until sometime around the 13th, so this was a nice surprise. The perfect treat after we return from France!

(This picture is my mom and me at our going away party in Houston... it's one of my faves!)

Other plans include working on a return trip to Inverness when one of our friends visits over New Years, as well as reading up on Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2010! We'll be there two nights and are looking forward to kicking off the new year in one of Scotland's most celebrated cities. Once the holidays have flown by, we might decide on one more weekend getaway before preparing for our week-long trip home to the States in February. For that, I will be so excited and ready to see friends and family, my dogs, eat steak and Mexican food, drink Bud Light and drive my Avalanche. You can tell we only have a few things in mind, huh?

In the meantime, however, my head is filled with visions of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and small cafes in the City of Lights. Seems like I won't be able to get off the Paris subject for very long, so I'll leave you, dear readers, with this marvelous shot of where we'll soon be. There will be much to tell when we're back next week... ciao!

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