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(Continuation of previous post since WordPress was garbling photos and text…)

"Santa Came! The stockings are full and there's HUNDREDS of presents! Get up, get up!"

December 24: Depart for week-long family holiday vacation in Gold Beach, Oregon. Instead of our usual crazy Christmas Eve Party, followed by a present extravaganza in my living room which barely holds the presents much less the 10 to 13 family members gathered there, we opted for a vacation rental on the Oregon Coast. Leaving that morning made for a bit of a hectic Christmas Eve, but by that evening we had created our own hors d’oeuvres/dessert/margarita party – but much less mess without the crowds of friends.

The following days represented a welcome respite from the running around of the previous weeks, but somehow despite my best intentions, I barely managed to crack a novel, much less get any writing done. Lots of good family time though. Monopoly and Pictionary with the nephews while rain and wind shook the house. A stunning hike, complete with rainbows,  down to the beach at Cape Sebastian on the one semi-sunny day.

December 30: Drive home to prepare for big New Year’s Even barn party – wondering why exactly we decided at the last minute to have such party. Oh yeah, it was a great excuse to celebrate and ring in the New Year with both daughters. Of course they both spent the whole day dress-shopping, but they sure did look smashing in their brand new New Year’s dresses!

December 31: Party Time!

Ciel shakes it up in her hot new dress

Rosie rockin' with her friend Anna

Woo Hoo! The fun goes on way after midnight.

January 1: What just happened? Now I have to wash 96 borrowed wineglasses!

January 2: Am I really leaving in less than 17 days? What should I bring? Or, more to the point:  what shouldn’t I bring? Can I fit everything into a carry-on? Time to get serious and get ready for two months in Bali and Thailand!