Seattle was wet and warm and wonderful. Eric and my parents have met, and Eric didn't run screaming for the nearest airport and my parents didn't take me aside and whisper, "Are you sure you love this guy?" so all is well on that front. Christmas Eve was the family get-together, full of cookies and ribs (my step-uncle had three helpings, one at dinner, one at dessert, and one at game time) and talking and games and watching Gabe's antics. Andy got me a sudoku book. Eric and I had formerly scorned the sudoku craze, but then I opened the book and we worked on progressively harder puzzles the entire rest of the trip. Christmas day I got a red cashmere sweater from Mom, identical except in color to the two cashmere sweaters she's gotten me the previous two Christmases, and a movie and some books and an art print from my brother, which surprised me, and World of Warcraft from Eric. We'll see how that goes. Mom and Dad and James got Eric presents from the list I had sent, which I appreciated and which I think he did too.
The next day we drove to Portland, to watch Gabe some more, and the next day went to Mt. Rainier. Eric felt at home once we got up to the snow line. And we went to Jamba Juice twice over the trip--we were tabulating points for living in Toledo versus the Pacific Northwest over the entire visit, and Jamba Juice was a point for the Pacific Northwest. Possibly two. I was a little homesick the last couple of days, but I'm over it now. I still want to go back, but it's nice here, too. We had another Christmas last night, with Eric's family. They handle present opening differently from my family, but it worked out and I got nice stuff (notably knitting gadgets and Tupperware). Eric's sister got a new wool coat I coveted, but I had also gotten a new wool coat from Mom which I knew I was getting since she had been telling me for years that my old wool coat needed replacing and this year she had stopped trying to persuade me and said, "What color do you want?" I left the old coat at her house. I hope she at least donates it to Goodwill, as it's a perfectly good coat--though my new one is admittedly much better.
So I'm warm and current on family hugs and laden with material things, and now I'm helping with a New Year's party. In the new year I will be: getting an interim job, getting a real job, getting a house or at least a permanent living space, working on writing and knitting and quilting (oh, hey, I have to write a new Annual Report, don't I? Geez, already?) and generally getting my life in order. Business as usual. Happy New Year!