1. I think I can't begin anything here without thanking you all from the bottom of my heart for your kind and enthusiastic words about Cal's endeavor. This week has been a complete whirlwind as we get him ready to go, and I don't see things settling down. It feels like every conversation we have right now touches on Richmond. How he studies, what he needs to wear, does he need a watch... From the mundane to the sublime.
I'm not gonna lie. We're all a little nervous. It'll be a big change for us, and Cal will be stretched to do things that he doesn't love to do (he's a kid who loves and needs his down time and this winter will have little of that, I'm afraid). But I have great faith that he can rise to this challenge and that we'll all take care of each other along the way.
Several of you have suggested that Cal keep a blog, and he is allowed to while he's away. All posts have to be approved by the Clerk of the Senate, and it might be complicated, but he will be part of the newsletter crew, and you have to know I'll be keeping you updated!
2. I think that Neel and I were a little gratified to learn that our 72 inch bathroom vanity does in fact sit in a 71 inch space. Ten years of off-center sinks, drawers that don't close and general irritating mayhem, and here we are. The good news? We met with a contractor last night, and with Cal out of the house for 8 weeks, it looks like we'll pull the trigger on our bathroom reno. Can't wait. Time to start pinning!
3. I think the worst part about Christmas is finding all the stuff I want for ME. Ahem. I've already shared a Christmas-suggestion list, and I keep finding stuff I love and would likely never buy myself. And free shipping. (Shakes fist!). I've been so good all year about not wanting stuff or buying stuff, and it all breaks down. Clearly I'm broken.
4. I think I'm gonna straight up admit how much I love winter. I love the seasonal changes and I long for a snowy season (even without a kid home for snow days). Clearly we'll need to head further north someday to make me happy, and it could be warmer here at my desk, but BRING IT. I'm ready. What I hate? How long it takes our faucet water to warm up in the winter, making hand washing torturous. Did I mention that we're having our bathroom redone? I'm pulling hard for radiant heat.
5. I think there's so much, good and bad, to say about the Mandela memorial this past week. I found Obama's speech stirring, and I loved to learn of the South African word Unbuntu. Mandela himself describes Unbuntu in this clip, and I actually love this part of the Wikipedia definition: "I am because we all are." Unbuntu encompasses our shared humanity. I am because we all are. When I get to thinking about the things that aren't crossed off my list and all my yet undone tasks, this is what I need to remember. I am because we all are. Another way to talk about what this season is all about.