Brian and I spent a quiet Thanksgiving day at home together. When I was growing up, Thanksgiving dinner always took place at my family's house, and I loved it. I think mostly I loved that my cousins were coming over, and we could all sit at the kids' table and have a grand time. I remember the house being full and hectic and warm and happy, and I love that feeling and miss it. But I was also thankful to have this quiet holiday at home this year: to spend the morning lying in bed Brian and the cat, all snuggled up together, while the baby stirred and kicked inside me; to call a pregnant friend to see how she was doing and hear that she had given birth to a little girl the night before; to spend the day in the kitchen with Brian, cooking some of our favorite foods, listening to music (thanks, Lauren!), drinking sparkling pear cider, and just enjoying each others' company.
Friday was a beautiful day--sunny, with temperatures in the 60s--so we ventured out for a nature walk (well, waddle) from River Bend to Great Falls. I discovered that even an easy, 3.5-mile, mostly flat trail can be a bit much when you're eight months pregnant. But it felt so good to be outside in the fresh air, actually getting to move my body. The falls seemed full after the recent rain. I'll post pictures soon.
Saturday I think we were mostly pretty lazy. I don't remember Saturday, to be honest, which is actually a pretty good sign it was a pleasant, lazy day. We spent the evening at a leftovers party with friends, visiting with some people we hadn't seen in awhile, some we had, and some we'd never met before. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, and I managed to stay awake until midnight.
At the leftovers party, one of my friends mentioned wanting to go see "The Nutcracker" at the Kennedy Center. The Post had given the performance an excellent review earlier in the week and I was eager to see the Joffrey Ballet, but it was only in town through the weekend, which Brian and I wanted to take easy, and I knew Brian wouldn't be that into the idea of the ballet, so I hadn't said anything about it to him. Suddenly I had a date for the ballet. We bought tickets for the following night.
I think it may have been the most amazing performance of "The Nutcracker" I've ever seen (the only other two productions I've seen have been the Oakland and San Francisco Ballets'), although that could have been because it had been so long since I'd seen it. But everything about it seemed perfect, from the moment the orchestra began to play the familiar music and Dr.Drosselmeyer in his dark cape made his way across the stage, to the sparkling costume and exquisite dancing of the Snow Queen and the slow grace of the Coffee from Arabia.
It was hard to come back in to the office on Monday morning. I got out of bed at a reasonable hour and made it in by nine (and even settled straight into work, thanks to having made a list on Wednesday afternoon in order to avoid my usual post-vacation work routine--a morning spent puttering around the office wondering what on earth it is they pay me to do here), but I thought good thoughts about the time between my last day of work and the arrival of Sticky.
A nice little exercise
On Sunday, the Post ran an article about happiness. It began by describing an exercise in which you end each day by thinking of three good things that happened that day and why they happened. I've been trying to do that ever since.
Last night as I settled down to sleep I ran over the days' events in my head and quickly came up with three things to be happy about:
- I visited with a neighbor I hadn't seen in a while on the bus and train on the way to work.
- At work, I had to learn how to do something new in SAS, and I figured it out on my own and it actually worked.
- I got home from work to discover Brian in the kitchen preparing what turned out to be a fantastic minestrone.
All I've really done is think of the good things that happened--I haven't really bothered to worry about the why. I don't know if doing this will increase my overall happiness, but I think it will make me more conscious of the good things in my life and aware of little things that are pleasing, and that can't be a bad idea.