Hello to this writing space! It’s been a while. One lovely thing to come back to was my sourdough starter! I missed baking (and especially eating) bread. Not that I didn’t eat bread for a month, but it wasn’t my amazing sourdough lol. The only thing I was really looking forward to on this return was my kitchen actually, ha! It always takes a few days for me to feel comfortable in my house again, but once I’m in for 48 hours I love it all over.I’m trying to cheer my rather homesick self up by pouring my energy into planning for Christmas. I’ve got all but two of my gift purchased, which has got to be a record for me. Even better is that I’ve actually managed to keep to my budget so far which has literally never happened. I’m actually focusing my efforts on keeping this affordable instead of going all out on every gift. Obviously, it’s still early in the game, but I’m hoping once everything arrives and decisions are made I can put it out of my mind and not think about adding more and more on top of it. So far I’ve got lists for advent, baking and appetizers going. I consulted my tradition notebook (where I keep track of what we did in years past) and saw a few things I’d forgotten we did, like pizza on Christmas Eve and appetizers instead of dinner on Christmas Day. I’m so glad I started that book. Shane has to work Christmas Eve and Day nights (6pm-6am), so it’s a bit disappointing, but if I can recall, this happened last year too, so whatever. My most recent plans are for a baking exchange in early December, I’m excited!Hazel has been begging to start “tot school” or “mommy lessons” as we also call them. She loooooves when I plan those fun activities for her. Bonus that she is learning a little! So next week we are going for a dinosaur theme, which is awesome because she LOOOOVES dinosaurs. In fact, she brings up our trip to the dinosaur museum in Drumheller at least once a week. She also mentions hiking, her aunt and uncle and a “biiiiig scaaaary tyrannosaurus-rex!” in those same conversations, apparently, it made a big impact on her. She doesn’t talk about much else during those two weeks except dinosaurs (also in reference to the huge animated dinosaurs at the Winnipeg Zoo).We had so much fun on our trip down to Chilliwack, I wish we never had to leave. I regularly feel envious of all the people I would see while we were out and about, and how they got to live in this place I love. This waiting game for moving back seems unbearable. Anyway, we had such fun with trips to the pumpkin patch, the corn maze, Bellingham, little shopping excursions, wedding dress shopping for my best friend, Kamloops, lots of baking and outside time, and plenty of time spent with the people who really love us. Hazel also had a great time celebrating Halloween. I had planned a few activities for us, but she ended up with a chest-sickness thing that required a wait in the medical clinic and inhalers, followed by a nap. But our evening pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating as Rapunzel was a huge success. She will be talking about this one all year.