I always mourn how these two months seem to seep through my fingers each year, but something this year felt even faster. Maybe it was the trip to Chicago or my kiddos’ growing energy (and needs) or our late arrival of cold weather. Who knows. I still loved every bit (minus the stomach bug at the beginning of November and a cold in December). We gobbled down our fall days by spending more time outdoors, taking in the color and dry air, often taking our books or schoolwork outdoors with us. Ooh — and we started our first fall garden! Although I love the color of spring gardens, all of my favorites veggies are growing right now in our backyard: broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, radishes, varieties of spinach and romaine lettuces, and even tomatoes. Of course, the kids have enjoyed harvesting the lettuces and spinach the most — one moment in the yard; the next on their plates. Delightful. We still spent much of our time buried in books this semester, together and individually. Burke finished The Hobbit in time for the film release in December, and since Liam had read it last Spring, Mark and I took both boys to the theater on Christmas Eve too see it, a holiday highlight for sure. In December, the kids and I also wrapped up our semester with a little Christmas party and mini-musical through our Classical Conversations campus. We also enjoyed volunteering with the Salvation Army, drinking lots of hot chocolate (coffee for me), decorating our Christmas tree, enjoying rare visits with dear friends from California and DC, and traveling to spend several days with our parents, siblings, and nieces and nephew. On top of it all, this year it snowed on Christmas day. We stared out of my parents’ large glass windows as the rainstorm turned to heavy, white snowdrops piling on the fence and table and walking paths: by far my favorite gift and a magical way to end 2012. Happy New Year, everyone!