1. Was reminded, recently, that I was supposed to send my manuscript off before the end of the year, so I did that today. It makes me so proud of things I’ve slogged through: school, long months of difficulties, griefs, and intermittent sun. More school. Thesis & thesis defense. I work hard to make things, and I need to.

2. Marshall and I were saddened by the lack of snow in Knoxville, so we got in the new Forester and drove up to Max Patch on Christmas Eve. It was so white. Snow was on the ground, and mist had crystallized on the trees and grasses, making everything, everything white. Clear white creaking branches against a dimmer white sky, gray-white ground sloping upward into low-hanging white clouds. Inadequate clothes (this happens so often). Violent shivering. Something in us opening so wide.

3. Ten months after Marshall’s Meniere’s diagnosis, we’re both wishing that we could move a little more quickly through the stages in front of us. And at the same time, we’re not. Life, so slow, and then—suddenly—so fast. I’m ok with the pace of our life, I think. If we have to move slowly—if we absolutely indeed must—then I want to pay attention.

4. I wish we’d been invited to a Christmas party instead of a New Year’s Eve party. At Christmas parties, you can wear slouchy knits and talk quietly and blend into the scenery when you need to … but New Year’s Eve parties are for glittering and dancing and popping out of the scenery. Since I don’t wear satin or sequins, I’m nonplussed. I don’t think the people throwing this party would want me to not come simply because I don’t have the required black, white, silver, or gold dress … but … purposeful (i.e., last-minute / urgent) dress shopping is such an awful thing.

5. We got so many great kitchen things for Christmas. Also a nice vacuum.

6. We gave our parents leather albums with long-overdue wedding photos in them, and I found myself wanting to do nothing but look at those photos. What a great day that was. The hand-hemmed napkins we made for the wedding potluck have finally made their way into a queen-sized “broken dishes” quilt, with navy backing. I’ve worked on it for about a year, now, and I only have to finish the edges. Then we’ll sleep underneath that beautiful day. (And also fight and cry and lie sleepless and laugh and touch and talk, have dreams and nightmares.) (Married life is no less varied than single life, surely.)

7. All I can think about is January, how arid it seems. What on earth is going to happen in 2014? It’s disconcerting to not know, at all.