Christmas Cookies – Day 0

Howdy! It’s been a while.

Let me explain….

2017 was…really something. Saying there was a bit of “change” is an understatement. We packed up our Pacifica house, sold it, moved to Walnut Creek to a temporary apartment and then bought a new home in Concord in six months time.  Ambitious you say? A little crazy maybe? C’mon…you read this blog, you KNOW my limits of crazy and ambition know no bounds.  But yeah. 2017 was really something.

What this meant was, all my baking equipment, cookbooks and well, kitchen was packed up and in storage between July and December last year, which meant…NO COOKIE MADNESS in 2017.  Yup, those were dark days in more ways than one.  The Husband, me and the dogs were displaced for the fall months, living in a cramped, 1 bedroom apartment while we looked for our forever home here on this side of the bridge.  Long story short, my office was moving from Menlo Park to the larger building in San Ramon, and The Husband was like, “we could move…” So we did.

What an adventure that turned out to be.  Aside from the huge undertaking of sifting through 15 years of our Pacifica life and packing it all up, moving it to storage, staging out little house and selling it, we also had the task of looking for, bidding on and buying our new home in Contra Costa County.  And of course, we’re not rich people, so we had to wait for our old home to sell before we could buy the new one.  Buying a house is one thing, but selling one AND buying one at the same time is not what I consider fun.  Stress, hope, let down, misery, joy, excitement, frustration– it’s all there.

For someone like me who really values stability and putting down roots over the excitement of the next new thing, this was a blessing and a curse.  If I don’t have to do that again for a long while (or, like, ever) I’ll be happy.  The good thing was, we traded up.  Our Pacifica sale allowed us to buy a beautiful home, double our space and seriously upgrade our lifestyle.  We traded the coast (which I miss, everyday) for a pool and a big backyard.  Foggy days for blazing hot sun. Seriously, we never dreamed of owning a home like the one we are in, and everyday we count our blessings and are thankful for what we have.

This meant our happy little family was temporarily displaced.  Fatty McIrish wound up bouncing around for a bit (again, dark days), and it was really hard.  But when moving day came on December 2, 2017, the band was back together again.  For the longest time we kept turning to each other saying “I can’t believe we live here” and words like “Dude, we have a hot tub” were uttered more than once.

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Summer was freaking hot, but spectacular and both corgis learned to swim.  Musubi has taken to the water just a bit more than Momiji, to the point where the minute you step foot into the pool, she launches herself in and won’t come out for hours.  It’s been really fun.  Scary, exciting and new, but fun.

Round about way of getting here, but here we are.  I’ve been looking forward to this year’s cookie madness for months.  I’ve got cookie repression. I’m jonesing for that sugar high, the absolutely all-consuming process of creating something wonderful from nothing and sharing it with my family and friends.  I’m so amped up to go and my list this year reflects that.  23 kinds on the roster, 7 of them cut outs.  I’ve added an air brush to my arsenal this year and fully intend on using it.  I’ve got enough gluten free people in my life to warrant a couple of GF boxes, and even though they wont’ get 23 different kinds, I intend to do a couple of GF batches because, well, I love my people.

So on the eve of cookie madness, I’m thankful and excited.  Nervous of what may come up over the course of the next 5 days in this new kitchen with it’s 2 new ovens, with spot on temperature.  Excited to see what I can accomplish with proper counter and surface space, and for once, being able to work on cookies without the WHOLE HOUSE being consumed by madness.  I mean, it probably will be consumed, but at least there is space to get away from it if need be.

2018-12-02 23.07.44Also, this is Musubi’s first time being part of cookie madness.  We got her after the 2016 cookie time was done, so this past year has been the first year of her doggo life where she’s had a proper holiday with us.  We’ve gone the distance in so many ways this year, and on the home front I’ve been all in for celebrating the holidays, decking the new halls and all that.  It’s been fun.  And it’s now feeling like home.

Despite all the things that went awry this year, despite the painful yet amazing change, I’m happy.  I’ve chosen to rise, and focus on what is so important to me and stop taking all the good stuff for granted and really let it sink in and enjoy what I have, who I’m with and where I am.  It’s a different Jenn this year.  A little worn and I’m starting to feel my age a bit (no longer are the all-nighters possible), but stronger now, perhaps more strength than I had before.

Heavy stuff for cookie-eve.  I promise it’s not going as dark as 2016 was, although you can’t celebrate the warmth of the light without first feeling the cold of the dark.  The theme this year really embraces that.  But more of that later.  Tonight I got a jump start and mixed up 1 of the sugar cookie batches (the chocolate one which benefits from a longer chill time), and now I need to get a good night’s rest so I can start early in the morning.  Looking forward to documenting this year’s cookie adventures.  It’s been too long.


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