Well hey there. While I’ve been gone for eleven days, I am still around! And today is my birthday! Woo-hoo!

Last night we flew back in from Chicago after a fun-filled and very busy five-day trip “home” for the holidays. Hubby had to work today but due to some extenuating circumstances at work earlier this year, I had an extra personal day to use so I don’t have to go back until Wednesday! Which means I get to enjoy two whole days of peace and quiet – just what I want for my birthday. 🙂 I plan to spend today reading and relaxing, and tomorrow cleaning, doing laundry, and shopping! Best birthday gift ever.

Since moving to Florida in December of 2009, hubby and I have never flown back to Chicago for Christmas. With our work schedules it’s been really difficult to get that time off, especially when TWO people have to coordinate getting that time off – a very busy time of year in the banking industry. Also, plane tickets that week are crazy expensive and in years past, we’ve possibly gotten the time off but only figured that out late in the year – too late to buy plane tickets at anywhere close to a decent price. But THIS year we coordinated our schedules in March, bought tickets the day Southwest posted those flights, and it was perfection. We had a GREAT trip and I got to do everything with family I wanted in those five days. Plus we spent a night with my oldest friends and their significant others – girls I’ve known since middle school and am still lucky enough to call best friends. Really, I couldn’t have asked for more.

And now I’m back and thinking about the new year. I have a ton of stuff I’d love to do better next year, but I don’t like the pressure and stress (and inevitable let-down and guilty feelings) of New Years Resolutions, so I’ll just quietly talk to myself about doing better and put some real effort into getting there.

I do have a TON of unreviewed books I need to talk about. I may just do a few mini-review posts or some longer ones, I’m not really sure. But I do want to talk about them. And will I do a best of post from 2014? Maybe, but if I do it probably won’t post until next week. I might still finish a book or two before the first and what if that’s my favorite? I wouldn’t want to speak too soon!

Anyway – that’s what I’ve been up to. How was your holiday? Any plans for the new year? I’m off to enjoy my birthday relaxation! Enjoy your week. 🙂