Christmas 2017

My husband and I grew up in the same small town and our parents still live about ten miles apart, so we don’t have to choose which family to visit for the holidays, which is super nice.

Unfortunately, our hometown is about eleven hours away via car. And because it’s a small town, flying in costs an arm and a leg, so we usually drive. Eleven hours in the car is a long damn time. We make it bearable by listening to audiobooks.

This year we listened to a book that couldn’t quite decide what it wanted to be. It was definitely science fiction, but it also had splashes of romance (in fact, I thought it was a romance until I didn’t get my HFN/HEA), mystery, space opera, and military sci-fi. I didn’t love it, so I’m not going to name it, but it did get us to MO and back.

We had a nice, relaxed Christmas. We celebrated with my husband’s family on Christmas Eve and my family on Christmas Day. I got to spend time with my two little nephews who are growing like weeds and who are so cute they’ll give you cavities. At four and two they are at peak adorableness. Of course I said that when they were at one and three and I’ll probably still be saying it when they’re in their twenties. :)

Now we’re back home and have to deal with things like plumbers and broken dishwashers and work. Boo!

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but January 1 we’re kicking off a month of Whole30. I lost a lot of weight a couple years ago, but the scale has started creeping in the wrong direction again, so it’s time to get my eating back on track. It should be perfectly miserable for the first week or so, considering I’ve eaten my body weight in sugar in the last few days.

Did you have a nice holiday? Also, can you believe it’s almost 2018? This year went so fast!

21 thoughts on “Christmas 2017”

  1. Happy New Year. I’m glad you had a great Christmas.
    Here in Canada we are having a truly cold holiday season. We are setting records throughout the country.
    I like winter, and I like snow, but today’s high will be minus 18 C ,,, thank goodness for my woodstove.

  2. I’m thinking about doing a whole30 in the new year as well. I did one quite a few years ago (when it was just becoming a thing) and also lost a lot of weight, I think mainly because you stop eating junk (i’m looking at you sugar) and you really focus on eating when you are hungry and not when you aren’t. This time around will he a little more difficult as we are trying to cut down on meat consumption, especially beef and pork and sticking mainly to birds and fish.

    Good luck to you on yours and a very Happy New Year. Looming forward to the next installment of the queen’s gambit.

  3. Happy Holidays Jessie. It has been a rough December and I can hardly wait for it to take its sorry butt out. In Canada it has been record breaking cold and we do not expect relief until after New Years. Sucks to be a Canadian or live along the border with Canada.
    One of my kitties is ill and probably will not recover. My mother is in hospital with dementia (she is 91 years old) so I think she has done very well. My partner has Alzheimers and we spent last night at Emergency because he seemed to be having a heart attack. Got sprung after 8 hours. Thank goodness for ebooks.
    Next year will be better. Your serial book gives me great pleasure to me. Good Fortune with your weight loss goals. Cutting out sugar and a lot of starches should work for you.
    Hugs from Joyce

  4. Happy New Year’s Jessie. Christmas itself was good, with the son and girlfriend coming over for presents and gossip. After that things took a sharp turn downhill, as my wife’s mother passed away on December 27, and we’ve been scrambling to deal with funeral preparations. The youngest daughter, who lives in the town where the wife’s mother will be interned (she will be cremated) had made absolutely no plans, and is a certified flake. Thus we, who live a hard 3 hours away, have had to do a lot of the coordinating and planning (and running). Hopefully, by next week, the funeral service will be over, and we can finally let the load drop. After that, we’ll see how the year goes. Thank you for the Queen’s Gambit, it is a cheery read amid the stress and gloom.

      1. Thank you . The mother in law had been suffering from both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s for nine years, and we were prepared for her death. The only good thing was that she recognized my wife the week before she passed. Tell Joyce we feel for her situation as well.

  5. I’m eating a cookie right now! All the sugar! The furnace went out this morning but thankfully it is repaired and we are nice and toasty. I was able to gift some meaningful presents to loved ones and surprised my husband with Millenium Falcon Bluetooth speaker. The day after Christmas I hit the couch. I am nesting there until 2018. :D Peace to all.

  6. And I’ve been complaining with the lack of winter weather here in So Cal!! Sounds line you in Canada have had our share plus!! Good luck with the Whole30!! And a very Happy New Year– looking forward to more Queen’s Gambit in 2018!!!

  7. Here on the opposite side of the world it’s been way hotter than usual for Christmas. The week leading up to it was all in the high 30s (Celsius) so we stuck to lots of cold food except for the Christmas pudding.
    I’m really enjoying The Queen’s Gambit, I found it through the amazing Ilona Andrews’ blog and hope that you end up publishing it so that more people can share the fun.

    1. Great. Rub it in – it hit 5 degrees F last night. Even the dogs didn’t want to go out except for about 2 minutes to do their thing and get back inside.

  8. It’s good to hear you had a good Christmas! I’ve also been thinking about doing Whole30. I really need to get back into meal planning and it seems like you pretty much have to prep ahead of time with it. I’ve been hunting down recipes that I think my family would like (ok, my husband, toddler, and me, because there’s no way the 5-year-old is going to eat any of it anyway).

    Hope you have a great 2018!

  9. Hi Jessie,
    I’m glad you’re having a wonderful holiday season! To answer your question, I’ve put my response in a familiar format -lol:

    It started with a simple plan; strip the bathroom wallpaper, paint the interior of the house, then hit the kitchen. But as our heroine knows too well, the road to home improvement is paved with good intentions and lots, and lots,
    and… lots… of beige paint. Even as she brushes and rolls the perfect shade of ‘Dreamy Latte’, Regina can’t help but wonder, “What in beige hell was I thinking when I started painting inside during the dead of winter?!” Will our heroine be able to run a comb through her hair without snagging on a blob of inconveniently dry paint? Does she dare use her flat iron lest she bake the paint into her already cold weather stressed hair? Will her daughter ever stop giggling while pointing out, “Mom there’s still paint on the back of your arms” even when there’s no paint there? No, no, and, Duh-No… But hope- like the smell of “Zero-VOC-paint”- lingers in the air as wall by wall our heroine transforms her humble abode into an enviable French Country Farm House! Tune in next week as our intrepid heroine tackles her ‘simple plan’ for the kitchen…

    Thank you for the exciting escape into Samara’s intergalactic escapades! I really enjoy slipping into her universe when this world becomes a little-too-much.
    Have a Safe and
    Happy New Year!!

    1. Ugh, painting is the worst. Every so often I think we should update the colors in our house, then I remember that requires painting and I realize I actually love the current color. :) Good luck with the kitchen!

      1. I enjoy the transformative power of color, but I used to get frustrated with trying to get the paint out of my hair. I’ve taken to putting deep conditioning masks on my hair just before I start rolling ceilings. The blobs are repelled and my hair is as soft as a kitten’s -in a picture purr-fect environment!
        As for the kitchen… I have a simple plan… ? and for that reason I appreciate the well wishes!
        Happy New Year!!

        1. Your writing style is wonderful. I enjoy reading your comments almost as much as the serial. I think Jessie does too. I do agree that “painting is such sweet sorrow!” perhaps next year lol. At least the hair won heh heh.
          Hugs Joyce

          1. The painting is easy (be smart and use a 5′ extension on the roller). The pain is moving everything out of the way, cleaning the floor, and then moving everything back.
            Prep: 2-3 hours
            Painting: 1-2 hours
            Clean up and return pieces: 3-4 hours.

  10. The whole30 diet sounds more pseudo diet than a way to actually change your eating habits- I can get on board with no processed sugar etc for a month but why cut out wholegrains and legumes- these are good sources of energy! You’ll need all your energy to keep writing for us Queen’s Gambits addicts!

    There are better ways to lose weight healthily and change your eating habits than this. I’ve done the fad diets like the 5:2 and ended up worse than before. If anyone is thinking of doing it please just be cautious and eat healthily all round- reducing processed sugar isn’t a bad idea and God knows I’ve eaten my body weight this season!

    Good luck with whatever route you take.

    1. I appreciate your concern. :) I agree that if you ate like the Whole30 forever, it might be problematic, but as a 30-day reset, it is awesome.

      I kicked off seventy pounds of weight-loss with it (and then ate more moderately afterwards), and have kept sixty-five of it off for two years, so I have some experience. And heaven knows I have plenty of experience with other fad diets (none of which worked for me).

      As all of my weight-loss posts say, the Whole30 is not for everyone. Some people can’t stand hard restrictions, even for a month. But for me, it’s been stellar.

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