The holidays have come and gone once again. We managed to take three family visit trips in the course of three weeks...and I only took one extra day off of work. We've been to the north Georgia mountains, northeastern Pennsylvania, and Augusta, Georgia; and I can't be happier about doing absolutely nothing this weekend. We got a bit of snow in Knoxville this week, and if all goes well I won't leave the house again until Monday morning.
I've never set a serious New Year's Resolution for myself, but this year I've got a good one going. By the end of 2010 I want to buy a house. And more ambitiously, I want to do it by the end of April to qualify for the $8k tax credit for first time home buyers. If we still lived in New York, it could easily be another ten years before I could even consider buying a home, and the definition of "home" would be a questionable one bedroom apartment in south Brooklyn. Knoxville is an incredibly affordable place to buy real estate. The prices are shocking to people from the northeast. A nicely updated small house in a nice neighborhood is attainable for under $150k.
It's intimidating to make a decision of this scale, but more than anything I'm super excited. I can't wait to live in a place I can be proud of. The rental house we live in here is fine; it's a roof over our heads, and it's about twice the square footage of our last apartment. But there's no motivation to make it better. I'd like to think that in a house of my own, I'll gradually work to make it great. Imagine having a home that's filled with only the things you love, painted in the colors you choose, and every corner is yours. I can't really imagine it yet. But it's fun to.
I'll leave you with some highlights from the holiday festivities. In preparation I made my first batch of perogies (a.k.a. pirohi, pirushki) from scratch:
Some delicious sugar and spice nuts packaged up as gifts in recycled jars:
Our Christmas trees for the last two years have come from this strange little farm that's less than 2 miles from our house. You walk up the hill and choose your little tree, then a man with a chainsaw comes and cuts it and throws it in the back of his gator to take it down to your car. Good family fun to be had.
And after about two years, I finally finished another knitting project I'm happy with. Here's the colorful Noro striped scarf I made in December:
Happy new year, friends!