“Are my lips purple?”

So, in an effort to avoid hammering it over your head, I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I have been determined to do the holidays right this year.

Last year=THE WORST

This year=cheery, cozy, chocolatey, chummy, cocoa-y, Christmasy, Chinese food-y, cookie party-y, etc.

I have a whole Christmas Story (not to be confused with A Christmas Story, mostly due to the fact that I have never seen that film) waiting to share with you tomorrow, but for now, just a little taste…

or, in my case, a sip.


In the cast of characters in our lives,

our amazing next-door-neighbors-turned-dear-friends have moved from “guest stars” to regulars in the opening credits.

We are super tight, and feel incredibly lucky.

In the past year, they have been so many things for us (drinking buddies, babysitters, bandmates, shoulders to cry on, video-game teammates).

They are amazing people and solid friends.

And in the past two years since we moved next door to them, we have had drinks together approximately 100 times. I’m not great with numbers, but that seems fairly accurate.

And I like red wine. And red wine likes to stain my lips and teeth.

So you know, if you’re like me, and your lips take up a good  1/3 of your face, when you are drinking red wine with people who are your new friends, you kind of surreptitiously signal your spouse, asking, “Are my lips purple?”

And then, as time goes on, you lose some inhibition, and you ask your spouse publicly.

And then, as more time passes, you ask your friends, because you’ve grown comfortable enough with them that you can ask those kinds of questions.

And then, the time comes, when you don’t even have to ask.

They just know to tell you.

And that’s when you know it’s true love.

Which is why my stocking stuffer from my neighborbesties this year could not have been more perfect:

photo (96)

This gift, this little token that fits in the palm of my hand, symbolizes so much for me;

a year’s worth of fun memories, the feeling like you’re in college again when you can walk back and forth between houses to grab things like a bottle opener or a bottle (or, you know, a bottle),

so many nights where I have laughed until my stomach hurt

or sang my heart out.

So in celebrating the good,

and in practicing gratitude,

I think of all of those quotes, that are some derivation of,

“I didn’t have to look far to find happiness, it was right in front of me.”

Well, in my case, it is right next door.

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