A safe trip to and from London. A bumpy ride there, a bumpy (and delayed) ride back, but all the flight attendants had cool accents and I caught up on about six movies I didn’t get a chance to see in theaters.

A dad and stepmom who took care of the furbabies for over a week (plus a week in October). And judging from the pipe cleaner toys we found littered around the house upon our return, they did much more than just feed them.

Two furbabies who still love us even though we left them for over a week (plus a week in October). The prancing, purring, cuddling, and mewing that greeted us as soon as we crossed the threshold melted my heart into a little puddle of love.

Co-workers who stepped up to help me out my first day back (and I’m sure throughout my absence). I still have a huge pile of work to catch up on, but they really did me a solid. I owe them a nice lunch!

The experience of living outside my world. I usually hate cities, but London captured my heart right from the start. When you stand upon a grave that was dug before Columbus even bumped into America, it adds a bit of perspective.

Celebrating an American holiday in a country other than America. Scavenger hunts for cranberries and sage. Buying a from-the-farm-that-morning turkey from a real live butcher. Creating a feast with only one pot and two pans. The indulgence of having to improvise.