We are busy getting ready for family gatherings. Decorating the house, planning menus, sending out cards, baking and completing last minute shopping. We already had a holiday celebration with my sister and her husband. On Christmas we will have 13 people celebrating with us. We are still trying to figure out how to get the whole group in the dinning room without a kid's table.
Our kids are both in college. Our house no longer has shoes and other belongings scattered everywhere. As they arrive, all of that changes and our home is transformed back to the everyday world of their childhood and teenage years, laundry and all. They are used to their freedom and their own schedules now, so adjusting back to life at home takes some time. They sleep late and stay up late, something we don't do often anymore.
Winter break is here and my days are less scheduled. I have time to read, sip coffee at the table, write, nap and take the dogs for longer walks than usual. It's a welcome break from the routine that surrounds me the rest of the school year. I'm thankful for this time and the chance to slow down. Life moves so fast most of the time, I'm happy to have a chance to put on the (winter) breaks.