the letdown.

christmas morning.jpg
Christmas morning

It comes every year—the inevitable sense of melancholy, the feeling of disappointment in the pit of my stomach.

I’m one of those people who really believes that the holiday season is the best part of the year. Granted, I could do without the snow and cold, but

there’s just something about Christmastime. Everything seems to sparkle. There are twinkle lights aplenty, people are in better moods, and there always feels like a reason to celebrate. Sure, the season can be stressful. But then you indulge in a favorite holiday movie (“The Santa Clause”) and your Starbucks holiday drink of choice from a red cup (two-pump skim caramel brulee latte, no toppings and extra hot, please), and you’re back on track. It feels warm and comforting, and kind of like you’re floating along for a month or so.

And then, just like after your birthday cake is cut or you walk in the door after a vacation, you crash.

You clean up the wrapping paper and put away your presents. You hang up your dinner dress and push the holiday-themed sprinkles to the back of your pantry. You take down the tree or lights or whatever decorations you could squeeze into your apartment, and it’s all over.

Sure, there are things to look forward to. Valentine’s Day, I guess. Even a promising weekend can spark a little flicker of anticipation—but it’s not the same, and you know it.

I don’t mean to be depressing. I’m lucky, I know. My holiday was lovely. I got to spend it with family and friends, and there’s a new year full of promise to look towards. But I want to be greedy. I want the magic to last longer. I want to wake up and have it feel like Christmas Eve every morning, wearing my cozy plaid nightshirt and getting dressed to go eat piles of Christmas pancakes. Is that so wrong?

I know I’d tire of it eventually, and maybe it speaks to the fact that I should try to live every day like it’s Christmas morning—appreciating the sparkle, indulging in the pancakes. Unfortunately, that’s not how things are. Welcome to grown-up status. Excuse me while I go pay my rent.

lounging around.

anthro
Saturday/Sunday Waffled Cowlneck Pullover

I don’t know if I ever really appreciated the notion of loungewear. As someone who’s adamant about not leaving the house in sweats or yoga pants unless I’m gym-bound, it just didn’t seem necessary to invest in cute sweatpants or cozy knit tops–because who was ever going to see them?

But since getting my own place, my view has changed entirely. While I’m still totally comfortable in my favorite jeans and sweaters for hanging out, I have to admit that there’s something really appealing about spending a Saturday in patterned leggings or a pair of skinny sweats, topped by a cardigan more akin to a blanket than actual daywear. Or changing into not-pajamas after a hot post-workout shower to stretch out on the couch with a magazine and a Diet Coke. It just feels so luxurious to take the extra five minutes to change into something that’s not only insanely comfortable but is fun to wear.

With more and more time spent inside curling up by my radiator rather than wandering outdoors, winter is pretty much the ideal time to take advantage of the pretty options out there. So I’ve rounded up some of my favorite comfy pieces, because really, a girl can’t have too many of those little moments of luxury–amIright?

The waffle-knit cowlneck sweater above from Anthropologie is kind of fabulous. I love the mix of knits and that I could definitely leave my place to get a cup of coffee without changing.

Aerie
Aerie Long Sleeve Romper

My new addiction to Aerie is kind of embarrassing, considering I outgrew American Eagle sometime early in college. But everything they sell is just so soft and cozy. I recently bought these adorable sweats and honestly, the saddest part of my day is taking them off. This romper + my couch + a knit blanket + a latte? Yes, please.

j.crew

J.Crew Women’s Lodge Moccasins

I splurged on these last year and haven’t looked back. I wear them obsessively–they’re so warm and absolutely darling.

Eberjey

Eberjey Heather Pants

Soft. Feminine. Comfy. All of the good things.

crash into me.

I just finished my annual watching of Felicity (get on it. Totally worth breaking down and doing the Hulu subscription), and after a near-death experience, Noel ponders those moments when people are supposed to die, but they don’t. They’re tying their shoe when a bullet flies over their head or take a wrong turn and end up avoiding a fatal car crash. Which made me think–what about the people who aren’t supposed to be somewhere and then get caught in the crossfire?

You never hear those stories, probably because the victims aren’t there to tell them and those they leave behind are too heartbroken to do so.

I’ll spare you the photos that were snapped as my beloved car was scraped off the street and onto a flatbed two weeks ago. They’re not pretty, and they tend to remind me that a tenth of a second could have made all the difference. A tenth of a second either way–if I’d sat at my green light a tenth of a second longer before accelerating, the whole thing would have been brushed off as a close call. If I’d rolled forward a tenth of a second earlier, as the police were so kind to point out, the woman who blasted through a red light at fifty miles an hour could very well be charged with manslaughter (comforting, guys) (I shouldn’t be so mean; they were very nice).

I totaled a car last year, too–that one was my fault. I sneezed at a red light, my foot hit the gas, and I rear-ended the woman in front of me. The guilt was debilitating, for months, and I’m grateful daily that no one was hurt. There were buckets of tears and a lot of stress, but apparently I learned from it, because I handled this like a pro. I talked to the police, my family, the tow company, and the insurance agent within an hour. I lined up a rental car and got everything under control. It was methodical. I shut down and switched on at the same time, a special talent that I’ve always reserved for finals week and deadlines at work. So I suppose it makes sense that it took awhile for the whole thing to hit me.

I don’t know if it was the hug that my mom gave me that lasted a little too long, the extra-tight squeezes from my boyfriend, or the concern on my childhood best friend’s face when she saw me the next day, appearing, as she could only explain, “even smaller.” I don’t know if it’s that sleep has been rare since or the bleary-eyed evenings of looking for used cars online. Maybe it’s all of it added together.

But as I walked home from work on Monday, over a week post-accident, flakes from the first real Minnesota snowfall mixed with the salty tears gathering in my eyes. I started to feel it just a little bit.

intro.

I used to write.

I was an English major in college. My first post-grad job was as a magazine editor. I had a blog. I’ve written short stories, novels, papers for as long as I can remember. Writing was my forte, how I defined myself. I listed it as a hobby when I rattled them off on first dates and took the greatest pleasure in crafting the perfect sentence or finding just the right word.

But at some point, it started to feel like work. Not that it was hard, necessarily, but it was a duty, a task to be checked off. And then I knew it was time to step away.

I haven’t been feeling like myself lately, and I’ve always felt like my best self as a writer. So I’m finding my way back, little by little, and this seemed like a fine place to start. I’m not one to bear my soul, and I’m not giving myself a lot of rules. In my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail, Meg Ryan’s character notes that when communicating via e-mail, you’re more likely to write about nothing than something, but that all of the nothing means more than so many somethings. It’s an adage I find to be true in most aspects of life–the everyday says as much as the special occasion, the date nights spent eating ice cream sundaes on the couch are more memorable than the ones spent at parties. I want to celebrate the mundane, the little moments, the unexpected bits of sparkle that don’t get the attention they deserve.

I don’t claim to be particularly interesting, witty, or original. I like my iced caramel macchiatos in the summer and my red Starbucks cups in the winter. I worship at the altar of Carrie Bradshaw and bake out of the Milk Bar cookbook. I wish I was a Rachel but I’m more a Monica, I spend a little too long staging my Instagrams, and, no, I did not #wakeuplikethis. What I’m saying is that I’m maybe a little basic, and I’m more than a little okay with that. So as long as you don’t mind (and, really, even if you do), come along, because I hope we’re in for a fun ride.