Fireworks in Reykjavik (internet photo).

2016 fireworks in Reykjavik (internet photo).

I know this post is a few days late, but folks in our neighborhood are still setting off fireworks 10 days later, so I think it still counts. I hope everyone had a fabulous New Year!

We’ve had a pretty exciting couple of weeks. The puppy is growing like crazy and is driving me equally so. I’ve been more of a cat person my entire life and have been reminded over the last few weeks of exactly why that is. The dog still pees and poops all over and bites and jumps and scratches and gets into everything. We’re probably going to have to burn my new Ikea rug when we leave. And we’ve already lost one of A’s new sweaters and one of my souvenir wooden coasters from Belize. I have a sudden new appreciation for the movie Marley & Me and will have to watch part 2 one of these days.

We’re three weeks into life with puppy, and we’re still working on a routine. The cat has basically moved upstairs but will occasionally come down and sit on the landing where she can watch him and growl at him accordingly. My hubby usually takes him out in the morning while I get A’s breakfast ready, and he’s started eating it upstairs as the puppy has grown significantly in just a few weeks and now harasses him at the table, or we put him out in his puppy palace (aka the solarium) during mealtimes.

He did manage to leave the Christmas tree and the presents alone, which was shocking in itself. But it only lasted for a couple days until after Christmas, then he suddenly noticed all the lovely ornaments hanging on it. I like to leave the tree up until practically February, but this year it came down in record time.

But we did have a lovely relaxed white Christmas…and were apparently the only European capitol to do so. And it’s snowing again as I write this…nice big fat flakes. Looks like we’ve had about three inches since last night. I still love snow!

New Year’s Eve was unbelievable. We didn’t go out, even though someone said we might not be able to see any fireworks from our house. Well, they were wrong. Fireworks here are sold by the local Search and Rescue team, so instead of their being one centralized display, it’s more of a neighborhood free-for-all. The entire valley around us started around 6:00pm and continued until 1am…and intermittently for another nine days afterward.

We did participate in one Icelandic tradition though. On NYE they also light bonfires throughout the city. I believe there were four “small” ones and two large ones. Happily one of the small ones was about a five-minute walk from our house. So we kept A up about an hour past his bedtime and walked over to check it out. I also brought a little thermos of red wine to celebrate. And the fire was pretty impressive with lots of local families in attendance.

Walking over to the bonfire.

Walking over to the bonfire.

Our "small" local bonfire.

Our “small” local bonfire.

The following weekend was my birthday. My hubby let me sleep in, and made me my favorite meal for lunch (chicken piccata), and I had a nice little bottle of champagne for the occasion.

A little glass of birthday champagne...and one of A's toys that happened to be on the table.

A little glass of birthday champagne…and one of A’s toys that happened to be on the table.

The following day we went to the President of Iceland’s Diplomatic Children’s Christmas Party, which was pretty neat. It was also A’s first official diplomatic invitation…and the president’s last Christmas party as he announced soon after that he will not be seeking reelection and will be stepping down after 20 years as president. I don’t blame him! Twenty years is a good run!!

The president of Iceland's residence: Bessastaðir, which started out as a farm in 13th century owned by writer Snorri Sturluson.

The president of Iceland’s residence: Bessastaðir, which started out as a farm in the 13th century owned by writer Snorri Sturluson.

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Chandelier and xmas tree.

I haven’t made any resolutions this year…have kind of gotten out of the habit. But we’ve definitely accomplished a lot in the last year. Here’s the big list for 2015:

  • We had half a dozen lovely visits from friends and family while in London.
  • I had one girls’ weekend in Spain.
  • Caught up with two college girlfriends I hadn’t seen in 20 years.
  • Had some great trips: Visited Downton Abbey, Dover Castle, the royal Forest of Dean, and Brighton.
  • A graduated from Nursery School and started Kindergarten.
  • We left London and moved to Reykjavik.
  • We spent some quality time in Arizona with my mom for home leave.
  • N and I both started new jobs at a new embassy.
  • And of course, we acquired a new family member.

And I’m starting January off with a bang and continuing my birthday with an awesome girls’ weekend at a spa hotel outside of Reykjavik with a fellow Capricorn from the Econ section that I worked with in London. Woo hoo!!

As for plans for 2016, we’d like to get the puppy into some training classes. We have our first R&R to plan. And our first summer in Iceland, which I hope will bring lots of family outings.

Happy New Year everyone!!

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