{mini break}

The flight is over. Finally, I'm back home again after two lovely* months in Germany, and although I will miss my life there and the European pace of things, I certainly have missed my world here in the states. We arrived home to two boxes stuffed with mail (not mailbox, but moving size boxes), phone calls to return, projects to complete, an assignment to get started on, blog updates (including many things I found in Germany and the Netherlands that I still need to share with you - expect a lot over the course of the next month), and a slew of other things to do as I get back in step with life here, so please bare with me over the next week. I hope to be up and blogging again on Monday or Tuesday.

Guess what? I've removed comment moderation from this blog. Frankly I am over the occasional spammer or bitter comment. I just don't care anymore. I've reasoned that it's not fair to build a protective hedge around this blog, everyone should be able to post freely. As for the unkind visitors or spam freaks, I will simply click delete because there is enough hate in the world and negativity - I refuse to allow it to spew forth on my blog. If a comment is one that offers value, shows support, lends constructive criticism, a word of kindness, advice, correction, etc. that is fine because I encourage comments like these to be left freely and often. It helps me to better understand all of you better and it helps you to quickly respond to eachother without having to wait for moderation from me. This is our space to share freely going forward. No more walls. I'm sorry if moderating this blog in the past made anyone feel like they couldn't participate. Please do.

In addition, I thought the blog could use a freshen up so I've worked with a graphic designer to assist me in the creation of seasonal banners. I hope you enjoy the new look, although it will update again next week since I'd like to eliminate the white space below the banner and tighten it up a bit by reducing the banner height. But I love the fox and all the pretty snowflakes, and of course the tree - all hold deep meaning to me that I won't go into here - but they just do. In general, it makes me happy to see this pretty winter scene and even happier that my good friend in Minneapolis, Brent, designed it for me. Brent is in LA now enjoying the good life in the sun with all the beautiful people, but as soon as he returns home next week, he'll help me revise the banner a bit and we'll be fully up and running here with the final. Let me know what you think.

Now that I'm home I just want to give a tiny shout out to my friends back in Germany and the Netherlands, including a few new ones that I met through this blog while there (Danielle, Angie and the girls, bloodybunny and Mike in Berlin), you all truly made my stay a delight and I'll be seeing you again in the future, you can bet on it.

So I'll see everyone on Monday or Tuesday, but right now that's not important because it's time to enjoy this special part of year when friends and family gather together, the pace slows for a few days, apple pie is shared, and memories are made.

Enjoy the rest of your week, friends.

xo holly

*well sorta lovely. we nearly lost my husband's brother in a horrible car crash, but fortunately he survived it. he'll be in the hospital for at least another month, but should be walking and living a normal life before the new year.

(images are of my flickr faves)