Home; sweet, sweet home.

I have been home in my wonderful Washington State for just over 3 weeks now — and it will be just under 3 weeks until I’m back in the District. The time is passing so quickly that I can’t decide if I will be excited to go back or sad to be leaving so soon.

Just as I brought parts of Black Diamond and Seattle to D.C. with me in August, though, I have brought parts of D.C. back this winter. By the time I return to D.C. and return here again in May, it may be hard to tell which home is which. But I guess that’s the important part: Each place can be home to me.

There are some things I love about being home. Every morning, around 7 a.m., I wake up and stumble downstairs for a mug (or two) of coffee with my mom. My family collects mugs from the places we visit, and we have mugs from Pike Place, Hawaii, Germany, Paris, and New York, to name a few; before we pour the coffee, we always ask each other, “Where are you going this morning?” Lately, though, we’ve had two new additions to our collection, a Starbucks mug from Washington, D.C. and a mug from Ebenezer’s, my favorite D.C. coffee shop, where Mom and I shared good coffee and conversation when she visited D.C. in October. 

We both smile when one of us gets the Eb’s mug. Then we settle into our black, leather armchairs, and we relax, enjoying our favorite Anniversary or Christmas blends. These moments are so quiet and slow that I cannot help but look forward to them every morning.

So, what have I been up to in the moments between morning coffees? Well, a lot more coffee, it turns out, even though I’m not working at Starbucks anymore. In my absence, my mom and sister began frequenting the Enumclaw Starbucks, where they became regulars without me. Not anymore! I’ve also gotten to start working out again (hello, sore muscles; it’s really been a while), see close friends, catch up with family, and work on my honors project, which has become an oft-neglected item on my to-do list. (And by “work on my honors project,” I really mean “think about working on my honors project,” except for today, when I actually wrote some things.)

It was great to be home for Christmas, of course, and we continued our family tradition of Nachos Navidad, or Christmas Eve nachos after the service at church. My mom prepared her now-infamous carnitas (incredibly good, but they could use a little work. More tests are necessary), I chopped all the toppings, and that meal was probably the best part of the day. It might have been the best meal of the weekend, were it not for our NEW Christmas Day tradition (as of this year): Christmas Carne Asada. Also, there was a homemade Snickers Pie that may or may not have been the most decadent dessert I’ve tasted in a long time. Needless to say, I eat way better at home than I do on my own!

The best part about being back, though, has been seeing my family every day. What a crazy, wonderful bunch we are. If we were more organized people, this picture would have been on the Christmas cards we would have sent. Did I mention that it’s good to be home?

Merry (late) Christmas! Love, the Steffan family


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