The past few months have been a whirlwind of crunch hours at work and lots of preparations for the holidays at home. I was originally going to take three weeks off at the end of the year, but the way my project worked out, it would have been a bad idea to take this past week off. My vacation officially started today and I’m finally breathing a sigh of relief (can’t you tell?).

Marco and Sera are in the room with me. We put a new couch and a TV in my office. The room is shaping up to be a nice hiding spot for my wife and I.

The TV was definitely a splurge, but the sales that are going on now made the decision easier. I bought a Samsung 32″ LCD 1080p. I have a 46″ Samsung in my living room and I was pretty happy with the brand quality. The images are crisp, the menu makes sense, and the remote controls integrate well with my other components. The wires you see should go away eventually, both power and signal coax are behind the TV. I should just have two HDMI cables neatly going down to the cable box and the soon to be installed XBox360.

Ok, you got me. The main reason for the TV was so I could play realistic shooters and driving games like Halo 3, Gears of War 2, and Forza Motorsport 2. The Wii is nice for the kids, but I was also looking for a more mature gaming experience. The game selection on my Mac is pretty pitiful.

The cable box and 360 will go on a shelf I plan to build and it will sit directly beneath the TV.

Since we had construction last year, the house hasn’t been really decorated in a long, long time. We did it up this year as best we could. Every year gets a little more elaborate since we have been progressively buying small additions to our decoration collection year over year. With the snow outside today (see picture, below), Christmas is definitely in the air.

We unpacked tons of picture frames from our storage boxes and last weekend I threw together this wall arrangement. The arrangement is meant to be extended as we dig up more of our favorite family photos. On the adjacent wall to the left, we plan on putting 8×10 frames with larger pictures of the kids.

We decorated our dining room, adoring our doors and windows with garland.