Things I continue to love, year after year:
Bath & Body Works lavender-vanilla scent. I just searched “lavender vanilla” in my archives, to see if I could find when I first mentioned it: 2007, when I was pregnant with Henry and was having trouble sleeping. Henry is turning 10 this year, and I just placed another order for lavender-vanilla lotion and body wash (Bath & Body Works is having a buy-1-get-1-free sale). I wish so hard I could still buy the shampoo/conditioner, but they discontinued it ages ago; I bought a whole bunch of the conditioner on eBay and I try to USE it and not hoard it. I have sniffed many, many bottles of things marked “lavender vanilla” but I ONLY like the Bath & Body Works one; and I like NO other scents from Bath & Body Works. I would never have found it except that Paul’s sister gave me a gift set one Christmas, I think when I was pregnant with the twins or maybe the Christmas after they were born.
Sense and Sensibility, the version with Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson. A few years ago I was studying some Jane Austen as a way to dig myself out of crippling boredom. (Here is my syllabus for Sense and Sensibility, if you want to do the same.) I still had the movie on hand, and… This sentence needs to start again, because it is several sentences: We usually watch tv while we eat dinner, and Paul is in charge of selecting what we’re going to watch. Earlier this week, he said he was out of ideas, and I said I would choose something. (This turned out to be as startling to him as when we are going somewhere together and I get into the driver’s seat, which makes me resolve to do both things more often.) Anyway, I picked Sense and Sensibility, thinking it would PROBABLY bore the children but maybe not. And it did bore Henry, but all the other four really liked it. (They also liked counting how many Harry Potter actors were in it.) And I liked seeing it again, and possibly I was a little annoying because I kept pausing it to share my wisdom: “You see, this is because it was WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE for a young lady to send letters to a man unless she was engaged or married to him!” Anyway I just loved it. Again.
Cadbury Eggs. The large creme-filled kind and the small solid ones with the crispy shells. This is the best time of year for candy. (By the way, last year I bought a whole bunch of Cadbury Creme Eggs right at the end of the season, so that I could continue to eat them for months. This did not really work. You might think the reason was that I ate them all the first month, and this is not an unreasonable guess—but actually it was that they are much better eaten fresh, and significantly less yummy if eaten in, say, July. The creme filling separates or else crystallizes, and the chocolate has a stale flavor.)