Saturday, November 27, 2010


It was a crazy morning.

Two kids wanting to ride their new scooters in the house – which Mom somehow agreed to. Three dogs under foot who were not getting along. Two adults who didn’t know where anything was in the house, but trying so hard to help make breakfast. And me and my mom which is a show in itself.

I staked my claim on the couch to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – which if you didn’t know, is one of my top 5 favorite things in the world. Right behind daisies and snowflakes.

Mom had made our traditional breakfast of sausage and sauerkraut and joined us in the living room. After watching the parade together (which was Serra and Paul Frederick’s first time ever seeing the parade), we all started getting ready for the feast!

Mom and I took over in the kitchen and the family started getting ready. Making dinner this year was really seamless. In the middle of setting the table, Paul Frederick came running into the kitchen. Here was our conversation. Keeping in mind, Paul Frederick is 4 years old.

Paul: Jenna! Jenna! I broke it!

Me: Paul, honey, what did you break?

Paul: Your phone!

Me: Where did you get my phone? I thought it was upstairs in my room in my purse…

Paul: It was! I heard it singing, so I ran upstairs to get it. I had it in my hands and it stopped singing, and I said “Oh, shit!”

Me: ……………..

Paul: Shit, I broke it, Jenna.

Me: Paul Frederick, you did not break it. Do you know you said a bad word?

Paul: What, broke?

Then Aunt Carol explained to him not to talk like that. She was the guilty party who unintentionally taught him the word, so it was her responsibility to explain it to him. Phew.

So then Serra walks into the kitchen and I asked her if she brushed her teeth. She said she did it as soon as she woke up this morning. I asked her what bathroom she used. She said mine. I didn’t remember her toothbrush being in my bathroom, so I asked her what toothbrush she used. She said the pink one in the basket. Oh joy. That would be my toothbrush. And I definitely used it after her. Oh, family.

So finally dinner was starting to come together!

Here Mom is wrestling with the turkey.



The table before.


And filled with family and food after. The wine in front of mine and Serra’s plates is a Pink Catawba from the Northeast Wine Festival! Everyone loved it. Even Serra and Paul Frederick gave it a try.


My plate. Yum.


And after dinner, we had a photo session.










IMG_1940  IMG_1942  IMG_1944

And that’s my family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday of Thanksgiving Week

The day that changed the way we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Mom and I had a ton of baking to catch up on, so we started bright and early and baked until about noon.

I took Berk to the park. Can you see her?



As soon as I got home, the phone rang, and it was Aunt Carol! They were a few minutes away! Four hours earlier than we were expecting them!

We went outside to wait for them, and boy was that exciting. Serra jumped out of the car first then the two dogs, Penny and Copper followed. Soon, Aunt Carol, Uncle Paul, Serra, Paul Frederick, Mom and me were in the living room visiting and celebrating our resilient family.

We didn’t do anything thrilling, it was mostly just a day to play with new toys that Mom had bought the kids and the adults talking. It was relaxing.







Everyone was in bed early so we could be up early for the Thanksgiving Day Parade!!

Tuesday of Thanksgiving Week

Mom and I had planned on spending the entire day baking. Here is the story of why that didn’t happen.

After staying out late the night before, I didn’t get the sleep until around 1 a.m. Well, around 7 a.m. I hear a man in the hallway outside my room. Apparently, mom forgot about an energy audit that she was having completed before the winter. The BGE man was here for a few hours looking at all of the ways we could be saving energy. Yes, this was a great idea. No, this was not a great idea at 7 a.m.

So after the BGE man left, mom and I went to grab breakfast at where else, DD. We went through the drive-through, ate our sandwiches and drank our heavenly coffee from the comfort of the couch, then decided to nap. My nap lasted until 2 p.m. so much for baking all day – I had a dinner date with my Towson loves! So we hung around the house, not being productive, then I headed out to Bateman’s.

I was so excited driving there. It felt like I never moved – even though I was talking to Meredith on the phone while I was driving there. It’s crazy when two worlds collide. 

Now I know Bateman’s isn’t the classiest place. I know Bateman’s isn’t the most amazing food. But I do know that I wanted someplace homey and Bateman’s fit the bill. Well, traffic was horrendous. Absolutely horrible. Everyone was running late. So since I was already there, I thought I’d see what my on-campus friends were up to. Mark had wanted to see me, so I texted him. He was just about the close the building, so he was in the lobby. Perfect.

I walked over to Tower A, and wouldn’t you know it, the whole TA staff was in the lobby! I wasn’t prepared for that. So again, Mark covered my face is kisses, picked me up a few times, and stood holding me for a while. Oh, Mark. Since the whole staff was there, Sean was there too! We talked for a little bit, then slowly other staff members started noticing I was there. Rich, Darlene, Jew Jew and Kaila were all there with hugs.

Oh man, you could feel the love.

So after crashing their staff-time, I headed back to Bateman’s. It was really perfect timing. I had just sat down on a bench outside, and Amy walked up! Oh, Amy, I am so thankful for you. Amy and I hugged for a while then went in to get a table.

Are you tired of the word “hug” yet?

We were later joined by Meg, Jen and Lauren. What a great table of ladies. I can’t believe we all started as residents in Richmond or members of URG and now here were are, six years later and stronger than ever. My friends are so successful, happy, smart and loving. We were sitting in a place where we all celebrated our 21st birthday’s, celebrated countless birthdays and held many a reunion dinner.

After dinner, Amy and I hung out a little longer as we waited for her brother to get out of class. Catching up was in order. Mission accomplished.

I came home that night and Berkley was waiting for me. Coming home after moving away is such a crazy feeling. I know it’s my home, but I feel different. I think I’ve changed. Hopefully, I’ve changed for the better.

Towson reunions are exhausting. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday of Thanksgiving week

After my flight on Sunday, I was pretty excited to get the week started. I seriously could NOT WAIT to see all of my Towson friends.

Monday  was really just a day of errands, starting of course with Dunkin Donuts. Mom and I went to the pet store to look for a little sister for The Berk. Mom wants a miniature, long-hair dachshund. The pet store had miniature short-hair and miniature wire-hair, so it was easy to say no to a new puppy. Perhaps we will go to the Harford County Humane Society when I’m home for Christmas and get Berk a big dog sister instead. Who knows.

Around 3:00, I headed to TU to start my reunion! The HRL office was my first stop. I rounded the corner of Newell and as I got to the door, Bryan was there to greet me!! It was fantastic :) Biggest hug ever (well until I saw Courtney, Niki, Marc and Sean later that day). I got to visit with Gail, Jeannie, Judy, Jayson (some things never change haha), Jerry, Ron, and Lisa for a little bit. Then I saw Laura! We walked out to my car together like we were never separated.

I then headed over to the Glen.  I walked to Tower A first, naturally, and Mac and Cheese were reunited and it felt so goooood :) I talked with Joe for a few minutes, met the new AC, Kristen, and then continued my journey to Tower B. I knocked on the door to Lisa’s office, and guess who answered the door?? Craig! My Prettyborough buddy!! Oh how I missed him. We talked while Lisa was in a meeting, and when her meeting was over, guess who walked out of her office? John! Another wonderful surprise! As I was talking to John and Craig, guess who walked in the door? Megan from the Building Council of the Year!! I didn’t think my day could get any better, but somehow it did!

I decided to walk down to Laura and Courtney’s office to see if I could catch them before they left. Craig and I walked down and the office door was open. First Craig walked in and Laura was not at her desk. We walked around the corner and Courtney was there! She looked at me and said a casual, “hello”, then realized that she hadn’t seen me in a while and wrapped me in the longest and greatest hug of my life. It was almost like she couldn’t believe it was real. What a great moment.

Courtney and I visited for a little bit, then Joe was picking me up for dinner. I said my good bye to Becks, then went with Joe to dinner.  As we were walking to his car, Joe turned to me and said, “prepare for the biggest hug of your life.” I didn’t know what he was talking about until I saw Mark in the distance, walking towards us while carrying enough two-liters for an army. Then he saw me. Then the screaming began. Then the kisses began. For those of you who are lucky enough to know Mark, you know he is… affectionate. I think he kissed every square inch of my face. He tried to hug me, but the two-liters kind of got in the way, haha. Love you Mark!

After recovering from the Mark-Attack, Joe and I continued to his car. We went to the Cheesecake Factory with Laura, Greg and Bryan – my buddies. Fun dinner with great people.

After dinner I started my rounds in West Village. I was going to Tubman to hang out with Kyle, or so I thought. I walked into Tubman, and it was a mini TA Building Council of the Year Reunion!! Kyle – you are amazing. So we staked our claim in the Tubman lobby and caught up on each other’s lives. Yay Rachel and Steve! While we were chatting, guess who walked out of the MPR? Sean!! That was one of the hugs under review as the biggest hugs ever. Then Dan and Sam stopped by to visit, too! Oh man, life is good :)

We then moved the party to Becca’s apartment. Sean and I walked into Millennium and Becca was there to greet me. So glad we are pen pals! As I walked around the CC, guess who was in the lobby? Niki!! She saw me and kept saying, “but you’re in Pennsylvania!”. Such a great reaction. Apparently as we hugged her eyes were wide in disbelief. That was another greatest hug ever contender.

So we hung out in Becca’s apartment for a while, when to RA Emily’s program and talked A TON about CAACURH. I miss those conversations. Becca – YOU ARE ON A FREAKING REGIONAL BOARD. Be proud :)

I couldn’t keep my eyes open as it neared midnight. So we called it a night.

I wish I had better words to describe what an amazing, loving, feel-good day this was. I am thankful for each and every one of you and your hugs and kisses :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baltimore Sweet Baltimore

I’m here.

I’m sitting in my living room looking at the Christmas tree and listening to Berkley snore. Life is grand.

I flew by myself for the first time today. I was super nervous. There was no hand to hold. Those who have flown with me know that I’m not the greatest flyer, but I have to say, I think I did a pretty good job today. It wasn’t a full flight, so I actually didn’t have anyone sitting next to me.

The flight was only an hour, but I wanted to do something that required a lot of focus so that I wouldn’t think about the fact that I was 30,000 feet in the air. So to busy my mind, I completed 43 KenKen puzzles. My mind was sharp today.

As we started our decent into Baltimore, the pilot said “If Baltimore is your destination, welcome home. We missed you and we’re glad you’re back.” I just about lost it in row 16. My eyes just got a little teary and I realized how amazing it felt to know I was going home.

The flight arrived 8 minutes early. I was at baggage claim just as Mom was parking. My suitcase was the 4th one on the carousel. That was awesome. We got to the car, and Berkley was waiting. She jumped out of the car and rolled over, right in the garage.

As soon as we got off 295 and onto 95, the Baltimore skyline came into view. I was just telling Bekah on the way to the airport how much I missed that. The building with the green signage is M & T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.


So we came home, had a quick dinner, then I took a much needed nap. It was so homey – napping on the couch, under the lights of the Christmas tree, all snuggled with a Christmas blanket and the Berk.

Now just gearing up for tomorrow – A TOWSON REUNION! Mac and Cheese, roomie love, and old-side friends, together again!