Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

I love my family.


I really, really do.

Christmas Eve reminded me why.

The day started with church with Dad and Joyce. We get there about an hour and a half before mass because it’s the only way to make sure we get a seat. Once it hits an hour before mass, it’s standing room only.

This is usually a great time for the three of us to catch up. I haven’t seen my Dad since before I moved – so about six months. I had my iPhone and my camera, so between the two, I was able to visually catch him up to speed on the life and times of JB in Erie.


Mass was accompanied by the children’s choir, cherub’s choir, and a “dramatic reenactment of the Gospel”. It was adorable.

After mass, we headed over to Aunt Pat’s house to celebrate the holiday. It’s funny – I remember visiting my Aunt’s house when I was younger, and being in awe of it’s size and fancy feeling. I always thought it was like a house in the movies. I moved around to different apartments and houses when my parents divorced, thus making my Aunt’s house a constant. It offered me comfort and fantasy. When I would visit her house, she would always send me home with a goodie bag. I thought it was amazing that she had goodie bags in her house. She was definitely the coolest Aunt.


I love the feeling I get when I pull into her driveway. It’s on a steep hill, making it look more majestic. I have never walked into the front door or the garage. I always walk in the patio door. It’s like a secret entrance around the side of the house, off the flagstone patio with large canopy trees and lights, making it feel like a Disney movie.

Stacey and Aunt Pat were in the kitchen, Bob and Sean were doing something important, I’m sure, and Zack was counting presents. I have to say – dinner was completely flawless. My job is always the rolls. When I was younger it used to be the premade rolls that you baked just to get them warm. I am now old enough to assemble crescent rolls. Thanks for the help this year, Stace :)


Dinner was awesome. I love that it’s the same every year – Filet Mingon, crab cakes, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potato casserole, rolls, and peas for Zack.

After dinner, it was finally time for presents. The youngest child plays Santa and hands out the gifts. Well, up until six years ago, I was Santa. Now Zack is slowly taking over Santa duties. I asked him this year if he wanted to be Santa by himself this year and he said no. He needed me to help because he can’t read cursive. Leave it to Aunt Pat to write all of her gift tags in cursive.


We all opened presents, laughed at Dad’s puzzle gift for Stacey, saved the tree from toppling over, and then gathered back in the dining room for dessert and conversation. Nothing says Christmas Eve like critiquing 9/11 and Mennonite farmers.


This was the first Christmas Eve in 19 years that I came home after Aunt Pat’s. I usually go home with my Dad and wake up Christmas morning to celebrate with him, then drive back down to Maryland to be with my Mom. Since I didn’t have a car this year, Dad and I agreed that we could discontinue the tradition. My dad was sad with this decision. When I celebrate with him later this week, he asked that I wear my pajamas and walk down the stairs and pretend it’s Christmas morning.

Oh, Dad.

So Christmas Eve 2010 was everything I hoped it would be – a time to reconnect and a reminder for me to stay grounded.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pickles and Lemon Pledge

Sounds gross right?

That’s what the plane smelled like on way from Buffalo to Baltimore.

Yesterday, I came back to Baltimore for the Holidays. I started my trek around 8:00 a.m. I needed to stop at the office to give my apartment key to Meredith so she could take care of my plants. I saw Meeghan, which was great since I didn’t get a chance to wish her Merry Christmas.

I then started my voyage north from Erie to Buffalo. It snowed the whole drive. It was a pretty snow. Nothing too blizzardy – just fluff. I snapped this photo for those of you who don’t believe how close I actually am to Canada…


Just to give you perspective – the airport is at exit 51. Canada is 53.

So nothing to thrilling at the airport. I got there super early because I was worried about finding the long term parking lot and then catching a shuttle to the airport.

I still don’t love flying, but I love meeting people. Here are the interesting people I met during this flight:

Woman and her 10 year old daughter – woman is an engineer with Dupont and LOVED my sapphire ring. She said she had one just like it in the 70s. I thought that was interesting because mine is from the 70s… anyway, they were heading to Waldorf for the holidays. She also told me I look way too young to be working at a college.

50ish year old man – British accent, from Miami, but his kids go to Centennial High – the rival of my high school, River Hill. His sister is the CFO of Southwest.

50ish year old woman – Trying desperately to get to Providence. She was finally flying from Buffalo, to Baltimore, then to Providence. Too much traveling for me.

Now we are finally on the plane.

There is an 80ish year old woman sitting in my row. She takes her coat off and the 50ish year old man from above asks if he can help her put her coat in the overhead bins. She says yes. Then, a 30ish year old man from the row behind us decides he needs to help too. He takes the coat from 50 man and puts it in the overhead. 50 looks at 30 with a very strange expression, and 30 says “I thought I should help a woman. I need to make up for last night".” 80 woman laughed and shook her head.

There were 8 men in full hunting camouflage. 2 were reading Playboy.

The lady across the aisle from me looked like she was dressed to see a dignitary – fur hat, gloves, fancy clothes. She ordered a vodka and monster energy drink. I want to party with her.

I also took a few pictures out the window.




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Feels good to be home, but actually missing Erie. What a strange feeling.

In any event, tomorrow is Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Since my last post, we have officially closed for the semester!

I am done my first semester as a Coordinator and my first semester in Erie.

My first milestone.

Nothing crazy has happened in the past week. We did exchange our stocking gifts at work and my coworkers loved their mugs.

Here is a photo story of recent happenings. This is just a crazy collection of pictures that hadn’t made their way off my phone.

It snowed. Newsflash. This picture by the way is the view from the union (what I’m standing under) to Perry Hall.


The snow covered my pink chairs.


These are small icicles.


We celebrated Jenkahdith day at Claytopia. I cannot show you what I made. They may be Christmas presents…


Just another picturesque sunset in Erie.


And lastly, yesterday was a Football with Friends at the Fox day. It was the first Sunday that the Ravens and Steelers didn’t play at the same time. We were at the Fox from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oh, what a day. The Ravens won! The Steelers lost! AND after an entire season of going to the Fox ever Sunday, we FINALLY got a picture of most of our group. I think just Bri is missing :(

I love this photo. It’s totally us.


And now we all started parting ways for the Holidays. Meredith leaves tomorrow, I leave Wednesday, Bek leaves later this week, and Jess is holding down the fort on campus.

I have so much to be grateful for this year. If you are reading this, I am so glad you are part of my life and even if we don’t talk often, I know you have left your mark on my future.

Thank you :)