Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tis the Season...

First snow of the season? Check. And what a snow it was!
Cousin's wedding? Check.
Decorated tree? Check.
Wrapped presents? Check.
Baking started? Check.
My mom's homemade sourdough bread? Check and check and check. (One check for each piece I've eaten so far!)
Richard Castle? Check.

And now a few - well, a lot, actually - of pictures from the past 3 days.

First up is the amazing snow we had! I came home from school just in time to enjoy the biggest snowfall in recent years. I am happy to say Sensei LOVES the snow!



My cousin got married yesterday, and it was beautiful. The snow threw some of the plans off, but it was still a very sweet ceremony and fun reception. Anna and Randy had a great first dance - involving snippets of songs from "Everything" by Michael Buble to "Single Ladies" by Beyonce to "Fire Burning" by Pitbull. Hilarious, and very them. And a little craft idea - the centerpieces at the rehearsal dinner was so pretty, and so easy to make! One was gifted to my mom, so it's sitting in our living room where I can see it as I type this. An oversized wine glass that's filled with small red and silver ornaments, and ribbon candy, finished off with a large Christmas bow around the stem. So simple and still really festive!

Next up: Christmas. First off, I did steal this idea from Michelle - some of my favorite ornaments! Now, this is the Christmas tree at my parent's house, and it is full of ornaments from the past 25 + years. Each one on the tree holds some sort of memory for me, so I had to pare it down, sadly. So while you may not see a picture of them, please know that my Southern Season Cupcake, the awful Snowflake one made by my brother and I, my 2 Bon Jovi ornaments, and the rest all hold as much a place in my heart as the following...




The left is our tree, pre-trimming. We have a live one every year, which may be a little impractical to some. While it can be messy, sticky (sap, anyone?) and expensive over the years, it is a tradition in all of my family, My grandfather and my uncle go to the mountains every year and buy several, for all of my extended family... it's such a joy to come home one day and find it on our front porch, just waiting to put up in our living room! The top ornaments are by this wonderful artist named Nola Watkins... I got my Carolina one last year, and my mom gave Bill and Paul their NCSU and UNCC ones, respectively, this Christmas! And the bottom one was given to my parents the year I was born :)



So for the life of me, I can't get this picture to rotate... but if you just tilt your head to left, you'll see a UNC Nutcracker ornament given to me by Bill's mom last year, our NFL ones (as it's the Panthers and the Raiders, they are hidden on the back of our tree this year due to the current season), Rudolph (it belongs to a set of ornaments that also includes Hermey, Sam Snowman and Bumble), my newest ornament - a Sensei miniature!, and in the center is this cheap plastic sax ornament. My brother and I have fought over this saxophone every year for as long as I can remember. When you blow in it, it makes this horrible horn sound, but it is the privilege of whomever hangs it to blow in it at least once!

Next is a little peek into how my afternoon was spent - making gift tags, wrapping presents, and watching Castle. AC Moore always has a little kiosk of $1 clear stamps, and I was able to snag some really cute Christmas ones this year. Added to my collection of Christmas stickers and rub-ons from a frame-making adventure last year and my ever-growing collection of cardstock, and I was able to make enough tags for my family and Bill's (and that is A LOT of family!) in no time at all. AND I found the cutest little jingle bells that I tied onto several gifts I wrapped - it dresses them up and makes them really fun to deliver!



The rest of the evening has been spent baking cookies, gorging myself on my mom's famous sourdough bread (completely homemade, from the starter to the dough to the finished product) and making Christmas chocolates!

That's all for now, this post has taken me almost an hour to write up! (Although I have been distracted quite a lot by all the Christmas movies I come across when flipping channels!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two more things for my list...

9. Go to a baseball game. UNC recently completed a new baseball stadium, and I have yet to attend a game in it! And our baseball team is pretty good.
10. See a movie at the newly-renovated Varsity Theater. At only 3 dollars a showing, its prime location on Franklin Street, and its fun selection of off-beat movies, there is no reason I shouldn't be going every weekend! It's probably the cheapest entertainment available in Chapel Hill!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Procrastination

Yes, it's that time of year again. EXAMS. Luckily (or perhaps unluckily, as it were) I have a full week between the end of classes and my first exam. That's right. My last class was at 10 am last Wednesday, and I don't have a final until 8 am this Wednesday. I did have a group presentation during an exam period on Saturday, but involved very little preparation, and no actual studying.

So how have I been passing the time? The same way any good, normal college student would. Watching movies, sleeping, Christmas parties, and crossing things off my to-do list. For example: Piercing my nose. That screeching sound you just heard was my mother and my best friend yelling "WHAT?!" but I'll tell you this, I may be a bit biased, but it looks good.

Now, as I sit here in Davis Library, staring at my geography study guide, which is sadly still half empty, I am faced with a terrible decision... to do work or create a tangible list of things I have to do next semester.

I think we all know the right choice.
1. Eat at Mama Dip's. I hear so much about this traditional Southern restaurant, that I just need to eat there once before I move away.
2. Get a kvetch published in the DTH. My picture has been in there, and a few quotes, but I have yet to get a kvetch published.
3. Climb the Bell Tower. Okay, I know that is something the university actually encourages seniors to do, but I need to make certain I participate!
4. Cat's Cradle. Enough said.
5. Drink out of the Old Well on the first day of class. I have never done it before, and I've never made straight As before, so perhaps the myth is true. And it's my last first day of classes here at UNC next month, so I might as well do it!
6. Go inside Morehead Planetarium. I love planetariums, and laser shows, and museums, and this place offers it all! It's right next to campus, why have I never been?
7. Attend as many basketball games as possible, regardless of tests/homework/time. It's my last season here, after all.
8. Eat at every restaurant on mine and Sara Phifer's hit list. We have a list of restaurants in Chapel Hill that we both want to go to in our last semester - we've already crossed off Artichoke Basil, Top of the Hill (well, we'd both been there once, but during our first year and never for lunch), and I hit the R&R Grill with my dad about 2 months ago.

Okay, that's all I've got for right now. I supposed I should actually buckle down and get to work in the time I have left before dinner!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I did it!





I am proud to say that I successfully hung up my Christmas window shutter decoration...

That's right. Using my handy dandy pink toolkit (a gift from my father, actually), I was able to nail hooks into the wall, in a straight line, and hang up my snowman! Finally. And I must say, it looks really cute.

I'm also proud to say that most of my Christmas shopping is complete. I can't give anything away right now; although, the only person who reads this already knows what I am giving her... Hello, Richard Castle. My heart beats faster just thinking of him!

But I digress. I successfully have gifts for my parents, Bill's family, and part of Bill's (the rest is on its way!). And of course, I have gifts for all the Secret Santa parties in the next couple of weeks, as well as Michelle's. I am about done! And thank goodness, because I don't have much money left. I did get my dress for my cousin's wedding today though... for more than 50% off. Boy, do I love when Macy's has sales. I can't wait to break it down in just 13 days... especially after seeing my mom and her sisters dance last night at our little girls' night.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Beating Michigan...

So nice, we did it twice!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, UNC men's basketball soundly defeated Michigan State yet again. For those of you a little lost right now, that's the team we beat to win the NCAA championship last April! I may have had phase 5 tickets, I may have sat (well, stood in) the second to last row from the very top, I may not have gotten home until after midnight, abut boy was it worth it!

I was thinking last night, there is absolutely nothing like being in the Dean Dome at such a high-energy game, surrounded by 20,000 of your closest friends (we're all Tarheels, after all) singing UNC cheers and dancing to "Jump Around." It makes me a little sad for all those college students who don't go to schools with such an intense experience!

And this week, I have successfully done something every night that is one of those things I feel every college senior needs to do (at least at UNC). Sunday, I went out for drinks with my friends - mind you, this is not something that really every happens, as I am poor.
-Monday, I went to the GAA Holiday concert, saw all my favorite a cappella groups perform, yelled for Mallorie, and performed the 12 Days of Christmas (a little tradition at the holiday concert every year!)
-Last night was the Michigan game, and it was of course INCREDIBLE.
-Tonight, I spent several hours in the library writing a 12 page paper and studying for an art final exam. That's right, I actually have work to do besides dream about home decor, Christmas cookies and Carolina basketball.

It's all so bittersweet.

PS - A little shout out to ELISE RICH, my amazing friend who was accepted into the UNC Dental School today!! I'm so proud of you!