It's Christmas Time! (2016)

Hello my lovelies!

For all those who celebrate, I hope you had a marvelous Christmas! Due to a different set of circumstances, this year my immediate family was able to travel to my grandma's on Christmas morning!  Now that, my friends, is a rarity.

We traveled to Small Town, USA and surprised my grandma at church. I must admit that I haven't been to her church in such a long time.  It was nice to be able to visit there once again.  Is it terribly shameful that I had to use the hymnal for almost all of the Christmas songs!  Oh my goodness....and I was at the front of the church.  In my defense, typically you sing these only once a year and although I knew all the songs, I didn't remember all the verses by heart.  So, I grabbed the hymnal!

After church, we had dinner and I was able to spend some time with cousins whom I see maybe once or twice a year.  It was good to catch up with them.  I didn't take a lot of pictures, per my usual.  Folks get a bit camera shy these days.  But not these folks...

You know me.  Then there's my brother.  And the rest are cousins.

In between chatting and meals, I spent time writing a final research paper for my internship course. In fact, I'm still writing it, but I'm super hopeful that all course requirements will be completed by this weekend so that I can claim at least one full day of vacation.  (Pray with me please!)

I'm also presently recovering from yet a third oral surgery procedure (from today actually).  In spite of medication, my body refuses to shut down so here I am am filling you in on the details of my life. lol  Truth be told, I think it's because that paper is not done.  I've got two sections remaining and as I worked on one of those sections, I could feel my body say, "Sleep is around the corner."  So, my friends, I will take heed.  Hopefully by the time I post pre-New Years, I can tell you that I've satisfied all of the course requirements.  After such (and 5 credits I am taking in the spring semester), I can take my comprehensive exams, which basically is the next step towards dissertation and graduation!  :-)

I am very thankful for so many things, but as I have somehow shifted from Christmas at grandma's to grad school, I want to let you know that I received two A's this term.  Yay!  I thought I would literally run around the building when I saw the registrar's post.  To celebrate the end of a semester, my grad school friends and I spent hours laughing and catching up with each other over a fabulous meal at a downtown restaurant.  As I am the furthest one out, it was worth the drive!

So, bringing this post back to Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas season with your family and that you were able to reflect upon the true meaning of the holiday.

How are you spending these last few days of 2016?


Happy Thanksgiving - 2016!

Hello lovelies,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!  I was overjoyed to see this holiday come.  First, let's be honest, everyone deserves a break; a time to step back and regroup.  Although I'm not the one in the kitchen stirring a multitude of pots, I can say that for me, Thanksgiving is a breath of fresh air.  It's not even about all the amazing food dishes, it's just a feel-good holiday - one that I enjoy spending with my family.

I did have a huge grad project due during the holidays so I had to spend most of mine working, but it was nice to be able to do that.  In between, I got to spend time with my brother and my mom.  My brother and I went to a local lake with a walking trail for a few moments.  It's really a nice spot.

Look at that mega streak of gray hair I've got!

My brother and me
I also purged a lot of items from my home that were donated to a local donation center.  My house took a huge sigh of relief!  Seriously.  The photos below are just a beginning.  Watch the video to see the things that were donated.
My guest room - BEFORE

My guest room - DURING

I love my mom's dining room.  She has found the prettiest fall decor over the years.

Thanksgiving Dinner
I took time to pot the mint I salvaged from my aunt's yard.  I had to propogate it in water to keep it going, but now it has a new home in soil (currently residing in my window sill).

At the end of the holidays, we visited several family members on my dad's side of the family.  At my uncle's house, my cousin's husband prepared the most delicious upside down cranberry cake.  My aunt (his mother in law) made a cup of coffee, served in mugs she made.  That made it even more special.

My video chronicle:

I did finish my project and have just about wrapped up the semester.  One course is done, the other will be done by the weekend.  I still have to finish up my course from the summer, and I am aiming for that in the next month.  If I'm lucky, I'll have time for a project or two.  *fingers crossed*

How were your holidays?