Monday, December 22, 2008

Go Big or Go Home...How About Both?!

Flying home on Christmas Eve was looking increasingly like a bad idea as each frigid day passed and my itinerary flight changed for the third time, so I opted to changed my Expedia ticket from December 24th to December 9th. I arrived an hour and 45 minutes early for my flight, only to find out that Delta and Expedia had conflicting ideas of when I was allowed to go home. After battling with both Delta and Expedia, neither of whom particularly seemed to care about my predicament, I had to call a cab company and head back home to try to find an alternate flight. While I was contemplating whether or not I would make it home for Christmas, my mom was taking care of business with Expedia and got me on a flight the very next day. Just try to stand between a mom and her child...take THAT, Expedia.

I received the grand tour of my parents' new home, which, as I was forewarned, looks eerily like our old house. This house, however, has two big bonus features: a pool, and a two-story playhouse. My mom couldn't wait to show me how cute the playhouse was, in spite of the fact that it was about 12:30 am. I think that most of you know what happened here, so I'll leave you with the short version of the story. Mom decided to reenact Jack and Jill, except for instead of tumbling down the hill, she flew down the stairs...chin first. My mom's hang time would put Michael Jordan to shame. It was pretty scary to watch, and after she hit the ground she took a few seconds before she moved or made any noise. When she finally showed signs of life and we determined that no fatal injuries were sustained, we took my mom to the ER. Two days of liquids and three days of mushy foods later, my mom was back to cooking enough solid foods to feed the nearest third world country...or starving actor.

Although the first leg of my journey home was a bit rough around the edges, I am so grateful for this 5 week vacation. Most of my time here has been spent catching up on my VH1 countdowns, hanging out with family and old friends, and enjoying the green, green grass of home. The Monday before Christmas, most of the members from Sweet Peace got together and went Christmas carolling. Without prior rehearsal, we sang the same 2 or 3 songs over and over....and over and over. We were only brave enough to go to our parents' houses, the last of which was the Stewart's. Of course, we ended up singing some of the old medleys from LTC by the end of the night.

I wasn't sure if I'd ever get to see all of my family in the same room again, since everyone's getting older and busier. But this year, everybody made it to Christmas. One of the hardest things to deal with in the city is being away from my family, so I took as many mental pictures as my brain could hold...the space is pretty limited, but I think I did alright.

New Year's Eve rolled around, and after a few rousing games of Catch Phrase with the Martin's, the Price's, the Brandon Lehrmann's, and my parents, we all watched the ball drop in NYC. In that moment, watching the thousands of red-nosed faces shivering together in Times Square, I was glad to be in the magical land of Texas, where 75 degree weather still exists.

My resolution this year is to "be active." Not just physically active, but active in the everyday decisions in my life. I'm working hard to not just dream big, but actually do big. I've got my roots here, the place that keeps me grounded and will never let me down. But the current under my wings, at least for now, is pushing me back to Brooklyn. It will be hard to leave again, but I can go back with the assurance that I've got somewhere to land whenever I need a break.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Turkey Lurkey Doo, Turkey Lurkey Dap, I Eat That Turkey And I Take A Nap

Well the weather outside is frightful...
And I'm sure a fire would be quite delightful, if I could afford a fireplace in my apartment. :)

In all seriousness, it's been cold and rainy here for a while now, with the exception of the 65 degree Thanksgiving Day we had. People played football out in the streets while we watched football inside the apartment. Because cooking is harder than Rachael Ray makes it out to be, we had to catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV this year like everyone else. Maybe next year we'll be able to catch it in person. We ended up having 8 people show up, so it felt almost like Thanksgiving with our families. Almost. Kara and I cooked up a pretty big feast, and sustained only a few minor injuries in the process. Although, I confess, I did explode one cake because I put too much batter into one pan. When we weren't watching football, we played Three Person Charades and listened to Christmas music. Here are a few pictures:
The Feast
Three Person Charades
Jonathan gracing us with a solo performance
Kara made the turkey dance. It made her less afraid to touch a dead animal.
My Turtle Cheesecake
More charades
Nadia, Shae, Jonathan and I at Trump Tower
I don't know what look we were going for here
Nadia and I eating at Spring Street Natural
This is supposed to be busy season for catering, but I've only got 2 jobs remaining for the month. I had 6, but 4 of them have been canceled due to the state of the economy. Needless to say, catering seemed too good to be true and, thanks to the Lehman Brothers, it is. After Christmas break, I'll be back on the job hunt.

Tonight at 7 pm is the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting, so my roommate and I are going to go participate in the festivities. I would be lying if I said that Beyonce's performance isn't one of the main reasons I'm going. Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers are supposed to be there, too. I'll be sure to write about it in my next post.

Three weeks and counting till I'm back in the Lone Star State. I can't wait to see everyone!!