Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012.

It's December 19th. I don't anticipate having this posted until I come back from Charlotte but I figured I'd make an effort to at least start writing due to the anticipation of a crazy, photo-filled next few weeks. My trip to SoFla was much better than I imagined it could be. The highlight of my trip included making cookies (I've already devoured most of them), watching Naked Lunch (well...half of it anyway), and getting the ever-incredible annual Santa picture with Zack. The drive was brutal, though. I remember it to be more fun than it's been my last few trips. I suppose that has a lot to do with kicking bad habits. Now the drive is monotonous and solemn. Especially when I'm by myself.

This year has been an excellent year for gift giving and gift receiving. I think I managed to get everyone practical gifts that need not be regifted inconspicuously. After driving home from my parents' house (and Lynn finally got home from work), we sat down with Brandon to open his gifts. The glee and excitement of Brandon's gift unwrapping was too much for our impressionable Christmas spirits to bear. We ended up going back on our original plan and having Christmas early. It was wonderful! I love the look on a person's face when they rip open the wrapping paper (or, in our case, unwrap so slowly that the anticipation kills us all) and let loose a giddy scream of appreciation. And I've gotten exactly what I wished for. My two Davids have certainly splurged! My Keurig and iPod touch (with FaceTime!) will be great additions to 2012.

One of my favorite gifts that I gave this year was also a gift for me: a ticket to my very first pro-hockey game. While I wanted to get tickets to a Colorado game for David, the whole living-here-on-the-east-coast thing was a little bit of a road block. So we're headed to Tampa to see the Lightning. My little brother, Alex, is apparently a ballin' hockey goalie, so I'm excited to have the opportunity to get into the sport. Appropriate time for ego-boosting pictures:

Being an awesome goalie runs in the family.

Alexander Husarenko (on the right)
It's December 30th. My last trip to Charlotte just before Thanksgiving was undeniably spectacular. This past week was a similarly special mix of princess play time, great food, screaming kids, consignment shopping, chilly weather, cold feet, football, corn hole, and post-Christmas merriment.

Leo was a sad sap to see me leave. I really hate to leave him for so long, but I trusted Lynn and Mallory with my favorite puppy. Jess and Vince's dog, Riley, made a decent temporary substitute. My Leo is still the best ever, though. And I was greeted with such a warm homecoming when I got back. 

Pretend-time with the girls was quite magical. I think David was both the princess AND the prince this week. He wears his ascot well. He's pretty perfect.

Charlotte is also home to my absolute favorite restaurant: P.F. Changs! We had some delicious tofu lettuce wraps and Cantonese duck before heading back to the house for our belated Christmas celebration.  

It was nice to have a family-type Christmas. Screaming kids instead of screaming adults: somehow it bodes well. 

This gift was by far my most successful pinterest attempt. 
Wine cork and canvas monogram letter.

 Wednesday, I went to my very first bowl game (the Belk Bowl)! It happened to be my second football game ever (the first being FSU vs. UF....31-7!!). It was great to see NC State kick butt and bring in the win, despite the freezing weather.

 I've decided that Charlotte is eligible for a spot in my top five places to live once I'm through in Tallahassee. The cost of living is a little high, but it's beauty and quiet city-scene are enthralling. 

Jess suggested a little cafe called Zada Jane. It happened to be an excellent choice. We hit up this quaint little eatery before hitting the road home. 

Please note the spelling and grammar of this gas pump notice.

pl. pay in side
cash and
outside no work
thank yoy
  He was definitely pooped. It was a wonderfully exhausting week, but I'm glad to be home. Did I mention that this man is amazing?

And an Emi-Ari photo dump:

And last but not least, I think I've come to the conclusion that new years resolutions are pointless. I set goals and don't accomplish them, and when the next new year comes around, I set the same resolutions that continue to cycle onto following years. If anything, my resolution will be to strive to be the best person I can be each and every day, according to God. Whatever that entails will be what I try to do (emphasis on try). I'm tired of setting unrealistic goals that I never accomplish, and eventually feel guilty for not working toward.

Things to look forward to this year:
  • My 21 day Daniel Fast (1.16)
  • Dad's birthday weekend in Orlando (2.4-5)
  • Lightning vs. Capitals hockey game (2.18)
  • Lauren's bachelorette party and bridal shower
  • Lauren's wedding week (4.16-20)
  • 22nd birthday aka a super awesome vaca with DB! (5.27)
  • Imminent death (12.12)
It's January 31st. Today, I've gotten all of my errands done, made some returns, and got my oiled changed. Sometime today, I have to start finish a 6 page paper. Tomorrow my mother turns 43 (Happy birthday, mom!). Next Saturday, David and I have our first day of soccer games. I hope everyone celebrated a wonderful Hanukkah and/or Christmas, and a splendid ringing-in of this glorious new year. May God bless you in 2012.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Survey says: "This book is a bunch of crap."

It's funny how comfortable you are about certain things when you are surrounded by friends, but when it comes to your significant other, you're bemused by the idea of having certain conversations about certain semi-hilarious bodily functions. It reminds me of a friend I had in high school who refused to believe that women had need for, and therefore, did not partake in, gross bodily functions. Those were the days. I suppose I've just been blessed with extremely extroverted partners. There's no surprises here!

In the midst of poop-talk, I've been shopping and gift wrapping my behind off. Only four more gifts to buy before my Christmas shopping is officially complete (not including some materials I need to buy in order to finish some projects I'm working on). What's nice is that our Christmas tree is looking full; full of decorations; flooded by presents. I can't wait until Christmas Eve/Day. Forget the presents (although exciting). I'm looking forward to one of my first [quiet] Christmases away from home. I'll be spending it with some of my favorite people, eating delicious food, and thanking the Lord for sending His only Son to die for my sins. I'm so blessed!

The first week of school was a success! I've finished my first assignment and discussion post with A's...not that it wasn't expected.*wiggly eyebrows* I'm feeling slightly motivated; a foreign concept. I think this was encouraged after witnessing the past two weeks of David's course deadlines. I can't afford to get behind, and I see how stressful it can become. If my degree could be like 5% stressful and 95% learning, I'd really appreciate it. Doubtful, but I'm praying for it anyway.

Speaking of praying (this really was a failed attempt at a decent segue), someone I work with said that she couldn't imagine that anyone I dated could be more conservative than I am (as if to say that I made David sound like a conservative?). When I asked for a little more clarification, she commented on the fact that she often sees me reading bible verses; therefore conservative (as if she knows anything about David and his antics?). I really despise blatant ignorance. Being a Christian makes me faithful, not a right-wing. Also, I've never spoken to you about my boyfriend, stalker. Sigh.


In an attempt to justify never visiting (or trying not to, anyhow), I've decided to take a semi spur-of-the-moment trip (I didn't plan it, which means I didn't warn anyone about it, which means it will probably be a disaster) down to South Florida this upcoming weekend. I'm apologizing in advance for not planning to spend any time with anyone. I plan on getting the annual Santa picture taken with my ever-enthusiastic brother, galavanting down Gabriel Lane with my pseudo boyfriend (the other David--or as he likes to think: the ONLY David), and avoiding my mother's delicious sugar cookies. Maybe I'll watch Teen Mom, and get caught up on the news. Additionally, I ask you all to please pray for my parents and their current situation; I keep asking God to intervene and soften their hearts. The added prayers will certainly make a difference.

The only other thing I've been consumed by is crocheting David's blanket. I'm at a point where I think I need a bigger bag to carry it all in. I was hoping to have it all done by the time we went to Charlotte, but that probably won't happen. Plus, what would I have to do on the drive up there if I did finish it? My subconscious has got my back. On the other hand, it'd be nice to finish it and be toasty warm rather than having my toes freeze off. This weekend in SoFla will also yield me some extra time to work on it.

This week, I realized that I only have a little over a month until I begin my Daniel fast. I can't believe it's already been a year! I'll have been writing this blog for one year on January 16th. Thank you to all of my followers, new and old, who have journeyed with me and my strange life without inhibition. It's been a super ridiculous year!

I'm still trying to come up with a positive new year resolution that is reasonably (and realistically) attainable.

So far:
Maybe having a better, stronger relationship with God.
Maybe increasing the amount of money and time I give to charity.
Maybe decreasing the amount of money I spend on material things.
Maybe determining how much of my bible I should finish, and actually doing it.
Maybe meditating daily.
Maybe getting the McCartney Motel organized (for once).
Maybe finding a better job (but probably not).
Maybe building more DIYs from Pinterest.
Maybe dieting better.
Maybe losing weight.

We'll see. Stay blessed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside!

Welcome to December 2011, people. Only a little over one more calendar year before the much anticipated end of days. Please see Matthew 24:36.

I love the holiday season despite its ever-predictable progression. Every year it follows the same pattern no matter what you've planned, where you end up, or who you spend it with. The details are irrelevant. It begins with Thanksgiving; the otherwise rare sense of community and coalescence that we cherish and enjoy; the sudden urge to become a copious altruist; the time of year you can actually watch the numbers in your savings account gradually decreasing to zero. We gorge ourselves in devilishly delicious food and the occasional nap before embarking on the holiday past time known infamously as post-Thanksgiving decorating. And somewhere between food and decorating lies the gateway to an endless pool of shopping bags and receipt collecting. Decorating for the holiday usually doesn't come in droves, either. You'll bring out boxes and bags full of festoon new and old, shake the dust off you faux fir tree, and plug in last year's lights to make sure they're all still lit. I usually scowl in aggravation when I notice that a light is out in the middle of the strand; leaving me with only half a strand of lit lights. I should have expected such; this is also part of the predictable nature of the holiday season. You find yourself adding the Christmas music station to your dashboard presets, and humming or whistling this morning's song all day long. Not soon after it begins, you break out the claymation DVDs and plan when your friends and family will be over to watch them all. Eventually, the urge to cook and bake and reminisce about holidays passed consumes you, and you're lost in a whirl of Santa hats, cookies, pies, chocolate, and glitter.

This year is developing the same way. I spent Thanksgiving with David and his wonderful family: complete with great homemade dishes and a little football, followed by an unavoidable, yet revered night with Mallory and Brandon. I was left missing Maggs while she was figuratively lost in the middle of the Atlantic, but apparently I suffer from separation anxiety, so it's to be expected. I did happen, however, to break my own tradition for the first time since it began in 2002. It is quite commonplace for me to enjoy the essence of transient presence on a frequent basis, but nine years ago I made a habit out of dedicating my Thanksgiving to the city's homeless community. I started in my own kitchen by organizing plates of my family's leftovers, and delivering them in high-traffic areas for transients. Gradually, it progressed to volunteer work in soup kitchens, outreach events, and church-sponsored Thanksgiving spreads. Dejectedly, I was too wrapped up in my own gleeful Thanksgiving- before and after- to even remember that I was about to break tradition. Now, I'm fused to a miserable medley of listlessness and regret. Instead of serving God and His children, I was selfishly consumed in preparations for Christmas, and Black Friday shopping. Being an avid servant never even crossed my mind. Admittedly, it hadn't even crossed my mind until I started reflecting on the concept of holiday ordinance for this blog post.

Baby It's Cold Outside has been stuck in my head for a few days now. It may have something to do with the fact that it was a shocking 28 degrees in Tallahassee this morning, and in the 40's since Monday. The song had previously been a jumble of words that I never really took the time to learn; I'm usually just humming along. But I'm ready this year. And I'm finally bothered by the fact that my iPod is still in disrepair. I can't listen to my favorites on repeat. I'm stuck with one of maybe two Christmas radio stations in Tallahassee. You'd think a Genius would be able to get that iPod fixed in a timely manner (if he can even find it in his room at this point). I'm waiting, David Kossin!

Speaking of it being cold outside, I was walking down the stairs from the fourth floor at work, and thoughts of the Titantic (encouraged by a Brogan Museum venture last week) flooded my mind (pun certainly intended). The further I walked down, the more bone chilling the air in the concrete and steel stairwell became. I actually got a chill underneath my sweater. I could only imagine how much colder it was for the third class passengers in the below freezing waters of the Atlantic.

Beyond that, I'll be here in Tallahassee for the rest of the year. I start my first class of my masters this coming Monday. It'll be my only class until the beginning of January. Some APA research preparedness class, if I'm not mistaken. I feel like I've taken an entire semester worth of these kind of classes, so I expect to knock it out quickly. The only downside is that APA papers are graded for consistent accuracy, so no mistake can be overlooked. I'm still waiting for my second textbook. The next few weeks will be spent half-assing doing assignments and gift-making. That, and being fashionably late for a handful of holiday parties. I plan on becoming a modern Betty Crocker, as well. Mostly because one of my favorite things to do around Christmas has always been decorating sugar cookies. Sugar cookies, chocolate covered pretzel rods, lebkuchen (secret family recipe!), and pfeffernusse are in my immediate future.

I pray safe travels for everyone this month, and a season full of memories. Stay blessed.