Monday, December 28, 2009

Lights On The Tree

Eric's family has a beautiful Christmas tree in their family room.

It was also super exciting to find a bunch of gifts for me under the tree!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday. I'm looking forward to New Year's Eve! Where will you be celebrating?

Driving Into A Cloud

On Saturday afternoon, after spending a week at home, it was time to say good-bye. My mom drove me over the Mohawk Trail on our way to meet up with Eric. We were in clouds and surrounded by a dusting of snow as we drove over the mountain, and it felt like magic.

The trees and road just disappeared into white. Visibility was actually pretty good, so we didn't even lose any time. It was just fun to look around.

Later today or tomorrow I'll post photos of Eric's family's Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Holiday Forest

I like my pictures of our holiday forest this year. (See last year here.) I used a tripod and everything! I also got the daytime look and the nighttime look.

We don't really have any Christmas Eve day traditions, do you? I'm just happy to spend time with my family. It's the best.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Wonderful Winter (whatever your heart desires)!

*I'm posting a few more photos on flickr. Plus it's Thursday, so there's a Lost in Thoughts posted on the Everything Little Miss blog!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Teeny Tiny Gingerbread Houses

Yesterday I made the most adorable little gingerbread houses. But these are not your ordinary houses, these little guys sit on the edge of your mug of hot chocolate, just to make it super special. My mom found the tutorial over at Not Martha, and she wanted to give them as gifts. Since my mom had to work until 6 last night, I was in charge.

It was my first time making gingerbread houses without my mom. Luckily, she'd already made the dough, so she was able to help me bake & build the first one before leaving for work. But then I was on my own. I made 9 total.

My favorite part was decorating, of course!

It was a lot of fun and not too hard, so check out the tutorial if you're interested!

P.S. We had dinner at a friend's last night and brought these for the hosts. They were very well received!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Blizzard

The blizzard started late Saturday night. The snow was really coming down, and by noon on Sunday there was at least a foot. ♥

Eric braved the storm so that I could come home for the holiday week -- he drives me halfway and then my parents (this time it was my sister) meet me and bring me the rest of the way home.

It was slow going at first, but we made it. In fact, the mess on the roads only added about 20 minutes to our trip (but it felt like an extra hour or two). The farther west we headed, the better the roads got. At the halfway point, there was no sign of a blizzard at all.

I took the pictures from the car.

Luckily, there was already some snow on the ground in North Adams, so I'll still have a white (with a few patches of grass) Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

1 Semester Down

Today Eric took his last final of his first semester. Can you believe he only has 3 semesters to go until he's got an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS)? It may be cliche, but it's true: time flies when you're having fun!

Dear Eric,
I'm so proud of you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

7th Night Of Hanukkah

I've always liked lighting the menorah for Hanukkah. There's this picture of me as a little kid just looking at the candles in awe. I still feel that way. There's something magical about them.

When I was little I would sometimes get upset about getting smaller gifts than my friends or I'd be jealous of my sister's prizes. As a kid, it's hard to see past the presents during the holidays. But as I get older I understand why people are always talking about the spirit of the season. This year I haven't opened a gift each night of Hanukkah, but it's still been fabulous. Suddenly trinkets don't seem as important as they once did. Now I'm grateful for the life I'm living, the things I have, and the people who love me. I don't really want anything else for Hanukkah.

Christmas is a different story. I'm expecting mountains of gifts bright and early on the 25th! (Totally kidding, family. No I'm not. Yes, I really am.)

*Today's Lost in Thoughts is awesome, if I do say so myself. Plus, there's a special offer! Check it out right here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday In The South End

On Sunday afternoon we went to the South End to check out the SoWa Holiday Market. It was really crowded, but I did manage to pick up a gift for my sister.

We also spent some time exploring the area.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was the 15 or so minutes we spent laughing at dogs playing in the dog park. There was one little dog, in particular, that was just the most adorable thing!

It was sort of a dreary day, weather-wise, and when it started raining we headed to the car. We bought coffee (Eric), hot chocolate (me), and an apple fritter to help us warm up and to perfect our day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Waking Up In Newport, RI

Friday night we went to Newport, RI to visit friends from college. It was great! They cooked a delicious meal for us, we lit the menorah for the first night of Hanukkah, and we talked and laughed late into the night. We brought pajamas and pillows and camped out on the surprisingly comfortable fold-out couch.

In the morning we all headed to breakfast and then went for a drive along the ocean.

Newport is really beautiful, and filled with history; we really need to spend more time there and really walk around and see the town.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Black & White Keys

Thanksgiving was a while ago now, but I haven't shared any photos. That's because I didn't really take many. I was sick, and picking up the camera, telling people to smile, and focusing seemed like a lot of work. So I didn't really bother. I did take a few photos at my Aunt & Uncle's house, though.

My Aunt is a wonderful pianist, and her piano is really beautiful. For a little while I was interested in learning to play. I got a small keyboard for Christmas in 6th grade, and during the winter vacation I taught myself to play Silent Night by making notes on the music in an ancient music text book, marking the keys, and pure memorization. I was so proud of myself! And then I lost interest. Maybe because the keyboard was mini, maybe because I got caught up with friends; I don't really know. Even though I didn't pursue it, I still listening to piano msuic and I think they look awfully nice in a living room!

*Don't forget to take a peek at this week's inspiration post.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tree Trimming Party

On November 29th we were invited to a tree trimming party. It was the first I've ever attended, and it was adorable. It was hosted by one of Eric's analytics learning team members. (Analytics was held before the real school year started to give non-finance people a bit of a crash course and prepare them for the regular curriculum coursework.) I think it's great that he's still in touch with his 4 original team members.

Everybody brought something to share. There was a delicious cake with a melted butter topping (heaven), cheese curds (a Wisconsin delicacy), apples and caramel sauce, cookies, a traditional Indian dessert, egg nog, and mulled cider. There may have been more, but that's all I remember. It was so festive! Oh yeah, the hostess was also playing Christmas music and It's A Wonderful Life was on mute in the background.

We brought clementines and I made 2 paper crane ornaments for the tree (do you seem them?). Everybody helped decorate while we all chatted. It was really fun!

Are you getting into the holiday spirit? Have you checked out the Everything Little Miss 2009 Holiday Gift Guide?

*As always, click the pictures to enlarge!

Monday, December 7, 2009

2009 HBS Holidazzle

Friday night was the 2009 HBS Holidazzle. It was a black tie (optional) gala for all of the current HBS students and their partners. We had to be ready by 5:15 in order to catch the bus from HBS to the hotel. I was mildly surprised to discover that we'd be riding on a school bus (it was surreal to see people openly drinking on a big yellow bus).

We arrived at the Westin Copley around 6ish for hors dourves. It took me a little while to feel comfortable in my new dress (I got it second hand for a steal and then had it shortened about 6 inches), but as I looked around the room and saw the other girls all decked out, I began to feel like I'd gotten it right!

Dinner started at 7:00. Each section ate together, in separate rooms. That meant that I didn't sit with any of my usual partner friends, but I had the opportunity to get to know some new people. It was nice to spend some time with Eric's section, and during dinner there were slideshows, videos, and jokes about the first semester. There were lots of laughs.

An ex-colleague of Eric's made Jello shots for him to bring to the event, and I'm pretty sure our table had the most fun.

After dinner, we headed up to the ballroom for dancing and a dessert buffet. The dinner was just for first years to celebrate with their sections, but after dinner the second years joined us, so the ballroom was packed.

Everybody looked wonderful. Dressing up is fun! But know what? I think there were one or two people who didn't recognize me with my hair down (and curly).

Confession: I didn't dance. Not even to one song. The dance floor was uncomfortably packed, and I wasn't feeling the music. But I still had a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the company immensely.

I think my favorite part may have been seeing Eric in his tux. We picked it out over the summer, and I've been looking forward to this since we took it to the tailor! So handsome.

By the end of the night I was hobbling around. Heels really aren't my thing. I'm more of a sneaker kind of girl. We took a cab back to HBS, and it dropped us off pretty much as far from the car as possible. I walked very slowly with Eric, but when we were about three quarters of the way it just hurt too much. I took off my shoes and felt momentary relief. But then I noticed how cold the pavement was and my feet starting hurting in another way! So I ran. LOL. There I was, all dressed up, with my heels in my hand, sprinting across the HBS parking lot. I wish I had a video. It was an invigorating way to end the evening. ★

{Brooke took the first picture, another partner took the one of Dani, Brooke, and me, and Eric took the last photo. I took the others.}

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snowball Snow

I should be writing about the black tie affair we attended on Friday evening, but I'm just too excited about the snow! So snow today, gala tomorrow.

Yesterday afternoon we experienced what weathermen often call a "wintery mix." Then, when it turned into actual for real snow, I was thrilled. I stood at the window watching it come down for quite awhile. There's something about a good snowfall that just makes the world seem so peaceful.

It was wonderful to wake up to a snow covered landscape. Since it was a sunny day, we ventured out for a walk in the late afternoon. Just beautiful.

I love putting on my scarf and mittens. I love the chilly air on my cheeks. I love seeing my breath when I talk. I love coming home and getting wrapped up in a cozy blanket! Yay winter! Do you think it will it stick around?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Toaster Faces

The other day I mentioned that my brother has two lasers. Well they can be fun even if we're not playing with the dog.

Max used them to make funny faces with the toaster. It's fun to find faces in inanimate objects. :)

*Don't forget to head over to Everything Little Miss for today's Lost in Thoughts. Tomorrow there will be a holiday gift guide on Everything Little Miss, so you might want to check that out too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mr. Z

One of my favorite things about spending time in North Adams is playing with my dog, Z.

My brother has two laser pointers and we entertained Z (and ourselves) for hours by making him chase red dots of light around the house. He's so funny. Just look at that face!


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