Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I hope everyone had a splendid Holiday. 

 I'm not sure of you who braved the crowds and ventured out into the malls and shops the day after Christmas.... But, we did.  

What we should have done - is gotten up at the crack of dawn and hit the stores at 6am.  Maybe then, we wouldn't have gotten stuck.  Stuck in the parking lot.  

We arrived at East View Mall at approximately 12:00 pm EST.   The first store we hit was Forever 21, and we each found a few things to purchase there.  Not necessarily on sale, but their prices aren't bad at all. We hit another store, and a few more, by the time we reached JC Penny's we were about an hour and a half in....  It was like someone all of a sudden flipped a switch and all these people appeared.  It was to the point where if I wanted to stop and look at something, I felt I would be run over by the crowds behind me.   Finally we decided, as we were all getting a bit on edge, to exit and head over to the plaza which had more stores (Old Navy, Target, Best Buy, etc).   It was apparent then, that the majority of the greater Rochester area was at East View Mall - we nearly got stuck in the parking lot.  

We managed to make it out alive and pulled back into the lot where the other plaza was.  Spent about 30 minutes in Old Navy; by the time we got back into the car (3:27 pm EST) the traffic was horrific!  We managed to pull out in front of the stores and we were stopped.  15 minutes, 20, 25, 30, 60, 90 minutes passed and we probably moved 2 yards.  :( 

As you can see from the photo I acquired some nice things - nothing was worth sitting for 2 hours in the car.   When I left my parents house Monday night my mom just hugged me and said 
"Thanks for the memories" in the upmost sarcastic tone.  We just burst out laughing.   

Did you brave the mall?  Get anything good? 


Friday, December 23, 2011

while the merry bells keep ringing...

Happy Holidays to you!

This is truly my favorite time of year, and although there is no snow to speak of on the ground - it's starting to feel very much like Christmas time.   All of my errands are done and I'm relaxing waiting for my two best friends to arrive for some cheese and Holiday Cheer.  I'm very grateful for being motivated this year - I just tried to head into the mall to pick up something for my mom... I couldn't even merge into the turning lane to turn into the mall entrance!  I nearly killed myself trying to squish my little Blue Bullet in there...

This week at dance we did Secret Santa Gift Exchanges and enjoyed Holiday music and cookies.  The kids seemed to really love it.  I received the cutest cards from my students!  One of them is as big as the bottom half of my fridge (which is where it resides since I brought it home).   It's very rewarding to see how much you really mean to the kids, when they mean so much to me too.  

Tomorrow morning I'm hoping to get a pre-holiday food run in,  then I'll hike out to my parents house for the weekend.  It doesn't make much sense to travel back and forth repeatedly - besides, I'll have had too much adult beverage for that non-sense anyways :)   I can't wait to stay up late (or try to) with my sisters, exchange gifts, play Wii Bowling, and drink and eat like the Royal's.

Are you done with your holiday shopping?   Will you be traveling this weekend, where and when?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In Review...

The Help 
By Katheryn Stockett

Have you read it, or seen the movie?   Well, if not...I suggest you do so.   It's a remarkable story that takes you back to Mississippi in the 1960's.   It explains the relationship between white women, and white families and their help.  

Reading this book, it really makes you take a back seat and think about how you treat people treat you, too.  I can't imagine being transplanted into that time, when white people were afraid of black people - thinking they carried diseases, etc.  To think now, we have our first black President...  How far we've come...

Having just finished the book, I will be watching the movie today.  I cannot wait to see the images the book illustrates for you in your mind come to life.

What books have you read lately?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tis The Season...

Now that we've officially embarked on the Holiday season, I can't help getting more and more anxious and excited as each day passes.  Just as a little kid would secretly stay up too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve.

I'm proud to say that I'm nearing the finish line of my holiday shopping - which, is really exciting and relieving.   It is so enjoyable to brainstorm for the perfect gifts, sift through the stores after they've been beaten down by the masses.  Wake up in the middle of the night to get those online sales...

Every year my sisters and I do a gift exchange.  It is truly my favorite tradition.  We typically call it "secret santa", however it never really ends up staying secret.  There are 4 of us, so inevitably somebody always figures out who somebody else has, and then you know who you have and BOOM the secret's out!    This year we tried to throw some ideas out there - because, you know, we like doing the gift exchange because it offers an opportunity to purchase a nicer gift since we're only buying 1 verses 3.   So after countless tries pulling names, pulling your own name, pulling the name of the sister you bought for last year... My genius father decided that he was just going to declare who we bought for this year.
"Ryan you buy for Sara, Sara buys for Nina, Nina buys for Morgan, Morgan buys for Ryan - DONE!"

Looking at each other, confused, slightly disappointed, and a little angry we burst out with cries of "No! - we can't do that, that's not fair..."
"Wait! No! That won't work.."
"Wait..." We all looked at each other again...  "Yeah, I mean I guess that works out"

So, Morgan's gift is got.  It sits under my tree patiently waiting for wrapping paper and loving decoration.

What's your favorite holiday family tradition?