Friday, January 24, 2014

A successful ending to 2013

Because I really should be reading my policy analysis book for class next weekend now seems like the perfect time to pick up where my last post left off.

After Christmas comes the birthday and New Years Eve. I spent the last week of 2013 working on a contract for my moms company and seeing friends. We had a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity (when I say few I really mean we played through all of the black cards) and good food! I was surprised with Lesley's company and a few lemon drop martinis at the Living Room for an early birthday cocktail.

After 7 stores and a lot of frustration, I finally found a pair of shoes that were to die for and a dress to perfectly pair with them.

My birthday was perfection. An iced coffee with soy to start the day, lunch at Houston's with my mother and Teresa, and finished out the rest of the day at the Biltmore. Danielle and I stayed at a hotel in the area and and I got into some quiet shenangins that included martinis, shopping, and perfect friends.

 For New Years eve Marla and the kids came over to light off fireworks. We invited over the neighbors and their kids and we made an event out of it. I SO wish I had a picture of the grand finale. After milking the jumbo package for about 45 minutes we were all ready to light off the big one. The kids (5 kids ranging from 3 to 8) were all lined up waiting for me to strike up the match. After trying to get them all to take a few steps back I finally went in for it. It took about 4 seconds before the radius of the sparks went beyond the kids and the look of wonder and joy turned to panic. All of the kids bolted off to the other side of the yard and the looks on their faces was priceless. The parents were all but rolling on the floor while Marla jumped through the air to check on her kids. When Marla and I got to the other side of the yard to round up the kids we found them hiding in the wood pile and behind the garbage can, no injuries, just giggles and "wow that was so big and so cool can we do that again?!?!?!" We had a really good time and the kids loved Adelaide (who was perfection! seriously, the men said I had the worlds best behaved chihuahua, ever). After Marla and her  children left, Bryce and I went next door and played a round of celebrity with the adults and rang in the New Year! And who would have guessed that the new neighbors would have a brother visiting from Toronto who had quite the night celebrating and certainly didn't hold back when the clock struck 12...

New Years day was spent the way it should be. Eating, drinking, and being politically incorrect with a few hours of Cards Against Humanity. I so adore this extension of my family and the memories we all have together.

For a marvelous beginning to 2014 I was able to watch my beautiful friend Juliet win the title of Miss Wheelchair Arizona! She is going to be such a great representative of all that it stands for and I couldn't be more proud of all of her accomplishments!

It's funny. A year ago I was day dreaming of when I would live in California. I had felt like Arizona didn't have much to offer me and it was holding me back. After a few months away, I discovered that I'm truly a desert girl who has a lot to love at home. True friends appear after you move away and the relationships all become that much stronger. I love my life, the Los Angeles piece included. But I am SO in love with all that I have supporting me from the Sonoran Desert and all of the blessings I can't even begin to count. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Seeing as how up until August I have always lived either with or within 15 minutes of family I have never experienced the joys of going home for the holidays. I was ever so anxious this year to get home and enjoy my favorite time of the year. I had originally planned on one week at home over Christmas and then back to Los Angeles for my birthday and NYE. However, after a long discussion with my mom the night before my return from Thanksgiving, I made the decision that ultimately led to me being back in the Valley of the Sun of a full month (I swear, I actually do live in Los Angeles?).

After a last minute change in my departure date due to an interview being called with Santa Monica (which ultimately just led to frustration, some upset, and a lot of drama...but I interviewed well!) I was on my way back home to enjoy the festivities of the month of December.

I started my visit home with a weekend trip to Flagstaff to enjoy some of that cold white stuff the rest of the country is currently buried under.

Weekdays and evenings consisted of gorgeous sunset views from the new house and fires and weekends were chock full of family and close friends.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Ladies Brunch with my Anabel and Adelaide

Happiest Day of the Year...Eggplant Day with my lovely extended Irish/Italian Family <3

Sunday Fishing+Wine Drinking for those of age.
Then comes Christmas, and what a couple of days we had! Christmas Eve was at the new house, complete with Prime and oodles of champagne! The kids had a good time and enjoyed their presents and we played a very competitive game of Jenga between dinner and presents.

Christmas earrings!

Christmas day was another day chock full of shenanagins. And more champagne. And family photos.

All in all, the holidays were marvelous and I fully enjoyed spending the time with my family. This post is so many photos, I'll save the other two weeks for another post!