Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Day of Thanks

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, definitely one of my favorite holidays (that and Christmas...). Nothing beats eating enough mashed potatoes, turkey and cranberry sauce and pecan pie to feed a small army. The best part, of course, is spending time with family and friends that I love. I haven't been able to be with my immediate family for several of the past few Thanksgivings, including this one, and I'll miss them immensely tomorrow. They are the people I am most grateful for - for putting up with me through those angst-y teenage years, for supporting me in all the decisions I've made, and really just for loving me. I have the best family I could ask for.

I've definitely had some memorable Thanksgivings. Growing up, the extended family usually went out to my grandparents' cabin. We'd fill the weekend with sledding, cross-country skiing and snow ice cream, on the snowy years. And while it wasn't quite as picturesque, snow-less years made cutting down our Christmas tree much easier (Although let's be honest, picking it out is the hard part. Indecisive +perfectionist = bad for picking out a tree). Great memories. Last year, the Pennsylvania Chamberlains invited me to dinner at their house. I got to meet Eden & Mike's twins for the first time, and hang out with Maleah right after her mission. Plus we checked out Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty and Washington's crossing point on the Delaware. Another great Thanksgiving memory. One of the most unusual though, was when I did study abroad in Torino. Not only was I not with my family, but I was in a country completely unrelated to Thanksgiving/pilgrims/etc. Below is part of an email that I wrote about the occasion:

"For Thanksgiving dinner today, Dr. Noble requested that the kitchen make us a real Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey and mashed potatoes, but the head cook told us that they wouldn't be able to find a turkey so they were going to give us turkey breast instead. I thought it sounded fine - a little different than normal, but not bad. It doesn't seem like Thanksgiving here anyway, since it's just the 50 of us who are even aware that the holiday exists. But when we got down to dinner tonight, we walked into the dining area and the table looked just like it normally does, with all the antipasti and salad lined up down the middle, and when they started bringing out the first course, it was risotto instead of potatoes. The risotto had chunks of pumpkin in it, granted, but it still wasn't potatoes. We had all resigned ourselves to a much different Thanksgiving dinner, which was actually good, because then we started thinking more about Thanksgiving and less about the dinner. At our table we talked about what we were thankful for and sang some Thanksgiving hymns (well, they were mostly Christmas ones, but some Thanksgiving ones were thrown in there.). And then, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles... the servers started bringing out bowls of mashed potatoes and dishes of baked squash, and then the cook wheeled out a cart with this really enormous turkey! It was fantastic! Definitely a memorable holiday. I guess it's those ones that are really unusual that tend to stand out in your memory, but still..."The Feast

Good Friends: Danielle, Jewell, me

Friday, November 21, 2008

Up to the minute

Currently i am Listening (on repeat) to:

Maybe a guilty pleasure, but I love it!

Not their best CD, but there's some good stuff on here.

I am Reading (for book club):

Right now I'm Dying to see:

And I'm Planning a trip here:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Les Fotos

Day 1 in NYC. Forecast: Rain
No explanation. Not because you don't need one, but because I have no idea why.

My next job: UN Ambassador
Hello New York! And a closeup of my face.

Mom & me on the ferry back from Ellis Island

From the top of the Empire State Building. See the clouds? Yeah, that's all we saw too.

In our defense, this is what it looked like when we went in

And some extras, in case you don't know NYC sites.

New York, New York!

Best birthday ever: Mom met me in NYC for a great touristy weekend.

Thursday: Arrival. Mom got there a few hours earlier than I did, so she wandered around Rockefeller Center for a while. Once I got there, Times Square and Juniors in the rain. Walking back to the hotel (which, fabulously, was on 51st St, right next to Gershwin Theater), we ran into Katie Holmes & John Lithgow coming out of the stage door for All My Sons. Awesome.

Friday: U.N. tour - finally. I've been to NYC four times and never when the UN is open. Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty. Mourning at the NYSE. Dylan's Candy Bar & Serendipity. Yes, we were on a sugar kick all weekend. And I definitely brought home a Frozen Hot Chocolate mix if anyone needs some. =) Wicked. Wicked awesome. And then Becco. Stuffed peppers, spaetzle and pannacotta. I was a happy woman.

Saturday. Yay for the new Magnolia's in Rockefeller Center! Brooklyn Bridge (some day I actually need to spend some time in Brooklyn.). Empire State Building. In the fog. Bad idea, but funny all the same. The Strand bookstore, which I LOVE, and some shopping before Mary Poppins.

Sunday. Attempted to go to church at the Manhattan LDS Temple, but the 3rd floor is closed for renovations, so we spent the morning wandering Central Park before Mom headed back to Boise and I missed my bus to DC.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Party by Proxy

About a month ago I made some off-hand comment to my 6th period class that my birthday was on November 14. A couple of them actually wrote it down (I wish they'd take that much effort to write down their homework!) and promised to bring a cake for my birthday. I knew I was going to be out of town on my actual b-day, and I wasn't scheduled to see their class that day anyway, so I told them if they really wanted to have a party that we'd have to do it on the 13th. Well, the 13th came and went and ... no party. Not surprising, and maybe a little relieving. I'm not a big fan of being the center of attention (ironic then, that I demand attention all day long? perhaps.).

I found out today that a couple of my kids actually did bring a cake to school on friday ... but I wasn't there, so they had a party for me in the cafeteria at lunch. Thank you, freshmen! - Glitter Graphics