Sunday, January 6, 2013

My First Post of 2013!

The first night of Yule.
It has certainly been awhile since the last time I made a blog post! It was a wonderful and chaotic and exhausting winter holiday season, but I made it through with my sanity intact, so that's a blessing. I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating!  I know some out there still have some winter celebrating to do!

I was very busy this past month! First of all, I had finals (which equals massive amounts of reading!) Also, I FINISHED MY SENIOR THESIS!!!!!! Yes, after months of writing and rewriting and researching and transcribing and writing some more, I turned in my completed thesis on December 5th! It felt so amazing to turn it in, but then I was all freaked out, worrying about the grade I was going to get. On the same day I had to present my thesis in a powerpoint presentation in front of my seminar class and some other Mills people. My mom and my grandma were also there! It was really cool to be able to present in front of them and show them how much work I put into my project. I think they were impressed, and I appreciated their presence. I felt so bad-ass! I felt really confident after presenting. And, icing on the cake, I got my grade back: A! When I got the email, I did a happy dance!

The rest of my professors took their sweet time sending in final grades to records, but I'm happy to say I passed all of my classes very respectably. I even passed Social Inequality, which I was super worried about because the professor is just such a hard grader! I got a B+. I honestly don't know how I pulled that off, I was sure I was going to get a C!

The first night!

I also celebrated Yule this year, which didn't turn out quite like I expected. I'd like to say that I lit candles every night and celebrated with feasts and dancing and music, but then I'd be a liar and I try not to lie on my own blog. The truth is that as of now there are 6 candles out of 12 that have been lit on my altar in honor of Yule. I started out strong, I promise! On the first night of Yule, the Winter Solstice, I lit one candle, said my blessings with my mom, and stayed up to watch the sun rise.  To keep me awake, I read The Hunger Games, which turned out to be a bad idea because that book is kind of depressing (among other things).  Then, when I finally saw the sky lighten, when I finally saw a little bit of the sun, I said another prayer and fell right to sleep! I only got four hours of sleep before I had to leave for work, but it was worth it. Go me, right? Well, the next 5 nights we lit candles and asked for blessings (I set up a different aspect of our lives to focus on each night, to say what we're thankful for and what we hope to achieve in the next year), but just barely.  Like "Oh yeah, before we forget, let's light candles!" And by the 7th day I was so drained from the holidays, and my siblings came down from Grass Valley to stay with us for 6 days, so my mind was elsewhere. But hey, 6 days is nothing to sneeze at, and I gave it a good go! There's always next year!

Did I mention my siblings came down to visit? That was an interesting stay, to be sure. I love my siblings, they're great! But they are also a lot to handle! They're almost 15 and almost 12, so you can imagine how it went. Have you ever dealt with a 12 year old boy for 6 days in a row? For all you moms out there with 12 year old boys, I'm praying for you. My brother has SO MUCH ENERGY, it's unreal, and he has to have something to do every second of the day. He was also constantly hungry!  I barely cook for myself, so it was highly irritating having to cook every few hours for another human being (well, beings, my sister was there, too). And he's a little skinny, gangly thing-- I don't know where he's putting all this food that he eats! And while we're talking about food, let's talk about how incredibly picky he is when it comes to food!!!!  He doesn't like chunky sauces (or jam, or peanut butter, or anything with chunks in it at all), he refuses to eat any seafood, the only pizza he'll eat is pepperoni, and he prefers hot dogs with cheese in them. Like IN the hot dog. My stepmom sent me a list of things that he and my sister won't eat.  I was like, holy crap! How am I going to feed these kids?!

Looking at the pastries in the window...

Dealing with a 15 year old is a little bit easier, but you can bet they have some attitude! Especially in the mornings! Waking my sister up was like walking into the lair of a dragon. I wouldn't recommend it.

A few highlights from their visit:

  • We played Apples to Apples. I won the first round and then everyone actively tried to not pick my cards.
  • In San Francisco we got pastries in Little Italy, chased the waves at Ocean Beach, got some scarves in Chinatown and got some fried food at Fisherman's Wharf. Oh, and I punched my brother and my cousin in the arm. Because that's what big sisters do when little relatives cross the line (My punishment was just and swift, and now they know not to mess with me). My only regret is that we didn't get any dim sum!
  • My sibs introduced me to the Logos Quiz  game, which is really fun and makes me feel really guilty for totally immersing myself in consumerism. I'm on level 7.
  • Me and Alexis "rocked out" to some of my NU choir favorites (Hello, Shenandoah! What's up, Tonight Eternity Alone? How's it hangin', Go Lovely Rose?). It feels good to get all nostalgic every once in awhile.
  • We went to my Grandma's on New Year's Eve for gumbo. It was delicious, and yes, you should be jealous. We ate food, played card games (and got pretty competitive about it), and sang goofy songs. You know, the usual. And I had the pleasure of meeting my little cousin for the first time. She is so cute, I wanted to hold her for days. It was awesome to hang out with some of my family, eat good food, sing and just be silly.  No work, no school, just fun. At 11:50 we turned on the TV so we could watch the ball drop, and at midnight I kissed my love and hugged my siblings and the kids went outside to scream HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Here's a video of my sister and Kourtney playing Speed. Enjoy!

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