When asked how I've been lately, I hate answering "busy." I would much prefer to recount the beautiful happenings in life, both the big things and little things. ...but, unfortunately, "busy" is the truth. I'm sure others are just as busy with holiday things to do at this time. I have had fun though... Here's the good and the bad...
Friday, November 30th, I visited Philadelphia for my own holiday cheer. I promise to post all about it sometime this week.
The next night I hosted two old high school friends for a girls night in. We had takeout while viewing Crazy Stupid Love, which they hadn't seen and I had only watched once before. The three of us had a great time. :)
I worked at my retail job the next day (Sunday) open to close alone. This was a 9 1/2 hour shift. Since I had to prepare for another visit of investors and their bankers looking to buy another apartment community in the area, I tried to psyche myself up to clean my apartment following my shift but simply couldn't. Instead, I got out of bed at 4:07 the next morning to make my home sparkle. My boss's boss's boss commented that my apartment felt homey and that it made her want to go to Italy. :)
I also worked a double Tuesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, I fit in an emissions test and then some Christmas shopping for my siblings with my mom. So I ran around until 4 when I had to run around to get ready for work at 5. I even had to pick up my library book on hold during my lunch hour on Thursday because I was always working during my branch's hours of operation. I picked up Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck, which is good so far since I adore the woman behind When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You Got Mail, but she thinks very differently than me on many things. Even when I don't relate, I still find her writing amusing. This interrupts my continued reading of the Julia Child biography, Dearie, which I waited in a long queue again to finish up.
I was thrilled to have Friday night to myself! I planned to make lasagna for the first time ...but then my mom called me while I was at work and asked if my dad could assemble my bookshelf Christmas gift and she could take me grocery shopping as another holiday gift that evening. Sure! My new bookcase from Target's Avington Collection is beautiful. Plus, my mother was thrilled to have my old IKEA one for use in one of her antique stands. I spent $60 of parental money on food and other grocery store items which is what I truly needed. I am incredibly grateful.
After they left, I still went forward with my original plan ...and I sampled my lasagna at 11:00 pm! Blessed by being surrounded by people who like to make lasagna, this was, like I said, my first time I made it myself. The meat version I tried turned out well. I followed this recipe, but used jarred tomato sauce and did not use sausage. I'll try to channel my inner domestic goddess and make a more complicated version next time. Anyway, I've had it for most lunches and dinners since ...with good bread, good olive oil and good red wine for dinner.
I didn't have today off as usual. I worked at my part-time job. Working the extended hours until 10, I caught the last three performances of the Michael Bublé Christmas Special on NBC afterwards. I've loved him ever since my study abroad semester when his song entitled Home (over)played all the time. It reminds me of Italy. Luckily one of those three performances was (a duet with Blake Shelton of) this very song.
I am looking forward to having off from both jobs this Thursday and Friday. You see, I had to use up the last of my vacation hours from my full-time employment. Maybe venture to Baltimore to use my Groupon at Vaccaro's, an Italian pastry shop... Maybe I'll indulge with a professional pedicure...
From the 15th through Christmas Eve, I work an insane amount of hours. And then it finally starts to slow down. With the exception of working on my boss' birthday during the second week of January, I only work my part-time job on Sundays. It's a long time coming, since late December will make four months that I've been back to work and have been working far far more than what I signed up for, pretty much only Sundays.