I love when the sky goes from blue to orange and I didn't take many pics this week so this is what you get.
1) I had a serious case of the blues this week - anyone else? My work life is always busy in December with the opportunity to work late and make extra money and planning graduation and the staff holiday party. Family life was in full swing with my nieces visiting for Christmas extra early and Andrew's dad coming to town. That, on top of gift-buying just had me in a terrible mood for about four days (and also caused blog silence - if you noticed, it wasn't you, it was me). I am an awful gift-buyer because I hate to get you only what you asked for and I hate to get things that I think are boring. Christmas shopping stresses me out every year. Luckily, the blues are gone, the shopping is mostly under control, and I think I can finally start to enjoy the Christmas season... well, what little is left of it! (This also happens every year and has me super sad when it's time to take down the decorations...)
2) Speaking of holiday parties, they have all been great. I may at times get frustrated with things at work but the holiday season brings out so many good traits in people that often get overlooked in the day-to-day. On Monday, my suite had a party with a white elephant gift exchange. The gift I brought was stolen a few times and I stole a gift from the Executive Vice President - a two gallon mason jar for serving drinks at parties. It's cute. Tuesday was the all staff party at Lucky Strike, which is a nice bowling alley/bar. We had Wii, Kinect, and pool on top of bowling and though a few people complained, most of the feedback was great! Wednesday was lunch with one of the deans who always asks us to bring items to donate to a nearby shelter instead of exchanging gifts while he takes us to a nice lunch and gives us a gift. It is so far beyond what anyone expects of him, plus we all get to leave feeling like we helped someone else.
Thursday was lunch with my boss and her other employee - the three of us are the only non-deans in our suite. We went to Haven, another restaurant on the Top 100 in Houston list. I had never been before but I loved it! I peeked at the inside and it was beautiful, but we sat outside and enjoyed Houston's current winter temps in the high 60s. I had chicken confit with bacon spaetzle (a mix between pasta and dumplings) and crispy brussel sprouts - the brussel sprouts were the best part! My boss insisted we get dessert so I had the chocolate ice box pie. While it was nothing amazing, I definitely want to go here again. My boss got coffee and I said "Oooh, I love French press" to which the waiter responded "We're in Texas. That's a freedom press." I thought it was funny and I will be calling it that from now on.
My meal. Yes the photo is wonky but my coworkers don't know about my blog and my need to get a perfect pic would have caused too many questions.
3) I am definitely looking forward to the next two weeks. This weekend, Andrew and I are making marshmallows to give as gifts to my family. On Monday we are having Christmas with my dad. We are going to wake up and have Christmas Morning together on Christmas Eve since we are flying into Baltimore to drive to Delaware to see his dad on Christmas Day. We'll be in Delaware for a few days, then drive to New Jersey to spend our days in New York City. I'm looking forward to a change of scenery, yummy meals, and real, cold weather at Christmastime!
4) Since it's Christmas (and at Christmas you tell the truth) (name the movie!) can we speak for a minute about how great starting to blog has been for me in 2013? Really, I am out of words to describe how great this community is. How I scroll back on twitter as far as my phone will let me so I can see what I missed with you guys during the day. How new comments never get old, how new readers make me so happy, and how good posts I read keep me thinking all day, or longer. Gchatting has become a new hobby, blog friends are now real friends, and it just makes me.... happy. So thanks to all of you who have stopped by, said hi, had email conversations with me, tweeted me back, whatever. Let's keep it up next year!
5) And, since I think it's kind of an unwritten thing that the blog world will be quiet til the new year, I am going to do what many of my blog friends have done and leave you with some of my favorite posts from the past to give you poor souls stuck at work next week something to read...
The Kind of Person You're Friends With | Five Things You Don't Know About Me, According to My Husband