If I can finish grading, prepping, and getting ready for the next day (lunch, clothes, breakfast...) all before 8 o'clock-- I chalk that up as a win.
The Quick List:
+ the Trovatos' housewarming
+ our Third annual potluck Thanksgiving
+ family Thanksgiving at Skyview
+ handbag designing with my fashionable sisters
+ birthday dinner and drinks with the girls and guys at John Harvard's
+ birthday weekend getaway with the husband to the Omni Parker House hotel and dinner with Sarah and Dan in Fanueil Hall
+ a holiday lunch in Auburn with Mom, Dad, Justin, Leah, and Dan to exchange a few holiday goodies
+ a work holiday party at Bella's that brought many laughs
+ two more holiday parties and Yankee swaps resulting in a Snuggle Plus and a bottle of tequila (that later fell, broke, and covered our kitchen floor)
Vacation was great. In the days leading up to those sacred days off I have valiant plans to be uuber productive, tackle long term projects and get ahead on tasks. However, come vacation, the couch, DVR, and fun with friends draws me in, and far far away from my work bag--as it should.
Vacation kicked off with The Rockettes show downtown with Momma, Sarah, and Leah--followed by a gift exchange before they departed for Chicago. Justin and I spent Christmas Eve (Chinese take-out) and Christmas Day (fried turkey) with Justin's family. The holidays were nice--a festive home, stockings hung, time to relax, Christmas Vacation--in its entirety, and time with family. It doesn't get much better.
Santa brought me/us baking tools (such that my Wilton tool box is officially stuffed), cute "party book" to keep notes about parties we host, cupcake liners, a red festive cupcake tower, socks (of course), a paw print Pandora charm, cupcake pajamas, ski passes, fancy teaspoons with cupcakes imprinted on them, vouchers for horseback riding, books I am eager to delve into, and cake and cupcake traveling carriers.
Wilton caddy birthday gift
Throughout the week I enjoyed brunch with the Flower Girls, lunch with the husband and the mother-in-law, and stay out late (!) at dinner with friends--The Yard House. I got to spend quality time with a sister (who I believe secretly dons a superhero cape imprinted with a C for her creativity, cleverness, and culinary cuisine) who is steps away from "the real world" and may not always be so physically close.
New Years was spent with BOTH sisters in Brookline and it was even nicer to have us together with Momma New Years Day for a most delicious meal.
New Years sweetsA new duvet cover, freshly-clean sheets, and a $300 mattress pad made it awfully difficult to rise from our slumber Sunday morning.
However, we managed to (begrudgingly) get out of bed for a breakfast date at Persy's Place down the road in Middleboro.
As my kids returned to school on Monday, I heard many eagerly share the gifts they received (and didn't receive.) I hope when we possibly have children of our own, they understand the importance of family over gifts--in a world where young and old peruse over circulars for the newest, coolest, trendiest must-have of the season.
This year has been interesting. I've been working my tail off, yet am rarely confident that my students are solidly understanding the material. Our schedule is quite different and I feel like I am just getting the hang of a routine. The students are somewhat low--for the most part. I have the usual Early Finishers Who Rush and Make Careless Mistakes, the Top Students, and the Ones Who Often Miss the Boat. I find myself constantly second-guessing myself, perhaps becoming too hard on myself, and working terribly hard to try to do it all while making sure they all get it--and it's exhausting! In turn, I'm not excited like I used to be about teaching and going in every morning--and that's the worst of it.
In addition to School Council, I signed up for a Writing course offered through our district. So, beginning January 27th--I will be in class from 4-7 nearly every Thursday though May. Oy vey.
On a happier note, we have begun our house-hunting and have found a few great houses. I'm trying not to fall in love with one and then feel discouraged if we don't get it so I am keeping my options open and thinking positively. We are meeting with a mortgage loan officer Thursday. I'm so excited to get the ball rolling.
I am quite optimistic about what 2011 has in store....