Winter Break 2016

Some of you may already know this, but Fall Semester was rough, REALLY ROUGH. By mid-December, I was mentally done and needed a break! Thankfully, this break has allowed me to rest, recuperate and regenerate for my last semester in the spring.

This year I had 3 1/2 weeks off from school and it was well-deserved and much-needed. I flew home on December 14th and spent a week in Portland with Mommy. The day I got home, it snowed a few inches which made driving a logistical nightmare. People in Portland don’t know how to drive in the snow because it doesn’t snow there often. My mom even had to put chains on to get me from the airport and at 11:20pm (when I landed) there still was tons of traffic on some of the freeways in town. It still made it for some fun snow days in the beginning and a winter wonderland.

 I got to see my college roommate and we shopped and dreamed about life in the coming years. She is one of those people that I have missed dearly while being in the Midwest. We dreamed of living together again and of all possibilities for life. And plus, shopping and lunch are just a bonus. The ironic thing is that whenever I get together with her, we always go to the same restaurant, but a different location.

 I also got to see one of my good friends from Undergrad who is now fostering babies. It was such a joy to hold baby girl and to catch up with A. I have so much respect for her and what she is doing for all of these little ones. Each baby that comes through her home is exceptionally blessed. And I even managed to make it over there in all of the snow craziness!In between visiting friends, I had medical appointments and other odds and ends to take care of. One evening we went over to a tennis friends house and I spent most of that evening holding puppies and doing a puzzle.

In between visiting friends, I had medical appointments and other odds and ends to take care of. My dentist appointment was in my old college town so I returned to my old stomping grounds to relive those years of undergrad. Even though everyone had left for the holidays, it was still strange being there. On one end, it seems like I just graduated, but on the other hand, it seems so long ago. One evening we went over to a tennis friends house and I spent most of that evening holding puppies and doing a puzzle.

One evening we went over to a tennis friends house and I spent most of that evening holding puppies and doing a puzzle. Puzzles became the theme of my break as they really allowed me to destress and not think about anything. I really forced myself to put down the phone and just be present and I was able to do it. Besides occasional posts on Snapchat, I wasn’t really using my phone for the majority of the time I was on vacation. And the bonus of not checking my school email was gratifying. I’m sure I will have a lot of emails to sort through when I go back on the grid on Monday.

On Tuesday the 20th, my mom and I flew down to California to begin the visiting tour as we like to call it. First, we went to my home town where I grew up to visit some very dear friends. I got to stay with my BFF S and hold her newest addition (aka puppy Pebbles) and snuggle the other dogs. In between catching up and shopping, we were able to just sit and talk and spend time together since we haven’t seen each other since August. L and I went to go visit my grandparents just before Christmas and have an early celebration with them. My grandma hasn’t been doing well, so it was nice to see her and lift her spirits up a bit. And L got a new puppy Heidi! That dog is a smart little cookie and going to protect her wherever she is. My grandparents live an hour away, so I got to hold this new bundle of joy the entire drive. Let me just say, that dog has melted my heart. It’s amazing how dogs can be such good stress relief.

After our time in my hometown, we headed up to Carson City for Christmas. We caravaned up there as my mom had her care and L had her car. I ended up driving the second car the entire way up since L was exhausted. I am always happy to do my share. My other set of Grandparents live in Carson City and it is always a joy to be there. My grandma cooked for us and we went for long walks. I did a lot of puzzling while we were there and just sat around the Christmas tree. We traditionally open presents on Christmas Eve and have appitizers for dinner and then do stockings and have a big feast on Christmas Day. The only thing I asked for this year was a pair of new brown boots and my wish came true! Other people were very kind and gave me some gifts. Aunt S wins the award every year for the most creative gift. This year she gave me fake dog poop in a dog poop bag. I am definitely going to use to prank somebody, so watch out! It was a joy to be there and rejoice in the holiday season and to be reminded over and over again how blessed I am. On Christmas day, we walked through downtown Carson City to look at all of the new renovations. My grandparents had purchased a bench for there and put a quote on it. Their quote was “to those we hold dear, take a moment and rest your rear.” I thought that this is so creative and hilarious. It was neat to be in the town that I have found memories of visiting growing up and to see the changes since I have been there last.


After the holidays, my mom and I headed back to Northern California and Lisa went down to our family cabin in the Sierra Nevadas. My mom and I were able to stop in the Bay area to see some cousins that I haven’t seen in a couple of years and to visit some other extended family members. It was neat to see my twin cousins all grown up (they are quite a bit younger than me) and to hear about high school life. Their new house is gorgeous and it was a joy to catch up with them. After this, we headed down to Carmel and spent the last part of the vacation on the beach and visit my uncles. Many of you know that the beach is my happy place and where I truly feel at home. One day, we did a little hike in the canyon by their house and took a spontaneous road trip. It was a really nice way to end the time I had with my mom before she headed back up to Portland.

Now I am currently hanging out in the valley working on school work to kill time until I start student teaching on Monday. I will be here (Northern California) for another month to complete a student teaching rotation before I head back to the midwest!

How was your break?

Happy Friday!



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