Archive for December, 2010

December 31, 2010

New Year: 2011

So, here I am, half asleep, sitting in a plane on my way back to Cincinnati after the holidays enjoying the perks of google chrome’s “free holiday wi-fi” in the comfort of a crowded jet. And I’m thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. I’m quite sure that I blogged about this last year (….in fact, looking at my old blog, I did. But anyway.) I’m not the best at keeping my NYR’s but I am sure good at making them, and that must count for something someday.

Just to check up on myself, I checked my old blog to take a peek at what I probably didn’t accomplish this year. But I wanted to know. Basically, I resolved last year to do some pretty basic things (get up earlier, be more clean, stay in touch with people, read more, and apply to grad school). Well….okay. I don’t think I got up at any earlier, nor was I in a better mood when I did, I don’t think I was that much cleaner….but I read a lot, and I applied to grad school – and then decided not to go.

Hmmm. Well, moving on to 2011.

THE LIST.

Cook.While perusing Williams Sonoma one Sunday afternoon, I happened to catch a glimpse of this book. I love Julia Child. Love her. Between her and Pioneer Woman (and America’s Test Kitchen, and Rachael Ray), I have my cooking life pretty much made out. So, I have decided to purchase Mastering the Art of French Cooking and My Life in France and cook (and dream) away. Oh, and perhaps a new Williams Sonoma apron. I can never get enough of those.

I watched Julie & Julia last night with my Mom and sister. Believe it or not, it was actually purely coincidental that I had just decided the week before to do the whole Julia Child thing, but anyway, I watched it. And then checked out the “Julie Julia Project”  blog online. [Side note: Did you know that Julie Powell was on the Rachael Ray show?]  and decided to do something a little similar and a little different. What would happen, I wonder, if I spent a year studying Mother Teresa? You know, like the Mother Teresa Project. And then blog about it. Jk. Sort of. So, I am going do it. And I’m even going to buy a new, cute  quote journal for it. <– another obsession of mine.

Go to New York City during the holiday season.

Do the 30 Day Shred for thirty days.

Go to Williams Sonoma for a cooking demo one of these Sundays.

Play the piano. Become more Chopin and Brahms-proficient. This won’t be hard because I JUST BOUGHT A NEW DIGITAL PIANO!

Make brunch more often.

Read. Of course. On my current list: My Life in France, The Soul of the Apostolate, Three to Get Married, By Love Refined: Letters to a Young Bride, The Nature of Love, Theology of the Body in Context, Called to Love, The End and the Beginning, Wojtyla’s Women, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, the Anne of Green Gables series, Pioneer Woman’s love story book, Jesus of Nazareth, Essays on Woman, Free, Feminine and Faithful, and Light of the World. And some poetry. Whew. The end.

Call my Mom three times a week.

Find a new coffee shop every month in an area of Cincinnati that I don’t know.

Write more letters.

Be more organized.

Get on facebook less.

Read more blogs. Cooking blogs, online magazines, or anything else that catches my fancy. Find at least six new ones to follow.

Be more regular with morning and night prayer.

Go to Confession more often.

Visit a historic site and/or park in Cincinnati. Several of them. The Taft museum/house/whatever it is? That’s all I know. There must be more.

Go to the Art Museum.

Come back to Kansas City for the American Royal.

Make Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls.

Go wine tasting.

Figure skate.

Go to Mass at three parishes that I have never been to before.

Go to D.C. to visit the “Ave girls” (and an ITI husband).

Go to least one conference.

Find at least one new hobby that I enjoy. The guitar? (that might have been on last year’s list) Rock climbing? (bizarre, but why not?) Running? (dream on. But my mom did get me an armband for my itouch for Christmas. That will motivate me to go running at least once).

Kansas City BBQ and Jazz. The end.

 

 

 

 

 

December 26, 2010

Snowy Christmas Evenings

Merry Christmas! Judging by my Christmas evening, I could argue that I have a pretty perfect life. It’s 7:45 p.m. and I’m sitting on the couch watching It’s a Wonderful Life with (some of) my family, relaxing, drinking my beloved whiskey eggnog (courtesy of my wonderful father), and making plans with my Kansas City friends to catch up on life. To top things off, it’s sort of a White Christmas.

I happen to love poetry. I suppose it’s the literature-loving/romantic side of me, but I think that, aside from music, it’s one of the most beautiful things ever. I fell in love with this poem because of a man named Jim. I worked with Jim one year at Watkins Mill, dressing up and giving tours of an old mill and a civil war home. He was an amazing man – about sixty-five and sharp as can be. He loved nature, hard work, beauty, tools, history, and talking about good literature. He was an atheist, and something inside of him always tugged at my heart because he saw all of these things – nature, beauty etc. but was always searching inside for more, deeper beauty, or more meaning to these things. He’s one of a kind, and someone that I’ll never forget. This was his poem.

“Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”

– Robert Frost

.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

December 22, 2010

Musings from the Dayton Airport

I love Advent. Let me tell you.

I love going downtown for Mass in the middle of a busy workday for some peace and quiet, watching people walk the streets battling the wind and just enjoying the feeling of being anonymous in a big city.

I love getting to spend some quiet time alone with Jesus. I love Confession. I love serenity in the midst of craziness.

Not that this Advent has really been that crazy; it hasn’t, in fact, and it even has felt like a somewhat slow time of the year, probably due to the several snow days that I’ve gotten already – time for rest and relaxation.

But in spite of that, I never feel ready for Christmas, and I’m not sure why. Pretty much all my shopping is done – hallelujah, but that really has nothing do it with it. It just feels like Advent should be longer. And that I should be more holy, and visit people in a nursing home or something, or sing a few more Christmas carols. Or write (and actually mail) more Christmas cards. And so Christmas week is suddenly here, and I’m still in a daze that it’s December 22nd, despite the snow, cold weather, and ice.

Hmmmm.

But it’s here. Lord, prepare my heart.

I’m sitting in the Dayton airport waiting for my now-delayed flight to start boarding, which is actually pretty great for me. Until last night I was planning on making the 10 hr drive home by myself today, but instead I bought a last-minute plane ticket. I don’t know why. I don’t do things on impulse that involve a lot of money very often. But I did, and then had the scramble of trying to fit all my clothing for a week, and my Christmas presents for my family, and my laptop etc. all in bags that I could carry on without paying the $25 baggage fee. It worked. But it won’t on the way back, but I prepared for that.

I love Advent for the food, as well. Of course.

I love dips – like Spinach and Artichoke, dip, Crab dip etc. And etc. I usually make a list of all the things I want to make for the holidays when I come home, but the list isn’t quite compiled yet. My latest love? Fondue. I went to the Melting Pot recently for the first time and was instantly hooked. Hooked, I tell you. So much hooked that I pleaded with my dear Mother to get a fondue pot this Christmas so that we can enjoy it over the holidays. It hasn’t happened yet, but I still have three days. And a 20% off Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon. I’ll keep you updated.

You know what else I love about Advent (and Christmas for this one)? The music . I love playing the piano, and it breaks my heart sometimes that I never get to play. But, that’s about to change. I have recently (as in last night) looked into buying a digital piano. And I can tell you right now that this piano is going to happen. Soon, in fact.

In the meantime, I hope that you’ve had a lovely Advent and that you are ready for the joy of Christ’s birth.

Oh, and check this out – a billboard here in Cincinnati sponsored by Cincinnati Right to Life. Love it! Merry Christmas.

 

December 17, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

This makes every second of my job worth it.

“Dear Alicia,

Thank you for coming to my school for In Control week!! 🙂 Your warm, merry personality made me feel comfortable! You clearly explained everything in a fun way that we really could participate and interact with.I can’t wait to see you next year! Thanks, thanks, thanks!”

W/ all my love,

– Olivia, a 7th Grader

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my students? They are the greatest gift of my job, and even though the days might be long sometimes, and the mornings might be too early, and sometimes it can be discouraging, they are the light of my life!

You know what else makes me happy? Christmastime . . . I love the holiday lights, the Advent wreath, happy people, the shopping rush, the cold weather, the snow, the excitement and anticipation, the amazing holiday treats, Christmas concerts, hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, the beautiful homilies, and the coming of Christ in a very special way. It started snowing hardcore this week, which meant that I’ve had two days off school just to sip coffee, do some reading, go shopping, and relax for a little while. It’s been pretty wonderful.I’ve started making my list of holiday baking to-dos, and I’m very excited to head home and begin the holiday cooking mania. I’m slightly less excited about the 9.5 hr drive, and perhaps the snow, but you can’t win them all I suppose. . .

December 10, 2010

Merry Thoughts on a December Night

I’ve been intending to blog now for the past three days. In fact, I have even gone so far to pull up my page and begin to type a post several times, but for some reason I’ve never actually completed it. “Some reason” = I usually don’t start until late at night and sleep usually wins out when I start getting tired and I haven’t had anything super terribly exciting to blog about. So there you have it.

Being as it’s 11:10 p.m. and I still don’t have anything wonderfully exciting to talk about this could end up being a very short post. Hmmmm.

….I cleaned my apartment today. Yep. I know.

In other good news, I have had the last few nights relatively off (I might ask myself why it took me so long to clean my apartment…?) and really just had a chance to relax, drink some peppermint schnapps, read a good book or two, watch a cooking show, buy a tiny Christmas tree, and catch up on some of my friends’ lives. It’s been a good week.

I lost a bet with my co-worker. I owe him Starbucks. When you work in chastity education, you need a lot of caffeine and a good laugh every once in a while. I got some of both today.

7th grader: “If you have sex with one person, and then break up, and then have sex with another person and have a baby will the baby look at all look like the first person you had sex with?” I thought Rocky was going to lose it. Where do kids get questions like this anyway?

Whoever invented the eggnog-whiskey combo was brill-i-ant. I had some, actually a lot, at a friend’s party last week, and am blissfully looking forward to it next week as well. Christmastime, how I love thee…