Another Christmas that my family has given me way too much. Despite the fact that there were no presents under the tree until Christmas Eve, my family took care of me and #spoiled me with so many gifts and food. 2 warm and fuzzy hats, J. Crew sunglasses, 2 necklaces, a scarf and the perfect mug for me! Oh and don’t forget about Costa Rica! I hope that your Christmas was great also! Of course Christmas isn’t about these material items, it’s about the birth of hope and of our lord and savior!
I have been home a week now and this is the longest I have been home at one time in 6 months and boy does it feel good. I am pretty proud of myself because I have yet to spend an entire day sleeping, eating and watching TV. I have managed to be productive and spend real quality time with my family and close friends. I have decorated countless cookies, walked my dogs, finished my Christmas shopping, seen movies, eaten at my favorite restaurants, visited friends and family and okay, maybe caught up on some television. However, I have noticed that I am a much better blogger at school than at home. I tend to blog along side of doing homework, when I am in a very productive state of mind. Now that I am on a little break from school my mind isn’t quite as efficient. Hey! After getting straight A’s a girl needs a break!
What I have begun to realized is that coming home is a constant reminder of how long I have been gone. When I was a freshman in college it was much easier to stay in touch and keep up with things happening in my home town, 5 hours across the state. As i have grown older, spent my summers away from home and made a life for myself in Boone it grows harder and harder to stay connected and keep tabs on people. Many of my friends were either in Wilmington this summer or were back and forth between Wilmington and summer school but I was only home for a very small window of time, much of that was spent packing, unpacking and preparing to move into my apartment. My only mode of staying informed have been texts from my parents, letters i received in Maine or when something is posted on facebook. Over the past week I have used the expression, “ WHAT??? Why didn’t anybody tell me” numerous times and had to asked, “Who is that person?” because I hadn’t been around to meet new members of our church or additions to my friend group.
My Mom has assured me that this is a part of life and this is something everybody goes through. Despite this I still can’t help but feel a little guilty that i am missing out on some important milestones in lives of those who I grew up with. I have no intentions of moving back into my home town anytime soon and I am beginning to get a glimpse of some of the downsides of being a traveler. I now have so much respect for all of the bloggers out there living as expats in different countries and I think I might have some growing up to do before I graduate.
This has only made me appreciate this break even more. I have come to really appreciate Christmas parties (the ones i dreaded as a kid) because it has been so fun getting to see everyone. I always tell myself I will just drop by but this year I have found myself being the last to leave. I am feeling so much love and support from those who I have gotten to catch up with and even though I have been asked the same questions 100000 times I am thankful for my friends and their parents taking a genuine interest in my future.
I am home for about another week and I am very excited for Christmas, my mom has done a great job decorating the house….even without my sister and I. This will be my last post until after Christmas so Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all a joyful day to celebrate a joyful season! It’s Monday and below are my Weekly Wishes for the nectar collectives week link up. ___________________________________________________________________________
1. To read my National Geographic December Issue: With exams and the holidays I really have not had the time…and sadly the desire….to sit down and read my December NatGeo. This is usually one of my favorite things to do each month but, once I set down my bookbag I haven’t picked it back up. This week I am hoping to hit my favorite local coffee shop and find some time to read it.
2. Help my sister with her Blog: My sister is a great writer and she wants to start a little blog about married life and her attempts at being the perfect hostess. I am no expert but she has asked me to help her get her blog going.
3. Sing my Heart out for Jesus: At my church’s Christmas eve service tomorrow night I am making it a personal goal to sing my little heart out because I haven’t gotten to sing classic Christmas hymnals at all this year so…Christmas Eve is my chance.
Airlie Gardens is a Wilmington trademark, featuring a 467 year old live oak, walking trails, wildlife, over 100,000 Azaleas and lakes all overlooking the North Carolina Coast. Every weekend from Thanksgiving till Christmas they host, Enchanted Airlie, one of their Christmas traditions and a huge attraction in Wilmington.They covered the gardens in beautiful and colorful Christmas lights and of course hosted Santa for kids to visit. After going there tonight with my parents and our closest family friends I now know why Enchanted Airlie is sold now for the rest of 2013. I give all the credit to my Dad for planning this and buying the tickets. Hopefully this will be a new family tradition. My Dad’s friend that was with us said, “Jack, you have made 2 good decisions in your life, marrying Beth (my mom) and coming to Enchanted Airlie.”
what have you guys been up to?? Happy Holidays! — HayUp
WHOA BABY as in… Whoa Baby finals are over and I am slowly making my way home for my Christmas break. Just days away from Christmas, New Years and then Costa Rica! I am proud to report that I got straight A’s this semester (Merry Christmas Mom and Dad) and now that finals are over I will have lots of free time to devote to blogging and being present here on the blogosphere.
I had an INCREDIBLE mountain weekend with my friends! I love Boone always, but even more when I have time to enjoy it without the stress of class. We had two big sleepovers and two days that were action packed at Appalachian Ski Mountain. Even though my friends were braced with some not-so-ideal snowboarding conditions they still learned like champions and in the words of my friend Kenzie “Shaun White ain’t got nothin on us.” Here are some of my tips on how to successfully host an awesome snowboarding weekend with your broke college friends. These might be really obvious but they are my fun little way of recapping the weekend.
1. Check Out Group Rates
We couldn’t get a group rate at the mountain this time because there wasn’t quite enough of us but, we got one with a big group last time and we all saved about 10 or 15 dollars. It is definitely worth giving the resort a call to see if they offer group rates and if you qualify.
2. Make your own magic
We had all just finished exams so we were all pretty exhausted and spent out on Christmas shopping. Friday night we made our own magic in my apartment. We jammed out to Justin Bieber’s Christmas album, played games in my apartment and caught up with each other. As for Saturday night…let’s just say we all headed to bed early. We are college kids…we just need to be together to have fun!
3. Pack Your Lunch
We saved a ton of money by not buying lunch at the Ski Resort and packing our own. We made a grocery list, divided the items evenly and took a group trip to Wal-Mart…which is always an adventure. Both Saturday and Sunday we took over a little space in the ski lodge and had our own picnic, complete with Christmas cookies. We may have received some dirty looks from the employees but I am thinking they were just eyeing our goodies.
4. Get an Early Start
Ski Resort tickets can be very expensive, especially on the weekends, so get an early start and get the most out of your day! My friends loved waking up to Christmas music, coffee, my bright and shiny face, waffles and scrambled eggs. We made it to the mountain at quite an impressive hour, beat the crowd and had a FFFFFUUULLLLLLL day seizing the slopes.
5. Rent Local
This is something that I wish I would have known long ago. Many local ski or snowboarding shops offer rentals which can save you lots of money from renting them from the resort. I have my own gear but my friends were able to get a student discount, faster service and a weekend rental from, First Tracks, a snowboard and ski shop literally seconds from my apartment. I give myself a pat on the back because that was my suggestion.
For all of the things I can’t describe through my typing i have put together this fun little video that captures some of the highlights from the weekend!
I am still learning how to make videos and i dont have the best software so i apologize for all the glitches
As the end of the semester approaches and i feel myself getting trapped in a never ending cycle of school work and sleep and then more school work (and some blogging). The thing that is motivating me through these dull times are the EXCITING things that I have coming up in the next few weeks and months. In no particular order here are some things that you can look forward to reading about in the near future.
I go to school in the Mountains of North Carolina so snowboarding is pretty popular, not as popular as up North or out West but popular none the less. My freshman year in college I even got to take snowboarding as a PE credit. Unreal I know. Last year I got a snowboard for my Birthday and spent the majority of my winter hitting the slopes every chance I got. The mountain opens any day now and I cannot wait to be back in action and snowboarding with my bestfriends. Another added excitement to this is to finally get to wear my early Christmas present, a new snowboarding Jacket. Having my old pink one since the 7th grade I finally decided to ask for a new one this Christmas. I found this beautiful blue Dakine jacket for 50% off at a local sale.
Getting to see my Family
Ever since I have left for college I spend very little time back at home in Wilmington. I go to school across the state and have spent my past 2 summers in Maine so my time at home is limited to holidays and extended school breaks. I haven’t even seen my brother-in-law since May so I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas with the ENTIRE family.
Getting to see my Friends
Like I said, I spend very little time at home and when I do it usually doesn’t correspond to when my friends that attend other colleges are home. Christmas break is the one-time throughout the school year that almost all my friends I grew up with are home at the same time! This year I will be hosting my 3rd annual Christmas cookie party and will get to see all of my closest friends from highschool. Which brings me to my next exciting thing…
When I was younger, okay to this day, I love to bake. I always love a good excuse to bring out the apron and my kitchenaid mixer (that was my christmas gift when i was 14) and whip up a batch of cookies. Because I am in college, have a very tiny kitchen and frankly can’t afford to buy ingredients I only get a chance to bake again around the Holidays. I can’t wait (and neither can my friends) to get back in the kitchen to whip up some of my favorite recipes. Definitely recipes and pictures to come.
Yes, I said it, COSTA RICA!! I just made my last payment so it couldn’t be more official! I am leaving on January 2nd for a 9 day trip through Costa Rica where I will be touring and learning about eco and sustainable tourism efforts in Costa Rica while having TONS of fun along the way. I am so excited not only to travel somewhere new but also to learn about an industry that I would love to work in one day!
Leave a comment and let me know what you are excited this upcoming holiday season and Winter!