Friday, December 17, 2010

sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

Home is so close, I can feel it. I have been a major slacker, or maybe just consumed with so much school work as the semester has wrapped up to blog. I must give credit to my mother for the last entry which was so beautifully written. I cannot believe tomorrow after my last and final exam of the week (the fifth one this week, might I add) that the semester is over. It feels like just yesterday we moved in and had our first meal together.

I cannot contain my excitement to be home for break, so many things to look forward to. I am to the point of counting down the hours and the thought of not having to look at an educational book for a whole month and to not have a care in the world for a month for the first time since the beginning of the semester is just so exciting.

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year, hands down. The fact that it is blustering cold and snowing constantly is outweighed by the happiness and love that is all around. Speaking of ridiculous amounts of snow...that was what we experienced last week. Talk about awful. We were basically snowed in, minus the fact that good ole' Syracuse insisted that we still have class. Digging out our cars was a real treat, but on the bright side we got to play in the snow as we did it! Being snowed could of worked to our benefit, our cupboards were stocked of 6 pounds of coffee and three bottles of wine, it's suffice to say we would of been perfectly fine being snowed in! Being home during the whole month of December would be ideal, I love the feel and the look with all the decorations and the tree and the smell of cookies baking. Of course, we have had our share of baking despite how busy we have been.

The day we came back from Thanksgiving break up went the tree and all the decorations to get into the holiday spirit (I think we all wished Thanksgiving break to be over quick so we could come back and decorate!)

We also had a Christmas party which to say was a blast would be an understatement. We of course baked up a storm because what good Christmas party doesn't have cookies?!

 First we made Candy Bar Shortbread Squares (because we always have SO much candy and we thought it'd be perfect to slim down the candy drawer a bit)

We added some red and green m&m's which consisted of us buying five bags of regular m&m's and sorting them during the commercials of gossip girl but going to the real store was out of the question so we had to deal.

These were delicious, you can put any type of candy you want, of course we had to opt out of any peanut butter kinds because of me but I still think they turned out okay :)

 So they might not be the prettiest of cookies, but we tried. I'm not sure we even tried these, but just gave them right away because at this point it this was our third batch of cookies of the evening and the amount of dough and cookies we had consumed was getting to be excessive.
 Smores are my ultimate favorite, if you give me anything smores I'll be a happy camper. When we came across this recipe I knew we had to make them. They were divine and fun to make!
I almost forgot! Mariah and Emily took over the kitchen one evening and made me dinner! It was so nice not to have to cook, and they even waited on me hand and foot!

One of the most delicious drinks we were introduced to here was butter beer. It is butterscotch schnapps with cream soda, oh my is it tasty! We of course had this the night of the Harry Potter premier in favor of the movie. We also found butterscotch schnapps makes a perfect addition to hot chocolate at night which soon became a nighttime favorite.

This semester was by far one of the best times of my life, I have friends and memories that I will never forget. I am so thankful that this is where I am and that life is wonderful. I am one of the luckiest people alive and I would not change anything.

Being apart from my roommates will be difficult, Mariah left last night and I think we've called her, texted her, facebooked her a million times since she left. I am so very grateful that I get the pleasure of living with two of my best friends. Although we are just coming up on our one year mark in January I feel like I have known them forever. They are two of the most wonderful people and there is never a dull moment in this apartment.

On a different note, I AM SO EXCITED TO BE REUNITED WITH MY FAVORITE PEOPLE. One of my very bestest friends decided it was a grand idea to go college on the other side of the world..well Nebraska but it might as well be the other side of the world, and she does not come home until Christmas every year. Needless to say I am counting down the seconds until she gets home and tal is reunited again. Although I did see Al over Thanksgiving break it was just not enough, break was so short and once Tess, Al and myself are reunited I will be the happiest camper, ever.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Tradition. That is what the holidays are all about.  In the Lembo family it means lots of fun, food and family.    It means doing things the same way year after year because that is what is comfortable and what you look forward to year after year.   For many years we would go to Gammy and Papas house for Christmas Eve.  We went to church at the Nursing home which was always a nightmare for my cousins and me.   My brother would do anything possible to sit in the lobby and avoid the ‘old people’.   Wondering how he would manage to get in the lobby was a favorite guessing game of my mom.  Dinner and gifts under the tree in the basement were next on the schedule.   Before we left to go home at night, my mom would gather the kids and read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” popup book.   Several of the pop-ups no longer pop due to the  excessive use but my mom secretly hopes for grandchildren one day so she can read the pop up book to them on Christmas Eve, broken pop ups and all. Christmas Day starts early, although my brother makes it later and later each year.   Presents under the tree and lots of love to go around!  Later in the day our grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins gather and we eat and drink and play some games.  The menu is always the same, don’t try to bring in any new recipes to the menu.    The only thing we can vary on is the type of birthday cake we make for baby  Jesus.  Sometimes it is ice cream cake and sometimes a regular cake in the tree pan.   So now to talk about cards…..every year my mom thinks about not sending cards.  Maybe a Christmas Email, maybe donate the money to a charity….and every year she thinks about the fun of coming home from work with a sense of anticipation to see whose card is in the mailbox that day.  Connecting with those we see all the time and more importantly those whose distance make the Christmas Card Catch-up so very special. Our photo cards are always a project, especially now that my brother and I are at college.   Mom has to figure out how to get the two of us in the same place at the same time and willing to pose together!  This year didn’t work out well and we’ll be using the three separate picture card frame so we can use pictures from throughout the year.   We will be including devil dog, a lab-husky mix who came to live with us in June.   She has some behavioral issues and lucky to still be with us but we’ll include her on the card  so she can help tell our 2010 story to our friends and family.    Tradition.  It’s was makes the season complete.  Our cards this year will be cards.  Yours can too…check out these websites.  
Merry Christmas Friends and Family.