1. Thanksgiving at PSU with hubby. We brined the most delicious turkey (you must have some next time) mimicking the recipe here. We also made all the typical fixings (i.e., stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, potatoes, gravy) that you might have including the necessary macaroni and cheese that is a staple at my house at every holiday/celebration. I love to bake, so I also made a pumpkin roll that looked pretty lousy (due to wrong pan size) but was very tasty. I even convinced Lady Caroline to come for dinner (she took a break from cleaning her house to eat with us)!
2. Home to Ohio with hubby and Grady. My visit home was two fold - see my family and attend my 10 year High School Reunion. Per usual, we had good food at my sister's and we played a lot of Canasta. The reunion was fun, too - I got to see a lot of my facebook friends that I haven't actually spoken to in person since high school. Some didn't show, though, which was a bummer. Hubby came, too, and got to meet a lot of my friends from then.
3. Christmas at hubby's mum's house. This long weekend was filled with way too much food/cookies, multiple games of dominoes, and questions directed to me/us about when we will have babies. Example: "Isn't it time to have a baby? Sometimes it isn't good to wait so long." Even so, it was good to get away from State College. Prior to the trip, I made 4 more pumpkin rolls with this recipe here using my leftover pumpkin from Thanksgiving. I used the correct jelly roll pan, and they all turned out perfect.
4. Quick visit with my brother and his family. The last time I saw my brother and his family was when I had my foot in a cast, so that was a LONG time ago (almost a year!). His wife was also pregnant with their 3rd baby then. Needless to say, I was extremely excited to visit them even if it was just for a couple days. Hubby stayed behind, but I brought Grady along. I was a little worried how Grady would be with the kids and the baby, but I have to say that I was very proud of my little man. He listened to me like he's never listened before (or since LOL), and he was the perfect dog. The boys loved him, and the baby girl was in LOVE. It probably doesn't hurt that he looks like a little bear. Even my brother and his wife commented on how great he was - so proud! It was so fun to see my nephews and my new baby niece! I also had some good conversations with my brother and his wife, which makes me feel a little grown up! haha I don't feel like such a baby sister anymore.
5. New Year's celebration with college friends. Hubby and I spent the long New Year's weekend with some of my really good girlfriends from college: Diana (and hubby) from London, Meagan from California, and Celia (and bf) from Philly. We rented a cabin in the Pocono Mountains and pretty much didn't leave all weekend. We ended up leaving Grady at a local kennel, which was heartbreaking (to me) to say the least. It was my first time leaving him at a kennel, and it was a desperate move on my part. I had other plans for him but they fell through. I would have liked to have introduced him to the kennel better than just leaving him there, but sometimes you have to adapt. Turns out, he was fine at the kennel. And now, I am over it (for now). Our weekend was fantastic - it was filled with too much partying, Apples to Apples, Jenga, terrible Euchre playing by me (due to too much partying), football, and a lot of good food. We haven't all been together since my wedding (more than 2 years ago!), so it was great to see everyone and reminisce. We're hoping to plan another get together in a couple years at a more exotic location :-)
6. Rome for 10 days. Hubby and I just got back from visiting Rome, NY - that's right NY not Italy. He had some Air Force National Guard duties to attend to, and I didn't want to be left alone so long...so, I came with him (Grady, too!). I haven't been to Rome since 2005! So, it was time that I went and visited his friends there (some of whom I haven't seen since my wedding, too!). We hit the usual spots in Rome: Teddy's for delicious Riggies, La Roma Pizzeria for Calzones, The Franklin for general good Italian food, and Black River Ale House for wings. We also visited Syracuse for a basketball game at The Carrier Dome followed by dinner at Dinosaur BBQ. We were also treated to more delicious Chicken Riggies at a friend's house and even some Mexican food at Juanita's at their newer location in Liverpool. You can see, our visit revolves around the local cuisine specialities. I managed to get sick for 4 days (still recovering!), but it was such a good trip. I didn't get much accomplished (if anything) either relating to my thesis or other publications...but, I did a lot of thinking about them :-)
7. Up next. I am working on an outline/draft for one or two publications based on my research so far - these will focus on my analytical work. I'm also building on my thesis, which is pretty weak so far...but, you gotta start somewhere.
I'll be more active on here now that the holidays are over. All the best to you!