Life has dealt me a lot of good things recently, but has also thrown a few curve balls my way. So let's get started with catching up. When I last left you I had just found out that I had passed the NJ bar exam!! Woooo! Well after that I turned 26 on the 26th of November...
|Besties (SS, NS, JG and me) out celebrating JG and my birthdays|
|My Best Friend/Birthday Twin and I out celebrating our bdays :)|
I spent my 26th birthday with the love of my life and his family and I must say, they did an AWESOME job making me feel like one of the family and making my birthday special. First we went to find a Christmas tree for his family... yes I know it was about a month before Christmas, but his mom had surgery on her shoulder, so she needed Mark's help to get the tree set up and well this was the only time we were going to be able to do it before Christmas. We went to this cute Christmas tree farm near his family's house and fairly quickly were able to find a tree for them!
|Love of my life's Pap and Mom standing next to their Christmas Tree|
|Cute house at the tree farm|
|The D Family Tree|
|The Love of my Life and Me <3|
After spending time with the love of my life's family, we headed to NJ to celebrate my birthday with my family. After our weekend full of traveling, the love of my life drove my car back home (I was soooo scared with him driving my car because well my car is like my new baby) and I stayed in NJ with my family because my dad was having surgery to remove his adrenal gland, and I wanted to be there with my mom while he had the surgery. Plus I wanted to be able to help out when he came home from the hospital since I knew my mom wasn't going to be able to take a ton of time off from work since she is a pre-school teacher.
Of course the day of my dad's surgery had to fall on the day that I was being sworn in to the NJ bar. Luckily the swearing in was during the morning AND my grandma and my aunt were around to come with me. Bright and early on November 30, 2010 the three of us set off for Trenton, NJ to the War Memorial so that I could officially become a lawyer. We had a fairly uneventful drive down there... minus my grandma occasionally freaking out because of all the cars on the road.
This is me before I was sworn in....
This is me after I was sworn in...
Do I look any different?? ;)
After the swearing in we went to lunch at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack, NJ where we had a fabulous celebratory lunch. It was soooo incredibly sweet of my aunt to take us out to lunch because well, as excited as I was I was also kind of down and scared about my Dad's surgery. My aunt was nice enough to pick a place that was close to the hospital so that I would be sure to make it there to see my dad before the surgery actually started.
|Me at the Stony Hill Inn after lunch|
Dad's surgery went really well! He is making a fully recovery and the biopsy of the tumor came back that it was benign, so that was amazing news. The time in the hospital was fairly uneventful... minus the fact that he got taken into surgery HOURS later than he was supposed to AND he spent WAYYYYY more time in recovery than they told us he was going to, so needless to say, Mom and I were a bit worried for a while there. I felt like I was being such a pain to the recovery room staff because I kept calling, but they also kept breaking their word on keeping us informed as to what was going on, so I guess I didn't really feel that bad. Dad was released from the hospital the day after his surgery (which was EARLIER than they had predicted), but he was ready to come home so we were all happy. We saw a GORGEOUS rainbow after the doctor said he could be released, so I took that as a sign from God that my Dad was going to be just fine after everything he had been through.
I stayed home in NJ for a couple of days while my Dad recovered and was able to help take care of him, plus I was able to set up our family Snow Village for Christmas! Check it out...
|Church Scene on the Living Room Table|
|Neighborhood Scene on the Piano|
|Side View of Neighborhood scene so you can see my attention to detail|
|The Town Scene that I am particularly proud of|
|Side view of the town scene|
I took the train home from NJ and had the love of my life pick me up from the train station and thus began my crazy month of December. I spent most of December doing pro bono work as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Delaware and then serving at TGI Fridays as much as possible to make some money to be able to pay my bills.
We took our annual trip out to Bloomsburg, PA to Megargell's Tree Farm to cut down our Christmas tree on December 11, 2010. We had a great time, although it was a bit disappointing that we weren't actually able to cut down the tree ourselves. My parents talked to the son of the owner of the tree farm and he told us that people were not cutting the trees down properly... they were turning 9' trees into 6' trees by starting to cut them 3' from the ground instead of at the bottom of the stump... so they had to start cutting down the trees for people. He also told them that the previous weekend people had taken trees without paying for them, so that was why they had the whole new payment/receipt system going on. To me it is really sad that it has come to this. We have been going to this tree farm for I think 7 years now and it bothers me to think that the world is coming to something where people STEAL CHRISTMAS TREES... I mean seriously, WHO DOES THAT?! Regardless of the fact that the tree farm has changed a bit, we still had a really fun family outing... and potentially the last one for a while, depending on where the little bro finds a job post-Bucknell.
|Annual Brother/Sister Picture with the Family Tree|
|Annual Picture of the Love of my Life and Me with Our Tree :)|
|Tree in the Car|
This year I was particularly proud of the love of my life and myself because well we FINALLY made a holder for our self-watering system for the tree. Last year the love of my life made this self-watering system for our Christmas tree... which is great in theory, BUT it involved having an UGLY looking bucket behind our tree. Now anyone who knows me KNOWS that I like the holiday decorating to be PERFECT and well having this bucket behind our tree just wasn't cutting it for me. We kept on saying that we were going to do something about it, but never actually go around to it. WELL..... this year we got around to it. Between the two of us we came up with a way to wrap a cardboard shipping box in wrapping paper so that we could put the bucket inside and it would look like we just had a giant present under the tree. I must admit, I'm pretty proud of our handywork because well it doesn't look like we have a self-watering system for the tree anymore, it just looks like we're crazy and have one big present that we never opened up... but hey, I'll take the crazy over the ugly bucket any day!
|See that giant box over there, yeah that contains our self-watering system|
|Our tree decorated with most of the presents under it|
This year we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in NJ with my family (next year we will be in Millerstown with Mark's Family) and I must admit it was amazing to be home for Christmas again. As much as I love Mark's family, I still always miss being with my family at the holidays. I know we are doing the right thing by switching the holidays back and forth between the two families, but I always selfishly just want to spend them with my family. Anyways, Christmas with my family wasn't too bad... only had tears on Christmas night (anyone who knows my family KNOWS that almost EVERY family event involves someone crying before the night is over)...I think I'll let a bunch of Christmas pictures do the talking though for our Christmas in NJ events....
|Grammy's Christmas Tree|
|The Lil Bro was SUPER excited about his beer coozies|
|It's penguin wine bottle topper... he loves penguins|
|Grammy knew what this present was... and she was thrilled|
|My Family's Christmas Tree|
|He was not thrilled that I made him wear that hat|
|Mom was really excited about her Ruldoph ornament|
After Christmas in NJ we hit the road to head to visit the love of my life's family in Millerstown, PA. Unfortunately for us it had started to snow and our 3.5 hour drive turned into a 5.5 hour drive... why you ask... because... PEOPLE DON'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE IN THE SNOW! Seriously, they don't and because of that there we fifty bazillion accidents and traffic stopped for each and every one of them to peer at the drivers that don't know how to drive in the snow... awesome!
After getting to his family's house we had a nice relaxing Christmas there :) The love of my life got a ton of BIG gifts, even though he "didn't ask for anything big"... don't let him fool you, he lies when he says he doesn't ask for big things! Here is a photo array of how things went during Christmas with his family...
|The D Family Tree filled with presents!|
|Gma had a TON of presents to open.. most of them clothes... this woman has more clothes than ANYONE I know!|
|Mom D opening her presents|
|Yes I bought him funny boxers for Christmas (the one on the left says naughty and the ones on the right have hot peppers on them and glow in the dark with words like hot and spicy) and yes I made him pose for a picture with them|
|Buttons in the bag of paper|
I have so much more to blog about, but I think this is enough for now. Next time perhaps I'll tackle some of today's events after I've processed it all... Let's just say, 2011 is not off to the greatest start....