It's January 17 and I haven't posted on the blog since Black Friday. Yes, the holidays were crazy; I ate too much, I drank too much (and way too often) and I got lazy. I'm pretty sure the inches I lost late last summer are now thickly insulated with extra padding, because I have a muffin top and chin jowls. The content calendar I created was neglected and my social media presence has been almost non-existent. Get your life together, Nicole!
To recap the last six weeks:
John & I hosted Thanksgiving as we do annually. Our three story 1500 sq ft condo makes for an intimate evening with both sides of the family. John is our family’s master chef and every year he outdoes himself to deliver the juiciest turkey. My friend and coworker, Jordan, joined us, as her family was out of town and she had to work. And for the first time in 8 years Griffin was not with us. He travelled to Connecticut with his mom and stepdad.
As an active member of tHRive (Hampton Roads young professional group) I had access to discounted tickets to see The Nutcracker with backstage access post show. This was by far the BEST production of this particular ballet that I've ever seen!
I joined Generation MOCA, the young professional auxiliary board for the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art whose sole focus is the annual museum fundraiser, “Artini”. As the only member currently on the Entertainment committee I’ve self proclaimed myself Chair. LOL. He doesn't know it yet, but since he’s the professional musician in our house John will be helping me secure a band or DJ to donate their talent to the fundraiser. We attended their holiday party in December and had the pleasure to meet other members and the museum’s board & staff.
Griffin started swimming in the city recreation center’s winter league. We have discovered that he's a fish in water. In the past he's played both baseball and basketball, the former, as hard as this is to say, was difficult to watch and his heart wasn't in either. We chalked it up to the fact that he may not be an athletic kid, and we've had him focus on the arts, specifically music. In 5th grade he made all-city chorus and had the honor of performing at The Sandler Center. Last year in 6th grade he made all-city band and played the alto saxophone at The Sandler Center. He also takes private bass guitar lessons. We were determined to fill Griffin’s schedule with productive extra-curricular activities and pretty much forced him to swim. I'm not sure he'd admit it, but I know he's glad we did. He's had four swim meets and has improved his time in every stroke week after week. The breast stroke has emerged as his strongest stroke. Needless to say we are extremely proud.
My birthday was December 15th and I celebrated my 36th year on earth. I've never celebrated a “birthday weekend” before, but I tell you what, I've been missing out! The weekend was bustling with festivities; My mother in law retired after 16 years in the public school system as a front office administrator, and her work party was the evening of my actual birthday. Our family was there to celebrate and afterwards we all met my family for dinner. Griffin had his swim meet that Saturday and spent the night with John's parents; John and I stayed in the Presidential Suite at the Hilton. My besties Jordan and Bernadette stayed the night, too. We accomplished to decorate the suite for my birthday brunch AND party until 3-4 AM. Girls just wanna have fun!
Birthday brunch was a delight and a treat. Catered with chef attended waffle and crepe stations, breakfast bruschetta (smoked salmon, caviar, red onion, capers) and bountiful fresh fruit. And no brunch is complete without mimosas or Bloody Mary's. We repurposed a hula hoop as a “photo frame” and decorated the rest of the space with balloons and florals. With 20 guests in attendance we ate, we drank, we were merry. Over at noon, I was packed and out the door by 1pm. Jane (mother in law) and Griffin met me at Catch31 where we shared calamari and the best damn Bloody Mary I've had in my life (bacon, shrimp, olives, celery and an agave sugar old bay rim). To complete this birthday weekend my mother and I joined our oldest and closest family friends, the Costello’s, to see The Sound of Music at Chrysler Hall. Tears and sentiments abound.
Christmas Eve dinner was at my mom’s this year, and for the first time the adults participated in a White Elephant gift exchange. When I purchased the Pyrex set I thought it would be the worst, but it ended up being the most sought after gift! We enjoyed Italian baked ziti, spiral ham, stuffed mushrooms, parmesan broccolini and too much red wine. Christmas Day was quiet and fulfilling. John and I decided to exchange small budget gifts; we are fortunate to live comfortably and we get ourselves what we want throughout the year. Same for Griffin.
I took the week after Christmas off of work and we worked really hard to transform the dining room to my new home studio. (More on that later.) It was biting cold that week and we had a fire ablaze morning, noon and night. NYE plans were diverted when Jordan's babysitter fell through. We ended up at our house drinking bubbly and laughing the night away. Happy New Year!
The next day we welcomed our close childhood friends Kristin Costello and David Glickman with their families for our annual New Year’s Day brunch and hike. This is our 3rd year and I’ve declared it as an official tradition! I look forward to this every year with additions to each family and watching our little ones grow. The 100-acre wood adjacent to our home is the perfect setting for our hike that is much needed after our hearty meal and Bloody Mary’s.
So as you can see I was extremely lazy busy for the last month and a half. I could make excuses as to why I haven't blogged or kept up with my social media handles, but the truth is I wasn’t motivated to do either. I was too busy enjoying the people in my life, celebrating the season with family and indulging in my social life. I think that beats any excuse! That said I am truly looking forward to 2018. It’s going to be a great year; I can feel it in my bones.