Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We Are Family

I love this photo, Christmas 2007, it was cold, but not too cold to get a family photo in. You can appreciate my brother's fresh military hairdo. Very nice, right?

I am home now, just beating the weather that is threatening Eastern Nebraska and now I wait for my brother to arrive home. I cannot wait until we are all together as it has been four months. Break out the scotch and cigars, the Massara's are together again.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Slug out of the 'ol Mug

This is the delicious coffee that I discovered at the grocery store. I was overjoyed at the jolly figure on the front, the pretty red packaging and the fact that "White Christmas" appears in the title. I just finished my usual two cups, but sadly want more. I better not.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Charlie, Snoopy and the Gang

You are looking at one of the most amazing things I have ever been witness to. I must say that I didn't believe that Opryland could pull off such incredible feats as the ICE! Charlie Brown Christmas. Two million pounds of ice make up this spectacular and mind-boggling sight. I don't think the pictures do it justice! And yes, the last picture is of the ice slides. I went down and was pleasantly surprised at the speed you pick up!

They also make you wear these funny blue jackets to keep warm. I was thinking as I got into mine that this was a bit ridiculous, didn't they know that in Nebraska freezing temps are the norm? But boy was I surprised how cold they kept it in there, about 8-10 degrees. My frosty fingers were worth it though, as every twist and rounding of a corner brought another adorable display into sight. I loved how the colors popped and each scene had the Charlie Brown Christmas Special piped over the sound system. I stopped and smiled as I listened to Linus' famous recitation of the Christmas story!

Much to my surprise the last turn brought you to the actual nativity scene carved out of clear ice. It was absolutely breathtaking. I rejoiced that there were still places in the U.S. that displayed such blatant Christmas praise.

If you're ever in Nashville this time of year, you must stop by! A truly special holiday treat!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Missing Colorado

Don't I look silly? This was last year at Copper Mountain Ski Resort, one of my family's favorite skiing and snowboarding destinations. We had a glorious week last year, complete with a condo within walking distance of the slopes. It is amusing that every year we stay closer and closer to the lifts and at the end of each trip we pledge to stay even closer. If you don't know what it is like to lug your skis and poles while walking in ski boots on ice and snow packed cobblestones, you should stay naive.

Sadly, we will not make it to our beloved mountains this year as my brother and my schedules don't align. I suppose it is alright though, we'll just have to stay on the the low elevations of Nebraska and make do with sledding on our infamous hill. At least there are no ski boots required.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Christmas List

I know that I promised to write my list of what I wanted to do when I went home for Thanksgiving and now here I am already counting down the days until I hop on that plane and head home for Christmas! My how time flies!

So here is a peek at my list of things that I hope to squeeze in while being home once again.

1. Bake cookies (The picture is from last year when my spectacular former roommate Karissa
whipped out her family's sugar recipe. We're talking hundreds of cookies people, but we
decorated them all!)
2. Go on a walk around the neighborhood and see the lights
3. See the Henry Doorly Zoo lights
4. Drive by the Gene Leahy Mall lights
5. Learn to make Mom's famous baklava (strange that she makes Greek pastries, maybe her
questionable ethnicity has been solved)
6. Sled, if there is sufficient snow coverage
7. Watch Muppets Christmas Carol, Holiday Inn, Charlie Brown's Christmas and my favorite,
White Christmas
8. Wake up to fresh cinnamon rolls and Bing belting tunes
9. Kenny G, Dean, Frank and Mannheim Steamroller (I have awoken to my mother blasting this
at 7 in the morning, I cannot wait!)
10.Go hiking in the freezing cold

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What I REALLY Want for Christmas

I adore these two tin signs that hang on my wall. I got them in the most quintessential western store on one of our frequent vacations to Manitou Springs, Colorado. If you know me at all, you know my love for anything country. That is why I have been dreaming about boots for Christmas. Seriously, these things are pure works of art. I have been ogling these, which are some of my favorite. If I found a pair of these waiting under the tree, well that would make the special day even better, but if not, I'll just keep dreaming. Feel free to do the same.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Almost Perfect Tree

I have finally gotten my very own Christmas tree! I am extremely excited to show it off! I love plugging it in and watching it cast its warm glow over my apartment. The only problem is that it is a bit generic. You see it was all purchased from Wal-Mart. Let me make it clear that I appreciate their very low prices because without them, this Christmas staple would not have been possible. But one day, I want each branch to hold an ornament that has meaning to me, whether it is from a vacation or for a special event, I dream of a unique personal tree all my own. I also need to sew a tree skirt, it looks a little bare, almost as if the tree needs a blanket to keep its feet warm.

For now though, it is perfect, just perfect. A very merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Look at my handsome brother in front of the famous Loveless Cafe. That day was incredible, even hot in the sunshine. He was loving every minute of it, note his rolled up sleeves. I guess his current home in Alaska does not offer enough of the precious warmth and light. Glad he could squeeze some in on this trip.

As the title of this post suggests, I am going to try and catch up a bit on here. I have so many wonderful events and times to share that I really need to get a move on it! I just know you're all extremely anxious to know what I have been up to.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Countdown Is On

Well, I cannot believe it, but I get to go home again soon! I love anticipating special things, I think in some cases that it is often times even more enjoyable than the actual event.

As with every visit home I begin a countdown at precisely the right time. I think you can start to truly get excited around the 10 day mark for something, but I am officially at 8 days until I reach Nebraska soil! But there is plenty to do to in preparation for the trip...

1. work
2. tidy apartment (don't you just adore the word "tidy"?)
3. dust and vacuum
4. pack
5. decide on what Thanksgiving dish I will prepare
6. finish my list of "Things to do when home"

More to come on the last one.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Country's Biggest Night

Above is my favorite building on Nashville's lovely skyline. Does it remind you of a childhood super hero? A bat related one, perhaps?

Tomorrow night our town hosts "the biggest night in country music" or the CMA awards as the world knows them. I have a full day of work tomorrow and my exercise class to attend, but then country music here I come! (From my living room that is!) I have my TV ready to go and programming snacks floating on my mind. I think that some kettle corn is a must, that seems country enough, right?

Be sure to tune in with me tomorrow! But you'll have to pop your own corn.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Childish Fun

Isn't this balloon witch incredible? This past Saturday I attended a spectacular Halloween party where they had the most impressive balloon artist. I think it is an art form all it's own. I mean look at that boiling cauldron!

I love Halloween and all it's childish fun. I like to think that the holiday should remain old fashioned with bobbing for apples, those orange and black taffy candies and ghost costumes made out of sheets. None of that gore and horror. Nope, not for me.

Halloween of-course also means candy corn and those marshmallow pumpkins. Once a year, I feel justified enjoying handfuls of these colorful bites. If you haven't treated yourself to a bag, do yourself a favor and get some. Quickly, the fun ends Saturday!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I wish I could be more dedicated. I would love to wake each day and write to you in this space, but somehow I am never able to do it. Oh, I will not stop trying, perhaps one day it will finally become a part of my routine. One day. Hopefully soon.

But onto other things. Like this picture that I wanted to share. It comes from the lovely place that is called Nebraska City. I insisted that Mom and I stop there when I was back home a couple weeks ago. It is a tradition that I treasure. There are a lot of traditions that I treasure. Like opening new pajamas every Christmas Eve and eating Peeps and Starburst jelly beans only on Easter Sunday. They are traditions, therefore they are not to be messed with.

So undoubtedly, we traveled to the place that Arbor Day got its start and did all the lovely autumn things I adore. This includes eating caramel apples (Mom was a pro, I need some practice), (or better yet, I will find a recipe for this treat that doesn't involve almost breaking a tooth), eating popcorn balls and of-course purchasing TWO apple pies. One for now and one to be placed in the freezer until Thanksgiving and not a moment before. Like I said, tradition.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Southern Chill

It is getting chilly here in Nashville. I didn't want to believe it. In fact, I was pretending that the cool air wasn't seeping into my dwelling place at night and making me shiver under my covers. It seems like just yesterday I was glowing after a quick walk in the hot humidity when I took the above picture.

Even this morning I opened my door to a rush of frighteningly crisp air. But in true denial, I did not hesitate. It wasn't until I reached my truck and shut the morning air out did I stop to think that I should run back inside and grab a jacket. No, I thought to myself, it will warm up. Sadly, it did not. In fact, I was so chilled that an afternoon errand to Target warranted the purchase of a new bright white hoodie. It had to be done, but I am not happy about it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday Dreams

Scrumptious, right? These are the pancakes of my dreams. The ones that I think about all week until I pull out my pretty ceramic mixing bowl and whip up a batch. I make the serving for two people, but eat it all myself. I know, I know, but I figure that the fresh blueberries somehow balance the caloric count. More dreams, I know.

I have to give credit where credit is due though. When I visited my brother up in Alaska this past summer he taught me the art of the perfect pancake. What is it you ask? An 8 inch skillet, that's what. It shapes the cakes just right and makes the whole flipping process a cinch. Try it. And a little tip from my mom that cannot be overlooked, is the addition of sugar and cinnamon. That extra sweetness is just right.

So wake yourself up a little earlier next Saturday morning, get that skillet out and start making the pancakes of your dreams.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Best Friend

It is a special day today. Why? Because it is my mother's birthday. She has been the constant in my life and the person I call my best friend. Anyone who meets her knows instantly the grace and spunk she emits into this sometimes mundane world. No one is able to resist her youthful charm or shoot-from-the-hip attitude and whenever I need anything, she is there. I hope that one day I can be just as truly incredible as she is. Love you bunches. And for your enjoyment Mom, a few of our finer moments.

~ "Oh! Another Walts."
~ "Give him the finger, the one with the ring!"
~ "You know that song?! La-la-la-dee-da-la!"
~ "Do you eat a banana everyday?"
~ "Then we got into our truck. Whhhaaaaatttttt?"
~ "Cowifornia! Oh, how I wuv it!"
~ "Don Jenver"
~ "You must be drinking from the fountain of youth!"


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lawd's House

I was extremely eager to attend church this sultry September morning. I donned one of my favorite church outfits and best pair of heels. I arrived right on time and squeezed into the pew next to a sweet elderly couple.

The choir was twice the size than last week and there was a string section to accompany the pipe organ. There is nothing I enjoy more than good music at a worship service. After the choir was done with one particularly pleasing piece a little kid enthusiastically yelled out “Yay!” into the silence. The congregation collectively guffawed at this. Nothing like a little humor in the Lawd’s house.

My only objection would be to the length of these Sunday services. Two hours. Straight. I kid you not. I am much more accustomed to a swift 45 minute service that I can set my watch to. Not in the South I am afraid. Although, after some debate on this, I decided it was kind of nice to spend more of my Sunday in worship. Why not? Besides, those kids can be pretty darn entertaining.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just the Beginning

What a whirlwind these past two weeks have been. Whenever someone asks me how long it has been since I relocated from the North I eagerly blurt out “just a week”. Then I make a face and correct myself, “actually, two”. How the time flies!

Each day presents new and grand experiences for me to discover. Yet, it is the small things that excite me the most. For example, I never knew I could enjoy a commute, but each time I hop in my Ford and drive to the lovely downtown I say a prayer of thanks.

The rolling hills of Tennessee are so exquisite with their blankets of green. This is not an overstatement. Trust me. I adore this adopted home.