Archive | December, 2012

12 memories from 2012

31 Dec

While I truly believe the best is yet to come, I simply cannot knock what an incredible year 2012 was!  It was almost impossible to select just 12 but thank you to everyone who contributed to a wonderful year of special memories!

The Answer (that no longer matters)

Sibling Sunday Funday

Turning 31

Unwedded Bliss Celebrates Second Anniversary

Summer Bucket List (that resulted in this, this, this…)

Summer BBQ Crawl with the Crew (here, here, and here)

Taking a Huge Plunge (no, literally!)

San Francisco!

This Costume

Hurricane Sandy (and the lessons learned)

My Brother Turned 30!

Christmas, Buffalo-style


“Woodsboro.” Drink.

28 Dec

Oh just another game to keep me awake late on a Friday, compliments of the Chef’s schedule.  (Remember?)


Drink when:

– Anyone says “Woodsboro”

– The “Hall Pass” guy turns his head camera on or off

– Anyone is stabbed

– There is a reference to any other film, real or fictional (Stab 7, Freddy, Jason, etc.)

– Gale and Dewey argue

– A phone rings

– Someone crashes into or through something

– Someone screams

– Someone recites the “rules to surviving a horror movie”

– Someone breaks the “rules to surviving a horror movie”

– Ghostface trips

– Someone says “Sid”

– Someone asks “What’s your favorite scary movie?”

– Deputy Judy Hicks flirts with Deputy Dewey


A very Buffalo Christmas

27 Dec

I don’t remember the last time I elected not to drive to Buffalo, and this Christmas was no exception.  Apparently having fully embraced my NYC lifestyle though, I couldn’t be bothered to drive any of the approximate 400 mile distance (thanks for driving, bro!) between my apartment and my mom’s place.  Maybe it was part car sickness, or maybe part hangover (a late dinner at El Toro Blanco and even later post-dinner drinks were obviously necessary the night before), but other than to complain about nausea and hand my brother snacks as requested, I wanted no responsibility in contributing to this road trip.  Having been extremely busy the past few weeks, him with graduation festivities and me with a hellish project at work, it was nice catching up just the two of us.  I think the seven hours it took us to drive to Buffalo were probably the longest either of us had sat still in weeks, including so-called “sleep.”  By the time we hit our favorite part of the trip (other than my mother’s actual driveway), Buffalo’s “An All America City” sign, we were discussing the merits of calling ahead to ask mom to start dinner.  Realizing we’re 30- and 31-years-old, we decided against it.  But barely.

Every year I tell myself that I will not wait until the last minute to buy gifts and that I will not be racing around a mall in Buffalo on Christmas Eve.  And every year I wait until the last minute to buy gifts and every year I’m racing around a mall in Buffalo on Christmas Eve.  With the exception of socks for my brother (which he asked for!) and tea leaves for my godmother, both compliments of the shops at Bryant Park, I went home on December 23rd almost gift-less.  I somehow suckered my brother into traipsing around with me Monday morning while my mom was at work and then I spent the afternoon wrapping everything.  I barely had time to take a quick shower before we were back in the car and headed to my cousin’s house for our usual Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family.

We were at my cousin’ house for all of ten minutes before:wine in juice glass

(1) I was drinking white wine out of a Christmas-themed juice glass.  Not joking.

(2) We were making fun of my cousin’s new creeper mustache.  “You look like one of those pervs on ‘To Catch a Predator’!  Oh man, do you have condoms and wine coolers in your car?  Why don’t YOU take a seat!”)

(3) My cousin’s three-year-old daughter pointed out to everyone, and was clearly delighted, that she and I were pretty much dressed in the same outfit.  Black tights, dress with a skirt that puffed out just so, and black three-quarter sleeved cardigan…we may or may not have had a “we’re in the same outfit” twirl but that detail somehow seems unnecessary…


Christmas Day has not changed in my family for years.  And I love it that way.  While lately I’ve been feeling a somewhat bipolar pull between yearning for tradition and needing to shake things up, I will never be disappointed by family or holiday traditions.  Every Christmas morning my brother and I wake up to some sort of breakfast in the works.  My brother makes coffee (he claims I am terrible at making coffee) and the morning slowly unfolds.  This year between a late night the night before, a leisure breakfast, and more last-minute wrapping, it was almost noon before we exchanged gifts.  The best part of Christmas morning is always watching my mom open her stocking and gifts.  Well, that and her surprised expression when we start to peel back the wrapping on a gift she can’t seem to identify (despite having purchased it…) until we actually open it.  Her excitement levels are gold.  Seriously, just ask my brother.

Here are a few of my favorite Christmas morning “goodies”:

This gorgeous “memory necklace” from mom.  You probably can’t tell in the picture but it’s actually made of very soft fabric.  As a bonus, proceeds from my mom’s purchase benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.


I’ll admit, I was confused when I first saw this one but then my mom explained it – it’s a grilled cheese spatula and knife!  I mean, I LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches.


Third, this great tote handsewn by the Amish.  Of course if I didn’t like it my mom was more than happy to take it off my hands.  Life is full of disappointments mom, I’ll be keeping the bag…


Finally, from my brother, this amazing print of two small children next to a river in Vietnam  which he took when he lived there.  He framed it in a beautiful antique from a dealer in Brooklyn.


After opening presents, we lounged around as much as we could before heading to my dad’s house.  (And yes, I thought about possible responses should I show up in the same outfit as someone under the age of 14.  Again.)

A few things are always guaranteed at my dad’s: first, both sides of my family are there, which is incredible in and of itself; second, there will be too dads xmas treemuch food – no seriously, I think I’m still full; third, I’ll be doing laundry throughout the day – if not for dirty laundry, what else is the trunk of the rental car for?; fourth, I will inadvertently try to serve alcohol to one of my underage cousins (I forget not everyone can drink #manhattanlifestyle); fifth, after enough beers, my brother, male cousins, and uncles will make a game out of putting empty beer cans in my father’s Christmas tree – it sounds immature and unnecessary but seriously, I think they probably got two cases in that tree before anyone noticed last year; sixth, mom will need to drive home…dad has a bar at his house so, um, yeahhh… (#drinkresponsibly); and finally, I will be waking up early on 12/26 to go shopping with my mom…and my brother can usually be suckered into coming with us.

(So, as I’m typing I’m thinking “this is getting maybe a little too long…but my mother loves detailed “my trip home” posts so I’m going to keep on keepin’ on here.  I apologize if you’re getting bored…)

On Wednesday, shopping we did.  I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say I was worried about fitting everything in the car to head back to NYC the next day.  Very worried.  But worrying is a fruitless activity the day after Christmas so instead my mom and I met her best friends, my godmother and good friend, for dinner.  Just as the snow started to come down.  And down.  And down.  Suddenly 15 hours before my brother and I were supposed to hop in a car and drive back to the city, Buffalo was doing its (winter) thing.  I obviously wasn’t concerned; the girls and I had catching up to do, presents to exchange, and despite my total aversion to chicken, I had a chicken finger sub to order (there are two exceptions to the “chicken repulses me” rule: chicken finger sandwiches and chicken wings prepared and consumed IN BUFFALO.)  I don’t want to brag about the gifts I received but let’s just say I laid my head on these puppies when I got back to NYC:

bills pillows

My brother had been out with a friend so after dinner we all met back at my mom’s place, where we should have been packing.  Instead my brother and I spent hours flipping through old photo albums.  I mean, COME ON:


xmas kids

Waking up early Thursday morning to pick up our car rental and head back to the city, my brother and I knew immediately there was no shot we were getting on the road by 9 am as planned.  This was probably fine because we weren’t packed, we were still doing laundry, and quite honestly, I don’t think either of us was ready to head back.  This trip home felt unfortunately short so the extra few hours we had at home with my mom were appreciated.  After getting ready to head out should the weather clear up, we showed my mom a few computer tricks, and eventually realized we never see snow like this in NYC.  So like any respectable 30- and 31-year-old would, we headed outside to play in the snow…

tress in buffalo

playing in the snow

The snow eventually let up and we had to get on our way!  Well, kind of.  We figured it made sense to swing by a wine and liquor outlet first to replenish our supplies back in the city.  Several bottles of vodka and gin later, we were really on our way.

Only two things need to be taken away from our second road trip in five days: first, I have no regrets about going out of our way to stop at Wegmans in Binghamton for “dinner”, and second, this is pretty much the ONLY song we heard the entire trip back (again, I have no regrets but my brother would probably disagree…)

All in all, it was a fabulous trip home for Christmas!  I hope everyone had as special of a holiday as I did.  (Oh, and just in case you forgot:)

moms fave

Phew, there is just soooo much to do (and write about) at Christmas…!

xmas baby

Twelve Days of Christmas in NYC – day #12

25 Dec

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center

(Merry Christmas Everyone!)

rock tree

Twelve Days of Christmas in NYC – day #11

24 Dec

Radio City Music Hall


Twelve Days of Christmas in NYC – day #10

23 Dec

One of the famous holiday windows at Macy’s


Twelve Days of Christmas in NYC – day #9

22 Dec

The entrance to Macy’s on 34th Street