Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Nanny

No, not that nanny!

This one:

(that's me in August with T and F, the cutest boys ever!)

Last night was my first night working at my new nannying job. I am watching three kids--twins (a boy & a girl) who are 5, and their little brother, who is 3. Last night, I just had to watch them for a few hours after dinner. But starting in January, I'll be nannying pretty consistently 3 or 4 days per week. The money is good, and it's a good interim position while I seek full-time employment.

After all, I am a college graduate now.

(Sorry. I just like saying that! :-P)

Anyway, the kids were pretty good. Bedtime is always a bit of a struggle, and the fact that the two boys share a bedroom adds an extra hassle, but I think I did a pretty swell job on my first day.

Case in point:

Other than that, my family is just gearing up for the holidays! My brother is home, which is awesome--I hadn't seen him since May! Tomorrow, his fiancee flies in--can't wait!

The next week is a whirlwind of family parties, catching up with friends, baking up a storm, and hopefully having a chance to just RELAX.

Do you get stressed around the holidays?

I find that it's often easy to get caught up in the preparations and the gift-wrapping and baking and making everything perfect, and I find myself forgetting the real reason for Christmas. I'm not super religious, but I do find myself to be a spiritual person, and I often have to force myself to stop and thank God, or whatever higher power is up there, for all of the wonderful blessings in my life. Christmas is not just about gifts and food and parties. It is about truly being present (pun sort of intended), and about savoring each and every moment with our loved ones.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm a Pro Girl Now

I am currently blogging from my brand new.......

macbook pro! AAAHHHHH!!!!!

My family surprised me with it for my graduation. I am still in complete and utter shock.

My brother helped make it all possible with his military discount (sweeet!). I was NOT expecting this at all, and I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed.

So, I'd love to stay and chat, but I need to go play with my new toy now!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Where on Earth...

...have I been!?!?

Well, as any college student knows, the last two weeks of the semester are always the most brutal. On top of all that, I have been trying to make sure everything is in order for me to GRADUATE! As of now, as long as I pass my classes this semester, I am all set.

I am in disbelief. I finally made it.

So, tonight was my final final (weird!), and I had a presentation as well. All I have left between me and college grad status is my research paper with my research group for psychology. We have been doing draft after draft after draft, and I think by tomorrow it will be complete!

So, I have realized lately just how truly amazing my friends are. I started out this semester totally nervous and unsure about what would happen. Most of my close friends had already graduated. My roommates were totally random. I thought I would just do my work, get it over with, and be ready to move on.

But now? Well, my roommates and some of the other people I've met this semester are some of the most positive influences in my life right now. They are level-headed, intelligent, caring, and fun. They listen when I need them to, and make me laugh when I need them to, and truly care about me.

I really got to see how much they truly care this past weekend. On Friday night, my roommate Kelly told me to take a shower and dress nice because we were going to her Rugby team's annual Holiday Party at a local restaurant. So, I got myself dolled up and a few of us hopped in the car. When we got to the restaurant, we walked into the back room, and all of a sudden I see my parents, my best friend Brooke from home, and about 20 of my college friends waiting for me.

"SURPRISE!!!" they all yelled.

I couldn't believe it. Kelly organized the entire thing. It was a surprise graduation party, complete with a sheet cake, gifts, and cards. And my parents and best friend were in on it! It was amazing. I have never ever in my life had a surprise party before, so it was awesome.

the whole crew

roomies <3

Tonight, my roommates and a few of our close friends (all of whom I met this semester but feel incredibly close and connected to) exchanged Christmas gifts. Kelly gave me Clarissa Explains It All Season 1 on DVD (please tell me I'm not the only one who used to LOVE this show growing up!), and then she made me a scrapbook of photos of this semester, from the beginning of the year, to Halloween, to now. It had inspiring quotes and stickers and was just amazing. I cried.

Now, as I am gearing up to leave Susquehanna University for the last time as an enrolled undergraduate student, I am terrified. Nostalgic. Sad. Uncertain. Proud. Relieved. Anxious. Excited. So many emotions, both positive and negative, are flowing through me right now and I don't even know how to begin to process them.

All I know is this: things are going to change. My life is about to change in an incredibly substantial way, and my future is a blank page. But, I know that it will be ok. It's going to work out. And I know for a fact that the friendships I've built this semester will last, because these people truly care about me and I truly care about them. It's going to be difficult not waking up and walking into the kitchen to sip coffee together and rehash our crazy shenanigans, or to walk to class together in the pouring rain, or to randomly decide to down a bottle of wine on a Tuesday night and color pictures of Disney Princesses to tape all over the walls (yes, that really happened).

But even though I'll be farther away doesn't mean I can't visit. And you know what? I'm 22 years old. It's time for change. It's time for real life to begin. I might not be 100% ready, but I am willing to try. I am going to make the best of each and every day.

Look out world, here comes Coco!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Are you chicken?

It's the first day of December (and my roommate's 21st birthday!!!), and it is 60 degrees and rainy outside with a thunderstorm warning.

What is wrong with this picture....?!?!


Thanksgiving ended up going quite differently than planned, but that's ok--I have been learning to really go with the flow and take things as they come. Yoga & meditation techniques have helped me with this, along with journaling. I highly recommend yoga. It is WAY more than just an exercise for your body--it can truly transform your mind and outlook, and is the best stress reliever!

Anyway, on Thanksgiving morning, my dad woke up with a terrible cough, a fever, and just feeling really sick. So, rather than travel 4.5 hours to Pittsburgh, my parents and I decided to stay at home.

Mom & I went to the grocery store and bought a yummy but nontraditional meal--roast chicken instead of turkey! Hey, who says you have to have turkey for Thanksgiving?!?!

We did buy more traditional side dishes: stuffing, potatoes (which my mom used to make her homemade mashed potatoes), cranberry sauce, and lemon meringue pie. We also had asparagus on the side, and a homemade chocolate cake along with the pie. It was randomly thrown together, but considering Dad was sick and it was mostly just Mom & I eating, it wasn't so bad. Plus, it was kind of nice having a quiet meal without the stress of relatives.

I also had my very first Black Friday shopping experience! I woke up at 3:30 am and my Mom & I hit up Best Buy. We arrived at 4:15 am, and the parking lot was already full. There was a line of customers wrapping around and behind the building! The store didn't even open until 5am! We managed to get 2 nooks (the Barnes & Noble digital reader) for $99 each! After Best Buy, we headed to the mall to score some more deals.

The rest of my Thanksgiving weekend was spent relaxing and decorating for the upcoming holiday season. I also have been absolutely addicted to online holiday shopping--I got some amazing deals during Cyber Monday!

Now, it's back to reality--my final 2 weeks before I become an official college graduate!!! I have a LOT of schoolwork to do in the next 2 weeks, including group projects, papers, and exams. However, I know I can do it. I also have been working at the coffeehouse like crazy to make as much money as I can before I leave! Last night, I worked until midnight! There was a jazz band performing and they were really good, so it made the night a bit more interesting.


So, seeing as it's December, I wanted to ask: what is your favorite holiday tradition?

Mine is my family's Christmas Eve party. My extended family will be spending Christmas Eve at our house, where we have food, drinks, a gift exchange, and escargot (my mother is French)! It's always nice to catch up with my cousins, aunts, and uncles.

I am also excited to see my older brother, whom I haven't seen since May!!! That's 7 long months!!! He and his fiance will be visiting for Christmas, and I couldn't be happier.
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