christmas in chicago, everything but the running

It’s Thursday evening, and it’s the first time I’ve touched my computer since Monday night when I last posted…probably a record for actually being in the vicinity of my computer and not using it!  Probably not my proudest thing to be proclaiming on the internet, but I did have my iPhone and use of my parents’ computer when I needed it…but the Facebook/twitter/blog reading/whatever other random stuff I do on the computer (none all that productive, that’s for sure…) was kept to a minimum as I enjoyed time at home with my family.

It’s always too short of a trip, and I’m currently sitting in O’Hare waiting for my (hopefully on time…knock on wood for the next hour, please) flight back to NYC.  Christmas was definitely a bit of a whirlwind as I landed on Christmas Eve and immediately got into the swing of things.  Headed to my favorite breakfast place ever (I might be biased since I worked there…), Egg Harbor Cafe, to have amaaazing pancakes and enjoy the company of Katie and Bill…and say hi to old coworkers and Jamie, who is still the manager there and always greets me with a big hug.

The rest of Christmas I will mostly present to you in Instagram form…because sometimes pictures are better than words…

Our Christmas Eve tradition includes Chinese food and a movie, after bouncing up and down on the restaurant cushions with my father in an attempt to launch my mother off her cushion (further proof that I am indeed my father’s daughter…), we headed to see Life of Pi in 3D.  Luckily my dad and I look pretty snazzy in 3D glasses, and yes, I’m bringing them back to NYC to wear as I stroll down 5th Ave.  I’ll probably trip, but nonetheless…

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Oh so snazzy.

After the movie, I finished my elf-ly duties and wrapped my presents for my family and then put all the presents under the tree…it sure is pretty, isn’t it?

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Soon enough it was time to put myself to bed, as I was a tired little elf, and then it was Christmas morning!  Growing up, my parents always had to “check to see if Santa came,” and if it was too early, they would tell us that he hadn’t come yet so we had to go back to bed…and it always worked.  Well, you know you’re getting old when your parents are the ones to wake you up on Christmas morning, and they did just that around 9:30am to tell me breakfast was almost ready. After some blueberry muffins and coffee, it was present time..

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We always open our presents one by one, as it makes for better appreciation of the gifts and prolongs the magic of Christmas since some of the presents still say, “From: Santa”…HE’S REAL, RIGHT?  While being home for Christmas was definitely a present in itself, I was happy with the material stuff I got…my favorite present being the book my mom got me, which she found in the children’s section.

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I’ve already read it twice, and I will read it to anyone wishing for a bedtime story…I will even use different voices and all that.  It will be glorious, and I apologize in advance.  It’s a good story, too…elephants and ice cream?  What could go wrong?

The real treat on Christmas was the fun-filled puzzle that I got my dad…puzzles are a great gift for an impossible to buy for person, as it makes for instant family time.  The puzzle was a 1,000 piece puzzle of Manhattan and selected surrounding areas, and despite my knowledge of the city, the family fun lasted for three days!  We slowly tried to piece Manhattan back together…

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When we got tired of the puzzle (long before it was anywhere near complete…), we switched to Monopoly.  I admittedly wasn’t in the mood to play Monopoly, as it brings back memories of my brother always winning.  I’m not good at Monopoly.  Let me tell you…times having changed!!  I came out victorious over my family after making some wise investment decisions and having some luck in rolling the dice.  This victory will be going on my business school application next time I’m fed up with nursing and decide that an MBA is the solution.  (Talk me down from that, please.)

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Post-Monopoly, I wasn’t ready for the Christmas fun to end, so I set out looking through old photo albums to look for pictures of my first Christmas 28 years ago.  Since my mom nicely labeled all the albums, it was easy to find this picture of my sister and me at six months old…

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Please guess which one is me and which one is my sister.  I’ll make the correct guessers cookies or something…everyone loves a blog contest right?

That picture kind of got updated, as one of my mom’s present this year was a family picture…so the morning after Christmas, we all donned blue jeans and white shirts and headed for a professional photograph.  I’ll keep you posted on how that one turns out…

The rest of the time was spent hanging out with friends, eating cookies for breakfast (to quote my father, “How many days out of the year can you eat [pie] for [lunch] and not feel bad about it?”), shopping with mom, and putting together the puzzle.  Lots of time putting together the puzzle, which finally came together Thursday afternoon…

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Good thing we got Manhattan put back together just in time for me to fly back…that would have been a disaster otherwise!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and I feel very lucky to have been able to spend the holiday with my entire family (thank you to Lara, the nurse who paired with me so I could have off!).  My backpack is full of new books to read and cookbooks to cook from, so I definitely have plenty to keep me busy in the coming year.  More on those plans later, and definitely more on my running while I was home!  (Head start:  Chicago is cold…)

Still knocking on wood about my flight that is supposed to leave in 35 minutes, hopefully I’ll be in NYC soon!

Tell me…favorite Christmas present?  Favorite Christmas cookie you ate?  Which twin am I in the picture above?  Remember, cookies are at stake…

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  1. says

    A 1,000-piece Manhattan puzzle sounds impossible even if you know the area well! I’m guessing you’re the twin on the right?

  2. says

    Aww! What a fun time! So happy you were able to come in for the holiday and hope that your flight left on time last night 😉

    I like seeing presents opened one by one too. Our Christmas morning present opening was a free-for-all and I feel like I missed a lot!

    I love the puzzle!

    Hmm. Fave gift? I got so many nice things. A beautiful necklace with green diamonds from my husband. A nice coat from my mom. A few puzzles. Lots of nice stuff.

    I have no idea which one you are in the pic! The right?!

  3. Corey says

    Sounds like a wonderful Christmas!

    I’m going with the twin on the right with the big grin!

  4. says

    awww you guys are so cute! my sister and I looked at tons of pictures of us too, in matching little outfits. The one on the left is totally Susan. I’m glad you got to go home for real Christmas!

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