Monday, January 17, 2011

The Long Fall

What happened to Fall? The leaves changed colors. I earned my master's degree. Oh, and all the holidays, and a flood.

One morning, I awoke to the text message: "So sorry to text you early, but it appears that our basement is flooded and sadly, your room is very wet." I had never been so politely informed that there was an emergency situation. The whole basement had flooded, and everything needed to be pulled off the ground, including my entire bedroom.

My bed even ended up on the dining room table:

And the truth is... it could have been worst. But I didn't have time to think about what could've would've been, because that weekend my friends Courtney and Boris were married. I jetted off to San Francisco, and met up with Ian:

The wedding was, of course, just perfect. I cried like a sad monkey. I was so happy for both of them, and just danced the night away! Couris and Bourtney deserve every last bit of happiness.

Next weekend, as a CERT member, I had the opportunity to participate in a city-wide preparedness drill for New York City. It was really fun. I got there super early so I could get a good wound, and be carried on a stretcher. By the end of the drill, I had been saved:

Brett joined me and about 50 other cyclists for the 2nd New York City Tweed Ride. I volunteered to be the flower lass. Over the course of the ride, I dropped rose petals to add a lovely fragrance to the ride. I was even featured in the Village Voice

I joined my Dad up in Boston for a weekend.

We went to the Boston aquarium. I love aquariums! Really love them! The sea dragons are always a favorite of mine.

I was afraid that with all of my schoolwork that I would miss the opportunity to see the colors change in the Fall. Not to worry, I was able to catch glimpses of color all season long.

At the end of October, Brett and I joined many others at the Rally for Sanity. It was overly crowded, but had the most incredible signs.

We stayed with our friends in DC for the rest of the weekend and celebrated Halloween. Now... normally I'm not a fan of couple costumes (unless they require the couple to remained connected for the entire evening), but this was awesome... and perhaps the most vomit bucket we have ever been.

I have a wee obsession with Harry Potter, and busted out a full-length dress for our formal movie night. I always think that Brett looks so dapper in his formal movie night outfits.

Somewhere in November, I went a little crazy with school work. Fortunately, I have the most wonderful boyfriend. He offered to be my personal chef for the last two weeks of my paper writing for school. The food was incredibly mouth watering, and delicious.

He even edited my papers for me!

After my plans for Thanksgiving took a last minute cancellation, Brett joined me at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The balloons are a lot LARGER up close. And thanks to super secret native New Yorker information from our pal Luis, we had the best view from Central Park.

But really, the main reason that I disappeared this Fall was due to school. Working full time, and attending school in my free time really limited what I was able to do outside of working, writing, studying, sleeping, and being. For two weeks our basement looked like a strategic planning war room:

Much thanks for their support, patience and aid goes to my housemates, who tolerated the extreme of my OCD personality as I prepared for oral exams. But in the end, all my hard work paid off, and I graduated!!!!

I am now officially a master of science in emergency management! Whew! In mid-December, Mamma, Charell, Brett, and I traveled to Jacksonville, Alabama so I could get my robes and walk across the stage to receive my diploma! It was a really incredible moment for me to look up and see the three people who supported me throughout my entire process. My mom, my boss, and my boyfriend, who kept me sane, proof-read, and smiling through it all. They are truly wonderful wonderful people!

Continuing with my obsession about aquariums, Mamma and I went to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. It has a really neat penguin exhibit where you can crawl into a space where the penguins can swim around you.

I love the holidays! I really do! Call me crazy, but I enjoy the decorations, the music, the happiness. Jeph and I spent an evening getting a Christmas tree and decorating it. Behind my graduation weekend, this was one of my favorite nights of all December:

Brett, who is not a fan of the holidays, surprised me by agreeing to look at holiday decorations in the city. As we approached Times Square, Luis called and told us he knew a place in Brooklyn that was better than Rockefeller Center. A neighborhood that really goes all out with the decorations. He was absolutely right.

Christmas this year was spent in Fresno with Brett's family. It was just a beautiful moment. I really am glad that his family is so welcoming and makes me feel really special. Brett didn't get much of a holiday because he and his brother gave their father the gift of new wooden thingys in the front walkway. I'm sure there is a real technical term like wood frame or something, but in his few moments of quiet, he rested. I found this to be the perfect opportunity to take pictures of him with his niece's new puppet Elbert:

And, very exciting... we went TANDEM BIKE RIDING again! We borrowed his parents bike, and even did a little off-road tandem bike riding.

With that, the long Fall comes to a close.

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