thankful for christmas break

I have been so off my proposed blogging schedule with the holidays!  So, today I am bringing back the original "thankful thursday" idea.  While I enjoy these posts, I sometimes think that they are a little self-indulgent (sort of like the highlights of 2012 post from earlier this week.)  I do hope they inspire you to think about the things in your life that you are thankful for- from family supper times to small things like a favorite fruit being in season.

Today I am thankful for my last Christmas break as a student!  There is something so wonderful about the school schedule- work hard for 15 weeks followed by a 3 week break.  And let me tell you, we packed LOTS into a three week break...

One of my favorite things about Christmas is seeing the old houses in my childhood neighborhood decorated.  There are lights on most houses and people strategically place their trees so the lights twinkle through the windows each night.  I think one day I might make a coffee table book with images of Christmas trees through windows at night...something about it make me so happy.  

I love being home and shopping in our little neighborhoods.  San Marco, just across the river, goes all out and has a beautiful Christmas tree in the middle of the neighborhood, wreaths on every door, and great shops full of gifts for everyone.  While some cities can boast better shopping, I do love our little boutiques and restaurants tucked right into the neighborhood.

A newer tradition has been to bake sugar cookies with my nieces and nephews.  This year we made more than 200!  It was so fun to see them get excited about how to decorate each cookie, concentrate hard for a minute on the decorating, and then just dump the sprinkles over the top of the cookie.  I think the idea was the more sugar the better!

As I mentioned here, Christmas Eve is one of my favorite holiday traditions.  We usually eat dinner with our extended "Cuban family" and we have piles of authentic black beans and rice, pulled pork, plantains, and flan.  After dinner we head to midnight services and struggle to stay away through a candlelight version of silent night with our FULL bellies.  

Christmas morning is full of more food with egg casserole, broiled grapefruit, and sweet rolls.  After we have all opened our stockings, we usually take a break to enjoy one of our favorite meals of the year.  Afterwards (and with full bellies again) we make our way back to the tree to exchange gifts.

This break was a wonderful chance to spend some quality time with the pup.  After weeks of exams and studying I think he had forgotten who I was!  We had a great time throwing the ball in a yard big enough to really run and letting him play with his "cousin" Chester.

One of my goals for this break was to learn to sew pillow covers.  Luckily for me, my mom is a sewing whiz and she helped me whip up new pillow covers for our couch.  Check back soon for a "how to" post on making these super easy pillows...and maybe even a giveaway?!

Most important this break was the chance to relax!  While our time at home is always packed full of family and friends (which we LOVE) it is also nice to have a little down time and just do nothing.  This picture is my "calm before the storm."  It was taken on Christmas Eve before dinner and church. The presents are wrapped, the cooking is done, and there is nothing to do but lay in the hammock and enjoy some sweet, sweet down time.  



  1. Happy New Year! I have loved discovering your blog over the last few weeks, and though I wish we could have seen you over Christmas, it was fun seeing the holiday through your eyes. Give my best to Josh and Mac! Love, Vanessa

    1. Happy New Year to you! I am so glad you like the blog and I appreciate you following AND your comment! We missed you guys at Christmas but we are counting it as an excuse to come to NYC and visit again :)