The first week we mad-dashed around getting Christmas presents together and our very first annual Christmas letter sent off.
This is our photo-booth Christmas picture:
We also bought a Christmas tree that week! We bought it on the 20th and only paid $12.50! It was 4(or 5) times the size of last year's tree, so, needless to say that after throwing every ornament we had at it, she still looked rather bare. So we made some rather large snow flakes and a cranberry/popcorn chain we made while watching the entire first season of the fabulous show, "Downton Abbey."
On December 22nd, we got together with the 2nd year costume design MFA, Katie, and her boyfriend, Jeff, to make a flight of Christmas cookies. We each picked four recipes and spent from 11am - 3pm baking; it was AMAZING. We each took half the cookies, giving us FIVE ONE-GALLON BAGS EACH! Following that, we went into Indianapolis to see " The Christmas Carol" which is the first production of that show that I've ever seen. We closed the day with dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, which I had also never been to - they have a great salad bar.
Katie and Jeff.
Snickerdoodles and white chocolate macadamia!
Off to the play.
Needless to say, we couldn't eat all those cookies alone, so Saturday, December 24th, we dropped of a few plate fulls with people from church who we knew would be staying here for Christmas. It was a great way to get to know some people a little better, and to feel somewhat charitable.
Another thing we started this first week was feeding one of my professor's rabbits, chickens, quail, and pigeons while they were gone. It was a blast and a half and it has gotten Ben and me thinking more seriously about homesteading one day. We've been doing some reading about it in preparation for when we can finally have a place of our own and a little land on which to have some animals, a garden, and BEES!
Christmas day was really nice and quiet (although quiet?) It was our first time away from family and we each had moments of homesickness. We started the day with music and a little gift exchange followed by a lovely Sacrament meeting. Afterwards we had been planning to have dinner with a professor and her family, but her husband had to have surgery on his ankle the week of Christmas and had to cancel. So we searched and searched for an open restaurant (besides Denny's) at which to eat and found ONE Indian restaurant. See, with Bloomington being almost entirely a college town restaurants aren't just closed for Christmas, some are closed the entire break! It's nuts. It wasn't what I was hoping for, but it was nice. Then we went out to deliver one last plate of cookies and ended up staying for some games and lively discussion at the home of a member of church and her visiting family. It was a blast!
The following two weeks were filled with lots of movies (Hugo, War Horse, Mission Impossible, and Sherlock Holmes, not to mention the movies we watched at home), Season Two of "Downton Abbey," we finished the "Lost" series, started the seventh and final season of "West Wing," tons of reading, getting things done around the apartment, walks, playing catch (there have been some BEAUTIFUL, and frankly, warm, days). One day we went up to Indianapolis for a second time, but otherwise we stayed in Bloomington.
On New Years we got a cheese plate and some sparkling cider and watched "Big Fish" before tuning into live footage of the ball dropping in Times Square.
Happy New Year!
Tomorrow is back to school but I'm planning to update again next week!