Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye and Good Riddance, 2014...

Let's call 2014 "The Bipolar Year". A year of some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my young adult life. Possibly the toughest year of my life thus far. And I made it through. And I am proud of myself. But I am also very glad that it is over.

Let's recap, shall we? Cause that's what I do.

- Grad school auditions. ASU, UT Austin, UMich, and CU Boulder. We all know how these turned out, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Pacing!

- Spring break at home.

- Chicago with Reedefine! Part I, Part II (some of my favorite photos and one of my favorite trips ever)
- I never posted about my senior recital. Frankly, I couldn't stomach it. But I ended up posting the links to some recordings here.

- The first of many big life changes.

- Photos from my graduation from FSU!
- Summer in Florida: Mother's Daysunflower maze, Rachel and Jordan's party.
- I turned 22.

- Apartment hunting in Tempe!

- Summer in NYC: part I, II, III, IV, and V.
- July 4th! With some of my favorite people! Whom I have missed terribly. (hi guys) (but I'm with Rachel now so life is good)

- Then! I moved. Across the country, no big deal. Road trip with mom, part I, II, and III.
- I adopted my Bug! I love that little fur ball of terror so much. Look how little she was!!! She is the best little snuggler and cutest demon ever.
- I shared peeks of my apartment. Since then it has been affectionately and accurately coined the "bitch cave".

- I got a tattoo!
- Then, I started graduate school. As a masters student. And a teaching assistant. Who even am I.

- I bought a ukulele, went to Oktoberfest, wrote about my health improvements. I met a ton of beautiful, wonderful people.

- I got a car!!!!
- Dressed up for Halloween for the first time in forever and had a bangin' time.

- I got a part-time job at one of my favorite stores.

- We lost my Grandma Lillian (somedays I still can't believe that), and we celebrated her in New Jersey.
- Thanksgiving with Dad. Las Vegas. Cirque du Soleil.
- I ended my first semester of graduate school with a 4.0 GPA and an A jury. Not too shabby, if ya ask me.

- Went back to New York for a few weeks of winter break. Probably you've seen these recently but: seeing friends, Grandma Joanne's surprise party, window watching, and a sister date.
- And now I'm in Boston, with some of my best friends, ringing in 2015.

I never really stick to "resolutions", so I hesitate to even use that word. Maybe "goals" is more appropriate? I'm pretty okay when it comes to goals, and this year I want to keep them realistic (every year I say I'm going to cook more and I never do, so screw that "resolution").

My goals for 2015:
- Say "thank you" more (i.e. let people know when/that I am grateful for them)
- Stop apologizing for things that I don't need to apologize for
- Take more risks in my social, academic, and professional life
- Take more photos
- Travel
- Keep better in touch with far away friends
- Call my family at least once a week, every week
- Play a kick ass recital
- Embrace self-confidence
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, I am beyond grateful for the people in my life; really there are no words to express how lucky I feel on a regular basis for having the friends and family that I have. I am grateful to have maintained my sense of humor and general demeanor, and I am grateful for where I am and where I am going. I must say, despite everything, I am extremely proud of the woman that I am today.

Happy New Year! Cheers to 2015 being as bad-ass as possible.

P.S. Though they feel like an eternity ago and life is entirely different now...2012 and 2013.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Over the Weekend // Sister Date

On Saturday, Rebecca and I went into Manhattan together for a much-needed sister date. First time we weren't bickering all week ;)
It is worth noting that my mother knitted this beautiful scarf for her and that one for me is in the planning stage, right Mom?
En route to Chelsea Market (I spent a LOT of time in Chelsea this trip), we stopped at Doughnut Plant. Did you know how much I love doughnuts? The answer is, too much. If that's even possible. The wild blueberry donut was so delicious, if you go there you should get it.
Several hours later, we trekked to Shake Shack for burgers, cheese fries, and a concrete. Our consensus is that the burgers and fries were fantastic, but the concrete was too rich (possibly because of the chocolate custard).
We then muscled our way through the pop up market in Bryant Park, before heading home. It was a beautiful day. We laughed a lot.

And now, selfie of Mom and me for good measure:
It's hard to live with your family when you're used to living alone, but despite all of the shouting and arguing, I miss them already. It was a great week and a half in New York.

In other news, I am now happily in Boston with Rachel and Josh, having a fantastic time. Boston is cool as hell.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cwizmaus in the City

Window displays in Manhattan are out of control around Christmas-time. We've never been here this time of year, so my Mom wanted to go look at the windows (we're obligated to do at least one touristy thing while we're here--though we usually end up doing several).
I think Saks 5th Avenue had my favorite windows, but at that point in the day the rain had begun and I did not take out my camera. So these photos are from Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and Bloomingdale's (I think).
^ Alice themed ^
^ Wizard of Oz themed ^
Aside from the windows, we went inside the public library (to use the bathroom, but anyway) and the tree and indoor decorations were just classic and perfect.
^ Where the Wild Things Are themed ^
Then we went to meet Elana in Grand Central Station. We ate lunch in there which I do NOT recommend around the holidays because it was insanely crowded.
That building is just so beautiful! After this we made a stop at the 30 Rock christmas tree, and later the Union Square Holiday Market (I didn't take many photos). Both so crowded you could hardly move (and yet I managed to run into someone I know in the Union Square market--heyo!). Still worth it, I think. For dinner, Boo and I met up with my bestie Reuben (from Birthright) and it was so fun that I wish I lived here just so I could see more of him.

We're spending Christmas doing the stereotypical Jewish thing--Chinese food and movies. Because nothing else is really open.

Happy Christmas, non-Jewish friends/family/people in general! Merry merry.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Grandma Joanne's 80th Surprise Party

Hey, surprise! This is why we came to New York this break! My Grandma turned 80 this month, and my Papa has been planning this party literally all year.
Look, indulge me, okay? There are a lot of photos of me and my family in this post because, well, it's family.
My Mom had everyone write six words about my Grandma. Just six words. Rebecca's was the best: "If the Godfather was a woman."
And Rebecca being gorgeous, can you even? No. No you can't.
My cousins look like the UN (United Nations), but we've decided that Rebecca and Elana do actually look alike because they have Spitz-faces. (Spitz is my mother's maiden name, if you did not already figure that out).
In other news, it is a FEAT to get ten people looking at the same camera with eyes open and smiling. I'm not sure how many photos it took, but here it is.
^ These two, the family gingers ^

The lighting was so horrible, hence so many black and whites. But it's all good, it was a beautiful party and the food was delicious (especially that cake). Happy birthday, Grandma! We love you so much.
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