Well friends, as I am sure most of you can agree, life has been crazy! Thanksgiving has come and gone and here we are on this 30th of November. I have decided to take a few short minutes as I am sitting here in my temporary apartment that I am staying at while in NYC as I wait for one of my hosts to finish an assignment so that we can go and bake cookies!
Let’s begin with November 16th, the day of the father’s birthday. That morning I treated him to a breakfast as Sportsman’s and we had a great time talking as usual. Then that evening, my father, Lizzy, and I had dinner at Sammy’s Pizza. I ended the night with my friend Shelby and we watched Elf! I swear that that movie gets better every single time I watch it! The joke get funnier and the holiday spirit becomes cheerier! The next morning, on Friday, Shelby and I had breakfast together before class. Shelby is my oatmeal buddy, so everytime we eat breakfast together, we both tend to get oatmeal! The weekend was then jam-packed with homework galore! It was my last completely-empty few days to pound out some work before I left for my trip! On Sunday morning I had breakfast, (again…I know), with Bobbie and Lizzy, and we talked for close to two hours! If you have sisters, you’ll know that sister dates like these are the ind that I live for.
Then began the start of the craziest-busiest few weeks I think my life has ever seen!! Monday through Wednesday was full of odds and ends as far as getting appointments in, packing, shopping, homework, baking, finalizing my speech for my scholarship competition, and more. It was the evening of the 22nd, or Wednesday night, that things started to get fun! My mother is usually the one to throw our Thanksgiving Day feast, but this year Bobbie hosted it! However, mom still had a few of her famous dishes she had to make. She makes THE WORLD’S BEST dutch apple pie! So we sampled some fresh from the oven after a long baking session that night which kept us awake until about 1a.m.
I woke up on Thursday with such a big smile on my face… it was Thanksgiving! What a beautiful holiday commemorating all that we have to be thankful for! My family is very traditional! On Thanksgiving morning, Lizzy, Dad, and I go over to Christy’s where she always has freshly-baked caramel and cinnamon rolls for everyone while we watch The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! After we depart, we head over to the big Catholic church in Hibbing where the large Community Thanksgiving Dinner takes place! Every year my family and I deliver meals to two different buildings. Typically when people order meals, it is because they can’t afford a meal, they can’t leave their home, or have no one else to celebrate with. This component of my holiday is always one of the most touching. It is so beautiful when we deliver meals, always singing and praying for our meal-receivers, and they tear-up. Or even when I receive a beautiful smile and a ‘thank you’, it makes it all worth it! There are so many people, just within the two buildings we deliver to, that don’t have any family, or are house-ridden, or are too poor to afford a turkey dinner. It truly makes me thankful for what I have, and makes me even happier to help out the folks who are less fortunate than I!
After delivering meals, Liz and I make our way to our feast with my mother. We made it out to Bobbie’s early that afternoon and had a blast. The whole celebration was full of food, laughter, talking, games, dessert, coffee, and just happiness! Bobbie cooked an amazing meal and the rest of the family contributed to some awesome desserts and appetizers! I was entirely too full when I left that night, but it is such an amazing feeling to enjoy food the way we were meant to!
That night we all tried to make it to bed as soon as we could because we are Black Friday fiends! Haha, just kidding! We do shop, but we aren’t crazy 4a.m. people! My mom, Lizzy, Bobbie, Carrie, and I all left around 7a.m. for Duluth. It is such a magical feeling when I am with my mom and sisters because it doesn’t happen to often with our busy schedules. That Friday was full of so many memories! We made it to Target, where we have made it a tradition to start with Starbucks in our hands, Best Buy, and the big shopping Mall. The day consisted of lots of shopping and sister/mother bonding. We all continuously were running into each other in the mall, and occasionally running away from the other when we had a gift for someone in hand. By the end of the day, we were all tired and hangry (a condition that I have learned all of my sisters, mother, and I, suffer from). So we made our way to Olive Garden and again stuffed ourselves while Bobbie and Carrie shared memories from their childhood!
Saturday morning was slow as I spent the whole day packing my suitcase and finalizing a few homework projects. That night we went over to Christy’s again for a birthday dinner to celebrate both my father’s birthday and my own! Christy, being the amazing baker/chef/hostess that she is, prepared exactly what my dad and I requested! For me: white bean, chicken chili, and for my dad: regular beef chili. We both asked for a big salad and fresh bread as well, and like always, she delivered the yummiest of all! We ended the night with some presents and desserts.
Sunday morning began with some singing to my niece over the phone because it was her tenth birthday! Mckenzie is such an angel. She is so beautiful, creative, smart, hilarious, and so extremely sweet. I am such a blessed aunt and I had a hard time comprehending that she just hit double digits… but so goes life… After church and other activities, we celebrated her birthday that night at Grandma’s in the Park! She was so excited to have her birthday dinner there, although she only ate around three breadsticks, but had plenty of room for her birthday milkshake!
Monday morning, the morning of my 18th birthday, my dad and I went out to breakfast at Sportsmen’s to celebrate! Eggs and avocado toast was on my menu (of course)! I always have to bring my own avocados when I want them as they don’t have any at Sportsman’s, but I have a very ‘extra’ personality, so of course I do it! That morning, the meal seemed even more amazing than normal! I had a few classes and did a large biology assignment that afternoon. My day was pretty slow up until my special birthday dinner. I choose to have my entire family get together that night at Kunnari, my favorite place around! I felt like so special that night with twelve family members celebrating my special day! I have been blessed with my most loving family ever. I truly believe that I couldn’t be any luckier. I have sisters who double as my best friends, parents who I love and who love me more than words could explain, nieces and nephews who I am more proud of than Buddy the Elf is of his father, and brother-in-laws with the most funny and playful personalities! We enjoyed an amazing meal along with such amazing coffee and ended with cake! Again, I felt like a princess when one of the owners was in the back baking the cake while we were eating, and as I opened my gifts, it was brought out to me, fresh from the oven! The red velvet cake with cream-cheese frosting was the most velvety, luscious, rich, yummy cake I ever remember savoring! It was an amazing day, and although I didn’t get to see too many friends because of my upcoming trip, I was sent so many sweet messages and texts from people wishing me the happiest of birthdays, and I am so thankful for all of the kind souls that did!
Wednesday was my final day of classes and getting together last minute jazz, and that is exactly what I did. Yesterday I got up at 3a.m. so that by 4a.m. my dad and I could leave for Minneapolis to get to the airport in plenty of time for my flight. Now, here I am, once again, in New York City for a 9-day adventure in The Big Apple. My flight was short and smooth, my Uber driver was an interesting man who is very against greasy pizza, snow, and walking, and I have already made quite a few friends with students here at The King’s College, one of the colleges I am visiting this week! These last few days/past two weeks have absolutely flown by, and in fact, I am still pondering over what happened to my freshman year when all I was concerned with was figuring out how to factor and which type of chocolate I wanted in my hot chocolates.
I am an 18 year-old girl, who is finally feeling like she is putting her eating disorder behind her, is in New York City, alone, for the adventure of her life with oodles of plans and opportunities in front of her, who has the best family in this entire world that treats her so much better than she deserves, who is sincerely loved by Jesus and is feeling it more than ever, who has the sweetest friends she could ask for, and is just so thankful. I can’t stress that enough: I am SO THANKFUL! I have so much more than I could ever ask for! Looking back and reminiscing on the past eighteen years, my life has just been one long timeline of blessings. I know that most everyone says the same thing, and feels the same, and that is because life is one big blessing! Not only that, but someone else’s blessings don’t outdo your own! We all have different stories that God has written for us, and we need to find the beauty in them! I am just feeling so overwhelmed and happy at the moment, and I hope you are able to find that in your own life as well! Life is a beautiful gift! I am excited to begin this adventure this afternoon, and when I return, I will definitely have another New York City post coming your way!