Home for the Holidays

Warmth, food, comfort, snow and family. When you have all of this, there is no need to go anywhere but home.

It’s amazing how much more I appreciate the little things after being away for what seems like so long! I never thought my mom’s cooking was that great until I tasted the food served at Uni. I think what makes the food at home better is the love and care that gets put into it. These 2 ingredients: love and care cannot be found in any meal provided at school, instead speed and sloppiness is what is used instead. After having many amazing meals at home these last few days it is going to be impossible for me to readjust to the *fantastic* food back at Uni! Well at least I can go back knowing I have sure satisfied my palate and eaten until my stomach’s content!

I haven’t only been eating; rather, I have been eating WHILE baking and cooking and trust me.. this is not a good combination. I am sure I have packed on a few more unnecessary pounds that will be great insulation for when I endure the freezing cold of Toronto, but not so great when I try to squeeze into those tight fitting jeans of mine or my hot mini skirt that I was dying to wear. Sigh.. oh well I can’t complain as I have been eating the best food I have eaten in ages! I go from carrot cake to sugar cookies to carrot cake and back to more carrot cake! Even though I get stuffed, I just can’t help endulge in the deliciousness of everything, while overeating. This is quite a destructive cycle as it makes me feel so wonderful while eating, but afterwards I definitely notice the negative effects… bloatedness, guilt and feeling fat. I then catch myself kicking myself and forcing myself into a pair of running shoes and out the door for a run.. only to find myself back in the kitchen eating all that I burned off. I am stuck thinking, there’s no way to control this! But enough with the “poor me”, the stuffing, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts were deffinately my favourites during Christmas dinner! The roast my mother and I made was also a hit and I suggest you try it, as you won’t be disappointed! After watching Curtis Stone on The Chew make a beautiful pork roast covered in parsley and thyme and coated in mustard – we had to try it for ourselves.. and the outcome was even better than expected. It was so good we made it 2 nights in a row!

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Ok so I have spent most of my time eating.. but there are other things that I have occupied my time with, such as watching TV and some great movies. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking wow this girl sounds lazy! But, I am not usually like this. Rarely do I get to enjoy some good old television while I am at Uni, as I am either socializing, studying or cleaning. I tend to have little down time to fill with personal pleasures like watching TV! So I have really taken advantage of TV at home. A great movie I recently watched was Premium Rush and another thing that I shall recommend to you as it was attention grabbing from beginning to end! It had such a simple plot line, but was still very diverse and dynamic at the same time. It’s about bike messengers and one in particular who happens to be Joseph Gordon Levitt – I absolutely adore him! He dodges speeding cars, crazed cabbies, open doors and millions of cranky pedestrians all in a day’s work. A routine delivery turns out to be a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan!

Other than maximizing on my TV time, I have also really cherished my sleep – well.. kinda. My days have been jam packed with tons to do – places to go, activities to fulfill and etc. So I end up getting to bed quite late, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue considering I can sleep in the next day, as I have no class to go to! It is honestly the best feeling waking up in the morning and not having to hop right out of bed; instead, lying there for a bit longer just enjoying the coziness and serenity of it all. The only downside of staying in bed for far too long is you end up missing out on half the day. Not a big deal if you have all the time in the world like I initially thought I did at the beginning of the holidays, but now that the end is near I want to make the most of every minute and spend as much time with my family as possible because I know I will be missing everything about my home when I am far, far away!

When I am not being an obese whale, I am out in the wonderful, lush forests – that seem to be everywhere in sight – hiking. Another thing that I thought I wouldn’t miss, which turns out I actually have! Just being in the forest makes me feel like I’m in a completely different world – free from the chaos and stress of reality. It really is a breath of fresh air, as it gives you a space to reflect on life, while doing some physical activity. It is also something I have always done with my mom and on occasion with other family members too, but mostly my mom. In a way it’s “our thing” that connects us and gives us a chance to spend time together. I never knew how much my mother’s input mattered until I was separated from her. She has been my rock through and through and not having her at arm’s reach anymore is a big change. It has helped me develop my independence, but I still reminisce on the many times we have spent hiking every trail possible!

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This Christmas also gave me a chance to connect with my brother and even my dog. Both of which I was never very close with. My brother and I have our differences and don’t make a real effort to ever bond. My dog on the other hand I just can’t stand. I know that sounds mean, but I am not a dog person and I can’t help it! I can tolerate all kinds of dogs, but I don’t like being licked and jumped on all the time. Over the holidays however, I have managed to connect with my brother by baking him sugar cookies, watching movies together, him teaching me poker and amazing me with his card tricks! I also made an effort to be nicer to my dog by talking to it and petting it every now and then.

SO I guess being away from home really does make a difference. It not only makes you come back and appreciate it MORE, but it also patches up some conflict that existed before.

And what’s a christmas without a surprise? There was some talk in the household – mostly between my brother and mom (huge animal lovers) about getting another furry friend. I didn’t take them seriously because I thought they would never want to do that to the dog we already have. If we got another dog, the dog we have would feel neglected! My dad would not put up with another animal and he made that clear on numerous occasions. But, regardless of what my dad and I thought, we came back to a big surprise – a new puppy. The 2 of them went behind our backs and got what they wanted and didn’t care what we thought! They were so smug and chuffed with themselves, thinking they did a good deed by giving the dog we already had another friend! I don’t think our dog will want to be friends with a puppy, who hogs everyones attention… I thought I would be strong enough to resist the urge to cuddle with the cutie, but I can’t! It’s adorable and now I am upset that I have to go back to Uni and leave the loveable creature behind!

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As my departure draws near, I am becoming increasingly sad and depressed. I know this lifestyle is not me – I believe I am a city girl, but still there is a lot I will miss. There is so much here that is not there – my family especially. All I can do now is make the most of my time here and gather my strength for when it comes time to leave.

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