Last Friday Night..

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Having spent about 2 years together while going to the same college for culinary, baking/pastry, and media arts and animation was a blast because hanging out occurred so easily. Our class schedules were similar and campus housing allowed us to be in close proximity of each other. Unfortunately, after it’s over it hits you: we’re scattered all over MD and VA, life happens, and now we actually need to make an effort because we don’t see each other that often anymore. With this thought in mind, it only took one of us creating and posting an event on Facebook to get the ball rolling so we could actually hang out before the end of this year. The last time the four of us were actually together in the same room it was two years ago in December.

Christmas 2012 – left to right: Christina, me, Evan, & Olson

Friday night

Friday night

With that said I’m now certain that awesome annual functions new to be our new M.O. because two years is just too long! Friday night we got together at Lebanese Taverna in Tysons Galleria to catch up and actually meet/celebrate the new engagement of Evan and his girlfriend-turned-fiance Kristin. Three cheers once again!

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Dinner at Lebanese Taverna was great. I’d previously been to their locations in Silver Spring and Woodley Park within the past couple of years so I was excited to see this one. The service was good, the drinks were tasty, and the food was delish so most expectations were met.

grilled lamb entree

grilled lamb entree

The only thing that didn’t hit it off with us was the dessert menu so we left there and promptly got a table at the Cheesecake Factory upstairs just for a dessert nightcap. My recommendation: order the 30th anniversary chocolate cheesecake. You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT go wrong with layers of fudge cake and cheesecake. You may not be able to finish it all in one sitting but that’s okay, thank God for take-home boxes. It was even better the next day.

30th anniversary chocolate cheesecake a la mode

30th anniversary chocolate cheesecake a la mode

YUM.

Holidays, Schmolidays.

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So about the Scrooge-like attitude of this entry’s title – sorry, not sorry. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always gotten a bit more giddy after November 1, due to promises of family gatherings, an abundance of dinners, shopping sales, and the like. I’m the person who starts listening to a classic Christmas mix on Pandora right after Halloween. However, this year everything is different.

This year has been crazy and the end of it has came so fast. Like UPS next day delivery fast. The last time I blogged was during July and I was excited about getting my business going and doing the whole Feastly dinner thing (which was a HUGE success, thanks again to everyone who came out, supported, and paid $$ to eat my food. There is no bigger compliment!). Next thing I know it’s September, October was an absolute blur, then BOOM!! November is here.

With so many things currently happening all at once, I find myself not having my usual excitement for Thanksgiving and Christmas so the hubs and I have decided to switch things up a bit. To start, I’m not cooking for either holiday at all this year. No entrees, no sides, but maybe a personal dessert or two since my sweet tooth has been running rampant. For the first time ever in my life, we’re actually going out to dinner for Thanksgiving. Sauciety at the National Harbor has an interesting buffet menu, & having been there already at least twice for dinner, my mouth is slightly watering. For Christmas, we’re traveling down to New Orleans with family to visit more family. New Orleans! The land of fabulous beignets and other Cajun/Creole cuisine. I’m excited.

Awesome food aside, I’m planning on just coasting through it all with a neutral mindset. The hubs and I are expecting again: our rainbow baby is due March 23, 2015 so that’s where my mind is nowadays. A subsequent pregnancy, whether it’s 6 months after, 12 months, or 24 months after the initial loss, is HARD. Each and every family member and friend seems to have moved on, but your grief remains and is joined by other emotions like anxiety, excitement, and guilt. You still yearn to talk about them, to honor their memory, to remember. The love for the living children that follow is just the same as it is for your firstborn, but your heart still aches for that one special life that left a huge absence. One mom expecting her rainbow baby said it best in a letter here. While I remain grateful and ultimately thankful to God for everything, things have changed. I’ve changed. I’m more in the present now and not at all concerned with much else because everything else seems trivial. Everything is different this year, so.. holidays, schmolidays.