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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Channeling my inner Julia Child

I think if I didn't become a research scientist I would have become a chef... maybe even a pastry chef.

Like science there is so much order to cooking, steps and reactions many with a series of chemical reactions (think Alton Brown).

Food is love too and it is nuturing... that appeals to me. I think thats why even though I am a research scientist, I also enjoy mentoring and teaching.

Recently, I made friends with a choir member at my church that is a pastry chef... sigh I want to be her sometimes BUT she has to be up at 3:30am! EEEPP! Academic folk like me like our mornings! Ha ha!

I watch Top Chef and other reality cooking shows and in a lot of ways I could see myself doing it.

I am not saying I regret my choices because I love my field/farm research and cooking for friends and family.

Today, I had my grandparents, mom and sisters/bro-in law over for Christmas and it was so nice to take time to bake my very first fruit tart... not a masterpiece but a good first start :)

It is probably better I am not a chef.. .I would be like a million pounds!

For now, I will just enjoy cooking many healthy dishes a few indulgent ones :)

Julie and Julia has inspired me though... I could have done that, it would have been so fun to be Julie and of course Julia!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A look back at this year

I keep meaning to update my blog but as any academic knows Thanksgiving to finals is a total blur!

Prompted by reading my sister's blog today I feel reflective and wanted to share.

This Christmas was different for me, I knew it would be and I sort of dreaded it. I felt like in the weeks leading up to it I was 'going through the motions'.

I donated gifts, served in soup kitchens, sang in our church's Christmas concert, while enjoyable and fulfilling in many ways I just didn't "feel" inspired.

But, sitting in church last week (I have been sitting alone because Josh has been helping in the tech booth), I was moved to tears. Its as if God was touching my heart and making me remember the reason for this holiday season.

See, I was wrapped up in my own thoughts especially dwelling on how much I still miss my Nonna and how Christmas eve just wouldn't be the same. But, after that Sunday I was able to feel like it was time to do new things and take a more optimistic approach.

So, school winded down pretty smoothly despite the moments of shear panick that I would NEVER get it all done in time. And the house was decorated and cheerful and even when it came to wrapping gifts which I usually HATE. I started thinking about how giving gifts is WAY better than getting them. I love the look on my family and friends faces when they open a gift I picked just for them!

So Christmas Eve came, J and I spent the day getting stuff wrapped, spending time together and having a quiet dinner at home. I made Nonna's meatballs and it 'almost' felt like she was there but I can't say I didn't miss her terribly. Yet, I know she would never want me to be so sad and miss her. But even still I do!

I was also nervous Christmas day would be too frantic and yet it too went so smoothly. Breakfast at my sister's cute new apartment, brunch and my MILs and dinner at FILs.

Every year I am overwhelmed with the generosity of our families. The honestly do too much for us and I just can't believe it some times.

So, despite my concerns about the start of this holiday season being a sad one, I was pleasently surprised.

Today, J and I had fun putting together the new Wii (woo hoo fit for 2010 here I come!) and the blueRay player... who knew I would like 'toys' but I do!

I am looking at 2010 in a hopeful way. Though 2009 was an important and good year in many ways it is filled with sadness and a sense of loss too.

Losing my Nonna and my great uncle makes me think of all the other members of my family that I care so much about and never want to lose.

I also feel a sense of loss due to my surgery. It may have some long lasting implecations and some other health stuff that I am not too crazy about. But it is a new year and hopefully I will be able to make it a healthy one!