Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's Beginning to Feel a lot Like Christmas


I have been so busy, I am totally exhausted and not ready for Christmas at all!  However, now that I'm out of school, things are starting to feel more like Christmas!  It's just a shame that we didn't get out of school earlier so that we could all enjoy the pre-Christmas excitement more fully.
Friday, school let out at 11:15, and I headed home.  I cleaned/organized some stuff then worked out.  This is part of my lunch I had after that.  I had pumpkin and cream cheese-topped waffles with this "almost smore."  It's some Bee's Knees peanut butter on graham crackers with some fudge in the middle!

After having a breakfast for dinner (turkey sausage, egg whites, feta and goat cheese with hummus bowl and a serving of quinoa with Planter's Cinnamon Raisin Granola PB, extra raisins, and a banana-talk about protein) I drove to church to enjoy some Christmas music and worship.  These are two of my friends Kristen and Mattie.  We matched with the crimson!

Latte Moon was also in operation for this event, and I topped my decaf with marshmallows and whipped cream!

This is our contemporary worship leader Brooks.  He is so great at what he does!
"Oh come, all ye faithful
joyful and triumphant
Oh come ye, oh come ye
to Bethlehem"
Mom and Dad had gone out to dinner with some friends from their Sunday School class and brought them home for dessert that Mom and I had made the day before.  This pie (that we've made twice this Christmas already) is easy to make, so it's great for a last minute party dessert.  And you can't go wrong with cream cheese!  Called "Heavenly Caramel Pie," it sure lives up to it's name.

This is what I have been wanting to do for a long time!  I have several alarms pre-labeled that I use for repetitive events, but this is not just a joyful run; it is a run to Starbucks!  I saw that the weather was going to be great and warm Saturday morning, so I texted my friend Katlyn (with whom I often do fun runs with) to see if she could come "on a surprise breakfast run with me."  It would be a surprise because we had never gone here before, and I did not tell her where we were having breakfast.  I didn't tell her to bring money either, so she didn't know whether we were even eating out or if I was cooking for us again!  I was super excited!  I had two Starbucks gift cards, one new and one partially used.  Starting from my house, we ran on the highway and through various neighborhoods and made a 180 degree turnaround, all of which confusing her breakfast guesses.  When we arrived at Ingles (where our Morristown Starbucks is located), she knew then!  We went in and ordered.
Starbucks in general makes me think of Christmas.

Here we are with our breakfast at a table in the little Ingles café.  We both got oatmeal-theirs is my favorite!  I add honey, blueberries, and a seed/nut mix they have as options.  I also mix in from the "drink decorators" the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate powder.  Those went in my coffee, too.  Katlyn did the same, except she got a peppermint mocha.  When Mom came to pick us up, she also brought Katlyn's Christmas present from me.  I enjoyed catching up with Katlyn, as I hadn't seen her hardly at all since cross country had ended!  We talked and laughed so much, a great way to start my morning.

After lunch, Mom, Dad, and I headed to Knoxville to finish the final Christmas shopping.  Now I am disappointed because I have recently found things that I would like for Christmas, but it is too late.  That's what happens when you're too busy to look for gift ideas until the week before.  However, Dad and I walked around while Mom shopped for me (which I have no idea what I may get!).  We had dinner at Chili's then went to my favorite dessert place which is conviently two stores down from Chili's on Kingston Pike, Yogli Mogli.  I was super excited about this, too, especially with seasonal flavors!  I feel bad, because Dad got super mad at me.  I am embarrassed to say that this was over $19.00...BUT I have decided that I am going to make better choices with my money, so this is most likely my last one of these unless someone else treats/takes me.
It looked a lot prettier before I put the whipped cream on, but oh well. 
The flavors:  Cheesecake, gingerbread, red velvet, dulce de leche, cake batter, praline pecan, cake batter, peanut butter
The toppings/layers:  cheesecake, Recees, Heath, Butterfinger, brownie, and some little "unidentified" things that looked like brownie/chocolate cookie dough shaped bites that were super tasty!
(I eat very large portions of this stuff, so do not fear; I highly doubt, even if you get the largest size bowls like I did, that anyone else's dessert will cost this much.)

On our way home, we drove through Chilhowee Park to look at the lights.  This was the best-looking part in my opinion.  These lights go over a bridge that crosses a large pond.
Today, I was finishing my final Christmas odd-and-in gifts.  I love to decorate and make cards and crafty things, so on this envelope for the letter to my aunt and uncle, I made it real Christmasy!
 
I'm so excited that I have finally had some joyful and more relaxed feelings!  Better late than never, right?