Just before Christmas, I headed back to Akron for my final work trip of the year. It was exciting for me to see snow around Christmas time, since I've never even dreamed of a white christmas, let alone experienced one. Even better, LeBron's team surprised me in my hotel lobby with a personalized singing Christmas gram complete with signs and a jolly santa. That was definitely a first, and such a nice surprise.
I was in Ohio to manage media at the grand opening of the LeBron James Arena at St. Vincent - St. Mary's high school, LeBron's alma mater. He gave the school $1 million for the state-of-the-art facility that is quite frankly nicer than most college gyms.
I had so much fun playing in the snow (seriously SUCH a treat for me!), and I always love working with the team in Ohio. It was the perfect way to kick off Christmas week!
When I got back from the trip, I hosted our annual high school holiday get-together with some of my favorite St. Francis girls. With all of our busy lives and expanding families, sometimes it's tough to make this meeting work - but we almost always find a way! It was a beautiful brunch with beautiful friends, and I may or may not have had one too many mimosas (thanks for keeping my glass full, Kari!).
Christmas with my family is always the best. After Christmas Eve dinner at Mikuni's with my parents and our family friends, Corey and I made the rounds and dropped off most of his Christmas presents since he had to leave for work Christmas morning. We also got to see some of the beautiful "Fabulous 40s" lights, where Corey promptly plopped down behind sponge bob for the only picture I have of him and I together this Christmas. Classic.
After we ate breakfast and exchanged our gifts on Christmas morning, Corey headed up the hill for work and I headed to my parents' for way too many presents. Santa still goes all out at the Rosa household! More than gifts, we just love to all be together. That's what matters most!
On Christmas Eve, we also got some amazing news Corey and I had been waiting on for a while… two of our good friends finally got engaged! Corey had taken Paul down to San Francisco to find a ring, so we knew it was only a matter of time for these love birds, and we couldn't be happier for them!
A candid photo of the actual proposal. Makes me so happy!
Even though Christmas flew by way too fast, we enjoyed a quiet New Year's Eve at our friends' house. But that was after Corey hosted our unofficial New Years party the night before since he had to work New Year's Day. So at midnight on Monday evening, Corey hugged everyone and wished them happy new year 24 hours early. That guy cracks me up. I have to admit, it was pretty fun and I'm glad we did it. Plus, Obie's ribs and my fettucine alfredo were pretty on point. By the time the real New Year's Eve rolled around, Corey and I were pretty much exhausted so it was nice to have a low-key night with good friends.
As for my resolutions, I don't usually make these because I regularly set goals for myself throughout the year, but the biggest thing I want to focus on this year is LESS CANDY. I've told you before that I eat like a 5-year-old when it comes to sugar, but I've been noticing my body doesn't quite digest it the way it used to. Judging by the content of my candy drawer, I may have slightly overdone it on the sugar scale. So less snacks, more fruits and veggies and more cooking at home. Corey is also eating super healthy right now, so it's easy for me to stay on track at home. Heck, he's the one that inspired me to do this in the first place. So instead of my morning cinnamon toast crunch, we've been juicing and I've been feeling wonderful. We'll see how long I can keep this up!
And that brings us to the present. This first week back to work has been a crazy one. On Monday, we got some sad news that my 98-year-old grandpa passed away peacefully in the hospital. While we were all upset, it's tough to be sad about 98 good years. Grandpa Warren was an extremely smart guy, and I will definitely miss his stories. For the first time in my life, last night I sat down to write an obituary and surprisingly, it wasn't sad. I was happy to be recounting his amazing life and just hoping my words would do him justice.
Finally (I swear this novel will end at some point), this week we also kicked off our latest home improvement project - a complete backyard renovation. Corey and I are SO excited for it to be done… I'll be sure to share before and after pictures. For now, I'll leave you with a staged photo of me swinging an axe on the hideous man-made lava rocks that used to surround our pool. I've been wanting to do this since the day we bought our house and it felt pretty darn good!
Until next time,