Being away from my family is always that much more difficult on holidays. Were I home, I would be laying on the couch at my aunt's with my sister, my cousin and my dad. We would probably be watching that Dog Show that I don't care much about but I watch anyways. And my uncle would be asking why we have to watch it every year, just like he does every year. Traditions, friends. I love traditions. And it's hard to know those traditions continue when I cannot be there.

But since I'm not there, Adrian and I are making the most of Thanksgiving. We'll be cooking and baking and eating and relaxing.

So today I am thankful for a husband who works incredibly hard and hardly complains (and is currently at work...). And for my nephews who keep me company while he works, who wake me up in time to watch the parade, who spill juice on my white rug and who excite at the sight of each and every parade balloon. And for their mother who lends me their company when I need them. I am thankful for my little apartment which has become our little home. For video chat when family is so far away. And for this distance which has forced me to learn to make my grandmother's incredible whipped cream and my mother's pumpkin pie. 

I am thankful for my family far away, my husband whom I adore and my family of little nephews, who always have a hug to share.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Keep close.

Keep close, my friends. I'm working on some beautiful additions to this blog. Wish me luck!

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A thousand beginnings.

I've tried all night to write to you. Perhaps thirty stories have started. And none have been finished. There is so much I want to tell you all. About how I'm doing better. About how supportive my husband is. About my cousins. About small joys. About learning as I teach. About anxiety. About reorganizing. About my dad.

And yet nothing seems quite right. Nothing develops itself into complete ideas, let alone stories. So I'm left with this. Disjointed thoughts and an empty computer screen. But I so very much wanted to write something. To share a little bit more of me in hopes that you might share something of you with me.

And perhaps therein lies the issue. I had little to say to you. I just want to listen.

So, please, tell me about you. What do you think about? Where does your mind wander?

Before I go and await your thoughts,

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Lazy Sunday.

Lovely lazy Sunday. I wish the same for all of you. Adrian's working at work and I'm working at home. But as soon as we are both done working, we intend to snuggle and watch a movie. With the cinnamon bun candle burning. Sounds wonderful, right?

I'm also working on a little something for Christmas for someone I love very much. I can't tell you much right now, but let me show you a small piece:

It's going to be good, my friends. I can feel it.

In the meantime, please tell me: How do you pass your lazy Sundays? 
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In the spirit of friends and Black Friday.

In my home this lovely Saturday, we're preparing for Black Friday and for some friends to come by tonight.

So in the spirit of Black Friday, I thought I'd share this with you:

Can someone please make this happen and share the video with us? 
(Paul and Danilo, I'm looking at you.)

Thank you in advance.

Happy Saturday!
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A very Emily wishlist.

Since the stores seem to think that it's ok to begin Christmas, I figure I ought to as well...beginning with my wishlist. The way I see it, I'm doing you a favor. Now you have more time to seek out the things I so long for. Right?

1. Canon 50mm lens: Another piece to make this blog look even better! Seriously, my current aperture doesn't go low enough. Must have f/1.8.

2. This adorably wintry blazer. In peacock teal. Seriously amazing.

3. Sweaters. Thick, chunky, cuddle up in winter sweaters. Apparently when I buy sweaters, I only buy thin little cardigans. Yeah those don't stand up to Chicago winters.

4. This cute little headband. Handmade by Erin at Love that blog.

5. This lovely striped cardigan. Also handmade, this time by Leanne at

6. I am open to gift cards. I enjoy shopping at the following establishments: DSW, Kohl's, Loft.

7. Extra time with this handsome guy.

Can I make this a weekly thing? Because I'm pretty sure I could find new lovely things every week.

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The first snowfall.

Hi friends. I know you've been on the edge of your seat ever since I revealed the Christmas Dilemma. And I'm quite pleased to announce that said dilemma has been resolved for 2011. The day after I wrote requesting your thoughts, I stumbled upon round-trip non-stop flights for $400 total. Certainly more than I normally would like to spend, but it puts me in Maine just in time for Christmas festivities with my family. So, given the situation, it was just what I was hoping for. Though it breaks my heart to leave Adrian on Christmas Day. One day he won't have to work and we'll be able to travel together and spend more than just Christmas Eve as a normal couple. Until then, we make the best of what we have.

On a side note, Christmas decorations will make their entrance this week. Yes. This week.

Perhaps not the tree. That's just too soon. But lights? Yes, please.

We had our first snowfall today. Big flakes that melted as soon as they landed and lasted no more than fifteen minutes. But those fifteen minutes were magical. Especially because I enjoyed them from the comforts of a window. Encouraged by the first snowfall, Adrian and I have decided to bring out the Christmas decorations and my nephew has been glued to the front window, patiently waiting for more flurries. We even checked the forecast. No more flurries in the next ten days.

There's something so wonderful about the first snowfall. Though outwardly I display a bit more self-restraint than my five year old nephew, inside I'm five and glued to the window, too. So let's bring out the cozy Christmas lights. Light some cinnamon apple candles. Heat up some hot chocolate and wait for that first snowfall.

And when it comes, you can find me snuggled up with a blanket by the front window. Enjoying it with that husband of mine.

Thank you for your thoughts and words on the Christmas dilemma. More insights to come, my friends??

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The annual Christmas Dilemma.

I will assume that since Target is completely decked out for Xmas, it is perfectly acceptable for me to present you with the annual Christmas dilemma, in hopes that you will share your thoughts and aid in the decision-making process. Since we're such good friends and all.

The company that my husband works for, which I will refrain from mentioning by name, has absolutely no soul. Honestly. They claim to be quite Catholic and at the same time operate by the "I will degrade you until I have successfully slaughter every ounce of dignity" business model. Much like the Dementors.

Dementors strive to leave their victims hopeless. You know, like Adrian's bosses do. All Harry Potter references aside, I do believe that his bosses and supervisors do what they can to constantly remind the workers that they are the lowest of the low. Need to leave an hour early? Not unless you're dying. Give you a Sunday off? Of course not! Then you might go to church. Do your work, bare minimum please, and do not speak. We do not want your ideas and we do not care about your humanity. Oh and Quality Control, please don't cause any waves, regardless of how it will improve the quality of the product.

Which all is to say that Adrian works Christmas Day. Which leaves me in a predicament each year. They do, in fact, have Christmas Eve off. And so, last year I decided to spend Christmas Eve with Adrian and his family. Then on the 25th, we woke up super early and headed to the airport where Adrian dropped me off so I could make the earliest flight to Maine and he could go to work. Merry 1st Christmas. My family celebrates with a Christmas Day lunch at around 1pm. So the goal was to make it to the lunch. I figured, even if I was in an airport on Christmas Day, at least I was headed in the direction of family.

The alternative being staying at home in the apartment alone, waiting for Adrian's shift to finish. Which sounds like either a Dementor feeding frenzy or a potential Home Alone situation. Neither of which I care for.

So the dilemma this year? I'm having an incredibly difficult time finding a reasonably-priced flight on Christmas morning that will land me in Maine in time to celebrate with my family. And that will not require someone leaving the festivities to pick me up. The lowest price I can find is a one-way at $375, with one stop. The non-stops? Oh those run around $600, one-way. The more reasonable flights (around $175) land around 5pm. 

So my dear friends, what do I do? Pay the extra to get in on time to celebrate with my family, bypass the Dementors and hope that both flights go smoothly? Or pay a much more manageable amount, but spend most of my day in the airport and miss the big lunch? Or stay in Chicago Christmas Day and wait for Adrian (because he would love to spend Christmas Day with me) and fly out the next day?

What would you do, my friends?

One day I hope to live a much more normal life in which my husband won't face daily Dementor attacks and we will be free to fly home for the Holidays without such dilemmas. Better yet, we'll live at Home and won't have to fly at all. 

One day.

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