anticipation and remembering

When I was in college, I lived in an apartment with three of my best friends. Every year, we threw a big holiday party the weekend before winter break. Our anticipation was born right after Thanksgiving. We spent hours planning the party: sending out invitations, shopping for refreshments, deciding on party favors and music. We cut out paper snowflakes and hung them from our ceiling; we strung up twinkle-lights; one year we even managed to get a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree on super discount at a tree lot, and we decorated it until it was more tinsel than tree. I would be so excited for our party that time seemed to drag on as I tracked its glacier-slow approach on my calendar.

And then, suddenly, it was the day of the party. There was always a flurry of last-minute preparations: baking cookies, making peppermint hot chocolate, wrapping presents. Every year, the party itself passed in a blur of friends and laughter, dancing and singing, photos and hugs. Within three or four hours—the blink of an eye, it seemed—our party was over. We’d wave goodbye as our last guests headed out the door, and then my three best friends and I would be left standing in our empty apartment with a mess to clean up.

It’s hard not to feel a little sad in those moments, when all the anticipation is over, and life resumes to normal. It can feel like the magic is gone. But, looking back, my favorite memories from those holiday parties are not the parties themselves, or even all the anticipation and preparation. The memories I cherish the most are from the mornings after the parties, when my roommates and I would eat scrambled eggs—ignoring the dirty dishes and overflowing trash can for a little while longer—and talk all about the amazingly fun event we had just hosted.

Because, yes, there is joy in the anticipation. There is joy in the savoring. But there is also joy in the telling, the retelling, and the remembering.

“The world is shaped by two things: stories told and the memories they leave behind.” — Vera Nazarian

fabulous friday #2

Happy Friday, friends! And happy November! How was your Halloween? I had soooo much fun handing out candy to a ton of adorable trick-or-treaters. Lots of princesses, superheroes, and some amazing homemade costumes including a Medusa with hand-sewn snake hair! I hope your night was spooktastic and filled with more treats than tricks. 🙂

Here are five things I’m loving today:

1. Thanks to Robyn’s blog The Real-Life RD, I discovered this natural nutrition boost Vega One to add to my morning smoothies, and I’m loving it! I got the French Vanilla flavor and it’s very sweet, so I normally add just a quarter scoop to my morning smoothie. But it leaves me feeling satisfied for longer, and I love getting all kinds of plant-based nutrients and vitamins in my body first thing in the morning. It’s great way to wake up!

vega one

2. Two nights ago, I got to see the terrific writer Tom Barbash give a reading at San Jose State … I’ve been a fan of his work for a while, and I’m even more so now because he is such a warm, engaging and humble person. I am simultaneously devouring and savoring his new short story collection, Stay Up With Me. I’d highly recommend it!

3. Does anybody else watch the TV show Nashville? I got pulled into an episode the other night when I was drowsily getting ready for bed, and I’m now hooked! I guess I should have known this would be a show for me: after all, I love Nashville since it makes me think of Holly, I love country music, I love Connie Britton {Friday Night Lights!!} and I love romantic drama storylines, which the show has plenty of! Now I just need to get caught up on last season…

4. This evening I’m excited to hang out with a group of USC alumni to watch our Trojans play Oregon State … I’m all ready to cheer them on!

usc gear

5. I get to see my friend Dana on Sunday! We haven’t seen each other in a few weeks and I’m so looking forward to catching up. She always puts a smile on my face. Plus, I get to meet her sweet dog Heidi, which I am looking forward to!

Questions for the morning:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?