Alright, well, after weeks of trying to update this blog, pleading with and then threatening blogspot, praying to the good Lord and wishing on a shooting star, I finally got this to update! Thank you for your patience! It’s going to be a long one, because I’ve got a lot to catch up on.
First and foremost, I hope you all had absolutely amazing holidays, as I definitely did. I hope you all filled yourselves with delicious food, holiday treats and some good ol’ egg nog (none for me, thanks, but my boyfriend definitely had more than enough for both of us!) Thanksgiving was amazing for me, as I was able to spend it with Lucas and his family. Last year, when Lucas and I had just met and were still just friends, he invited me to spend Thanksgiving with him when I had expressed concern over where exactly I was going to be that day (because I wasn’t sure). I finally got to take him up on his offer, and it was incredible. The food was great, his family is so fun to spend time with, and of coursssse, the Cowboys beat the Raiders!! A great day was had by all, I’d say!
Two days after Thanksgiving I was due in Corning to take part in the Festival of Lights parade. It’s annual event that brings out the entire town. THOUSANDS of people line the streets of Corning with their hot cocoa, their scarves and their blankets, and watch the 50+ floats and displays that go by. I was blessed with an Iraq veteran for a driver and his bright yellow Corvette, and my crown was covered with tiny Christmas lights. My crown could have been lined with pure gold, though, and it wouldn’t have mattered much; I heard more of “Hey, awesome car!” than I did “Hey, Miss Finger Lakes!” It was so much fun, though, seeing the looks on the kids’ faces who came out to watch. All of our Colonial Days titleholders were in the parade, as well as our Finger Lakes titleholders, including Miss Finger Lakes’ Outstanding Teen Desiree, who is also Miss New York State Teen-Ager. I tell ya, that girl is going somewhere, fast! It was definitely an amazing Thanksgiving weekend. I got to see my dad, my half-siblings and all of my Finger Lakes family, and I couldn’t have asked for more.
As the semester came to a close, I was very intently focused on getting good grades. A year ago, at the end of my very first fall semester at Syracuse, I got my grades: Four A’s and one A-. I was so upset with myself, because I was .03 away from a perfect GPA, all because I did not do one homework assignment correctly (thank you, laziness) and I ignored the opportunity that the professor had given us to make it up. Well, let me tell you, this lit a fire under my butt quicker than a lighter in the dressing room backstage at Miss New York. The next semester, I got five A’s and that perfect 4.0 GPA that I knew I was capable and deserving of. So, you can only imagine how important it was to me to continue this pattern. I did not want, however, to forget about my duties as Miss Finger Lakes in the meantime. My year is just two months from being over as of December, and I wanted to do as much as possible before giving up my title. As fate would have it, I was contacted by the CMN rep at the Golisano Children’s Hospital here in Syracuse and I was invited to participate in the radiothon they were hosting. It would be held over the course of two days, and I was invited to come and take pledges. During my shift, we even ran a special: for every pledge that Miss Finger Lakes takes, the donor will receive an autographed photo! Over $108,000 was raised during the radiothon, all to the benefit of the new Upstate Cancer Center in the Golisano Children’s Hospital. It was an very successful effort, and I was so honored to be a part of it.
The rest of the month of December has been easy and relaxing. I finished the semester with yet another 4.0, GO ME!, and I have been thoroughly enjoying this past off of work. This year’s Christmas was probably one of my favorites ever. I got to spend a whole day with my dad, which was really nice because I hardly ever get to see him. When I do go home to Rochester to visit, I try to steal him from the nursing home for as long as possible. On Christmas Eve, I went to visit my half-siblings who live near Corning and gave them the best present ever: a puppy! Their parents said I could, so I got them a Blue Heeler puppy who they named, after hours of deliberation, Jake, because apparently they are on “Team Jacob.” There was a huge present-giving celebration between about 20 people, and then we headed down to Yonkers in the middle of the night to spend Christmas was Lucas’ family. It was wonderful, to say the very least. For New Year’s, we reserved a room in the Hotel Edison on 47th St, half a block away from Broadway. It sounds extravagant, I know, but we had to make it special; it was our one-year anniversary! His cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend came out with us, and we had a great time. There were SO many people, it was insane! Thank you and good job to all of the police officers who did their best to maintain order and keep things safe for everyone…. and thank you for blocking off 47th wayyy too early, so that I had to pay $40 for parking instead of the $11 that the hotel would have charged me!! I think the coolest part about the night was that we opened our hotel room window and were able to hear all of the concerts going on outside. Lucas and I shared our anniversary/new year’s kiss at midnight, and if 2010 is anything like 2009, I absolutely cannot wait :).
After about a week and a half in the city, we retreated to our cozy apartment in upstate NY to get a little bit more peace and quiet. Lucas has a big family, you see, and we realized how much we missed the solitude of our own place. With that, we packed up our stuff and headed back up to ‘Cuse to snuggle up in bed and watch the complete series of Everybody Loves Raymond on DVD until the real world comes banging on the door. The semester starts on Tuesday the 19th (the day after my 22nd birthday, which also happens to be Martin Luther King Day! Woo-hoo!!), as does my first day back to work… 7am shifts, I have not missed you. Well, I’m going to get back to relaxing now, but don’t worry, I’ll be back!