Home for the Holidays

There really is nothing like coming home. Especially to a home that you’ve known for years. In my case, it’s been my home for the past 15. Through changing apartments in the city, moving to San Francisco and back, going to college, and much more, this home has served as a blanket of comfort to me, without which I would have been lost.

Now, I know they say that home is where the heart is. In my case, that’s my family. But I’m only 19, and I can firmly agree that there’s something irreplaceable about a childhood home. It’s where I learned to tie my shoes; where there’s a tree in the front yard with initials carved into its thickest branch; where I used to “surf” on the wooden plank that lines the banister on the staircase; numerous Christmases; most of my birthdays (since I was a July baby). This house holds many memories. And come September, it will be hard to see them go. I’m going to France for the semester to study and live with my sister, for which I couldn’t be more excited. But there is part of me that wishes I could stay here forever and cherish the last bit of time I have left.

That’s the thing about homes though. Another place can be filled with the same people, the same Christmas decorations, the same delicious scents of cinnamon and sounds of crickets in the summer and carols in the winter. So as a way to attempt a first good-bye, my sister and I have been making cocoa non-stop over the holiday. It brings us back to the past 15 winters: irreplaceable, cherished, never forgotten.

Homemade Hot Chocolate via Joy of Love.Bake.Enjoy

(My take on the recipe: I didn’t use any hot water, and I finished with a dollop of whipped cream and cinnamon.

PS Cocoa and Charade go great together. Audrey’s wardrobe is amazing.

Hot Cocoa mix mixing stovetop christmas spode

dollop    Cocoa and Charade

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Gone, Gone, Gone

First things first, I want to mention that the title of this post is not only because of this post’s subject, but also because I’ve had Phillip Phillips’ new album playing on repeat since Thanksgiving, and I have no intention of taking it off any time soon. He’s perfect.

K, done obsessing. Moving on.

It’s that time of year. Finals have started, Christmas lights are up, got my visa. I’m about to start a semester in one of my favorite cities: Paris. Not only will I be joining my sister and seeing the beauty of the city through her eyes, but I will also be one step closer to becoming fluent in French.

Emy and me

But with every beginning comes an ending. It’s bittersweet. I’m looking forward to having one of the most amazing experiences of my life. But what I’m leaving behind makes my heart ache just a little bit.

Christmas

Elon’s grown on me. It’s not fast-paced like my home city. People are kinder. People are patient. I’ve made lifetime friends. I’m my truest, fullest, most independent self. All of these aspects and more add to the difficulty of tearing myself away from here.

The gang             MK and Me

The best way I know how to show my love is through food. My mom has been doing it my entire life, and I think that it’s the best way of showing someone you really care. It’s homemade, thought out, and from the heart. What more should a gift be? So, for my amazing, loving, fun, and supportive roommates, I whipped up a Friday-night dinner just to show them how much I love them. We’re all having a hard time adjusting to the idea that I’ll be gone. One of them and I joke about the fact that I’m just going to be gone to the grocery store getting some milk. But we know that in about a week and a half, I’ll be headed to New York and then France.

So this one’s for Elon and my great friends there. I’ll be seeing you.

Recipe for pesto by Pioneer Woman via Kevin & Amanda
Recipe for bruschetta via Simply Recipes

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