Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Update: Holiday Party Style

Let me tell you what, if you ever have to uproot your life and start everything brand new 600 miles away from home you should do it during the holidays. There has been so much going on here, and this weekend was PACKED with parties and activities that totally rocked my world. Saturday morning I went to a Christmas Morning Party that was hosted by the chief party girls in the Stanford 2nd Ward. More than 60 people showed up in their PJs, exchanged white elephant gifts, drank hot coco, and ate to their hearts' content.

Next was a Relief Society activity where, among other things, we decorated sugar cookies! I have a lot of love for the Relief Society. It is so good to have a place to go and just hang out with the girls. There are so many incredible, intelligent, and fabulously fun women around here. I have been here just under 2 weeks and I have already been blown away by the kindness of everyone I have met.

Saturday night I went to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. (See photo above) I only found out about the party Saturday morning. As I didn't have an ugly sweater, I decided to wear a fabulous party sweater. I figured I had to make it clear that I wasn't participating so that people wouldn't think my everyday sweater was an ugly one. YIkes. This party was packed with people from all over the Bay Area. I made some fun new friends, among whom were some hilarious guys who came down from the city. We hit up In N Out after the party and I am pretty sure that we will all be best friends forever more. Late night post-party burger runs work wonders for new friendships.

Sunday was church, which kind of counts as a party. We sand Christmas songs and I got to see all of the new friends that I had met the day before at the parties. It totally counts.

After church I drove out to Livermore for a Gingerbread House Decorating party that was put on by Kristin who was my best friend when I lived out here as a kid. It was so fun to see her and to catch up a bit. I am pretty sure we are going to see if we can't have a slumby at her parent's house sometime this week for old time's sake.

After the party I got back in the car and headed back to Palo Alto. It was a long drive, but luckily it was also gorgeous. Livermore is out past rolling green hills and vineyards that were dotted with grazing cattle. On the way out there it was sunny and about 65 degrees. Seriously?! It is December. The weather is one thing that I am certainly not having a hard time getting adjusted to.

The evening ended with a German Advent dinner. We had bratwurst, sauerkraut, cabbage, and lots of other delicious German foods. The German speakers who were in attendance sang a German carol and we lit candles that counted for Advent and Hanukkah. There were gold coins for Hanukkah and we enjoyed throwing them at one another.

By the time the party wound down, I was absolutely exhausted. I felt happy, loved, and included. Things have been a little wild, but it couldn't have come at a better time. This is exactly what I need to be able to connect with people and get a bit of a jump start on my crazy new life out here.

Almost every day, probably especially when I see the temperature and it isn't in the 30s, I think to myself, "Seriously?! I live in California?!", and it freaks me out a little bit every time. I still can't believe that I am doing this. But here I am. And I am jumping right into the deep end, and you know what? The water's fine.

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