Winter cheer & memories

To start out my blog, I wanted to start by talking about my winter break. I flew home to Oregon in mid December after a busy and stressful finals week! I had a lot of hard labor intensive finals and on top of conquering those, I needed to pack up all my apartment items and store them somewhere  while I spend my semester abroad. The hard work payed off and I am really proud of my work this past semester. After all this chaos, I had an amazing time relaxing.  Below are a few highlights of my winter break.

I was the first of my hometown friends to arrive home. On December 16th I celebrated my 20th birthday with my family. We had dinner at Andina and ended the evening with a red velvet Nothing Bundt Cake.

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A week later, Xavier arrived and we celebrated my birthday again (my loved ones spoil me!) by going to Piazza Italia. There, I got to order in Italian and get my first glimpse into what I was walking into later in the season when I started my adventure in Rome! Xavier and I got to finally take some nice pictures (as you can see below).

Additionally, Xavier and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary (we got together on 12.24.2012)! We are both so excited to continue to find joy and adventure together.

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Christmas came around and it was fabulous! The family always starts the day the same. This year, I got up super early to make the family breakfast. It was my first try at cinnamon roll french toast bake! It was voted a 7/10 and for the first try I consider that pretty good! Then we opened gifts around the fire. I loved seeing my family open the gifts I got them! Later in the evening, my father made a fabulous 6 course dinner-which we do every year. Below, I posted one of my favorite dishes that he made: tomato, mozzarella, basil crostini. He also made a mushroom dish that was particularly amazing!

The rest of the break was equally great. After all the holiday festivities, it was nice to finally get to relax and spend time in the outdoors! My family and I enjoyed a couple hikes including the Wildwood trail in Forest Park and some trails in the Columbia River Gorge area!

Thank you to everyone who made my 20th birthday, 20th Christmas, 20th winter, and 20th year amazing! I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude for all the wonderful gifts of love I’ve received in my life.

Baci baci & Ciao mi amici

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