11.21.2010

It's All About the Balancing Act

My life is one big balancing act. I am constantly juggling my work life, home life, family life, friend life, and love life. Fitting everything in is a challenge for me, and at times I let me work life take over and the other areas are pushed aside. But sometimes, I magically strike that balance and I am able to fit my work, friends, love, and home lives all into one weekend. And that magic happened this weekend my friends.

Saturday morning I slowly woke up with an oversized mug of coffee, Guster blasting through my living room, and holiday cards, stamps, and stickers spread across my coffee table. I picked up all those little things around my apartment that collected over the week, and finally opened and recycled the credit card offers and catalogs stacked by my front door. And, after an incredibly long week at work, I finally made it to the gym. I met Brian and we worked our together for a little over an hour. As hard as it was to get myself back there, it felt so good to move around and get those healthy exercise endorphins flowing again. After our workout, I stocked up on groceries for the upcoming week and headed back to my apartment to clean and get ready.

At 3 o'clock, I had a baking play date with two boys from my school. As mentioned in an earlier post, last week our school had our Fall Fling fundraiser. At the event, names were drawn for the staffle raffle play dates. Luke, a kindergartener, won my afternoon of baking and board games. I had said that the winner got to choose one buddy to bring along, and Luke decided to bring his brother Nicholas, a second grader from my class. I was so excited to have them over, and was also happy to be a babysitter for the parents for a few hours so they could enjoy the afternoon together. The boys arrived right on time. They were a little nervous and shy as they stepped into my apartment, but quickly made themselves at home as they unpacked my board games and started setting up Monopoly. After setting up our first game, we washed hands and worked together to make our Snickerdoodle dough. They were both so excited to get to measure and pour the ingredients, crack the eggs (which they both did beautifully!), and read the steps in the recipe.
After the dough was made, it went into the fridge to chill and we went back into the living room to start playing Monopoly. I was hesitant to let them play the game, since it can be hours long and a little challenging for adults at times, but we gave it a try for a little while. Nicholas had fun stocking up on properties and solving the math problems that came up with each purchase, and he helped his brother add up his rolls and manage his money. But, as predicted, after about twenty minutes of playing, we opted to clean up and get out Candy Land instead.
After several minutes of moving our little gingerbread men pass Peppermint Forest and over the Gumdrop Mountains, it was time to roll out our first tray of cookies. I purposely picked Snickerdoodles because I thought it would be fun for the boys to roll each cookie into a ball and then cover it in cinnamon sugar, and it was a good call! We made two sheets of cookies that we later snacked on and that they got to take home.
We finished the play date with more Candy Land and Uno. It was just such a fun afternoon! I was so happy to host the play date, especially because the staffle raffle was able to raise so much money for our school. I kept thinking about how both Nicholas and Luke felt about being in their teacher's apartment. I know I would have been so excited if I got to hang out with Ms. Locher in second grade at her house baking cookies, and hopefully they felt the same way!

Sometimes, the pictures snapped before the
posed one are the best! 
My work life continued into Saturday evening with a second grade cocktail party at one of our family's brownstones in Park Slope, Brooklyn. They kindly extended the invitation to the second grade teachers, and Rose, Brianne, and I were able to attend. Brian also came with; it was really nice to be able to introduce him to the families and catch up over snacks and drinks. It felt nice to be in such a casual setting with the parents talking about our lives outside of school.

After the party, Brian and I walked down to 5th Avenue to find a restaurant for a late dinner. After browsing several menus without anything jumping our at us, we found a Mexican place that looked good. We enjoyed our usual favorites- wings, a chicken chimichanga, a taco, and churros with vanilla ice cream for dessert. When we left the restaurant a little after midnight to walk to the subway for our long commute back to our borough, we realized that the temperature had dropped a lot and that it was unbearably cold for our leather jackets. After debating for a few minutes on a windy street corner, we decided to splurge on a $35 dollar cab ride back to Queens instead of the hour-long train ride. As we sat in the cab with the heat cranking, we were very pleased with our decision.

My Sunday morning was all about my home life. I woke up before eight, and preceded to stay in my pajamas until after two. I caught up on a week's worth of shows on my DVR, continued to read that damn September In Style with far too many pages in it for one magazine, and baked the rest of my Snickerdoodles from the day before. I finally motivated myself for a shower and blow dry before meeting Meghan at Starbucks for a coffee date. I stopped on the walk over and got us some cheese bread from the Colombian bakery to snack on as we caught up over peppermint mochas and gingerbread lattes. I am so thankful that with all of my close friends regardless of how long it has been since we have seen each other, we can pick up right where we left off and talk for hours.
As we were leaving Starbucks, I bought my first bag of Christmas Blend coffee. This is incredibly exciting because 1. It is always so good, and only comes out once a year (obviously) and 2. If Christmas Blend is out, then the holidays really are here!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and found some balance, because boy it sure did feel great. Happy Thanksgiving week!

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