Family, Food and … Shopping?

Well, we’re in the home stretch! T-minus one week (and a day or two, depending on finals schedules) until we will be headed home for three relaxing weeks with no homework, no deadlines, no meetings or projects or anything! I cannot express how excited I am for that, or how much I need it. However, getting away from campus last weekend and celebrating the Thanksgiving (and Hanukkah!) holidays with family and friends was so great. My break was anything but relaxing, though. It was busy, busy, busy!

Wednesday afternoon I left campus around 2 p.m. It took me until 6 p.m. to get home… when it should only take 2.5 hours. Traffic was terrible! I sat almost completely still on I-96 West near Okemos for over an hour. It was a nightmare. When I did finally get home, I was only awake a few short hours before heading to bed, because I knew all Thursday/Friday had in store.

A snowy and beautiful Detroit

A snowy and beautiful Detroit on Thanksgiving morning.

Thursday morning, my sister, my boyfriend and I headed down to downtown Detroit for the Turkey Trot 5k and the Thanksgiving parade. While I personally did not run the 5k, I operated my personal shuttle service from my aunt’s house in Midtown down to the start of the race (my aunt, uncle, sister and Nick all ran it… someone had to get them down there!). Then I spent the time during the race and parade with some of my cousins, watching the parade on TV and staying nice and warm inside.

After the race was complete, and the runners thawed out, we headed back down to my house to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. I got through about an hour of cleaning and cooking before completely crashing for a two hour nap. Around 4 p.m. my family began arriving and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and some quality family time together. Once the house began emptying out, we (my sister, Nick and I) decided we should go Black Friday shopping. I refuse to go to the sales that begin at 5 or 6 p.m. because I think everyone should be able to spend Thanksgiving (especially dinner time) with their families. However, once midnight rolls around, I am already ready to hit the stores for all the sales.

We arrived at Target and began filling a basket with tons of good deals. When we eventually made it to the back of the store, we saw a line like no line I have ever seen before! It wrapped up and down about 40-50 aisles of the store and was full of carts with TVs, iPads, phones, camera, video game systems and all sorts of other Christmas gifts that are going to make some people very happy. However, that line did not make us happy, so we decided to put our items back and head off to some other stores. We encountered the same problem at Kohl’s, but did manage to snatch up some deals at FiveBelow and Meijer.

Nick and I with the Christmas tree!

Nick and I decorating the Christmas tree!

I didn’t get any deals pre-bedtime on Thursday/Friday but as soon as we woke up Friday morning, Nick and I headed out for Round 2. I found lots of great deals! I found a deep fryer (don’t laugh… imagine all the things you can make with one!) for $10 at Macy’s, along with several other Christmas presents which I cannot mention here. I found a $45 pair of boots for $20 at Target, along with some $4 movies. Later on that night I got a sewing machine for $45, which I am super excited to learn how to use over Christmas break.

The next day the shopping continued. Old Navy had the entire store 40% off, and I got pants, a sweater, a scarf and some shirts for less than $30. Then I went to JoAnns, where I got a sewing machine tote bag (the kind on wheels!) that was originally $90 for just $15! I’m always looking for deals and love it when I find good sales. Saturday night we put up all the Christmas decorations in the house and got everything looking very cheerful and ready for the holidays.

I spent Sunday recuperating from all of the festivities of the rest of the break and packing to head back to school. The drive back took longer than it should’ve but it was better than Wednesday’s drive home so I can’t complain too much.

Since returning to campus, I have been running around trying to accomplish all of the things I have left for the rest of the semester. I am so close, yet so far from being done. I’ve completely finished two of my classes for the semester, and will finish another tomorrow. The other three, I am onto the final assignment for them, which for all three, happen to be large papers (12+ pages for each one!). So while it is nice to be winding down, I’ve got about 30 more pages of writing to do. I’ve got “to-do” lists written on every inch of my room, and calendars with all the things I need to accomplish by the end of the semester. I have no actual finals, like test or anything, so next week I will have plenty of time to finish my final papers.

Our new house, all decorated for Christmas!

Our new house, all decorated and ready for Christmas!

When 5 p.m. rolls around Friday, I will be so relieved. I am so looking forward to returning home, spending more time with family, enjoying Christmas in our new house, and not having to worry about the day-to-day responsibilities and tasks that come with being at school. Don’t get me wrong, I love being here and love all of the things that I do, but also I love getting a break from it all, too.

One more week. We can do it!

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