Making a List, Checking It Twice

The last few days have mostly consisted of reading Christmas stories and watching Christmas movies, so nothing too eventful. However, I did get to cross off two items on my 101 in 1001 list!

I can still recall the first time I ever tried peppermint bark, which was at a house I stopped at while caroling with a high school club. The classmates I was with probably wouldn’t even remember that we received some that night, but I was particularly excited because it was the first time I’d ever heard of it. Christmas cookies are great and all, but sometimes the dough is too much. Peppermint bark just skips to the good stuff–plain white chocolate and peppermint. Sensational! Since then, I’ve bought the popular Williams-Sonoma version, which is fantastic, but since I mostly prefer white chocolate, I decided to make it myself.

The recipe, with two ingredients, is obviously simple. All I did was hammer one bag of peppermint candies (the store had run out of candy canes) in a Ziploc bag to yield about one cup of crumbs. Then I melted two bags of Nestle Premier White morsels in a double boiler, poured the melted chocolate onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet, sprinkled the candy crumbs on top, and refrigerated everything for 45 minutes.

IMG_0716It looked pretty and tasted perfect, but I didn’t get to eat much because my mom took almost all of it to church. I’m glad others got to enjoy it, though, and maybe it was the first time for some, and they’ll get to remember the first time they ever had peppermint bark! So with that, I crossed off #37 on my 101 in 1001 list.

Yesterday was my 25th birthday, which Beth keeps saying is a milestone, but it felt like any other birthday to me. However, I started going to a new church with my mom a month ago, and while the church is big, the early morning traditional service is in a small chapel, which contains an organ. I wouldn’t have expected anyone to play it for such a small service, but someone does each Sunday. At yesterday’s service, when it was time to sing a hymn, I didn’t know which one it was beforehand, but the organ started to play the intro, and I almost gasped when I realized it was “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.” I love all Christmas hymns, but “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” is one of my absolute favorites, and it’s especially gorgeous on the organ. This might sound corny, but I knew this song being chosen yesterday was a birthday present from God, and it was, at 9:15 in the morning, the best part of my day.

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Later, my family celebrated at the 1895 Grille, where I had my usual birthday dinner of filet mignon and two desserts, so that was great too!

IMG_4886Mom and Dad! (Beth did not want to be pictured in this post because she wore the same outfit she’d worn on Thanksgiving.)

Do I have a Christmas birthday? Yes. Would I want to change it? No! It’s not a coincidence that I was born on a day during my favorite month, during my favorite season, near my favorite holiday, a day that describes my interests (22 = two-two = tutu), that sometimes falls on winter solstice, in a time during which my favorite music is constantly playing, and people make an extra effort to be kind to one another… And if my birthday must be overshadowed by someone else’s, I’m happy it’s Jesus Christ’s. (And I’m comfortable saying this, even though I’ve received combo birthday-Christmas presents before…)

Today, I decided that my fingernails have finally reached my goal length. I started taking violin lessons when I was three, so I’ve always had short nails. (Violin teachers tend to clip students’ fingernails if they’re too long.) But it was around the fifth grade when it became a habit of mine to pick at them until they were just before (sometimes accidentally past) the point of bleeding. Whenever I wasn’t doing something with my hands (during a lecture, watching a movie, etc.), I would just pick at them. Eventually, the feeling of the edge of my nails touching anything really creeped me out, so then I’d actually need to pick or bite them until they were back to the limit. Anyway, since my fingernails have always looked weird since then, I thought I’d try and grow them out because I’m an “adult” now and should probably have nails that look “normal.” I kept trying, but had to clip them back down again because that feeling of the edge of my nails touching things was seriously freaking me out. Then, I discovered Essie After School Boy Blazer, which I’ve featured in my Friday Fancies, and tried to use that as motivation to quit picking at my nails. It really was the first nail polish I’d bought since the third grade. One time, in the tenth grade, I painted my fingernails purple, but they were so short, they looked like either grape candies or alien heads. So I never painted my fingernails after that. I only used gifted nail polish for my toes, though that could be a separate story altogether (dancer’s feet…). Anyway, my nails grow pretty fast, so (after multiple attempts) it only took a couple of weeks for me to cross off #53 on my 101 in 1001 list.

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Don’t mind the botched paint job. I’m clearly out of practice when it comes to painting nails. (Seriously, can anyone do this in a reasonable amount of time? Or does everyone just go to a salon now?) I do love the Essie color, which is closer to navy in person. But we’ll see how long these longish nails last… The nails touching things still drives me crazy. (Probably a psychological issue?) The nail polish does buffer the “shock” a little, though.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas! I’ll leave you with my favorite Christmas Youtube, featuring the King’s College Choir singing “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.” The little boys are adorable, the sound is amazing, and the actual music is literally breathtaking.

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