2009 – Best year ever?

I’m beginning to think that perhaps 2009 has been the best year of my life, so far.  Sure, I had some setbacks and disappointments (Liberia, being broke, health issues), but overall, it’s been amazing.  I just found out that I’ve won the Victoria University PhD Scholarship to study under my mentors Drs. Goman & Dorner!  It’s a bit intimidating to think I’ll be back in school, as a doctoral student, and soon to be DR. Nicole !  But I’m so excited so be spending 3 years in New Zealand working on something I find so interesting, it’s unbelievable!  This scholarship includes tuition and fees, plus $21,000 a year!!!  HOLY SH*T! I’m to start March 1st in Wellington, so I’ll be picking up and heading out of town around the end of February, with a brief stopover in Chicago to see my momma and get some bussiness taken care of…

So, in addition to this wonderful news, as I’m reminiscing upon the last year, all I can feel is happiness and gratefulness for all these blessings I’ve had.  Not only do I have the coolest job in the world, which, sadly, I will be leaving in 2 months, I also have a totally awesome boyfriend, and everyone I know is healthy and happy.  Yes, I’m poor, but I’m happy!

I spent a lot of the past few weeks doing embroidery, and a few other arts & crafts activities.  All of my family got embroidered hankies – they’re better for the environment than using kleenex and softer! I made a few necklaces, using a necklace I bought in Cambodia as a model, and some decorated agendas for 2010 using the inside of envelopes to make a collage.  I felt pretty productive!  I also did quite a bit of baking and cooking… in addition to those recipes I mentioned before, I’ve been pumping out the cookies, apple pie, and cranberry bread.  Christmas I spent at Ticker’s, where we roasted a Chicken, made some totally awesome amazing stuffing, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, and roasted squash. In order to work off all that stuffing, chicken, mashed potatoes, and cookies, we took a long walk up Mont Royal on Christmas day – a snowy hike that burned a few calories.  I’m still feeling bloated – so it’s diet time in 2010, but well worth the indulgences of the holiday season!

So, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!  Good luck for 2010!

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