10. Grad school application done and submitted
Cross your fingers for me!
9. Time to relax and watch lots of movies and TV episodes
(The Tale of Despereaux, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, The Best of Will Ferrell highlights, Sleepless in Seattle, Jeeves & Wooster, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, several intermittent moments of Veronica Mars, The IT Crowd, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Bleak House, Young Frankenstein, Charlie and Lola, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Wall-E, Tinker Bell... holy moly.)
8. Visiting the St. Louis Zoo and Art Museum
At these lovely, free facilities, I met a rabid camel, the giraffes, the Cougars and of course the local haunt of the museum, Bob.
7. Running the local New Year's Day 5K with Julie, Marci and Tyler
It was great to run this short race with them, after spending a couple days at the local gym. I even scored a new personal best-- 24:23!
6. "Drulie" officially coined and sanctioned
I had thought of this before, but her dad declared it official on Wednesday morning. I hadn't even made the connection with "drool", and I still don't think of it that way, especially when I see it written out. One variation is "Drewlie."
5. Golfing with the guyz
At first I was a little nervous to do the visiting-boyfriend-spending-male-bonding-time-with-the-dad-and-brother thing, but it turns out our golfing skills were fairly comparable, the weather was great, and we had a lot of fun.
4. Imo's Pizza and "A Slice of Pie"
First, Imo's is the best local pizza joint, and we had four variations on the St. Louis-style thin crust, and the best of all was the Alfredo Barbecue Chicken (pictured below). Then, as for A Slice of Pie... Seriously... the best pie I've ever had. Despite the surly, emo nature of the hired help, we were able to take two visits to this deliciously artery-clogging hole-in-the-wall pie diner next to the laundromat. Peanut Butter Lust is aptly-named, believe me.
3. Hanging out with these cute kids:
Lily, Marissa and William!
It took a while for Marissa, but they all eventually warmed to me fairly well. What a great group of young people!
... and getting to know this great family:
They made me feel welcome and right at home for my long visit. Thanks again for everything, Christensens! I hope I didn't make too much a nuisance of myself, and I wish I could have done more to contribute to the festivities. I had a really great time staying with you and getting to know everyone!
2. Random moments with Ntsuj Hli
Getting her to say my Hmong name at last, making family dinner together, jumping on the trampoline, playing a couple games of LotR chess, swapping Christmas presents, staying up too late, dethroning her in a game of Harry Potter trivia which led to our first "fight", dominating everyone else as a team in a game of Disney SceneIt, one of our first actual, official "dates" to the movie, thinking of what "our" song is, reading The Tales of Beedle the Bard aloud...
And, Number 1...
So... how long again until March?...