I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! My holidays this year were some of the best in recent memory. In Baghdad, no less!! While I was unable to make it back to the U.S. to see family this year, I ended up having so many laughs over the past week that I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I am so fortunate to have such awesome people in my life. Between game nights, dinners, karaoke, movies, and calls from my family, it was FABULOUS.
We (boyfriend and I) made sushi and egg drop soup for Christmas Eve dinner – I had brought back some cold smoked salmon with me from Greece to use in the sushi – and it was delicious! I made my first attempt at a rainbow roll – it was so pretty I had to take a picture.
We ate, then my mom called, wondering if we had opened presents yet. I had received one, but it didn’t end up being the one from her. I had her on speakerphone, and so the boyfriend and mom got to say hello to each other. We opened presents, then friends came over and we played games – and talked to my family some more while we were playing (EVERYONE got to say hello and LOVE YOU MOM) – it was a perfect night. Christmas Day we watched one of my all time favorite non-traditional Christmas movies – The Ref. It was his first time seeing in and he was not disappointed. We made it out of the apartment and to the DFAC for Christmas dinner. It was a wonderful way to spend the holidays – with the one I love.
Happy New Year! I’ll be celebrating it in style over here in Baghdad. The days leading up to the holidays were a little hard, I admit – I was getting the ‘I don’t want to be here’ blues. Once I stopped moping and started getting back into the swing of things, my outlook improved. My Christmas celebrating started with a holiday movie and some cocoa on December 22. The movie was an old classic, “A Christmas in Connecticut.” It was very funny and is destined to become one of my traditional movies to watch around the holidays. The 23rd was more celebrating – a holiday party at the Marine residence. I chatted with old friends and made some new ones, including a woman from Minneapolis and a man from Kenya. (The title of this post is in Swahili – 🙂 my Kenyan friend, Alex, is teaching me a few words.) It was a wonderful night of talking, dancing, singing and fun.
Christmas eve was another party – more dancing, more talking, more fun. Once you meet someone, you end up seeing them again and again, and so I did with my two new friends that evening. By Christmas day I was a little tired, but had another party to attend – for which I made some melon sorbet. I’m getting creative with DFAC ingredients – figuring out what I can make with what I can find there, along with my limited selections at the commissary. I talked to friends and family, and sent out some Merry Christmas texts, then curled up in bed to watch some television. All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. 🙂 Well, besides the fact that we haven’t received any mail lately – which means Christmas will come a little late this year for us; presents are out there, we are just waiting for them!
The rest of the week looks to be busy as well – I’m bartending two nights this weekend, including New Year’s Eve! Here’s hoping all your holidays were happy and I hope you all have a wonderful new year!!