Christmastime in Madison, WI

Here are a few pics of our Christmas day. Madison is super quiet with all the students gone, so we took the opportunity to take some pics on State Street. It looks like we have quite a bit of snow, but really it hasn’t snowed more than 1/2 inch for a week or so. It just never gets above freezing, so the snow never melts. Don’t be fooled! ๐Ÿ™‚

State Street

in front of the Capitol

at one of my fav buildings on campus

walking out on frozen Lake Mendota!


and lastly, the ever-adorable Santa Henry


Oh December

Whew,what a crazy month!

I had so much work to do for school, I’m surprised I got any Christmas shopping done. I am proud to say though, that I finished my first semester of grad school! Yay!! Only one semester of classes to go then an internship! I’m thinking about applying for a job next semester in addition to my four classes, which could make my semester super crazy. We’ll see. ๐Ÿ™‚

A lot of our French tutors have returned to France. Sad. We had a bunch of going away gatherings and I think I said goodbye to some of them four times. A couple pics:

we're not ready!

much better

James and I stayed in Madison this year for Christmas. He was only off work Friday-Sunday, and since it takes a full day to drive to KC (and there’s no way we could afford plane tickets) we decided it wasn’t work it. Which ended up being the best because James’s parents got delayed coming back from a vacation on the 25th and didn’t make it home until after midnight.

So we stayed here and had fun, even though we were both a little sad not to be with our families for the second year in a row. A guy James works with gave us his old TV (weee!!), so we spent the last few days watching all of James’s Christmas movies. Christmas day we opened our presents in the morning and skyped with my family (my niece is getting so big!).

We have been wanting to take some winter pics, so we decided Christmas was a good idea since not a lot of people would be out. It wasn’t super cold outside, but after a while my face was definitely numb. James is editing the pictures now, so I’ll be posting some of them later. You’ll also be able to see them on our super cool wedding website.

My fav pics are the ones we took on Lake Mendota, by campus. Yes ON! Its frozen! We walked on the frozen lake for a little bit (not too far b/c I was scared of falling in…which is silly since cars can drive on it), and it was so cool! I was surprised that it wasn’t flat/smooth. Its almost as if the water was really choppy and then frozen suddenly. Posting these pics soon too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then we went out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. At first it was just us and another Chinese couple, but after a few minutes some more people started coming in. I was hoping they would sing Deck the Halls to use like on a Christmas Story, no such luck. Either way, it was a fun Christmas!

Henry enjoying his gift from BFF Kai

"don't come any closer..."

PFMP Thanksgiving

We celebrated Thanksgiving with the other students in my Masters program and our French tutor a few days before actual Thanksgiving. Including a fabulous turkey! James and I brought green bean casserole (my fav!) and a delicious pumpkin cake (recipe provided by James’s mom). We ended up eating a little later than planned–turkeys take forever to cook!–but it was a great evening nonetheless.

Doner Divas Reunion: Mad-City

This past weekend my two BFFs visited Madison! We try to visit each other once a year since we’ve all be moving different places recently (our last reunion was in Boulder, CO). I was so excited when Southwest Airlines had a sale earlier in the summer and they decided to plan a visit! Our social group here really just consists of the people in my grad program, so it was nice to have some friends from home to explore the city with.

The only slight bummer about the weekend was the weather: cold, rainy, cloudy. Ick. But they were troopers and we walked around campus, by the lake, and up State Street to the Capitol. Saturday night we tried to go to James and mine’s latest find, a bar named Genna’s, but it was super packed and there was no place for us to sit, so we went to Brocach, an Irish pub on the square, instead. It was so much fun to catch up on their lives and to be around people who really know you. And of course family-style dinners!

Sunday we went to the art museum on campus (which turned out to be..umm…intersting) and then to a fantastic little cafe called Daisy’s Cafe and Cupcakery. It was SO cute and the food was fantastic! They have all sorts of cupcake flavors and their food is creative as well. I had the chicken and gorgonzola meatloaf and a chocolate cupcake with blueberry icing. YUM! I swear I saw a cupcake with bacon on it though! I’ll be taking my mom here when she visits for sure.

Kim and Abby left super early Monday morning. Sad face. I miss having close friends around. Did I already say that? Our next reunion will be for the wedding in June!

Francophilia Revisited on WPR

The director of my grad program, Ritt Deitz, is going to be on Wisconsin Public Radio! Okay, a little small-time maybe, but he’s pretty much famous. Here are the details:

When: Thursday at 3pm CST

Where: Wisconsin Public Radio (the show is a podcast and webcast)

What: โ€œHere on Earth: Radio without Borders.โ€ What draws Americans to become fluent in French and to things French in general? Once they become fluent and well-traveled, what unexpected new reasons keep them devoted to the language? Why does the non-French-speaking population in the U.S. continue to imagine Francophilia as an elite luxury for wine-sipping painting enthusiasts who only want to watch films in black and white?

I have class all day and night on Thursday (lame!) but I’m definitely going to listen to it online! Hopefully they get some good callers. ๐Ÿ™‚