It's been a very busy December as I've wrapped things up in the US and prepared for my move to Germany. Also, it's been a very fun December with lots of parties and well wishes.
Some folks don't want a fuss made over them and would decline having a going away party. I love festivities and enjoy the company of people who are important to me, so I didn't shy away from the parties. I hope that people don't think I'm an attention hog but it's great to celebrate and enjoy positivity; we don't do that nearly often enough in life!
At our work holiday party, my boss gave a very nice farewell speech. I was surprised because I was just planning for a holiday party (heck, I helped PLAN the holiday party itself!). I teased her as she began the speech and told her I hoped it wouldn't be a roast because I didn't bring a spit. It was such a nice speech and she said many kind things. I'm glad that I avoided crying, but just barely. It has been enjoyable working with her and we've had a great partnership at work.
My coworkers at the office threw a really fun potluck lunch for me. Many people find it funny (for some reason - I don't get it!) that I am usually vegan, sometimes vegetarian, and even more seldomly, horrible, and I will eat bacon, which is probably one of the most unhealthful meats out there. The coworkers are no exception and threw me a bacon-centric party. There was delicious homemade BLT pizza, 5 cheese macaroni and cheese with bacon, hummus and vegetables (another favorite!), salad, and of course, a basket o' bacon to add to any of the dishes. The basket o' bacon was from my coworker's husband, which was very sweet of him. There was even a cookie bar dessert. I half expected to see some bacon on it, but the cook did exercise some restraint on that one :) To top it off, we had diet A&W root beer, which is my favorite.
I even was presented by a prestigious award! I was presented with the Golden Star Award for Knowing Things as well as a gold star pin to proudly wear. I laughed so hard. It's a long story, but basically, folks I work with think that I "know things" and often ask me questions about strange topics. Why they think I'd know the answer is beyond me, but it's funny. It was awesome that they put a lot of work and thought into the party and we had a good time with a lot of laughter. It definitely made me feel special.
On my last day of work, my coworkers also brought some root beer floats for us to enjoy. How sweet!
To round out the celebrations, I booked a dinner at the local Mexican restaurant in town. Some of my local friends had wanted to get together so I thought it would be a good way to do so. I called the party "The Last Hurrah...and Some Nachos." About 18 people came out, including coworkers, local friends, my cousins (how sweet - they drove 1.5 hours each way!), a family friend whom I call my "non-blood sister" and her family, as well as my parents and brother. They even brought Arnie's cake from my hometown! We had a lot of laughs and well wishes and guests ate many nachos. It was fantastic!
After the party, my mom commented that she couldn't believe how many animal lovers were there. In fact, everyone had at least one pet and many guests had multiple pets, including horses, dogs, cats, etc. I come from a family of animal lovers and find that I have the most in common with other people who love animals, too -- especially horses. There's something very positive that can be said for people who have compassion for animals.
Following all that partying, I am definitely pounds heavier from bacon, nachos, and root beer floats, but I'm also so happy to have spent time with people I care about. They were so kind to send me off the way they did. I'll definitely miss them!