Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Berk Family Christmas

 Christmas this year was interesting for my family.

 I stayed down in Columbus later than normal because I was wrapping up my internship at Victoria's Secret. I have had an amazing 9 months with LimitedBrands and the Victoria's Secret Stores as an Intern for the Stores Human Resources department. I have grown personally and professionally with them through the opportunity to work on many different projects and day-to-day HR activities with an amazing group of individuals. I owe a huge thank you to Shannon, my manager and friend. Also the rest of the team that was so inspirational, supportive, and  fun to be around in general! I  hope to be lucky enough to work with them again in the future!

My last days were fun but sad as I knew a chapter of my life was coming to a close. In a way I suppose it is risky to leave such a great company and venture off into the world. But as I see it, while I am in Panama I will continue to gain skills and make myself a better employee for when I return, fingers crossed to LimitedBrands!

During my last couple days in Columbus I completely moved out of my sublet with Bethann. I had an amazing quarter living with her and I am lucky to have such a great friend. I also got to spend some fun evenings with my boyfriend and his friends enjoying the holiday season and being among fun people.

Christmas Eve-Day I drove back home with my car piled high with all my belongings. I arrived home in the afternoon for a relaxing rest of the day with my dad. We agreed that Christmas and opening presents would not feel right without mom so we decided to postpone that until she could be with us. We spent X-mas eve having a delictable dinner of shrimp linguine together. He's such a good cook!

Later we headed over to the Rini's for the annual Christmas Eve party. Being there was the perfect opportunity to catch up with old but great sailing friends and find out what everyone is up to. The fun-fact from the night is that Colleen and Mike Rini are now expecting their 6th child! A little crazy but a beautiful blessing as they already have 5 wonderful children. I believe they are single-handedly repopulating Vermilion. Instead of sail camp fundraisers we'll be having "Put a Rini through College" funds.

Christmas was very leisurely. We slept in and headed over to my Grandma Berk's. She hasn't been doing well lately so one of the best presents was that she was out of bed and in her favorite chair. Plus, there was a bit of a full house with visitors whom I don't get the opportunity to see much. It was great spending time with my uncle Jim, aunt Betsy, her boyfriend -and the added surprise- Betsy's boys stopped by who I haven't seen in over a year! Whats even better than that is Jim fried up some Lake Erie Perch for a mid-day snack in good ol' Berk fashion. Yum!

We stopped by another family friend's to visit before picking up my uncle Doug who is recently a grandpa. His daughter Tara hand the first Great-Grandbaby on my mom's side. I hope to get to see him soon! The second surprise of the day happened when we got to Medina with the rest of the Ryals family. My cousin Laura got engaged on Christmas Eve to her boyfriend Dustin. I am so happy for them as they both deserve the best. So much excitement on that side of the family!

The 26th was relaxed as my dad and I prepared for mom's arrival. We decided to head toward the airport to find me my promised Christmas gift (a nice digital camera) and to pick up mom once she landed.

The 27th was our family Christmas since we finally had the 3 of us all together. We slept in then opened presents together. The rest of the day was spent preparing for the friends and family we were having over that evening. Plus, my boyfriend made the trek up North to join us for a few days and I am oh-so-glad he did. He made it that much more fun and everyone really enjoys having him around, me most of all. I do have to mention that I beat him in ping-pong even though we are closely matched. For the few days he was up, I was victorious (haha, have to make sure you're reading : )  The evening with friends was wonderful and it ended with card games and some snowflake jello shots in good fashion.

All-in-all, although it was a strange Christmas for us with many novelties, I am so thankful we got to spend that day together and with close friends and family. It was pretty much the perfect day. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

panoramic of our belated Christmas gathering

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