I know it’s not as cold here in Tennessee as it is in, say, Minnesota, but I have to say- IT’S SO COLD!! It was about 18 degrees or so this morning when we got up and now it’s about 8 degrees. We have the heaters on and a fire going in the fireplace, and I still have a chill! There’s no mistaking that winter is here! It’s nice, though. I like cold winters. Now if we just had a decent snow, it would be perfect!

My awesome brother came up to see me this weekend. We had so much fun! (Of course, when do we not? Ha ha!) We gorged on a ton of sushi for lunch. It’s funny because we both like really spicy food, so we ordered the spiciest sushi on the menu. Nothing! It wasn’t even close to spicy for us! Of course, this is coming from someone who orders her food extra spicy- meaning pile on the hot peppers! So after that, we went ice skating in Knoxville. I hadn’t been ice skating since I was somewhere around the age of 6 years old… so about 25ish years. It was hilarious because when I first got out on the ice, the best I could do was hold onto the rail for dear life as my legs scissored and I didn’t go anywhere. After a while though, I started getting the hang of it, so by the time we left, I got to the point to where I was skating more towards the middle of the rink, away from the rail! And get this- I only fell once. Not too shabby, huh? The funny thing was once I fell, I couldn’t get back up!  My skates kept sliding out from under me, so I had to wait for my brother to make it back around so he could help me up. It was awesome! He, of course, was a great skater-  mostly, he said, because he used to rollerblade a lot when he was younger. So he pretty much taught me how to skate.

One of the biggest tips I can give anyone trying to ice skate is to make sure you get your laces as TIGHT as you can. You need that ankle support to keep your ankles from turning in. In fact, I got my first pair of skates so tight that the laces snapped in half. Then I had my brother lace up the second pair as tight as he could, and from then on out, I was great.

The only irritating thing was the tweens/teens who would congregate in groups on the ice along the rail. When I was first trying to figure out how to skate, I had to stop multiple times because they were apparently so self-absorbed that they were completely oblivious that they were causing a traffic jam. Small kids and adults alike had to stop and wait on those fools. I finally got to the point to where I just barged right through the groups. I got a few dirty looks, but hey, not my problem!

So after a couple hours of cold hands, sweat, and sore ankles from the tight skates, we decided to head out. We headed over to the mall because he wanted to get the boys some gifts. We sat in those massage chairs and laughed at ourselves for hanging out at the mall. And then? For dinner, we ate at the Cheesecake Factory. If you’ve never eaten at one, GO! And get a slice of cheesecake while you’re at it- it’s heaven on a plate. Seriously! It was fabulous! Our server was lousy, but we just focused instead of how much fun we were having.

I’m always so sad when our days together are over and he has to head back home. I only get to see him a few times a year, so we really make sure to make the time count. We’re loud and obnoxiously immature when we get together, but it’s our stress release. And besides, I have to admit, it’s pretty funny watching other people’s reactions. Hey, you only live once, and it keeps us young! And who cares what other people think anyway!

I’m working on a Christmas post to put on here at some point. I’m almost done writing it, now I just need to put the pictures up. I miss having a smartphone! It really makes writing posts and uploading pictures so much easier! Hope everyone had a merry Christmas and happy New Year; we sure did! Stay warm out there, everybody!

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