If you can’t tell, I’m a bit homesick on this first day back in the big city.
Truthfully, my emotions are a bit jumbled right now. I hate to compare my feelings to a woman in a cheesy romantic comedy, but I feel very much like Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama after she spends a significant amount of time in her hometown (except I don’t have the luxury of choosing between love with Patrick Dempsey or Josh Lucas- why isn’t my life a movie?).
This feels nice...
Sometimes, spending a lot of time at home can remind you a lot about who you used to be and make you question where you belong. Reese said it best to Jake while standing outside of the honky tonk dance festival talking to their old dog’s grave (does it get any cornier than this?), “I’m happy in New York…but then I come down here and this fits too.” I feel you, Reese, I really do – so profound.
But this feels good too...
But, let’s move on from the homesick, cheesy portion of this post. I have a lot of fun adventures from Nebraska to recap this week, so I’ll start with the big one: my high school reunion.
So Much Better than Romy and Michelle’s
After a week of hanging out with old friends , r eminiscing about old times and taking in all of the sights and sounds of Omaha , I was ready to keep the nostalgia momentum with my high school reunion. I discussed some of my insecurities about the whole reunion thing on my guest post at I’m an Okie , but by the time Saturday rolled around, I was just plain excited to see people I hadn’t seen in years. As I stated in the post, I’m very comfortable with where I am in my life right now, and at the same time, I feel no need to put up a facade about where I hope to be in a few years. I’m all about keepin’ it real .
Jamie A. (I decided I need to start putting the A at the end so you all don’t think I’m talking about myself in third person…which I do sometimes) was in charge of planning the reunion, with some assistance from me and Becca on the decorations front, so I went early with her to ensure that everything was set up and ready to go when the doors officially opened at 7:00.
On the way inside - balloons are such a hassle
Discussing the decorating scheme
On a sidenote, this poor girl was extremely worried about what looked to be a very small attendance rate. According to Facebook, 55 out of a class of over 400 were attending. And the list of paid attendees was even weaker – 45 total, including guests. This little reunion was looking weaker than Romy and Michelle’s high school reunion. Take a look at the invitation…3 guesses as to who made it.
Needless to say, Jamie A. told me she had a couple of actual nightmares about no one showing up and the party being extremely lame. Because of these fears, she incessantly stalked people on Facebook, via email and even in person to ensure they were coming. She tried telling everyone the reunion would be the “party of the decade,” but I’m not sure that anyone believed her. I joked that she reminded me of Melissa Joan Heart’s character in Can’t Hardly Wait who runs around the party forcing everyone to sign her yearbook.
These are memories frozen in time, people!
Luckily, Jamie had nothing to worry about, as the Burke High School class of 2001 10 Year Reunion was a smashing success.
The decorations turned out perfectly.
Good thing I "helped" so much the other night
We made enough money to purchase another keg of beer (more booze = more happy people).
Rollin' in the dough
The Cookie Cake was a hit.
Thanks Sometimes Healthy Mom
The room was full of enthusiastic people, eager to connect after 10 years.
Working the super busy attendance table
There were lots of shots.
Partying like it's 2001
And even more shots.
Jamie A. bought the entire class a shot with the leftover money!
And even more smiles and laughter.
With the besties
There was even a crew of us “old-timers” out on the town for the “after party.”
Party still going strong, photos blurry - definitely an indication of a good time!
And when it was all said and done, I ended the night with the woman who made it all happen.
On our way home after a fun evening
As I looked around the room, I don’t think there was a single person that wasn’t having a good time. In the end, there were about 120 people that showed up and the best part was that it was clear everyone there wanted to be there. I had such a great time reconnecting with people I hadn’t talked to since high school and learning the paths their lives had taken them on.
I was humbled by a couple of people who told me how proud they were to see me pursuing my dreams in New York City. I think I sometimes forget that, although I may not live the most glamorous life here in the Big Apple, I’m still here dreaming big and doing what I always wanted to do. Talking to some old friends from high school reminded me of that.
But I think my favorite interaction of the night was the guy who greeted me by saying, “This girl is the ONLY reason I passed French class in high school!” Oh, memories…
A Reunion Success, a Breakfast Failure
I slept over at Jamie A.’s apartment because it was closer to the reunion spot than my parents’ house and, since I knew I’d be going back to NY the next day, I wanted the chance to get in a few more bonding hours with one of my best friends.
Per usual, I was unable to sleep in past 7:30, so I decided to go on a little car ride to purchase a Gatorade and some Excedrin (definitely could have had a few less drinks…). Somehow, my car sort of steered me in the direction of Walmart, so I could purchase some ingredients to make Jamie breakfast. As you’ll recall, Walmart is a pleasure that I don’t get to enjoy in New York, so I guess I wanted to soak it up one more time before leaving the Big O.
Good morning, Walmart!
It’s normal to take pictures of yourself at Walmart at 8 am on Sunday morning, right?
I bought ingredients to make both omelets and oatmeal pancakes and was shocked at how little it cost. Yet another reason I shall miss Omaha.
So affordable...this would be 60 bucks in NYC
As I was leaving Walmart, a woman shouted after me to have a great day. For some reason, the genuineness with which she said it caused a sharp pang of sadness, and I nearly started crying in the Walmart parking lot. It’s not that New York is the devoid of friendly people, but it’s just nowhere near the level of Nebraska. Clearly, this Sometimes Healthy Girl was getting a bit emotional to leave her hometown in a few hours.
When I got back, I was disappointed to see that Jamie had woken up. She’s skeptical about my healthified cooking as it is, and I knew watching me clumsily maneuver my way around her kitchen and spill batter all over the place would likely increase the skepticism.
Nevertheless, I ignored her concerns and moved forward to make Jamie A. her first ever Oatmeal Pancakes, using a recipe from Kath Eats .
You're going to LOVE it, Jamie A.
I was DETERMINED to show her just how wrong she is about my healthified cooking skills. I altered the recipe slightly, so that I could make more pancakes (of course, Jamie A. would ask for seconds and thirds). I didn’t exactly measure the changes, but figured it was close enough….perhaps this is where I went wrong.
A sprinkle of this, a smudgen of that....looks about right. (note: the cheese is for the omelet, not the pancakes)
Once the batter was mixed, I added toppings to each pancake, including chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas and baked apples.
So far so good!
All seemed well. The pancakes were thick, fluffy and delicious-looking…in my opinion.
See Jamie A., I DO know how to cook!
But then we tasted them…and they tasted like cardboard mixed with a little bit of fruit and chocolate. Mission Fail.
Don't these look delicious?
I picked at the pancakes for as long as humanly possible to avoid the inevitable, but sooner or later, I knew it was time to face the music.
Eat up, buttercup....they are not THAT bad.
And into the trash, they went.
Bye bye, pretty pancakes.
Lesson learned? When you alter recipe, make sure you adjust all the ingredients, including essential spices.
Making Skinny Bagels out of Failed Oatmeal Pancakes
I could have dwelled on the kitchen failure, but I only had a couple more hours with my dear friend, Jamie A. So, off to Bruegger’s we went.
NYC may be the land of the country’s “best bagels”, but I still think Bruegger’s “New York-style” bagels are pretty delicious. Plus, they have incredible coffee.
Looks better than my oatmeal pancakes.
I was really excited to try their Skinny Bagel, which is just any of their regular bagels with 100 less calories. They cut the bagels using a patented knife, removing approximately one-third of the bagel’s center but preserving its unique eggshell crust. How interesting!
I couldn't resist.
The bagel didn’t disappoint, but what I really enjoyed was the conversation. It felt just like we were back in high school – two best friends giggling and sharing stories from the previous night’s festivities over bagels and coffee.
This breakfast is MUCH better
It was the perfect way to end a picture-perfect week in Omaha.
Do you ever post your failed recipes? What’s the last thing you made that didn’t turn out? What did you eat instead?
Where did you and your friends eat together in high school?
What was your favorite thing about your high school reunion? If you haven’t been, what are you most looking forward to?