Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Hot Tamale!

I finally made tamales . . . probably a hundred or so. We made chicken, pork and dessert tamales. It's a lot of work but a fun process. It's all about hanging out and enjoying some chisme (Spanish for chatter or gossip). They were delicious! I took notes on everything my mother-in-law did. Tamales are a tradition in many Hispanic cultures for Christmas, and one I want to pass on to my children.

Though it's been said, many times, many ways . . .

Merry Christmas to you! I don't have too many pictures from Christmas - oops! Here we are glammed up for Drew and Mande's Fancy Holiday Party (and posing by our sparsley decorated tree).
And here I am holding up one of my Christmas gifts from Aaron - White Christmas on DVD! I love that movie with all my heart. It's not just my favorite Christmas movie. It is one of my all-time favorite movies in general. It's romantic, classy and campy all at once. It has music you can't resist and wardrobe to drool over.
Here is Aaron with his nina (grandma) on Christmas eve. We always go to her house on Christmas eve. We eat and sit around and everyone speaks Spanish, so I just sit there and smile. I try to hang with the young cousins, cause they speak English mostly. This time we did a mug gift exchange, which is a great game with a bilingual crowd. It's universal.

And these two cute pies are, at left, my cousin Liliana and my second cousin Isabel. (Via Aaron, obviously.) When you have a big family you end up with second cousins at the same age. Isabel is very adorable, despite this goofy looking photo.


HE DID IT! Aaron graduated from The Art Institutes of California - Los Angeles with a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design. Not only that, he was awarded Outstanding Portfolio. This is an incredible honor, as a committee of his teachers reviewed all of this graduating classmates' portfolios and chose Aaron's portfolio for this commendation.

Below is a timeline of the graduation process. First, you see Aaron working on his portfolio - he even had to work on it during our trip to New York. The two below are from the portfolio show - this is a very big deal to a design student. You set up your own little booth with your portfolio, biz cards, resume, laptop with website and videos up, sample works, etc. Employers stroll through, seeking out potential new hires. He's already got an interview with a company that liked his work!

And now, graduation! My parents and Aaron's immediate family all came. We had a wonderful time and were so shocked (though not surprised) and proud when the dean announced Aaron's name for Outstanding Portfolio.
After the graduation ceremony, we went to Johnny's New York Pizzeria in West LA. This was a favorite spot of Aaron's during his college years. He'd pick up a $2 slice of pizza and then buy his soda from the 7-11 next door (cheaper) a few times a week. It is delicious pizza - thin, crispy crust and perfect cheese and toppings. The salads were yum too.