Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We've had a great Christmas. The whole fam opened presents and had a yummy breakfast this morning. Then all day we played with our new toys, watched some movies, and did a lot more cooking for dinner tonight.

The fam just got back a little while ago from seeing Marley & Me. It was such a wonderful movie and we all wished we had a box and a half of tissues each. We laughed, we was a great movie. When we got home everyone was loving on the was pretty sweet. I mean who could resist these faces?

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Now the boys are upstairs playing Mario Cart on the Wii. I took a couple turns but couldn't keep my car under control. John and Jonathan had fun though.

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Today has been a fantastic Christmas Day. I hope everyone has enjoyed their time with their friends and family. I am so thankful for mine and have loved our time we've spent together then past several days.

And I only took a small chunk of skin out of my thumb while grating the Gruyere cheese. It's not Christmas til someone gets hurt, right?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

White Christmas?

As I was looking at for the forecast for Christmas Day I saw a link that shows the probability of having a White Christmas. Althought I can't remember the last time Texas saw snow on Christmas Day, I was still curious to see what our chance was this year. With the high reaching nearly 60 degrees Christmas Day I don't think a White Christmas is in our forecast. Oh well, at least it won't be in the 70s.


This map shows the probability of having at least one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas morning...not gonna happen!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! To celebrate this wonderful night John, my sister, brother-in-law, mom and dad went to go see Australia and to dinner at Mi Cocina and a bit walking around at Watters Crossing in Allen. Ok, so we didn't go for Christmas Eve Eve, but we still had a very fun evening.

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First things first..the movie was incredible. My mom and I loved how the cinematography was very old fashioned looking and it was such an epic film. A little, no scratch that, very long, but still a great movie. I highly recommend it to anyone who has not seen it yet.

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Watters Crossing is so beautiful at night right now. The trees are absolutely gorgeous as they have wrapped the branches in Christmas lights and even some had some lighted Christmas ornaments. It was so beautiful and we had fun walking around for a little bit before dinner at Mi Cocina. It was pretty chilly so I'm glad we had our significant others to snuggle with!

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Merry Christmas Eve Eve! I hope you and yours are having a fabulous night. (You and yours..isn't that what you are supposed to say this time of year?) Oh and I'm also still in a bit of shock that tomorrow is Christmas Eve. This season has completely flown by.

And I think I said "bit" a few too many times and for that I'm sorry. This is still my favorite time of year and I am enjoying this time with my family so much.

"Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Fun for all that children call their favorite time of the year."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

a Christmas full house

This year for Christmas we are spending time with my family at my parents house. We've got a pretty full house this year including all the animals! It's my parents, my sister Whitney and her husband Jonathan, my brother Mark, John and me. Plus, we can't forget...

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Wrigley, Whitney and Jonathan's precious lab..I love how he's doing a little over the shoulder look. (really he's just staring at Jonathan who is waving treats at him)

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Huck, my parents sweet dog

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And Phoebe, well, she pretty much hates the world and is annoyed with the dogs.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Ya know, I thought NaBloPoMo would spur me on to post a lot more, but December is just too dad gum busy! But fun busy. I wouldn't change it. I love this time of year so much. It is my favorite time of year. I love the constant reminders of God's love, family, serving others, and spending lots of time with friends.

Friday my mom, sister and I packed up and headed to Austin/San Marcus for a girls weekend. It was such a fun weekend and so needed! My mom, sister and I have not spent time like that in a long time. Friday night we had a fabulous dinner at Serrano's in Austin and spent the night in Austin. Saturday morning we woke up semi-early, stopped at Starbucks, and headed to San Marcus. We spent about 2 1/2 hours at the PotteryBarn/Williams-Sonoma Outlet and then about 1 1/2 hours at the Banana Republic Outlet. We went to several other stores, but those were much faster trips! We got our Christmas shopping done (well mom was done a long time ago) and had such a great weekend. I have a few pictures and will post those later..and I haven't forgotten about my precious pictures with Ashley and Isabelle. I'll post those too!

Sunday was our church's annual Christmas cantata. It was a great night and the music was wonderful. However, the 78 degree weather just didn't quite say Christmas season, but hey..this is Texas we're talking about. Speaking of weather..Texas weather has gotten the best of us. I started feeling bad Sunday night as we were driving home. Yesterday didn't feel too well, and today..feel horrible! John started feeling bad over the weekend and he's not too good now either. But he's got finals to make it through. He's a trooper..studying, writing, taking tests. All that can get the best of someone, but not John. He finds ways to keep himself entertained (and me entertained) while at the library studying. Yesterday I got this in an email from him titled, "Fun in the Library."

Photo 1

I'll leave you with that! Merry Christmas Friends and Happy Tuesday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

so embarrassing.



equal disaster waiting to happen!
You all know the routine (or at least I hope you know the routine or else I'm all alone) trip or fall when you are with a friend and it is pretty funny. You can laugh with someone and not feel so embarrassed and it actually can be humorous and not humiliating. But when you are ALL ALONE and you trip or fall it is terrible if someone sees you.

Today I was walking down the stairs of the SUB back to my office and the heel of my boots got caught in the cuff of my black pants. I tripped (luckily only 3 steps from the bottom) and 3 chamber guys saw me. Of course I blamed the "water" on the steps!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

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I've been making this recipe for a few years now. It is the perfect roasted chicken and vegetables and it is healthy. I use boneless skinless chicken breasts and tons of veggies. By searing the chicken first it creates a delicious crust and the vegetables that are roasted with the chicken make a complete meal. No need to use any other pots or pans. Just one pan! I've made this recipe a lot of different ways. Usually, I put some red new potatoes in there but we're doing the South Beach diet so I left those out and I added a lot of other veggies tonight. It's a beautiful, colorful dish. I usually make this for 2 so that's how I've posted the recipe, but it can be easily doubled!
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Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

1 red bell pepper chopped in big chunks
4 large shallots sliced
1 fennel bulb sliced
1/2 pound asparagus cut in 2 inch pieces
10 ounces fresh spinach
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2/3 cup chicken broth

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Combine paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and season both sides of chicken. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to a large skillet and sear chicken breasts about 2 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add vegetable mixture to pan and saute for about 1 minute. Add the chicken breasts back to the skillet, nestling them into the veggies. Bake uncovered (make sure it is an oven proof skillet) at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove chicken from skillet, stir veggies and scrap up any brown bits. Add the chicken back to the skillet and reduce the heat to 375 degrees and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken and vegetables from skillet. Add the chicken broth to the pan; bring to a boil and scrap up the brown bits. Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce a little. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and veggies.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"smiling's my favorite!" -Elf

There have been several things this week to help with getting me in the Christmas spirit such as holiday baking and the crazy cold weather, but one of the big ones is watching Christmas movies at work! Seriously, we've already watched Elf, The Polar Express, Christmas Vacation, and now Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. Yesterday one of my co-workers had the fabulous idea to project movies on one of our walls so we all brought our Christmas DVDs and have enjoyed Christmas all day. It is the best!

On another note: I'm on day 3 (of Phase 1) of The South Beach Diet and there are TONS of goodies and treats in our office and I was good and ate my sugar-free black cherry jello. *sigh*

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Fun

Dear Blog,

I'm sorry I sort of abandoned you. I promise to get back into regular blogging soon. After NaBloPoMo I felt sort of liberated that I didn't have to post everyday. Last week was a very busy week also so it was nice not to have to rush home and try and post.


But seriously, last week was a Christmas banquet at church, Christmas on 5th Street and then I spent the weekend in The Woodlands visiting my good friend Ashley and her precious new baby Isabelle. It was such a wonderful time and I have pictures of sweet Isabelle that I will post later. But in the is a fun Christmas questionnaire I got in an email.

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1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot chocolate

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Now they are all wrapped, but as kids Santa left presents unwrapped.

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white lights?
Always white!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but we don’t need it! ;)

5. When do you put your decorations up?
The weekend after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
My dad’s smoked or fried turkey. Or dessert potatoes. (mashed potatoes that are so good they could be dessert..we came up with the name when we were kids.)

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
When my sister, brother and I all tried to sleep together in the same bed and would wake up so early to see what Santa brought. My parents had a rule that we couldn’t get up until the sun was up. I was notorious for waking up my brother and sister way too early.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Well, I remember asking my mom about Santa in their bathroom one day. She said I might be disappointed if I knew the truth so she didn’t “tell” me the truth. But I sort of knew.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We used to open one on Christmas Eve. Now, Christmas Eve we usually travel so no.

10. How do you decorate your tree?
White lights, popcorn and cranberries, and all our fabulous ornaments. We get an ornament on every vacation we take.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
Love it! Want more of it here in Texas!

12. Can you ice skate?
Yes, I used to love going to the Dallas Galleria to ice skate at Christmas around the huge tree!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
As a kid probably my play kitchen. Santa even left me a note on the note pad it came with!

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Being with family and celebrating the birth of our Lord.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Red velvet cake

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My parents have a nativity where baby Jesus is separate from his bed in the manger. We would put baby Jesus as far from the nativity as we could and each day he would get closer to the manger and on Christmas morning we would put him in the manger.

17. What tops your Christmas tree?
A red star.

18. Which do you prefer-giving or receiving?
I love them both.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Grown-Up Christmas List..ha! just kidding. Probably Chestnuts Roasting on a Open Fire.

20. Candy Canes-yum or yuck?
Ehh, I'd be fine without them but I don't hate them.

21. What do you want for Christmas?
A new camera lens.

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?
Yes, several.

23. Do you dress up on Christmas or wear PJs?
Well, in the morning we are in our PJs, but we later get dressed..usually casual though.

24. Do you own a Santa hat?
Umm..I own a Santa chef’s hat..does that count?

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?
We alternate families each year. This year we are with my parents.

How about you continue the fun. I tag YOU!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

coming up..

There is so much coming up in the next few weeks that I am beyond excited about. Here is a little peak at what is coming up..

December 4th - Christmas on 5th Street
December 5th - going to The Woodlands to meet this precious little girl and visit with Ashley of course!
December 12th - Student Life Division Christmas Party AND our girls weekend trip to Austin/San Marcos
December 14th - Christmas program at church
December 15th - Student Activities staff Christmas Party
December 18th - going to McKinney for Christmas break (and a rockin' good time with my family!)
December 25th - Christmas
December 31st - New Years Eve

PS: I'm off work December 18th through January 5th and I'm only taking 3 of my vacation days. Thank you Baylor!

I absolutely love this time of year. I am constantly reminded of all the wonderful blessings in my life and I am so thankful for all of them.

Turkey Sausage, Spinach and White Bean Soup

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Lady has been making this soup for a long time and I love it. It is such a delicious yet easy soup. The butter adds richness but this soup can also be altered to be a very healthy soup. Just leave out the butter.

Turkey Sausage, Spinach and White Bean Soup
8 oz. Italian turkey sausage (removed from casings)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I use 1 teaspoon)
20 ounces fresh spinach
2 (15oz.) cans cannellini beans, NOT DRAINED
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Brown sausage in hot oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 2 minutes. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Add beans, broth and butter. Bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and add tomatoes and cheese before serving.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

the last day of NaBloPoMo

Here are some fabulous pictures from last night. Like I said, we had a fantastic time with our sweet friends and always enjoy our time together.
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I bought The Polar Express at Target and it came with a 3-D version and the theatrical version. We tried out the 3-D version and it was..not great! The glasses were fun, but we switched to the regular movie before the train ever pulled up to the house!

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I got some plastic needles so that Ava could participate. She is the smartest almost 2 year-old I know.

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Happy NaBloPoMo! See you all in a few days! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Popcorn & Cranberries

We just had a fabulous evening with the Lockett's and the Broaddus'! We had chicken tortilla soup and salad (a nice contrast to the heavy Thanksgiving food) and then watched The Polar Express while stringing popcorn and cranberries. It was a fun and relaxing evening with good friends.

I took some very cute pictures of Ava enjoying the popcorn popping and will post those tomorrow. I don't feel like uploading those tonight and going through them. I promise they are cute though!

We have been so blessed with great friends and enjoy our time with them so much.

Tomorrow is the last day of NaBloPoMo!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Decking the Halls

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The day after Turkey Day has been fabulous for us! This morning John left to go help a friend move and I got started getting all the decorations out of the storage closet. I waited until he got home though so we could decorate together because he loves it so much..ok, so that's not true. He tolerates it because I love it.

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Anyway, first we put up the tree and then I did most of the other decorating and he did some reading for school. We also watched a couple Christmas movies to help get us in the Christmas spirit..The Holiday and Elf.

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We found 2 ornaments we left on there from last year! 2 of these little silver instruments..opps!

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We "hide" the pickle every year too. Actually, when we decorate the Christmas tree at my parents' house they actually hide a pickle ornament and all the "kids" get to find it. Since it's just me and John there's not really a point.

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Only a couple minor injuries from today. I got this new fantastic garland from my favorite store in downtown McKinney. The only problem is it is super pokey! I got a good poke on my thumb from that. Then I took nice, slow-motion fall after tripping over a box on the floor..and scrapped my leg. John tried not to laugh but he couldn't keep it in.

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Oh, and I broke an ornament.

Gingersnap Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving is over and many people out there are probably out shopping on this lovely Black Friday. Me..not so much. I have no desire to get a dvd on sale at Target for $9.99 when it will be $12.99 next week. No thank you. I prefer my sleep. Anyway, you're not here for me talking about Black Friday. Your here for Gingersnap Sweet Potatoes! John does not like sweet potatoes so the past few months I've been trying to make sweet potato dishes that I think he may like. A few month ago it was Jalapeno Sweet Potato Soup (trust me, it is HEAVENLY) and now this and I'm happy to report that he loves both! For Thanksgiving I was asked to bring the Sweet Potato Casserole and mashed potatoes. I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes with marshmallows. So when my mom found this recipe a few years ago we fell in love with it. It is so must try it for Christmas. This recipe is from the Southern Living Christmas book from 2003..I think. Don't quote me on the year please.
What I love about this recipe is the gingersnap streusel topping. After baking it it gets really nice and crunchy and is the perfect contrast the smooth and creamy sweet potatoes. When making this dish you must use store-bought gingersnaps. The homemade ones have too much moisture in them and do not yield for a crunchy topping. I use the Nabisco ones in the orange box. They work perfectly.

Usually for the streusel topping I would have used a large Ziploc bag and taken my stress out on the bag, but I was out. The food processor was a bad idea. It made some of the cookies too small, left others the same size as they went in and some did not stand a chance and were turned to powder. Lessons learned right?

Gingersnap Sweet Potatoes
adapted from Southern Living

6 sweet potatoes (4 pounds)
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup half-and-half
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
36 coarsely crushed gingersnap cookies

Cook sweet potatoes in a large pot in boiling water to cover over medium heat 30 minutes or until tender. Cool; peel and mash potatoes.

Combine mashed sweet potato, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and next 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. (Or mash with a potato masher until smooth.) Spoon into a greased 2 1/2-quart or 13" x 9" baking dish.

Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and flour. Cut in 1/4 cup cold butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in crushed gingersnaps. Sprinkle streusel over sweet potato. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes or until streusel is lightly browned.

Make Ahead: Prepare sweet potato filling, and spoon into a greased 2 1/2-quart microwave-safe dish. Cover and chill overnight. Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes or until hot. Prepare streusel, and sprinkle over filling. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes or until streusel is lightly browned.

1st photo credit here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G !

John and I are going to his aunt and uncle's house for turkey day! They live in Waco so we don't have to travel this year which I'm so thankful for. Which brings me to my next are a few things I am thankful for this year. Just a few...

*John - he is the love of my life, a support, an encourager, and a faithful and godly man that I admire so much.
*My family - my parents, siblings, in-laws..I love them all and I'm so blessed by all of them. We've been through a lot this year and the Lord has brought us through it.
*Friends - God has put so many wonderful people in our lives to support and encourage us and I'm so thankful for all of you!
*Gas prices. Duh..they are going down and for people like John and I who travel a TON to and from Hamilton we appreciate the lower gas prices.
*A job. During these hard economic times I'm so thankful that I have a job I can go to every day.
*That my husband will be finished with 2 master's degrees in May. PRAISE THE LORD!

Not thankful for today's weather though..70s on Thanksgiving..that's just not right!

Anyway, may you all have thankful hearts and full bellies today. Enjoy your time with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Personal Days

Today is my first day off for Thanksgiving break and I don't have to be back at work until Tuesday, December 2nd! Thank you Baylor for personal days! Baylor gives their staff Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off, but I'm taking Monday also! Why you ask? Well last week I got an email from HR that said that any personal hours over 24 will be lost after December 13th. I went in to see how much I have...35! They are "forcing" me to take 11 personal hours so of course I have to take some time off. I chose the Monday after Thanksgiving and the Friday of the same week which is the day after Christmas on 5th Street. (It will be so nice to sleep in after that crazy but fun night!) So I only worked Monday and Tuesday of this week and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week!! Yay personal days!!

Today my plans are to cook (mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes for tomorrow) and do some laundry. But before I do any of that I am going to watch the last episode online of Lipstick Jungle.

We're in the home stretch of NaBloPoMo! Only 4 more days!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We've been Elfed!

Last week I got an email to my work email from OfficeMax (supplier of all Baylor office supplies) that it was that time again to Elf Yourself! Plus this year they have new dances/backgrounds. So fun! So, enjoy the elf version of John and I..oh and I'm not sure who that third elf is..let's call him Buddy. Enjoy me, John and Buddy! If only John and I could really dance like that!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

PS: I found out that next time they do rocket testing they will notify residents better! Thank goodness!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rocket Testing

Around 10:30 Saturday night John and I were just going to bed. As we were falling asleep I heard a VERY LOUD rumbling sound that sounded like thunder/a loud old car. I immediately looked out the window and John said it was probably just a car. I thought there was no way it could be a car because it lasted for so long (almost 5 minutes) and was a constant rumble. I was staring out of our bedroom window at the sky the whole time thinking of all sorts of things that it could be. My mind was even playing tricks on me because I thought the sky was changing colors. I saw a couple neighbors come out of their house and I knew something weird was going on. Then it stopped and we heard a car. So we assumed it was a car (a very strange sounding car nonetheless.)
So last night we were watching the 10:00 news and saw that they were doing ROCKET TESTING in McGregor!!!!! I knew it was more than a car and was somewhat relieved that my mind wasn't playing tricks on my eyes...the sky really was changing colors!! For more information on the rocket testing go here.
I'm glad I'm not crazy! Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

it is finished. (or is it just the beginning?)

It is finished! Tonight was absolutely wonderful. John's recital was just incredible and so much fun. So many people came to Waco and we truly appreciate all of the support from our family and friends. We love you all so much!

Everything today went very smoothly. Well, everything except for the fire alarms that went off in Truett 45 minutes before the service started. But after the fire trucks and the firemen came and made sure there wasn't any fire/smoke we were able to go back inside.

It was such a worshipful evening. I am so proud of John and all of his hard work. It truly paid off. Thank you to everyone who came.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday in a Nutshell

Here is our day in a nutshell

*John got up this morning and was out the door by 6:30am to pick up kiddos in Hamilton, bring them back to Baylor for an activity the music school was doing, take them to Peter Piper Pizza and back to Hamilton. He then drove back to Waco and was home around 5. (yes, that was a lot of driving, Waco to Hamilton, Hamilton to Waco, Waco to Hamilton, Hamilton to Waco)

*I took John's suit to the dry cleaners at 8:55am (in by 9 out by 3 on Saturdays).

*Went to HEB (my goal was to beat Thanksgiving traffic and I sure did. It was very slow and about 9:45 when I was leaving it started to pick up. Yes!

*Came home and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned! There is nothing better than a clean house.

*Went and picked up dry cleaning.

*Made dinner, tamale soup. It was very good and SUPER easy. John loved it.

Tonight John and I are going up to Truett to set up for tomorrow!

Thanksgiving is in 5 days!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Baby, it's cold outside! And we love it!! The original plan for tonight was a date night..dinner and a movie. But when I got home from work we both agreed that a night in sounded much better! So instead, John and I got take-out from one of our favorite places...Baris. We got the chicken florentine and we shared a Baris salad. So good. We enjoyed our delicious Italian food while watching last night's episode of The Office on the couch with a toasty fire. It's a beautiful night.

Thanks to the lighter fluid we had a fabulous fire. It is keeping us nice and toasty! Next on our list, Grey's from last night. Such a wonderful night at home.
Oh, and our rolls started to get a little cold so why not toast them over the fire!? I love my creative husband!

Less than 1 week until Thanksgiving! I love this cold weather because it makes it feel like the holidays outside, and we can enjoy a warm fire in the fireplace. Yay for relaxing Friday nights at home by the fire snuggled up to my honey!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


**WARNING: I may offend a lot of people when I say this, but I'm just trying to be honest here.

I don't get it. I do not see the attraction of Twilight. At first I only had the books to go off of. I had heard the premise of them so I sort of knew what they were about, sort of. The story line does not entice me at all. Not even a little bit. THEN, when I saw the preview for the much anticpated movie that comes out tomorrow evening, I was even more TURNED OFF by this story!!! I realize that Twilight was written as a tween series and it has become popular to older audiences almost the same way Harry Potter did. But I love Harry Potter and have zero desire to see/read about this story. Is there anyone else out there in blogland that agrees with me? Or if you are offended by me and love Twilight I want to hear your thoughts too. What's so great about this and do the previews of the movie (be honest here) really look good to you?

Hip Hop Seniors

My goal is to not post another video for the month of November. I promise. But this was way too good not to post! John and I were laughing so hard last night while we watched it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

wednesday january 21

LOST is back!

All Good Gifts

Sunday is John's Graduate Conducting Recital. It is a very big deal and he has been working so hard for so long on this as well as everything else he's done in grad school. I am so so so proud of all he has done these past 3 1/2 years and can't believe graduation is 6 months away. When it's all said and done, John will have two master's degrees. I am so honored to be in his choir and can't wait to see all of his hard work come to fruition. He is such an excellent conductor and music minister.

So, if you are in Waco on Sunday evening please come to Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary. You will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fifty Favorites

I had originally thought about doing my 100 favorite things on my 100th post but coming up with 100 things I like was hard! So here are fifty favorites!

These are a few of my favorite things... {Imagine Julie Andrews singing in the background while you read my list}

1. John
2. Hobby Lobby
3. blogging and reading blogs
4. Baylor
5. Mexican food
6. Coffee
7. Cupcakes
9. mason jars
10. Peanut Butter
11. Target
12. my family
13. Fresh flowers – especially when my hubby surprises me with them
14. fires in the fireplace
15. The Pioneer Woman
16. sending and receiving cards/letters via snail mail
17. surprises..except when I know there is a surprise coming..I don't do suspense well.
18. photography
19. avocados
20. my Bernardos
21. Real Simple magazine
22. candles
23. pumpkin spice lattes and cinnamon dolce lattes
24. my iPod
25. Jones Soda labels
26. Shutterfly photo books (we do one for each vacation we take)
27. flip flops
28. Return to Me (the movie)
29. New York City
30. Santa Fe
31. baking and cooking
32. laughing til it hurts
33. pedis/manis
34. clean sheets with fresh shaven legs
35. Christmas
36. Bridgett Jones
37. butternut squash
38. impressionist paintings
39. Gilmore Girls
40. reading old emails from my husband from when we were dating
41. crossing things off my to do list
42. The Office
43. coffee shops
44. magazines
45. sending and receiving love notes from my sweetie
46. Africa
47. traveling
48. shopping
49. The Square (downtown McKinney)
50. games! – they brings out my competitive side!!

What are your favorite things? Do share!!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I've been working on this for a few days..It's hard to think of some of these things!

Lauren tagged me, so here goes...

7 Things I Want To Do Before I Die...
1. be the woman, wife, and mom that I know God wants me to be. (this is what Lauren said and I couldn't agree more)
2. take a photography class
3. go back to Africa
4. teach my children how to cook and bake and love it the way I do
5. learn how to sew
6. tour Italy
7. see the Eiffel Tower

7 Things I Can Do...
1. cook
2. listen. I have a degree in psychology because I originally wanted to be a counselor.
3. drive a stick shift
4. roll my tongue
5. laugh. I laugh a lot. My husband is the funniest person I know.
6. hit the snooze button like nobody's business - John & I can both do this!
7. eat Mexican food everyday. I love it!!

7 Things I Can Not Do...
1. sew, I can put a button back on and fix a hole, but that's it. I want to learn how to sew for real!
2. keep my shoes organized in our closet. it's a huge pile of mess.
3. talk on my cell phone while pumping gas. I heard once it was bad and I never do it now.
4. say "no" to a trip to Target!
5. keep up with ironing..I'm so good at letting it pile up!
6. I can't do the crafty thing. I love crafty things and wish I could, but I don't have the patience fo it. And I'm a perfectionist when it comes to it and it takes me too long and I spend hours on something and end up not liking it.
7. eat raisins. GROSS. I love other dried fruits, cranberries, mangos, strawberries...but raisins gross me out!

7 Things That Attracted Me To My Hubby... (this was an easy one!)
1. his faith
2. his voice...he sure can sing!
3. his passion for ministry and other people
4. that nobody is a stranger to him. he can talk to anybody and strangers tell him the most random things
5. his smile
6. his sense of humor. the man can make me laugh like no one else.
7. the way he shows me he cares about me

7 Things I Say Most Often
1. I love you.
2. I love you too.
3. Student Activities, this is Lindsay.
4. John
5. Hello/Hey (when answering my phone)
6. I'm ready for the weekend.
7. you are almost done! (to encourage John that he's almost done with grad school!)

7 Celebrity Crushes ...I'm like you, Lauren..not a huge "star struck" person so I'll put celebrities I would like to meet. Sorry, I'm cheating, but it's my blog! :)
1. Jay Leno (he makes me laugh every night!)
2. Jennifer Aniston
3. Julia Roberts
4. The cast of The Office (once again, not one person..but it's my blog!)
5. Meryl Streep
6. Jack Nicholson
7. George Clooney

Wow, that one took a while!!

I tag Courtney, Autumn, Abby, and Natalie! Plus anyone else who wants to play.

real or faux

I know some of you have already started your Christmas decorating and others are starting to think about it. You already know I'll be decorating on November 28th. A few years ago, well our first married Christmas together, we got a faux tree (I don't like saying fake) and we have really liked is the perfect size for our apartment. I love real trees though, you can't get that fragrance from anything else. I do however burn the Yankee Candle "Mistletoe" so it can smell like Christmas also. The one thing, well few things, I don't like about real trees is that you have to water them, sweep them, and well, they die. Plus, I have allergies and you never know when those will act up. So, what are your thoughts..real or faux?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

this is how we feel...

**Today we took about 40 of our church kiddos to Pizza Hut and the Mayborn Museum. It ws fun, but we are TIRED! I played photographer so there isn't a picture of me anywhere on my camera, but I feel just how John looks. Oh, and there were lots of other adults so it wasn't a 40:2 ratio!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sic 'em!

I love Baylor. I love when Baylor beats A&M! 41-21 baby! That's not even a close game. I'm so proud of our Bears.

Holiday Baking

Today has been a perfect Saturday. John and I slept in, went to lunch at a new Mexican food restaurant, ran a quick errand, and I've been home baking while he's up at the library studying. So maybe it's not perfect for him, but I'm the one writing this so it's been perfect for me, ok! Anyway, this afternoon I made some molasses-spice cookies. They are fantastic!
Which brings me to my next thought. I have a new blog. It's a food blog. I started a couple months ago but wanted to see how it went before I publicly told people about it. I tried doing one of these a while back but I wasn't too successful at it but I'm trying again. So, without judging, head on over to Lindsay's Kitchen and see what I've done so far.
Ok, I'm off to meet my husband and a few other grad student friends for dinner. They all need a study break. Praise God for not being in school.

Molasses-Spice Cookies

I love ginger snaps! I love the warm spicy flavor of them and they are perfect for the holidays. Did I mention I love the holidays? Well I do. I also love holiday baking. Love it. I was "inspired" to bake this weekend by Beth who suggested I bake this weekend. This is the first of holiday baking I've done this season so be prepared for more. A lot more. Ok, back to the cookies. I've been making these cookies for a few years now. However, they are not husband-friendly, (John's not a fan) but I love them. They are old fashioned ginger cookies and they get "crinkley" when they bake and make the house smell all heavenly.

When making these cookies you really don't want huge cookies. I find that this scoop is the perfect size. I scoop the dough into my hands and then roll them around in my play-dough. I think there are certain things, like cookie dough, that make adults feel like they can still play with play-dough.

Then roll them around in sugar and place them on a cookie sheet. I love my silpats. They are life savers when it comes to cookies. And last Christmas Lady, my sis, and I made hazelnut brittle and these things made it super easy to do!

Pretty little dough balls all in a row.

Yummy. See the crinkley goodness?

A close-up. The sugar crystals on the outside make them all sparkley.
Molasses-Spice Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup sugar
Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg and molasses; beat well.
Combine flour and next 8 ingredients with a whisk in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture slowly to shortening mixture and beat until just combined. Do not over mix. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in 1/4 cup sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, about 2-inches apart.
Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Store in an air-tight container for about a week...if they last that long!

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