Archive | December, 2013

An hors d’oeuvres Christmas

28 Dec

This Christmas season was a whirlwind. Due to my entire family being in town (which doesn’t happen very often at all), we had several plans every day, and while it was wonderful, it was also exhausting. But there is always time to sleep later! The only “bad” part was that because we went to so many parties, we didn’t get a decent evening meal for almost a week (my cousin’s Christmas Eve meal was well worth the wait though!). Walt lived on bread and cheese, and of course he loved it! I think it’s so fun how much he loves flavorful cheese. For instance, the other night he was licking blue cheese off potato chips. What kind of 1yo likes blue cheese? Especially one who wrinkles his nose at spaghetti?

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I was so happy he had his cousins here to play with. He gets to see his European cousin only once a year, and C is so good with Walt. And Walt is now the same size as his cousin M, who’s 4 months older than him. So much fun to see them all running around together!

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Daddy teaching Walt to play piano on Christmas morning. We stayed with my in-laws on Christmas Eve so we could see Walt’s great-Granny a little bit while she is in town too! It was wonderful to relax and not run around so much.

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This is what we did Christmas day, waiting for dinner. The Nerf gun was a very popular gift this year. So was the Darth Vader helmet that made your voice sound like James Earl Jones. We all wanted one. And yes, the boys are trying to catch the bullets. Harder to do than you think!

It was a very Merry Christmas indeed!

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The Growing Boy

20 Dec

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Yogurt face.

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Look, mama, my stroller spins!

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I love the fireplace. Especially when there’s a fire.

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I’m sweet to the kitty!

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Yes, I know how to turn on the computer (and browse the internet). Mama’s just glad I haven’t accidentally bought anything yet like international tickets to somewhere she doesn’t want to go.

Taco Chili

19 Dec

A couple weeks ago my sister-in-law gave us some of her chili to-go, and once I had some I begged her for the recipe. I’m not always a fan of chili, but I can devour this dish. So easy to do, delicious, and warm on those cold days!

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Ingredients:

1 can black beans drained
1 can kidney beans drained
2 cans Rotel (I use one hot and one mild)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 can sweet yellow corn drained
1 lb lean beef, browned and drained
1 packet dried ranch seasoning/dressing
1 packed taco seasoning
1 red pepper, diced large
1 green pepper, diced large

Put everything into your crock pot (or a large pot) and cook on low for 5-6 hours. I like to put it over elbow noodles, or you can serve it “plain” with any type of taco topping you normally like. But try it first without anything cause this stuff is good. I also really like a couple scoops with egg and cheese for a breakfast burrito in the mornings!

Enjoy!

Christmas Stockings

18 Dec

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I’ve always thought it would be cute to have stockings for our family, but before now I never wanted to spend the money to get matching, personalized ones. After seeing some cute ones at the Holiday Market, I thought to myself, why don’t I just sew some?

Google led me to Sew Like My Mom and I used her tutorial for Christmas stockings. Instead of doing applique letters I plan on cross stitching our names on the front. Maybe after our hectic holiday season. But they were really easy and fun to do! I got a Riley Blake fat quarter bundle from Etsy (for $16) like she suggested and in a night or two I was done!

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Also, the Mantle Clip stocking holders we got are amazing. Those things aren’t going anywhere, and they’re not in the way or obnoxious. Everything turned out great!

Our “new” house

17 Dec

Maybe we get to live longer if the days fly by faster. I don’t know if I haven’t had time to write or the muse has flown the coop for a few weeks. I’ve been so busy it’s hard to keep up, but I’m trying to relax and enjoy my time too,  because this is it. This is all we have. And if I’m not spending each day in a good way, then what’s the point?

Last weekend was a whirlwind of activity. A visit to Birmingham to hang out with family. A surprise graduation party for our next door neighbor. A holiday play featuring one of my high school friends. Church commitments. A birthday party for a two year old. Then my sweet husband helped me mega clean the house, because it happened to be the week of super clean and with no one taking Walter for a few hours this week I didn’t know when else I was going to get it done, because I have a job too! We also put up our Christmas tree finally and even though I already had other Christmas decorations up, it’s always wonderful to pull out your old ornaments and say “Oh yeah! I love that one!” Hopefully we’ll get the lights on the house before actual Christmas passes by.

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Which one will we take home?

Our Christmas present to ourselves this year – with the help of our generous parents – was reorganizing the house. I’ve been desperately wanting a separate dining room to put our very lovely dining room table, especially since Walt is a typical messy toddler at mealtimes, and when my uncle told me it was close to $100K for an additional room to the house we started rethinking our space instead.

Here’s what it looked like before I entered the picture (think: decoration by three single guys: 2008-2011)

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Soon I was able to convince him of redecoration, using some of my furniture too. I thought I was really happy with this arrangement (2011-2013). It was really pretty but didn’t utilize the space well.

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And now! (2013+)

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What!? Is that a dining room table in the living room???

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Petra sure likes the new arrangement!

We were able to get a sturdy, smaller kitchen table from Dave’s family. We bought a new couch from Rooms To Go and I’m pretty much in love. I think about this couch day and night. I’m sad when it’s time to go to bed and I have to leave the couch. We moved the gorgeous desk into our bedroom which functions as both desk and bedside table now. It also utilizes the rest of our large bedroom which before only had a comfy chair we never sat on. Every inch of our house is used now, but it’s cozy and looks fantastic.

It’s like a brand new, perfect house! Now, if only we could get rid of the crime in our neighborhood…

Playing in the afternoon sun

3 Dec

I love having Grant Park just down the street from us, and with lots of free parking too. It’s so easy to go for a walk or play in the grass. I imagine that if we stay in this house for a while we’ll be playing catch here in a few years.

This last time we went, I knew I should bring my camera. I’ve been playing with the settings and was very excited to try out my new knowledge in a different location. It always seems like creative education is never ending. Let’s be honest. No true education is ever really finished, is it?

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Did I mention this boy loves to run already?

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This is the one that really makes me believe Dave’s aunt is right. They are clones.

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Left-handed pitching training.

And now we’re even closer to Christmas

1 Dec

With Thanksgiving fully eaten (though I didn’t get any leftovers so I’m ready for another holiday meal), we’re one step closer to another year. Days are flying by at lightning speed, and I’m enjoying every moment. Okay, not every single teeny tiny moment, but how can you not laugh at the sweet, funny baby? He usually delights most people he meets. He’s very friendly. Well, unless you want to pick him up. We went to a furniture store this weekend and he ran around feeling every texture and walking right up to all the other groups of people there just to interact. I’m pretty sure it was little boy heaven with so much to touch and potentially knock over!

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We started off Thanksgiving right with a little bit of whine.

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Beautiful decorations at my aunt’s house. The meal was absolutely delicious too.

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Obligatory family holiday photo.

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Walt loved running around his new terrain.

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Happy Christmas Season Boy!
(gotta use those arms for balance when you’re moving fast!)