Monday, January 11, 2016

December in Pictures

Our month started off a little rough (and cold) with a gas leak. Apparently it had been leaking for quite some time, but the new fence being put up was the nail in the coffin. A 20' trench, a repair to a severed internet line, and a very large check later, we are fixed and hope to never have to go through that again.

We woke up one morning and my clean eating husband announced there was a donut shop he wanted to try. You don't have to ask me twice so we piled in the car for Ethan's first donut experience.

Post donuts we ended up going to Trains at Northpark. Definitely a cool thing for the little ones.

In awe right before an epic meltdown (just keepin it real).

No trip to Northpark is complete without stopping to see the turtles and ducks.

I had to take a day trip to Austin and this was our front porch when I got home- the Christmas tree and first round of Amazon gift shopping delivered. Every year since we've been married, we have had our tree delivered from Five Star Christmas Trees. So easy and highly recommended!

All set up!

Headed out to Charleston for our anniversary sans toddler!

Our hotel, The Vendue, had selfie sticks and milk and cookies every night.

E and Santa, 2015. No tears but no smiles either.

My favorite picture from the holiday season- E creepin on Santa afterwards. He spied on him from the safety of that corner until we finally picked him up and carried him off. 

Checking out the Dallas Arboretum's 12 days of Christmas with the family.

And my SIL's parents from California were in town and joined in on the chaos fun.

D & E checking out the Lords a Leaping.

My grandmother (who you can't tell is in her 80's) had NEVER had a pedicure before. Needless to say, we needed to rectify that and she was a big fan.

Ready to dig in- a few weeks early, buddy.

Santa's Village in Richardson. Super crowded but worth an evening out if you're looking for some holiday cheer.

Car selfie while checking out the Christmas lights in Deerfield. Similar to above- it was a cluster but completely worth it to hear all the little "WOWs" from the backseat. 

Christmas Eve at my parents'.

 My new Christmas Eve go-to appetizer. So festive and relatively easy!

Putting together the racetrack we bought for Ethan. Next year I will pay more attention to the boxes, but if I forget: when it says "Over 4.5 feet long!!" remind me NOT to buy it!

Christmas morning at our house. 

One last family pic before the tree came down.

Celebrating this handsome guy's birthday with a date night out.

Our daycare was open on New Year's Eve so we took full advantage with a little gym/pedi day date.

We spent our NYE eating appetizers, drinking champagne, watching Making a Murderer and playing wii in our jammies. It was perfect. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

November in Pictures (and a recipe!)


We started the month off right with a delicious batch of homemade gumbo. My cousin gave us a bunch of sausage the same weekend my parents had a ton of homegrown okra and I was trying to figure out what to do with them. A combination of a couple recipes from Southern Living's Annual Cookbooks and a few hours later, we ended up with this. See below for recipe!

We finally pulled the trigger on a new fence in November. It was somewhat of a disaster- as is to be expected of any major home project, but we survived and love the end result.

Even though they destroyed my flower beds in the process. 

This took three tries because Moose walked through the first two. And then when I tried to put his paw print in the cement where I wanted it, he refused. Go figure.

All done, pre stain.

I spent a couple days in San Antonio for a work shoot.  Always an interesting day at work.

We took a road trip to Lubbock with friends to watch the Red Raiders take on Kansas. I honestly can't even remember if we won or lost, but we definitely had a good time. 

Hitting up our bar of choice back in the day, Blue Light.

D's first time at Jones.

My Aggie was a good sport and wore red and black.

Partying it up like college kids.

We stopped on the way out of town at The West Table for brunch. HIGHLY recommended. Lubbock has gone fancy on us. 

High and tight for the wee one.

Ended the month on a sweet note with no reason flowers. 

And as promised, here is the recipe for gumbo- this one is going into rotation for us... 

Southern Living Gumbo
1/4 cup bacon drippings
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
5-6 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 tablespoon tabasco
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2-1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2-1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2-1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (16 ounce) package frozen cut up okra (can also use fresh)
2 lbs. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 Rotisserie chicken, shredded
Andouille sausage, cooked and cut up
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Hot cooked rice
Gumbo filé

1. Combine bacon drippings and flour in a large dutch oven.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 15-20 minutes or until the roux is the color of a copper penny (or darker). 
2. Stir in onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
3. Add next 11 ingredients.  Simmer over medium heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.  
4. Add okra, shrimp, chicken, sausage, and Worcestershire and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.  Cook rice while this finishes simmering. 
5. Serve over hot, cooked rice with a sprinkle of filé on top. Best served alongside crusty french bread!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

October in Photos

We decided Ethan was about the age to get a swingset for him. After failing to catch one on sale this summer, one of my dad's friends was trying to give theirs away. A good power washing and a coat of stain and this baby looks brand new!

 E & Gigi testing it out.

Trying on his outfit for his cousin's baptism.

Second plane ride, first one of substance since he was only about 8 weeks old last time. 

Enjoying those gorgeous Arizona sunsets. Not enjoying the inferno- we were all three drenched in sweat! 

I was wrangling Ethan during the baptism so I didn't get any of Remy, but we were able to get a family shot afterwards. 

Passed out in his bowtie.

Cousins. 

I got this from our daycare and had to laugh... one shoe on, one shoe off. Such a mess- just like his mama.

Enjoying the cooler weather on the patio.

We kept these two munchkins for one night while my brother and SIL went to a reunion. It was fun but BUSY!

Pumpkin patchin'

Gigi and GP getting in on the fun.

This guy has been the only person to cut my hair in 12 years. UNTIL he decided to get out of the business a year ago. I had one mediocre haircut before he decided he missed all his crazy clients. Dallas ladies, Ian works magic- go see him!


Just chowing down on a rib at a game watching party. 

Still amazed they stopped wiggling long enough to get this one!