>> Saturday, November 28, 2009

We had a great second Thanksgiving held at our house. You may remember the first one mentioned here. Jason & I had each of our parents over for dinner. It started out kind of funny. My mom brought over some red wine because all I had was white. We read somewhere that white wine goes with turkey the best, so we decided to pop open a bottle. All three bottles that I have were given to me. I found a bottle in the fridge that had been left at my house from a previous get-together. Jason tried to open it with our bottle-opener-from-hell. And when I say it's from hell, I mean it's the worst bottle opener I've ever seen. I need to go to the grocery store and buy a $2 would probably make things much smoother. Anyway, as Jason tries to pull the cork out, it it breaks. The top half of the cork just decided to crumble. He tries to get the other half out, but no luck. So, being the redneck family that we are sometimes, he pushed the cork INTO the bottle using a sharpie. Both the cork and the sharpie lid fell in the bottle. My dad then gets the great idea to decant the bottle into another container and to use a coffee filter to catch the leftover cork crumbles. The plan worked pretty well and a couple of us braved the tainted wine and poured ourselves a glass.

That wine was so good! I really don't care for Chardonnays, but this one was wonderful! It was a little oakey, ever so slightly sweet and had almost a brandyish taste to it. It was worth the trouble! Ha ha!

Dinner consisted of turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes, salad, and cranberry sauce. My father-in-law made the stuffing which was so, so good! There was hardly anything left over. My friend Shana surprised me by coming over and bringing a carrot cake. Add that to the pumpkin pie that I made, the trifle and the lemon meringue pie that my mother-in-law brought and we have ourselves 4 desserts between 6 people! I will be the first to admit that I had a piece of each that day.

After Jason's parents left, I helped my mom shop the Black Friday ads. There were some things she wanted to order online so we had to wait until midnight. I lasted until about 1 o'clock before I hit the hay. Mom was the last one to bed because she caught a second wind and couldn't get tired.

I was the first one up the next morning. By 8:30, no one was still up, so I decided to get dressed and go to the gym. I figured everyone would be up by the time I got back. I showed up at 10:30 and my parents were barely up and Jason was still in bed. I celebrated Black Friday with a piece of carrot cake and took it easy the rest of the day.

My parents left that afternoon, leaving behind the turkey carcass they were going to give to their dogs and their reusable grocery bags. Thanks! That night, Jason & I met up with his parents, brother and his brother's new girlfriend at Outback. I think most of the Black Friday crowd had long gone to bed by 7:30 because the restaurant was a ghost town by then. Jason & I were able to convince everyone to come back to our house. (We had already concocted our evil plan beforehand to shove all the leftover desserts their way.) Our victims, I mean guests, didn't succumb to our sweets....they passed them up! So now we're left with 4 desserts in our fridge and we still have a THIRD Thanksgiving to go to today.

Bring on the bulge!


Becca & TJ's wedding

>> Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Last Saturday, my cousin, Becca, and her fiance, TJ, finally got married. (You may remember me announcing their engagement here) I say finally because they have a long history together. They dated in high school and then broke things off..........several times. Each dated other people over the next few years until they decided to try things one more time. They had both grown up a lot and they finally realized that the other was "The One!"

The wedding was held at a relatively new venue called La Fontana Springs on FM 3009. It's pretty far from most of the city, so a bus was hired to drive people from a hotel to the site. It was a beautiful venue and everything seemed to be run on schedule.

The bridal procession was like a family reunion! I'll show the ones that I'm related to here. Here's my Uncle Ben & Aunt Patty (Becca's parents):

Here's my cousin Eric and Crystal (Becca's older brother and niece):

Here's my cousin Kathy (my mother's namesake and Becca's younger sister):

Here's my cousin Tiffany (Becca's older sister, mom to Crystal):

Here's my cousin Zach (Becca's nephew, Crystal's brother, Tiffany's son...get all that?). Zach was one of the ring bearers and had a scowl on his face because he had to walk with a slower littler boy. I loudly whispered "Smile!" to get this picture:

Finally, Becca emerged with her Daddy:

Did I mention that my sister did the flowers by herself? Okay, not by herself. I wired a few roses for the corsages. But I think my sis did a great job! She hasn't done a wedding in a long time, so she was a little out of practice, but I think everything turned out beautifully!

Here are the newlyweds coming down the aisle!

After the ceremony, we headed indoors for the reception. Appetizers were served and the alcohol was served while the bridal party took pictures. My dad was intent on fitting his cup into the favor koozies despite all of us telling him it wouldn't fit. Here's the proof that you CAN fit one of those plastic cups in a koozie!

Here's an adorable picture of my parents!

And the obligatory Steph and Jason pic:

Salad was served and then the main coarse, steak, shrimp, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and dinner rolls. It was so good! So good in fact, that I didn't bother to take a picture....AGAIN! Ha! After the dinner, the bride and groom had their first dance. I can't remember what song it was. The best part was a lifelong joke/promise that Becca's mom would wear a red dress to the wedding and then she and Becca would dance to "Lady in Red." That promise was fulfilled!

Afterward, Becca danced with her mom. Then, toasts were made and the cake was cut. My cousin doesn't really like cake, so she did a cheesecake for the wedding cake:

Finally, the dancing commenced for everyone!

My parents danced:

My nieces danced (I love this picture!):

And my sister & I cutting a rug:

The bouquet was tossed and guess who caught it? My older niece, Hailey! At first she was embarrassed that everyone was looking at her, then she told us all that she was going to get married next.

All good things must come to an end, so the party finally ended and Becca & TJ exited into a cloud of bubbles. Sorry for posting this pic Becca, but it's the only one I have of the exit!

And they left in a decorated truck

Congrats to you both!

Whew, that was long! But y'all still love me, right?




That's okay. I LOVE me! :)


Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

My nieces definitely have two sides......

The sweet, innocent side:

And the crazy, naughty, I-don't-care-what-you-think side:

It's exhausting!


Winter Vegetable & Fish Soup

>> Friday, November 20, 2009

With the weather suddenly turning cooler, I had a craving for soup. This soup was really, really easy to make and it tasted yummy. I actually doubled the recipe below, so that's why the pot looks extra full!

Here's the leeks in low-sodium chicken broth.

Adding in the broccoli.....

Adding in the zucchini (these were leftover from our summer garden):

Adding the fish......

Adding in the spinach and spices....

And we're done! Enjoy!

Winter Vegetable & Fish Soup
~serves 2 generous bowls, 221 calories, 8g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 48mg cholesterol, 646 mg sodium, 10 total carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 28 g protein, 3 mg iron.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 14-0z cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen broccoli, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 8 oz frozen halibut fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces (you can use any whitefish; I used orange roughy)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan; add leek and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil.
2. Add broccoli and zucchini and simmer for 3 minutes.
3. Add fish and simmer until it turns opaque, approximately 3 more minutes.
4. Add spinach and seasonings and simmer for 2 more minutes. Serve. Enjoy!


Matthew & Jenn's Wedding

>> Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Saturday, Matthew & Jenn (aka Melvis & Laugh) finally tied the knot at their wedding, or as they called it, their "Crazy happy fun time"! I didn't get very good wedding photos; it was just too dark in the church for my simple point and shoot camera. Here's the two that are decent.

Jenn coming down the aisle with her dad:

And I caught the two newlyweds laughing their way back out of the church!

The reception had a Dios de Los Muertos type theme to it. There was lots of color and Mexican touches. The tables were decorated so cute!

There were little flags for placemats with the silverware wrapped up in different colored napkins and tied with a flower. They used paper Fiesta flowers for centerpieces accented with a few candles and the cutest, most unique favors I have ever seen:

Skull cookies! Anything edible is great in my book, but when it's cute AND tastes good? Perfect!

I didn't get a picture of the food because......well......I was hungry. But it was good! They served bar-b-qued chicken & brisket made by a friend.

The wedding cake was unique as well, with the bride and groom opting for a green cake! This one was spice flavored. I can't say I tried it and you'll see why in a second.

One of the groom's cakes was a Patriot cake since that is his favorite team.

And the last cake is why I didn't try anything else. Take a look at this baby.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. It's not nearly as cool as the wedding cake. But I must educate y'all. That's right, I said y'all. This cake was GOOD. It was pure chocolatey heaven on my plate. I would've eaten a couple pieces, but I didn't want anyone giving me the stink eye for taking more than my share!

Just like the good little papparazzi that I am, I snapped a pic of Matthew & Jenn showing their true colors. (And weirdness)

And finally, before the night ended, we had to get a picture of Jenn with all of her Sister Goddesses!

Congrats to Melvis & Jenn! Wish you both a lifetime of happiness together!


Jenn's Bachelorette Party

This past Thursday was my friend Jenns's (aka Laugh) bachelorette party. We had a Moulin Rouge themed party (think can can outfits) and the costumes did not disappoint! Here I am about to leave the house:

We had dinner at my friend Deseere's house beforehand and then held a "pleasure party" for the bachelorette. I'll spare those pictures. ;)

However, I will show you the group photo before we left to go downtown:

Yeah, we were can-can-erific! We headed downtown to go to Howl at the Moon. This was an old stomping ground of mine back in the day, so I knew we were in for a good time! Here's Laugh and I before she got too "happy":

Check out those feathers! Laugh totally rocked the peacock feathers that night! And you better believe that we made her work that night. We got her up on stage to be mocked by the piano players.

After making a scene, Laugh returned to the tables where our hot waiter, Josh, asked us if we needed anything else.

We needed his shirt.

Oh yes, you can buy the shirt right off his back. Literally. And Josh did not disappoint either. He is currently a fitness model! Lucky us!! Ha ha!

After a million cameras flashed on Josh, he - unfortunately! - reclothed himself in a new shirt and we moved on to the stage. Yup, all of us.

Look carefully at the picture now. Can you find me right next to the flash in the mirror. Do you also see the mustard-shirt lady hiking her leg across me and my companions? Now look below:

See mustard-shirt talking to me? She informed me that Amber (the tall girl to the right) and I were supposed to PICK HER UP when she did that.

I kid you not.

What I should have done was boot her off the stage, but I just let her walk away. I'm a sissy like that!

We had a great time until about 12:30 when Laugh decided that she was too drunk to go on. We headed back to Deseere's where she made mac and cheese. There is always mac and cheese at this house! Yum!! Just before I left, I made Jenn take one last picture:

And I think that picture just about sums things up! Ha ha!


Catching up, part 4

>> Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jason & I finally made it to the hometown and we spent the evening doing what else?

Eating and drinking.

What can I say? We're a little predictable at times. :)

Anyway, the next morning was my friend Katlyn's baby shower. It was held just one town over from me......I had to trek all of 10 miles from my parent's house. Here's Katlyn with her mum that I helped Stacy put together. I had never heard of making mums for baby showers, but I think it turned out cute.

Her cake was made by Lucy's in San Antonio.

Stacy, myself and our friend Misty got together to make a diaper cake. None of us had made one before and I think it turned out cute as well.

While Kat opened her presents,

This little cutie, Cymber, stole the show:

Cymber decided that she needed to help unwrap gifts. She was so cute walking around with leftover tissue paper and bows!

After the shower, I headed home to celebrate Thanksgiving early with my brother. I forgot to get the camera out for it, but we had turkey, cranberry sauce (my fave!), yummy stuffing, veggies, pecan pie and pumpkin pie. Let's put it this way........we were stuffed!

Later that night, my brother started a fire and we all brought out lawn chairs.

Jason decided he needed to add his special touch to the fire as well. Notice the beer in hand? Anyone catching a theme here?

We sat out for a long time talking, petting the family dogs and just watching the flames.

It was a perfect end to a great night.


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