Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day... con't

The dishwasher is humming, the pans are drying, the remaining dishes are soaking, and toys are strewn across my living room floor. Yup, Christmas hit our house HARD! It was a perfect Christmas from start to finish. Mom and Jim came over in time to see Weston's first Christmas, we had dough boys for breakfast, Mike and Diane came over a little earlier than expected to try and beat leaving so late into the weather (more on that later), Weston finally took a nap, I didn't screw up the turkey-- in fact it was delicious-- and we had a white Christmas... picturesque in fact.

In the background you can see the tent set up that Mom and Jim got for dubs. He's playing with a t-rex flashlight that roars and lights up when you squeeze his tail.

Matt's showing Weston the flashlight

taking off the bows to Uncle Mike's present

playing with a stackable snowman

My turkey in all it's glory!

The dinner table before we began... stuffing, mashed potatoes, home made rolls, buttered green beans, and turkey

Matt carved it so perfectly!

Our white Christmas

We hope you all had a wonderful, family-filled, safe Christmas!


My folks came over this morning before we brought Weston down stairs so they could see him enjoy his first Christmas. We had everything set up so Weston could just tear into his Santa gifts. Unfortunately, it was a little anticlimactic. Once his presents were opened, though, he loved the gifts inside. Santa brought him some stuffed animals, a dump truck, a fire truck, some block shapes, and the coolest toy-- a power wheels atv. Mom and Jim brought him a spinning top and the winner of all Christmas toys... a tent set up-- it has two tents and a tunnel that connects them. Love isn't a strong enough word to describe his feelings towards this tunnel!

After presents were opened, Matt cooked some bacon and I made dough boys. Mom and Jim were in charge of the mimosas! Once breakfast wound down, Mom and Jim had to get on the road to Nashville-- so they packed up their goodies and headed out. Weston, meanwhile, should have taken a nap, but unfortunately, he was so excited, he could not fall asleep. It's 12:56 right now, the boy has been up since approximately 7:00 and he's in his crib trying to take a nap-- I think he's finally down.

Matt's brother, Mike and his wife, Diane, are coming over tonight for dinner-- turkey dinner... more pictures to follow.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Eve of Christmas

I have done a lot today. Not because I had to, though if I didn't, it wouldn't have gotten done. I was really just trying to stay busy and keep my mind off the fact that tomorrow is CHRISTMAS!! I am 27 years old and still get giddy at the thought of Christmas morning. It's going to be hard to sleep tonight.

First up... get the turkey ready. I am planning a to roast a turkey in the oven for Christmas dinner-- something I've never done before. We usually fry a turkey because it's easy, incredibly delicious, and we have a fryer so why not use it? I have been searching online for the best way to do it so that the bird is moist and flavorful and the skin is brown and crispy. Everywhere online was talking about brining the turkey, whereby you soak it in a salt solution overnight. It's supposed to be to die for. Hopefully no one will die tomorrow from it though, I'd much prefer people just say, "wow that was yummy." So off to my local Pioneer Woman site to find the instructions-- you can't go wrong with the Pioneer Woman. Below is a picture of my version of her brine.... note, my picture is different than hers because this was taken after the orange peels sank to the bottom after boiling. The aroma in the kitchen this morning was heaven!

While I waited for the brine to cool down so that I could pour it over the turkey, I made some trash, and by trash, I mean homemade chex mix. It's such a yummy snack to have and when you make it yourself, you can change the chex to other stuff ratio. I prefer to go heavy on the worcestershire sauce and chex. I also only put pretzels and peanuts in my trash. By the time the trash was done, it was time to work on tonight's dinner. I didn't have the for thought to take a picture of this process, but I made the EASIEST pot roast in the crock pot, and it was soooooo delicious! In a nut shell, I combined one packet each of dry ranch dressing mix, brown gravy mix, and dry Italian dressing mix. Then I sprinkled that mixture over a 4lb. rump roast in the crock pot. Next I added 1/2cup water around the roast in the pot and turned the crock pot on low for 8 hours. Once it was ready, I just added 4tablespoons of corn starch to the juices and viola... gravy! Goodness, it was so good. I also made peas with a garlic butter sauce and potato rolls.

But before dinner, and after the Viennese Torte I tried to make went to hell, Matt and I took Weston to the park. It was such a beautiful day, slightly chilly, but comfortable. Matt got such a kick out of seeing Weston on the swings and slides, etc.

Also, since it IS Christmas Eve, I thought I'd share some of our festive decorations since I haven't done so yet.

This is the door that goes to our basement covered in the cards we got this year!

We bought these giant ornaments from the greatest store ever, Costco, and hung them in our foyer with ribbon

Christmas bells on our front door

The dinning room table set for Christmas dinner-- I even broke out the good china!

Our mantel

Danger baby playing precariously on his Thomas Train

Our tree decided to fall over tonight at the EXACT time I was putting dinner on the table. Fortunately, we only lost one ornament and, from what we can tell, no presents were injured in the tumble. This is what it looked like after we cleaned everything up....

...and this is what it looks like now, after Santa came.

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow..... don't worry, I will post tons of pictures of Weston's first Christmas.... and my first turkey!

Monday, December 6, 2010


For those of you that don't know, 5 years ago, Matt and I went to see Santa-- like we did every year we had been dating-- and he proposed when Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas. Since then, we have had a son... so we took him back to see "our" Santa. Unfortunately, "our" Santa was not there, but the new Santa is still great, and as it should be, Weston loved him.

Giggling with Santa

Deep in conversation (my favorite)

"Seriously, you want me to smile?"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving in Review

Thanksgiving break has meant a week off of work for me, which has been GREAT-- I love spending time with my boy! Last weekend, though, one of our good friends was on her way into town for the week with her folks. She brought with her Will, her son of just over a year. Weston and Will enjoyed playing with each other!

Thanksgiving Day, Matt and I headed up to Big Canoe with Weston and Matt's Mom, Nan, to spend the day with my family and some other family friends, the Johnsons. While we had our mishaps, the day was fun and the dinner was yum!

Will and Weston

Mishap: The thermometer on mom and Jim's Big Green Egg wasn't working and the back up thermometer wasn't synced properly, so.... we had a crispy turkey this year--- if you look very closely, you will see a smile on mom's face. She took it in stride.

Luckily, though, all the yummy juices were seared into the bird and the meat inside was very good!

Tracy and Lee brought pvc pipes and joints to make marshmellow shooter guns!

Jim held Weston during the assembly process

Two peas in a pod

Shooting the marsh mellows

Unfortunately, Jake came down with a cold, or flu, and spent the majority of the day quarantined, but he was able to make his own "gun" on the porch....

Our contribution to Thanksgiving dinner-- aside from some other tasty treats, we brought mini turkey cakes!

We had chocolate with raspberry filling, yellow cake with strawberry filling, and marble cake with butter cream frosting throughout

Tracy and Lee brought their dog, Sparky, who enjoyed his time in the woods as much as he enjoyed resting on the chair next to the kitchen!

Matt helped Weston take an afternoon nap.... or was it the other way around?

Matt, Weston, and I headed back up to Big Canoe the next day to spend it with my folks and the Culloms-- Weston promptly peed on my as soon as we got there, so this was outfit #2 while mom washed his other one.

He loved playing with these dartless lawn darts!