Saturday, January 29, 2011

Christmas Day 2010/ New Year's

Of course presents are the first order of the day...

My kids favorite presents were from Great Gma and Gpa in Georgia - matchbox cars. I love how children are so impressed by simple things, I hate that we forget that and try to impress them with big things (like a bday party at a petting zoo!).

Lovely little snot.

Next I Skyped my mom and dad:
They wanted to see my new camera. See my dad's eyebrows? If I let mine go natural they would look the same, only a little less gray. Thankfully I have Sally Beauty Supply and an endless supply of wax.

My in-laws and Simon came over for food!

My MIL snuggling with the champion cuddler of the family!

Kasha enjoyed the carcass of our smoked turkey. Oooooh, smoked turkey! It was so good. I think the fried turkey is going to take a back seat to the smoked turkey from now on.

I made a Dark Chocolate Orange Cheesecake. Oh so decadent.... I kind of messed it up a little but it still tasted great, even though it was really ugly. That's why I shot the cross section.


For New Year's Eve we went to a mediocre sushi restaurant for an early dinner then back to our house to hang out with Simon, play Trivial Pursuit on Wii and drink champagne! And that is my favorite kind of New Year's! The kids were having a slumber party at Nana and Soso's house with their cousins who were in town from Peru.

Here is Brandon and I in our first picture of 2011 in our very messy garage!


Santa brought Ethan a pillow pet to exchange for his beloved orange pillow: his nasty, smelly, germ ridden, doesn't even get clean in the washer pillow. All caught up in the excitement of Christmas, he went with it. He threw his old pillow in the TRASH.

But a few hours later I was pretty upset with Santa and wished he hadn't coerced my baby into tossing his pillow. At nap time, Ethan couldn't get a grip. He cried and cried and cried and didn't want a hug or his pillow pet. In fact, he put his pillow pet in the trash and asked for the orange pillow back. Well, that didn't happen.

Eventually, he got used to not having his old side kick. Now he walks around with a new orange pillow. Literally. I used to have two of them - he punked them both but grew attached to only one. The other one just sat on his bed. Now, that's the one he uses and the poor pillow pet just sits on his bed.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas Eve

"Mommy, I bet you can't find me!"

"Here I am! Let's do it again."


We spent Christmas Eve-ning at my MIL and FIL's house for raclette. (Insert involuntarily salivation here)

the irony of this book propped against my MIL's windows sill cracked me up!

Handsome guys

more handsome guys

tough guy

while everyone else was inside, Ethan was kicking the soccer ball around

pre dinner kir royale toast

Hors d'œuvre

accoutrement for raclette

Pièce de résistance! La raclette!

"Kids! Time to open presents!"

all ready to hand out presents!

.....But first, a family picture-or two.

figuring out the timer on my new camera

me and my beautiful MIL

"Ooh! Whaddya get?"

We are all going to ride the wave of the Imaginext Batman playset for a long long time!

Traditionally, in my family we always left a cold beer for Santa, because after a while, even a magical person gets a little gassy from all that dairy (at least that's what my parents always told me). The orange was my idea - just a refreshing treat from all those cookies. And the children insisted we leave some cookies. They are so old-school.

After the kids were in bed, my new slippers and I (and my Christmas apron my MIL made me a few years ago) did some elf-ing of our own!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas Crafts

The idea for the adorable meese was from a trip I took to The Children's Shelter to drop off some images. The head is the child's foot print, the antlers are the hand prints. We used fun foam. Gabriel's moose

Ethan's moose.


We did a little baking. The kids ate them faster than I could photograph them. Gabriel decorated a bell to look like the Liberty Bell, can you see it? My little genius.


But most of our crafts this holiday season were in the form of ornaments. We put up our old Christmas tree in the loft upstairs with colorful lights and some cheap dollar store ornaments. As the kids made their ornaments, they got a kick out of decorating their tree with them.

Ethan was one ornament short because he was napping when G and I did that one. In this house, you snooze you lose, literally.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolution Weigh In

2010 was good year for me in terms of resolutions!

2009 was my "fat" year. I practiced French cooking, ate a lot of double portions and did wimpy workouts averaging 2 times per week. For 2010 I resolved to get back on the fitness and nutrition wagon. It was easier than I thought it would be. But I was raised with an emphasis on those two things so it was as easy as getting back to my roots. I recognize that this is much more difficult for people who didn't grow up like that.

Let's take a look at them all, shall we?

1. Lose TEN pounds. success! Lost it by March, gained 1 back. We'll call it "muscle"

2. Take my vitamins every day. faaaaaaaaail, it was hit and miss all year.

3. Teach Ethan the alphabet. fail! but he did learn his 123's, colors and shapes

4. Read 12 novels - success! I freaked out a little on this one. I thought it would be easy, until I realized that most of what I read is nonfiction. When did that happen? It was nice to keep a list of what I read and I plan on continuing that trend.

I ended up at 50%. Not bad!

2010 reading list:
*Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven
*Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
The Little Book by Selden Edwards
*The Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
*Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Marriage Bureau For Rich People by Farahad Zama
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
*Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers
*The Murder Room: The heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases by Michael Capuzzo
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley


Now on to the resolutions for 2011!

1. Organize every single drawer, cabinet and closet in my house! (We used to move once a year so this took care of itself, but we haven't moved in over 4 years! The clutter is growing ... and it must be stopped at once.)

*2. Run 5 races. (Every year I run one 5k at the end of July that marks the end of my daily jogging until the fall. The heat in these parts is too intense for me to be out jogging in August. I always think to myself, 'this is so fun, I should run more races.' Then I don't do it. In 2011 I will!)

3. Buy more clothes at Nordstom Rack. (This is my feel-good resolution).

4. Try 12 new exercise DVD's. (I get bored of the same old workouts - this will motivate me to try more new things!)

*2010 was the first year I didn't win my division. I even won in 2009, my fat year! Note to self, start running sprint drills in June. The extra weight must have added buoyancy.

2011 will be a more fit, organized and better dressed year!