Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Festivities

It was fun to wake up to several inches of snow on Saturday morning! As usual, our local weathermen were a tiny bit off in their predictions, so I was surprised to see a winter wonderland of white outside the window. We didn't have to venture out, which I think makes the snow even more enjoyable....watching the snowflakes fall from my warm & cozy spot inside! We don't get the pleasure of snow often in Texas, so I'm thankful a blanket of white arrived during our time in Ohio.

This weekend, we had our family Trim the Tree get-together! Our whole family was together and we had a fun afternoon of appetizers, decorating our tree and making gingerbread houses. I had forgotten just how tempting it is to lick your fingers when they are covered in icing from trying to add the candy decorations to your gingerbread house. I think we all made the mistake of licking out of habit, only to be reminded that royal icing tastes more like the cement it functions as, and less like the sweet goodness decorating our annual tradition of sugar cookies! We'll have to bake up a batch of the yummy icing soon because playing with all of that icing made me hungry for sugar cookies that taste as sweet as they look! It's always fun to see the individual creativity of our family come out in our houses. I think our gingerbread village is a festive addition to the dining room table for the holidays!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Truman! (and a short house update...)

The last couple of weeks have been busy with taking care of as much post-surgery unpacking as possible & preparing to leave for Ohio, where we are spending the holidays with my family. We are making progress in the process of settling in, but we have plenty of boxes & work waiting on us when we return to Austin! I was hoping to share some pictures of our house before we left (I'm not ignoring your many requests!), but it wasn't exactly photo ready yet! I thought I would share a sneak peak instead. Tru spotted this rug at Bed Bath & Beyond a few weeks ago and it perfectly ties together the colors and style of our kitchen & living area. It has found a spot in front of our kitchen sink. Below is the "inspiration" photo we played with to choose our paint colors from, with the color palette we chose for our kitchen & living room. (You can see some of the blue wall peaking out in the rug photo.) I can't wait to share some actual pictures from our house once we are little more settled. We are really happy with how the colors came out!

Before we left, we received a sweet gift from our realtor, Shannon Williams, as a little housewarming surprise! I headed out to get the mail one afternoon and found this fun gift basket of goodies on our front porch....complete with personalized "We've Moved" postcards with a picture of our house.

Shannon is the owner of Tribella Realty and I would highly recommend her if you are ever looking to buy or sell in the Austin area. She is extremely knowledgeable in her field and cares a ton about helping her clients find the perfect property for their needs. Anyone that can make a tour of 30 houses in two days not a complete chore has to be a fun gal!

Yesterday was my handsome hubby's birthday and we had some fun celebrating!
If you know Truman, you know that he loves to eat and he loves good food. This year's birthday was appropriately filled with yummy eats!

The party started last Friday when some friends in Austin got together for a Celebrate with Chicken Party. Let me tell you, my husband loves him some Popeye's Chicken & biscuits!!! (I guess a year in Nola will do that to you.) We figured a Popeye's buffet was the perfect appetizer to some chocolate cake & ice cream.

We were back in Cincinnati yesterday for his actual birthday and the celebration continued! Two of Tru's most favorite foods are steak & sushi, so we headed to Carlo & Johnny's for a special birthday dinner. It was my first visit to one of Jeff Ruby's steakhouses and we enjoyed the unique atmosphere of this venue, along with some delicious steak! In the late 1940's, the building was a casino with strong Mafia connections, and the decor is reminiscent of that era.

After dinner, we headed back to my parents' home to have dessert with my family. What Tru didn't know is that there was a little dessert party waiting for him at home! My family, grandparents, and some family friends surprised Tru and we enjoyed some chocolate turtle cheesecake & banana cream dessert homemade by sweet mom. (Unfortunately, my camera skills have a LONG way to go before I can even begin to compete with Tru's. Especially on his fancy camera! Since I was manning the camera for the night and everyone scattered at the mention of a group picture, most of the action shots came out blurry, so I don't have any fun people photos to share. Sad...)

I am SO thankful for my husband and what a blessing he is to my life. Yesterday, I wasn't celebrating how old he was, but how wonderful he is! I hope he felt as loved and celebrated as he is! I missed out on sharing in the first 30 years of his life, but I am excited to share all of the future ones together. I hope you had a memorable and fun 31st birthday, babe!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Getting into the Christmas spirit!

Christmas Mosaic

Anyone that knows me knows that Christmas is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love every part of it....Christmas music, celebrating the birth of my Savior, baking & decorating Christmas cookies, peppermint hot cocoa, watching favorite Christmas movies again, decorating the tree, the twinkling lights, wreaths on doors, picking out fun gifts, and especially wrapping them, church on Christmas Eve, driving around to look at Christmas lights....and the list goes on.

Usually, my tree goes up the weekend after Thanksgiving, if not the day after! My favorite Christmas CD's begin their 24 hour play time and I start making my annual Christmas cards. This year though, this midwestern girl is having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me. Since this is my first year living in Texas, where our climate is a little different than Ohio or Colorado, the fact that I was sweating in capris and a t-shirt yesterday has me tricked into feeling like it isn't December at all. And, instead of a beautiful Christmas tree in my living room, there are piles of boxes that haven't yet been unpacked from the move. There is no garland, no ornaments, no snowflake tablecloth, no lights. I haven't even found my Christmas CD's that are still packed away in one of the boxes.

I decided that a little Christmas inspiration was in order! I did a little shopping this afternoon at one of my favorite Austin stores and picked out some fun gifts for some of my sweet friends. I made sure to notice all of the Christmas lights on my drove home from the grocery store this evening. And, I put together a little collage with many of my favorite sights of the holiday season. I hope it puts you in the Christmas spirit too!