Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Christmas Eve




Christmas Cookies!







Christmas Morning (not too many pictures...too early in the morning!)




Girls Present Exchange - We had one night that we were all in town to exchange gifts. We usually just draw names and get a gift for one person in the group. We were missing our 4th, Kristina, since she was in Boston for the holidays. But, she sent her gift to Sarah's house. Turns out Ryanne (Sarah's daughter) and I got the same present! Ryanne was insistent that we wore them all night and had to serve cookies in the kitchen with our aprons on. :) It was pretty cute. So, here we are in our aprons!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. We are in Houston right now hanging out with Beth's family. It's nice to be in a little bit warmer weather for now. Tulsa got 6 inches of snow the day after we left for Houston. Although Beth was a little disappointed to miss the first snow, I think we were both glad to be down here in the sunshine.

Since being in Houston, we've gotten to eat at Willie's and Rico's, two of the restaurants we wanted to visit. Now we just need to hit the other 12 in the next four days. We also got to hangout with Beth's friends Alyssa and Sarah and their husbands(or husbands-to-be) last night. It was good to see them. Sarah has two little ones that are super cute!

We don't have a ton planned for the next few days. Just going to see some friends and hangout. Marathon training starts one week from today with a six mile run so we have that to look forward to. By week three, it was has running 14 miles. Should be fun.

There are no big plans for New Year's other than staying up until midnight. I know that sounds pathetic, but we haven't stayed up past midnight the past three New Year's. That's about it for now, will post more later. And possibly some pics.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BIG NEWS!!!!


We are going to Australia at the end of May!!!!!! Australia has always been on my list of places to see. It just so happened that flights and timing seemed to work out so that we'll be going in May. We are super excited to go to the other side of the World(17 time zones away). Our tentative plans right now include spending some time in Sydney, outside of Sydney in the Blue Mountains, and in Cairns exploring the Great Barrier Reef. More details to come!

Winter Break is Here

I'm officially on my 3rd day of break from school. Yay! I have to say it's one of the nice things about being a teacher. Our last day was Thursday of last week. I was a mean teacher and had to give tests to 2 of my classes, but it wasn't too fun for me either because I had to grade them all and get my grades posted before I left since they are due the day we get back! So it was a pretty crazy day. Plus we had a holiday party at the end of the day and that's always controlled chaos. Luckily we had some great parents to help out and set everything up and were just great.

Friday was spent doing some last minute Christmas shopping and this weekend was pretty low key for us. We really didn't do too much besides running and eating. We ate at our favorite pizza place, Hideaway, on Saturday to get that in before we leave for Houston. We ran 7 miles on Saturday and 8 on Sunday with totally different weather each day. Saturday, long sleeves, running tights, gloves for a chilly, cloudy run and Sunday shorts and tshirt for a sunny, warm run. This Oklahoma weather is crazy to me. Speaking of the weather here, it looks like we might be missing the first snow here. They are predicting it for Thursday and we're going to be gone. Bummer! Tony tells me not to worry because another one will come, but being from Texas I just don't get how that can happen! Haha. One "snow" is all you might get in Houston.

For me, yesterday and today have been my days to do whatever I want! I spent yesterday cleaning the house and doing a couple errands. Today, it's still early to tell. :) We are really looking forward to our trip to Houston tomorrow. We are driving down tomorrow around 11. I'm picking Tony up from work then. We're hoping to make it to Houston for dinner at the family favorite, Rico's. Ah, Mexican at it's best in Houston. We have plans to visit as many of our favorite restaurants as possible. The list includes, but is not limited to: Black Walnut, Rico's, Chuys, Mama Ninfa's (the original), and Willie's.

On a side note, I was doing a little reminiscing and was thinking back to two Christmases ago when we went with Tony's family to Italy for 10 days. It seems like a long time ago, but we have some great memories from the trip.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stick to What You Know

Today was my cooking comfort zone day. It was time to make some Christmas cookies. Yes, all we do is cook these days. I made chocolate chip cookies with holiday M&M's on top. They are so delicious. I used to use the recipe off the back of the Toll House chocolate chips, but that's until I found this recipe from Pioneer Woman (you'd think we're obsessed!). They have that fluffy texture and are a little thicker in the middle. Sometimes those Toll House ones spread out too much. These have so much flour in them, they're not going anywhere. My Mom has made these cookies ever since I can remember, and they are my Dad's favorite. He'll eat them for breakfast! (I'm not kidding about that, he really does.) My Mom ends up having to make them several times during the Christmas season because they get eaten up! We make them a little different because my Mom does one red and one green M&M on each, but we decided to go all out for the chocolate and put 4 M&M's on each!

Generally speaking, I think I'm a pretty good baker. I'm a much better baker than cook. That's why Tony does most of the cooking unless it's something that has a recipe. I guess I'm a good recipe follower. That's why I was pretty disappointed with the cinnamon rolls because I usually do ok with a recipe. Oh well, making cookies today boosted my baking confidence again. :)

Here are a few pictures of the Christmas cookies!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

From Success To Failure

A few days ago we busted out the Pioneer Woman cookbook to make one of the best pasta dishes we've ever made. We decided since that was such a success, we would make The Pioneer Woman's famous cinnamon rolls this weekend. Going in, we had high hopes. Unfortunately, the end result was a complete failure. Beth and I both think that we didn't let the dough cool and sit long enough. It turned into a big sticky mess. We did end up making semi-cinnamon rolls(although they looked nothing like the cookbook pictures) and the best part about them was probably the maple icing. Anyway, here are some pics:







On a side note, I booked our flight out to San Jose, which means we are even closer to being 100 percent ready for the marathon. Well, accept for the fact that we've never run that far before and have done no training yet. I think we are both looking forward to the challenge and finally getting our first marathon under our belts.

On a second side note, the guy who won Top Chef was definitely not the best. I was a little disappointed that Kevin lost. We watched it week after week and then when the wrong Voltaggio brother won, I was a little bummed. I'm also a little sad that my and Beth's new favorite show, "Million Dollar Listing" had its season finale last week. That show is hilarious!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Is Here

We have had no snow in Oklahoma, even though Houston got snow already! But it has been seriously COLD here! Low 30s during the day, 20s or less at night have become the pattern this week. However, we are still running. We joked the other day that we should start taking pictures of my outfits to go running because they were definitely more about being warm than being fashionable. Plus, it's dark, so who cares what I wear, right? The news around here is that Tony finally signed us up for our first marathon. We are no more all talk about this matter. We are officially running it. I think Tony mentioned that it's the Big Sur Marathon at the end of April in California. Training starts in January. Tons of hours running here we come!

In other news, we finally made something from the new Pioneer Woman Cookbook. We made this penne pasta recipe and it was SO GOOD! We both had seconds (Tony had thirds, I think) and had some left over for both of us to have for lunch today. We thought the sauce seriously tasted like a restaurant sauce and it was pretty easy to make. Here's a picture of the deliciousness. I could eat it again already! We are going to make the cinnamon rolls from her cookbook this weekend.


We are looking forward to Christmas break coming up. I get off of school next Thursday and don't go back until January 4th. We are going to Houston the Wednesday before Christmas and staying through New Years. We haven't decided what we are offically doing for New Years, but thinking about just going to a nice dinner or something. We can't wait to see our friends, some new babies, and family.

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