Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

Before I head out to ring in the new year with my new (and only) husband, I thought I would share some of my most important memories/events from 2009. Here's to a safe and happy new year to you!

**March 21, 2009- the day Colton asked me to marry him

**May 30, June 6, June 12, 2009- my bridal showers

**June/July 2009- my trip to Poland

**July 31, Aug. 1- my bachelorette party to New Braunfels

**AUGUST 15, 2009- the day I married my best friend

**Aug. 16-23- our honeymoon to Rose Hall, Jamaica

**My first Thanksgiving as a newlywed with my parents

**My first Christmas away from home

Most of the events of my life this year in some way relate to my getting married. This has definitely been a good year to me.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Clean House and CCC Cookies...this is the life!

As I sit here relaxing on my couch before I begin to peruse some home decorating magazines for my new house that I do not have yet, I am enjoying the satisfaction of a clean house. I spent the morning cleaning our apartment and taking down Christmas decorations. I must say taking down the decorations is not nearly as fun as putting them up. While I was cleaning, I decided to mix up a new chocolate cookie recipe I found on The Nest cooking chat board. It involves using Bailey's Irish Cream in the batter. Yum! I whipped up a batch and baked cookies while I was cleaning. Let me tell you...these cookies are divine. Soft and chewy. They may be better than the last new recipe I tried. TBD. I definitely like how soft they are. I will put them through the milk test later. And then I will bust out my Wii Active to burn some of those cookie calories.

I am going to have a lazy afternoon while the chicken cooks in the crockpot. I am making homemade chicken and noodles. I made noodles from scratch last week to take to Kress but I decided not to take them last minute. So now I am going to use the noodles with the chicken in the crockpot. Yum!

Tonight...the Tech boys basketball game is on TV so Colton and I are planning on heading over to Snookies (the bar across the street) to watch the game.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Re-Cap

Well, I had a very merry Christmas indeed. I hope you did too! We began our holidays with a trek to West Texas to visit Colton's family. Boy, did we leave just in the nick of time. We headed out Wednesday evening around 4:30 p.m. We took 287 (I am so thankful we did not leave Wednesday morning on 287) and a little over halfway there, around Childress, the sleet and snow started coming down. We had to slow down to about 45-50 mph to drive in the dark, cold, snowy weather but we arrived safely in Kress. (One of my best friends, Susanna, insists on spelling it Crest, like the toothpaste) I awoke to the sound of wind whipping against the windowsills and Colton pulled the blinds back to reveal a big snowy blur. The winds were blowing all the snow that had fallen during the night. It was so bad they closed a lot of the highways around West Texas, including I20 because the conditions were too difficult to drive in. You could not even see 5 feet in front of you, much less drive. While Colton spent the morning braving the cold with his dad and brother to check on the cows (apparently they can walk off during snow storms), I spent time with CassiDe and SuDe. We even made homemade noodles for lunch. By five o clock the conditions had calmed down enough for us to pile in the four wheel drive pickup and crawl toward Grandmommys house in Plainview. Along the way, we saw cars dotting the medians and banks off the highway where people had slid off the roads and gotten stuck.

Grandmommy hosted Christmas eve dinner with prime rib. Yum! Samson, her small dog, provided the entertainment. It was a delicious dinner and good time. We left for home to dream of sugar plums and all those Christmas things. I tried to convince Colton to give me my present a day early to no success. He is really good at making me wait.

Christmas morning. I awoke to Colton placing my present on the bed. A new watch, just what I wanted and better than I asked for. He is a good husband. His turn...a watch! Haha. We both gave each other watches w/o knowing it. His watch is a Garmin 305 forerunner that he can use for running. It tracks his heart rate, distance, calories, and lots of other things. This will come in use when we run the Cowtown 10K!

We exchanged presents with his family and then headed out (again in the four wheel drive) to Nannys house where Colton's dad's family was waiting. (All five kids with their families and grandparents...around 22 people total..not including dogs) We had a HUGE Christmas lunch that included homemade mac n cheese just for me (in case I did not like anything else...they know how picky I am!) Afterwards, we exchanged gifts in a white elephant exchange. I received a two sets of sparkly dangle earrings. Good deal for me! All in all, my first Christmas with the Streets was a wonderful one and they made it very special for me as my first Christmas away from home.

On Saturday, we drove home and had Christmas with my family. Mom cooked a yummy ham with scalloped potatoes and butterscotch pie. We exchanged gifts and sat by the fire all night. It was a wonderful night. Dad really like his custom picture so I was glad about that.

Up next...a new year! Hope everyone has NY resolutions ready! I know I do! I plan to enjoy my last week off work to the fullest and spend as much time with my husband as possible.


P.S. Merry Christmas to Adam and Shelley in Japan! Its their first Christmas together away from home. We love you!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My first West Texas Christmas

Before I embark on the long road trip toward West Texas, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! May you be blessed with love, family, and friends this holiday season!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Update

Well, I have not done very well about keeping this blog updated but that is about to change. Once I reveal my New Year's Day post, you will see why.

I have been busy lately obsessing over cooking and trying to make it through the last few weeks of school before the holiday break. Words cannot describe how elated I am that my break has finally arrived. I have spent the morning being lazy on the couch and I am finally about to pull myself up and begin my day. On the agenda- wrapping Christmas gifts, heading to my parents house, making homemade noodles, baking Christmas cookies for my mom, and possibly trying a recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls. A busy day ahead indeed.

Since my last post, I have discovered in myself a desire to learn how to cook. Now, I know how to cook like my mother does...good, greasy, homestyle cooking that requires the consumption of lots of butter and gravy. I do love a good chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and cream gravy. But, I have decided I need to expand my cooking skills beyond that of Southern cooking so I have taken to researching recipes on the Internet and browsing Southern Living magazines (courtesy of my wonderful grandmother) for new ideas. I have already collected at least twelve recipes to try. After spending so much time time reading other people's blogs about cooking, I feel exhausted with their efforts yet I also envy those skills. So..I set out to try my hand at this new venture in the kitchen and I will say I have met mostly success with only one minor (okay major) setback in the kitchen. Luckily, I have a great husband who still ate my dinner even though it was gross!

First up on my attempt was an easy weeknight casserole, which consisted basically of ground beef, sour cream and cream cheese, onion powder, cheddar cheese, and egg noodles. Simple and easy...this recipe was a hit. I promptly filed it away into my new recipe box (courtesy of my mother) to be made again.

Attempt #2- Chicken Enchilda Soup = DISASTER
My love of Chilis is infinite. I could eat there everyday and most people who know me know that I could eat the same two or three things off the menu every time. I am not an adventurous eater. So, in my pursuit of that cheesy goodness Chilis calls enchilda soup, I attempted to re-create this recipe with the help of a recipe from the Internet. Let's just say it was not delicious. It called for a different kind of flour, Masa Harina, and it did not taste well. I am not sure what I did wrong but I will not be making this one again. Recipe in the trash.

Attempt #3- Baked Ravioli = Success!
Very simple and easy. It involved layering ingredients into a baking casserole dish and popping in the oven. I am working my way in to the harder stuff, people, but I will still be happy with the simple joys of easy dishes. Yum!

Attempt #4- Peppermint Bark and Oreo Truffles
Now, I have made peppermint bark before. It is always delicious. The Oreo Truffles (Fancy way of saying oreo balls) were new to my kitchen. I found several delicious recipes online but I went with the one on the Kraft foods website. Oh my gosh...heaven in one bite. These are delicious. I took them to Colton's work party with the peppermint bark and they were well liked by all.

Attempt #5- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have always made the recipe for chocolate chip cookies on the back of the Tollhouse bag, like my mother has always done. Sorry, mom, but those cookies do not even compare to my new recipe. They are a mixture of chewy, chocolate goodness. My students think so too! They benefitted from all my baking frenzied activity in the kitchen Thursday night. I have one other CCC recipe to try and I will update you later on which is the best.

Attempt #6- Chocolate Mint Puddles
Another cookie recipe. I found this on a blog and I mixed up the dough Thursday night. I did not have time to bake them until Saturday but, boy, were they worth it. The recipe involved using Andes mints so you know they have to be delicious.

Out of 6 attempts in the kitchen, with only one failed, I consider my first week in the kitchen a success. Don't you worry. I will continue to cook all my country cooking favorites, including macaroni and cheese, but I hope to expand my cooking skills to include other types of foods. So far, I am enjoying it immensely. Just ask my husband, who constantly finds me in the kitchen or on the computer looking for new recipes.

Well, the presents won't wrap themselves so I guess I better get started. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your time with your loved ones. I know I will!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas

I am SO excited for the holidays this year. (Who am I kidding? I am excited every year!) Its such a festive time of year and it is a lot of fun singing along to Christmas songs and decorating. It is hard not be be happy during this time of year.

Colton and I have decorated our apartment. I convinced him to help me the day after Thanksgiving. He even went all out and bought some lights and two blow up Santas for the porch. (It was a buy one get one free deal and he could not resist a good deal.) Ha! It looks nice. We have the mini tree up in the living room and it is looking nice. I even bought really cute wrapping paper at Michael's. All I need now are gifts to wrap them with!

All we need now is snow.....

Here's hoping,
Devin XOXO