Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter wreath...

I hate saying goodbye to my Christmas decorations.  It's just about my least favorite day of year.  My house always feels so empty and dull once the lights and garland are down.  Luckily this year I had Pinterest to help pull me out of the post-Christmas doldrums! 

I had seen this wreath and knew it would be a fun activity and a great wintry wreath for January.  Making the yarn balls was actually so fun and almost therapeutic.  I simply bought different sizes of styrofoam balls and wrapped them in various styles and colors of yarn. 

For the wreath I just bought a cheap wooden wreath from Michaels then wrapped it in yarn.  That was probably the most tedious part, but I'm glad I did it.  Then I just used A LOT of hot glue and finished it off with some glittery picks that I got on major post-holiday sale. 

I think I'm going to add some additional balls to it to thicken it up, but for now I'm loving how it looks hanging in our morning room. 

Thank you Pinterest and Two Junk Chix! :)

A Camper Warming...

We spent our first night in our new vacation home at Bull Run Regional Park and we couldn't have asked for better weather.  Adam stayed with Ommy and Poppy the first night so we could get everything set up and make a big trip to Target for supplies.  It was great having a relaxing morning and breakfast in the woods.

We then spent the rest of the day getting ready for our "Camper Warming" party with our families.  We smoked sausage, built a great fire, and had the s'mores stuff ready to go. 

We then had our families join us for a party in the woods.  It was great to have everyone spending time together though I have to say the highlight was seeing my parents whittling sticks to roast marshmallows on.  Those who know my parents know why this part stands out in my mind. :)

Thanks to everyone for coming out, I'd say our camper was nicely warmed!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I forgot to mention...

...that Adam did get what he wanted for Christmas.  Santa was so good to Adam and he remembered to bring him "Legos, puzzles, a camper, and trains."  Ok, I know you're thinking, "Wait? Santa brought Adam a camper?"  Well yeah, in the form of Legos. 

He even brought Andy a the form of Legos. 

Surprisingly, Santa even brought me a camper!  No really, like a real camper! I like to think of it as a vacation home...

Thanks Santa! I'd say we will get years worth of vacations and adventures out of this present!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ringing in the New Year...

We had a fabulous New Year's Eve with our very fabulous friends, Greg, Erica and Blake.  We invited them to spend the night which meant we could spend some time playing with the kids but then put them to bed and spend the rest of the evening eating, drinking and doing all we could to actually stay awake past midnight! :)

Erica and I planned a four course meal and split up the cooking duties. For appetizers we enjoyed bacon wrapped chorizo stuffed dates and a crab and artichoke dip. 

Next up was Andy's mushroom soup with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. 

Erica then made an amazing arugula salad topped with orange and grapefruit segments that had been heated in a balsamic and honey reduction then topped with a slice of prosciutto. 

For dinner Andy grilled steaks and shrimp, Greg sliced up "saddleback" potatoes, and Erica made dijon braised brussel sprouts with shallots.

Meanwhile I was in charge of decor, and I couldn't have been happier with my table settings and floral arrangements. 

We had the wine and martinis flowing and of course a champagne toast at midnight.  Mostly I think we were just celebrating the fact that we were still awake to witness the start of 2012! 

I hope everyone had a great start to the New Year.  We are so lucky to have such amazing friends to celebrate with and we can't imagine kicking off the New Year with anyone else!
(and why do I take more pictures of food than of people? Resolution for 2012...more people pictures!!!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas at the beach...

The day after Christmas we decided to hit the road and head for sunshine, palm trees, sand, and best of all, Don and Rosemary! With a week off from work, why not take advantage and get out of town for a bit!?

I'm certain there is no place quite as relaxing as Don and Rosemary's which made it the perfect destination after the holidays. 

We had a great visit which included a trip to the beach.  The weather was gorgeous that day and Andy even put his feet in the water.   After our failed attempt at a beach trip this summer, it was nice to at least get in 30 minutes of beach time before the year ended. 

The nice weather also meant we got a lot of good walks in and some park time for Adam.  He loved "driving" this car and said he was on his way to see "BePa!"

We also just enjoyed spending time with Don and Rosemary and I know they enjoyed having a little one around during the holidays.  They both had fun building legos and playing trains with Adam.  He loves his Don and Mae Mae and is already asking when we can go back! I say, how about April?  :)


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas dinner...

Christmas is one of the greatest days of they year, so why not pack as much family and cheer into it as possible right?!  Well that's exactly what we did.  So after a great afternoon with my family we loaded up our sleigh again and headed out to Auntie Amy and Uncle John's house. 

It was great to spend time with Andy's family (though we missed seeing Auntie Heidi and Uncle Shawn) and Adam loved getting to play with all his big boy cousins. 

Amy put out a great spread with braised short ribs, Swedish meatballs, roasted brussel sprouts and super creamy mashed potatoes.  It was just what we needed after a day of opening presents and playing with new toys--we'd earned it (or that's what I told myself) :)

We were charged with bringing the desert so I decided to make a pink champagne and strawberry cake I'd seen on Pinterest and not only was it gorgeous it was oh so tasty! I'll have to post the recipe sometime soon as it would be a great desert for Valentine's day.

So with full bellys, even more new toys, and an exhausted little elf, we finally said goodbye to Christmas Day, and what a great day it was!

Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's...

After a nice Christmas morning at our house, which included a wonderful breakfast casserole and a much needed power nap for Adam, we loaded up our sleigh and headed out for Grandma and Grandpa's house. 

The grandkids were spoiled with so many great gifts and they loved playing with their new toys and did a great job of sharing and playing together.  Adam and Olivia are so lucky to be so close in age and to be able to spend so much time together. 


As for the big kids, we all drew names this year which cut the present opening time by about five hours! Ha! But we all got great things that we wanted and best of all we were able to have more time to spend chatting, nibbling on snacks and watching the kids test out their new toys.

It was a great Christmas afternoon!

(PS: Wish I'd taken more pictures but my camera was tired after snapping so many that morning!  Thankfully Lee snapped these for us!)


Mommy, Daddy and Liddy were good this year too!

We even got a nice handmade gift from our little elf, Adam!

A great Christmas morning for sure!