Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

First of all...I have to apologize for some of the really poor quality pictures. My cameras were on strike this last week and were refusing to cooperate with me.


My Thanksgiving started out with picking up my beautiful niece from the airport! YAY! So exciting. :-)

We ran some errands, had lunch and came home to start the prep work.

We decided to make a pumpkin cheesecake instead of the traditional pumpkin pie. (Please don't shoot me, but I'm not really a pumpkin pie fan.)

I put Shanelle to work making the cheesecake. She and I have always played in the kitchen together. She takes after the rest of the family, her mom included, and is a great cook!

Ready for the oven!

Thursday morning brought the arrival of my brother and the process of getting the food ready for the day. I had done a bunch of prep work with Shanelle the day before, and used my triple crock pot to make cranberry sauce in and to hold the mashed potatoes warm all day. I made the mashed potatoes in the morning and they were still nice and hot later in the afternoon. I didn't have to rush around with the potatoes at the end. I liked that and will definitely do that again next year.

Everything went well food-wise. I did turn off the oven when I pulled the turkey out and then couldn't figure out what was taking the green bean casserole so long to heat up...but that was easily rectified.

I didn't go overboard on the food. There were only four of us so I didn't feel like I needed to feed an army.

Much of the day looked like this as we watched football and played Draw Something on our phones with each other.

Dinner looked like this:

We also decided to take some pictures. That turned out to be hilarious because Chris was not cooperating, my cameras hate me, and we are silly people. Here are some of the outtakes:

Oh my.

The rest of the weekend was very mellow. Shanelle had only ever seen the first Twilight movie, so we spent most of the rest of the weekend lounging around, watching Twilight movies. We didn't do any Black Friday shopping.

We did snuggle with the kitties, though.

 Roscoe got some whipped cream on his nose.

Uncle Chris was being silly...AGAIN!

I really wish that last picture wasn't fuzzy...cuz it is a great picture of my beautiful girl.

Thanksgiving is over, and I am back to frantically working to get my homework done, clean my house and get ready for the end of the school year. It was so great to see my Shanelle and my brother for the holiday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Plans


I am hosting a small Thanksgiving this year. I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner shortly after I got married and bought my first house about 15 years ago. I don't do it every year because frequently Chris and I take a vacation that starts either Thanksgiving Day or the day after (airfare can be super cheap!) so those years we either don't do anything or have our Thanksgiving early. 

With our current lifestyle of Chris being on call and me being school we haven't taken a vacation at Thanksgiving time for a few years and we have needed to stay home in case Chris has to go to work. I have hosted the last couple of years. 

The first year we moved here (2009) we had only been here for about a month when my three best girlfriends came down to celebrate with us, drink tons of wine...

 and go Black Friday shopping.


I have never seen a car so filled with swag before! Those girls shopped till they dropped...literally! They shopped here in Medford, starting at some ridiculous hour in the morning, shopped most of the day, then drove the over four hours home and then did more shopping! They were still out shopping at ten o'clock that night. So funny. 

Okay that was a tangent, but once I remembered it I had to share it. Too funny!

Last Thanksgiving was really great because my grandparents from California stopped by on their way to the big family Thanksgiving, my mom and my maternal grandmother were here, and my brother surprised us all by showing up completely unannounced!! Such a great Thanksgiving present.

It is also kind of bittersweet because my grandma from California (in the red coat) has dementia and in the last year her life has changed dramatically. She is now in a care center and doesn't really know who most people are anymore. It was a really special gift to see her last year because it is unlikely that we will ever be able to visit like that again. 

This year, my brother and my niece are coming. As far as I know, no other surprise visitors will be here. I'm super excited to see my niece and spend a few days with her. I miss her a lot! My brother's visit will be quick, but it is always great to see him and he is an excellent cook...having another trustworthy cook in the kitchen for Thanksgiving is never a bad thing!

We are doing the very typical turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and pie. We will also have some appetizers. I am trying to remind myself that there is only four of us so I don't need to cook for any army. Good luck with that, Corrie! 

The turkey is defrosting in the fridge, I think I have all the groceries I will all we have to do is wait for the big day!

What are your Thanksgiving plans this year? Do you cook a traditional meal or are you a non-traditionalist? I understand my maternal grandma (in the blue vest) is making a prime rib. She doesn't really like turkey. I know, because she tells me that every Thanksgiving! Ha! Poor gram. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wish List '12

Things I am Wishing For This Christmas

1. A gold cuff/bangle bracelet. Something like this would work.

2. This apron

3. A stereo like this for my car

4. Diamonds

Source: via Corrie on Pinterest

5. These movies on DVD or Blu-Ray

Breaking Dawn Part 2

(image source)


Okay, I know some people hate Twilight, and it has a bad reputation for being a terrible story that teaches young women to hook up with controlling boyfriends. However, I am an adult in a great marriage and I can totally overlook that aspect and just enjoy the movies/books. 

I did NOT want to read these books, but a friend wouldn't stop bugging me about it, so I eventually did...and loved them. 

The movies...they have definitely gotten better with each one (the first one is terrible!). 

This movie: amazing! 

They did such a great job!

Even Kristen Stewart really comes into her own in this film and gives us a good rendition of an angry newborn vampire. 

(image source)
I really love how they put this film together. I will not be telling any spoilers, but I will say that I loved it and I actually can't wait to see it again. 

My friend Allison had never seen any of the Twilight movies, nor read the books, so she, being the good sport that she is, came over last weekend and spent all day watching the first three movies with me (and snuggling with kittens). 

Yesterday, she was brave enough to come back over and watch Breaking Dawn Part 1 on Amazon instant (so love that!!) with me before heading to the theater in the evening to catch the final installment. 

It is somewhat bittersweet that the series is over now. 

The theater was packed, and it was a lot of fun (for me) to be surrounded by people who are just as into Twilight as I am. The woman sitting next to me and I were both gasping, laughing and tense at the same times. It was pretty funny. 

Even Allison agreed that the movies weren't as bad as she thought they would be and that Part 2 was a pretty darn good movie! 

It has been great to see all the movies this week, to watch the evolution of the films and the actors and the story all so close together. I am sad that it is over, but I tell you...these movies put a smile in my heart and laughter on my lips so, as far as I am concerned, they are a winner. 

Are you a Twilight fan? Love it or Loathe it? Have you seen BDP2 yet? 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Friday (Football) Five 11/9/12

Hello Friends! Happy Friday!

This week the theme of the Friday Five is FOOTBALL!

I'm sure a number of people reading are not football fans, but I have been watching football for years. Chris watches with me every so often, but if he has *anything* better to do he is doing it.

I thought I would share some of my Football Favorites this week. Here goes:

1. My favorite TEAM(s):

I have had several teams that I really liked in the past including the Philadelphia Eagles, The Pittsburgh Steelers, The Indianapolis Colts and The Green Bay Packers. Before you start groaning, I liked the Eagles *prior* to Michael Vick being the quarterback and I liked them because they were an underdog team that came back to win on a regular basis. I like the underdog. The Colts were an incredible team to watch but I'm going to talk more about that in a minute. The Steelers have long been a favorite of mine because they are a hard hitting football team and Ben Roethlisberger, despite the allegations against him for sexual misconduct (which I clearly don't condone) is a heck of a quarter back. However, if I were to pick my current favorite team it would be:

The packers are a great team in my opinion. They were Superbowl contenders two years ago and with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback I think they have the potential to do it again.

2. My Favorite COACH

There is only one:

Tony Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts, and the first African American coach to win a Super Bowl. The man is the real deal, modest, honest and an incredible coach.


My second and third runners up would be Eagles head coach Andy Reid because he tells it like it is, and the Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. I gotta say, I do like the Patriots head coach Tom Coughlin as well; he is a tough guy who knows football. 

3. My favorite QUARTER BACK(s):

I grew up in the Dan Marino, Joe Montana, John Elway era of quarterbacks. Those guys were great quarterbacks. I loved to watch Elway run...he looked so awkward! Great quarter backs, all of them. However, the torch has been passed, and this year is in the process of being passed again. I like Big Ben, but he isn't a favorite. My second runner up is Packers quarter back Aaron Rodgers. He is a steady player and ranks almost at the top of my list of favorites. I like Eli Manning a lot, too. He has some serious skill. There are several rookie quarter backs this year to keep an eye on in the coming years, including RG3, aka Robert Griffin III who has had a stunning debut. However, despite not playing for a year due to a neck injury and multiple surgeries, I still have to say that Peyton Manning is my favorite current quarter back. As Dan Marino said last week (paraphrasing) Peyton is the hardest worker in football, he is the best: best man, best player, best mentor. 


4. My Favorite PLAYER(s)

There are two. My TWO Favorites. 

Linebacker Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers, # 52. He is a beast! He is fast, he is powerful and he is pretty darn good looking when he cleans himself up. :-)


Tied as my favorite player is Pittsburgh Steeler Strong Safety Troy Polamalu, # 43. Polamalu is an explosive play maker. He is *everywhere* on the field. He can run, he can tackle and he is a key player for the Steelers. 

In all honesty though, the Steelers have an incredible lineup either way, including Hines Ward, Rashard Mendenhall and James Harrison who are all incredible players. Troy gets my vote for favorite, though. 

5. My Favorite ANNOUNCERS

Like Faith Hill says: Al and Cris are the best on T.V.!

Cris Collinsworth has replaced the legendary John Madden, joining Al Michaels as  the new analyst on NBC "Sunday Night Football."
Cris Collinsworth replaced John Madden in 2009 as the co-anchor of Sunday Night Football. I must say, I was not sad to see John Madden go. I was not a fan. However, I LOVE Al & Cris on SNF. They are half the reason I watch the Sunday night game. They are not annoying, and they don't talk about the overly obvious. They have good rapport and it shows in their analysis and interactions. Most other games I could turn off the sound and just watch but Sunday Night games are as much about Al & Cris as they are the two teams playing. 

I could do without Bob Costas, though. 

There you have it! My Friday Football Five! 

Are you a football fan? Loathe it or Love it? Who are your favorites?