Where does the time go?

It has been two months since I’ve written a post. Well, actually two months since I posted. I began a couple of posts here and there, but nothing was coming out right so I ended up deleting the drafts. As much as I love writing – and love hearing from you! – I needed a break. Even though I felt motivated and wanted to write, there were a million other things to do for work, around the house and in preparation for the holidays. Now I am getting my feet back under me and can’t wait to share all that has been going on! Here is just a quick recap, mostly in pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Thanksgiving
We had a wonderful Turkey Day complete with family, friends and Mama Merin’s mashed potato casserole! The holiday started off in the best way possible – with a last-minute notice from the boss man that we would have Wednesday off. Dave and I celebrated in true American fashion … with dinner in Chinatown!

Wednesday we picked up Dave’s mom from Union Station, which was decked out for the holidays. So pretty despite the rain!

I made up a turkey brine with lots of herbs and then Dave took it from there for his second annual beer-can turkey. It really makes it super juicy!

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beer can #turkey in the oven!

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^^ We were surprised it fit in the oven! ^^

Our good friends Josh and Olivia came over and we had a potluck style meal that included Dave’s beer-can turkey, Josh’s deep fried turkey, mashed potato casserole, brussels sprouts, spicy mac and cheese and MORE.

Daisy spent the day like the princess she is, perched in front of the door just watching the world go by.

Christmas (aka the MOST wonderful time of the year!)
Hands down, Christmas is my favorite holiday and truly the most wonderful time of the year. Even though we had fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this year I felt even more full of the spirit. One of my favorite places in town at this time is the Willard. They really deck the halls and all who enter are greeted nightly by carolers in the lobby.

Back in Texas for a week, I got to spend a lot of time with family and friends.

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Playtime with this cutie!! #myshadow today #lovelovelove

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^^ my shadow Silvia ^^

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Visiting with my favorite little family @carinasby

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^^ my favorite little family – meeting Leo for the first time ^^

^^ Christmas lights (Texas style!) with mom ^^

^^ Lola got so many toys from Grandma, she didn’t know which to play with! ^^

Ringing in the New Year
Dave and I originally wanted to go to Europe for New Year’s, but decided it wasn’t the most responsible decision after everything with the house. So instead we spent the evening at our new home with some old friends! It turned out to be very eventful as my Aggies pulled off a great comeback in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Game, and then just after our midnight kiss and toast, Justin proposed to Matthew!!

photo

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First #selfie of 2014! 🎉💋 Happy New Year!!

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^^ the proposal happened as this happened – our first selfie of 2014 ^^

In other news it’s been very cold here! Daisy doesn’t particularly like it, but at least she looks cute in her coat :)

Here’s a look at my instagram highlights from the past year…

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A little late with this, but …

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And my calendar for the year ahead! I have always loved calendars, like since I was young it has been a tradition. Every Christmas I would get one, often picking it out myself at those little pop up kiosks in the mall. The past few years my favorite has been by Curly Girl Design. She has the best, BEST quotes and cute graphics.

I love the start of a new year! It’s full of reflection on memories past and hope for the future. Lately I’ve been thinking that the world might be a better place if we treated the start of each month as we do the start of the new year. I don’t mean we need to go out and party like it’s 1999 before the first of each month, but if we had the same resolve monthly as we do annually, there might be a bit more of that joie de vivre going around!

How were your holidays?
What’s your favorite thing about the New Year?
Do you think we should celebrate each new month in a similar way?

tuesday things: you can take the girl out of Texas…

But you can’t take Texas out of the girl!

This past weekend, I made an impromptu trip to Texas to surprise my friend Arielle at her wedding shower soiree. Since I can’t make it to the wedding, I watched fares religiously for this weekend with the hope that they would go low enough for me to make it. I booked a great flight that allowed me to maximize the full weekend without taking time off work.

Friday night Mom, Kathy, Resalin, Kelsey and little munchkin Silvia picked me up from DFW. It was a fabulous showing of the ladies and I was super excited to see each of them. Even though Mom and Kathy came for a visit in June, I hadn’t been to Texas since the holidays and had been feeling homesick for a couple months. Res, Kelsey and I had a bit of wine and cheese, courtesy of Jude, and spent some time chatting.

The next morning we met Kathy for brunch at Pete’s. You guys, I’m not saying this just because my parents own the place, but Pete’s Cafe is a Farmers Branch staple, and shame on you if you have not been! I spent the afternoon with Dad and Jennifer then made a stop by the Asby household to drop off a b-day gift for Betsy. Then it was time for the soiree…

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Mmmm #bacon! #getinmybelly

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^^ Silvia enjoying her bacon like a good girl! ^^

The look on Arielle’s face when she saw me was priceless! She screamed and cried a bit then spent the rest of the night telling everyone how I’d flown from DC to be there. TOTALLY WORTH IT! Also it was pretty much the coolest shower I’ve been to because it was one big backyard bbq with a keg instead of the awkward standing around in dresses making small talk while eating finger sandwiches before gathering to watch the guest of honor open presents, naturally cooning at each item. (Can you tell how I loathe your typical shower?) I spent time catching up with old friends and eventually had to make my way back to Dad’s.

Arielle and me :)

Arielle and me :)

MIS girls all grown up!

MIS girls all grown up!

We went to a late dinner at Cantina Laredo of table-side guac, ahi tuna tacos, enchiladas, and of course, margaritas! It was a great time and also delicious – especially once we got the apple dessert of sorts that was drenched in sizzling brandy butter. Yum.

The next day I ate at Pete’s again for breakfast, but this time while catching up with friends Emily and Madison. Phone dates, texts, Facebook posts will do to an extent, but nothing compares to a good face-to-face chat with friends over coffee, wine… or both! (Don’t judge. The coffee came at breakfast and it was after noon by the time we had wine.)

Soon it was time to return to DC, which always makes me sad. At least I knew that Dave would pick me up on the other side, more than enough reason to be happy!

I love Texas and it will certainly always be home. Here are just a few of my favorite things about the Great State**:

1. Pete’s Cafe. Duh. I ate there twice and even got lunch to go on the way to the airport – had to have the chicken fried steak sandwich once on my trip! Add jalapenos and it is perfection between buns.

^^ Pete’s chicken fried steak sandwich with a roadie rose on the way to DFW ^^

2. Getting picked up at the airport, usually by Mom. Even if I saw her just a few weeks before, she is always so excited to see me! (I’m obviously excited to see her too!) It’s definitely the perfect greeting, and even better when one or all of the other ladies join. (Notice I am mentioning nothing about getting dropped off at the airport. Leaving is no fun!)

3. Meals with Dad. Wine with Dad. It’s always fun to just relax and eat, relax and drink. Dad usually cooks, but even going out to eat is fun!

4. Sunsets. The Texas sunsets are this perfect blend of pink, orange, blue, purple, red… basically every color.

^^ the view from my window landing at DFW ^^

5. Backroads driving with country on the radio. I love driving the windy roads of Texas with country blaring on the radio, going down to my mom’s property in the Texas Hill Country, or driving to A&M, which leads me to my next point.

6. Texas A&M. Aggie football is just about the best sport in the world. I made some great friends and memories in Aggieland and really miss that place. Gig em!

7. My friends and family that live all over the state. The hardest part about leaving Texas is not being able to see them regularly. These short weekend trips are just not enough, but as you can tell from my “Of House and Home” series here, here and here, I won’t be moving back anytime soon. (Yes, I know it’s been a while since I posted about the house, but it will come this week. Promise.)

**After writing this, I realized that my friend Olivia wrote a similar theme in her blog last month, Mother May I. Check it out!

 

What are your favorite things about Texas??