Wednesday, December 12, 2012

'Tis The Season 2012

The holiday season is upon us! And what an exciting one it has been so far!

I definitely should have updated the blog after Thanksgiving.  Things have been busy with school (as they have been all semester!) I'm finally getting to it, and have TONS of pictures to share. And, I must admit, with the new iPhone, I have been going a little crazy with pictures!

Chris and I got to spend a long weekend at home for Thanksgiving.  As usual, Thanksgiving day was packed full of visiting with family. 

At Chris' dad's house, the guys got out in the yard with the football.  That's Warren.

Chris, Warren and Dow

Mason in his fall sweater

While the boys threw the football, Mason played with his ball, too

  Black Friday has apparently been moved to Thanksgiving night.  The Thursday night of Thanksgiving, I met up with friends, and actually went shopping at midnight to catch the Black Friday deals.  Chris also spent the evening with friends, but he decided not to go Black Friday shopping.  He missed out!

Ready for some midnight shopping with Jessica, Sara, and Hannah

We got to go see our alma mater, Auburn High School, in the state semi-finals at the same stadium where I cheered and Chris played football all through high school! It looks a lot different now...the football team has been so successful lately, and they have added on a lot to the stadium.

I wore Chris' old jersey to the game that we found at his mom's house.  Yes, I am a huge dork! Haha
Packed out stadium! Sadly, we lost :( Oh well, just one more Auburn loss for the season...

 We also got to take some cute Christmas pictures.  My  sister has a pretty nice camera, so she took these pictures of us and we edited them on Instagram to make them look more professional.  I think they turned out really nice! The ideas for the pictures came off of Pinterest.

When we got home on Sunday, I finished decorating the house for Christmas.  It took me a few days, but I'm very proud of how it turned out! Here are some pictures.
Maybe one day we'll have a fireplace to hang our stockings over, but for now...the hutch is it! Doesn't our Christmas village look cute? Chris got those every Christmas from his Nana and Aunt Bette while growing up.

Chris insists that he needs somewhere to put his stuff when he walks in the door.  Well, there wasn't room with all my Christmas decorations on our hall table.  So I stacked up the boxes that our Christmas china is in and covered them with a table cloth.  Voila! A place for Chris' things and an easy and accessible place to store our Christmas plates.

Christmas silverware (yes...I love Christmas that much) and some other handy things to have around the kitchen.

The guest room...I'm not sure if we will have any guests in it this Christmas season :( But it's ready, just in case!

The fontanini nativity in the guest room.  Guess y'all didn't know that Christ's birth occurred in front of Jordan-Hare Stadium! Haha, just kidding.

Picture of the kitchen taken with the panoramic feature on my new iPhone!

More fun with panoramics! Here is our living room from one side...

And here it is from the other.  The panoramic pictures make it look much bigger than it is!

Here is the Auburn themed tree I put in our bedroom.

Mason's Christmas glamour shot in front of the Christmas tree
I made these letters for our windows! They spell J-O-Y.  This was another idea I got off Pinterest. Here is the "J".. Yes, I know, the tacky chords kind of take away from the effect, but it looks much better at night!

The "O"...

And the "Y"

And here is our whole house lit up at dusk! You can hopefully see the J-O-Y

The weekend after Thanksgiving, we did some entertaining.  I was really in the mood to have people over since I had finished with my Christmas decorating.  Mannie joined us for breakfast.  He is training for helicopters in Ft. Rucker, but was in town for a visit. I made gingerbread pancakes from a mix that Tammy got us.   Later, since the SEC championship was on, Alabama vs. Georgia, we had our friends Jenny and Kevin over to watch the game.  Jenny went to Georgia and Kevin went to Auburn so it was a good group to watch the game with.

Pancakes...I was just getting started when we took this.  I made, like, 20.

As usual, I took too many pictures of food and not enough of people! But here is a BLT dip that I made for watching the game.

Cream of Mushroom soup...great recipe! For the second half of the game.

Later, for dinner, we had Jon, Autumn, Ralph, and Alicia over. It was funny because when we woke up that morning, I had no plans at all to have anyone over, and then we wound up having breakfast, lunch, and dinner guests! I must say, when I entertain at the last minute, I probably do a better job because I don't over-plan everything! At the same time, I enjoy over-planning things, so I might just have to have another Christmas party before the big day gets here.  I don't know if I'll get the chance, though, so I'm glad these get-togethers got together ;)
Shrimp and Grits with caprese!

Ralph and Alicia at dinner
Mason must have been stuffed!
Cutting into the key lime pie.  That's one of the side effects of not planning dinner parties in advance...I have to serve (gasp!)...pre-made desserts from the freezer section! Haha, actually, it was probably much better than one of my homemade desserts.
It had been a while since we broke out the X-box Kinect, so after dinner we decided to play some dancing games.  Here is Chris going against Autumn.

Autumn and Alicia

Ralph and Jon

This past weekend, we went ice skating in Tuscaloosa with Alicia and Ralph.  Here are some pictures:

Getting ready to skate!

Ralph and Alicia.  Ralph is in Chris' class, and Alicia is a few classes ahead.  She just got her assignment a month or so ago...C-17s to McChord AFB near Seattle!

Chris is the expert skater

Alicia and me

Skating with my lover!

We also visited the Farmer's Market there, which was awesome.  We didn't buy much this time, since we didn't come prepared with a cooler or very much cash.  We did buy some homemade cheese that is delicious! This weekend, we will spend the night in Tuscaloosa Friday night because it is the Christmas party with my Ph.D. class. Saturday morning, we will definitely hit up the Farmer's Market before we come home.  You can buy steaks, pork, and even shrimp from local farmers there.  Don't even get me started on the selection of vegetables! We bought some fresh eggs there last week, too, which were noticeably tastier than the store-bought kind!  We love Farmer's Markets.  The one here in Columbus doesn't last through the winter, so it's nice to know about one that does!

In other little sister got engaged on Sunday! She and her fiance, Jason Walters, have been together for a couple of years now.  They are both graduating in May, she in elementary education and he in civil engineering.  He proposed to her in Calloway Gardens on Sunday.  They are very excited about their December 14, 2013 wedding! I am excited too! I am in three weddings next year, and I wouldn't be one bit surprised if I wound up being in seems like a 2013 wedding might be in the cards for another friend of mine.  It is certainly going to be a lot of fun.  It's hard to believe that my baby sister has reached marriageable age!  Haha but a Christmas wedding will be so pretty and it will be fun to do something totally different than Chris' and my July wedding.

The ring! That's sapphires on the side. It reminds me in some ways of my ring.  Guess he has good taste!

Champagne toast Chris and I made to the happy couple!

Here are some other pictures from the past month:
Mason sitting on Chris, waiting for the light show to begin.

There is a light show at a house in one of the neighborhoods on base.  Lights in the yard are choreographed to music.  We walked out there with Autumn, Jon, and the dogs to watch.

Picture of the light show (obviously, you can't get the full effect with a picture, but the lights change to music)
At J. Broussard's in Columbus

Had a girls' weekend a few weeks ago while Chris was on his cross-country trip in the T-1.  Tori and Sara spent the weekend with me.  We had a great time!

Wow, I guess that about wraps it up! We have a couple of Christmas parties this weekend.  I am done with school for the semester, except for my finals tomorrow, so next week I will have more time to update the blog with other goings on in our life as well as Christmas party pictures.  Meanwhile, this has taken quite a while (I guess that's what I get for not updating for a month!) and I need to get going..I have to leave by 6:30 tomorrow morning to get to Tuscaloosa in time for my first final! Chris has to wake up early, too.  He is double-turning tomorrow (taking two flights...very exhausting!).  He also has a lot of work to do to get ready for his big check ride next Wednesday.  He is glad that he will have it out of the way before Christmas, but this check ride is very important, so it is also stressful and he has to be prepared. I'm sure you would all like to hear about his cross-country trip.  I will update you more on what all is happening next week sometime.  Thanks for reading!