Benny's Little Accident

Last night around 1:30 am I open my eyes to see Ryan yelling at Bennett. "Hmm, doesn't he know it's the middle of the night... Why is he screaming so much.... Ryan never yells...." These thoughts are going through my head until I realize what is really going on. Looks like Bennett had a little accident in the middle of the night. Rut row...

Bennett never pees in the house and normally if he has to go in the middle of the night he barks at the door to let us know. I immediately think to myself that he probably barked and I just slept through it. Might have something to do with the fact that I had one (ok, two) margaritas earlier in the night...

Anyways, I decide to get out of bed and see how I can assist. At this point it's actually amusing as Ryan is wiping the floors and cleaning the rug with carpet cleaner. At 1:30 am. In his boxers.

I then realize Bennett has been punished and put outside. He's looking through the glass doors at me with such a sad face so I immediately rescue him and bring him back in the house. It was just an accident, right?

I quietly think to myself that maybe I shouldn't have given Bennett that large bowl of water before we went to bed. Oops!

Annual Gift Exchange

For the past eight years, Kim, Sara, Leslie & I have done an annual Christmas dinner/gift exchange and we had our dinner last night at El Tiempo...one of our fave Mexican restaurants in Houston! We've been friends since high school and have carried on this tradition even though we went separate ways for college and now three of us live in Houston and one in Dallas. We've always exchanged cute undies as this is something that we rarely buy for ourselves so it's fun to get several new pairs.

Kim, Sara, Les & I @ El Tiempo

Love these girls and I love our little gift exchange. Can't wait till next years!!


Busy week!

This past Sunday we attended two Christmas parties/dinners with our families. We had lunch with Ryan's Mother's side (if that makes sense) and had a total of 30 adults and about 20 children ranging from 3 months to nearly 14 years old. It was definitely a house full but it was still really nice to see everyone and catch up.

After lunch we headed over to my parents house to have dinner with the six of us. My brother and his fiancee will not be in town on Christmas day so we wanted to all get together to celebrate. It was obviously a much smaller group but we still had just as much fun. I did manage to take some pics this time though...

Unfortunately, Ryan had to work yesterday and today but I had enough vacation where I could take a few days off. I enjoyed a quiet morning yesterday around the house and then went to the Nutcracker that afternoon with Ryan's mom, sisters and all of their daughters. We had 11 of us total and we had a blast! It was definitely a fun girls outing and I hope we can continue this tradition in the future.

Next on the list is baking cinnamon rolls with my Mom today. My grandmother makes fabulous homemade cinnamon rolls and last year was the first time she asked us to make them. I've always wanted to learn and she "assisted" my mother and I last year. This is the first year we've attempted them all on our own so we'll see how they come out!

So far this has been a busy week and we have many more parties/gatherings to attend but I wouldn't change it for anything!


Christmas Pictures

It's officially the week of Christmas and the parties and family gatherings are in full swing. This is such a wonderful time of year and before it gets even busier I wanted to post our 2009 Christmas card and share a few pictures of our house. My Mom and I decorated a few weeks ago and everything looks beautiful....

This is the card we sent out this year and I think it turned out great! Nicole snapped this picture when we went on our little "photography session" a few weeks ago and I love this pic. Benny even looks so well behaved :)

And lastly, I have to post this sweet picture of Bennett. Christmas came early for him and a new dog bed arrived. He loves it!


1st Annual Christmas Dinner

This past Sunday night we had our 1st Annual Christmas dinner with all of our best friends. In the past we have all gone out to eat during the Holidays to celebrate this festive time of year but now that we all have homes we decided that we would take turns hosting this dinner. Ryan and I decided that we would start it off and have it at our house this year. I will admit that I was a little nervous to prepare and cook a meal for two of my best friends (who happen to be fabulous cooks) but overall I think everything turned out pretty well. During the week leading up to our dinner I could not decide on a menu and while I was debating over several options one night Ryan says, "Why can't we just go out to eat, it seems to be a lot easier." Hmm after that comment I was determined to make this meal and make it good.

Of course I first went to my mother and asked her advice on something to cook that I couldn't screw up terribly. We decided on a pork tenderloin as I could make the marinade the day before and let it soak up all the yummy juices over night. I also made one of Ryan's favorites sides, Picnic Potatoes, and Alison brought over a salad and Nicole brought over bread and asparagus. The menu turned out perfect!

All the girls before dinner

Ryan and I in front of our tree :)

Ali B in the kitchen

Nicole & Aaron

And the master griller!

The table before we ate. We had to comprise with the chairs as I foolishly only bought 4 at the time of the purchase :(

Nicky T and Mark dishing up their food

Alison & Nicole in the "high" chairs

Alison & Mark

After we ate dinner we pulled out the games and played an intense game of Mad Gab. We played Boys vs. Girls and unfortunately for the girls, the boys pulled out the win.

Meanwhile, Tyler spent time relaxing on the couch :)

One more action shot during the game.

Overall the food was super yummy but the company was even better. We're looking forward to keeping up with this tradition for years to come!


PW, Shopping & Sugar Cookies

PW (aka Pioneer Woman), shopping and sugar cookies - put all three of these together and you get one fabulous day! This past Saturday Pioneer Woman was headed to Houston for her cookbook tour and Nicole and I are huge fans of her. I'm more of a fan of her witty sense of humor and great photography skills but I'm slowly coming around to her cooking. Nicole introduced me to her blog a few months ago and ever since then I've been hooked. It's no secret that I'm not such a great cook (read here) and that is one of the reasons why PW is so great. She takes pictures along the way while she's cooking which is perfect for me! So we set out this past Saturday to get a chance to meet the great PW from Oklahoma and pick up a copy of this miracle cookbook.

The book signing was originally scheduled to be at Blue Willow Bookshop but had to be moved to Georgia's Market due to the large crowd that was expected. We arrived a little early to make sure we were able to get a book and then to get a ticket for the signing line.

We were able to pick up a few cookbooks but unfortunately did not get very lucky on our tickets. We were at the bottom of the list to actually meet PW and found out that we would have to wait approximately 5 more hours until we could see her! Hmmm. We had shopping plans for that afternoon and waiting 5 more hours wasn't in the itinerary...

While we didn't actually stay for the signing we still had a great time listening to her (from way in the back) and now have an even greater love for PW.

Shopping was next and we headed out to Highland Village and spent a couple of hours walking around since it was such a beautiful afternoon. Both of our husbands were also out of town for the night which can sometimes lead to trouble when no one is there to monitor the credit card card...

I promise it's not as bad as it looks. Really, we didn't buy that much, it's just a ton of bags. Somehow our husbands didn't quite believe us when we tried that on them :)

Next up for the evening was baking. We were inspired by the PW herself and set out to try her recipe for sugar cookies. We stayed in that night, ordered some pizza, put on some Christmas music, pulled out the vino and had a great time!

Look Mom, I'm baking!

And the oh so talented Nicky T with the eggs and her vino. Hmm maybe the reason it took about 5 hours from start to finish to make these cookies was our distraction with the camera. In our defense we had to document the process. PW always takes pictures as she goes. I think her pictures are mostly of the food itself but we thought we'd get a little more creative and add pics of the cute bakers in the process :)

And they're almost done. The frosting part got interesting as it was late at night at this point but for the most part they turned out super yummy! It's not how they look but how they taste, right??


Hello Crock Pot

True story. This morning at 8:30 am I said hello to my crock pot for the first time. The first time in 2 1/2 years. Ryan and I had received this as a wedding gift and it's been sitting at the bottom of our pantry in the box for over 2 1/2 years. I even registered for this and I have been yet to actually use it, let alone take it out of the box. Embarrassing? Mmm slightly.

Let's rewind - this past Thanksgiving my Mom and I got to talking about my lack of culinary skills. She started to take the blame for never teaching me but honestly I don't think I had every really taken an interest in cooking while growing up. Almost every evening we had a home cooked meal and I think I always avoided the cooking part and always helped with the cleaning part. Fast forward 10 years and I still have never learned to really cook anything. Anyways, my mom and I decided that I should take baby steps and start with the crock pot. This was something that I could turn on in the morning before work and come home to a wonderful supper! I was also guaranteed that I could get more than one meal out of this. Score! So as Ryan and I were leaving my parents house that night my Mom handed me all the ingredients for two dinners. All I had to do was put a pork roast in the crock pot and let it cook all day. Sounds simple....right?!?

Back to Sunday morning - At this point I am admiring my beautiful stainless steel crock pot and imagining all the yummy dinners I am going to make in this fabulous appliance. I also decided that I am going to document my first crock pot experience with pictures so my Mom will be proud :)

As I am taking everything out of the box I find a coupon at the bottom that guaranteed an even easier meal using a crock pot. Sweet!

Unfortunately, the coupon had already expired. 12/31/06. Yikes! I really should have opened this before now.

So at this point I have taken everything out of the box and I have taken the sirloin pork roast out of the freezer. Failure #1 - the roast should have been thawed out. Oops. I pick up the phone and call my mother. She assures me I will be fine as I can let it soak in hot water first but that it may take longer to cook. As we are talking we realize that my crock pot is probably too big for the size of my roast and she asks if I have some sort of dutch oven I could use instead. Thankfully I had actually received one of those as a wedding gift as well so I was set. I was a little bummed that I would not be using the crock pot for the first time today but I was relieved that I could still make the pork roast. After I hung up the phone I packed everything back up in the box and headed to the pantry to put the crock pot back where it belonged. Failure # 2 - The crock pot falls through the bottom of the box as I am walking to the pantry...

All the pieces go flying thus making a really loud noise. Next thing I know, Ryan has stumbled out of bed to make sure everything is OK. He thought the kitchen had fallen with all the racket I had made. Hmm doesn't really make sense but I guess I won't give him a hard time since I woke him up bright and early on this Sunday morning. At this point, I am giggling (even though the crock pot landed on my foot and ruined my recent pedicure) and I had to snap a pic. I thought I was going to be documenting my first fabulous meal in a crock pot but I was wrong...

Long story short, the crock pot survived with only one minor dent and my pork roast turned out super yummy in the dutch oven! I am even going to attempt to make enchiladas tomorrow with the leftovers so I will let you know how that goes as well.

Hopefully the crock pot will make another appearance in the next 2 1/2 years but no guarantees!


Cotton Candy & Christmas Cards

We are officially off from work until next Monday and it feels great! Ryan finally gets a break from school as well so we are looking forward to spending time with each other and family over the next few days. So, before the holiday festivities begin I wanted to share a few pics and recap our last weekend.

This past Saturday night we celebrated my future sister-in-law's birthday at Catalan and had a blast. This is one of our favorite restaurants in Houston as the food is always excellent and the atmosphere is great. You also get a special treat when you go on your birthday as they serve you a huge amount of cotton candy in a martini glass with a sparkler on top. Sounds odd but it's so fun and actually yummy. I'm pretty sure Courtney and I ate the most out of our group...

On Sunday, we had a date with Aaron and Nicole and their pups to take pictures for our Christmas cards. I really wanted to send out Christmas cards but I didn't have a recent picture of Ryan and I with Bennett so Nicole and I decided to play photographer for the afternoon. I'm pretty sure I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I think we need to leave it to the professionals in the future...

Anyways, it was a beautiful day and we decided to take the pictures on campus at Rice as it was dog friendly and had a ton of pretty trees. Well, I think Nicole and I had a completely different vision of how our afternoon would go than the boys. We were hoping to get in some candid shots using our awesome photography skills but apparently the boys didn't like the idea. Of course there happened to be a ton of people out playing football or hanging out on the lawn so we definitely weren't all alone. Five minutes into our little "session" Ryan looks over at me with an ugly look on his face (while he's carrying my bag and holding onto Bennett) as I'm rapidly taking pictures of Aaron and Nicole strolling hand in hand with their pups and says, "I did not sign up for this." I couldn't help but laugh. How does he expect me to get any good at photography if he doesn't let me practice! Anyways, we wrapped up the session very quickly and took only the standard shots that one would usually see on a Christmas card. Oh well, at least it was fun while it lasted!

I don't want to spoil which picture I am using for our Christmas cards but I will share one of them them I love. We were headed back to the car and Ryan and I were walking in front with Bennett. Nicole told us to turn around and she snapped this picture. I think my favorite part is the fact that Bennett is right between our legs. We have THAT dog that is constantly getting between us if we are even remotely close to each other or hugging. Gotta love him though...

and that's my recap for now....Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday Ramblings

Wow, is it really November 16th?? It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week and that soon we'll be decorating the Christmas tree and then shouting Happy New Years. I can honestly say that this Fall has flown by. I'm not sure why this year has seemed to go by so fast but I do think part of it has to do with the fact that Ryan's been in school and he's been extremely busy. He spends several weeknights at school, some weekends and normally spends most evenings that he is at home working on an assignment or studying. I will say that I miss having him around so much but I know he is really working hard and he's honestly enjoying being back at school. He has really committed himself to his classes and has been doing really well so far with his grades.

So how have I been doing? I know you are wondering what I'm doing with all this time alone. Well, I'm doing OK. As I said above, this Fall has gone by really fast so far but lately I've been pretty bored. OK, really bored if we're being honest. I'm still running several nights a week to train for the half marathon which keeps me occupied but I miss hanging out with my husband. I miss doing normal things like watching TV together, taking Benny for walks in the evening and eating dinner while discussing our days. For example, let's recap tonight: I came home from work by myself, took Benny on a walk, poured a glass of wine, had some cheese and crackers and crafted up my Christmas list. Not exactly an exciting night and definitely not a typical dinner but it's not fun cooking for one! Now, most people would argue an evening alone every now and then like this sounds wonderful (and honestly it's not that bad) but it would be even better with some company. I think I'm going to have to start inviting my girlfriends over more often!

I'm not trying to get all sappy in this post but I just want to document our lives and this is part of it. It also makes me realize how much I need to cherish our time together.

In other happy news, the Sooners won this past Saturday against the Aggies! I won't mention the score but my team dominated Ryan's :)

We had some friends over and had a great time hanging out. Here's a picture of the girls in the backyard after the game.

Thanks for listening to my Monday ramblings!


Rudy Rivalry!

Rudy Rivalry weekend is here! The Aggies take on the Sooners tomorrow night in Norman and Ryan and I will each be cheering on our schools. This is the first time in the past 7 years that we haven't actually attended the game but we'll be watching from our house with some of our friends. Normally the week leading up to this game includes some friendly trash talking between the two of us but this year we've been pretty calm. I'm not sure if it's just part of growing up or the fact that both of our teams haven't looked so good this season. I'm going to go with the second thought. Either way, I'm sure we're going to have a good time tomorrow night... especially after the Sooners victory :)



Kentucky Trip

We're back from Kentucky and as expected, we had a fabulous time! We loved meeting our new nephew, spending time with family, playing corn hole with the neighbors, driving by all the beautiful horse farms, spending time at Keeneland, trick or treating with our niece and nephew, and enjoying the weather! I couldn't get over how beautiful everything was there with all the different colors so of course I took this opportunity to snap a few pics.

We also spent two days at the horse races and had a great time. We didn't win much but had fun trying. As you can see, the weather wasn't as nice but I didn't mind since I actually got to wear my new coat!

And lastly, a picture with our new nephew. By the way, Ryan is a natural with babies ;)

Have a good week!


Kentucky Bound

Ryan and I are headed out tomorrow morning for a mini vacation in Kentucky to visit family and to meet our new nephew. We also plan on spending some time at Kenneland for the horse races :)

Have a great weekend and I'll be back early next week with a recap!


A run in my shoes

Just for fun I thought I would get a little more creative and do a running update with a recap from one of my longer runs. And lucky you, I've even included pictures :)
This morning I planned on doing a nine mile run (yikes!) and the farthest I've done at this time is eight miles which was two weeks ago. I was a little nervous but for the most part felt good since the weather has been cooler recently and my shorter runs have become easier. The alarm went off early this morning at 6:15 (who am I for waking up so early on a Saturday?!?) and I grabbed a bite to eat, dressed in my fab running gear and headed out the door. I will say that Bennett was sad to see me leave as he usually accompanies me on my longer Saturday morning runs but I just didn't feel right making him run this far. Anyways, it was definitely chilly this morning so I wore a pullover over my tank top and I'm glad I had that to start with. I also sported a super cool running fanny pack to keep a snack in to help keep me energized throughout the run. On the way to the park I jammed out to a little Party in the USA by the one and only Miley to get me pumped up. However, I was still a little nervous as the thermostat in my car said it was 49 degrees out but I was determined to do this anyways.
Here's the before shot - Still not sure why in the world I'm up at 6:45 am about to run in the cold...

The run started out well and before I knew it I had finished the first loop (which is almost three miles) and I was making great time. The temperature felt great and while at first I was thankful for my pullover that quickly came off after five miles as I warmed up. Around mile six I whipped out my granola bar from my fancy fanny pack (it's really cool looking, I promise) and that gave me the energy I needed to finish the last three miles.

I finished! Of course I had to take a pic of my watch for proof. I was pretty pumped that I ran the nine miles in a little under an hour and half.

And the after shot. I look much happier now :)

I will say that it's hard for me to believe that I actually ran nine miles this morning and that I enjoyed it. A few months ago I could barely run three miles and I've really been impressed that I have stuck with this. For the most part I have been running by myself and without an ipod or any music. While I love running with my friends it's really nice to have this time to myself.

And lastly, here are the shoes. They definitely are not the prettiest but they are super comfortable and have been through many miles with me!

Hope you enjoyed the update. Maybe next time I'll get some shots while running. Or maybe not. I don't think I'm quite advanced enough for running and taking pictures...

Have a great weekend!


Football Fun....I guess

It was a rough football weekend in the Rudy household...the Sooners lost to the Longhorns in the Red River Shootout and the Ags lost to possibly one of the worst teams in the Big 12. We spent the day at Alison & Mark's new house watching football and things started great as we all cheered on the Sooners (the boys mostly cheering against Texas) first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, we weren't able to cheer loud enough to earn a victory for either of our schools but as always we managed to have a good time. Here are some highlights of our fun football filled day...

  • Tyler cooked up some of his delicious fajitas

  • All of our pups were together for the first time

  • Benny was very behaved as always

  • Well, he might have "christened" the flower beds in the front yard...oops

  • We all laughed at Mark's winterized (err.. I mean dead) grass

  • The girls enjoyed a quick shopping trip between games

  • Mark sang and played the Aggie War Hymn on the piano
Despite the losses, we still had a great Fall day!



This morning my dear husband informs me that I have used 54 text messages in the past 5 days and that I only have 146 left to use for the next 26 days. I let him know that there is no way I could have used that many text messages lately. He then shows me the screen which has a listing of every text message I have sent and who I sent it to recently. Oops.

In my defense I just upgraded my iPhone so now I can finally send picture text messages and it's pretty awesome. How can he expect me not to use that?? Besides, I think it's time we upgrade to unlimited text messaging...


Kings of Leon

Ryan and I went to the Kings of Leon concert with some friends last night and we had a blast! This was our first rock concert (pathetic, I know) and I think we've been missing out. A lot of great bands come to Houston and we've got to take advantage of that. We were a little hesitant to be out late on a week night (yes, really pathetic) but in the end it was definitely worth it.

Kim and I outside the Toyota Center before the show

We had tickets on the floor which actually turned out to be a great idea. We were a little skeptical when they made us wear wrist bands that said "Enter Moshing Area at your Own Risk" but it was fine. We had plenty of room to move around and no moshing took place :)

Some of the girls
Ryan and I during the show
Overall it was a great night and we're already planning who we can see next!