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!