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??