Monday, December 30, 2013

Wrap it up

I genuinely LOVE wrapping presents.  Using excessive amounts of tape (although I think I've really toned it down in recent years - people were actually able to open their gifts this year without using pocketknives or excessive amounts of force) and folding corners and making all the shiny things go together just gives me great joy.  Most of this wrapping has been destroyed by now, but fortunately I have just a little more wrapping to do tonight for friend festivities tomorrow night - yay!  Shiny shiny shiny...

Yes, I'm insane and ridiculous and who actually enjoys spending hours wrapping presents?  This girl!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas from the fur-babies

Harrison has historically wished you all a Merry Christmas by playing grumpy Santa...

...but this year his dad decided he needed a new form of torture and brought this into his life, which in Harry's eyes was made infinitely worse by the dog's interest in the stuffed blinking thing attached to his head:

Oh, Harry, I'm sorry, but it is just so adorable.

Now, Zach doesn't really have any holiday attire - there used to be reindeer ears at some point, but I think he destroyed them.  However, he does have a slightly too small garden gnome Halloween costume (we're good parents, I promise), and the pointy gnome hat kinda resembles a Santa let's go for it.

Close enough, right?  Merry Christmas from the fur kids!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ice, ice baby

We've been stuck in the midst of a wintry blast here for the past few days...ummm, I thought we were supposed to have patio weather in Dallas in December!  Isn't that one of the perks of suffering through the ridiculously hot summers?  Oh well, I guess we'll take a little actual cold; it makes it feel more holiday-ish, anyway.  I actually escaped from the ice (well, the start of the ice - still had to face the aftermath) by driving down to Austin Thursday night to go to tax school on Friday.  And since Dallas got covered in a thick sheet of ice Thursday night and Friday morning, I really didn't mind being in Austin where there was no ice in sight.  Especially since my office decided to say, "hey, you guys go ahead and brave the ice and come on in today!  If you can't make it, you'll probably just need to take some time off, ok, cool?"  Not cool, actually, especially when sanity says to stay off the crazy ice slick roads and you have a twenty-something mile drive that takes 45 minutes on a good day.  Anyway...happy to be in Austin so I didn't even have to deal with that.

No one wants to hear about tax school, so I'll just share my version of highlights, which you know includes food.

I picked up dinner Thursday night from Hyde Park Bar & Grill, which has one of my favorite restaurant landmarks - a big ol' giant fork outside.  It's awesome, and so is the food. 
I was originally planning to drive back Friday after the conference, but decided to stay an extra night, knock out some Christmas shopping, and face the icy disaster on Saturday instead.  Which meant one more delicious Austin dinner!  So I went to Maudie's and indulged in Tex-Mex deliciousness.  And yes, the margarita is virgin - no tequila for baby, I promise.
I waved at the Capitol on my way out of town.
The drive back on Saturday actually wasn't quite as horrendous as I thought it might be; the ice and mess really only added about 45 minutes to the drive and didn't get too dicey.  Although coming into south Dallas, the first bridge I went over had two smashed-up cars and flashy lights on the scene...oh boy.  Fortunately, sand had been laid out in force and most people were actually driving with caution instead of stupidity.  The worst part of the drive was our neighborhood, which with minimal traffic was still basically a ginormous sheet of thick ice.  I slowly pulled into the driveway...and slid right back down.  Oops.  Street parking it is.  But then Craig the Brave went out and made it up the driveway and into the garage - I just didn't watch it happen.

Our poor, sad tree-bush-thing in the backyard has quite a few broken branches.  Wah wah.  Hopefully it's salvageable and not a total goner.
Total ice slick out there!  And temporary street parking since the driveway got the best of me.
Brrrrrrrr.  So we've kept it pretty low key and have mostly stayed holed up at home with the fire going.  I've actually been semi-productive and knocked out Christmas cards last night and this morning, woot woot!  Now it's time to get my baking on.  And maybe I'll do the boring stuff, too, like laundry and a touch o' cleaning.  Stay warm, y'all!

Piles o' Christmas card goodness make me happy

Monday, December 2, 2013

Counting down to Christmas

Before we left for Thanksgiving, a little elf by the name of Trinity stopped by with a very special gift for Craig...a custom-made beer Advent calendar.  How awesome is that?!?  Check out the impressive wrapping for his own version last year, and here's the customized beer crate with a bottle for each day:

Craig didn't want the pregnant lady to feel left out, so he got me this adorableness at Target so I could have an Advent calendar, too.  Which prompted me to actually go learn about Advent, and...we really are just counting down to Christmas, y'all.  Unless there's more to it and I'm just not a very good scholar.  My attention span is a little short these days.  At any rate, let's count down the days, Craig with beer and me with chocolate.  That's not a bad way to do it.

Here's beer #1, which Craig enjoyed last night while we watched death and destruction (well, that's not really keeping with the holiday spirit, is it?  We'll try to get some Christmas movies in the rotation...).  We're already big fans of Shiner Cheer around here, so you know this one was well received.

Trinity, you should go into business and sell these crates on Etsy.  It's brilliant.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Culinary misadventures and batting 0.633

Not quite as successful with NaBloPoMo this year as in years past, but I'm going to call my 0.633 batting average for last month a relative success.  Can I just blame the baby?  That probably won't work until the kiddo is actually any rate, got some catching up in there and will try to knock out more than one post a month going forward.  Maybe...

Turkey Day roundup!  The Bryans were all scattered this year, and Craig and I journeyed out to Virginia Beach to spend a few days with Momma Dale and Wes.  We had chilly days full of a cozy fire, lots o' food, football games galore (watching, not playing - who do you think we are?), movie and shopping outings, and general family good times.  But that "culinary misadventures" leading note?  Yeah...

Let's just say that last year's Thanksgiving, hosted at our house, had a couple of...mishaps along the way.  The things I was really worried about, like Craig deep-frying a turkey, went off without a hitch.  Things I hadn't thought about, like slicing off the end of my thumb with a mandoline and visiting the emergency room and leaving the rest of the Thanksgiving work to the crew at home...yeah, those were the things that happened.  So my mishap led to another mishap, which involved a certain Pendarvii placing the turkey thermometer in the oven...when it's made of plastic and has batteries and really isn't intended to go in the oven...resulting in a bit of a molten electronic mess.  Oopsie.

You would think everyone had learned their lesson, but I give you...

...molten thermometer, round two, from THIS year's Thanksgiving.  We really have to get the Pendarvii to stop doing these things.  Here's hoping next year is free of both emergency room visits AND molten thermometers...we're getting better!