Monthly Archives: November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  – Charles Dickens

I am so thankful for all I have been blessed with. I am thankful to be married to my best friend. Thankful that we have been blessed with jobs. Thankful that we have the love of a crazy dog. Thankful for my ever-giving family. Thankful for my friendships and the joy they bring to my life.

This Thanksgiving I was especially thankful to be with my parents, brother and grandparents in Arizona. Living in Texas means I don’t get to see them anywhere near as often as I would like, so to say I was excited for our three days in Tucson is an understatement. Chip and I flew in to Tucson on Wednesday night, and like good Hispanics, my whole family was there to pick us up. After sleeping in a little Thursday morning, it was time to get to work. For the men, this meant fulfilling a Thanksgiving tradition by going to play a round of golf. For the women, it meant watching some of the Thanksgiving day parade while getting busy in the kitchen. Over the years, I’ve helped my mom in different ways in the kitchen, but it was usually centered on getting the table set, peeling the potatoes and taking care of a pie. This year I was able to do so much more with my mom and am so grateful for all the hours we spent together in the kitchen. For the first time, all of the Thanksgiving desserts were mine. I’ve grown to really enjoy baking so I was pretty excited for this! By the end of the morning, our chocolate pecan pie, pumpkin pie and chocolate crackle cookies were ready to go. Yum! :) The dinner menu consisted of turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, baked vegetable dish, cranberries and salad. Needless to say, our plates were very full! Here are some pictures before our meal…

Thanksgiving Table

My dad "helping" with the meal after a round of golf

Family picture!

Shortly after Chip and I got married, my grandparents moved from Florida back to Tucson. I am so thankful that I will now get to see them more frequently. Whereas before I would see them maybe once every year or two, I’m glad that I will now see them more often and Chip will get to know them better over our trips to Arizona. It really was special getting to spend the holiday weekend with them! As for Chip, he got his fill by playing dominoes with my  very Cuban grandfather :)

On Friday (after getting a much needed haircut… big thanks to Michelle at Wild Orchids for a wonderful haircut!), we had a relaxing dinner with some close family friends – Doris, a nurse my mom has worked with for many years, and the Morgans. They are all such good, loving people and it was a joy catching up with them over a tasty dinner followed by a Christmas show at the Gaslight Theater.

Chip and I before dinner on Friday

With our good friend, Doris

At the Gaslight Theater

Saturday found the boys playing golf once more while my mom and I did some shopping (always a favorite highlight of mine whenever my mom and I are together :)) before spending the afternoon and evening together with my grandparents. It was then back to San Antonio early Sunday morning to pick up Wrigley from his weekend boarding and prepare for the work week.

We had such a wonderful weekend in Tucson and hope to be back there with family soon! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

House Project #1… Complete!!

Chip and I bought a house about a month before our wedding – we didn’t have enough going on in our lives at that time, right? Anyways, it’s a small 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house and we love it. As soon as we walked in the house for the first time, we both had a feeling that this would be our first home together. Sure, it’s not perfect; if it was, there would be an extra bathroom, walk in closets and an already complete yard of green grass and a little garden for me. But like I said, we absolutely love it. We really couldn’t have asked for a better first home for the two of us (well, three, including Wrigley!).

Anyways, we have been (slowly) adding touches to the house to make it our own. One of our first projects has been our living room wall. The way we set up our living room left one of the walls untouched, giving us a big canvas to work with. We had thought about getting a big bookshelf for this space, but chose to not put a large piece of furniture here that could make the room feel smaller. So instead, we got a little crafty. We bought some small free hanging white shelves from Target and then sanded and painted them a light gray-blue to match our living room rug. We then bought some glass ball tealight holders we had seen at our friends Adrian and Cally’s house. Now, I love candles so I thought these were so cool! We bought them at Soku (I’m pretty sure that’s what the store is called… it’s a really neat place on Broadway and Sunset Rd that has a lot of different home decor items). Anyways, here’s what the finished wall looks like!

Living Room Wall

We originally had just three shelves up (the second from the left, and then the two on the right) along with the two glass candle holders in the middle, but the wall didn’t feel complete. So that’s when we decided to add the two additional shelves and candle holders. And now we love how it looks! We had fun finding items to fill each shelf and even have a special tribute to Wrigley on one of these shelves…

Spoiled Rotten Dog

Our first home project has been a success… makes me want to get started on another! Shh, don’t tell Chip… :)

Clay Casa Finished Products

A couple of weeks ago, I had a blog post about the morning Chip and I spent painting some Christmas ornaments at Clay Casa. We had a great time there, but were both interested to see how our “artwork” would actually turn out. Well, we got to pick our pieces up this past weekend and we (personally) think they look great! Check it out….

Finished results!

I painted the little chubby snowman and the tree on the left while Chip did the second tree and helped with the wreath picture frame ornament. Honestly, we didn’t know how these were going to look once they would go through the glazing process at Clay Casa… as in we were prepared to have these ornaments hidden in the back of our Christmas tree… but now we agree these will look great in the front of our tree! And yes, there will be most definitely be a very thorough post on our Christmas tree decorating in a couple of weeks.  :)

Here’s one last picture of the little chubby snowman. I love him.

Frosty the Snowman :)

Birthday Week!

This past week was most definitely a festive one. Between Monday and Friday, Chip and I both had our birthdays while also celebrating the birthdays of two other friends during the week. Needless to say, it was a week filled with lots of food, drinks and cake!

The week began with my 24th birthday. Monday was also special because it was our six month anniversary. We both can’t believe it’s already been six months since we got married; the time has flown by! So on Monday, after spending a long day in focus groups with out of town clients from work, Chip treated the two of us to a very nice dinner at Aldo’s Italian Restaurant. I love Italian food and thoroughly enjoyed our pasta, wine and cheesecake. It was all so good! Chip also surprised me with a beautiful set of flowers at work. It means so much to me whenever Chip secretly brings flowers to my desk at work; it was especially appreciated this time I had been very busy during our two-day client visit and having those flowers next to my computer instantly made me more relaxed and cheerful.

Birthday/Anniversary Flowers!

Two of our good friends, Haley and Sarah, had their birthdays on Wednesday. After having a delicious stew dinner at Haley and Matt’s house, the four of us met Sarah and Bill at Max’s Wine Dive over in the Quarry. Chip and I had never been to Max’s Wine Dive before and had a great time there with our friends. We have known Matt and Haley for a while now, having met Matt while we were all students at Trinity and as members of RUF. We recently started attending Redeemer Presbyterian Church with Matt and Haley and we are grateful for their friendship and encouragement. We have also known Bill and Sarah for some time now after meeting them through Still Water Sports Camp. Both Bill and Sarah currently work for Still Water and it is so inspiring to see their heart for this great ministry.

Friday was Chip’s 25th birthday. That’s right, he’s officially a quarter of a century old! :) I was able to take the day off in remembrance of Veteran’s Day, so I spent a good portion of the day baking Chip a vanilla caramel birthday cake with homemade vanilla cream cheese frosting. It was the first double layer cake I’ve ever made and it turned out great! Here’s a picture of how the cake turned out, complete with Chip’s 25 candles.

Chip's birthday cake!

While Chip isn’t the most nostalgic person, I wanted to make sure his 25th birthday was special, so we went and had a really nice dinner at Fleming’s in the Quarry. A 25th birthday felt like a great reason to go all out on a fancy and very tasty dinner! We ate to our heart’s content and were also given a free slice of chocolate cake to take home. Once we finished dinner, we went and spent some time at Sarah and Bill’s house where they were having a small get together for Sarah’s birthday.

The final part of “birthday week” was a dinner with some of Chip’s closest Trinity friends Saturday evening at Grimaldi’s, also in the Quarry. We were also joined by Chip’s brother, Dale, who made the drive from Corpus Christi to celebrate with us. We had a great time having him in town and hope to see him again soon!

Now, it’s back to a “normal” week hopefully with less food and wine than we had this past week!

Chronic Christmas Lover

My name is Jessica and I am obsessed with Christmas. I love absolutely anything and everything to do with Christmas (although I could do without the crowded malls and stores…). Christmas music is already on my Pandora station as well as my iPod playlists. Chip and I have chosen the spot where we’ll put the Christmas tree in our house. Our Yankee Candle Mistletoe candle is already lit.
Today, I asked Chip when it would be appropriate to watch Elf, one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies (I was told it’s not allowed until after Thanksgiving. Lame.). It’s not that I want Christmas to be here faster, I just think it’s one of the best times of the year; therefore, we should celebrate it as long as possible, which may or not mean that I was sneaking Christmas music into my iPod and Pandora playlists before Halloween. Because of this, my kind husband recommended I start the Chronic Christmas Lovers club. I like it.

Now that it’s November and more “acceptable” to start thinking about Christmas, we did a few holiday activities today. After having a hearty breakfast at Magnolia’s Pancake Haus, we spent a couple of hours at Clay Casa painting ornaments. Sounds super cute, right? I painted a chubby, little snowman and a tree ornament while Chip painted a tree ornament as well as a wreath ornament.
We’ll see how these items actually turn out… we had fun, although neither of us would call ourselves artists.

Snowman ready to be painted!

We were also hoping to each paint a large ornament (you can see them in the background of the snowman picture above), but those smaller items wore us out and we were intimidated by the serious painters working on their Santa replicas and detailed pieces. We felt like such amateurs there! :)

Ready to paint!

Chip hard at work on his tree ornament

Afterwards, we spent some time at HomeGoods, stocking up on Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper. I felt like a kid in a candy store at HomeGoods… there were ornaments, decorations and Christmas serveware everywhere. It was beautiful. :)

One of the beautiful aisles at Home Goods

More Christmas decor!

We also went to Michael’s aftewards looking for some scrapbook paper for our wedding album and instead found a couple of other sets of Christmas ornaments. With today’s shopping, we should be set for when we get our Christmas tree next month! Now, everyone, go do yourself a favor and crank up that NSYNC “Home for Christmas” album you all should have… :)

“You sneaky mom!!”

Some of you may have already seen this video, but for those of you who haven’t, take a few minutes and watch this hilarious clip from The Jimmy Kimmel Show. As a prank, Jimmy Kimmel challenged parents to pretend they ate all their kid’s Halloween candy and film the children’s reactions when realizing all their candy had been eaten. The reactions were a bit more dramatic than anyone anticipated, but they are so fun to watch!

I feel like a terrible person for laughing at these kids, but this video is a gem. Chip and I have watched it several times. It shocked us how upset these kids were over their supposedly eaten candy; I don’t remember being this obsessed with my Halloween candy! In our opinion, the two boys at the end provide the funniest reaction by far. They don’t pitch a fit like the others and have a very hilarious interaction with their mom. Enjoy!