Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Nutcracker

Few things say “the holiday season” quite like the Nutcracker does. The first time I saw it with Chip was particularly fun… it was four years ago, our senior year at Trinity. As a special gift, Chip got us tickets to go see it on the RiverWalk. This was a pretty elaborate date for two college seniors on a tight budget. I was so excited and looked forward to this date for a while… here was my boyfriend willingly taking me to see a ballet. We were in our seats ready for the show to start and as the lights first started to dim, Chip turned to me and asked “So, what is this play about?” I had a small panicked “you’ve got to be kidding me” moment and let him know that this technically wasn’t a play, but a ballet. “Well what does that mean?” I couldn’t believe it! I explained that since it’s a ballet, there’s no talking, it’s just music and dancing. “How are they supposed to even tell a story then?” Oh, my goodness, this could be a disaster. How could this guy not know what the Nutcracker is about? Apart from having seen it before, I even had a Spanish cartoon VHS movie my dad gave me when I was little that we used to watch every year (Chip is definitely watching that this Christmas while we’re in Tucson; it’ll help his Spanish, right?). Up until that point, I assumed everyone knew about the Nutcracker. Everyone except this guy sitting next to me…

Thankfully, Chip actually enjoyed the Nutcracker and promised we would someday see it again. Which is exactly what we did this past Saturday. After a great dinner at Fleming’s, we made our way downtown to the awesome Majestic Theater to watch the show. It was even better than the last time we saw it four years ago (it probably helped not being paranoid that Chip would want to leave at intermission). It’s cliche, but the dancers were so very graceful and the kids in the Mother Ginger scene had everyone cheering. All in all, the show was absolutely beautiful and the perfect dose of Christmas cheer. I took it as a good sign that at the end of the show, Chip made the comment that we needed to see the Nutcracker more often. Works for me! :)

Ah, young love... picture from four years ago at The Nutracker

Ah, young love… picture from four years ago at The Nutracker

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Chip and I went down to Corpus to celebrate the holiday with his mom Sue, stepdad Don and brother Dale. To prep for Thursday’s big meal, we spent Wednesday afternoon and evening doing some baking; by the end of the night, we had our green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and chocolate pecan pie ready to go! We left Wrigley here in San Antonio at Lucy’s Doggy Day Care for some dog socializing. We don’t go to the dog park as often as we would like, so it’s really good for Wrigley to be boarded every now and then to wear out his energy and have some bigger dogs put him in his place.

We drove down to Corpus Thursday morning and got in by lunch time. We had a great time hanging out with Dale and catching up with Don and Sue on how they’ve all been doing. The best part of the day was doing a gingerbread decorating contest with some kits Chip’s mom got for us. So while she worked on some more of the cooking and final turkey preparations, the three of us set up our kits at the dining table, keeping in mind that a $10 itunes gift card would be given to the winner of the best creation. Chip and I each got a train set to decorate while Dale got a pretty complex gingerbread village. While some of the instructions weren’t very clear, we were all able to put our pieces together and do some decorating.

Gingerbread train: before

Dale working on his village

Probably copying one of my ideas…

Dale’s completed village

Chip’s decorated train

My gingerbread train

In the end, we were all declared winners and each received an itunes gift card.

Once we cleared the table of all gingerbread pieces, frosting and candy we got the table set for Thanksgiving. There was plenty of good food to go around! We were all pretty full after eating, so we spent the afternoon relaxing and watching the Cowboys game (maybe not the best way to relax… :)).

Lots of food!

Chip carving the turkey while Don supervises

Dale has been working at WalMart for about a year now and had to do the black Friday shift. This meant being at work at 7:30 on Thanksgiving evening, which was a bit of a downer. Since we wanted to spend some more time with him, we decided it would be fun to stop by the store at some point to see him in action. Little did we know that it would be madness trying to find him! I know people take their Black Friday shopping seriously, but we really didn’t expect this many people would be cutting into their Thanksgiving family time to go do some shopping. WalMart was so crowded that we were barely able to find Dale. We’re glad we did and felt pretty proud watching him answer so many questions about different game systems!

A very crowded WalMart

Crazy shopping!

Walmart was pretty exhausting (have no idea how Dale managed his shift until 4AM!) so we called it a night when we got back to Chip’s mom’s house afterwards. We are very thankful for her hosting us and for organizing Thanksgiving dinner!

Golfing with the Behams

About a month ago, we did a couple’s golf outing with the Behams… to answer your question, no, I’m not a golfer. I’ve golfed once before with my dad and brother and lasted about 13 holes. Haley played a little bit in high school and has a pretty awesome set of pink clubs from it. But that’s about as far as our golfing skills go. However, our husbands really enjoy playing and had been suggesting how fun it would be for all four of us to go together. Haley and I decided to give it a shot (although we did think about packing some mimosas for ourselves) and went off to golf with Matt and Chip.

Considering our inexperience, the boys wanted to make sure we spent some time at the driving range to warm up. I’m hoping it improved our game a little bit and that I would have played even worse without those practice swings. We were able to take our time for the first few holes, but then we started to hold up the people playing behind us, so Haley and I stuck to the par-three’s and occasional swings while the guys actually played at a much faster pace than the two of us. Haley and I left after the first nine holes since it was getting pretty warm and we were in need of some Sonic drinks (yes, need) and left the boys to finish the rest of the holes.

While we didn’t play more than a total of three holes each, we did have a lot of fun. I have to say, a golf swing feels pretty awkward, but I did get a couple of good shots in, as well as a lot of unintentional practice swings (those golf balls are a lot smaller than I realized!). Haley had much more success than I did; guess those high school golf years paid off :)

It did feel like the golf course was against us and trying to kick us out a couple of times. Exhibit A: while driving by Haley’s golfball and trying to scoop it up without stopping, she accidentally rolled out of the cart. Pretty funny, but it did cause a small grass stain on her jeans. Exhibit B: while teeing off on one hole, we received many ant bites. It would only be a slight exaggeration to say we were attacked.

Haley’s bitten foot

Exhibit C: one of my golf balls got to a particular wet and muddy part of grass. Our cart was struggling to drive through it, so I walked out to get my golf ball and stepped into so much mud. Wasn’t very happy about my dirty shoes and jeans!

Didn’t know a golf course could be so muddy

Exhibit D: it was just way too hot for a Saturday in October.

Hopefully we didn’t drive Matt and Chip too crazy while golfing with them. I have noticed they haven’t invited us out again… coincidence?

The boys golfing while Haley and I watched from the cart

Celebrate

Over the last year, Haley and I have become very good friends. It would be an understatement to say that her friendship has been a huge blessing to me. When Chip and I decided to stay in San Antonio after graduating in 2009, one of our reasons was to be around all our close friends. Over the years, however, many of them have moved to new places for school, jobs and many other reasons. Before we knew it, a lot of our best friends were in Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Washington DC and Nashville. We now have some fun cities to visit our friends in, but we were missing quality time with other people. Since joining Redeemer Presbyterian about a year ago, we have made lots of new friendships, but our relationship with the Matt and Haley Beham is particularly special. Matt and Chip get along extremely well and it makes me so happy whenever they have “guy” time and go golfing or just hang out while Haley and I chat over some wine. Getting to know Haley this past year has been so great and I am so surprised and appreciative at how similarly God made us. Needless to say, I love it when we hang out with the Behams.

One thing Haley and I have in common is a love for the British Royal Family. We know probably a bit too much about the Queen and the beloved Will and Kate duo (we’ve joked that we’ll throw a British tea party whenever they have a child… normal, right?). So when Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton came out with her own party-planning book, Celebrate, Haley and I naturally mentioned it to each other one day and how excited we were to get ourselves a copy. Turns out we also both made a mental note to get it for each other because that is exactly what we got for our birthdays.

Chip and I went over to the Behams house last Thursday evening to go buy some wine together for our birthday dinner at Fralo’s this past Saturday. I brought in Haley’s gift and placed it on the table next to the gift she had got me. It didn’t take long to realize our gifts were the exact same size and shape… by the time we opened our gifts, we were doubled over laughing at what great taste in gifts we both have :) Luckily Chip had my phone at this point so he was able to get the next series of pictures:

Shortly after opening our gifts

With our awesome books

I have to say, this book is pretty awesome. I’ve flipped through it a few times now and have found so many recipes and party-planning tips that I can’t wait to use. I will definitely be blogging about any Pippa-inspired dishes and crafts!

A much bigger book than I had anticipated!

Holiday ideas…

Pretty page for the Summer section… love this book’s organization

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

As soon as it starts to get cold, I get prematurely excited about winter and the holiday season. The first cold front usually results in playing Christmas music nonstop and my fuzzy boot slippers. This morning was particularly cold (pretty sure it was in the 50s.. cold enough for me!) and all I could think about was a peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks. If you haven’t had it, you need to change that immediately. Hot chocolate on its own is pretty darn good. Add a little bit of peppermint and it tastes like Christmas. So as soon as I got to work this morning and quickly checked my email, I convinced Priscilla to brave the San Antonio cold with me and walk a few blocks over to Starbucks. I’m really trying to get my sugar tooth under control (it’s an ongoing battle…) so I decided I would get one of their smallest sizes. I ordered a Tall and the barista confirmed that was the size I asked for. Two minutes later I was walking out of Starbucks with a Venti peppermint hot chocolate. Not sure where the confusion was, but I thoroughly enjoyed those eight extra ounces of pure sweetness (I honestly meant to drink just half of it, but lost self-control somewhere along the way… oops). Thanks, Starbucks!

Excited about my peppermint hot chocolate

Birthdays!

This past week was a festive one… in a span of five days, we celebrated three special birthdays. On Wednesday, I turned 25 (hello, quarter of a century!). Considering it was a birthday in the middle of the week (I definitely prefer weekend birthdays!), I still had a very special and fun day. After a great breakfast at home, Chip dropped me off at work. The day included a decorated desk and chocolate cake in the afternoon (who doesn’t love that??). After work, two of my really good co-worker friends, Annaliz and Priscilla, treated me to a happy hour over at Landry’s. I am so thankful for these two ladies and the joy they add throughout my work day :)

My festive desk

YUM.

Happy hour with Annaliz and Priscilla

That’s some cute grilled cheese

Chip then picked me up and we made our way over to Bin 555 to celebrate both of our birthdays (Chip’s 26th birthday was yesterday!). Since we would be celebrating both of our birthdays, we decided to splurge a little bit and ordered some tasty grilled cheese sandwiches for appetizers, had a tasty meal and then a nutella dish for dessert. While I prefer the nutella dish at Tre Trattoria, this one was pretty good, too.

After dinner, we went back to our house to open birthday gifts. I’m pretty excited about the two books Chip got me – Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Stacy London’s The Truth About Style. These books have been on my list for a while, so I can’t wait to get to them. Fun fact: when I tagged Stacy London in my tweet about these books, she actually replied. How awesome is that? I’m convinced we could totally be BFF’s :) Wrigley was also sweet and got me a gift card to Spa D’sante. What a thoughtful pup.

So excited to read these.

Friday was my good friend Haley‘s birthday and we surprisingly got each other the same gift :) This was pretty funny and will be its own separate post!

With Chip’s birthday on Sunday, we thought it would be fun to celebrate our three birthdays together on Saturday with a group dinner at Fralo’s. Fralo’s is hands-down one of my favorite restaurants in town and we were really excited for us to spend the evening here. We had a great time with all of our friends and are so thankful to everyone who was able to come celebrate with us (big shout out to the wonderful Jeff and Megan Claydon who drove from Houston for the event! We love you guys!!). The wine was great, the appetizers tasty, the pizza delicious and the live music awesome (really, he was great… Haley and I shamelessly sang along to most of the songs). Following dinner, we went and saw the new James Bond movie Skyfall with the Behams. It was a great movie, although we were all a little tired when the movie ended after midnight… definitely past my bedtime!

Three cheers for Fralo’s!

Having a great time at dinner

Some different shots of the table… not pictured: the Claydons, the Barnetts, Bekah McNeel… totally meant to get a full group picture!!

Since Sunday was going to be a busy day, Chip opened his birthday gifts in the morning before church. I think he’ll enjoy the two books I got him and the golf outing Wrigley is treating him to! We spent most of Sunday afternoon with the youth group at Redeemer doing a scavenger hunt throughout downtown San Antonio. It was a really fun afternoon running around with these teenagers, doing pyramids in front of the Alamo, interviewing tourists, getting a picture on one of the RiverWalk tour boats, etc. After the scavenger hunt, we spent some time over at Eliot’s (one of the other youth leaders) apartment to watch the Texans-Bears game.

It was a great weekend getting to spend time with so many great friends. Thanks, everyone, for making our birthdays so special!

Christmas Card Book

Last weekend, we had a great cold front come in for a few days. With the temperature no longer in the 80s, I spent last Saturday morning getting (prematurely) excited about Christmas. I pulled out my fuzzy boot slippers, put on some holiday music and got started on a small craft project I had been meaning to do since last year: a little book from the year’s Christmas cards. I originally thought of making this book last winter, but like many of my other projects, didn’t get to it until recently (I tend to think of projects faster than I can accomplish them). My goal was to get it done before this year’s Christmas cards came in and to have this out on our coffee table as a small piece of decor for the season.

This was a really simple project and I enjoyed taking my time to get it done while Chip was out golfing with some friends from church. All it took was a whole puncher and some metal rings we got from Hobby Lobby. In hindsight, I should have measured how far apart to punch the wholes a little more accurately, but I still think this turned out just fine. I want to make some little books for all our wedding cards, hopefully that will get done sometime before our two year anniversary in May :)

Metal rings from Hobby Lobby

My work station

2011 Christmas Card Book

Can always count on Wrigley to keep me company