Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving this year was a blast. I got to have my parents, Bethie and Isaac and Jenn come into town for a couple of days. It was great to have my family here and play with my kids. We had a great time visiting, eating, shopping, eating, visiting, shopping and eating. I love having my family visit. Marston and Hazel loved it to. Thanksgiving day was a lot of fun. Bethie and Daniel and I went on a 4 mile Thanksgiving run with a group of friends. I had a great time. It always feels good to exercise on Thanksgiving. Then we came home and began cooking. Everything turned out beautifully. Harold and Darlene and Erik joined us and we sat down to a lovely meal. I have a lot to be grateful this year. We have a steady job, cars that run, healthly kids, food on the table, the gospel and a great ward, and wonderful, supportative family and friends.
This year I made a thankful banner and had everyone write what they were thankful for on leaves. I'm happy how it turned out. Maybe next year I wll actually paint a tree branch for the leaves.

Rubbing the love into the turkey always makes it taste better. Beth, Dan and I did a thanksgiving turkey run that morning. That is way I am still sweaty.

Jenn working her stuffing magic.

Dan and Erik making butter.

Beth and Marston.

Isaac and my dad making butter. It looks like my dad is still saying to Isaac, "when are you going to get it?"

Hazel in her new outfit from my mom and Bethie.

There's the pirate smile.

This year I made crock pot mashed potatoes. They turned out wonderfully. To save space in the kitchen, I put the crock pot in the garage on Dan's work bench.

Thanksgiving table.

Beautiful meal along with beautfiul company.

Isaac and Jenn

Erik, Mama Darlene and Daniel

Harold and Erik

We played charades with everyone and it was a lot of fun.

Any guesses?

So full we all needed to lay flat.

Erik resting before pie.

The pies-apple, pecan and pumpkin.

Bethie enjoying her pies.

This is the day after Thanksgiving. She and Daniel shared a piece of pumpkin pie. She loved it.

Hazel and ranch grandma enjoying each other.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving 2011

 I get to have Thanksgiving at my house this year. I love hosting Thanksgiving. I've only done it a couple of times but I actually love all the planning and shopping and decorating that goes into it. This year my parents, Isaac and Jenn, Beth, Erik, and Daniel's parents are coming. That's 10 adults and 2 kids. A perfect number. I am going to try a couple of new recipes this time around. Here's the menu:

Turkey-Alton Brown from the Food Network has a recipe for turkey that people are raving about. I figure I'll give it a try. He brine's it over night then stuffs it with an apple, cinnamon sticks and herbs. Looks amazing.

Stuffing- My mom make this for us every year. I really like her recipe. It's a basic stuffing recipe but I love it.

Mashed Potatoes-A couple of years ago, I had everything ready for the big Thanksgiving meal and I forgot to do the potatoes. That memory haunts me. So this year I am going to try a crock pot mashed potato recipe. I made it a couple of weeks ago and it was delicious.

Sweet Potatoes-Years past I've has a recipe with brown sugar and pecans but I think I'm going to wing it this year. I love them just peeled and cubed with butter and brown sugar topped with marshmallows.

Green Beans-Steamed with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Jello-Every year we make the jello salad that my grandma used to make and it is yummy. But this year I'm going to make a jello that my friend Holly made for a relief society activity a while back. It has a sweet pretzel crust, cream cheese center and raspberry jello top. It really is the best.

Cranberry Sauce-I grew up on the canned stuff so anything homemade is great to me. I made a Martha Stewart recipe with orange and ginger a couple of years ago. It was really tasty but a bit strong on the ginger for me. This year I'm going to try a recipe I found on Our Best Bites blog. It has cinnamon and cloves in it and you bake it so you don't have to watch it on the stove.

Rolls-Harold and Darlene have a terrific roll recipe. They are going to bring the rolls so I don't have to worry about that.

Apple Pie-Darlene is making this one. She makes a beautiful apple pie.

Pecan Pie-I tried to make a chocolate pecan pie a couple of years ago and wished I had just made the plain old pecan pie that everyone loves.

Pumpkin Pie- I love making pumpkin pie. My recipe has cream cheese and half and half so it is creamy and delicious. Topped with fresh sweet cream is heaven in my book.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake-I saw this recipe on Our Best Bites and thought it might be fun to try. Looks amazing.

So I think that about covers it. I'll keep you posted on how things turn out.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sick house

For the past 2 weeks we have been all been sick and we can't seem to shake it. I am getting real tired of it and hope that we are putting in our time so that none of us are sick for the holidays. Here's hoping.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Santa Barbara Half Marathon

I finish my 4th half marathon in 2 years. I am a little disappointed in my performance but I must say I have been sick for over a week. I had bad chest congestion that made it difficult to breath. But I did it and feel good about having another race under my belt. Santa Barbara is gorgeous! The course was beautiful. Through nice neighborhoods, paths through parks and the last 3 miles were a decent down to the beach. It had rained the night before so the air was crisp and clean and it smelled of eucalyptus and salt ocean air. That part was wonderful. My goal was to make it in under 2 hours and  I kept that pace (about a 9 minute mile) for the first half but then it hit me and I had to walk some of it. My time went in the toilet at that point. I finished at 2 hours and 14 minutes. My worst official time yet. Oh well.

I got to leave the kids and husband at home and enjoy some girl time with my sister in law, Brooke. It was great to have some time to build our friendship without distractions from the little ones. I was so happy to have her support at the finish line!  I really enjoyed the trip.

The finish line. Thanks, Brooke for standing there for so long!

Right after my race. Smiling because I'm sitting.

This was across the street from the finish line.

My 5th race metal.

This was the view coming into the finish. Beautiful!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hazel's birthday

My sweet Hazel girl turned 1 on the 7th. We decided to go to Fairy Tale Town in Sacramento for her birthday party. We went the Saturday before her birthday. Fairy Tale Town is awesome. It's a giant playground perfect for toddlers. It has a giant shoe slide for the lady who lived in a shoe, a rabbit hole slide, Christopher Robin's tree house, Robin Hood's forest, a giant foot slide for Jack and the beanstalk, a pirate ship, King Aurthur's castle, farm animals, a barn with a slide, Cinderella's pumpkin carriage and more. Hazel, Marston and my nephew Evan had a blast.  It was a chilly day but still fun. After we went to the park outside Fairy Tale Town and had a picnic. It was a nice day. Simple. By the time we sang Hazel happy birthday she was so tired and a little sick, she didn't care about her cake and presents.
On her actual birthday, the poor girl had the flu, feel down the stairs, choked on an apple, and fell and busted her lip on the coffee table. It was kind of a horrible day for her. I'm glad she won't remember it.
Yesterday she had her 12 month check up. She is 20 lbs and 29 inches. In the 30th percentile for both. She also got 6 (yes 6!) shots. And I still need to take her to get her to get a blood sample from the lab and a flu booster in a month. Poor girl.
Our house has been sick with the flu since Saturday. Runny noses, coughs, and throwning up have been our days. Not fun at all.
I have a half marathon in Santa Barbara this Saturday. Considering the past week of illness and not making all my long runs, I think this race is going to be tough. We'll see how I do. I wanted to make it under 2 hours but now I just want to be able to finish it. Low expectations.
Cinderella's coach at Fairy Tale Town.

Fairy Tale Town.

The fear in my face! Hazel is as cool as a cucumber. Makes me laugh.

Hazel looks so excited.

Once again, really excited.

We made sure Marston and Evan got to open a present too.

I made cake pops for everyone. Hazel likes to crawl under the computer desk and eat.

Evidence that we tried to make Hazel's birthday fun. Balloons are fun, right?!?! PS-we were all wearing stripes. Obsessed with stripes-maybe.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pumpkin patches and Halloween

We got to go to several pumpkin patches this October. My kids loved it. We went to a small one in Granite Bay, Zittel Farms in Folsom and Bishop's pumpkin farm in Wheatland. It was so fun. Marston loved to climb on the giant pumpkins and jump off. We got to ride the train at Bishop's and pet the goats at Zittel's. For Halloween this year, Marston wanted to be a puppy. I made his costume from a picture of a costume from Potterybarn Kids. It turned out kinda cute. He loved wearing it and that was a first for him. Hazel was a mermaid. She was adorable. Good colors for her. Trunk or treat at our church was Saturday night and Marston had a grand time going from trunk to trunk saying trick or treat. Then the fun continued on Halloween. We went to Dan's parent's house in Grantite Bay and had a yummy dinner and went trick or treating around their house. After every house, Marston would ask "more trick or treating"? It was really cute. I'm a little sad October is over.