Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Christmas sweetheart.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Traditions

Since my kids spent Christmas Eve with their dad,
I got to sleep in on Christmas morning (the one and only plus to this every-other-year bummer of a situation).

I enjoyed a long bike ride with my hubby before the kids arrived.

We stopped at the cemetery to leave some flowers for my mom and then I proceeded to get worked over on one of Lance's so-called short, easy rides.

We got home just in time to get showered and ready for the kids to get home.

It was our first Christmas as a new family.

We continued some old traditions and began some special new ones.

Lance even helped cook our Christmas dinner and may have made some of the best mashed potatoes I've ever tasted!

All in all, it was a good day...Lots of laughs, love, and good food.

What could be better?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Elfie

This is Mistletoe Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf.

Every night he leaves our house and heads to the North Pole to report to Santa all about the goings on in our home, but most importantly, the kids behavior for the day.

He shows back up in our home every morning in a different place.

He doesn't talk.

He can't be touched.

But, the kids can talk to him all they want.

Last night, I found Cal telling him all about his day.

The kids are totally enamoured with him and love searching for him every morning.

You can get your own Elf on the Shelf here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 1

The advent calendar is up.

I try to mix it up with the activities we do as a family.

Some are religious, some are of service, and some are just plain fun.

For day 1, we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas on video and put up our own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

By Christmas, I am usually exhausted and have grown so tired of the daily activities.

But, I know we are creating some wonderful memories for the kids.

If you have any great ideas, let me know.
(I don't decide what we'll do until the night before ☺)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Disneyland

The week before Thanksgiving, my sister and I packed up the kids and headed for Disneyland.

I've never seen Disney decorated for Christmas and it definitely was beautiful.

I did Disney in style~ in a wheelchair!

No waiting,

no lines,

no complaining.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why???

Last year I said that I wouldn't do it again.

But, there we were...at 11:00pm waiting outside for the midnight opening at Old Navy.

It was cold.

Really cold.

I was hungry

and my feet hurt.

An armful of clothes at the register and not one Christmas gift.

Ugh.

I am not going to be talked into this again next year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Home Sweet Bike Shop

This is what happens to a girl's living room when she marries a cyclist.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

All day long, I baked pies.

I was a happy girl.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wedding Photos

I am a lucky woman.

I have found one of the kindest, most humble, talented, thoughtful, and giving men around

and...he's mine forever.

* photos by Annie Randall

Monday, November 15, 2010

Almost there!


The cast is off.
I'm stuck in this boot for the next three weeks
and then I'm free!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reasons to be Thankful


I love November-
because, inevitably, we are compelled to ponder the things in life we are thankful for.

Lucky me.
I've got...

a man who kisses me goodbye every morning,

three kids who wake up with smiles on their faces,

Grey's Anatomy,

a stranger who holds the door for me,

Greek yogurt drizzled with honey and granola,

renewed faith,
60 minutes on Sunday snuggling with my hubby,

Runner's World and RealSimple,

"You Got What I Need," by Joshua Radin,

mulling spices,

a really good biography,

and

today.

I am always thankful for today.

Veteran's Day

A Thursday free with the kids~

We spent it at the park having a picnic and enjoying this amazing Arizona weather.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is not thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie. I've baked many, but I think I've found my favorite. Paula Dean's recipe is the best. I think it may be the added melted butter. Why add butter? No idea, but I like it☺.

Ingredients
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
1 piece pre-made pie dough
Whipped cream, for topping

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan
and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.
For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of homemade whipped cream.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 6


Happy Birthday, Mom.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mornings

Saturdays.

Soccer.

Love it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes

In a cast and fumbling around on crutches has left me with few things I can do around the house. Baking in my little kitchen is one of those activities I can still manage, so I have been baking my heart out. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin... I think even my kiddos are tired of my treats.

My favorite has been this yummy recipe of Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. I usually don't eat much of what I bake, but I could keep my hands off of these...


Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
Frosting
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C).
Line a cupcake pan with 18 liners.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition.
Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth.
Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners — you’re looking to get them 3/4 full. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.
In a stand mixer beat all frosting ingredients on medium until fluffy. Refrigerate cupcakes to set frosting.
Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Recovery

I've been in the cast for 1 week now.

To catch you up on my latest physical impairment, I'll remind you of my injury from last May. After weeks of running on a sore foot, I finally quit my training for Utah Valley, realizing some severe damage had been done and it was only getting worse.

I self-diagnosed myself with a possible stress-fracture or terrible tendonitis.

Surely, taking the summer off from running and wearing a boot would heal my foot (...and hopefully the occasional bike ride and stair climbing wouldn't hurt.)

August came and I was aching to get running again. The Tucson Marathon was in my sights and I was aching to run it.

I got on the treadmill for the first run. It wasn't too bad. I dismissed the slight ache as a figment of my imagination. Denial. Denial. Denial. (Denial got my into this situation in the first place.)

My second run left me in tears. The pain was back. Nothing had healed.

I broke down and went to a doctor. He ordered an MRI.

It came back with some clear answers.

It showed a definite stress fracture in my heal.

A cast was in order!

I was happy and relieved...an answer and a solution.

So, I'm in this cast for the next few weeks.

Laundry is a pain, vacuuming an- exhausting task, and grocery shopping- impossible.

Showering has proved to be a chore not worth the effort. So, I've resorted to baths (not my favorite).

But, all of it worth it in the end.

I am counting down the days until I can lace up my running shoes

and head down the road.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wedding Day

One of the best days of my life.

Since October ninth, I have been overcome with a sense of peace and calm, like all of the uncertainty of my future has been put to rest.

Everything was beautiful, sweet, and simply perfect.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wedding Day

"Hurry, kids. Mom's getting married."

*Thanks for the photo, Natalie.