A Year of Babies, Zombies and Cadillacs!

Can you believe that the end of the year is upon us?

It truly boggles my mind.

We are headed south to Houston to visit April and Eric for New Year’s Eve (Party at their house! Woohoo!) but I wanted to share some of my favorite memories of the past year with you.

If you’ve been around my site for a while, you’ll probably recognize most of these.

That’s one of the best things about this blog, getting to highlight the little milestones in our lives with all of you.

I truly am thankful for the blessings each of you bring into my life. The community that we have built here and the commonalities we share (where the loved ones of Nerdy boys or the boys themselves) make this such a great place to be!

I hope you continue this journey with us throughout the next year. We have a lot in store for you!

The Nerd and I celebrated our first anniversary as a married couple!
We took one of many trips to Houston to visit our friends, April and Eric. We played Magic: The Gathering on this trip, making it a very nerdy trip indeed!
It snowed!

My sister came to visit from New Mexico and we went to the Dallas Arboretum to take photos of her and her son, Hyrum.

Of course, we got a few good ones of us, too.


It snowed…again.


I made some Nerdy cookies.

We took pictures with April and Eric in the bluebonnets.


And went to the Scarborough Renaissance Fair.


I got an iPad! Woohoo!


Mom and I drove to New Mexico to visit my sister.

We stopped at the Cadillac Ranch along the way.

And we visited the Albuquerque Zoo with my sister, Hyrum and River.


I went to see Eclipse at midnight with my mom and sister-in-law.


We floated the river with a group of friends.

My dad got to go skydiving with the Golden Knights.


Jet, Brad and Hyrum came in from New Mexico to celebrate Hyrum’s 1st Birthday!


We headed to Salado, Texas, to celebrate my friend, Morgan’s “shotgun” wedding!

It was the first time I’d shot a gun.

River was a Zombie princess for Halloween.



River turned two! We celebrated with the Wonder Pets.

We watched the Aggies beat the HELL outta Nebraska with The Nerd’s family.

What a great game! Whoop!

We attended the ICE! exhibit at the Gaylord Texan.


My newest nephew, Eli, was born.

And we celebrated the holiday season.

Wow, looking at the year in a list like that is exhausting!

We were definitely a couple of busy-bodies!

What were some of your favorite memories from 2010?

In A Past Life {Readathon Mini-Challenge}

The New Year is quickly approaching!
Casey from The Bookish Type and Heather from Book-Savvy are hosting the Out With A Bang Readathon to help us all finish up our 2010 reading lists.
You can read any book for the event, but there is a particular focus on 2010 debut novels for the 2010 Debut Author Challenge.
Today, I’m hosting a mini-challenge for the readathon!
The Rules:
Choose a character from the book you’re currently reading and answer the following questions in the comments of this post.
  • What historical figure do you think they could have been in a past life?
  • Why did you choose this figure?
  • What similarities do the two share?
  • Be sure to tell us the book and the character you chose.
You must be signed up for the Readathon — just enter your info in the Linky over at host blogs — to be eligible to win.
One eligible entry will be selected from the comments to receive a prize pack!
The Prize:
US and Canada shipping only.
The prize pack includes a *signed* copy of The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
and various swag, including:
Signed Mistwood bookmarks
Body Finder bookmark
Desires of the Dead button
Claire de Lune Sticker
Signed Losing Faith boomark
Team Luc Tattoo
Team Gabe tattoo
Signed Prophecy of Days bookmark
Personal Demons Bookmark
Freefall Bookmark
Signed Tension of Opposites boomarks
Tension of Opposites postcard
Iron Fey Flyer
Contest ends Friday, Dec. 31, 2010 at 11:59 pm CST.
Looking for other fun giveaways to enter? I’ve got several running on my site right now!
**Other Giveaways**
Happy Reading!

Holiday Puppies

One thing that I absolutely love about the holidays is the chance to take beautiful bokeh pictures.
Last year, I had no idea what I was doing.
This year was not much better, but I think I managed to get some good ones.
It’s actually quite easy to get beautiful bokeh from the Christmas tree lights.
It’s not easy, however, to get two ornery dogs to stay still while you *try* to get beautiful holiday bokeh pictures.
Or, for that matter, to get them to sit up when you need them to.
And then, once you get them *to* sit up, you have to look at their heartbroken faces because they think they’re in trouble.

But then, you occasionally get a good one. Aren’t The Minions cute?

I’m linking up this photo for My3Boybarians Sweet Shot Tuesday.
Sweet Shot Day

Did you get any good holiday photos this year?

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Merry Christmas! I wanted to share a warm and fuzzy holiday treat with you today (well, maybe not *fuzzy*) and hot chocolate seemed to fit the bill.

You can cuddle up with a mug of this hot chocolate by the fire for the perfect winter evening!

Homemade Hot Chocolate
Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

2 vanilla beans
4 c granulated sugar
24 oz high-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
9 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 c Dutch process cocoa


Split and scrape the vanilla beans and place in a large bowl with the sugar. Mix seeds into the sugar with your fingers. Transfer to an airtight container and bury the pods within the sugar. Cover tightly and let sit overnight at room temperature.

You just made vanilla sugar. This stuff is *awesome.* I like to use it in sugar cookies to add a little extra flavor. YUM.

In a food processor fitted with metal blade, process semisweet chocolate and dark chocolate until finely ground, using 4-second pulses. Process in batches, if necessary. I used chocolate chips and ended up having to use both the blender and food processor to get it fine enough.

Remove pods from sugar. Add ground chocolate and cocoa powder to sugar and whisk to blend, making sure to combine well.

Store mix airtight at room temperature for up to six months. Yields: 76 2-Tbsp servings

To serve, heat 1 cup of milk and mix in 2 Tbsps of the mixture.


I mixed some holly sprinkles (green and red) in with mine to give it a little holiday flair. Don’t worry about the green stuff at the top. Those are sprinkles.

Add Peppermint Marshmallows and you have an awesome treat!



Merry Christmas!

May your days be merry and bright…
And your babies snuggled up tight!
From our family to yours…
Merry Christmas!
PS – Do you think Santa would bring me one of those for Christmas?
Baby Eli is just too adorable!

Peppermint Marshmallows

Can you believe that Christmas is already upon us?
We’re headed south today to visit The Nerd’s parents for the holiday. It will be a balmy 79 degrees in Corpus Christi today, but I’m in the mood for some winter treats.
These homemade peppermint marshmallows are really yummy. They go perfectly with hot chocolate, which is what I’ll be posting tomorrow!
Peppermint Marshmallows
1/3 c powdered sugar
1/2 c cold water
2 1/2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 c corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c water
1 tsp peppermint extract
8 to 10 drops red or green food color
Grease bottom and sides of a 2-quart glass baking dish with butter. Then, sprinkle it with powdered sugar (about 2 tablespoons).
Pour 1/2 cup cold water into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sprinkle gelatin over water and set aside.
In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.
Increase heat to medium-low and heat syrup to boiling.
Boil without stirring until syrup reaches 240 degrees F on candy thermometer. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
With the mixer running at low speed, slowly pour syrup into gelatin mixture in a thin stream down the side of the bowl.
Gradually increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is white and has almost tripled in volume. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add peppermint extract and beat to blend, about 30 seconds longer. Randomly drop four drops of red or green food color into marshmallow mixture in bowl; fold 3 to 4 times to swirl color (don’t mix or this step will tint your marshmallows pink or green).
Pour marshmallows into baking dish. Drop red or green food color randomly on top of marshmallow mixture and pull throughout with a toothpick.
Let stand uncovered for at least 4 hours.
Sprinkle cutting board with about 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar. Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl. To remove marshmallow mixture, loosen sides from the dish by running a knife along the edge, and gently lift in one piece onto cutting board.
Using a pizza cutter sprayed with cooking spray, cut marshmallows into 1-inch squares. Dust bottom and sides of each marshmallow by dipping into bowl of powdered sugar. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.
These marshmallows are part of Betty Crocker’s Red Hot Holiday Trends. Head over to the website to see other fun goodies you can whip up in time for Christmas.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

Christmas is Saturday!
Is anyone else excited/freaked out/stressed beyond belief/excited?!
I’m officially on vacation this week, and I was planning on getting *so* much done.
But then Baby Eli was born and my mom busted her ear drum and can’t help Alex take care of the babies.
So guess who is stepping in to help?
Auntie Rena! :)
I’m really excited to get to spend some time with River and Eli, but I’m a little stressed at the change in plans.
I had so many things I wanted to get done around the house and on the blog. I still have a TON of presents to wrap, and we head out of town for holidays with the in-laws on Friday.
Maybe we can make the bloggy things happen.
We’ll see.
But to tide you over for another day (no recipes or book reviews today, sorry!) I thought I’d share some photos of River and Hyrum with Santa Claus from the Thanksgiving holiday.
Hyrum *hated* Santa. He cried the whole time. I think it’s actually quite hilarious.
River just kind of sat there and looked at the camera. I’m not sure she knew what was going on.
Are you ready for Christmas? What all do you have left to do?
Thanks so much for looking!

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