Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

 Thanksgiving 2014
(Today is actually Christmas Eve so it's about time I get the Thanksgiving post out of the way.
It was a fun occasion and I want to get it onto the family blog.)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
We enjoyed our traditional Thanksgiving celebration which included a visit from Cousin Kelly, a bit of football, and a bunch of ridiculously yummy food.  
Keep scrolling for food pics and linked recipes.

Lauren helped with the Deviled Egg appetizers.
She loves to help in the kitchen and I love that she does!
They were tasty.

 Olives and pickles are an appetizer MUST! 

(I forgot to take an after picture but it doesn't look that much different after an hour in the oven except I took the Saran wrap off.)

Cooked green beans with bacon...can't go wrong with that.

Mashed Potatoes with gravy (gravy not pictured.)

(oh my yumm!)

Cranberry from a can.
(Matt likes this.)

Cooked on the Traeger this year.
L and T both enjoyed the turkey's legs.
Super tasty!

Table is set and she is ready to eat!

We ate our hearts out but of course left room for dessert.

It looks tasty but somehow I baked it way too long.
Anyone for toasty crispy blackened pecans?

The other desserts turned out much better.
and my favorite recipe for

It is hard living away from family (especially during the holidays) but I think it is important to instill family traditions none the less.
Thanks Cousin Kelly for being a huge part in our family Thanksgiving tradition.

PS.  When you tire of left-over turkey sandwiches try this.

Oh my YUMM!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Green-White Belts

Last month there was another belt test and both Lauren and Tyler passed.  They are now wearing the Green-White Belts.  I'm proud of their determination and hard work.  They are still loving Taekwondo and are doing very well with it.  It has been a big confidence booster and they have both gotten so much stronger.  Keep up the good work Lauren and Tyler!

Another belt was added to the wall.

Grammy Days

 While Matt and I were vacationing in Cabo San Lucas the kiddos got to have Grammy all to themselves.
Unlike us and our carefree vacation, Grammy was tasked with a bunch of activities in addition to just hanging out with her grand kids.

She had to get L and T up and ready for school each day with a healthy breakfast...
a nutritiously packed lunch...

all homework done and packed into backpacks...

and out the door to catch the bus on time.

She also had to remember which day was hat day...

and which day was Christmas Picture day.
(Tyler is wearing JEANS!!)

After school she had to help with homework and prepare tasty dinners like this Frito Casserole
(and I spy Rice Krispie treats in the background.)

Depending on what after school activities were scheduled (either Taekwondo

or basketball) 

sometimes it was Chick-fil-A for dinner.

 And as if that wasn't enough to keep her busy and exhausted She still found some time for projects.
She helped L and T make an Oregon Duck no sew blanket

 and also ironed on some Girl Scout patches that this Momma just hadn't taken the time to do.

If Lauren and Tyler missed us you sure couldn't tell from the pictures.  
It looks like they just did their thing which included a lot of screen time (Grammy rules) 

and a little Lego playing.

Thank you Grammy for coming to watch the kids.  
I hope you all had a wonderful time getting to know each other better.  Now you need to hurry up and retire so Matt and I can take more vacations so we can spend a lot more time together.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cabo San Lucas 2014

Guess who came to visit?!!

Guess what Matt and I did to her a week after she got here?!

We left her with the kids and got out of dodge.
And by "dodge" I mean "the country."

Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico
 It was an all inclusive resort so of course I have a drink in my hand.

Friends of ours were getting married and although they ended up eloping before the wedding but after we bought our tickets we decided to still make a go of it.

Then Hurricane Odile slammed into the Baja Peninsula on September 14th.

But we had our tickets and we were going to vacation no matter what!

The resort had only been reopened for 30 days since the hurricane.  The resort was absolutely beautiful and completely back to normal but hoo boy outside the resort was a different story.  Trees, buildings, houses, shredded by the winds and a lot of places were still without power.
I should have taken some pictures to contrast with the resort.
(Matt and I tipped even though it was all inclusive so hopefully we helped the employees a little bit.)

We stayed at the RIU Palace right on the Sea of Cortez.
It was beautiful and the weather was perfect.
80 degrees during the day and 70s at night.

The resort included 2 infinity pools, 5 restaurants, and 5 bars. 
There was pretty much food and booze all over the place...but in a classy sort of way.
I thought we got a photo of the main buffet but I can't find it.  I'm normally not a fan of buffets but the one here was the best and cleanest and prettiest I've ever seen.  And I've been to Reno y'all so I know my buffets.  (wink)

Panorama of the resort

The famous rock formation.

Full Moon

Along with a mini fridge full of water, soda, and Tecate beer, we also had this beverage dispenser in our room.
Tequila, Rum, Vodka and Brandy
(Brandy?...alrighty then)

 Wedding Day
Matt's best friend from childhood was getting married and Matt was in the wedding.
(I took pictures for one of the bridesmaids so I didn't get any on my own camera except for this one.  Boo!)

Brad & Ashlie,
sons Truxton & Jasper,and Brad's parents

The wedding was gorgeous.  I don't think there is a more photogenic family.  You should see all of the beautiful pictures on the bride's facebook account. 

Matt and I after the ceremony.

I'm not a selfie type of person but I really thought I nailed it with my dress.
(from Zulily)

I'm pretty sure it was mostly because of the hurricane but the beach was not sandy at all.  It was actually full of teeny tiny pebbles.
Matt and I walked for a lot longer than it looked like it was going to be to reach some rocks we could see from the resort.

It was great exercise but the soles of my feet were buffed raw.
Beautiful view though!

I brought my exercise gear so I could work off some (just a tiny bit) of all that all-inclusive food and booze.
Most of the time I wore my workout clothes to just sit on the beach...

but I actually hit the gym ONE time.
I hate the treadmill but with this view I was loving it.

One day we ventured away from the resort for a trip to Downtown Cabo which included a boat ride to Lover's/Divorce Beach.
Lover's Beach is on the Sea of Cortez side with smoother waters and Divorce Beach is a short walk to the other side on the Pacific Ocean with rougher waters and major waves.

a nifty looking rock behind us

Lover's Beach
(I would have worn my bikini too but I didn't want to make the bride look bad.)
(omg...just kidding)


Every night the resort had some scheduled entertainment.
While we were there we saw a Michael Jackson tribute show and a Grease show among others.

Grease was awesome but we enjoyed every show.  It was a fun way to end our evenings.

The food was surprisingly good.
Here is Matt and I at the fanciest restaurant in the resort.
(no, not that Krystal)

By the last day I was so full of food and drinks and I could not wait to get home, to see the kiddos and Mom, and get back on a schedule.  I'm pretty sure I gained about 10 pounds from that vacation...and Thanksgiving...and I guess I'll just include Christmas because it's in a couple weeks.  It's time to get back on track!!

The day after we got home Grammy had to go back to Oregon.
My brother and sis-in-law were days away from having their baby.  I'm glad she made it back in time.

Big thanks to Grammy for watching the kiddos.  We will all have memories for life.

PS.  Next post will be some pics of the Grammy Adventures the she and the kids enjoyed while we were away.