Monday, December 15, 2014

Getting a Jump on Celebrating Christmas

Aaaaannnnd we're back! I took a long weekend from the ol' blog for the sake of sanity and celebration around here. I'm glad to be back and to share the goings on from the last few days.

Throughout last week, we decorated our tree and put finishing touches on our apartment decorations. Some of our stuff is still up in storage, but we certainly managed to make the house feel cozy and Christmasy. I'll get around to taking some photos...eventually...but here's our tree!

(We finally got the tree skirt this weekend--found a great one at Marshalls! But we're still waiting for our tree topper to arrive sometime this week. We ordered this one from Amazon.)

We had a lot of fun pulling out all our ornaments and reminding each other about from where they all came (we try to collect an ornament in every city to which we travel). Marshall hung out on his mat while we trimmed the tree and seemed rather uninterested in it all.

On Friday, Marshall and I took a walk around the park during the break from the glorious rain.

Then we enjoyed a weekend of family and friends. We felt a little bad sticking Marshall in the car for two long car trips in two days, but he did well during most of the drives (Saturday evening's drive home was miserable for all three of us--the poor guy just couldn't sleep and wouldn't stop crying).

Our annual friendsgiving was on Sunday! Terry and I brought apple crisp, but I threw it into individual ramekins to make serving easier (plus it was then easy to omit walnuts from some!), with cinnamon ice cream on the side (just vanilla ice cream with a tablespoon of cinnamon added during the churning).

Our friends Katie and Corey hosted and made a seriously delicious meal of Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and prime rib, and our friends Heidi and Ed brought some incredible appetizers for which I'm going to get the recipe (they were like little breaded cream cheese cakes that you dip in marinara...yum!). We had a wonderful time catching up with our buddies and letting the babies (well, two babies and a toddler) play. Katie and Corey have another little girl on the way, so our group is still growing!

Marshall is sporting new pjs. I had to buy him several 12-month fleece footed pjs, because his thighs got too thick for the 9-month ones, and already I'm concerned about how quickly he'll be out of the 12-month size. Luckily Costco and Target both happened to have some great sales and I picked up a couple, like this cute construction sleeper! (My brother, Uncle Chris, was proud!)

(Babies in fleece sleepers are THE cutest thing.)

Sadly, the weekend ended too soon and we were back to reality at 6:45 this morning. But tonight was soup night, and that meant a new recipe! (Terry suggested having soup every week about a month or so ago, and I challenged myself to find a new recipe each time.) Tonight was Ina Garten's Butternut Squash & Curry Condiments soup. It was SO easy! Just roast up some apples, squash, and onion, then throw 'em in with some chicken stock, add a bit of curry powder, and blend it all up!

(topped with toasted coconut--after I burned the first batch--scallions, macadamia nuts, and bananas)

I also set aside some roasted squash and roasted apples and blended them with a little applesauce to make a puree for Marshall. He LOVED it! (Actually, I thought it was pretty tasty too!) I made about a cup of it, and he ate at least half. It's so fun to see him start to actually ingest food (the first few weeks of "eating" involved mostly smashing food everywhere). Now he's starting to understand how the whole swallowing thing works, and I'm loving it!

Marshall and I have approximately 83 errands to run in the next few days. If they go anything like today, I'll get to about four of them, so wish us luck!

Are you starting holiday celebrations already? We'll be heading up north to celebrate with my family this weekend, and we have already enjoyed a couple of celebrations with family and friends so far.

Do you have a favorite soup recipe I should try? 


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