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I am currently working on a Master's Degree in Nutrition and requirements for Registered Dietician R.D. I plan to run my first full marathon in 2009. This blog is about everything I learn, eat, and do along the way. Cheers!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day Recap

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Santa Came to Momma Mo and Preston's! Jack was ecstatic to be disguised as a present. Well, keep reading...

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We opened half of our gifts, then took a break for breakfast. Jeff's Parents spoiled us rotten... ROTTEN! I feel incredibly lucky to have two wonderful families in my life. Thank you for everything!! We love you!

Fruit Salad ( grapes, marshmallows, mandarin orange, blueberries, coconut, sour cream AND Breakfast Casserole- It was made via Crockpot with layers of hash browns, cheese, eggs, peppers, onions,

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Christmas Late Lunch, after we had finished opening presents, figuring out how everything works, trying on etc. etc. Showered, ya know the basics.
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Tangerine, Pickle, Newmans Own Double Fiber Bun filled with turkey, a little mustard and a little sweet potato ( extra on the side).
And the most delicious brownie....

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After we packed up the car, Jack decided to run away from Jeff's Parents. We looked for him but then decided he would show up after he was done fishing in the lake. Jeff's family was so nice to offer to keep looking for him and bathe him when he decided to come home and watch him for the rest of the weekend so we could make it to my parents for Christmas Dinner.  (this is not a first for jack, we miss him but i bet he misses us just as much).

My parents tree- they always put cards on it- Do any of you have that tradition as well?

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Christmas Dinner ( we do a "thanksgiving" because its just so good- turkey, a half a small sweet potato, stuffing, green beans and gravy...1 BLOG 008

Wine by the Fire

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Sampling of a few of My mom's cookies...
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A cranberry meringue tart, a seven layer bar, a piece of peanut butter fudge

Oh it was a fun-filled, gift-filled, event-filled Christmas Day! We had a lovely evening by the fire chatting but we were so exhausted that we fell asleep fairly early.

Body: Much needed rest day

Mind: drove to the parents, searched for jack..

Soul: we miss jack, but luckily halfway through our drive Jeff's sister called and Jack was sitting on their doorstep covered in fish smell. Yuck!

Jeff surprised me with a gift... I can't say now because if sister reads, she will know. It was SOOOOOO SWEET! No worries, it will be on here. Jeff is the best.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Happy Christmas to All... and to All a Good Night!

I am exhausted! The run felt fantastic today, 6.5 miles was exactly what I would hope for knowing it will be lots of sitting in the car tomorrow! Not to mention , all the running around I did. I had to :
-wrap our presents for Jeff's family
-wrap my presents for Jeff
-wrap our presents for my family for christmas day
-fold and pack laundry for christmas day
-search for Jeff's cell phone (we misplaced it while at Andrea's last night )
-bake a pumpkin carrot bread that I needed to do ( I didn't want to waste the last of the pumpkin and organic carrots I had just got since we will be gone till sunday night)
-pack for tonight
-yes, go grab one last minute gift of course.

My lunch was quick leftover chicken sausage and pasta- with TONS OF VEGGIES!

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All the wine and lack of sleep makes me crave health food like vegetables and fruit. Who am I kidding, I always crave vegetables and fruit, but I think as I recall from posts, I didn't really eat any vegetables yesterday! That is a "wow" moment, I almost always get in at least the " 5 daily servings" because I just like veggies and fruit so much! I found buying frozen fresh veggies and fruit are a big help in getting in servings- they are a very inexpensive option that last for such a long time if necessary ( like holiday travels!!!). I got hooked in college because the fresh stuff I buy would go bad due to a crazy schedule and I had no $$$!

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When we arrived for dinner at Momma Mo's, we greeted a plate of christmas cookies immediately!
I had a peanut brittle (too fast for an individual photo) it was so delicious! And then split a chocolate snowflake

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with Jeff. We played cards, opened sibling gifts (santa gifts tomorrow!) and had eggnog, and wine...

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then started on dinner!
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Dinner at Jeff's parents was delicious! Turducken with sweet potatos, amazing brocolli rice casserole, and mixed green salad with gorgonzola, walnut and cranberries.

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It was phenomenal!I was so satisfied with dinner that I could only manage 1 cookie for dessert ( gasp! only 1).Here is PJ with my one dessert: there is a reese's peanut butter cup inside!

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Momma Mo (Jeff's mom) read us The Night Before Christmas as she does every year. It just made me feel so lucky to know that in a few (or several!) years, I will get to have my first baby listening to that story!

Santa is at our tree right now laying out presents, and my camera usb cable to upload pics is in there with him. I did take photos of everything so I will try to get them up tomorrow. Jeff's family has suprised me with how supportive of my blogging they have been! His stepdad Preston checks in all the time and everyone (Jeff the most) bugs me with " Why didn't you take a picture already? or You should take a picture of this!" It is really cute and fantastic to have people love you for who you are and what you enjoy! Love you all!

I also chatted with my sister- Hi Christal!!! I love you! and she told me she checks in at least twice a day! She also said a friend of hers wanted the link and enjoys reading- so hello sister's friend!

I miss my brothers- I love you Matt and Gabe! Even though I will see my mom and dad tomorrow, I still wish I could be back in our tiny old house opening up Mall Madness with each and everyone of my siblings under the same tree. Something to dream about anyway... speaking of dreams- I am in serious need of sleep.
Hope santa brings you lots of joy in many ways, or whatever holiday you may celebrate- may it be filled with joy! Merry christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Andrea and Nate's Christmas Dinner Party

The best thing that has kept me from chowing down on ALL of these cookies..

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is that I arranged sets for giving away- one to Andrea's last night

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A set for Jeff's mom today

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and a set for my mom tomorrow.

Since we couldn't "touch" those, minus a few samplings that I didn't photo, it was pretty easy to keep my hand out of the cookie jar so to speak. , I did eat one from all the different types I made to make sure they were delightful, but I didn't feel like taking a photo of "each one I ate" when I had taken so many photos of them otherwise for posts/recipes/etc. Today, I had the bourbon truffles and the chocolate windows- both are super rich and chocolatey.

Party Table:

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So at the bottom is a cheese ball (Andrea used fat free cream cheese, pineapples, green onion, pepper, covered in walnuts) and cheddar with cranberries inside, to the right of that is banana bread, then soup, then pizza muffins, behind the centerpiece was Artichoke Bruscetta (fabulous!)On the far left was a bean dip, buffalo chicken dip ( Delicious), Apple Slices, Cheese Slices, and Crackers

My plate:

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The artichoke bruschetta ( I have to get the recipe it was awesome) is in the middle- I had one more of these guys unpictured.

The buffalo dip, not too spicy but cheesy goodness, a chip with bean dip, cheese slices, the cheese with cranberries, cracker.

Unpictured: I split a pizza muffin with Jeff, I had a few more nibbles of Andrea's cheese "ball" and the cheese with cranberries (the cheesiness went well with my red wine, also unpictured was a total of 2 big glasses). Its funny because I am a huge dessert person, most nights I have something for dessert. I think the cheese was so satisfying ( as well as the company) and the fact that I had sampled my baking efforts with the chocolate windows, the chocolate bourbon truffles, etc. left me not wanting dessert! (gasp) Actually I tried a bite of the "Chocolate Sex Cake" that Andrea made, it was good but dare I say it, I was chocolated-out!

The good times began...
For the record this was fairly early and we were all still sober...

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Andrea, Timmy, Me.

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Brit stole my camera and took candid shots of two love birds ...

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Jeff decided to go as.. Robert Goulet. It was not a costume party, he is just an awesomely funny and dashingly handsome person. Nate always asks him to do it, so it was a gtd (game time decision). If you do not know who Goulet is... check out Will Farrell's skits at SNL here: .

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Andrea and Robert Goulet dancing, Hanz is admiring Goulet's moves.

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Goulet, apparently he is a ladies man.
( jeff, rachelle, carrie, me, brit, andrea).

Fantastic night, we ended up staying over. I am definitely tired more than anything because I finally crashed at about 3 am- Lots of dancing, card playing, guitar Hero, lots of reasons to stay up and celebrate! We met Will's girlfriend (Lauren) and Nick's girlfriend (Carrie) for the first time and they are both very nice! I am hoping I remember their names so that is why I wrote them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

French Toast Breakfast Tree on Christmas Eve

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It's Christmas Eve! Hooray!
French Toast Breakfast Tree:

Peanut Butter Trunk, Pumpkin Egg White French Toast Tree... (pumpkin, egg whites, splash of milk, splash vanilla extract, dash of cinnamon)
decorated with blueberry bells, cherry balls, flaxseeds and pineapple topper.

Short Run with Jack (20 minutes around the neighborhood hills). It was such a warm christmas eve! I think the high was 68*. It is so weird to have grown up in freezing weather and snow, literally snow from October-April ....and to now have winter temps of 68* and higher!. I had lunch plans that didn't work out, so when that happened, I realized I could get the "real" cardio I had been hoping for at the Gym. I was hoping to get in that red face, dripping sweat cardio because I know I will be resting christmas day, driving and above all, would rather enjoy opening presents and family time than be out on an hour long run! So, my cardio turned into an amazing 4.5 mile run/sprint... I ran for two minutes straight at 9.0 (a 6:40 min. mile) and the rest at 8.0 ( about a 7 minute mile). Phew.. so my total running mileage today was 6.5 miles!

Tired, need to wrap gifts! 4 hours of sleep last night is just not going to cut it!

Its Christmas eve!! dinner at Momma Mo's tonight is Tur-Duck-en. Family time tonight, tomorrow and all weekend. oh and presents are certainly wonderful ( both to give and to get :-) )

Santa is on his way kiddos... I am going to be checking in but probably not posting much until at least tomorrow or friday!
Merry Christmas to All if I don't see you , hear from you, or comment with you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chocolate Bourbon Truffles

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I found the recipe from Recipe Zaar (online search). Figured I would try it out since both Jeff and I enjoy chocolate and bourbon of course.


    · 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened fat free condensed milk

    · 2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips ( i used a mix of milk chocolate and mostly semisweet)

    · 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    · 2 tablespoons bourbon +

    · 1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans ( I used sliced almonds b/c that is what I have)

    · For rolling after : granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa, or very finely chopped pecans ( as you can see above, I rolled some in cocoa, some in powdered sugar, and some plain).


  1. Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat. Heat, stirring, until melted and smooth; remove from heat. 1 BLOG 009

  2. Stir in the vanilla, bourbon, and 1/2 cup almonds ( or pecans and more if you prefer). Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and chill for 3 to 4 hours, or until mixture is firm.
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  3. Working with fingertips, shape ( I used my palm to roll them) into 1-inch balls; roll in finely any of the following chopped pecans, sugar, or unsweetened cocoa. Place on a tray or baking sheet, cover loosely, and chill for at least 1 hour. If desired, put each truffle in a decorative fluted paper or foil cup and keep in tightly covered container in the refrigerator until giving or serving. Keep these refrigerated, tightly covered
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    1. After you refrigerate for the 4 hours, Prep all the toppings you want to roll in.
    2. Prep what you will be putting them in as well
    3. Make sure you have nothing you need to do with your hands... move things, answer phones etc.
    4. Use a knife to scrape down the sides of the bowl to loosen up the "ganache dough"
    5. I say all these tips because once you touch this stuff, its mess -city on your hands... I couldn't take a photo because my hands were covered in chocolate- It was easy to keep shaping and rolling but I didn't want to keep washing my hands to do something then come back to it.

Monday Lunch and Dinner Update!

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Leftover Pasta and Tomato Sauce with Chicken

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and Salad.

Accomplishments: ( in an attempt to make me feel more positive about getting a rude response to a job.. )

  • I finally heard back from the organization I was interested in Volunteering with, turns out they would like me to help with marketing and potentially here on my blog and elsewhere in the community in addition to teaching nutrition classes!! WOOHOO-I have to read through some materials they sent but I am excited!
  • Started My Pre-Packing List (I found this Day of The Week notepad at a craft store recently. I have used it for foods/meals we have that week- but it works well for this too!)

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  • Gym- Run 5 miles... toes are now hurting... I am icing as I type
  • Took out the materials I needed and started to make one of "jeff's" gifts- I have made him something each year and I knew exactly what I wanted to put together... I will take a pic for after xmas!
  • Wrapped a few presents
  • Made Chocolate Bourbon Truffles ( post to follow)
  • Made Toffee Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies ( post to follow)
  • Cleaned out the Fridge ( blech!!! but phew! and YAHH! at the same time.. it was gross and now its not nearly as gross.)
  • Laundry
  • Talk with Mom about lots of stuff
  • Bank Errands
  • Dancing with The Stars Latin Cardio Dance DVD! (Veggie Girl is this the same one you have? ... I didn't realize until now there is more than one!)

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Review of DWS, Latin Cardio:
I liked it! It wasn't a great cardio workout for me- I need to run a good 5-10 miles for that. So for beginners that are looking for a good cardio dance, I would suggest it. I really enjoyed it! I did the warm up and then all 4 of the dances and then most of the toning workout. I broke a light sweat and was actually confused a couple of times . The mutitasker in me was also baking cookies at the same time, so I had to pause, run in the kitchen, then run back and unpause and start again! I am looking forward to doing it again so that I can get some of my "dance moves" back! Get my "mojo" flowing again if you will. I haven't danced since college and I could tell I was way more rigid and fumbly than I used to be!


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Leftover Chicken Salad Sandwich ( 2 Halves) and Organic Spicy Bean Sprouts with leftover Tomato Sauce...

Pumpkin French Toast with Warm Fruit "Compote" and Yogurt * Updated*

The "compote" is in quotes because technically a fruit compote begins with a simple syrup of water and sugar, cooked with vanilla or liquor then fruit is added etc etc. The efficient B-Healthy (that's me f.y.i) is all "Why add sugar to something that is sweet already?" so I just heat up frozen unsweetened fruits most of the time. Their juices release and it essentially is a less sugar, more natural version of fruit compote.

I didn't know what I wanted for breakfast but started to make the base for pumpkin pie for one with 1/4 c pumpkin and 1/2 c egg whites. I mixed it really well and saw the loaf of bread that I'd like to finish by Wednesday so it does not go to waste during our holiday travels. A light bulb went off in my head when I saw the bread, I thought, "I will just dip toast into this and make Pumpkin French Toast!"

My pumpkin "batter" was already in my "single pie dish" so I had to slice up the bread for it to fit in there. I like slicing it up before cooking it because the pieces get coated with more batter and it's easier to eat at the end- no need to cut! If you had kids you could use cookie cutters and make shapes like Dinosaurs or Trees! I put Oikos Greek Nonfat Organic Yogurt on top, and I heated up frozen peaches, strawberries, pineapple and cherries for the Fruit Compote.

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Here is the plan for today ( and usually when I say that, I actually stick to it hence why I say it!)


Run. I told my knee and toes to not bother me today but it didn't quite work. I ran 5 miles total, but my knees and toes were bugging me after mile 3. I walked a little (.5 mile total) and finished up the 5 miles.


I am still going to go out and look for a job. I'm not sure if I will get crazy looks or find something but I guess I can't give up right?
Cookie Recipe Reading
Eat Pray Love Reading

more cookie baking.. upcoming: Chocolate Bourbon Balls and Toffee Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies



I like to be prepared for sleeping away from home 5 nights+ and at 4 different places! So this includes writing out on a piece of paper the activities I need clothing for.. i.e run, beach, shopping, dinner, sleeping, fishing etc. and the days I need them. That way I can formulate the outfit on paper and pack accordingly. I never ever did this until Jeff suggested something like it. I have so much clothing for so many different purposes...i.e my dry fit Nike turtleneck for wicking sweat in 38 * , or my warm up pants for fishing... etc. Its hard to just throw something in a bag when you know you are going to do completely different things at 4 different places! I highly suggest this if you have a hard time packing the right things. I know it seems silly to write down " Wednesday: fishing, lunch out, run, dinner, sleep. Thursday: run, shopping..." you get the idea.

With airlines charging for bags and trying to fit everything in your suitcase, I don't think those convertible wraps that were on The Today Show this past week that turn into yoga outfits and turn into a dress and then into a top - work well for anyone going away for more than 2 days in cold weather! Writing out what you really will be doing while away helps you write down what you really need to wear-- and thus bring with you-- instead of throwing in your favorite outfit ( that isn't suitable for say a run or the beach or shopping!).

That is my monday! Hope all of you have a wonderful happy monday, it's a short work week for most so that is great starting thought!! Is anyone travelling all over for the whole week ?

Cherry Almond Macaroons

The cookies I decided to make last night... Cherry Almond Macaroons
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Original Recipe from Cooking With Paula Deen, 2005 :

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup AP Flour

4 egg whites at room temp.

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup chopped dried cherries

4 cups sweetened flaked coconut

B-Healthy Recipe 2008:

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup Organic Whole Grain Flour

4 egg whites, semi room temp. ( with impatience)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sliced raw almonds

3/4 cup chopped Frozen Cherries (Thawed in microwave, baked for a few minutes, cooled, chopped. ), I didn't feel like buying a $4 bag of dried.

3 cups Unsweetened flaked Coconut

Preheat oven at 325, ( I used my toaster oven)... Nonstick spray my cookie sheet ( original says to grease or line w parchment).

Stir together sugar and flour.

In separate bowl, beat egg whites at high speed with electric beaters until foamy. Add mixture of sugar/flour 1 Tablespoon at a time while beating egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form ( this never happened? I don't know why). I gave up.

Folded in vanilla, almonds, cherries, and coconut.

Dropped mixture by tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheet.

Baked until edges began to brown. ( original called for 15 minutes oven time, but since I use my toaster oven as usual- the sheet is smaller so it took just over 6 minutes).

Cool on wire rack. (I took pictures and then ate all of them)

.....just kidding, I had a few bites of ones that stuck.

sooooo good... jeff hates coconut. oh well. i will have no problem "gettin em gone"

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rice & Beans with Sausage

Rice & Beans with Sausage is one of Jeff's most favorite meals. I, however, pretty much hate rice and sausage and sometimes I can handle beans/sometimes I can't. I used to have to take nexium, gees, but I have been good without it for about 1 year! So why would I eat things I don't like for dinner?

Well, I found this sausage on one of my several attempts to find sausages that were fairly healthy ( high in protein, low in overall and saturated fats) and liked the taste and texture...I hated almost all of the kinds I have tried. I even bought super fatty sausage of sausage, bratwursts, etc etc... didn't like em. I think it has to do with the casings too- they just irk me. IRK. But, I recently found this one and thought, "What the heck? Jeff will eat them." I even made myself something else that night! I had a few bites of Jeff's to see what the verdict would be, turns out, I really enjoyed it!! So I just purchased these again since I could put it with pasta, or in sandwiches or freeze em if we didn't eat em before the holiday travels. We have Andrea and Nate's Christmas dinner Tuesday, Jeff's parents Tuesday, My parents Thursday, Friday and then Jeff's Nana's Saturday & Sunday. More on that lata....

There is the sausage, it has no artificial ingredients, 120 calories per link ( this is the uncooked package) 6 g fat, 12 g protein!

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Maybe its the buffalo sauce but these are absolutely delicious in my opinion if you enjoy sausage!

We made them with rice... another thing I tend not to like, white rice has low nutritional value but to me, it just tastes too starchy. The texture is not my fav. either. I made this Rice A Roni's All Natural Preservative Free Italian Herb Creamy rice.... Its essentially white rice but then you add in a seasoning packed and milk (1/2 cup 1%). It turns into a creamy risotto almost, and the flavor is amazing. I added the black beans for some more fiber and protein, I like them alot but I just end up not being able to eat all the beans.

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There is my dish- with hot sauce! ( I took it out of the casing, put it in the pan with Jeff's bad boys and cooked them all on several "sides" for about 15 minutes total). I was "missing" veggies- so on top I threw organic spicy bean sprouts and Earthbound Farms Organic Mixed Greens and a little goddess dressing. This was all delicious together!!! I really enjoyed the texture of the bean sprouts with the sausage! More rice and beans for jeff!

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Run 3 miles
Elliptical 20 minutes
Biked 5 miles.

Read through lots of my cookbooks and magazines to find cookie recipes I want to try! I also caught up on a blog of a student I used to teach- his mom has started writing about all the treatments he is going through and progress etc.

Lots of laying around, relaxing, I caught up on some dvr'd shows!

Christmas movies and cookie recipe pondering. I can't believe it will all be over so soon!
This week is kinda crazy as I mentioned above, we have christmas dinner with all our friends on tuesday ( I am super excited to help andrea with the food!) and then its off to momma mo's for christmas eve, christmas morning, and then in the afternoon we head to my parent's for christmas dinner, then friday, my dad's birthday, then off to Jeff's Nana's at the lake for more christmas family time. We will get back sunday and I'm not sure what we will do for New Year's this year! Andrea and Nate will be in Chicago so we won't be having the usual party with them, I'm not sure if we will host a party or if we will travel somewhere as well.