Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Festivities

I thought I'd better post about our Thanksgiving fun before everything Christmas takes over.

I don't have any paid time off yet at my new job, so we had Thanksgiving in Dallas this year. My parents visited us the weekend before Thanksgiving since we wouldn't be able to travel to Utah for the holiday. We had a blast!
On Friday, we walked on the Katy Trail, had lunch at our favorite little Mexican place in Lakewood (Zuzu's - get the fish tacos), and did some Christmas shopping. We went to an awesome toy store on Knox called Froggies 5&10. I think we (4 adults) spent an hour there - they had SO MUCH cool stuff. We saw the Brad Pitt movie, Money Ball that afternoon and hit lower Greenville for some delicious sushi at the hip Blue Fish that night.
On Saturday morning we went to the Dallas Arboretum. It's really beautiful right now because the leaves are still changing. We did a little more shopping, had dinner at a place we'd been wanting to try on Henderson, and went to the tree/lights lighting at City Park downtown and to the Neiman Marcus window displays that night. Neiman marcus has this tubing (like at the McDonald's playplace) that runs through their window displays that kids can go through while their parents watch and follow them from outside. It was actually pretty fun watching the kids, and watching the parents watch their kids.
The Arboretum

The City Park/Neiman Marcus festival. I'm such a good photographer with my iPhone ;)
On Sunday we made Thanksgiving dinner. We didn't do a big turkey - we stuffed turkey tenderloins with traditional stuffing and baked them. It was really delicious. We also had a few of our favorite sides - sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls, and pumpkin pie. We made a couple of things from scratch, and Central Market and Walmart helped out with the rest. It still seemed like a lot of work, but it was incredibly delicious and worth every minute. The weekend was probably too much fun and I was so glad my parents could come visit us.

On Thanksgiving day, Jesse and I had dinner with our friends, Mat and Jenny. I had to work, so Jenny did the bird, gravy, and stuffing. And Mat made TWO pies for four people :). Jesse and I did the sides, most of which were easy to make ahead of time. It turned out to be a really beautiful meal.
My family has a tradition of making graham cracker gingerbread houses the weekend after Thanksgiving at my Grandma and Grandpa Moore's. When my parents were in town they bought Jesse and I a kit, so on Friday night, we put together this beauty.
This is what Jesse did with the leftover frosting.
I love Thanksgiving! I love the food, traditions, being with family, and not thinking about calories (which is a feat for a dietitian). I also love being reminded of all of the things in my life that I have to be thankful for - a good job, good health, the gospel, family, friends, and Jesse are just to name a few.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Royal Halloween

This year for Halloween, Jesse and I dressed up as the Royal Couple: William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Our costumes rivaled the Today Show hosts royal get-up. Ha.

Kate's wedding dress was a little difficult to find in my price range, but I found an excellent knockoff of her Issa engagement announcement dress at Nordstrom Rack. She wore black, closed-toe pumps with this number, but my nude open-toe slingbacks seem to slightly resemble her L.K. Bennetts that I love to covet.  I even wore eyeliner on my lower lashes, which I hate doing. And I found a ring just like hers, only fake and really, really cheap.

Jesse's double-breasted jacket is from a thrift store. It costed $5. We changed the buttons, glued on sashes, and bedazzled until he was fabulously royal-looking. He's attempting a smile that looks like Will's, but I'm not so sure of where he got his inspiration for this one.

Finally, Jesse got done at school early on Halloween, so he stood in line for 30 minutes at the local Party City for our crowns. We realize that Will and Kate don't wear crowns, yet, but we decided they were necessary in order to make our costumes obvious, since we were attending a party of med school students who are either too busy or too nerdy to keep up on pop culture.

Thank you to Reed and Melissa Garza, for hosting another incredibly fun Halloween Party. This year, Jesse and I dominated the games. Jesse won the game of "Find as many pieces of yarn in the Garza yard in the dark and tie them all together to make the longest string."
I won the "Eat a donut off a piece of yarn as fast as you can without dropping it on the ground or touching it with your hands" contest. Jesse was so proud when I won. We used cake donuts, which are a little more dry than a regular glazed donut. All I could think about was the aspiration risk d/t the dry texture and my head not being elevated to at least 30 degrees. My fellow dietitians will appreciate that.
The donut didn't stay on the string for long. I can't believe I ate 2/3 donut from this position.
Jesse kept trying to coach me, but it only made eating more difficult because I was trying not to laugh. 
Victory is SWEET. And cakey.
Jesse and I also painted pumpkins this year. Jesse's is a self portrait. Mine turned into abstract art on the front, so I took a photo of the back. My Grandma Coles paints pumpkins every year for all of her grandkids. She mailed mine to me and I was so happy to display it on my mantle.
As soon as I opened the pumpkin package from Grandma, my mind flooded with memories of Halloween as kid. These are some of my favorite memories:

  • Dressing up with Allie and insisting on leaving my coat at home
  • Chili in "pumpkin" bread bowls
  • Trick-or-treating with Sarah and running from house to house in Herefordshire (despite Dad's warning, in an effort to maximize my candy accrual) and often falling and scraping my knee and a hole in my tights
  • Dressing up as some version of a cheerleader at least 3 times in elementary school
  • Gourds from Grandma Moore
  • Painted pumpkins in Grandma Coles' garage
  • Visiting grandparents before trick or treating
  • Using my pillowcase as a candy bank, and hiding it from older siblings
  • Halloween parades at North Park Elementary
  • Colorful mountains
  • And finally, candy binges. At least one of my memories can be (and IS) still an occasional reality.
Love, Will and Kate