Ten Facts About My Life Recently

I can’t believe break is almost over. Even with those two extra days, it has flown by. Good thing I’ve got a couple big things to look forward to!

Today I have lots of random thoughts and pictures to share.

1. We had a nice Christmas with my mom, my sister, her boyfriend, and Brody’s mom. It was pretty low-key and we barely left the couch or kitchen table. Brody cooked two rib roasts (long story) Christmas Eve. We opened gifts Christmas morning while eating Sara Lee butter streusel coffee cake.

After presents, my family (except me) went to church, and we spent the afternoon watching movies. Oh, and we ate – a lot and often. ‘Tis the season!

2. Brody got me a fabulous gift: a babymoon! Over my Spring Break in March, we are going to New York for four days!!! We’re staying in Soho, and the only thing set in stone as of now is we’re going to see The Book of Mormon. Any restaurant recommendations?

3. Moose and Frankie have been loving the snow. Those first few days were hard on their paws, though. Snow packs easily between their pads, so every few minutes, they are licking at them (which only makes it worse). Both dogs also LOVED the bull pizzle (aka bully stick aka bull penis). Unfortunately their stomachs didn’t love the pizzle, and we’ve been dealing with some nasty bathroom issues. To let everything work its way out, we switched the dogs over to rice and boiled chicken.

Frankie was not happy about his rice breakfast.

4. Our friends, Barret and Kelly, parents of Owen, sent us our first official piece of baby clothing: a Blackhawks onesie!

It is so adorable – even Brody said so with a big smile on his face. Whether this kid is a boy or girl, it is already determined he/she will play hockey and will be a Blackhawks fan.

5. Real Simple failed me. I know – I am still in shock.

Normally their recipes are great, but this one (pasta with sausage, arugula, and bread crumbs) missed the mark. Brody thought the arugula was too strong, but I tasted lots of thyme from the toasted bread crumbs. We both didn’t even finish our meals. I had a small bowl of Cedar Crest vanilla ice cream and Brody made nachos. Healthy alternatives around here.

6. I went to yoga yesterday! It was my second class at Bliss Flow Yoga on University Ave. Groupon had a deal a while back: $20 for 20 classes. Even if I only make it a few more times before it expires in April, that’s still a good deal. I felt comfortable doing just about everything as my belly isn’t getting in the way yet.

7. Post yoga, I met Brody for lunch. We went to Gates & Brovi, a newer restaurant on Monroe St. We both started with soup: roasted cauliflower for me and clam chowder for Brody.

For the main course, I chose the chick pea tuna sandwich. Obviously it had tuna and chick peas but also included slices of hard boiled eggs, pepperocini, capers, kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. It was salty and delicious.

Brody had a classic burger and was very happy with it. Besides the good food, the decor is very inviting and casual with lots of reclaimed looking wood and high ceilings.

8. Real cream in coffee is SO much better than milk or flavored creamer. I bought half and half for the mashed potatoes on Christmas Eve (which you need to have with a roast), and there is at least half a container left. Yum!

9. It hasn’t all been eating and relaxing around here. I made it to work for four hours on Thursday and got lots of work done. My teaching license is set to expire in June, and in order to renew it, I need to finish my PDP (professional development plan) and submit it to DPI (Department of Public Instruction). Sidenote: The number of acronyms in education is incredible. I worked on my PDP for two hours and then planned lessons and emailed parents for the last two. At home I finished lots of grading on my two snow days and then yesterday I began grading research papers my juniors wrote. My goal for today is to finish one class, which has only seven papers left. I can do it!

10. My weekend plans involve the dog park (of course), the gym, Best Buy (to pick up a camera, a new point and shoot, Brody and I ordered), grading, watching a video about Huck Finn, seeing Django Unchained, and definitely some couch time.

Have a fabulous Saturday!

What was your favorite gift? The best gift you gave?
What good restaurant have you been to recently?
What do you have planned for the weekend?

Christmas Survey

Everyone loves a survey! While catching up on Janae’s life, I read her Christmas survey post and decided to join in (just a little late).

1. Favorite Christmas song or album?

I love the Carpenters’ holiday album!

My dad used to play it every Christmas on our record player, and although I don’t have a CD version of it, I bet I can listen to it on Pandora. If Brody was answering this question, he’d say the Oak Ridge Boys holiday album.

We listen to it every year while decorating our tree.

2. Run on Christmas morning or take the day off?

Normally we’re in Ohio, and we open gifts Christmas morning, so I skip the workout. However last year I think my SIL and I went running Christmas afternoon because it was 50 degrees outside. This year it depends on the weather and whether my gym will be open or not. To be honest, there’s probably only a 25% chance of it happening.

3. What do you usually eat on Christmas morning?

Brody’s family, and now our family, has the tradition of eating Sara Lee’s butter streusel coffee cake. I bought three at Woodman’s today so we can continue this tradition at our house.

4. Favorite holiday or Christmas tradition?

Because we have spent the last five years in Ohio for Christmas, Brody and I always celebrated early with just the two of us. We get BBQ takeout, watch Love Actually, and open gifts. Even though we’ll be home this year, we are still doing this tomorrow night.

5. Real tree, fake tree, or no tree?

We get a real tree. I love the smell and enjoy decorating it with our mish-mash of ornaments.

6. Christmas pajamas…yay or nay?

I’m gonna say nay. While I like holiday-esque pjs, full blown holiday pjs aren’t my thing. There is also no way in hell I could ever convince Brody to wear pjs with Santas or reindeer on them.

7. Where do you spend the holidays?

As I’ve already explained in other answers, we normally go to Ohio but we are staying home this year, and everyone is coming to us. Brody’s mom flies in Sunday morning, my mom comes Monday early afternoon, and my sister and her boyfriend are also coming Monday.

8. Food that you always have during the holiday season? Favorite Christmas food or treat?

My mom makes amazing sugar cookies. She uses butter, not margarine or shortening, and something else that makes them incredible. Brody’s family makes a rib roast (like the one we had for Thanksgiving this year) for Christmas Eve dinner. We are continuing this tradition and have ordered the roast from Underground Food Collective.

9. Open presents all at once or take turns?

Growing up, we always took turns. At Brody’s, we also spread out the gift opening.

10. Favorite Christmas movie?

Brody and I were talking about this last night. I had a hard time thinking of one, but I settled on It’s a Wonderful Life. I also like Elf and Christmas Vacation.

Brody’s favorite is White Christmas.

Your turn! Answer one or more.