Saturday, December 31, 2011

Back Home

We made it back to Nashville last night after 10 days in Cape Cod.  Boy did we have a great trip!  But it is good to be back too of course.  I have lots of pictures to share from our time away, but for now, here are a few of Charlie from this morning.
We got Charlie a rug for his room for Christmas - here he is already enjoying it. :)  We will get that set up tomorrow.
Charlie sure got some great gifts for his first Christmas.  My friend Michelle from my old, old job got him this Thomas the Tank Engine ride-on toy.  He loves it!!  Pat spent a good chunk of the morning pushing him around in it.   

Wishing you all a happy new year! Can't believe it's almost 2012 already!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Early Christmas Dinner

Since we moved to Nashville we've been getting together with my parents and sister most Sundays for a family dinner. This is always put on by my parents. But since we'll be spending Christmas with Pat's family, Pat and I decided we wanted to host my family for a holiday dinner. Last night Mom, Dad, E, and Mark came to join us for supper. We cooked something new - duck! We had crescent rolls, asparagus roll ups, mashed potatoes, pan seared duck, and blueberry chutney to go on top of the duck. We love duck but had never tried cooking it before. Yesterday morning Pat went on a wild goose chase, or rather, a duck hunt. ha! He ended up with 4 duck breasts.  This is what they looked like after Pat scored them.

And here we are sporting our matching aprons.  These were a Christmas present from my parents a couple years ago. :) 
Here is the duck all cooked.  We saved the excess fat from the pan to use for future cooking.  Duck fat potatoes sound pretty good to me.  Alton Brown calls duck fat culinary gold.  I didn't get a picture of the chutney I mentioned, but it was great.  It was made with 2 cups of brown sugar, some red and white wine vinegar, 4 cups blueberries, 1 lemon juiced, 1 cup minced onion, some freshly grated ginger, and green peppercorns. 
Here we are about to eat on our fine china! (for the first time) 
Here we are after the great meal, before exchanging gifts and having my Mom's chocolate pecan pie. 
It was so nice to have them over for a great meal.  We have a lot to learn as far as hosting meals, but you have to start somewhere and we are learning from the best (my parents and Pat's parents). 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday Shopping

Lanier and I met up yesterday morning at the mall. Mostly just to hang out and catch up, but also for a little Christmas shopping. I know some people would call this last minute shopping, but I consider Christmas Eve to be last minute. :) Shopping here in Tennessee is sooo much easier than shopping in New Jersey. Once time last year I went to the Garden State Plaza and seriously spent 45 minutes just trying to find a parking spot. Not that I was trying to find a really close parking spot, just any parking spot at all. It was so frustrating and then the mall was packed. Here it's so much easier and we found a great bench for Charlie to have his mid shop bottle. He had clearly kicked back and was having a good day. (my only complaint of shopping here is the high tax.  But I guess no income tax makes up for it...)

An hour or two after I got home, our friends Tom and Shelley came over with a complete meal.  All we had to do was throw on a few slabs of ribs on the Big Green Egg.  They were smoking while we watched the Indiana basketball game, where we beat Notre Dame.
Charlie was wearing his IU jersey again since it brought us luck last weekend. 
What's Charlie smiling at?  It's Shelley making him giggle at the other end of the table. :)
Since we'd had some drinks we decided to spend $1 on the BreathalEyes ap on my iPhone.  I believe a couple guys I went to high school with came up with this.  As their video states, it is for entertainment purposes only, but it takes different photos of your eyes to estimate your Blood Alcohol Level.

The results were questionable and there is definitely human error involved, but either way we had fun with it.

Today I got an exciting email with this at the top:
We saw Michael BublĂ© sing on Saturday Night Live last night and he's also appeared on some recent morning shows singing some Christmas songs.  Thank you Pat for my new Michael BublĂ© Christmas album on iTunes!  I can't wait to listen to it tonight! Pat also let me sleep in this morning while he took Charlie grocery shopping.  We had a great neighborhood walk and it's been a great day so far.  xoxo

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vandy Fun

Pat wanted to have some Vandy pals over to celebrate the end of finals.  Thursday night we had about 15 people over for a casual dinner and drinks.  Pat smoked 2 pork butts and I made a broccoli slaw.  It was a lot of fun. 
Pat's friend Dong and his wife brought their cute little girl Hatsu.  She loves Charlie.  When I took him out of his Exersaucer she kept wanting him to get right back in it so she could be right there with him. :)

Last night we were able to join a small group of Vandy friends at Ken's Sushi.  The Japanese students approve of this place and they did the ordering.  Take a look at some of our meal:
Gucci and Brent:
Brent and Lindsay
The thing in the middle is sea urchin, "uni"
It was really fun and yummy.  Now Charlie and I are off to the mall for a little shopping with Lanier.  Make it a great Saturday! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New 'Do

As of 1:30 PM today, I went short! 

Also, I've been playing a lot of the Words With Friends game on my phone, but last night Pat and I went back to the original:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Smiling for Santa

Yesterday Pat took his last final of the semester. Woohoo! Once he got home we decided to go for a quick trip to the Green Hills mall. There wasn't much of a line for Santa (maybe because it costs so much for pictures...they offer free lap sits but won't allow cameras, but if you buy a session you can use your camera...) Anyhow, we decided it was worth it since it's Charlie's first Christmas. :)Plus Santa looked really good - real beard and everything.

The "pros" kept getting his eyes shut like the above photo, but then they got a really good one, similar to the below shot.

I am really glad Charlie was in good spirits for meeting Santa, but I must admit I love those babies that are crying or asleep when meeting Santa.  :o)

Here's a short video of us walking up to him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sevier Park

Yesterday we bundled up to head a few miles over to Sevier park.  We met up with a few new neighbor friends there.  I belong to a neighborhood google group and a lady reached out to the group asking about a play group.  She has two little boys and Charlie is in between their ages.  We've now met up a couple times, along with another mom and little boy, and aim to get together every Monday.  They are really nice.  So great to be getting together with my old Nashville friends and also making a few new ones!  Here are a few pictures before they arrived. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rachel and Titans

In order to make up for not seeing her for a couple months, I managed to see my cousin Rachel three different times in less than a week.  1.  Book club on Tuesday night. 2. She brought sandwiches for us while I waited to meet E's washer repair guy on Friday.  3.  E and Mark got me and Rachie tickets to the Titans vs Saints game yesterday.

Cuzzies: Rachel, E, Suz

And Amelie, Sean, Bridgit, and Andrea:
It was a chilly but beautiful day and we had a very successful tailgate.  Amelie made jambalaya (we were playing the Saints after all), and we drank mimosas, screwdrivers, and Sean's home brew.
Mom and Dad had a fun day with Charlie as Pat was prepping for finals ~ two of them are today.  I know he is looking forward to a well-deserved break.

Have a great week everybody!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Charlie is really into phones and remotes. The other day he called a random number (oops) and then got into our phone directory and dialed my Mom's cell phone. And he's always changing the channel. I like Good Morning America, he prefers Today Show. :o) Even when the TV is off he finds a way to record things.  He could probably teach his grandparents a think or two about DVR (sorry guys). As I mentioned on facebook, he's recorded Two and a Half Men and also some silly daytime soaps. He is possessive and gets mad when you try to take the phone or remote away.  But he just loves all those buttons to push and it's so cute.

 Bonus pictures!!

Have a great weekend!!