Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Pics














It's Already Over?


How is it even possible that another Christmas has come and gone?

Maybe it seems to fly by because we stay so busy!

I know I've never cooked so much in all my life! That's the truth.

In fact, I turned on the stove yesterday to get our Christmas dinner started, and the stove just laughed at me. Said it was tired of cooking and it was on vacation because, after all, it was Christmas! Then I kicked it and threatened to punch it where the sun don't shine--right in its digital display-- and it decided to cooperate, and Christmas was saved!

As I was cooking one of what seemed like 114 casseroles this week, I was thinking about how a girl can measure her progression into adulthood by her contributions to holiday meals. When you're in college, you're still under that "not-quite-an-adult" umbrella, so you're off the hook as far as food contributions go. You get out of college and get engaged, and you can still get by with not cooking. You get married and the pressure starts to set in. You feel you have to contribute something! The good news is that at this stage in life it would be perfectly acceptable to offer something store-bought--something from the bakery or a nice tray from the deli. You have a baby, and the pressure builds a little more. Now it's time for something homemade (you better have a small arsenal of fool-proof recipes to pull from!) You'll still be in the clear, at this point, to just bring one dish because, after all, you do have a baby at home. But once the baby isn't a baby anymore, all bets are off, and, Honey, you're considered a real, full-blown grown-up so get in the kitchen and make a casserole or 60!

Now, please understand, I'm not saying this out of anger or malice or because I feel I should be exempt of such practices. I simply see this as a truth.

It's a rule.

An unspoken manner that I picked up in my southern up-bringing.

It's what makes the world go 'round.

It's what prepares you to one day be able to coordinate and make your own big, holiday spread for your family.

It means you can finally graduate from the kiddie table to the adult dining room.

I think it means that I became a big girl this Christmas.

Sincerely,

Leigh

P.S.

I was going to post Christmas pictures but somehow got off on a cooking tangent, so I'll have to post pics later.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry, Merry Christmas and a Ho Ho Ho!

It's Christmas Eve.

It's 10:05 Christmas Eve night.

Kevin is putting Olivia to sleep. She had a late night tonight because we went to Granny and Papa's for dinner. After we got home, it was a quick bath, and Olivia got to open a couple of Christmas books and read them.

I'm watching The Holiday. It has become a staple for me at Christmas. It's just not Christmas until I've seen The Holiday at least 40 or so times!

Arthur is now putting a corsage on Iris's wrist.

Ryan Mulligan gave me a corsage for my senior prom. It was probably a little old-fashioned even back then. Does anyone still wear them??

Anyway. I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa tonight. I'm just not sure I can stay up that late.

That's all for now, folks!

Merry Christmas.

Sincerely,

Leigh

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dear...



Dear Aunt Shannon, Uncle Jeff, Caroline, Molly and Anna,

Thank you so much for my large moving box! I really had fun decorating it.



I saw that Anna has a "box house," too, and it's super cute!



I asked my Mommy to put a Christmas tree in mine. I helped decorate it.



I've had lots of fun playing in my box play house!



Hugs and kisses,

Olivia

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree



They're late, but here are the pictures of us at the Merry Christmas Tree Farm picking out our Christmas tree.















Picking out a Christmas tree poops a little girl out!


Sincerely,


Leigh

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do You Want to Know What We Did Today?


If you do, keep reading.

Today was a beach only kinda day.

We went to South Beach this morning.

I got a sand spur. Olivia got a sand spur.

Olivia is in a dress because I wanted to get pictures for our Christmas cards.

Here are some contenders.




After the beach we came back to the house for lunch and a nap. Olivia couldn't even finish her banana and peanut butter sandwich for falling asleep.

After nap time it was back to the beach. We took Bailey. He got a sand spur.

We were the only people on the beach. We were there for just over an hour, and we only saw 4 other people. It's awesome!

What's all the hype about vacationing in the summer?? I know for me, the humidity makes it impossible to breathe, and I sweat to death. Plus, I don't like the crowds. November is the time to hit the beach! No people, no humidity, no sweat! It's perfect!

Anyway, back to the beach. Bailey enjoyed himself. He got to run around leash free! And Olivia, well, what can I say? We'll never get the sand out of all her cracks and crevices (emphasis on "crack") because she literally wallowed in the sand. She will be heartbroken when we have to go home and leave her endless sandbox behind. I have a feeling that the sandbox at the park isn't going to cut it.

Kevin is pestering me to get off the computer so that I can help him with dinner. Shrimp alfredo tonight! I'm making the salad.

Sincerely,

Leigh

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life on the Island


We took Olivia to the playground at Harbour Town yesterday morning. We had just enough time to play and walk around before the rain came.




She really is a big girl--going down the slides by herself, not even needing her Mommie. Oh, what ever will I do???



She already loves to drive.



We saw the Lighthouse and boats.



Olivia loved the huge boats!



She could get used to this island living!


Sincerely,

Leigh

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Big Event


Our Thanksgiving feast was out-of-this-world delicious!

On the menu:

Roasted Turkey Breast and Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Cornbread Dressing
Pineapple Souffle
Pumpkin Cream Pie

I'm about to rock your world with this Green Bean Casserole! I was a little nervous to try a different recipe outside of the well known cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions version, but I'm so glad I did!





All I have to say is "from scratch" and "bacon!" This is from Pioneer Woman, and I'll never go back!

Here's the link:
Green Bean Casserole

Kevin did a great job on the Turkey Breast and Gravy! It really was delicious, and it was Olivia's favorite!






I credit all the good food to being able to cook in such a nice kitchen! I really enjoyed cooking here.


















And look at this island!! I'm trying to figure out a way to get it in the Murano and bring it home with me! It's huge!! And I'm in love with it! As crazy as it may sound, it made all the difference in preparing all the food. There was ample room to spread out and work on several things at once. It was heaven. Heaven. Heaven. In fact, our original plan was to order a turkey dinner from Publix, but when we found this house and I saw the kitchen, I knew I wanted to cook!!

I'm glad I did. It was fun and oh sooo good!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Turkey Day! Happy Black Friday!

Sincerely,

Leigh

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

We're in Hilton Head for Thanksgiving.

Today has been busy with lots of cooking, but we did manage to make it to South Beach to let Olivia and Bailey run around.

The weather is gorgeous--blue skies, 78 degrees. It's beautiful, but certainly not the weather I'm accustomed to on Thanksgiving. Kevin on the other hand has spent many Thanksgivings on HHI as a kid visiting his grandparents, so he's used to this weather.

It's kind of a big deal to me that we're here and not with family. I've never had a small Turkey Day. The majority of my Thanksgivings have been spent around Granny and Papa's kitchen table, and, then more recently, at Mama and Daddy's. Of course, we've also spent the day with Kevin's family, too, but never by ourselves. So this year is certainly outside of the traditional.

Here are some pictures of Olivia at the beach earlier today. The water was chilly, but she obviously didn't feel the cold. We didn't plan on her getting in the water which is why she's dressed in her clothes. Needless to say, everything ended up soaking wet, but she had a blast!!













Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sincerely,

Leigh

Monday, November 8, 2010

What a Great Day to Go to the Park


Kevin took the day off today, so we took Olivia to the park this afternoon.

Of course we took lots of pictures of Little Girl!




We're going to feed the ducks!








We did lots of playing in the sand box.



That's right! She's hanging all by herself!


































Sincerely,

Leigh