Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

1 The number of fires we put out in the kitchen. I don't mean this in the figurative sense, either. Seriously, flames.

The number of birds we dove into.

4 Pints of half & half.

5 The number of times my dishwasher ran Thursday.

6 The number of folds each napkin had. This was why I was up until 2 am the night before. Kind of pointless, I know.

9 The number of deer carcuses that previously rode home in the cooler we stored the ice in for the drinks. I was informed of this on Thursday after pouring three bags of ice into this very cooler. Gag. I may not have needed to know this after all, Dale.

10 Pounds of potatoes...peeled, boiled and prepared.

14 The number of entrees and sides we served.

160 The number of miles from Dale's doorstep to ours...he clocked it this time.

200 The approximate number of shoppers ahead of David in line at HEB Plus! at 4:30 am Friday morning. He got the last 16" bike. You, go, Daddy!

Day-before pie making

The Set Up

Master Carver

Beverage Central

The Spread

Uncle Dale helping to fill Benjamin's plate.
I love this little look on B's face...he really does love Uncle Dale.

The Plate Fill...Cousin Andrea, Cousin Kayla and Uncle Bud.

Benjamin and his cousin Keaton, whom he adores.

Cousin Austin, Aunt Cherie and Cousin Kayla

The Dessert Spread

The reason there aren't any "real" pictures of Jonathan: it's hard to shoot a moving target.

The After-Math on Friday Morning

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Six Years of Wedded Bliss

Six years ago today, I married the man of my dreams. We have had such a blessed marriage. I couldn't imagine my life without David. He just "gets me"... and vice versa. Just wanted to take a moment and acknowledge this special day. We had a very laid-back, relaxing anniversary. Perfectly us. From church, to lunch with great friends to a wonderful dinner out (just the two of us--rare)....the perfect, relaxing celebration for our currently hectic lifestyle!
Happy Six Years, David. Love, love, love you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We Back the Cats!

Two posts in one day...crazy.
Our alma mater's football team is doing better than ever-- literally, they are making history. They are in the playoffs and today mopped the floor with West Texas A&M! Go Cats, Go!
Yesterday while we were in A-town, we had a couple of hours to kill while Sam and Arly were bringing baby Nathan home (we didn't want to be beating down their door during his homecoming). We thought to ourselves...ACU! We didn't really have enough time to get around and see all of the people we would have wanted to see, so we just let the boys explore their future school. They had a blast and so did we. The campus was buzzing with excitement over all the football festivities and it was fun to be in the midst of it. As you can tell from the photos, we also made a run to the bookstore for a little Wildcat wear.
I wish we were able to be on campus more often so the boys were more familiar with the territory. That place holds so many amazing memories for me. What an awesome four (er, five) years I spent at school there. Okay. I have to stop typing before I start bawling like a baby.
Three cheers for the purple and white!

He was so proud of climbing all the way to the top of the amphitheater.

Singing around the GATA fountain. I wish. They were contemplating jumping in.

While this wasn't the dream shot I had hoped for with the scripture in the background, it was still kind of cute.

This was purely for me. I was trying to get something more "picture-esque" with the purple flowers in the back. He would not look at the camera.

Don't you just love the campus in the fall? Look at the trees. And that adorable kid, too.

Baby Nathan

Our new nephew, Nathan James Dominguez, arrived Thursday in the wee hours of the morning. He is the first child of David's youngest brother, Sam, and his wife, Arly. We took the day Friday to make a quick run to Abilene to meet the little guy.
He was cute as could be and it was great to see the three of them. Welcome to the world, little man!
I do need to add that Arly is now Superwoman in my mind. The girl went drug-free all the way. She certainly has my admiration. And if I'm doing the math right, she was in labor for over 24 hours. And even looked great when we arrived on Friday. Kudos, Aunt Arly!

Friday, November 14, 2008

One Long (but very good) Day

As I sit here typing, it is well past 10 am, we are all still in PJs, Jonathan has requested a morning nap, Benjamin is happily keeping himself entertained between Caillou, the ToysRUs catalog and his cars taking a ride on their ferry (aka, The Little People's Noah's Ark), and we have decided that we want nothing to do with the outside world today. We are pooped. Benjamin asked me last night as we were tucking him in..."We are staying home all day tomorrow?" He was practically begging.
So here we are...loving the fact that the only thing on our agenda is the KISD therapist that is coming this afternoon. And I may not even pick up the house for her. (gasp!)
Yesterday morning, the boys and I left the house about 7:15 and did not pull in the driveway until after nine last night. We had the preschool's Fall Program, E-I-E-I-Oops, last night and we ended up just staying in Belton all day to avoid shuttling back and forth from Killeen. The last time we had an evening event at preschool, the back and forth thing was ridiculous...we were combing hair and straightening clothes in the car on the way back to Belton. So...we camped out in my classroom yesterday. Grandma, Grandpa and Daddy joined us that evening for the program and we had a great time.
We were a little concerned we wouldn't have our donkey in his program when he had a bit of a meltdown right before heading to his costume change. We're not sure if it were stage fright, or a major case of exhaustion, but it was looking a bit grim for awhile.
Somehow, Daddy got him ready and walking out with his class just in time for his performance. Jonathan was pretty "roll with it", although his class was only on stage for a small bit of time, so we don't have any pics of him "in action".
The program was adorable, if I do say so myself. My good friend Rebecca is our music teacher and she just did a fabulous job! Of course, this age group was hilarious once on stage with an actual audience in front of them (a packed house might I add)! There were dozens of "Hi Moms!" and "can you see me, Daddy?" and a ton of waving from the performers. They cracked us up. David got a great spot right in front of Benjamin for some photos....although his buddy Taylor was almost more excited about the pics than he was.

Benjamin (a donkey) sitting in the front row, second from the left.

"Taylor...get your hand off my ears, please!" She loves to mess with him, not in a teasing way, she just always is wanting to hold his hand or rub his new haircut or other random four-year-old things.

Doing the chicken dance.

"Sweetly Sings the Donkey"..their debut performance ( I think about 2/3 only stood up!)

Our little puppy, Jonathan! He loves rolling around with his peeps in the Bye-Bye Buggy.

We ended our day with a fun dinner over at Fuddruckers with Grandma and Grandpa where Jonathan, with his usual ham of a personality, kept us entertained. All in all, a success.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cranberry Relish

After a few emails and Tori's comment, I thought I should post this recipe that I mentioned in my last post. I can't take credit for this one, it came from one of the older Christmas with Southern Living books (I can't remember the year). But, I love it and it is very easy to put together. I actually make it the day before and chill it overnight, I think the flavors marry a little more that way. Hope you enjoy!

2 Granny Smith Apples, chopped (I leave the peels on because I think the green with the red cranberry looks festive)
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 cups dried cranberries (like Ocean Spray Craisins)
3 green onions (just rough chop...they will be processed later!)
2 jalapeno peppers (seeded and chopped)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Combine apple and lime juice in a medium bowl; toss well and drain.
Combine apples, cranberries, and remaining ingredients in your food processor; pulse 6-8 times until finely chopped.
Cover and chill.

Oh and I received TWO awesome recipes for drink ideas for T-Day! Thanks Debbie & Deborah! I am still mulling it over...they both sound absolutely delicious and will make for a nice "float" container!

Thank you all for your emails and comments about my little predicament! I think we are well on the road to a great menu for our first Thanksgiving in our home.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Heaven in my cup...and Help this Hostess!

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Coffee-mate has stocked the shelves with bottled happiness. I have actually stopped drinking a cup of coffee daily for a variety of reasons. None of which has lessened my caffeine-intake, but oh well. The cooler months are different, though. I always have a bottle of Coffee-Mate's Gingerbread Creamer in my fridge from November through February (yes, they keep them around that long). They also have other exciting flavors to go along with the festive-ness including peppermint, egg-nog, and the elusive caramel apple that is new for this year, but apparently has not yet made it to my HEB or Wal-mart. Our LIFEGroup is a big bunch of coffee drinkers and a couple of us have an ongoing joke that if your house is hosting, you better have your Coffee-mate creamer ready. I can't wait to host with the seasonal goodies! Silly, I know.
On to other exciting stuff...
The Dominguez house has been a wild and crazy place lately. I am loving my new side job of making cards and blogs! It has been so much fun. Thank you all for the amazing support you've sent my way-- the emails and calls and sweet comments have been so appreciated.
We were a little sad to move our friends Brian and Beth out of Killeen and down the road to Temple yesterday. I say "we" loosely, as I didn't actually help with any heavy-lifting...just a little casserole-fixin' to start 'em out right. We will miss our Thursday night "Office" parties and all the other fun stuff. But,'re not that far!

David and I are hosting our very first Thanksgiving in our own home this year. We usually do the "every other year" thing between the Dominguezes and Pawliks. This is a Pawlik year and the honor has been bestowed upon me by my mother to take on Thanksgiving. There are a few strings attached. She is still preparing the turkey, stuffing and sweet potato casserole (she just couldn't let go completely now, could she?). One of my brothers also brings a smoked turkey...which I look forward to so much. It is heaven between two slices of wheat bread the Friday after. Other than that...I am just beginning putting together my menu. I feel a little behind. Mom would have already had her grocery list made by this point. And her chin probably just hit the floor when she read that I am just now thinking about the menu. But, seriously, her menu for this annual event hasn't changed much in 50 years...that's right...she's been the hostess with the mostest for a long time. So I am putting out a little plea, my friends. I would LOVE a few of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes that have graced your own dining tables for decades upon decades. Just some ideas for this first-timer.

Here's the game plan so far:
-As mentioned before...Turkey, dressing and sweet potatoes are covered.
-I will make the cranberry relish I have been making the last five years. It's my favorite and I am not all that into cranberries (It has jalapenos-- very Texasie)!
-I am also making an actual cranberry sauce that my friend Jennifer (aka, The Dinnertime Diva) gave me the other day.
-And mom requested my roasted garlic mashed potatoes that I have made before. Actually, they're not mine, rather this lady's.
-Mom will inevitably make a pecan pie. After posting this, my mom called quickly to inform me that she was of course making more than one little old pie-- she was a little embarassed that anyone would think she would only make one pecan pie! She is, indeed, making two pecans and one latticed-apple pie. Just thought I would clarify. I know you were all very concerned that we would run out of pie.

And that's where I am at. Needing a little direction, friends. I am desperately in search of a cool cranberry or apple type holiday beverage to serve in my new beverage server. Not looking for anything hot, maybe even a really great autumn-type iced tea would work-- my family is a big bunch of iced-tea drinkers. I want something that I can "float" stuff in. As weird as that sentence appears... I scored the beautiful Southern Living Beverage Server when I hosted my party. It is one of those large, clear ones with a spigot and iron holder. In the catalog, they "float" orange slices, lemons, etc. and I just loved how that looked. So this is why I am on a mad beverage search!

Any suggestions from your files would be greatly appreciated. Hope your Turkey days are shaping up, too! Gobble, gobble.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Meme

My fun friend Amanda over at Girls Just Wanna Have Fun tagged me! What is funny is that I saw this tag the other day on a new customer's blog that I was working on! I thought it looked pretty fun! Thanks for the tag, Amanda! Sorry it took me a few days to get it together.

1. Where is your cell phone? charging
2. Your significant other? working
3. Your hair? messy
4. Your mother? caring
5. Your father? handy
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? exhausting
8. Your favorite drink? Coke
9. Your dream/goal? heaven
10. The room you're in? playroom
11. Your fear? loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Belton
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? rested
15. Muffins/donuts? donuts
16. One of your wish list items? MacBook (as in my I don't have to borrow David's every chance I get!)
17. Where you grew up? Austin
18. The last thing you did? diaper-duty (do hyphens count?)
19. What are you wearing? clothes
20. Your TV? off
21. Your pet? Midnight
22. Your computer? busy
23. Your life? full
24. Your mood? calm
25. Missing someone? yes
26. Favorite pastime? design
27. Something you're not wearing? shoes
28. Favorite Store? Target
29. Your summer? great
30. Your favorite color? red
31. When is the last time you laughed? Thursday
32. Last time you cried? Wednesday
33. Who will/would re-post this? Lori
34. Four places I go over and over? Church, Wal-Mart, Target, HEB
35. Four people who e-mail me? Becky, Deborah, Koti, Shabby (as in the Shabby Princess, I guess technically that is not a 'one-worder', but in her emails it says the sender is "Shabby"...kind of funny, huh? She is actually super nice and GREAT to work with...okay now I've really broken the rules of this meme by explaining all of that. Sorry, Amanda, I tried!)
36. Four of my favorite foods? pasta, cookies, cereal, appetizers
37. Four places I would like to be right now? cruise, shopping, date, sleeping
38. Four people I tag? Lori, Deborah, Ginger, Lauren

Monday, November 03, 2008

Open for Business!

I have taken the plunge, friends. Many of you have been so sweet and encouraging to me to start some sort of home-based design business and I have finally taken your advice! Kristi's Kringles is now open for business!
The main event? Currently, Christmas cards (one of my favorites is pictured above...have you met the Griggs?). But, I am also enjoying creating birth and adoption announcements, moving announcements, birthday invitations, etc. And, of course...BLOG DESIGN!
I would love the opportunity to create a card for your family this coming holiday season! Take a look at my design gallery to get some ideas if you are interested.

We are super excited about this adventure. I about fell out of my chair when I started receiving customers over the weekend...and its people I don't even know! WILD! Please keep us in your prayers as we are still learning the ropes and maintaining our sanity. And having a BLAST, too! Come on in for our Grand Opening for a great deal on your Christmas Cards!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

All Halloweened Out

October 31st was fast and furious and is now in the books. From pumpkin carving to trick-or-treating in Marble was all a success. And now we are tired people. We love trick-or-treating in my parents' neighborhood because the folks really get into the spirit. A few of the houses probably had more decorations than some people do at Christmas. It just makes it fun. A few photos from our fun time...

The Making of Jack

Finished Jack

Looking for some goodies.

Yikes! Should we accept candy from this character?

Daddy, can you pull us the rest of the way?