Monday, December 20, 2010

' Round here

 It's Christmas, Friends!
We've been doing alot of the following...

 hot spiced cider drinking

tree watchin'

and one of my very favorite things...

Christmas card reading!

The Great Road Trip of 2010 has brought us safely to our final destination... my parents' house. We are officially home for the holidays and enjoying every moment!

I'll be back soon to share memories from said road trip as well as the reveal of our next destination! Hope you are all having a merry holiday season!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the promised sweet treat

Hey Friends! Greetings from Nashville, TN!

We are having a blast on the Great Road Trip of 2010, but I couldn't wait any longer to share this fun winter treat with you now that it's officially cold outside!

you will need...
peppermints // marshmallows // powdered sugar // skewers

unwrap your peppermints
{use candy canes if you prefer}

crush your peppermint
don't worry if you have some larger pieces...
 this is a great exercise in character building for those of us who may be a tiny bit on the perfectionist side, just sayin'

mix approximately 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of water
you will want a thicker consistency
use more sugar if your icing is too runny, more water if it's too stiff

 dip half of the marshmallow into your icing
pay little attention to my un-manicured nails. thanks.

now my favorite part...
dip the marshmallow icing side down into your peppermint pieces

allow approx an hour for the icing & mint to firm

hello, pretty treats

place the peppermint mallow on a skewer

serve these yummy treats with a cup of hot chocolate and you will have a crowd pleaser!
i always have a bundle sitting on my kitchen countertop during this season...
a sure sign that winter has come and Christmas is on it's way!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

coming to a city near you


The time has come. Our jaunt in Texas has come to a close. We started off shaky, Texas, you and I. When we arrived your weather stole my breath and made me perspire. I wanted to like you, though. So I hung in there with you. Slowly, ever so slowly, you brought some cool(er) weather... and even some friends. Some old, some new. I even like your mix of city & cowboy, of uptown & country. You're not so bad, after all, Texas. In fact, I like you. We'll come back to visit, no worries.

Up next... The Great Roadtrip of 2010. That's right, Justin and I are leaving out first thing in the morning (Lord, help us, I'm not a morning person and neither is my man) to make the drive home. Home to Alabama.  After we rest from the initial 12 hour drive, we will take a little tour to see friends & family...those folks that we love so greatly and haven't seen in far too long.

Our hearts are greatful for this opportunity to journey home. To take the month of December off to spend time sitting by fires bundled with quilts, hot chocolate or perhaps wine in hand. To laugh. To talk. To listen. To rest. To give. To receive. My prayer for us is to be present. To know that we have planned and prepared for this month and now that it is here, to enjoy it, to rest in it. To soak in every last drop of the richness that is family and friends... and most importantly, the grace of the Lord upon us in the form of the infant Christ.

December, we welcome you with open arms & expectant hearts & reckless abandon.
And we promise to be present.

Coming to a city near you...
Tuscaloosa, Alabama // Nashville, Tennessee // Louisville, Kentucky // Birmingham, Alabama // Mobile, Alabama // Troy, Alabama // Headland &  Dothan, Alabama

ps my internet activity may be sporadic, but I plan to be present here in blogland as well. I have not forgotten that I promised a post about one of my fav winter treats... check back soon, would you?

here's a little hint...

Monday, November 29, 2010

a welcomed guest

i love it when Fall makes an appearance on my doorstep.
i love it even more when cool weather joins in.

Fall on my doorstep. Cool, crisp air. This man greeting me at the door.
happy girl. and thankful, too.

hope you had a happy little Thanksgiving...
assuming you dodged the stomach funk we entertained all week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Again

Remember I told you I'd be back soon with one of the best shops in Dallas? Well, wait no longer, my friends...

welcome to Again Consignment.
also known as an interior decorating lover's dream

the beauty was everywhere

literally every direction you turned

hello, gorgeous, want to come home with me?

you, brother, would make a handsome addition, too 

.literally.every.where.

this store is not for the faint of heart... there is much to take in and take home

beautiful chandys

fancy nancy

chairs, settees, mirrors, chandeliers, lamps, armoires, sconces.
you name it. Again has it.

Justin and I decided we want to get a piece of art from every place we live.
In San Francisco, we bought a few watercolors from a local artist.
In Dallas? You're looking at him.
This man came home with me... actually both of those men came home with me!
I think the newest addition to our collection will be quite lovely once he's cleaned up a little... I also think he needs a little nose job, but Justin says the imperfection adds character.
Either way, I dig him. I see necklaces in his future... as in maybe he could wear mine for me when they're not in use. I'll let you know.

If you are looking for a certain something for your home and you live in the DFW metroplex,
go to Again.
I'm quite certain you won't leave empty-handed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a birthday shout

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday.
Gail is her name.
I just got off the phone with her wishing her a happy day in which she told me she was officially old. I asked her if she was any wiser to which she replied, Yes.
I guess that's the good things that comes with birthdays...once you begin to accumulate a few, hopefully you've also got some wisdom to go along with it.

Happy Birthday, Gail!
We love you.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

a thanksgiving meal + friends

One of our favorite things about living in Dallas has been getting involved at The Village Church. In our short time here, we have been blessed with some amazing friends. Most recently we shared a traditional Thanksgiving meal together and let me tell you... it was nothing short of fabulous.

turkey. macaroni & cheese. sweet potato souffle. green bean casserole. stuffing.
squash casserole. corn on the cob. hallelujah & amen. it was delicious.

a partial group shot

some of my fav girls
Ahn, Gail & Vonni

the baker of the group & her homemade apple pie

i told her she should open her own bakery because... for real... she should

and then there's Hollie & Chris
one of the sweetest couples ever... and congrats to them... they just got engaged!!! yay!

It was an evening of much celebration & happy hearts.

Next up, J got a call from a college buddy/fraternity brother of his from back in the day who happens to work in Dallas & live close by. Pretty cool, huh?
We met up with him & his wife and shared a delicious meal.
I do love reconnecting with friends.

And lastly, on such a thankful note, meet Lauren.
Lauren & Justin met several weeks ago under less than ideal circumstances. She was one of J's patients & a critical one at that. Justin can typically separate himself from work emotions when he's not at the hospital, but Lauren's case was different. Each day he would come home with a report for me. 'Well, today was a good day for Lauren' or 'Man, I sure hope Lauren pulls through tonight.' Justin has become good friends with Lauren's family. We have prayed for them during the hard times & cheered them on during the good. I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren & her family last week and I must say it was such a joy. I am happy to report that Lauren is doing so well! She even walked for the very first time the day I took this picture. We are thankful for you, Lauren, and we will continue to cheer you on & pray for the very best for you!

I am so thankful for friendships that run deep and long and true through hard times & happy ones, too.

I'll be back soon with one of my fav winter treats & one of the.best.shops.in.Dallas! Meanwhile, I'm gearing up for more Thanksgiving excitement, Christmas card planning & making the most of our last two weeks as Texans.

ps I totally asked Lauren's permission to post about her & her life...just in case any of you out there work for Hipaa.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

good medicine + grace

Do you ever have one of those weeks where nothing seems to go right & everything seems to go wrong? Perhaps a week where you simultaneously lock yourself out of your house, lose all semblance of your cell phone battery and rear-end the car in front of you? Meanwhile, your husband is at work and is legitimately unreachable.

True story, friends. So what happened next, right? I called my parents who are states away to briefly hear the comfort of their voices amidst the incessant beeping of my phone dying a rapid death. I was already en route to my friend's house for dinner where upon arrival I began that weird, ugly cry. You know the one. You can't get your breath. You try to talk, you stutter. Eesh. It was a tough one. Good thing she & I have been friends for 12 years or she may have thought I'd lost my mind... which I kinda had... along with my ability to get back in my house, my communication with the outside world & a few chips of paint off my front bumper. Before long, though, the tears let up and the laughter began. It was slow at first, but it came.

You may have realized that my husband really is one of my favorite people ever... I mean, he should be, right? But seriously, yall. He had every right to be frustrated with me. I was frustrated with me. Instead, he offered me grace. With great abandon he offered it. The kindness of this man is remarkable. I want to be kind like him. The truth is, if the roles had been reversed and he had been the one to stumble into such a series of unfortunate events, I don't know that I would have been so gracious. I would have wanted to be, but my nature would tend toward frustration & if I'm really being honest... anger. And he offered grace. And kindness. And he let me cry again, but this time it wasn't that weird & ugly cry. These tears were soft & tender. And thankful. I didn't deserve his kindness or his grace, but that's what he extended to me.




If you know my man then you know he would not boast these things of himself. He would tell you that it's because he, too, has received grace when he didn't deserve it that he passes it on. To me. To others. It is in the spirit of keeping it real that I share these things with you. Sometimes real means weird & ugly cries. But it also means forgiveness & grace & the medicine of laughter.

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
 Ephesians 2 v 8-9

Sunday, October 31, 2010

ghosts of Halloween's past

One of the many things I love about my man is that he is a pretty good sport when it comes to dressing up for Halloween. Sadly, I don't have pics of all our shared Halloweens together... but I do have a couple gems to share with you.

Famous Couples Party, 2008. JFK & Jackie O.? Brad & Angie? The Flintstones? Nah.
Bacon & Eggs. That's how we roll.

Now, prepare yourself...


Halloween 2007. Simply being rednecks was not enough. We decided to be a Redneck Family complete with twin infants... meet Carl & Carl Ann. What you can't see are Justin's cut-off denims & tall work boots and my denim mini, leopard tights & platforms. Truly, if this doesn't scare you, then nothing will.

Halloween 2010. Justin had to work, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to dress up a little. So my good friend Deanna came to my aid. A cheetah & a kitty kat. Not too scary & just festive enough.

Happy Halloween from The Rigoloso's...
and Carl & Carl Ann!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

a crazy easy recipe & a sunrise

so here's the perfect recipe for Fall that won't make you feel guilty later
gather your ingredients
spice cake mix / orignal, unsweetened applesauce / vanilla extract or flavoring

pour the cake mix in a bowl

add jar of applesauce & a teaspoon or so of vanilla

mix together until it looks like this

pour into a loaf pan
 bake at 350 degrees for approx 28-30 minutes

if you want to get crazy with it you can make an icing while your cake cooks
you will need
reduced fat whipped cream cheese / a little splenda / vanilla / cinnamon / skim milk

mix approx 4 Tbs of cream cheese with 2 Tbs of splenda and a dash of vanilla
add just a splash of skim milk to make it creamy
you'll need the cinnamon at the very end

take your delicious bread out of the oven
(randomly placing it on a paper towel is clearly optional, but thanks husband)

serve right away
or...

add your delish icing & sprinkle with cinnamon

i don't think you will be disappointed
and you will have consumed a yummy Fall treat that is pretty healthy...
score.

this was the sight i witnessed as i waited for my man to get off work wednesday
i don't know that i've ever seen the sun's rays as distinct as they were that very early morning

it would have been perfect with a slice of spice cake & a cup of joe...