Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Review

I can't believe 2010 is coming to an end.  Seriously?  I feel like my life is flying by me and I'm having a hard time jumping on!  I want to be so present but I feel like I'm watching it all go by me!  Make it stop please!  So as we push forward to 2011 I want to remember a few highlights from 2010~

In January the Tide brought home it's 13th National Championship.  We were all on cloud 9!  My sister (lucky dog) got to go to Pasadena and witness the win.  She says it was magical...It felt magical all the way here in Alabama I can't imagine the emotion of actually being there!  The Sunday after the big win the Coaches Trophy was in Gardendale, AL and we stood in line to have our picture made with it.  Also in January I vowed to lose weight and get healthy thus was born Wednesday Weigh-In where I documented my weight loss (or gain) each week!  I credit this as being the #1 motivation for achieving my goals this year!

In February we packed a lot in this short month.  We said goodbye to our old youth directors from church with an Adios Fiesta.  The Saints won the Super Bowl!  It snowed and we acted like kids again! Finally, we closed the month with a long weekend in Gatlinburg!

March brought our 2nd Anniversary and not much else! April we celebrated Easter by all going to church together then we had our Annual Full Contact Easter Egg Hunt at Grandmothers, followed by touch football and finally we had dinner with the Horton's. 

May was a whirlwind as usual but we did get watch my sister walk across the stage and receive her undergrad degree at The University of Alabama.  We were so proud of her! 

We also got a quick sister's beach trip in.  We wrapped the month up at the lake for Memorial Day which turned out to be one of the rainiest weekends I can remember!
In June Elizabeth and I took a weekend trip to Benton to visit cousin Bullet and his family and watch a little baseball.  I started boot camp!  We cheered Hope on a the Miss Alabama pageant. We got to visit with our family from Lakeland and I finally reached my goal weight

July brought my 25th birthday and a trip to Chicago!  August was very low key.  As we patiently awaited football season Patrick enjoyed a few weeks on day shift and we got to do normal things at normal times and I got way to used to it.  It was so hard for him to go back to nights and weekends.  Patrick also turned 29.

AHH September how we long for you each year.  You bring football and fall.  Football pretty much consumed September, and October and most of November too!
October was my road trip month.  We went to South Carolina to watch the Tide.  History was made in Chile as 33 miners were rescued after being trapped for almost 2 months. 

November brought the Tide it's second and third losses to two rivals.  Both hurt!  Auburn hurt the most!  We celebrated Babo and Papa's 50th Wedding Anniversary with a big party!
The first Saturday in December, Auburn secured the SEC Championship title and their spot in the BCS National Championship game in Arizona.  Patrick was thrilled.  I was less than thrilled! We really tried to enjoy the Christmas season together.  We went with my brother's family to see Santa.  We got our Christmas Cards.  I got to see Beauty and the Beast live on stage with my sister and Amy.  We had the Annual Gingerbread House Competition.  Finally we had a wonderful Christmas with our families and it SNOWED!!!

Other events of note in 2010 that I didn't blog about but were huge news stories.  The earthquake in Haiti where  hundreds of thousands were killed.  The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The worst oil spill in history millions of gallons of oil were dumped into the Gulf affecting tourism on the coast.  I didn't write about these events because they were being worn out in the media and honestly I was tired of hearing about them the last thing I wanted to do was write about them. But they were events that I wanted to have some record of for my kids one day!

And Finally the way we've ended every year since 2003
Celebrating Miss Ava Jane's Birthday

I can't believe this sweet girl is going to be 7 years old! 
I've said it before and I'll say it again...time is flying by me! 
Happy Birthday Sweet Ava Jane!
2010 Has been an amazing year.  We have both grown so much both  individuals and in our marriage.  I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for The Horton House!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Ornaments

I wanted to share all of the ornaments that we were given and some that we bought this year! You all know how much I love ornaments we got some really great ones this year! You can look at our ornaments from last year HERE.

These are the two my momma gave us.  Patrick got his ESPN Santa this year he's watching TV.  I got my Barbie.  I was going to get something else this year because our tree if over run with Barbies but when I saw this one with the little poodle I just had to have her!

These two are from our vacations this year.  We were fortunate enough to go our two nice vacations this year.  In February we went to the mountains for a long weekend and then in July Patrick had to go to Chicago for work and I got to tag along and I'm so glad I did because we had an amazing time.  So I got these two ornaments to remember those two awesome trips.

I saw this sweet poodle at Hobby Lobby and I had to get it for Miss Ally! It's so cute!

My cousin-in-law (is that even a term) got me this one.  Supposedly it's good luck to have a birds next in your tree.  When you got a real tree and it had a birds nest in it you were supposed to have a fruitful year.  (I think!)

I got these two precious presents at an ornament exchange with Patrick's aunts and cousins.

My mom gave us these two for our House Divided tree downstairs.  I love them!

Carla gave us these super cute stockings with Big Al and Aubie.

I got these hats at Hobby Lobby I thought they were so cute!

These were my favorite! I got them at Hobby Lobby too.  I thought they were so stinking cute!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In

Last year I had high hopes for the year 2010.  I am so proud to say that I have kept my main resolution to lose weight and get healthy. I've lost 40lbs in 2010 and I plan on keeping it off in 2011!  I couldn't have done it with out y'all.  When people ask me how I did it I say I started with Weight Watchers but my blog was my main motivation.  Y'all have been so encouraging and I am so thankful for you!  I have loved being active again and I love going to boot camp each week.  I'm hoping to add one class each week so up my exercise to three nights a week.  I also want to start running more on my own.  I'm hoping to do some 5K's in 2011...we'll see about that!
Me and Carla after our last boot camp class of the year. 
 Carla has lost so much weight too.  I'm so thankful for her.  I would have quit long ago if she wasn't right there beside me. 

Well I was over my 2 pound wiggle room.  But after everything I've eaten for the last week and a half I'm surprised I'm not up 15 pounds.  I went to three parties the week before Christmas all three were Mexican themed.  That means nachos and margaritas.  Two of my favorite foods.  So I indulged.  Then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was all that holiday food you know what I'm talking about. Ham, Turkey, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, hash brown casserole, squash casserole, potatoes, etc...  It was all so yummy!  I'm ready to get back in gear.  I've been so out of energy this week and I'm ready to get back to my routine!

I have been so proud of myself in 2010!  I can't wait to see what 2011 holds!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Soup & Fire

We built a fire tonight... love having a fireplace.  We don't build fires often but I love it when we do!  For Christmas my parents gave us a set of fireplace tools and a box of "fatwood" fire starters.  As I'm typing it doesn't look like the actual wood is going to light.  Oh well maybe next time. 
Anyway since it's been so cold here all I've wanted to cook and eat is soup.  Sunday night I made Broccoli & Cheese Soup (I got the recipe HERE) It was absolutely delicious.  I've made it several times but I think this time was the best.  Patrick has been battling a stomach virus and I had mentioned trying to make a vegetable soup tonight and he thought that sounded really good so I look up a few recipes.  I thought it turned out really yummy!  It was not what you'd expect when you think of Vegetable Soup but it was really good!
Vegetable Soup
2 (15oz) cans Veg All
4 (12 oz) cans Chicken Broth
2 (12oz) cans black beans
1lb smoked Turkey sausage sliced (you can use regular sausage I just like the Turkey better)
1 (16oz) bag rotini pasta
 1 Tbsp (or to taste) Black pepper
2 Tbsp Garlic powder
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Oregano powder
(All the spices are approximate.  I didn't measure them as I was adding.  You can add pretty much anything and it would be good I think)

Add everything to a pot and simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Yes, It's that easy! 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with love and blessing that you don't want  to blog about it for fear that it won't come across in words?  I feel that way this morning.  I don't even know where to start. To say we are blessed is an understatement. 
We started our Christmas celebration Wednesday night with my mom's side of the family.  We all went over to my cousins house to eat dinner and enjoy each other.  We had a great time.
Me and my cousin's little girl her name is Margaret Katherine (Just like me but I spell Cathryn differently)

John & Hope

Elizabeth, Mark, me, Ryan and John. I'm the closest to these cousins.


Christmas Eve we went to my Grandmother's for lunch.  They gave Harper this cute little doll that cried when you took the bottle out of it's mouth.  Every time she cried Harper would get all worried and scoop her up and cuddle her.  It was so sweet.

Christmas Eve we went to midnight mass at 4:00.  I was not happy about the decision.  We usually go at 8:00.  Something about it still being light outside didn't seem right.  I was kind of a brat about it but decided to go at 4 to make my momma happy.  I knew it meant a lot to her for all four of her kids to go to church together.  I made sure she knew she was the only reason I went at that time.  (Okay I was a huge brat about it and I do feel bad for being so ugly).  After mass we all went back to Mom and Dad's snacked and talked.  Patrick had to go to work so when he called me at 12:30 to tell me he was home  I hurried home to see him.

Christmas morning we woke up early to open our gifts.  I was so excited about the gift I'd gotten Patrick.  I usually tell him what I got before Christmas but I'd not told him.  He was so surprised and it was priceless seeing his face.  He was so happy and I was too.  
Our tree with all the presents wrapped.  I thought it looked so pretty.

Patrick opening his gift.

He was so happy and surprised.

It's a PS3 and he had no idea that I'd get him one.

We quickly got ready and headed to Mom and Dad's house to see everyone.  Babo and Papa came by and my Grandmother, Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Shawn and his wife Terri all came for lunch too.  We had a full house.  The snow was falling and we had a huge fire in the fireplace.  It was perfect.  
The boys looking at something.  I think I have a picture of them every year sitting in this same place doing something similar.

Porter and Harper with Nana.  Porter did not want his picture made. 

Ava and Elizabeth

Leslie's prize for winning the Gingerbread Competition.

John got my brother and Porter leather belts with their names on them.  Porter was so proud of his.

Ava got a cotton candy maker.  She squealed she was so excited. 
Babo and Papa.

John took this one of the raging fire in the fireplace.

Porter, Ally, Dad and Ava looking at the calendar I made.

Mom was so excited.  She only asked for one gift this year...
a Wii.  She was more excited than the year she got a new car.

Ally and her Granddaddy.

Porter helping Harper open a gift.

Most practical gift ever.  A "six pack apron" .

A "White" Christmas.  This was after a lot of the snow had melted.  It was so pretty while it was falling.

Our little family in the snow.

And by the tree

My baby.

Porter and Grandmother.  (He's really not into having his picture made these days)

The Maxwell Family Christmas 2010

We had such a great day.  My brother's family had been battling the stomach bug all week, Dad had it too.  We thought they were all better but they must have been still carrying the germ.  Today mom and John woke up with it.  Tonight Elizabeth and my husband Patrick got it.  Which means every single person in the family has had it but me...I'm terrified.  Patrick had to go to work tonight and he couldn't call in.  I felt so bad for him. Hopefully they will all be better by tomorrow.  And I'm really hoping I don't get it.