Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Ava Jane!

Today is my sweet neice (and God-daughter) Ava's 6th birthday!

 I can't believe you are already 6 years old.  I remember the day you were born.  You were such a beautuiful baby with a head full of dark hair.  Today 6 years later you are growing into a beautiful little girl.  I can't wait to see what is in store for you in the next year.  You are such a loving and caring little girl.  You love your brothers and you sister so much.  You also love your Nana and you get very jealous when she holds the other babies.  
Her parents are taking her to IJump to play this morning and then we are all meeting up for cake and ice cream this afternoon.  I'm sure I'll have some photos to share later. 

Happy Birthday! I love you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In

I'm sure everyone has started thinking about their New Year's resolutions.  This year I am really going to try to get healthy again.  I have a plan, more on that later.  The same one I used a couple years ago.  I just need to get in gear.  So to help me kick off my plan I am going to start "Wednesday Weigh-In".  I will weigh-in each week with my progress or lack there of.  I also hope to encourage others to do the same.  I feel like if I have a group that will hold me accountable I will do better.  I think it would be great if we could share recipes and excerise techniques. 

My Plan
  • 30 minutes of Intense Cardio at least 5 x week.
  • Count Calories I will try to stay at 1,500 each day.
  • Increase Fruits and Veggies
  • Reduce soft drink intake, drink more water.
I think I am going to gradually go into the program.  I think I'll start by eliminating soft drinks and caffeine.  The next week all add more fruits and veggies and start counting calories.  Finally I'll add the cardio.  That may not come until closer to spring.  It will be easier to run if I lose some weight first. 

This is basicly what I did about two years ago and the weight pretty much feel off.  I also ate most of my calories at breakfast and lunch and had a small dinner.  I didn't eat anything after about 6:00.  I know it is going to be more difficult this time around simply because I not only have to worry about feeding myself but my husband too.  When I used this plan before I was in college and was getting a lot of exercise just walking on campus so I think it will take a lot longer to drop it this time. (I dropped 30lbs in 2 months last time!)  I just want to feel better.  When I eat right and exercise it makes me feel better, like a lot better so that is what I'm ultimately after the slimmer waist will just be an added perk.
I plan to post my starting weight and before picture Friday January 1.  I'll then update every Wednesday.  If anyone wants to join my journey just leave a link in the comments.  Maybe we can be a little support group.  I know I would love that!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What would Julia Do?

Saturday while I had nothing on the schedule I decided to try my hand at cooking a roast in my crock pot.  Now, while I did win the Home Ec. trophy in the 8th grade, I am by no means a good cook.  Sometimes I can follow a recipe and it turns out just as I had imagined but usually a miss a step or two and it turns out less than perfect.  I'm afraid to say this was no different.  I apparently over cooked the meat.  It was just a bit dry.  It was edible so that made me feel like I wasn't a complete failure.  I added carrots and potatoes to it so that made it a lot better.  

On another note...Has anyone seen Julie & Julia?  I've heard it was good.  I've added it to my netflix so hopefully it will come soon!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ten years ago today my Grandaddy (my dad's dad) passed away.  He had a massive heart attack and it was all very sudden.  Christmas Day was the last time we saw him. He was such a special man.  He pretty much spoiled us rotten.  If we wanted it he bought it.  One year for my birthday he got me a trampoline.  I had been saving my money to buy one but he suprised me.  It was awesome.  Some of my fondest memories are summer days spent on the lake.  We would load up the pontoon boat and ride all day long.  We'd take a picnic lunch and stop for swim breaks.  He would take us fishing and he'd take the boys hunting.  One year I asked for a compound bow and arrow set for Christmas and I was so excited when I got it.  I think he was pretty excited too.  If we ever rode with him he'd stop at the gas station and let us got a Sunkist or Grapico.  I thought that was the coolest thing ever!  I often wonder how my life would be if he was still alive.  I wonder what he would think of my husband.  I wonder how he'd feel about me graduating from Alabama since he was a huge Auburn fan (he'd be proud no doubt!).  He always made me smile.  I love him and miss him so much!  Just wanted to remember him today! 

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I know I've shared that my mom always gets us a new Hallmark Keepsake ornament each year.  I know I've said how much I love this tradition.  It is so special to me to see them all on my tree now.  I wanted to share the new ones we got this year.  I was so excited!
My Barbie shoe.  I love it. 

Patrick's ESPN Santa. He talks.  It's really cute! 

Plus we got this really cute "H". 

I also started an ornament tradition this year.  I started my mom a series and plan on getting her a new one every year since tree is looking bare without mine and my brothers ornaments.  I think she was very excited.  I know that I was thrilled to get to do it for her!

Merry Christmas to all

And to all a Good Night!

We've had a wonderfully busy day. I feel so blessed to have such awesome famililes.  I love my family so much we are all so close and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Patrick's family is so great too.  I love spending time with them too.  We don't see them as much (we only see them once every two weeks where I see my parents at least once a week!) so when we get to spend time with all of them it is so nice! 
We started with breakfast at my parents house.  We all opened gifts and in the chaos we had a small fire.  Someone threw wrapping paper on a lit candle while they weren't paying attention.  I was the first on the scene and completely panicked.  I started fanning it (I didn't know what else to do) then my dad started yelling to stop fanning so started blowing it.  I know I'm an idiot.  My dad then picked up the flaming paper to take it out the front door.  He opened the door and greeted my aunt and uncle with a flaming pile of paper.  It was a very Griswold moment!
The Griswold  Maxwell Family!

Complete with our own version of "Cousin Eddie"!  (My two bothers)

Sweet Harper opening her presents.

Porter throughly enjoying the Monster trucks on TV.

Ava Jane.

Drew showing off his loot.

Ally is her "Mrs Claus" dress with her Daddy.

For lunch we headed to my grandmother's house.  So real excitment there.  Just some eating and gifting. 
For dinner we headed to the Horton's House.  Ms. Melissa is the best cook I know (sorry mom!  You're a close second and she has had a lot more practice than you!).  She had enough food to feed and army and it was all wonderful.  We opened our presents before dinner since Patrick had to go to work.  I just got home about an hour ago and I am exhausted. 
We gave Sam & Gracie their Christmas bones and they couldn't have been more thrilled!


We had a nice night last night too.  My family had dinner before my sister and I went to Mass and then we had some friends come over after church.  Patrick got off work earlier than he thought he was going to so he was already home when I got home.  I was so excited!
We are so blessed!  Both of our families really out did themselves.  We received way more than we deserve but are so thankful for all of it.  I can't wait to put everything away! 
Did everyone have a great holiday? I truly hope so!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas from the Horton Family!!!

I am so excited today as I write this.  I am blogging from my new laptop that my sweet husband got me for Christmas.  I have been wanting one for awhile.  My desktop was getting slow and outdated and we knew we wanted to upgrade soon so we've been kinda looking but not very seriously, or so I thought!  It is kind of a funny story because for weeks Patrick has been telling me that he knew what he wanted to get me but that I was going to have to go and pick it out so that he got the right one.  Well I've been talking about wanting a treadmill for months now so that is what I thought he was getting me.  So Monday night while we were out shopping he wanted to go into Best Buy so that I could select the one I wanted.  While we were walking in the store I was thinking to myself that I didn't know Best Buy had treadmills (Patrick didn't know thats what I thought he was getting me until later!).  So finally we walked in and he said lets go look at the laptops.  I was so excited.  I got an HP Pavillion d7 series.  I also got the HP Photosmart Plus wireless printer! I love it!  It has a huge 17" screen that is perfect for editing photos. 

Patrick opening his present. 

We decided to open our gifts today because tomorrow we are going to be on the go all day long and Patrick has to go back to work tonight so he's going to be very tired in the morning.  Plus we already knew what we got eachother so it was basicly torture waiting.  So here are a few photos of our Christmas Eve Morning. 
We got Ally a dog stocking with several toys! She was so excited!

Our tree with all the presents wrapped.  My present is under the blanket.  I told Patrick I wanted him to wrap it so I could open it.  He said there was no point in wrapping it since I knew what it was.  So he just put a blanket over it.

Tonight I'm going to my parents house for dinner then to Midnight 8:00PM Mass with my sister since Patrick will be at work.  After Mass we will come home and probably eat again.  Then in the morning we will go back to my parents form breakfast and open presents.  For lunch we are going to my grandmothers and then for dinner we will go to Patrick's parents house.  Patrick then has to go to work.  So it will be a very busy day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Date Night

Patrick has been off work since Saturday.  It has been so nice having him home at night.  I actually feel like a real couple!  He has to go back Christmas Eve but at least he'll get off around midnight.  Anyways since he was off we had a little date night.  We haven't been to see a movie in probably a year or so and have probably been out together on the weekend maybe 5 times this whole year. 
We went to see

It was so good.  If you like football or Sandra Bullock or a good rags to riches story you've got to see this.  I loved it.  We had a wonderful night just actually getting to hang out.
We also finally finished up most of our Christmas shopping.  I still have to get one gift card but that will be easy.  I also still have to wrap everything (which is always the worst part for me, I am terrible at it!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mom's Christmas Tree

I wanted to post a few photos of my mom's tree mainly because I think it is the most beautiful tree I've seen.  It is so full of memories.  As I've said before we all get a new ornament each year.  It is so special to me!  Mom puts all the ornaments that we made at school on her tree.  Each year we enjoy looking at the tree and reliving all the Christmas memories. 
We have the traditional "First Christmas" ornament with the picture.  Mom kept all of our ornaments that had pictures in them for her tree!(Yes that's me)
Mom got this one at an ornament swap she does every year with some girls she grew up with.  It is one of my favorites!
We also have the "leg lamp" from "A Christmas Story in ornament form and we also have an actual "leg lamp" that is proudly displayed in the front window!
A little Dr. Seuss adn Wizard of Oz!
This is the mantle without the stockings.  Mom doesn't like to put them up until Christmas Eve because they have a fire in the fire place almost every night and she doesn't want them to get messed up!
Finally, the little snow village.  We don't have very many pieces but it's just enough to fit on the table so it works!
Hope you enjoyed the decorations from my parents house.  It doesn't take long to realize where I got most of my decorating inspiration from!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Three Years Ago

December 21, 2006 Patrick asked me to be his wife.  It was such a wonderful day.  We were on our way to Hooters (romantic huh?!) for his company Christmas party.  We were running late, Patrick is always late, and I was mad because he wanted to go and drive by his parents house to look at the Christmas lights.  He proposed on the side of the I-65 because he said he spent so much time driving to Tuscaloosa to see me.  It was sweet, I was estatic.  I had a Christmas party with my family and my high school friends the next night and It was so much fun getting to share the news in person.  I went to the girls party and I wasn't going to say anything and see how long it took them to notice.  Well it took them forever!  One one them finally noticed and I got the share the great news.  I have no pictures from the day. 

As Promised...

"Gingerbread" House Decorating

Mom put all the graham crackers together so all we had to do was decorate!
Drew with his house

My finished product! It was awful!  Ava said it looked like it was on fire!

This one is Elizabeth's she added an awning. 

Ava's first one.  She really liked the sprinkles!

Me, my sister-in-law Leslie, me sister Elizabeth and Porter!

Drew's second one! 

This one is Leslie's.  Her's was the best, but she did have a picture for inspiration!

Ava's second one!  She used fruity pebbles as her roof!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Tonight we had "family baking night".  We started it a few years ago my mom, sister, sister-in-law and myself all gather to bake pigachi.  It is something that my Mimi used to bake for all the holidays.  We've struggled to bake it correctly since she passed away almost 5 years ago.  It is basicly a potato, cheese bread thing.  I would post a recipe, but I don't know it.  I think my mom and sister-in-law have it down.  It was so yummy.  We also decorated gingerbread houses.  My mom put them all together and we let the kids help us decorate them.  They all turned out so cute! I'll post some pictures tomorrow!  That's all for now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

1st Christmas Party

Last night I went to my first Christmas Party of the season.  It was at my boss's house.  They have a "Supper Club" that meets once a month with three other families from our church and last night they had a party.  I know them all from church and last night they all brought their kids.  It was a little weird for me because I am a few years older than all the kids but much younger than all the adults.  So I felt very awkward.  All the kids grew up together and I know them all from church but they are all closer to my little brother and sister's ages.  I had a great time though.  We played dirty santa and I was so excited because I got a snuggie.  I know I am a dork but those things are so warm.  Ally loves it too!
All the "Kids"

The "Adults"

Me and Ally in my Snuggie