Monday, December 26, 2011

Listening for Heartbeats and Cranberry Margs

We had a just a wonderful, beautiful Christmas weekend filled with lots of sugar, laughs, family, and presents.  It is so much fun to give and receive gifts!  Chris and I also celebrated our 2-year anniversary with a little getaway (baby-free) in Des Moines.  Ada and I both survived and did wonderfully away from each other.  It was actually harder on me being away from her!

My favorite part of Christmas this year though, happened late last night, just a few minutes past midnight.  Ada was in a nearby room fast asleep.  Chris had just dipped off into a deep doze, and I was laying peacefully awake, my head pressed against his back so I could hear his heartbeat.  It was so still and quiet in the night, that when his heart would beat, I could feel it pulse against my ear.  I laid there, just enjoying this quiet moment, and thanking God that I had my living, breathing, heart-beating, warm, wonderful love of my life with me.  God is so good to give me a partner and lover to walk this wonderful life with me.

On another note, I just have to share this recipe for Cranberry Margaritas by yours truly.  This is by far my favorite holiday drink.  Here it is:

Cranberry Margaritas (makes two 7oz drinks)
Tequila (gold)
Triple Sec
100 % Cranberry Juice
1 orange
Ice cubes

Line rim of two glasses with sugar (get wet and dip in sugar bowl), and put 3-4 ice cubes in each glass. Cut a 1/4 section out of an orange. In a cocktail mixer or bowl or something, mix 1.5 oz triple sec, 2.5 oz tequila, 14oz of cranberry juice, and the squeezed juice from the orange piece.  Mix or stir well.  Cut the leftover squeezed orange piece into two pieces and stick them in the glasses.  Pour the drink into each glass and stir to distribute coldness.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss Ada

Well, I no longer have a lil baby, Ada is now my "lil girl."  She's let me know the last two months or so that she is definitely not my baby anymore, but yesterday we finally got to celebrate my lil girl turning ONE.

Ada was completely oblivious that it was that party was for her, and she was pretty disinterested in her birthday cake, but she did think the glowing candle was pretty cool.  She only had about two bites of her cake, which I was totally OK with.  I've heard of babies devouring their birthday cakes and having crazy sugar rush highs, and I was happy to avoid that.  For the special birthday treats I made strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  I'm really not much of a baker, but they were a hit!  If you want the recipe, click here.   Also, my sister and I have been on a big sangria kick.  We've been serving it at the last 3 parties we've hosted, and it's delicious!  Here's the recipe for that:

Sangria for a Crowd:
1 bottle pink wine
some brandy (to taste)
Peach sparkling water
Strawberry sparkling water
fresh or frozen berry fruits

Add the wine, some brandy, the fruit, and some each of the sparkling waters.  Taste.  Add more brandy or sparkling waters to taste.  Serve in a punch bowl, pour over ice in individual cups. ( guessing it makes around 40 4oz. servings)

Grandpa John (my Dad) and Ada

Miss Ada's Birthday Outfit

Here's what I learned:
Chris and I really love our family a LOT!  It was so great that there is so much love and joy crammed together in a small space when both of our families get together.  We are so thankful that our families really welcome and love each other to create an even bigger, louder, funnier, more loving family.

To keep your sanity and maintain your stress, do the one thing you're good at.  For me, that was the food prep.  I delegated everything else to other people.

Lastly, as I was cleaning up and throwing away all of the streamers and other disposable decorations, I realized that I need to come up with a better solution for party decorating.  I want to build up a supply of reusable party decorations (streamers, tablecloths, vases, signs, centerpieces, etc).  I came up with this after thinking about how many more birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, ladies parties, that I will be hosting throughout my lifetime.  I really don't want to buy new paper products each time, but would rather just open up my linen closet and pull out the few things I already have, saving time and money.  I could even have a set that is "girly" (girls birthday parties, bridal and baby showers) and a set that is "neutral" (for things like boys birthday parties, or parties that aren't girl only).  I could make all of these things myself or buy them secondhand from garage sales and Goodwill.  I'm not convinced that I should give up disposable dinnerware (plates, napkins, cups, silverware) just yet, only because cleaning up is soooo much easier with them.

On to ,more adventures with a one year old!!