Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Favorite Gift

I haven't posted in a couple weeks because life has just been normal. I have been working and and cooking and hanging out and enjoying a not too crazy St. Louis winter. I have enjoyed all of those things. Lacrosse started this past week. It's nice to be back on a more strict schedule and be back in the gym with the girls. I have been quite impressed by them in these first couple of days. Everything is pretty normal. Not ho hum, but normal. This past weekend was wonderful and relaxing. Friday was a night in watching a movie. Saturday morning I ate my dad's famous french toast and hung with a couple siblings and their kids. Pretty laid back and fun. Saturday during the day I hung out with these guys....
Claire and Dane showing off their Valentines they picked out

And Relaxing in the cart together
Saturday night we went to dinner and hung out with Tom's family. Today was spent sitting on the couch watching football. What a wonderful weekend of family time and relaxation. As I was considering finally blogging after a week hiatus I remembered I never blogged about my favorite gift I GAVE this year for Christmas. I love to give unique gifts. I spent a ton of time creating this little gem for my four youngest nieces and nephews. I stole the idea from Jodie Allen at Fresh Art Photography. When I saw her alphabet book on her blog I knew I had to do it for my young nieces and nephews. They absolutely adore each other and I knew they would love a book full of pictures of their favorite people and things. Here are some of the pages... An alphabet book with family pictures.

I LOVE the drool pic

and the kiss pic

and the scared pic :) All awesome expressions from this little guy.

All four of them yawning

And sleeping.
This was such a fun gift to create. I took, gathered and organized pictures. Then, I categorized them on my computer. Threw some out. Took some more pictures. Created the pages. Added the words. And had it printed. I love how it turned out.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vegetarian, Healthy, and the Boy Likes it...Score

A while ago Tom told me I could start making whatever recipes I want and he would try anything. Although he said this I was still not convinced. He's pretty much a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I kept making him pulled pork and potato skins while longing to try some healthier vegetarian recipes. A few weeks ago I made a vegetarian skillet that he enjoyed because I put some beef on the side for him :) This time I decided no frills. I made a straight up healthy vegetarian meal...and it was a success! He loved it. Gave it an A-.

Here's the recipe from with some slight alterations of my own:

Zucchini Enchilades

For enchiladas:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsbp Garden Gourmet garlic
4 tbsp Garden Gourmet Cilantro
2 medium zucchini, grated
1.5 cups reduced fat mexican cheese blend
5 medium flour tortilla
For Sauce:
1 tbsp Garden Gourmet garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup fat free vegetable broth
some splashes of hot sauce (my special addition)

1. Make enchilada sauce by first sauteing garlic in spray butter or oil. Then, add all ingredients and heat to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Take off heat and set aside until ready for use.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking pan with non stick spray.
3. For enchilada filling: Saute 2 tbsp garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil. Add grated zucchini. Mix in cilantro and allow everything to cook together for 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pull off heat and mix in 1/2 cup of cheese.
4. Fill each tortilla with mixture and put seam side down in baking pan. Pour enchilada sauce on top cover with additional 1 cup of cheese. Cook for 20 minutes.

Seriously, peeps, these were delectable.

Enchilada Mixture- this isn't all, I had started filling tortillas when I took the pic

Enchilada Sauce

Filled Tortillas ready to be topped

Topped with Sauce and Cheese

Delicious and Ready to Eat
I just told Tom I was making enchiladas so when he cut them open and saw the green stuff he asked, "what is that?" I said not to worry about it, but he insisted he know what he is eating. He still enjoyed it :) These are significantly less fattening because they are filled with veggies rather than cheese or meat. Yum, yum, yum.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Perfect Weekend!

Our weekend started with a little illness but it was nothing a 70 degree January day couldn't fix. Once Tom was off work we took a walk in the beautiful weather and ordered some 50% off Papa John's pizza. We had a great night in complete with pizza and an early bedtime.

Saturday was a little chillier but still gorgeous for January. I started the day with some Bikram Yoga. The sun was shining so Tom and went out for a little hike. We kept it close and only went for about an hour at Emmeneger Park in Kirkwood. It was perfect. The weather was beautiful and the hike was just the right length.

After an absolutely lovely day Tom's mom picked us up to take us to the Blues game. We had our tickets for our all inclusive seats and were excited for our first (and maybe only) game this year. We enjoyed food and beverages in the Blue Note Lounge before the game.

Then we went down to our seats and watched the game from close proximity. It was SO fun. We saw a 4-0 win with 3 goals on our end.

we were close

It was SO exciting!
After the game we had another drink in the Blue Note Lounge while we waited for my sister to pick us up (Thanks, Kara).
Who cares if I hate about 20 bags of popcorn ?!

Tom likes to take pics of himself
And because the Blues scored 4 goals we scored free Big Macs today. This is Tom eating his first Big Mac in years because, why not?, it's free!
What an awesome and fun weekend. Now we are on the couch relaxing for the week ahead. Already one week through the dreaded January!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Making Those Resolutions

I am one of those who likes to really enter the new year with a fresh start. I like to make resolutions and am usually pretty determined to complete them. I am a competitive person by nature and resolutions fall into the competitive category. Last year Tom and I decided to complete the Great American Apparel Diet. This meant we would go a whole year without buying any clothes (this does not include undergarments and shoes). We knew from the outset that this would be a greater challenge for me than for Tom. He decided we could buy one item per quarter. Here's how it went:

December 28, 2010: Went to the outlet mall at the Lake of the Ozarks and bought some last minute post Christmas sale essentials :)

March: Traveling with my team was HARD. We always go shopping, but no purchases!

May: Received an Ann Taylor gift card for my birthday. I took it with us to Colorado because there was an outlet mall down the street from our condo. I went to the Ann Taylor shop and treated myself to one item. Score!

June and July: Off work, visited friends, traveled. It was HARD, but no purchases were made. I did purchase one really fancy dress to wear on one really special day :) That helped.

September: The change in the seasons was hard. LOTS of cute cardigans were calling my name. I withstood the temptation.

December: Bought an adorable dress while Christmas shopping.

All in all I really made just 2 purchases all year. The Ann Taylor purchase was a gift. I only bought a "fancy dress" and a bonus Christmas purchase for myself. It was good and totally helped to change my mindset on shopping. I actually sort of hate it now. I realized I don't NEED all those things I used to think I did. I am letting up a bit but I still won't be a shopaholic.

For 2012: Tom has jumped on the resolution bandwagon yet again. This year we are going month to month with our resolutions. Each month we are going to decide a goal for the month and stick to that together. Our January goal is to do 5 days a week on the Ultimate Fighting Champion Trainer he received from my mom for Christmas. We have side goal to walk 500 miles together this year. And another goal to get married :)

Should be a good 2012! Cheers.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Year In Review

Warning: There are A LOT of pictures in this post.

2011 was an absolutely incredible year. It was a busy one and it went very, very fast but there were few low points and an incredible number of high points. Here are some of my 2011 highlights:

For Tom's 2010 Christmas gift I bought him 2nd row seats to the Blue's game. They were all inclusive and we had a blast watching the game up close. We had so much fun last year we are making it a yearly tradition. January 7th we are sitting 3rd row at Blues vs. Avalanche.
Spring is always a busy time with lacrosse season. This year was even busier as I was completing my master's degree and had two internships on top of practice and my traveling schedule. Needless to say, there are very few pictures from February until the summer.

I did have one shocking and exciting highlight from my lacrosse season. We joined a conference and thus had our first opportunity to be recognized for accomplishments. At our conference banquet I was honored with Coach of Year for the conference. Amanda, in her final year of eligibility, was honored with Conference Player of the Year. I was way more excited for her than for myself. She was ecstatic. Definitely a highlight of my year and my coaching career.
We didn't do much else this spring. It was just SO busy with my internships. When I finally finished my 300 internship hours Tom and I went to the Fountain on Locust and had a dessert martini. I have never felt quite so relieved. I graduated with my master's in counseling in August 2011.
Heather came to visit in May. It was so fun to have her here to visit.
Tom's nephew, Connor, turned 1 in May.
Right after the chaos ended I took my yearly trip out east to coach a tournament lacrosse team. The morning after I returned Tom and I head out to Colorado for a vacation we had been planning. The weather was beautiful and we spent the week enjoying the mountains, snow and sunshine.
On the third day of our trip Tom asked me to marry him and I said "YES!"
Showing off the bling on a very windy Continental Divide hike.
We ended our vacation with a concert at Red Rocks. I saw my favorite band, Dispatch, in a super cool venue. It was incredible.
In July I flew out to see Heather in Portland. We had such a great time exploring the city.
We also ran a half marathon together in wine country.
and visited Multnomah these kiddos
It was such a lovely trip. Can't wait to go back!
In August Tom and I went to the Lake of the Ozarks for the weekend to see Tammy, John and Joe. We had a great time hanging out and water skiing.
In September we had a brunch in conjunction with the Greentree Parade. My family got an opportunity to meet some of Tom's family. We had a great meal and the kids all watched the parade. What fun!

Tom got a new backpack and we went backpacking at Hawn State Park for the weekend.
It was so much fun.
Sugarland concert with my sisters (a very Prego Stephanie)
Tom and I celebrated a year to our wedding with a bike ride and brewfest on the Katy Trail.
It was a gorgeous day and we had so much fun.
Heather comes to visit again!
Just in time to see my wedding dress. Love my maitron of honor :)
TJ turns 30...
REESE IS BORN!!! The seventh kiddo has arrived. The fun continues.
In October I got to run my sister's first half marathon with her. It was so fun and she did great.
Another Katy Trail bike ride. This time a Halloween ride near Columbia, MO.
It's always so fun to get these two together.
Dane and Connor- our ring bearers
Halloween trick or treating with the nieces and nephews
They are too adorable
Tom and I went to Ste. Genevieve to visit the Evelsizers and took Dane on a hike
He smiled the whole time. I absolutely loved it.
A visit to Naples, FL and I very fun airboat ride in the beautiful Everglades.
Sweet Joe turns 1!
Christmas is so much fun with all the kids...and a bit chaotic
Last Christmas as Mueth and Rau
New Year's Eve at Kirkwood Station listening to Jake's Leg
I absolutely cannot wait for 2012. I am so excited to marry my best friend, go to Costa Rica on our honeymoon, see another friend get married, welcome more sweet babies into our family and whatever else comes our way! Yay for the New Year!