December 26, 2008

Dreams Come True at Christmas

Christmas was wonderful! We had a great day yesterday with my family--a day of good food, fun games and great conversation. Jeremy and Aja came over late morning and we enjoyed a nice day together of food, video games, dominoes, and cards!

And Christmas Allie had a great day too with her cousins! She and Sadie played hard all day long. And Maggie even joined in the fun some too! The puppies crashed last night after a day of playing hard.

And back in July I had written a post about baking (I'm Dreaming of a Kitchenaid Mixer) and my mom surprised me with one under the tree yesterday! I definitely was not expecting such an extravagant gift, but I was very delighted to open it up! It is a Kitchenaid Pro and I am so excited to use it!

Apparently my family wants me to learn to cook--my gifts yesterday included THREE cookbooks, a Mixer, and Skillets. I did ask for a lot of kitchen stuff because that's mostly what I need for my apartment and I am so excited to get started with all of it!

Now I am just enjoying some time off work with my mom and tomorrow we will have Christmas with my dad's side of the family! I hope your weekend is great

December 25, 2008

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Merry Christmas! I am sitting on the couch with my puppy curled up in my lap waiting for the rest of my family to get up/get here so we can Celebrate Christmas. Last night we all went to church together for the Service of Lessons and Carols. Then we came home and Nick and I opened a gift from each other. He gave me the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas. Unfortunately I was too tired to watch one last night, but am excited to find a chance to watch them both!

Today Jeremy and Aja are coming over this morning and we will eat breakfast (our traditional Christmas Breakfast of "Breakfast Before" Casserole!) And then we will open gifts. The rest of the day will be spent getting dinner ready for everyone to come over (some of my aunts and my mom's friends) and playing lots of games!

I'm excited to get to spend time with everyone today enjoying Christmas! I hope yours is great too.

December 23, 2008

A Time to Remember

Christmas is always such a great time of year. I love getting to spend time with my family baking and relaxing. I love getting to be off work for a few days just hanging out with everyone. I love the decorations that are up and the lights and the cold weather! But it's also a time to remember.

Even though this will be our 9th Christmas without my dad, I still find myself remembering all the times of Christmases past with him. This picture was taken during one of our family Christmases at my Grandparents' house (my brothers and I each got these big stuffed dogs and we had them around our house for a very long time!). Some of my best memories of my dad are from Christmases in the past. Every year on Christmas morning I would wake up early from the anticipation and go to the family room where he would already be waiting. I would look in my stocking and he would show me what was in his. And we would sit together, just the two of us, and spend time together until everyone else got up a few hours later.

I remember one Christmas morning in particular where my dad had bought my mom a nice diamond necklace. He was so excited to give it to her and was trying to find the perfect way to present it. He came up with this plan to hang the Zales bag on the tree and see if she noticed. He was just so excited plotting to see what she would notice and to try to make it special for her.

As time has gone on, Christmas has changed. We once again have 5 stockings on our fireplace since a sister was added to the family 4 years ago when my brother got married! And life is once again filled with laughter and love and games. Life goes on even when you think it never will, but it's times like these that I like to look back and remember. Remember special moments with my daddy when we were able to sit quietly and just enjoy each others company. And even though things are not the same, I know he is celebrating Christmas in a much better place and waiting for us to join him someday at the greatest celebration.

Until then I'll cherish these memories and enjoy the time I have with my mom and brothers and sister-in-law!

December 17, 2008

Christmas Allie

As my brother has appropriately nicknamed her--Allie is ready for Christmas! She has a jingle bell collar so we can always tell where she is! This is Allie's first Christmas with me, so I was interested to see how she would react to all the decorations. She doesn't go near the tree or the snowman that sits on my floor or the ornaments. The only decorations Allie has bothered with are the stockings. Our stockings hang above our couch since there is no fireplace. But the best part is she doesn't go near my stocking, only hers ever gets messed with--and it doesn't even have anything in it! But she takes it down off the wall and carries it around! At least she knows what is hers!

December 16, 2008

Santa!! I know him! I know him!

Even though I am growing up, some of my favorite recent Christmas Memories are of taking pictures with Santa! One year my mom asked for a picture of her kids, but we didn't get her list until 3 days before Christmas--so my brothers and I stood in line at the mall to take our picture with Santa! That picture is proudly displayed at my Grandpa's house now!

I have also had the opportunity to get a picture made with Santa and some of my best friends!

Nicki and I with the Santa in the Collins Cafeteria when we went to get lunch before class!

And this year Erin and I got to sit in Santa's lap at the ICE! Exhibit (yes this Santa is made entirely out of ice!)

December 14, 2008

Puppy Love

On nice evenings/nights, I will leave the door open to my balcony so Allie can go outside and come in as she pleases. She loves to sit on the balcony and watch as people and dogs go by. It had been a while since it was nice enough for her to be outside during the evening (it's been too cold lately!), but tonight she was able to!

She sits out there and will bark or get excited if another dog comes by, but then will quickly calm. But at least once each night I will hear her get really excited and start howling and barking like a crazy woman--that is when I know without a doubt that Buddy is walking by.

Buddy is another puggle who lives in the building next to us. He and Allie have met numerous times while both out for walks and they definitely both can hardly contain themselves when they see each other. Tonight Allie was sitting and howling like crazy and Buddy was downstairs looking at her and whining. Buddy's mom told me that everytime they walk by our building, he looks to see if Allie is there. And sweet Allie girl was running from the balcony inside to the door and back to try to find a way to get down to see her friend!

It it such a cute thing and I had forgotten about it since it had been awhile since Allie was outside--but tonight she got to see her Buddy and she was so excited he came walking by! Oh puppy love!

December 12, 2008

Christmas Goodies!

So one of my favorite things about Christmas is baking! I love to make Christmas goodies. We had our office Christmas Party tonight which was a great excuse to make something! My favorite Christmas Goodies are peanut butter balls (also known as buck-eyes, or my friend Jill's family calls them chocolate bon bons!). So this week I spent lots of time preparing my peanut butter balls and they were well worth it!

Here is the recipe if you're interested:
*5 and 5/8 cups of powdered sugar (1.5 boxes)
*3 Cups Peanut Butter
*2 Sticks Butter (softened)
*12 oz package of chocolate chips
*1/8 lb of parafin

Mix the first 3 ingredients by hand. Roll into balls. Shape and chill overnight.
Melt parafin and chocolate chips over boiling water (preferred method is using a double boiler). Dip chilled peanut butter balls into chocolate and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Chill in the refrigerator.

*The recipe actually calls for 1/4 lb of parafin, but my mom says she only uses about half that amount if that. I used about 1/3 of the 1/4 lb bar when I made them.
*I definitely don't have a double boiler--so I used a sauce pan with about 1.5 cups of water and boiled that and then placed a glass bowl on top that sat right inside the rim of the pan (not touching the water) and that's how I melted the chocolate!

Yum! :)

December 10, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside...

Last week Erin and I went to the ICE! Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan. We had been talking about what to do for my birthday and I had heard about this exhibit and thought it sounded neat--so Erin took me on a date ;) to go see it!

It was very COLD (9 degrees inside the exhibit!) but also amazing. There were so many ice sculptures that they had made--bears, a bridge, a nativity, santa, a slide, ornaments, a forest--and much more. {To see more pictures you can check out Erin's blog} It was such a great experience and a fun night! The hotel was beautiful as well--we enjoyed looking around at all the Christmas lights and decorations! I highly recommend this if you are in the Dallas area for Christmas any year!It was a great birthday with a great friend! Thanks Erin!

December 6, 2008


So there is a New Reed in town. The day before Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law, Aja adopted their second puppy from the SPCA. They got their first dog, Maggie about 6 weeks after they got married (which will be 4 years this New Years!) and it was time for Maggie to have a sister. So meet Sadie:
This is Allie's new cousin! They met on Sunday and absolutely LOVED playing. So this morning my brother text messaged me to say they were going to the dog park, so Allie and I of course had to join them! Because Sadie and Maggie were there, we went to the big dog park and Allie played hard with her new cousin! Allie has a hard time with the big dogs because they all gang up on her, but she is a fast runner and can usually get away! But she spent most of her time laying on my feet or running from my brother. But she did enjoy playtime with Sadie!

Sadie is a wonderful addition to the Reeds! She's beautiful and lots of fun and such a sweet girl. She definitely loved her first trip to the dog park and I'm sure we'll have to plan more outings for the cousins :)

December 1, 2008


I love December! It's a wonderful month that starts with my birthday and ends with a new year and has the fun of Christmas all month long! I feel as though I have had more people than usual ask me/comment about December birthdays and ask if I hated it or always felt like I got shorted.

I do have to admit that when I was younger I did not like having my birthday in December. For my birthday, it usually interferes more with Thanksgiving than Christmas, but it's just a crazy time of year. It was always very hard to have birthday parties because everyone is so busy and things are so crazy this time of year. And as my mom pointed out tonight we also always had the interference of school concerts and programs, and once J started football we had to wait to see what the playoffs looked like before we could ever plan anything. Not to mention that if something came out in January that I wanted I was told to "put it on my birthday or Christmas list" even though both were still 11 months away!

But I was thinking about it today and as I've gotten "older" I've really come to love having a December birthday. Granted, mine is not as close to Christmas as many other people's so it's different. But I absolutely love Christmastime and everything that comes with it! I love getting to celebrate my birthday by doing Christmas things like going to Christmas Tree lighting or Christmas in Salado or watching Christmas movies or this year I am going to Ice! At the Gaylord. I walked outside this morning to head to work and I was just thinking about how much I really do enjoy this time of year. And how grateful I am to get to celebrate my birthday surrounded by so many fun things!

And I am also very grateful to have so many great friends and a great family who always make it special!