Saturday, December 29, 2007

I know some of you have been waiting....

but we've been pretty busy since we arrived home Christmas Eve - two church services, baking biscuits to serve Christmas morning at our church's breakfast, going to that breakfast Christmas morning, going back to work, spending a day on Carden & Courtney's new get the idea. That being said, HERE ARE THE PICTURES AND TIMELINE OF OUR FANTASTIC TRIP TO NYC!!!!!

We flew into LaGuardia Thursday morning, spent the day walking around Manhattan - saw Times Square, some of the bigger department stores and their decorated windows - Tiffany's was one of my favorites, plus we went inside to look at the big sparklers. Thursday night we saw Jersey Boys and ate dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner - a MUST for any broadway fans! All the waiters have cordless microphones and they karaoke to hit tunes while walking around serving customers. It's 50s themed, so we enjoyed steak fries and *spiked* chocolate shakes (at eleven o'clock at night.)
Jersey Boys was so good - it's told in first person so whoever is narrating talks right to the audience, and we were in the 3rd row, so we had a great view! We loved hearing our favorite oldies.

Friday morning Pete woke me up because he wanted to go running in Central Park (of course). I was a good sport and came along, but we might not have run enough for Pete. Here's proof that we actually exercised on our vacation (because walking 3-5 miles a day on the streets of NYC isn't enough).

We took the subway to SoHo Friday afternoon, looked in some great shops, got scared on Canal St (I wasn't mentally prepared), and walked all the way to Greenwich Village in search of Magnolia's Cupcakes - we found them, they were good! We got back to the hotel with plenty of time to rest and get ready for the Rockettes at eight. Pete went to the fitness center in the hotel (it's a sickness) while I stayed in the room and read/napped for a half hour (I'm going somewhere with all these details, I swear). We decided we wanted to leave the room at 6:45, to give us enough time to go see Rockefeller Center before standing in line to see the show. I was in the bathroom doing my makeup when Pete looked at the tickets to double-check what street Radio City Music Hall was on - he looked at the tickets and saw that THE SHOW WAS AT 7:OOPM!!! IT WAS ALREADY 6:30!! I feel I reacted very calmly at this point. I put down my mascara, asked Pete to get my shoes (2 1/2" heels), and put on my coat and scarf. Once we reached the lobby, I started running down the streets of Manhattan --the Rockettes were the whole reason we were there, I wasn't going to miss them now! I even slapped the hood of a taxi as it turned into the crosswalk when I had the light! Pete shouted at me to stop running that we would make it, so I did and we got there with 10 minutes to spare - luckily the line we had seen the night before was for people waiting to buy tickets, and since we already had ours we could walk right in.

The lobby alone is breathtaking - the ceiling is gilded in gold leaf, there is a giant Swarovski chandelier - made entirely of different crystal snowflakes, it was amazing. In the mezzanine they had two Rockette mannequins wearing old costumes, and the walls were covered with pictures of Rockettes - a different costume for every decade, and there were blown-up press releases from the 30s and 40s - we especially enjoyed the one about the 'new food' pizza.

The inside of the Music Hall was just as impressive - I couldn't believe how plush the red velvet seats were! They were widely spaced with plenty of leg room (we're long legged folk), the orchestra pit was raised and it was lined in red velvet and decorated with garland & the stage is enormous! The biggest proscenium arch I've ever seen! My Radio City Christmas Spectacular book (that I got for Christmas) says the stage is the width of a full city block and the auditorium is 1.8 million cubic feet! I settled down enough to watch the show - although I definitely missed the very opening part because the tears in my eyes were blocking my vision! I was so glad to finally be there and to see them live! The show really was spectacular - in the first number the Rockettes are dressed as the reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh - and then we had to put on 3D glasses - another first for me - to watch Santa fly though the streets of New York. I won't describe every number - Pete and I enjoyed the Twelve Days of Christmas (a big tap number) and the Toy Soldiers (precision like you've never seen) the most! We also liked the one live camel in the Living Nativity because he was chewing on something the whole time he was on stage. After the show we went by Rockefeller Center to see the tree and the ice skating before our dinner reservation.

We ate dinner at Joe Allen's on 46th street - when Pete and I went to Texas two years ago, I said we HAD to eat at Joe Allen's and he assured me he already had when he was visiting his Dad and Estelle in New York when he was in college - I argued that Joe & Sharon Allen didn't have any non-Abilene locations. So we ate at THIS Joe Allen's - you can't buy steak by the inch there, but Pete had a tasty fillet, and I got salmon. After dinner we decided we were too tired to do anything but go to back to the hotel and crash - which I did right after changing into my new shirt:

Saturday morning we slept in and then made our way to the Empire State Building. Visibility wasn't much, but it is nice to say we've been to the top.

After that we made our way to Macy's - the Saturday before Christmas -it was hectic but fun, the first floor was decorated with giant arches of poinsettias and ribbon, and I wanted to show Pete the wooden escalators Rachael and I rode when she and I were in New York. ("mmm, Greetings Nerd") Saturday evening we went ice skating in Central Park at the Wollman Rink.

After that, we went back to the hotel and changed clothes before heading to Roxy's Delicatessen for dinner and Don't Tell Mamas for a night of singing. Nothing quite tops off a trip to NYC like staying in a piano bar from 9:30pm to 3:30am! We had big plans to go to St. Patrick's Sunday morning, but we didn't quite make it. Pete's voice still hasn't come all the way around. :)
Sunday we walked to the Garment District to eat lunch at Serendipity3 (yummy frozen hot chocolate) and learned how to tie a proper bow at the Container Store (i love that place!) We caught a taxi at 3pm to give us plenty of time to catch our 5pm flight to Chicago. Unfortunately, it kept getting delayed. We finally flew out of LaGuardia at 9:40pm, but (obviously) missed our connection to Lexington. So we spent the night in Comfort Inn Des Plains - it is definitely worth it to get a hotel for 5hours of sleep, a hot shower, and continental breakfast - and arrived home a little after 11am, Christmas Eve Day. We managed to gather our things enough to have a nice Christmas Eve hors d'oeuvre dinner in between church services and to take our annual picture:

Christmas Day was nice and quiet - we got eachother a few small things and did modest stockings, watched the new Harry Potter DVD, took a long nap, and had crab-stuffed salmon with roasted asparagus and rolls for dinner (I really didn't feel like makng a Christmas dinner for two after Thanksgiving). We had such a good time on our little vacation - it really was the trip of a lifetime!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day!

Our Christmas was grand and busy and we're still recovering (i.e. doing laundry) from our NYC trip, but I'll post all the pics and tales soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Just in Time!

I finished decorating our tree this evening - which is good because Carl and Estelle arrive tomorrow. They're staying with us while in town for Audrey's wedding on Saturday. Every year, by the time we get it home and in the stand, I think we could have gotten a bigger tree. NOT THIS YEAR!!!! We scraped the ceiling getting it up! Yay! Finally a big, tall, fat, LIVE tree --we got it from the same farm off Todds Rd, we've gone there for three years in a row now. I don't know the man's name, but his black lab that greets you as you walk around the field is Oscar. They offer to let you cut the tree yourself, but I'd just as soon someone with more experience wield the chainsaw.

In other news, we had friends over Sunday evening for a Gingerbread House decorating party, and had a really good time. Emily and I had a structurally unsound rooftop that earned our house the award for Best Hurricane Katrina Recreation:

Everyone else had better success, with Best House Awards going to Rachael/Sylvain and John/Megan...Tabitha's house was another beauty with extra points for landscaping, and Mike and Pete's house was a top contender with its rose window, chimney, satellite dish, car, and koi pond. --I feel it necessary to point out that Mike is an architect.

I was really impressed with everyone's decorating ideas, especially when you think of what we started with:

So that's what we've been up to - hope you're having fun preparing for the holidays wherever you are!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I have finally morphed into my husband:

Today when I got out of the shower, I put on jeans, a race t-shirt, and my hooded UK sweatshirt.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pete isn't home=

=I'm bored=I bake

but luckily I had the good sense to consult Cooking Light --and these are great!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 lg egg whites
3/4 cups chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine dry ingredients in a bowl
  • Combine sugar in butter in electric mixer on medium
  • Add vanilla and egg whites
  • Add flour, stir in chocolate chips
  • Drop by level tablespoons on greased cookie sheet, 2" apart
  • Bake for 10 minutes, until golden
Yield: 4 dozen

I AM occupying my time in SOME beneficial ways, though. The Hope Center is doing its annual Boxes of Hope drive, collecting shoe boxes (or bags) of toiletries and basic items for Lexington's homeless.

If you're a local reader and you've got the time, these can be dropped off at any local UPS store.

from their site:
Everyday, the Hope Center provides emergency shelter, food and clothing to homeless people, but it is much more than just a shelter. We are a comprehensive social service agency delivering a variety of programs to help people get off the street and stay off the street. We do that with the help of thousands of people in this community and beyond.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Our house is so quiet!

There aren't any extra people in our house today --it seems so big and quiet. Pete and I had SO much fun getting to play with our nephews,

and I think they had a good time getting to play with ALL their Aunts.

But Hannah does seem sad today that there is no one to read stories with her.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Last few days...

until everyone rolls into town. I had a dentist appointment this afternoon after work, tomorrow we've got tickets to the philharmonic, and Saturday morning I've got the PRAXIS at 7:30am! Pete and I will have Saturday afternoon before the rellies start to arrive on Sunday.
We went to Sams yesterday and bought a turkey, a ham, and enough snacks to feed the all the hungry, hungry carters. We moved Hannah out of the office and into the living room. She sorta gets that her crate has been moved, but any time we tell her to go to bed, she still runs into the office and stands in the corner where her crate used to be!

I'm still struggling with what to do now that I've quit my full-time job. I thought I had it narrowed down to teaching or speech pathology, but then we met this dentist across our table at a dinner, and she thought I looked like a dental hygienist. I asked her if that meant overly talkative with straight teeth, but it put enough of a bug in my ear that I came home and looked at UK's program. There's a pre-admission conference in two weeks and I figure there's no harm in going. I might as well keep my options open.

Other than that, not too much going on around here --it's the calm before the storm.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I have the best husband EVER!!!!!!!!

Pete just surprised me with a mini-vacation for Christmas weekend........
WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE ROCKETTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've never seen them before, I've been obsessed with them since I was about four, and now I get to see them LIVE. PLUS we'll have four days in NYC --I've been there before a few times, but I still haven't been up the Empire State Building or gone to the Statue of Liberty. I'm hoping we can see a show as well while we're there --maybe Jersey Boys? I'm so excited, I have to start making lists.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm not sure who's cuter

Hannah on her second-ever Halloween, or toddler Pete on his:

Bumblepooch vs Paddington Bear

What do you think?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's bad news when it's Sunday afternoon and I'm bored/putting off studying for the Praxis because I make things like this:

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Balls

1/4C brown sugar
1/4C granulated sugar
1/2C light corn syrup
3/4C peanut butter
1 t vanilla
2C Rice Krispies
  • Stir together sugars and syrup in saucepan; bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat, stir in peanut butter; mix well.
  • Add vanilla and Rice Krispies.
  • Roll into balls (Tablespoon-sized), place on wax paper.
  • Let cool for a few minutes. Enjoy!
Yield: 24 balls (and a badonkadonk butt)


Pete and I have now watched Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team for two years in a row.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Not sure what kind of parents we'll be....

So Hannah has had this issue with barking. Not just a little bark when someone walks down the street, but really obnoxious loud barking, jumping all around, etc. It's really a problem when the mail gets the delivered or the UPS man has a package to drop at our house (which, given Pete's job, he does every other day). Since we have family with little ones coming for Thanksgiving, we decided to nip this problem in the bud and get her a barking collar.

I picked one up yesterday after work and we put it on her right away, eagerly anticipating her first lesson. Well the mail had already come, so I went outside and rang the doorbell. No fooling her, she knew it was me and wagged her tail. Not to be outdone, Pete put on a baseball cap, went out the back door, then came around front and banged on the door really hard. I nearly fell out of my desk chair, but Hannah knew it was Pete and didn't really react.

Not 15 minutes later a stranger approached our door with some kind of flyer about a lost cat --Hannah started barking and I thought, 'at last! time for her to learn her lesson!' I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS GOING TO BE ABSOLUTE TORTURE!!! Her whole body went stiff and she yowled and yowled --which made it shock her more --and all of the hair on her body stood on end...meanwhile, I stood in the corner crying, calling for Pete to make it stop. So I'm a big sissy who can't discipline my dog.

Now Hannah is afraid to even come in the living room, she won't lie in the sunbeam (her favorite thing to do) and she followed us around all night with her little ears tucked back.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Their Place on Earth

Today we went to our good friends' Carden & Courtney's wedding. They run a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm together in Henry county. Their wedding/reception was held at the Smith-Berry Winery near their farm, A Place on Earth. It was the nicest wedding ceremony! I didn't take any pictures of the ceremony because I was practically sobbing. We sat inside a barn that opened up onto a pasture with sheep in the background. Carden's parents together walked him up to the front of the area where we were seated, then Courtney's parents walked her up from the other side. Carden's dad's a minister so he performed the ceremony. Courtney's family brought soil from her maternal grandparents' house in California, and her paternal grandparents' house in Lexington. Carden's family brought soil from the two towns in Tennessee where his two parents grew up. They poured their soils together into this decorative urn while Mr. Willis spoke about the four families coming together for their wedding and now Carden and Courtney will have that soil to plant on their farm --it sounds hokey but was really moving. After Mr. Willis' homily, several family members read different poems, and Carden's brother Damon sang a song. Once the rings were exchanged, Carden's other brother and his wife sang a song while playing their guitars. Then Carden and Courtney exchanged their vows --which they'd written themselves --it was just so nice.
The reception was a potluck, and about 30 seconds into it, Pete and I were asking ourselves why we hadn't had a potluck --the food was so good!
All the flowers were from their farm --really pretty wildflowers. Courtney's mom made the cake --the wedding topper is from her grandparents' wedding cake sixty some years ago!

The lovely bride and groom

The music during the reception was from a bluegrass duo on guitar and mandolin. (I think it was a mandolin -you'd think of all people I could identify musical instruments, oh well) We sat with all of Pete's old friends from high school --it was a mini cross-country team reunion for them.

That's mostly it, I just wanted to share what I could of such a special day. I am so happy for Carden and Courtney and so proud of how they live their lives.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Well, we might not have won the game, but we sure had a good day with it!

At 9:30am we went to College Game Day on campus
we saw some celebrity UK fans
Then we came home to prepare for our Gator Roast
It was such a nice day -we didn't want to waste it outside-so Pete moved the t.v. out of the guest bedroom and onto the deck!

A good time was definitely had by all --and 45-37 is really not a shutout!
(if you want a wordier recap, visit Pete's blog)