Project 12 // December.

Happy New Year! I hope your ’16 is especially sweet.

*Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

December: 

image
^ Christmas Day family photo ^

Read:
The Royal We by Heather Cocks – 3 stars
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella – 3 stars
The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty – 5 stars
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – 5 stars

Travel Adventures:
We didn’t leave the metro area in December!

Noteworthy Days & Events:
December 11 -Kevin’s 32 birthday!  We celebrated by going to Marcello’s Steakhouse with his parents.  Ava donned her fanciest clothes and was a little angel at the restaurant.  Celebrating Kevin is always so much fun because he’s just the best guy ever – he deserves to be loved on and adored, not just on his birthday but every day.
December 12 – Coach Carroll’s Christmas party.  Ava’s first Christmas party!  She was a hit and slept through most of it.  We indulged in the most delicious queso – a staple at the Carroll Christmas party.
December 16-18 – Joy and Ella came to visit.  They were en route from Hawaii to Kansas and they took the time to stop and spend a few days with us.  It was really wonderful to see my good friend and I’m so glad she got to meet Ava while she was so little.  Ella is 17 months old and was sort of interested in Ava but REALLY interested in Rue.  Rue got a taste of what it’s like to be chased (unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have made her chase Kiki any less!).  Having a 1.5 year old in the house made Kevin and I realize that our house is very NOT kid friendly.  We’ll be making some changes as Ava grows!
December 18 – Ava’s 2 month well check.  She screamed bloody murder at the shots, but handled them well after the fact.  Her little cries were heartbreaking!  And she weighed in at 8 lbs, 8 oz, and is gaining and growing at just the rate she needs to be at this stage.
December 24 – Christmas Eve dinner at our house with my great aunt and uncle, my parents, my sister, and Kevin’s parents.  We had a wonderful time eating posole and tamales.  We walked around the neighborhood and admired the lights and luminarias, then opened gifts.  It was a beautiful night.
December 25 – Christmas day feast at Craig and Sue’s house.  It was prime rib and so tasty.  Lots of delicious sides and desserts too.  Most of all, it was special to have both our families together for Ava’s first Christmas.
December 26 – Big snow storm!  Well, big for the desert.  :)
December 28-31 – Lisa came to visit!  Ava had a great time with her aunt.  We watched Anchorman (she’d never seen it!) and Kevin took her to crossfit.  She went to a basketball game with our great aunt, and it was really a lovely visit.
December 31 – Kevin, Ava, and I enjoyed a quiet evening at home.  Dinner was beef stroganoff and we even enjoyed a bit of the bubbly (a rose champagne).  We watched the ball drop {on TV} in NYC and were in bed by 11:00 PM.  It was the perfect end to the year.

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
Tried this recipe for shrimp saganaki – it was delicious!

Tell me something about your December!

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Project 12 // November 2015.

*Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

November: 

AVA_0025.jpg

Read:
Paper Towns by John Green – 3 stars
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman – 4 stars
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – 4 stars
This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy – 5 stars

Travel Adventures:
We stayed close to home this month!

Noteworthy Days & Events:
November 12 – Ava’s newborn photo shoot
November 13 – Met with attorney to set up wills, power of attorney, etc.  So grown up!
November 26 – Thanksgiving at Craig and Sue’s.  It was lovely – but I did miss seeing my family for our traditional big Thanksgiving!

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
Made these delicious baked mushroom pork chops!
Prepared this one pan chicken, potatoes, and carrots dish!
Made this taco pasta!

Tell me something about your November!

Project 12 // October 2015.

*Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

October:  IMG_1920^ And then there was Ava. <3  ^

Read: 
Truman by David McCullough – 5 stars {Kevin}
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 4 stars
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – 3 stars

Travel Adventures:
We stayed close to home this month!

Noteworthy Days & Events:
October 1 – Maternity photo shoot with Shawna!
October 2 – Kevin’s parents got a puppy!  K’s new baby brother is named Teddy and he’s a poodle.  He’s soooooo cute.  (Not as cute as Kevin though.)
October 3 – Baby shower hosted by one of the best family friends ever and her team of amazing co-hostesses.  We are so spoiled!
October 3 – Kevin’s final home football game, which was also Homecoming.  It came down to the wire and they lost by one point.  So sad.
October 10 – Kevin ran a 5K at Los Poblanos!  His time was 28:21, with minimal preparation and training.  He ran ONCE in the six weeks leading up to the race.  Let’s hope the bambino gets his natural athleticism and not that of her mother, who huffs and puffs her way through a mile jog and feels exhausted.
October 16 – Baby shower at work!
October 18 – Kevin’s diaper party!
October 24 – The bambino’s birthday!  Ava Elizabeth joined the world at 10:32 PM.

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
We met the Sanchezes for brunch at Prime.  I’d eaten lunch there, but never brunch and Kevin had never been at all.  New restaurant!  It was delicious.
Kevin and I took a Friday lunch at the Golden Crown Panaderia, which was great.  We each had a sandwich and Kevin had what they claim is the world’s best coffee milkshake.  I had two sips and it really was quite good!  I may need to test a few more around the world to definitively say it is the best though.

Tell me something about your October!

Project 12 // September 2015.

 *Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

September:

 IMG_1507 ^ A grainy nighttime selfie with the lunar eclipse moon in the far, far, far background. ^

Read: 
Popular:  Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen – 3 stars
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach – 4 stars
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – 3 stars

Travel Adventures:
Amy made a trip to Santa Fe for work on 9/29/2015.

Noteworthy Days & Events:
September 1 – Kevin’s last day at his old job.
September 8 – Kevin’s first day at his new job.
September 11 – Amy went to see Doug Stone perform at the State Fair with Lisa!  Great show for a couple of old souls who love them some 90’s country.
September 19 – Amy hosted a Favorite Things party.
September 19 – Kevin and Amy went to the State Fair and saw Clay Walker perform!
September 25 – Kevin completed the three week crossfit boot camp!
September 26 – Amy did the St. Jude’s Walk/Run with some friends.

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
We took this Better Than Thin Mints dessert a dinner at a friend’s house.  It was a hit!
These double chocolate cookies proved to be very tasty – and they include zucchini, which means they’re practically healthy.
This broccoli and ham pasta bake was dinner one night and we thought it was good.  Of course, it had lots of cheese and Ritz crackers as a topping, so what’s not to like?
Britt posted about a tasty treat and it looked irresistible.  The apple oat bread is delicious and smells heavenly!
We tried out a new-to-us restaurant – Pueblo Harvest Café – which is in the Indian Cultural Center.  Kevin’s Indian taco was really, really good, and my chicken blue corn enchiladas were good as well.  Next time though, I’ll be getting the Indian taco.
Made these and these – (no bake energy bites) tasty treats!
Kevin met some friends for lunch at Monica’s El Portal for Taco Wednesday and he was nice enough to bring me some tacos to work to eat for my own lunch.  I’d never tried the place before and the tacos were definitely good enough to make me try it again!

Tell me something about your September!

Project 12 // August 2015.

 *Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

August:

IMG_1327^ Backyard selfie.  Attempt #45. ^ 

Read: 
Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell – 4 stars
Bringing Up Bebe:  One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman – 4 stars
Simple Pleasures by Alfred Portale – 3 stars

Travel Adventures:
It was a month for staying home.  We didn’t leave the metro area in August!

Noteworthy Days & Events:
August 7 – Kevin gave notice at his job!  He’ll be embarking on a new work adventure beginning September 8.
August 15 – Baby shower tea with some of my favorite Junior League ladies.  We felt very spoiled and loved, and had the added benefit of celebrating another mama who is expecting a girl in October.
August 29 – Inaugural football game for the team that Kevin helps coach!  This is his thirteenth season to serve in an assistant coach role for high school football teams (12 of those 13 years have had him working with the school and coach that he played for through high school!) and I love how excited he gets each year for the new season.

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
—I made bread using this recipe one Sunday afternoon.  I halved the recipe and added a bit of cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter before rolling it up to put in the bread pan.  It turned out really well and was very quick – only around an hour of total rise time versus the usual 2+ that bread recipes require.
—We tried this Brussels sprouts recipe one night.  It was quite tasty!
—We hosted Kevin’s mom for dinner one night when his dad was out of town and made this shrimp stir fry.  The Pioneer Woman really can do no wrong.  Our version included eggplant fresh from my cousin’s garden and some red cherry tomatoes from our own garden.  We liked the shrimp stir fry so much that we had it at least once more in August!
—It was a last minute decision to make this oven baked pork chop and rice dish – and it proved to be an excellent one.  This will definitely make regular appearances at our casa during the cooler months.
—We did a ground beef and rice dinner that was very loosely based on this recipe.  We didn’t use tomato sauce or sour cream, and I did toss in some frozen corn along with the frozen peas.  We also kept it as a skillet meal rather than putting it in a casserole dish to heat in the oven.  It was a really easy dinner and I thought it was even better as leftovers at lunch the next day.
—Kevin made this cod recipe while I was at yoga one evening and we agreed that the flavor was awesome.  Really, I liked the dish in its entirety but Kevin was not impressed with the breading “crust” which he thought was far too mushy.  We’re thinking we’d do the lemon/butter/paprika combo again and just sprinkle some panko bread crumbs on top of the cod rather than using flour.
—Tiffany posted this recipe for a chicken/pasta/green chile dinner and I knew we had to try it.  Oh my goodness, it was so good.  We’ll definitely do this one again!

Tell me something about your August!

Project 12 // July 2015.

 *Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

July:

July 2015^ At the family reunion on July 4! ^  

Read: 
The Princess Bride by William Goldman – 4 stars
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – 5 stars

Travel Adventures:
July 4 – Day trip to Magdalena for the family reunion!

Noteworthy Days & Events:
July 3 – Tile replacement complete and we were able to move back home after been displaced for five days.  Home sweet home, say the humans and the cats.
July 9 – Gas meter…adventure at rental house has been resolved!  New tenant is able to move in anytime.
July 10 – Fun “fishing trip” (annual retreat for Kevin’s work which once centered around fishing but hasn’t in…a really long time) getaway at Tamaya.
July 11 – Bought the first big baby purchase!  A crib.  We had to laugh at ourselves because that is SUCH a first-time parents purchase.  It seems so necessary from where we sit, but she won’t actually be sleeping in the crib for a few months (as there will be a bassinet in our room initially).  But!  A crib will be necessary at some point and it converts to a toddler bed and double bed, so she can use it for many moons.
July 12 – Heard author Hampton Sides speak at Bookworks.
July 16 – Replaced half the windows in the house!
July 17 – Mini-bar replaced with shelves/cabinets!  So much prettier and more functional.

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
Rach and Jayda each made this Pioneer Woman recipe (Buttery Lemon Parsley Noodles), inspiring me to do the same, and it was as easy and as delicious as it looks.  We had it as a side with salmon and used basil rather than parsley.
We ordered pizza from Pizza 9 (which neither of us had tried before) and had it delivered.  It was tasty.  And we didn’t even have to leave the house.  Win after win after win.
The Pioneer Woman makes these crash hot potatoes look so easy, and when I made them, they were very delicious…but looked like a crash hot fail.  Not pretty.  But tasty is more important so we’ll just go with it and I’ll probably make them again as long as presentation doesn’t matter to whomever I’m feeding!

Tell me something about your July!

Project 12 // June 2015.

 *Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

June:

  

Read: 
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – 4 stars {Kevin}
The Rosie Effect by Graeme C. Simsion – 4 stars
A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson – 3 stars
The One by Kiera Cass – 4 stars

Travel Adventures:
June 2 – Amy made a day trip to Santa Fe for work
June 13
 – Amy went to Tucumcari for Tiffany’s baby shower
June 19-21 – Amy and Kevin went to Magdalena for Shawna and Keith’s wedding

Noteworthy Days & Events:
June 8 – Bambino’s gender is no longer a mystery!  It’s a girl!
June 12 – Ordered 8 new windows for the casa.
June 18 – Tea at St. James Tearoom for Shawna’s bachelorette soiree
June 26 – Bon voyage dinner for Derek at Hayashi Japanese Restaurant :(
June 27 – Cheered on a friend as she participated in the Mrs. New Mexico pageant
June 29 – Tile replacement began!

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
Kevin made cod with Lemon Butter Sauce.  Delish!

Tell me something about your June!