Friday, January 02, 2009


Well! Here is a big dump of Christmas pictures.... I am doing this in a fast and less than thorough way so that it happens NOW rather than... in May after my semester ends :)

First, here is our house with the lights that Matthew put up!

Not too shabby for our first go at it!
On the 20th we headed to SLC. We got a lot of great time with the Teter family the first few days because the Miller grandparents from Kansas, and the Laughban family were in town (Matthew's aunt, uncle, and cousin). We had a great time hearing about how grandma and grandpa met (she asked HIM to a dance!) and lots of other fun stories!

We were THRILLED that it snowed pretty much every day but 2 while we were in town! This the view from my old bedroom at my folks' house where we stayed.

My mom, if I may say, is a fabulous design/decorator. She gets to show that off at Christmas. You can't see it well, but in the living room black and gold were the theme colors and it looked SO gorgeous!

The Mantle. You can't really see the colors very well. But for reals. She did a great job. Not too bad for getting back two weeks before Christmas (from a Middle Eastern Cruise including seeing the pyramids in Egypt and skiing in Dubai. Yep, those two get around!).

The Herm!

Here we are on Christmas Eve.

And here is my mom opening her new laptop on Christmas morning. Fancy!After a fun morning at my house we headed over to the Teters' place. We enjoyed a GREAT breakfast casserole made by Whitney and some delicious cinnamon rolls.

Debra and Peto.

John and Nico (who is getting sweeter, slowly but surely).

Ashley and her guitar hero guitar. This girl is ridiculous. She can play it on expert.... that is impressive just to watch. Even cooler, she can play REAL guitar, and did so at church the first Sunday Matthew and I were in town! It was great!

Whitney and Peto!

Later that day after some cooking and relaxing, Kim, Jay, Jayson, Todd, Denise, Grace, and Douglas came over. Here are Jay and Jayson checking out Dutch's gift to them, a book called I Can Has Cheezburgers?" If you like cats AT ALL, get one. Absolutely Hilarious.

Prepping the meal!

One of our appetizers that Matthew assembled!

Dash, most likely asking me to fix the leaking ceiling that only he can see. This, for future reference, is done by bopping a balloon (the green or purple one) to the ceiling three times.
This guy is so fun and sweet! Unfortunately he got a bit sick but is hopefully now doing much batter, and as of the 30th is officially THREE!

No one really knows why he has underwear on his head. But he does.

Kim gave me a GREAT gift! A Chef's meal planning kit--- lots of fun listy things....wonderful!

And then, the meal.
Here is a salad that my mom and kim love, and after having it... wow. Pears, orange slices, pomagranite, pecans, onions, blue cheese, and a raspberry vinaigrette that was delicious. E-mail me for the recipe, it is FABULOUS! (I know, I know... you're thinking "you really need a recipe for salad? Well you know how it goes, you end up putting the same three things in it night after night and get SICK of it... this is a crowd pleaser, and would do well as an entree for les vegets!)

My mom, if I may brag, is a fabulous cook. This year we did standing rib roast (drooooool) For Christmas dinner. OH my goodness. Amazing. And here's a picture of my very happy plate.

Everyone at the table.

It was a great meal, so wonderful! We had artichoke dip and baked brie for apps as well, so we skipped dessert and simplified... it was perfect.

For Christmas Dash's Nana (my mom is Grammy, so his other Grandma... Hi Myrita!) gave him some awesome space stuff-- he's very into space these days. Here is Jay sporting the muy cool astronaut helmet!

Here is Douglas, 2.25 years old, running. I love that his head is just BARELY in focus....
that is pretty true to life.
Douglas peaking out!

This little one kept himself so entertained. He was thrilled with his water bottle, and for the most part didn't squirt it at anyone.

And so, Christmas day was great. We enjoyed our time with our families, we got some fun gifts, and we really enjoyed being together. It has felt so natural to be back together that I often forget that even now, Matthew wasn't supposed to be home yet. At church our first Sunday they gave him a standing ovation and I started bawling my guts out. I didn't expect it, but in the end I realized that I am SO proud, and SO thankful that he IS home. The fact that we got Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's TOGETHER was just wonderful.

We got to see lots of people, spend some really good family time, and over all enjoyed being in Utah. Here is one of the quieter moments.... they didn't happen very often since we were almost always cooking, eating, talking, or laughing, but.... here it is. Matthew asleep by the fire.

We were happy to have friends over last week to my folks' house. Unfortunately we were NOT good about pictures, so we only have pics of people who stayed late. Here is Robby enjoying a Bud light after having what he deemed a "wonderful" cocktail my dad made for the lingering men, the Frech 75. Trust me, you'd like it. Gin, Champagne, Lime, Symple Syrup. Shaken pre-champagne. For recipe, e-mail me. Delicious!
Matthew and Brady.

Crystal and Kelli!

Colby and Brady.... Colby here is a full 9 months pregnant and could very well, at the moment you are reading this, be in labor. She, of course, looked ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!

Me and Colby.

Me, Kel, and Colby. (this was around 2am, when these guys left).
Thank you to everyone else who came and we didn't get pictures of! Pete and Amy, Lisa and Kyle, Micah, Whitney, Jesse, Jeff and Ryann... it was fun to see you all! For those we missed- particularly Bz, the Rileys, Kimber, Ash and Thadd, and Bonneville friends, we will hopefully catch you next time we're in town.

The tree live this year moved from near the fire place in the great room
to the entry way and it was so cool! It was 18 feet tall. I loved the new locale.

A view from the floor.

Mwaha. The Hermann. Fluffier than ever (no really, he's like, whoa fluffy).

Oh. My. Goodness. My Husband is goodlooking!
(He loved not shaving!!! Just imagine,
this was the first time in a LONG time he has grown facial hair!)
On the 28th my mom prepared another part of our Christmas gift, the labor of love that is Beef Wellington. She got the recipe from a cooking school she attended some time in 1980/81ish. I think that places her in KC, MO but I'm not positive. Anyway, this baby is usually a three day production. Since we didn't hand make the puff pastry this year (as an experiment, which we now know we will not do again... handmade is better in this case) so we cut out a day.

First, the marinade is made. This is a fabulous mix and also later is used for the gravy (which I could eat like soup... but seriously). The beef is hand-trimmed, then marinates in the fridge for at LEAST 24 hours.

After that, you puree and then sqeeze the juice from mushrooms that will form part of what is traditionally the liver pate, but in this recipe of perfection, there is a different and delicious unique version. Once made, you roll the puff pastry, and then form the pate on the pastry.

Enter: Beef.

Then roll the beef up, seal it.

My mom always does a little design on top, and this year it was tiny little stars all over.

Bake, let rest..... etc.

The rest of the menu was: Green beans, herb-butter tossed fingerling potatoes, rolls, another great salad, and then carrot cake to end. Don't worry, Matthew was too full for dessert anyway (he isn't a huge fan of carrot cake, but did get his very own
yellow cake with chocolate frosting a few days before).

Me icing the carrot cake. My dad's great great grandmother's recipe. YUM.

Here is the table again. A funky centerpiece this year, but I really liked it.

While we cooked, Dash admired and loved on Jayson,
Jerico layed around, and everyone just hung out.

Here is Lahki, (pronounced Lucky), Jayson's little puppety pup. SO cute!

Once the meat was finished, Dash and Elizabeth came over to watch Gavin cut the meat. I can't remember what exactly he said about it, but it was hilarious. Here are E, Ian, and Dash, who is showing off his smile (if you ASK him to smile, you get something like this).

Gavin, sharpening his blade.

Here are the fingerling potats... No matter what I did they wouldn't turn the right way,
so you have here a sideways picture.

Green beans, and to the left of them, the glorious gravy.

Beef consultation.

Dash identified the sparkly trees as hats, and as you can see they are perfect head decor!

I love it! If only we could have figured out a way to keep it up there, but I think they were a bit too heavy. Very creative little mind he has though!
The rest of us enjoyed a nice Zinfandel, and then a Pinot, and Dash had some 2%.

Another happy plate. Check that beef out: perfect beef, the pate around, then the pastry. YUM.

And so, of course, the blog is dominated by food. But that is, let's face it, how my mind categorizes, remembers, and processes just about everything.

Thanks to everyone for a GREAT Christmas. We had a great time in utah, and we are thrilled to be back in Kentucky. We are happy that we felt ready to go "Home" and get back HERE to life as we've made it thus far. I was a bit nervous I wouldn't want to come back after being home and surrounded by loved ones and snow and the glory that is the Wasatch Mountains. Honestly, it was sad, but a relief to get back here to ol' Bito Drive. I count that a blessing as well.

May the miracle of Christ's incarnation light your path as you begin the New Year.


melissa said...

I have very many comments.

1. The view from your Utah bedroom window...oh the memories!!! (Remember the time - in high school - we went to Whitney Cahoon's for the V-day dance instead of party and came back only to not be able to get in the driveway?)

2. Your mom is the BEST decorator.

3. You look STUN-NING in the Christmas Eve pic. Gorgeous best friend!

4. Your mommy got a new laptop? I must email her for a recommend. I am trying to decide between the MacBook and MacBook Pro (I know which one would be better, but I don't know if I want to pay the additional $700)

5. Mashew's fam looks like my fam on Christmas morning! PJs!

6. Dash and Douglas are getting so big! (That pic of Douglas running with the helmet on is SUCH a great pic!)

7. THE FOOD! Our friends! Hermster!

8. The fingerling potatoes made me laugh a little. When they are turned sideways...they look a little...phallic. OR poo-ish. I bet they were delicious!


Ashley said...

Thanks for the pics. It was so good to see you on Christmas Eve. Hopefully we can come and visit you in kentucky one of these days.

Kimber said...

This all looks so great, I am so glad you were able to see your family and do all kinds of fun things while you were here in Utah. I missed you, I am sad I didn't get to see you while you were here because I was gone. But you should definitely send me an e mail and let me know how you are doing, hopefully school doesn't have you too stressed out after the first day back :)

ryann and jeff said...

i love that whitney's dad is holding a mug with hearts. john doesn't strike me as a heart mug man.

William Joseph said...

Clair, if I ever get married my gal has to come spend a few weeks with you guys cooking! From the looks of it, we'll schedule a holiday bash!