Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New family members

We used to have 2 Shelties and over the past couple of years, they have both passed away (they were 12 and 14 years old). It was brutally sad. I thought it would be a long time before we got another dog, but turns out our house just isn't a home without some furry animals. So....Seth's Christmas present was "permission" to get a dog. On Valentine's Day, I told him he could get 2. He'd been begging to have siblings. He's been researching and found some Shelties from a reputable family in Easley, SC. On February 15, they were 8 weeks old and Seth went to pick them up.

Introducing Mac and Bentley....

They're the sweetest! I think getting 2 has made it a tad easier, as they're always together. The only "hard" part is training them to go outside. They spend a lot of time in their crates. We are getting there! We love having our two new P-reCIOUS pups!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentines day dinner

This Valentine's Day, we put the kids to bed early and prepared a DELICIOUS dinner. We love the lobster risotto tuna dish at Aqua Terra, a great restaurant in Buford. Seth and I decided to attempt to recreate it. I think we did pretty good!

We combined one recipe from The Food Network (Giada De Laurentiis's butternut squash risotto) and one from AllRecipes.com (Lobster Risotto with Peas). We served our lobster risotto with tuna steak and a salad. 

Lobster Risotto
4 cups chicken broth
1 large vanilla bean
(2) 6 ounce lobster tails, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup sweet onion (finely chopped)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, warm the broth over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and add them, and the bean, to the broth.  Add lobster tails; reduce heat. Simmer gently 4 to 5 minutes or until shells turn bright red and lobster meat is opaque. Remove lobster from broth; let cool at least 10 minutes. Keep broth warm over low heat.Turn the heat on the broth down to very low and cover to keep warm.Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Meanwhile, shell lobster; cut the meat into 1/2-inch thick chunks. Discard the vanilla bean. Turn off the heat.Gently stir in the lobster, parmesan, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and salt. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and enjoy!

Stirring the risotto is a full time job! 

We marinaded the tuna steaks in orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, and lemon juice for about 4 hours. Seth barely grilled it on the cooktop and it was magnificent. 

The finished tuna- perfectly prepared

The risotto was amazing! It was creamy with just a hint of vanilla and did I mention it had LOBSTER? A bite of this mixed with a bite of tuna and you were in heaven!

My sweet Valentine- we had a great stay at home date night and it was so much fun cooking together
Our dessert was Little Debbie Valentine's Cakes. Don't they look fancy on our fine china? Dessert was obviously an after thought!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My birthday

36.... just 4 more years until the big 4-0. I am feeling kinda old. My vision is getting worse, my shoulder hurts every time I work out, and I can't stay awake past 9:30 (but then again, I've always been that way). However, I am blessed beyond measure- great family, friends, and our health on top of all that. I am thankful to have another year. 

About a week prior to my birthday, I emailed several friends to get together for dinner at Milton's Saturday night. I think the last minute plan made it possible to for so many to attend. We had a blast- delicious food and even better company!

On Sunday at church they were doing Valentine's pictures. Love the props! (Just wish the iPhone pic turned out better!)

My sweet little man Sunday nappin'

My actual birthday was Monday. I spent the morning running errands and a workout. I tutored that afternoon. Seth sent me these gorgeous pink roses and the 4 of us ate sushi at Rice. I love, love, love that my kids devour sushi! 
My mom came in town the week after my birthday (snow storm #2 kept her from coming earlier). She treated me to new make up and a wonderful dinner at an Indian restaurant. We rarely get mother/daughter time in- so thankful for my relationship with

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Girls day

Adelyn and I had a "Goils day" Saturday. I needed to spend spend some one on one time with my girl, who is growing up waaaaay to fast. 
It started with a manicure: (obviously she chose whatever she wanted)
Then we went to the American Girl store. She posed with Isabella, the 2014 doll. Sadly, she didn't have enough money to buy her. 
She did have enough money to purchase the carrier (it holds 2 dolls). She was pretty pumped!
From there we did some shopping (Macys, Disney store, Lego store) and had lunch at Chic Fil A. She wanted to trade in her toy for ice cream and went to the counter all by herself. I would've never done that at 4. I'm so glad she's not a shy girl like I was. Ms. Independent!

On the way home we last minute swung into Best Buy and I bought Adelyn her first CD- "Frozen". Probably gonna regret that purchase- hahaha! 

We had a great time together! (Seth took James to Road Atlanta for Daddy/son time)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

iPhone dump update

Nothing major to report...here's what we've been up to these past couple of FREEZING weeks!

School was cancelled one day early January for cold temperatures. James decided he wanted to wear underwear "just like Thomas" (his cousin). So, we wore underwear since we were home. He did not pee in the toilet ONCE. He's really not that interested and it has not come up again. Hoping that by 4th grade we'll be in big boy underwear. 

I took the kids to my parents for MLK weekend. We rode LYNX (Charlotte's transportation system- a train) downtown to The Discovery Place.

Hydrolics lifted this chair at The Discovery Place (children's science museum). It was pretty cool! Adelyn simply pushed the red buttons and up she went!

James had to try it too!

Random bubble bath....with hot chocolate. 

The 2014 racing season has officially begun! We took the kids to Seth's first race in Daytona. The race didn't go so well. Dan, Seth's teammate, got hit at the very beginning and they were out for the rest of the race. And it was ridiculously COLD in Florida! Brrrr.

James fell asleep while I was carrying him at the Fan Walk. I dropped him in the Bimmerworld rig and he slept like this for an hour. Gotta nap where ya can. 

And while James napped, Adelyn occupied herself with Disney dolls. Love these MagiClips. 

James's favorite toy of the month: Play Doh Lumber Yard. Hello, future Thomas Lumber employee

We got snow- a whole 3"! School was O-U-T for 3 1/2 days. James liked it for about 5 minutes and Adelyn could've played in it all day. 

playing with the kids the first day

so fun to slide down our slide!

James seriously just wanted to be in a house. Any house. This one will do. 

It wasn't the sticky kind of snow, so snowballs weren't that great. 

Walking down Fast Lane

Tractors and dump trucks made it a little more tolerable

Lots of hot chocolate in the Thomas house!

Did I mention school was out for 3 1/2 days? We made Magic Mud. Adelyn loved it!

Day 2: Pathetic, pathetic snow man. We tried.

We found a hill at the middle school that was super fun. Here's a video of Adelyn going down

James had a hair appointment. Adelyn decided to bring Kate (in a matching outfit, of course) and her styling chair. Tracy let her use her spray bottle and Adelyn went to work. This was all Adelyn's idea and she was so excited to execute her plan. 

We went to see Frozen (Adelyn and Seth's 2nd time) one night. I snuck us in Wendy's Frosty's. :) 

Since there was NO school for THREE and a HALF DAYS, we made cookies. 

I had noticed for several days that Adelyn's teeth looked different, but it never crossed my mind that they were LOOSE! I felt them Feb. 3rd and immediately called my SIL/dentist panicked. Melissa assured me that it's not uncommon for a 4 year old to have loose teeth. The next day Adelyn had corn on the cob and apples for lunch. Adelyn swallowed the first tooth. She was SO very upset that she didn't have the tooth in hand. Ten minutes later the 2nd one was out (stuck in her apple). I can't believe her bottom teeth are gone!! Over the past couple of weeks, Adelyn has started skipping her naps, signed up for Kindergarten next year, is reading books every day (and really well!!), and now she's lost 2 teeth. Where'd my little girl go?? 

My mom brought the kids back these tooth boxes from Italy. She could not wait to put her tiny tooth in the box. The tooth fairy brought her a silver dollar for each tooth (plus $5 for first and $1 for next), a toothbrush, and some floss.