Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cookie Mania

When Meridith first saw a picture of our new kitchen in early November, she said how we needed to have a cookie-baking party. Well, that's just what we did. We had over Meridith (family friend, like a sister), Jenna (our sister-in-law), Joy (my sister), and Megan (Joy's best friend, and our friend too). And, Brian had his friend Brad (Meridith's brother, home from California) over also -- they were the official cookie-tasters. We started off the night with a pizza dinner, and then got hard-core into the baking. We made Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti, Sugar Cookies, Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Thin Mints, Chocolate Toffee, and Chocolate White Chocolate Chip cookies. We were sugar-crazed . . . which at points led to chases around the house with much screaming (Joy and Megan), and some wrestling (Brad with whomever was around), and the need to drink about a gallon of milk to overcome the sugary-sweetness, . . . It was such a blast!

Megan and Joy decorating cookies
Jenna, Mer, and Me
Megan, Joy, and Me
Me: What do you mean they don't have chocolate wafers at the store?!!!
Mer and Jenna at work
Me making the toffee
The sugar overcame
Pure chaos in the house

I love making Christmas gifts

Anyone have some good jar recipes to share?

My Company Holiday Party

Thursday night, we enjoyed a great evening with my co-workers (about 16 of us, and then spouces/significant others). The dinner was actually at a mansion in northern Philadelphia. It was simply magnificant and I should have taken more pictures. We had a 4-course meal, and then dessert in the wine cellar. It was a great night to usher in the holidays. And, then we were given Friday off of work -- oh, what a delight!

Jessica & Aaron's Wedding

It was such a joy to be at Jessica and Aaron's wedding in Ohio last weekend. It was wonderful to be reminded again of God's power and faithfulness in Jessica and Aaron's story . . . and it was wonderful to be reunited with great college friends. The wedding was quite tearful -- both rejoicing in Jess and Aaron's union, but also thinking about Jess' struggle with cancer over the last 5 years. It was amazing for all us to hear them share their vows, both really understanding what it means to stick by each other through sickness and health. Even though Jess doesn't seem to be doing well health-wise, we pray that God will bless them with His fullness and joy for the days they have together.
Our Princess Jess -- looking so incredibly gorgeous
Great friends from Covenant - April (holding Karis), Alina, Brooke, and me
All the Covenant girls at the wedding
Out in the snow
Beebs and me
April and me

Monday, December 10, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Around the house

So, we're slowly getting unpacked and the house is gradually coming together. And, there are some Christmas decorations :). Here are some pictures . . .

Our Christmas tree in the living room

Another angle of the living room

Yet another angle of the living room

The kitchen -- where I am OFTEN cooking :)

The dining room

Another angle of the dining room

The office downstairs -- Brian's desk (I still need to clean mine :)

Friends and Shopping

My friend Courtney has been in town for the last 3 weeks with her little girl -- staying at her in-laws. It was so great to have some girl time with her and chat. Her husband is serving in Iraq, and it was just so encouraging to hear how God is providing for and sustaining Courtney through this time. I wish Courtney lived closer.

A picture of us after some shopping on Saturday

The youth group girls & some parents -- I had helped coordinate this shopping event

Brian's 26th Birthday

This year, I surprised Brian with Eagles tickets for his birthday. I actually had to give him the present a few weeks ago because I knew he'd need to get his Sunday school class covered in order for us to make the game on time. I also had given him the book, Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy. When I presented him with the gift, it just looked like a book. But, inside the book I had wrapped the Eagles tickets to look like a bookmark. I had inscribed the front of the book, and mentioned he needed to check out the bookmark. I think he was a little surprised and I was happy :). So, Sunday we went to the game with my dad and Brian's dad also. We had a great time, even though the Eagles lost. And, we managed not to freeze to death :).

Bri and me -- snow hats just aren't right with my curly hair

My dad, Brian's dad, Bri

The "Link" field -- pregame

I also threw a wine-tasting party for Brian's birthday at our house last Friday night. We had 3 other couples over, and had such a great time -- eating lots of appetizers and cheese, sipping wine, laughing, eating too many desserts. Fun times.

Mike, Tricia, Jeff, Jenna

Mike, his daugher Sophia, and the other Mike

Jenna holding Jeff & Tricia's baby Gavin

Baby Gavin, snuggled and ready to head home