Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No man is a failure who has friends (and family, of course)

Ava loves to drive the last leg of the journey to Mimi and Coach's house, the mile-long dirt road through the cow pasture.

Game faced to drive

Josh gave me a set of pasta rollers for my KitchenAid mixer for Christmas. After having the attachment for 10 days I've already made fresh pasta three times.

Jaryn and I started making ravioli and fresh tomato sauce from scratch at 3:30. We all sat down to eat at 8:45. But it was SO worth it, and such fun to make.

First we made semolina flour wells with egg, olive oil, and salt in the middle.

See, it's lots of fun?

Gradually stirring the flour into the egg mixture.

Kneading the pasta dough

Rolling the pasta dough thin and flat

Spooning the cheese mixture onto the pasta dough

We folded the pasta dough over, sealed, and cut out the ravioli.

Finally, we boiled the ravioli until they floated to the top.

The finished product

After our late dinner, we taught Dusty, Jaryn, Sarah, and Ray how to play Settlers of Catan.

It's tough to learn, but oh such a blast. Always a great time when the Millers are around.

The next day Ava and I met up with some of our dearest (not oldest, I didn't say oldest) friends. R (center) and K (far right) are the kind of friends who you can go years without seeing and pick right back up where you left off. We were especially excited to see K, who lives far far away. I love how the holidays bring families and friends back together. R and K took turns loving on Nolan and Ava James.

Hey Joe, look how good baby looks on K!

Old, er dear, friends

Later our Cam drove out to Frost for a visit. Another sweet, forever friend.

The Farmers drove up the driveway from Matt's house to catch up. Josh and Matt grew up living less than a mile away from each other. It was precious to watch our girls play together.

Little Matt and Little Josh play peek-a-boo.

A familiy-ish shot

Sure there are other bathrooms, but why in the world would we spread out? Six people in 5 square feet makes total sense. Hey if the Brady's can do it so can we.

After our Frost Christmas we headed to spend a few days with Baba and Pops. As soon as we unbuckled the car seat, Ava and Baba started making gingerbread men.

PJ love with Daddy

How baby Nolan spent most of his first Christmas -

Beef Bourguigonne has become a Christmas tradition. It's an 'all hands on deck' kind of meal.

Sitting down for Christmas lunch

Happy to spend some time with her Mamaw and Papa, which she spells 'MLML' and 'PLPL' because that's how she pronounces it.

The three youngest at the Raines family Christmas. Aren't they adorable?

I never dreamed we'd be able to see so many of our friends and family members over our Christmas break. We can't wait to get back to Norman and catch up with our Oklahoma bunch. Check back soon for a 6th anniversary celebration post.
Hope your holidays were merry and bright!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Josh lassoed the moon for me

Last week Ava and I headed to Texas while Josh finished up his finals. After days of biting wind in Oklahoma, Ava was excited for warm, bike riding weather.

Snuggling with cousin Nolan in their Christmas pajamas

A trip to see Dr. Brandon Crawford, chiropractor extraordinaire, at his new practice.
The cough and sniffles went away, thanks Uncle B!

Ready to have a merry, well-adjusted Christmas

On Saturday we celebrated Aunt Jaryn's graduation from Sam Houston State University.

HLS flew in just in time to catch the ceremony, with only a slight detour through Galveston...silly Coach.

Yay Jaryn!

Across the stage, officially finished with undergraduate work.

Happy family,

and extended family.

Ava and her sweet Aunt Jaryn

Some of our best friends, the Broadduses, also live in Huntsville. We were so excited to meet their new baby, Ethan, and spend a few days catching up on their lives.

Ava was only 4 months old when we met Courtney and Patrick. We all agreed it was very 'Freaky Friday' for them to have a baby now.

Patrick didn't seem to need any advice from Josh on how to properly wrap himself around Ethan's little finger.

Last Christmas (so resisting the urge to follow those words with "I gave you my heart") the Broadduses taught us how to play Settlers of Catan. We spent an embarrassing amount of time playing the addicting board game. This year we couldn't wait to resume play on the Island. Happy to say, now that we've spent two Christmas breaks playing Settlers, it's officially a tradition, and must be continued. We're Aggies, remember?

Speaking of Aggies, since we were already (sort of ) in the neighborhood, we decided to head to College Station on our way back to Frost. We drove by the apartment complex where Josh lived during his non-married undergrad years.

His old bachelor pad

I've always felt a little 'Anne of Green Gables' about this building's name. You know the scene where Anne first sees Berry's Pond, and she finds out its boring, non-Sparkly name. She promptly renames the it 'The Lake of Shining Waters'. Can't we come up with a better name for this gorgeous edifice than 'the systems building'? BORING

Matt Farmer this is for you.

Josh and I often reminisce with fellow Ags about the little old guy who used to run around College Station in his short shorts. He'd find a crowded intersection, and grab onto a pole with both of his wrinkled hands. Then, to entertain everyone waiting at the never ending red light, he'd kick his legs completely parallel with the ground and hold himself that way for incredible amounts of time. We'd honk, yell congratulations and appreciation out the window, and he'd dismount and continue running - with total old guy swagger.

Imagine our surprise when we saw a familiar face running through the parking lot.

(I apologize for not catching him in pole action. After I typed this I googled him and discovered this website just to prove my point.)

We had to make the annual pilgrimage to our Mecca.

The Welcome to Aggieland water tower

Always balmy in College Station

See Josh Whoop

See Autumn Whoop

Welcome indeed. College Station always feels like home to us.
We both think that A&M needs a law school so Josh can become King of it, and me the Queen by default.

All you non-Ags just keep scrollin' faster.

I saw these numbers and HAD to have the shot. Thanks to Josh for actually snapping where my arms couldn't reach.

The Zone

The Zone through the uprights

Gigantic Aggie ring

On our way up Josh's parents driveway we noticed the moon was huge, and sitting right on the horizon. By the time we kissed Ava hello eleventybillion times and unloaded our car, it had risen quite a bit. We still tried to capture a few shots of the moon.

Josh lassoed it

just for me.

Click here for a little bit of Christmas happy.