Did everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving? Are your Christmas decorations up? We have Christmas trees decorated, lights hung outside (a fun first for us), and I have the NSync Christmas album on in my car. The Christmas season is upon us, but before I get too swept up into the most wonderful time of the year, here are some highlights from the past month!
1) Decorating our first big Christmas tree!
Our little Christmas tree served us well over the years in our cozy Boston apartment, and it will continue to bring festive cheer in our library, but this year, we graduated to a full-sized tree in our living room. I'm pretty excited about it!
2) Thanksgiving with the family
As I mentioned, this was our first year to spend Thanksgiving with family since moving away from Texas. We drove to Austin to spend the day with my husband's wonderfully large and boisterous family. We ate well, we chatted and laughed, we watched football, and we played with puppies and little children. Later at my in-laws' home, Charlie had the best time playing in the lake bed of Lake Travis, intrepidly jumping in and out of the chilly water (a little stream through the lake bed is all that's left on their part of the lake)!
3) Our first fire in our first fireplace
November brought unseasonably cold weather (and even a little snow!!) to the Dallas area, so we enjoyed the excuse to put our new fireplace to use. Curled up on the couch in pj's, dog curled up on the rug, and Apple-Ginger Hot Toddies in hand, it was pretty great.
4) Pie Night!Do you know what else I was thankful for this Thanksgiving season? Living within driving distance of our friends Liz and Peter, who hosted their annual Pie Night celebration on Thanksgiving Eve. This year, Liz baked 17 pies from scratch, and we happily helped her eat them. My favorite (besides her classic French Silk Pie) was a Lemon Sour Cream Pie. Delicious!
Wurstfest is one of my favorite places on earth, and we had the best time this year with my husband's family. Beer, bratwurst, and polka music -- what's not to like?
6) Breakfast Date at the Allen Café
Both my husband and I have work schedules such that every other Friday, we have the day off. On one of our off Fridays this month, we went out for a "Breakfast Date" as an excuse to try the Allen Cafe. It's the cutest little local spot serving up classic diner fare...and one of my personal favorites, Chicken Fried Steak and eggs!
7) Catching an Allen Americans game
Why are minor league sports so much fun? I love minor league baseball and hockey games, so we jumped at the chance to go see the Allen Americans take the ice. They won the game, and there were a couple good fights, so it was quite a success!
8) Wine and Star Wars Mad Libs
I can't say this is one of the fanciest date nights we've ever had, but gosh did I enjoy sipping on a glass of wine and laughing over silly Mad Libs stories about lightsabers and the Force. (Speaking of Star Wars, everyone saw the Episode VII trailer right? I went from cautiously excited to very excited).
9)Paying a visit to perennial Longhorn Band favorite, Posse East
My husband and I went to the Texas-TCU game on Thanksgiving, and beforehand, we grabbed a beer at this wonderfully dive-y bar, a much-frequented haunt of Longhorn Band kids (and plenty of other UT folks), and it was great to be back! We also ran into friends at the Unofficial Official Longhorn Alumni Band tailgate on our way to the stadium! Despite the score, it was great to be back at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium (our first time back since graduation).
10) A good bowl of Pho!
Last but not least, we found good pho in Fairview at Pho Crystal! It seems to be a little family-run place, and the food is wonderful. I've been hooked on pho ever since trying the (admittedly unorthodox) vegetarian pho at Happy Veggie in Redondo Beach, and I've been missing Pho #1 in Woburn, so finding this little gem was pretty exciting news.