Monday, December 29, 2008

Can you say iPhone?

As I posted earlier, my main Christmas present from Ken was an iPod, which I had requested earlier this year. However, I've also been wanting a new cell phone. So instead of keeping the iPod and dealing with my old phone for longer, we decided to try and get a new phone that would also play music. We drove around Kenner and Metairie this past Saturday to a few different cell service providers to see what was out there. I thought I had wanted a Blackberry Pearl since I have a couple of friends who like theirs a lot. Then Kenny suggested an iPhone, which I never thought I would end up with. Little did I know! His brother, sister, and sister-in-law all have one and absolutely LOVE it. We did the research on both and crunched the numbers, and although the iPhone was a lot higher of a cost up front, the monthly charge wasn't much more than for the Pearl. So Ken took the iPod back to Target, and I am the proud owner of a brand new iPhone for Christmas! There is so much it can do, and I'm really excited about it. Technology is cool.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day

After being up late the night before, we all managed to drag ourselves out of bed by 7:30am to head downstairs for coffee and presents. The immediate family gifts were opened first, and the rest of the crew showed up around 10am for breakfast and more gifts. As always it was great chaotic fun.

After finishing up at my parent's house Kenny and I picked up his grandfather in Metairie and headed across the Causeway to Mandeville and his parents' house. Despite the thick fog and a one-lane, 35 mph restriction, we made it across the bridge in just under an hour and a half. Wow. Since we were late, we ate dinner soon after we arrived, and everything was so good. By that time I was ready to crawl into bed with my nephew for a nap, but there were loads of presents to open, so we opted for that instead. It was fun watching Zac discover all of his fun Christmas toys....he wanted to open and play with everything he got! After a couple of hours by the tree and a dessert of yummy bread pudding, it was time to pack up and head back across the lake.

When we got back to my parents' house everyone was still there and waiting for Kenny and I to break out Apples to Apples again. Another long night of games ensued. What a great way to end Christmas Day 2008!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner at GW Fin's

So my family used to have Christmas Eve dinner at my parents' house, but Mom decided that it was too much work for her and that she'd rather go out to eat. What a great decision! Every place we've been to in past years is so festive and fun, and this year was no exception at GW Fin's in the Quarter. There were 16 of us at one long table, and everyone had a great time. The food was fabulous, the wine was delicious, and each family even got a little treat to take home: a hand-painted ornament made out of a Louisiana blue crab shell. So cute!

Kenny's parents even got in on the fun, and we're so glad they did!

Brian, Mom, and Aunt Dawn

Only one half of our big table!

Time to move the party....let's go, people!

Even though it took three hours to eat, most of us gathered back at my parents' house for more drinks and games. Jeff fired the Wii up for the kids while the rest of us played Apples to Apples. Seriously, if you haven't heard of this game, you have to try it! We had SO much fun, and people didn't leave until after 1am!

Wii and Apples to Apples....what could be better?

Christmas (Eve) Morning!

Since Kenny and I were going to be in New Orleans for Christmas Eve dinner and all of Christmas Day, we decided to do our own "Christmas morning" in Lafayette before leaving for NOLA. We woke up pretty early, and Kenny made a great omelet, sausage, and waffle breakfast. After our meal we sat down in front of our tree to open presents. Kenny got Beer Chips (made with real beer, in 3 different flavors!), ShamWow! towels, two gardening tools, and the set of 5 LSU CWS posters from the Advocate. I got two kinds of chocolate, 2 ski hats (one black, one purple), a new penguin ornament, and an i-Pod Nano! We had a great morning just the two of us before we had to get on the road to my parents' house.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Acadien Noel au Village

Last night Kenny and I went to Acadiana's version of "Celebration in the Oaks." Over here they call it Acadien Noel au Village, and the lights are in an old Cajun village that normally hosts school groups and tourists during the rest of the year. But for three weeks in December the area is turned into a grand display of the Christmas season. Kenny asked if I wanted to go tonight instead, when it would be warmer, but I didn't mind going out in the one cold night we'll get this week. It made it feel more like Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Beans Gig at Rock 'N Bowl

Kenny and I were in New Orleans for most of this past weekend for family gatherings, and we were able to catch the Funky Beans at Rock 'N Bowl for their annual Saturday-before-Christmas gig. The turnout was good, and it was fun to see everyone together in one place!

Kenny and me

Kat and her awesome holiday shirt!

Lizzie, Robin, Amy, me, Becky, Bridget, Ashley, and Kat

Jerry, Jeff, Steve, Tony, Greg, Brian, and James

Lizzie and her big brother

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Next, please!

Well, it started out capturing my attention, but then it diverged into many different directions. Divisadero did not turn out the way I thought it would. Instead of being one story about three major characters, it was actually three stories, one for each. It lacked cohesion to tie everything together, so it definitely wasn't a favorite of mine. Oh, never know 'til you try! I am moving on to Duma Key, by Stephen King, on my dad's recommendation. It seems to be more of a mystery/suspense kind of novel instead of horror, which is just fine by me. Here's hoping I'll like this one!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Last night Kenny and I went to see "Australia," which I've been wanting to see ever since I saw a preview. Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman have great chemistry, and the story is good, although a little slow at times (the movie runs almost three hours). And while a shirtless Hugh is always nice on the big screen, the best part of this movie was a previously unknown actor named Brandon Walters. He plays a young aboriginal boy called Nullah, and his performance is incredibly emotional and moving, with a touch of comedy thrown in for good measure. I hope "Australia" is only the beginning of a long career for Brandon.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Book update

I finished The Clearing a while ago and moved on to a mindless read called Atlantis, by David Gibbins. It was a fun little adventure novel. Now I'm into Divisadero, by Michael Ondaatje. I am not very far into it yet, but this one is capturing my attention so far. It's about the interconnected lives of three unrelated people from California who were raised as siblings. Two girls and a boy, the three are close in their teen years, only to drift apart later in life based upon certain events. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Anniversary Wedding Cake

Since we were in New Orleans staying at a hotel on our one year anniversary, Kenny and I didn't get a chance to break out our wedding cake top until last night. I was very scared that it was going to taste freezer-burned and stale, but it actually survived its year-long cold confinement quite well. And I am so excited it did, especially since I only got one little taste of it on our wedding night. It is yummy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow? In Louisiana??

Kenny came back into our room this morning before he left for work, which he never does, so I rolled over and wondered what the reason was. He kissed me on the cheek and asked if I wanted to come see the snow. Needless to say, I bolted out of bed, took one look out of our windows, and threw on a jacket and some shoes to go outside. Now, half an hour later, it has already turned to rain and the snow is starting to melt. But it was really pretty while it lasted!

I apologize for my appearance, but I had literally just woken up!

Our house....with SNOW!

Our street....with SNOW!

Our backyard....with SNOW!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Christmas Tree, Part 2

MUCH better. We finished up with the tree late last night, and I found time today to wrap all of our Christmas presents and to clean up the mess we made. There truly isn't anything like a Christmas makes me smile just to look at it. And it smells so good! Here's the finished product!

O Christmas Tree

Kenny and I finally came back home on Sunday night after a week and a half in New Orleans, and we stopped at Home Depot for our Christmas tree before heading to the house. We got there just in time before they closed for the night and found a great tree (we hoped). Most of their trees were still bound up from transport, but the worker guy said those were the best ones. So we picked a tree that was the perfect height and crossed our fingers that it would look good once we got it in the house.

We left the tree in water in the garage Sunday night and then Kenny brought it inside last night so we could decorate it. He did a fabulous job with the lights and then we moved on to ornaments. We got a bunch as wedding presents (one of the perks of being married in early December!), so it was fun to rediscover all of them. My mom's good friend Lynne gave us a whole box of ornaments as a wedding shower present, but since they were all wrapped up in tissue paper, I hadn't looked at them until last night. Thanks, Lynne: you picked out some gorgeous ones!

It's a mess now, but it'll be pretty when everything's up!

Checking out all of our fun ornaments!

The finishing touch: a star from my mom

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Saints Win!!!

The Saints beat the Falcons yesterday in a very exciting home contest at the Superdome. Kenny and I were lucky enough to get tickets in section 651 (thanks Sean and Leah!), so we were able to sit with the whole crew way up near the top. This was also my cousin Brian's first ever NFL game to attend in person. I'm so glad our boys could come away with a win for him! Now let's see if the Black and Gold can make it to the playoffs.....

Pre-game brunch at Allegro Bistro

Brouss isn't shy about staking claim to leftovers!

Me and Kenny

The Section 651 gang, plus Kenny

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baking Day

Today was my mom's first official Baking Day of the 2008 holiday season. Every year she makes about a dozen different kinds of cookies to give away to a list of people during Christmastime. She schedules about 3 or 4 days to bake, and she usually has company on all of them, either with family doing their own holiday baking or with friends who just drop by to smell the smells and taste the goods. Once everything has been made Mom puts together assortment boxes so that everyone can have a small sample of each kind of Christmas treat. She has thought of stopping this tradition since it is an extraordinary amount of work, but every time she mentions it in mixed company the reaction is always the same: "NOOO!!!!!"

Mom and QP

Abita Pub Crawl

Last night Kenny and I met up with some friends in the Warehouse District for an Abita pub crawl. We hadn't been to one in a long time, so it was lots of fun to do the crawl again. It also helped that all of the stops were within walking distance of our hotel! We didn't check out until this morning, so it was a perfect way to end our stay in downtown New Orleans. The stops included 7 on Fulton, Lucy's, Vic's, Ernst Cafe, and Grand Isle. Always a good time!

Me and Kenny

Me, Trisha, and Erin (my future sis-in-law!)

Kenny and Scott being silly....but the beer was a little foamy at Lucy's

I love this pic of Ken!

Kenny, Kat, Ryan, me, and Scott

Katie, Jay, Erin, Jeff, me, Kenny, and Trisha

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