Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Year's Eve

For New Year's Eve we "stayed in" with Fernando's family. We all went to Mass and then everyone came over to our house so we could put the girls to sleep at bedtime. Once they were in bed we made dinner (Raclette!) and enjoyed a leisurely meal that lasted a few hours! We had a great time slowly cooking our food, sipping on champagne, and laughing while sharing stories.  

 All the meat, seafood, veggies, cheese and bread -- with these ingredients, how can you go wrong?!
 Cooking up our food with the cheese melting underneath 
How cute are they!?

A New Year's Eve tradition- 12 grapes for each person to eat one grape at each stroke of midnight. We also had a special champagne for a midnight toast that Laura and Svet picked out! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Christmas 2014

For Christmas day we went to Mass at our Parish with Fernando's parents (Laura had to work) and then came back and had brunch at our house. I made scones and we have juice, coffee and fresh fruit. 

After visiting for a bit, and of course taking some pictures, my in-laws went home and us four opened gifts as a family. We also facetimed with my family to talk and open the gifts they got us (and vice versa.) Then we all took naps, all four of us! 

Later in the evening we had everyone over for Christmas dinner. Since we had already had the "traditional" Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve (ham, potatoes, salad, veggies, etc), I decided to make Mexican food! I grew up eating Mexican food for Christmas dinner-- tamales, beans, rice, chips and salsa! Although instead of tamales I made these pork carnitas. I of course also made beans, rice, chips and salsa to go with the carnitas. 
It was great to be in our own home to celebrate Christmas. And although I would have loved to go see my family in California for the Holidays, it was a nice break to not have to travel across the country, especially with babies! 

 These are the best ones we got of us, blurry and pathetic attempt at a family photo. Just one more reason I am forever grateful we got these professional ones done! ;) 

 Lucia reading her new books
ps. that Little People Nativity set was the girls' favorite thing this Advent/Christmas! Lucia looooved playing with it and asking who each figure was. My parents gave it to the girls last Christmas and I can tell it will be a favorite for many years to come. It's perfectly kid friendly which means I just leave it out on our coffee table all of Advent/Christmas time and not have to worry about pieces getting broken or chewed on (I'm looking at you, Regina). 

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve at Laura's house. We made dinner, opened gifts while the dinner was finishing up and then sat and ate a wonderful meal. 

Lucia picked the gifts out and handed them to Nonno so he could read the tag and tell her who to give each gift to. She loved this job!

Maria Lucia requested we have a cake to sing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus. So we did!  
I love this picture for two reasons: 
1. This dessert was a work of art! How amazing is that strawberry flower?!
2. Because the out-of-focus sprinkles in the back almost look like Christmas lights! So festive. 

Back at our house later Christmas Eve night, putting the gifts under the tree...
Our massive (leaning) Christmas tree
I made the mistake of sending Fernando out for the Christmas tree by himself with the instructions to "get a big tree!" I put my hand up in the air when saying it so I figured it was self explanatory that I wanted a nice, tall tree! Well he came back with the fattest tree I've ever seen! I'm not sure this picture truly captures the immensity of it, it was HUGE! And once the Christmas season was over and the tree was out of our living room, the room felt sooo much bigger without it in there. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Highlights from our November 

Exploring the Museum of Life and Science with our friends/neighbors the Steffens.
Lucia dumped out the entire basket of toys and then asked if I could put Regina in it. She then filled up the basket back up with toys. I thought Regina would hate it since she was stuck in there but she had her milk and was loving it!
I make soups and stews a lot more in the fall/winter months. I like the do some of my regulars and mix in some new ones. This Lemon Chicken Orzo soup was one the new recipes I tried. It was amazing and I definitely recommend it!

When Fernando puts Lucia to bed, they always sit in the corner with the light off and they read by the  light of the nightlight.
My friend Lisa works for the beautiful Southern Wedding Magazine. In November they launched their 7th edition and she kindly invited Ana and I to their launch party! It was a great night at the beautiful Umstead Hotel with delicious southern food, amazing drinks and a fun photo booth!


(Left) Pregnancy cravings and the best husband ever (I screen shot it at 7 am but that convo really went down at 9pm when he was leaving from moonlighting)
(right) How we spend a sunday night in- drawing the layout of our future home. No plans to build one at any point in the near future, but we can dream. 


(left) days at the park in November where you can wear a short sleeved T-shirt are worth documenting.
(right) Maria Lucia got into that kitchen by herself but she definitely needed help getting out.


and last but not least- Family photos

Family Photos!

Is is just me or is taking family photos the best?! Don't get me wrong, as the mom, there is a lot of stress involved-- we have to pick the photographer, choose a date and location for the session, pick out everyone's outfits and make sure they coordinate (but aren't too matchy matchy). And then the day of we have to get ourselves and everyone else ready! But! all of this planning/executing is worth it once you get the final pictures back! Pictures that capture a moment in time for your family that you get to keep forever! It's the best. 

I had a huge smile on my face the second I got the email from Anna saying the pictures were ready to view! I started looking through them immediately and was SO HAPPY with how they turned out!  
Anna of Anna Routh Photography was our photographer. She did an AMAZING job! Not just with the edits but during the session she was SO great with the girls. She remembered everyones name and was able to help get the girls to look/cooperate. She made it so fun for us.
So if you live in the Triangle area, I can't recommend her enough.

Anyway, on to the pictures! 

 Always jumping- this girl!

 Laura and Svet were there to help!
It was great having them stand behind the photographer and get the girls to look/laugh. They also watched the girls so we could get some pictures of just Fernando and I.
And of course, we wanted some pictures with them too!