Saturday, December 28, 2013

S'mores and Family Traditions

Our first Christmas came and went, and it was fun creating traditions as newlyweds.  Family traditions have always been part of what I love so much about each holiday.  Jon and I each had important family traditions that we had to incorporate into our first Christmas.  For Jon, it's not Christmas until he eats at Red Lobster on Christmas Eve or watches Home Alone or Christmas Vacation.  It's not Christmas if he doesn't have a peppermint ice cream dessert that our friend Christie makes.  It's not Christmas without snow. 

For me it's not Christmas until I've seen It's A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer {I'm more of a vintage, classic, b&w movie kinda girl}.  It's also not Christmas if I don't make gingerbread cookies, eat a Christmas Tree taco salad, look at lights, or have a smorgasbord of food for Christmas Eve dinner. 
While I couldn't make it snow here in Alabama I could make sure we ate at Red Lobster and watched his favorite movies.  I wanted his first "Christmas in Dixie" to be a fun one!  We still did our favorite family traditions as a couple and we made some of our own this year.
We went to look at Christmas lights in Homewood on Christmas Eve Eve {or Christmas Adam as my sister calls it!} after we ate a Christmas Tree taco salad. 

We stopped first at our new favorite coffee house, O'Henry's. for some coffee, and then we drove around the neighborhoods of Homewood looking at all of the Christmas lights.

On Christmas Eve we went to Red Lobster for lunch before going to the Christmas Eve service at my church.  That made it feel like Christmas Eve for Jon!  After going to the Christmas Eve service we made a smorgasbord of food and then watched my all time favorite movie It's A Wonderful Life. 

Smorgasbord on Christmas Eve

Then we went to bed early with our Christmas pajamas so Santa could come! After all, Louella Mae had been a very sweet girl this year! :)   Yes Santa Paws was good to her!  Bless her little heart she's already lost most of the toys Santa Paws brought her!

On Christmas morning we got up and took turns opening presents {which is something both of our families do}.  We got a gorgeous painting from my parents.  A family friend of ours painted a picture of our wedding day.  The barn looked just like Sweet Apple Farm, and the tree looked like the one we got married under.  Thanks Sylvia! 

We had our Christmas dinner and ate way too much food!  My Momma cooked turkey and dressing, a ham, green bean bundles, and broccoli salad.  For dessert, we had Jon's favorite peppermint ice cream dessert and pecan pie. 
It's always sad when Christmas morning is over...all the presents have been opened and the food has been we decided we would save our s'mores and hot chocolate date for Christmas Night to have something to look forward to!  We had so much fun making s'mores together.  We used some of the Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark in Jon's stocking for some of the s'mores--and those were the best! We made them, and then broiled them in the oven for about two minutes.  Jon *only* wanted ONE!!!  Of course I made him more than one...I knew he'd want more when ate one.  They are called S'MORES...because you can't have just one!  He did want more than one when he started eating them!  HA!  I knew it! 

We made a fire, and ate our s'mores and hot chocolate while we watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer together.  We decided that would be another one of our Christmas traditions together. 
Jon also came along to two very important family traditions--Red Mountain Theatre and watching a Christmas movie at The Alabama Theatre.  Red Mountain is kind of like a broadway Christmas show in small town Alabama.  I like to say that it's Birmingham's best kept secret! 

Jon loved the musical, and I always love all of the dancing in it!  We went to the historic Alabama Theatre to watch White Christmas.  Jon loved the history and the architecture of The Alabama.
What are your Christmas traditions?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On the Seventh {Through the Twelfth} Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me...

Merry Christmas y'all!  For the seventh day of Christmas I gave Jon his favorite Christmas dessert--peppermint ice cream. 

It has a chocolate-y nut mixture on the bottom with peppermint ice cream on top.  I added extra nuts and crushed up candy canes to the top.  This is a dessert that our friend Christie makes every Christmas, and the one request for Christmas from Jon.  He said it tasted like hers!  Thanks Christie for sending me the recipe!

For the eighth day I gave Jon a Chicago Bears ornament. 

He loves the Chicago Bears so I knew he'd like this football ornament to put on our Christmas tree!  I had him guess all the things he could think it would be before he opened the present!  I even had him thinking it really wasn't anything related to the Chicago Bears!  HA!

For the ninth day I gave him an evening of s'mores and hot chocolate by the fire.  We are going to do this tonight!  We decided to save it and make it a Christmas night tradition!  I'll post pictures of this later.

For the tenth day it was to make a gingerbread house together.....but....we didn't make a gingerbread house!  We made gingerbread cookies instead.  Making gingerbread cookies is a family tradition that I love.  Gingerbread cookies were my sweet Paw Paw's favorite cookie, so they always make me think of him.  I like my gingerbread cookies thin--just like my Paw Paw! 

Every Christmas we have made these cookies.  While my Momma, Amanda, and I make gingerbread men, snowman, Santa, etc; my Daddio always makes "Monster Gingerbread Men".  That means he gives the gingerbread man three heads, an extra know...funny crazy gingerbread men!  So....Jon and Mason {my sister's husband} joined Daddio in making monster gingerbread men!  HA!
Monster Gingerbread--Cat Santa Clause!  HA!

We are going to make a list of the Top Ten memories we have together for 2013 for the eleventh day. 

We haven't done this yet because we have been busy with Christmas I'll put that up later.

The twelfth day of Christmas was Jon's last day of Christmas Love. 

It was for a special Christmas Eve breakfast.  I made pancakes and fried bacon.  I made the pankcakes look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

I think that will become one of our special Christmas Eve traditions!  We started several traditions together this year, and incorporated important traditions we have with our families...more on that later! 

Merry Christmas from the Werkmeisters!  We hope that all y'all have had a wonderful Christmas season!

Our first Christmas card!
Happy Birthday Jesus!

I'm off to make s'more and hot chocolate with Jon! Merry Christmas y'all!


Friday, December 20, 2013

On the Fourth {Fifth and Sixth} Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me...

The Twelve Days of Christmas Love for Jon is still going on.  Jon is having fun seeing what he gets everyday!  For the fourth day of Christmas love I gave him a date to go and look at Christmas lights. 

I don't think I'll ever get tired of going to look at Christmas lights!  It's so pretty and magical to see how people are so creative decorating their homes outside.  When Amanda {my sister} and I were growing up in Mobile, AL we always looked forward to going to Chickasaw, AL to look at Christmas lights with our parents.  The houses were all lit up and decorated to the fullest--every house had lights, and you could see the neighborhood lit up from a mile away!  Picture the neighborhood on "Christmas With the Kranks" and that is what the neighborhood in Chickasaw looked like!  It's sad to me that not as many people decorate outside anymore.  We haven't had time yet to go and look at Christmas lights, but we decided we would do that this I'll post some pictures of that date later.
For the fifth day of Christmas love I gave Jon his favorite dinner.

He was kind of confused and said "didn't we just have that?" He was referring to the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza I had made him for day three!  Ha!  For his dinner he picked Tiger Sauce chicken, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. 

While I don't really cook, I had made Tiger Sauce chicken for Jon one night when he came over while we were still in Hattiesburg.  If you like spicy food then you would like Tiger Sauce chicken!  It's also good on pork chops.  This is a recipe I think my Aunt Betty came up with! 

For the sixth day of Christmas love I gave Jon a date to watch his favorite Christmas movie. 

When I was making the dates, I knew he would pick Home Alone...and he did!  I actually gave him ALL 4 Home Alone movies for one of his birthday presents.  I did not know they made four Home Alone movies {3 and 4 have another kid instead of Kevin}.  We have not watched Home Alone yet, but I think I'll pop some popcorn and maybe make some hot chocolate for our movie date!  Of course, Louella Mae will get to come and watch too!  I'll post some pictures of that date later. 

Tiger Background
Font:  Georgia Belle

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On the Third Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me...

Jon is a foodie...he loves all kinds of food....he's not a picky eater like me...he eats almost anything!  His favorite food is pizza....a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza that is. I remember going home to Rockford with Jon over the summer to meet his friends and family.  I couldn't wait to see the sights in Chicago and experience all of the places that Jon had always talked about.  I was excited to try a Chicago deep dish pizza while we were in Chicago!  Gino's East was where Jon, his best friend Conn, and I went for my first experience of a Chicago deep dish pizza.  I didn't know what to expect, and then when I saw the sauce was on top of the pizza instead of the cheese I thought that was different.  Of course, that's what makes it a traditional Chicago style pizza I guess!

Ready for a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Gino's East in The Windy City!

For Jon's third day of Christmas Love, I gave him a homemade Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.

I looked online and found a recipe for a homemade Chicago deep dish pizza.  Many people had commented on the recipe of how it tasted like the real deal, almost as good as Gino' I thought I'd try it out.  This was a homemade Chicago deep dish pizza...homemade dough and homemade sauce...everything was made from scratch.  I'm *so not* a cook, but I promised it to him, so I had to deliver on my promise!   It took about 3 hours to make, and when it was finished cooking it looked like a Chicago deep dish pizza...but how it tasted was key for my hubby. 
Homemade Deep Dish Chicago Pizza

Jon said that it tasted just like the real Chicago Deep Dish pizzas from some of his favorite pizza places....mission accomplished! I added sausage and pepperoni to the top {I only like cheese, so I wanted to see which side was only cheese}.  Ok, ok....I also added a little more Parmesan cheese to the top than called for...I'm a cheese girl!

You can click *here* for the recipe to make your own Chicago Deep Dish pizza.  Let me know if you do and let me know how your Chicago deep dish pizza turned out!
You can click *here* to start from the beginning of The Twelve Days of Christmas Love for My Hubby.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

On The First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me...

On Thursday night Jon came home from working out to a find a surprise!  I was inspired by The Spouse Christmas Count Down by The Dating Divas; and I created Jon "Twelve Days of Christmas Love for My Hubby."
Cover Page of his banner "Twelve Days of Christmas Love"

I wanted each day to be personal and all about him...something that he likes to do, something special he wants to eat, fun Christmas activities to go and do.  I had already created the cards on my computer and printed them out, so as soon as he left I got busy on my surprise!  I knew I didn't have long.  I had twine and clothespins left over from our wedding so I used those to clip my cards.  I placed the cards face down, so each day is a surprise! 
This is what it looked like when he came home.

I explained to Jon that each day we will do whatever is on the card and that it would be things we could do together.  He was very excited, and couldn't wait to find out what was on the card the next morning! 

Friday started the countdown, and it was to go and get Christmas coffee from Starbucks.  I got a Gingerbread Latte and Jon got an Eggnog Latte on ice. 

This morning was day 2, and it was a dessert of his choice.  He picked Christmas sugar cookies.

 I think tomorrow will be one of his favorite days...Come back to see what the rest of the countdown surprises are!


*Graphics:  My Cute Graphics, Smitten Christmas
*Fonts:  Christmas Eve, Bodie MF Holly, Pea Cari

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree! {And Thanksgiving}

This post is a little late...but better late than never, right?!?  The first holiday we spent together as a married couple was Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love that it is a time to reflect on things that you are thankful for and a time to spend time with  family.  Of course being a Southern girl I love the food too!  My Momma makes the best dressing in the world.  I was excited for Jon to try Southern dressing (he has always had stuffing).  He thought that  it was weird the dressing was a side dish and not inside of the turkey; and I thought stuffing sounded weird.  He loved my Momma's dressing though!  We had fun making turkey cookies together! 

We wanted to go to Rockford, IL for Thanksgiving but things didn't work out for that this year.  I knew he was disappointed, so I was determined to make sure he had a good, Southern style Thanksgiving.  His one request was pumpkin pie...the kind that his Grandma used to make...the kind that only Cheryl (his sister) could make.  I asked Cheryl for the recipe, and she sent it me.  I printed off the recipe...and y'all..ohmiword....the pie crust DID NOT have butter in it!  In the South we put butter in EVERYTHING, and I've never made a pie crust without butter.  I joked with Jon that he was going to get his Yankee pumpkin pie because there wasn't butter in the pie crust. (He thought that was funny).  I made it...and he said it tasted just like his Grandma's and Cheryl's pumpkin pie.  Thanks Cheryl!  His family always goes to a movie on Thanksgiving, so we kept that tradition going.  We went to see Frozen and it's the cutest movie ever!  I'm a big Disney fan!

The day after Thanksgiving is when I start my Christmas decorating.  I don't like to mix Holidays.  I was so excited to go and pick out our Christmas tree.  Picking out a real tree is a family tradition that I love so much!
We don't have a lot of room, so we got a small tree.  I thought it was so little, but it's actually as tall as me!
We've been collecting ornaments from the different places we have visited since we got engaged.  It was fun talking about the memories we had with each ornament.  
This one is from when I went home with Jon to meet his family & friends.

The Mickey and Minnie bride & groom is a favorite of mine from our Honeymoon!

We went to New Orleans for the day on our 3rd date.  Jon tried beignets (a French donut) for the first time at CafĂ© du Monde.
My sister Amanda made us a gorgeous burlap tree skirt, and I love it she did an awesome job!

We used dried Baby's Breath from our wedding and burlap and lace ribbon left from the wedding on the tree.   Louella Mae has been banned from the room because she wants to chew on the lights and tree branches {but it's precious}.  We're excited about celebrating Christmas together, and starting our own family traditions.  Come back tomorrow and see how I surprised Jon with "Twelve Days of Christmas Love for My Hubby."  I can't really talk about it yet, because he doesn't get to find out about it until's a Secret!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It Had to be You

Lots of people have asked about how Jon and I met, got engaged, fell in love, today I'm gonna share our love story with you.  Jon and I met at a country concert/ basketball game in January with mutual friends, Christy and Jason.  A few days later we went on our first date to Logan's Roadhouse.  After our first date, we pretty much saw each other every day!  The day we got engaged we drove to Orange Beach, AL.  It was my birthday weekend, and Jon was determined that we were going to the beach at some point that weekend!  He was very quiet, and by the time we got to the beach (about a 3 hour drive) I had decided Jon was going to break up with me!  I was trying to figure out who I knew close to the beach, and how I'd get back to Hattiesburg!  We did go eat lunch at The Oyster House--I had crab claws and chocolate chip peanut butter pie (ohmiword it's pretty much the best thing in the world!)  We got to the beach and Jon was trying to put the ring in his pocket when I walked over.  He said "what are you doing?!" as I was waiting on him.  I said "waiting on you!" in an annoyed voice (of course!)  He said "well can you go somewhere else?!" and I said "you want me to move?!?" (in an even more annoyed voice!) and he said "yes."  So of course I was getting mad at him!  We get to the beach and he continued standing up...I told him to sit down because he was making me nervous.  He kept telling me to stand up, so I finally did (and honestly I was annoyed).  He kept talking to me about stuff and I really don't know what he said....and then...he said those three little words.  Those three little words every girl wants to hear "I Love You"....and that was the first time he ever told me that he loved me.  He told me later that he waited because he wanted it to be special when he told me he loved me.  Then he got down on one knee at the beach and proposed!  I said yes!

I really don't exactly know when I fell in love with him--it's lots of little things that made me think he loved me and that I loved him.  When the F4 tornado hit Hattiesburg, he helped me get Louella Mae (my cat) and get in to the bathroom.  After he left, another tornado was heading down the road I lived on and he called to check on me and tell me to get back in to the bathroom.  Then Louella Mae got declawed and had a bad experience (I of course was so upset about it!) but he played with her, and let her sit with him....he really was not an animal person (until he met me of course!). 

Then I got really sick in March--and that was the test of all tests.  I got mono from wiping a tear away from one of my first graders.  Mono is the worst sickness anyone can ever get--there is no prescription for it.  You just have to get a lot of rest, and you can take Tylenol for the pain.  My whole body hurt, and I was so tired.  My face swelled up like a chipmunk and my eyes were almost swollen shut.  Jon kept bringing me food and Coca-Cola Icees and Tylenol, and even though I kept falling asleep (sometimes for hours) he'd stay until I would wake back up.  He took care of me, and didn't leave me when I was so sick--most guys would have.  I knew he was the one then...and for awhile I wondered how he felt....then I got my answer a few months later.

I asked Jon once when he knew I was the one he would marry, and he said he knew I was the one the day we met because of how easy it was to have a conversation with me!  He said he had a feeling when he went home that night that I was the one...and he was right!  I believe in soul mates--one true love--and I think God knew when he sent us both to Hattiesburg that we would meet.  Every heart break, and every decision we made lead us to each other and I thank God for bringing us together everyday.  So that is our love story!  What's your love story?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

We're the Werkmeisters

We have been married for two weeks now!  I still don't feel married but Jon w!does!  We will be posting pictures from our wedding soon.  We are so excited to see the pictures.  Here's an engagement picture for ya'll to see for now!
While I don't *really* remember anything from the wedding everyone says it was beautiful!  I remember bits and pieces but the day went by like a big blur.  I tried to soak in everything, but it all went by so fast.  Jon says the wedding was fun but went really fast. 
We got back Tuesday from our honeymoon.  It was "amazing" as Jon put it.  We had a blast in Fort Lauderdale.  Then we cruised to the Bahamas, and then we went to Disney World!  Jon and I spent his 30th birthday in Disney World last Monday.  We had so much fun! I'll post pictures from the Honeymoon soon!
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