Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Adventures

We celebrated New Year's Eve with my favorite blend of relaxed family fun and relaxed romantic fun. For the first part, I baked two kinds of dessert (s'more bars and brownies) and we had some friends and their kids over for sparklers and contraband roman candles. It was fun and everyone was gone and our kids were in bed by 7:30. Then, for the second part, JP and I cooked up a fancy home date night- filet mignon, twice-baked potatoes, fresh veggies, bread, wine that cost more than $8 (it was $11 and it was good), and champagne. We dressed up, we ate over the light of a single candle (I swear we used to own more, but we couldn't find them), and toasted to a wonderful year behind us and the possibilities of a wonderful year before us. We didn't stay up until midnight, but it was a perfect New Year's Eve anyway.

And in the spirit of the new year that began today, I baked cinnamon rolls from scratch for the first time ever -- from scratch!


Thank you Pioneer Woman for your recipe and step-by-step pictures.


Also in the spirit of the new year, I went on a run this morning before baking, so when I ate two of these babies immediately out of the oven, I felt I was in a place of perfect caloric karma.


The kids liked them too. Landon licked off all the frosting before eating; Claire just sucked off the frosting and abandoned the dessicated doughy bits. Efficient.

Our goal for this year is to go on more adventures. Simple ones, big ones, family ones, career ones... I think it's going to be a year of them.

One little adventure we had the other day was a day trip to Pedernales Falls State Park. I camped there as a little girl and remembered it being so far away, but as it turns out, it's only about 40 minutes from where we live now! It was a beautiful day and we had a blast hiking on the trails and then climbing up and over rocks around the falls.

After two hours of constant up and down, climbing and jumping, my legs were shaking and even JP admitted we were getting a work out. I don't know if I'll ever belong to a gym again (JP currently has a solo membership), but hiking outdoors is the kind of exercise I enjoy and hope to do more of this year. Adventures- it's going to be a theme.

I'm watching The Waitress on Lifetime because both my kids are asleep and JP is at practice swimming some ridiculously hard New Year's set that sounded more like punishment than the two hours of awesome his excited tone implied and my kitchen is clean and my work laptop is broken (it was an accident I swear) so I can indulge in a bit of daytime TV. Keri Russell just had her baby, and she's holding her saying, "We're going to have so much fun little girl. We're going to have SO MUCH FUN." And out of nowhere it made me cry (I'm not pregnant, I swear).

Because we are. We're going to have so much fun.


  1. That last picture is amazing.

  2. I love the last picture too!

    Those cinnamon rolls are amazing. We made them too. It's so much easier than I thought it would be. But then again I never thought I'd be the kind of person to keep yeast on hand either.

    Happy New Year!

  3. I am ALL ABOUT adventure right now! And I love, love, love Claire's little pigtails! They're too adorable.
    Happy New Year!

  4. That movie always makes me cry, too.

  5. great action shot there at the end! happy new year :) we did the pioneer woman cinnamon rolls at family christmas for the first time last year. big hit! (did you use coffee in the frosting? i skipped that step b/c i was just too skeptical)

  6. Fun! My boyfriend has that same backpack for his daughter. He really likes it. He also paid a lot more than you guys did. Good job!

  7. Thanks! I love that picture and I almost missed getting it. Landon couldn't make the jump across without getting wet, and I was one rock over, so JP just picked him up and made the leap with both kids. Just like a superhero ;)

    And P2P, I did not include the coffee. Mostly because I hate the taste of coffee and can ALWAYS taste it in recipes, no matter how small the quantity, but also (and relatedly), because there isn't any coffee in my house. I left out the maple flavoring too. I'm a classic kind of girl. Next time (and there will be a next time), I'm going to cut the rolls thicker and add some cream cheese to the frosting. I think that will mellow it out a bit (mine was super sweet- fine for me, but I think others would find them a bit much).

    Happy New Year to you all!

  8. My stomach is rumbling as I'm looking at your cinnamon roll photos at 1am. Yummy!

    Re. The Waitress: Not a great movie, but I would pay to see Nathan Fillion read his grocery list.

  9. I am catching up on old posts, and with the benefits of hindsight, you are definitely already having a year of adventures! It is going to be great. And I love that movie.