Wednesday, December 31, 2014

oh what a year!

i love the beginning of a new year.  the possibilities, the thought of what it will hold for us, the wonder of the things we will see (and eat), the memories we will make (and document.) i am so excited for 2015!

but change can be difficult.  closing that calendar and starting a new one is bittersweet for me.

i am ready to start a new year and to make it a better year.  2014 was... challenging mixed with amazing.  it was a series of mistakes and right choices.  a few unfortunate circumstances and lucky breaks.  moments of complete frustration and pure glee.  bobby and i have said to each other throughout the year, "this is a strange year."  the highs and lows, the good and the bad.  we had it all.

but the incredible thing is we can remember and take with us everything that was good about 2014 and leave behind everything else.  fresh starts rule!

so here's a bit of what made this year unforgettable.

2014 was the year...
we celebrated chinese new year in san francisco, and hung out with friends from school.

we took a private cooking class from a chef and had way too much fun - thanks to our friends!

i ran

and added another13.1 miles to my collection.

i read a book that i will never forget.

he played,

and played,

and played.

we celebrated happy birthdays,

happy mother's day,

happy father's day,

and just happiness.

he was a dodger.

she made her first communion.

we learned

and practiced.

we drove dream cars

and classic cars.

he built with legos, lots of legos.

we spent 10 days in paradise, and survived a rocky boat ride.

we ate good food

 and amazingly, good food.

 we made pies.

and kahlua bread pudding.

we drank wine on a bus (not while it was moving).

we had wine from "our" vineyard. (where we buy our grapes)

we replaced what was stolen.

we celebrated 20 years of partnership

and hard work.

we watched it come to life.

we passed the baton (and they ran with it.)

we went on an adventure with loved ones.

we drank way too many chestnut praline lattes

 and took awesome family photos.

 and awesome selfies too.

we loved and laughed and cried and drove and watched and coached and volunteered and hiked and studied and worked and flew and sang and danced and wrote and captured and made the most of the past 365 days.

and now we're ready for whatever is next.

and i predict that 2015 will be the best year yet!

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 weekly menu #01

christmas day breakfast
the energy and excitement of a new year are taking over.  these last few days we've been cleaning out closets and dressers, toys and the garage.  it feels good to get rid of stuff and make room for what is to come!

now we are making plans and goals for the new year.  work trips, fun trips, once in a lifetime trips.  changes in our lives - all for the good, and changes that it's time for.  my mind is so full of ideas and creativity and plans.  it's the best feeling.

i have a new word for 2015 and some thoughts on 2014. i'll share later.  there's a birthday this week and a trip to the snow.  a special guest for dinner (no, not bobby's boss) and a new years eve get together.  we are enjoying this week off and we are making the most of it.

weekend eats
saturday: sushi
sunday: island's

making this week
monday: sopes and rice
tuesday: spaghetti and meatballs
wednesday: chicken tostadas for new years
thursday: jordan's birthday dinner - still waiting on what he wants to eat
friday: eat out

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 weekly menu #52

christmas cookies for class parties, gifts and to take to weekend parties
the last full week of 2014 is upon us. and it will be a fun week.  everyone has time off so we can finish up the shopping, go to the movies, play video games and get a few things fixed around the house.  we will enjoy the time off and the time together.

and we all have to eat.

weekend eats
saturday: friends' christmas party
sunday: friends' winter solstice party

making this week
monday: eat out after seeing the hobbit
tuesday: steak and blue cheese salad
wednesday: sushi or chinese food after christmas eve mass
thursday: enchiladas and tamales for christmas dinner
friday: pizza

happy tuesday!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

our weekend in 3 photos

kind of a fun challenge to try to describe our weekend using just 3 photos.  let's see how i do.

 friday night we took the kids to rockwell in los feliz to see the 10th anniversary concert of fellowship, a musical parody of the lord of the rings.  we saw it 10 years ago in a small theater in north hollywood with our good friends.  we bought the soundtrack, took other friends and family to see it and basically quote it all day long.  so when they announced the reunion of the original cast for the anniversary we knew we had to bring the kids.  we took the subway from universal and walked a few blocks to the restaurant.  we had dinner, watched the show and then said hello to the cast afterwards.  it was a lot of fun.

close 2nd: photo of us with one of the cast members.

saturday sofia and i went to the mall to do some christmas shopping.  she needed a dress for the holiday concert and some winter clothes - long sleeved shirts and pants.  she also wanted to spend some of her birthday money at target.  so we made a stop there too.  i saw these words in front of a store and had to snap her picture.  she does sparkle and shine.

close 2nd - photo of a dinner party we attended that night.

sunday we took part in the chatsworth parade with the kids' school.  earlier this year we won an auction item at the gala to drive the golf cart down the street.  we decorated it and invited sofia's friends on board. andrew got to hang out in the back.   the girls waved at people and sang holiday songs as loud as they could.

close 2nd - photo of the carolers that came to my dad's christmas party that night.

and that's our weekend in 3 photos (and lots of words.)

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 weekly menu #51

lunch on our way to disneyland last week. 
this is one of those weeks where there is so much excitement (and things to do) that i wish someone else would plan my menu,  do the shopping, and cook for us.  it's the last week of school, high school finals, start, er i mean, finish my christmas shopping, school holiday concert, class parties, birthday dinner, and cookie baking.

but no one's gonna cook for me so i'd better get that out of the way.

weekend eats
saturday: work dinner party
sunday: tacos at my dad's holiday party

making this week
monday: chicken mole for my dad's birthday
tuesday: rachel ray's tortilla soup - hate the name, love the soup
wednesday: salmon, garlic mashed potatoes, salad
thursday: grilled steak, onions & blue cheese salad
friday: pizza

have a great week.

Friday, December 12, 2014

currently | december

looking at our pictures from our disneyland trip yesterday.  we had so much fun and didn't have to deal with the rain, but did have to deal with the crowds.  totally worth it though to see the lights and decorations.

excited about participating in the chatsworth parade this sunday with the kids' school.  we get to drive the golf cart down the street!

thinking about our parent teacher conferences from this morning.  we love the school and are so grateful that the teachers are taking so much care in educating and nurturing our kids.  no happier place for us.

watching the kids playing with light sabers in the back yard.

enjoying a day off of school.

preparing for more rain. they said it's coming.

proud of jordan for his season on the water polo team and his academic athlete award at the banquet last night.

ready to send out our christmas cards.  they've been sitting on the counter for over a week but i was...

finishing up addressing the holiday cards for bobby's work.

taking the kids to see fellowship! 10th anniversary concert tonight.

listening to the soundtrack now. it's hysterical.

picking out outfits for some holiday parties coming up.

signing up for the one little word class and

deciding on my word for 2015.

wishing you a happy weekend.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

brockett cookie bake 2014

bring on the sprinkles, chocolate chips and the fudge.  it's time for the annual brockett cookie bake.  this year we also incorporated the early christmas get-together because this ever growing family is getting busier and busier during the holidays.

this is a tradition that bobby's family has done for many years.  the siblings would get together at one house, bake cookies and other sweet treats and then go home with a sampling of what everyone made to enjoy during the holiday season.

as the family grew, more and more people came and more and more recipes were shared. and now it's a full on party.  and a win-win for me. food, recipes, and tradition all rolled into one - pun intended.

this year everyone brought their a-game with new recipes as well as the tried and true.  you bake and eat a cookie.  have lunch then eat a cookie. open gifts then eat a cookie.  it's non-stop fun.

i always make the pretzel hugs.

pretzels with a hershey hug.  in the oven at 250 for a few minutes until the chocolate gets soft but not melted.  then straight out of the oven you add m&m's.

this year we tried the peppermint m&m's and they were better than ever. let them cool in the freezer or fridge so the chocolate sets. these are a fun treat to put in a jar and give as a gift.

i also tried 2 new recipes.  this one is a chocolate chocolate chip cookie with a rolo baked in the middle and sea salt on top.

they were decadent.  i also made these sugar cookie blossoms.

i love how festive they looked.  and they were pretty tasty too.

the littlest kids (and a lot of grown up kids too) do the cookie decorating.  that makes them a part of the festivities as well.  it's always fun to see what designs they will come up with.

and of course this family has a great sense of humor.

here's a sampling of what we brought home.  peppermint fudge, snickerdoodles, lemon bars, pretzel toffee (my favorite), peanut butter cookies.  after a few days in the one container everything starts tasting the same, but we enjoy it.

uncle ed and aunt elaine have hosted the cookie bake for the last few years.  they have the perfect kitchen for it, and the oven of my dreams.  but an added bonus is the cappuccino machine.

i don't know how i earned the honor but mine is usually the first one.  i feel so special.

and we share a cocktail or glass of wine. it is a holiday party after all.

this year we also exchanged gifts for the kids at the cookie bake.  every child in the family receives a gift from another family.  gift are sent from all over the country.  it is so fun to watch them rip open their presents.

and to watch the next generation of cousins share in this tradition.

we take lots of pictures too.

but mostly we are a family.  we catch up and share stories and updates.  we wish each other a merry christmas, share lots of hugs and kisses,  and we think about those that can't be with us.

thank you to everyone for continuing this tradition.  we look forward to it every year.  

wishing the brockett clan a very sweet christmas!