Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas - Version 2010

Jed and I had a wonderfully blessed first Christmas together as "the Johnson's." We headed north to celebrate with my family this year. The special treat of the year was that Emily, Bud and baby Claire were able to be home for Christmas too! Claire was a big hit and had her best Christmas EVER! I'm convinced I have the cutest nieces in the whole world. Some of you may disagree, and that's okay because I'm pretty sure EVERY aunt thinks that. Anyway, we forgot to take pictures when Jed and I exchanged gifts before we left for Minnesota but it was very fun. We both got each other sweaters, which was kind of funny and a few other little things. One of my TOP FAVORITE gifts of the year...
It's so good. Really.
Jed has been trying to convince me that we need a dog. I'm trying really hard to stand my ground but I gave in and got him...
:) He didn't think I was quite as clever as I thought I was.
Once we got to Minnesota, we did A LOT of baby holding and baby watching and not a lot else. Here's the proof:

Christmas Eve...

Christmas Day...
Ready to open some presents!
Jed's stocking loot!
I get Bud a tshirt every year from Raygun in the East Village. He LOVES them!Dad got a camera!
Mom's just happy to be holding Claire bear.
Claire got a VERY fancy hat. Perfect for tea parties.
Some fun books!
She REALLY liked her "lovie."

We also played a lot of euchre and ate LOTS of yummy food! Tomorrow we head to Omaha to go to our church/association of church's annual winter conference, FAITHWALKERS! We are so pumped!
Last but not least, Claire would like to say...
Peace on earth! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Slumber party!

This weekend, we fortunate enough to host the Thomas' as they were on their long road trip/journey north to Minnesota for Christmas. They made their first pit stop in Nashville, and then drove to Des Moines on Saturday. It was soooo fun to spend time with them - all 4 of them (Emily, Bud, baby Claire AND their dog Lacey)!
Here are some pictures from our slumber party!
Look at me I really am sassy!I love my Uncle Jed!
Lots of smiles!
Check out my ADORABLE hat!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The BEST cookie you'll EVER eat!

That's right.
This is a FABULOUS, easy and delicious recipe. I don't know where my mom found it years ago, but it really is the BEST recipe for Peanut Butter Blossoms. They always turn out perfect. Every single time! It's like a Christmas miracle.
I tackled one batch of these on Wednesday night and have the fixins to make another before Christmas. Good thing Jed's nickname is "the cookie monster" because otherwise, I'd be the one eating all of these cookies.
Here's the recipe and some photos of how to make these cookies!


An afternoon project...

Jed went to the Drake basketball game this afternoon and I got hit with a cleaning bug... my greatest accomplishment among the vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing was this...
The before...
Embarassing. Poor, poor neglected linen closet.
The after...
You can even see the full garbage sack on the floor. Wow! That felt good. Do you have any sad closets or cupboards that could use some attention? This really only took me about 15 minutes!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Jed and I made the best out of an unfortunate situation today. We had planned on heading to northern (and I mean NORTHERN) Wisconsin to visit Jed's parents for Thanksgiving. Sadly, a big freezing rain/ice/snow storm hit pretty much all the way up 35 N from northern Iowa to Duluth. Tuesday night we thought we might need to change our plans and I had Jed go out and buy a turkey, just in case... not that I knew anything about making a turkey!! So, Wednesday night we knew we'd be staying here in Des Moines so we headed out to the stores to pick up a few things for all of the essential Thanksgiving foods.
Word to the wise: Don't go to the grocery store the night before Thanksgiving. We must have lapped HyVee 3 times looking for stuffing. Not just any stuffing, but a verrry particular kind of stuffing per the request, no, demand of Jed. :) Who knew the man had such strong feelings about stuffing? And fruit salad? Wow. I've learned a lot about my husband in the past 24 hours! :)
So, this morning I may or may not have had to drag my lovely husband out of bed (cough::@ 9 am::cough) so we could get started...
cooking, baking, mixing, basting, spreading, mashing, boiling, simmering, etc.
Here are some pictures from our day of fun. It sure was a lot of work but we were able to have a special guest (shout out to Kelli) over for lunch and it was really fun!
All of the ingredients! (Note the stuffing debate)

Super pumped.
I made this reeeeally awesome recipe I found on Iowa Girl Eats for cranberry chutney. You can find the recipe here. Seriously, it was maybe my favorite part of the meal.

Ahhh. Cooking away!
Time to come out!
The table is set!

We each have our own post Thanksgiving meal traditions... His:
Speaking of these crazy Black Friday ads ... I better get some sleep! We are heading to Kohl's @ 3, Target and Younkers at 4 and then home to sleep shortly after! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

It's Thanksgiving Eve!

Jed and I (mostly me) did some decorating for Christmas last weekend BECAUSE we were SUPPOSED to be in Minnesota right now hanging out with my mom and then leaving for Wisconsin in the morning. Unfortunately, northern Iowa and pretty much all of Minnesota (at least along I-35) got blasted with some ice and snow so we decided to stay in Des Moines. It's our first Thanksgiving as a family and we are excited to spend it together. Jed's parents will be down sometime this weekend so we will get to see them and Jed's sister, brother in law and our niece too. Yes!

Anyway, here are some fun shots of our decorating. I really love Christmas and the holidays and I was so excited to decorate some in our first house. Especially thankful for my fabulous fireplace! :)

Bo and I had a crafting afternoon last Saturday. I turned my fall wreath into a Christmas wreath by adding some green felt and then some red and white berries ghat I got at Hobby Lobby for 50 cents! I love it!
These are hand painted carolers that Jed's great Grandma painted and I think they are SO cute!
Leftover wedding centerpieces + 50 cent Hobby Lobby berries = Mantle decorations!
This is another gem from Jed's Christmas box. This is a super antiquey looking advent calendar that Jed's grandma got somewhere in Europe. It's the sweetest thing with the little pop open windows! I need to find a better spot for it.
The mantle in all it's glory! I love my stockings. My Aunt Barb bought them for me one year on our girl's Chicago trip!
This is a lovely ceramic tree that my Grandma Carey gave me a few years back. It is probably my favorite Christmas piece. It's so fun to take out of the old box and put all of the little lights in it. It's like a light bright! And then you flip it on and it's sooo pretty!
My cheerful helper!

Final product. This picture does not do it justice.

I will be sure to mentally document all of the hilarity that is guaranteed to ensue tomorrow as we make our first Thanksgiving meal together and update the blog again soon!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Coming soon...

I haven't been meaning to ignore our blog, it's just that nothing super exciting has been going on in the Johnson household since Thanksgiving. At least nothing picture worthy. I don't think you all need to see photos of the fact that I've been sick for an entire week.
However, TOMORROW we are decorating the Johnson house for Christmas and I could not be more excited! Some of you may foo foo me and say that I am diminishing Thanksgiving. Not so! I actually love Thanksgiving! We are going to be gone all next weekend up north with Jed's family in Wisconsin and I want to have the tree up before we leave so we can enjoy it for longer! I am so excited to celebrate our first Christmas together in our home and start all kinds of fun traditions as a family. Check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fabulous Florida Roadtrip!

A few months ago, Jed and I planned to head down to sunny Florida to visit Emily and Bud and new baby Claire after she was born. It ended up working out perfectly thanks to conferences comp day last Friday. I only had to take 1 personal day to make the trip. We set out Wednesday night after work after picking up our fabulous rental. I really wish I had gotten a picture of this gem but here's one I found on the internets to help you all visualize the details of this trip:
Anyway, like Jed said, our drive was quite long. I'm convinced Missouri is the worst state ever (no offense to any Missourianites) but Jed got to drive through Mississippi while I slept from about 3-5:30 which he claims is way worse than Missouri. We DID make it to Florida. We got a tad lost when we were just about 40 miles away. Blast! But we got turned around and made it in one piece around 1 PM on Thursday.
This was the first glance that I had at this little peanut:
We hung out for a little while at Bud and Emily's and then when we could check into our hotel in Niceville, we headed that way and totally crashed for almost 3 hours. We were TIRRRED. We headed back over to the Thomas' and did some more of this:

We watched some TV and then headed back to the hotel for more sleeping. Friday morning, we went back to the Thomas' for a fun Florida day! The weather was so gorgeous! We went to a Gator land to see some alligators, per Jed's request since he's obsessed with the History Channel's best show, SWAMP PEOPLE, hit the beach in Destin and grabbed lunch at a cool Irish pub. It was such a great day! Here are some of my favorite shots of the day:
Jed is hugging an alligator!!

My pretty mom!

My brother-in-law was very concerned about not getting the bottom of his shorts wet.

Friday night, we watched a movie and my mom made boneless bbq ribs and cheesy potatoes. YUMMMM!!!
Saturday, we tried to get some good pics of Claire bear for her birth announcements. She was just SO darn sleepy but we got a few good ones! The camera just loves her. :)

Then it was time for one more picture of Uncle Jed, Aunt Sarah and baby Claire and we had to head back north...
The return trip, though we took a different route, was just as long. So long, in fact, that I didn't think we could make it driving through the night so we decided to stop and stay Saturday night in Nashville at a sketchy Comfort Inn and drive the rest of the way Sunday. The only saving grace of the drive on Sunday was a newfound love for season 1 of Friday Night Lights. We are hooked.
All in all, it was a really great trip and a memory that we'll always remember. I'm not sure that too many LONG road trips are in our future but we could definitely do it again if we needed to. Plus, it was TOTALLY worth it to meet sweet Claire. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!