What I've been up to lately

Contrary to my own beliefs, life did continue outside of the courtroom last week and though at times it felt completely against my will, I chose to participate.

Here's a brief rundown of some of last week's highlights ...

The Saturday before I first reported for jury duty, Molly and I joined our mother-in-law for some pretty labor-intensive holiday baking or, as Molly aptly named it last year: Teresa's Cookie Boot Camp. Over the course of several hours, us gals baked dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies and yes, our husbands definitely reaped the benefits.

Teresa's submitted her famous red and green MnM cookies as well as Grandma's beloved apricot/walnut pin wheels, and Molly found a recipe for decadent chocolate-on-chocolate cookies with festively colored chocolate chips.

My Nana, a chronic kitchen dweller and first-class cook, used to send us a giant tin of Christmas cookies every single year and my fondest memory of that cookie tin were the piles of shortbread candy cane cookies. Since Nana passed away a few years ago, I obviously don't have access to her special recipe and had to rely on a random internet search to find something similar.

Trying to roll the two different colors of dough into their cane shape was nothing short of comical, but considering this was our very first try at making these cookies, they turned out simply adorable. They were extremely delicate and broke apart easily, but they still managed to conjure up fond childhood memories of my grandmother.

And speaking of yummy things for your tummy, I also tested one of my mom's best recipes for the very first time (though I absolutely cannot remember what day I did this). I've given my mother the highest of accolades for her amazing cooking abilities and her stuffed green peppers were definitely one of my favorite meals growing up.

Oh man, were these stuffed peppers DELICIOUS! The taste, the presentation—it was all right on point and Clay and I happily feasted on the leftovers the following evening, too! And more than anything, it just made me miss my momma. :)

Wow, no wonder our gas bill is so high.

Peppers ready to go in the oven!

Cover the peppers in cheese the final 5 minutes of baking, serve with corn and then eat up!

We were invited to Colby and Ireli's holiday party after my marathon cookie-baking session with the in-law's and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. Aside from a table FULL of delicious holiday treats, the party started on an extremely high note with a game of "Who Am I?" The hostess slapped a sticker on all of our backs with the name of a famous person (dead or alive) and we had to guess who we were by asking other party guests yes and no questions about our identity.

I was given Pocahontas and I felt terrible that I wasn't able to guess who I was until I deciphered that I was from history yet most famously known from Disney, dressed like a poor person, and was ethnic.

I think Molly's identity was by far my favorite. She was given Robin Hood, and I excited mentioned that she was actually my childhood hero and I dressed up as this person for Halloween (not really a hint. I told her more for my own benefit, I guess). When someone revealed that she had also been made into a Disney cartoon, she guessed Sebastian the Crab and I almost peed my pants at the image of myself worshiping a fictional crab to the point of dressing up as him for Halloween when I was 5.

After the game came to an end, we filled the evening with a Dirty Santa gift exchange and Pictionary (the girls DESTROYED THE BOYS).

As you read in one of last week's short update posts, Thursday was Clayton's and my 4-year wedding anniversary. By the grace of God, court adjourned early that evening and I had ample time to shower and freshen up before going to the Irish Lion for some fish n' chips.

And what Irish meal is complete without some Celtic stew and a tall pint of Guinness?

The Irish Lion looking particularly festive!
YUM! Have you ever had soda bread?
Get thee to a store RIGHT NOW and try some!
This was Clayton's, but I stole some!
Clay and I took a swell photo together before heading out for dinner, but of course I can't find my camera cord. That's just the nature of the beast, I suppose.

After dinner we spent a quiet evening at home and I fell asleep exactly 10 minutes into the movie we rented. Though low-key, it was definitely a night to remember. The other jurors weren't kidding when they said that no matter what we ended up doing to celebrate, it is sure to be an anniversary we'll never forget based on the circumstances alone. But emotionally exhausting jury duty aside, we enjoyed our anniversary and four years still feels just as special as the first year.

My darling husband was a champ when it came to being supportive and encouraging during the last several days. He pampered me with foot rubs, extra hugs, and alcohol (We poppin' Stantana champs cuz it's so crisp! < --- If you can tell me what that's from, I'll give you a billion hypothetical internet dollars because you're awesome.). He cuddled my face off while we watched IU basketball and even offered to drag out mattress downstairs so we could sleep next to the Christmas tree.

That Clayton is a first-class act, he is.

I've felt so out of touch with what's been going on the lives of my friends and other bloggers. What have YOU guys been up to!?


  1. I'm on a Boat Mother F---er take a look at me! Give me my Billion Internet Dollars please!


    *ahem* I just started dancing like an awesome person. Thank goodness I have my own office with a door and no windows. :)

    Also - I saw you at the Lion on Thursday but was pretty sure that I was imagining it so I didn't say hi. Also, I was blocked in and decided that screaming and waiving across the restaurant was probably not a good idea given that there were people there.


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