Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras made its way to America over 300 years ago from France. It had been celebrated in Paris as a major holiday since the Middle Ages and was brought to Louisiana by the French explorer Sieur d'Iberville. Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" and is celebrated on that day every year, 47 days before Easter Sunday. This year Fat Tuesday falls on February 24.

Some Mardi Gras fun facts and terminology:
Krewes are exclusive social organizations that hold balls and parades as well as do philanthropic work throughout the year. The colors for Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. Purple represents justice, green stands for faith, and gold stands for power. King cakes are made throughout the state of Louisiana in the weeks prior to Mardi Gras. Usually oval in shape, a King Cake is sort of a cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry and is typically covered in Mardi Gras-colored sugar (although today there are many different varieties.) The colorful topping is representative of a jeweled crown in honor of the Three Wise Men who visited baby Jesus. The cakes are round in shape to represent the circular route taken by the Wise Men to confuse King Herod, and usually enclose a hidden plastic baby figurine inside (the Baby Jesus) who is said to bring good luck to the person who finds it in their piece. In addition, that person should host the next Mardi Gras party and bring the next King Cake.

One of our favorite things about living in Baton Rouge was seeing all the beautiful houses around the LSU Lakes decorated for Mardi Gras. When we moved to Delaware, I thought I'd make a wreath and bring the tradition with us!
King Cake! We bought this when Liz and Kaylee came to visit us in February of 2007. It's from the Ambrosia Bakery, our favorite in Baton Rouge. We ate the entire cake looking for the baby...and never found it. Looks like we got a dud! This is a Zulu King Cake, named in honor of the Krewe of Zulu.
The Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade in Baton Rouge
And we even dressed up Bailey for the occasion!
New Orleans 2007, historic St. Charles Avenue
This guy had a barbeque attached to his bicycle...only in New Orleans. :)

Whether you are in Louisiana or far away, I wish you all the joy and fun the Mardi Gras season brings. HAPPY MARDI GRAS!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hey Bailey...what'd my fitness ball ever do to you?

Bailey's about to turn 3.  You would think this puts us in the clear as far as puppy mischief goes.  But, somehow, he still manages to find himself in trouble.  This past weekend my poor fitness ball got the brunt of his puppy behavior.

Hmm...this ball is delicious!
Umm, I see that the ball is deflating, but I had nothing to do with that.  See, I'm sitting far away.
Ooops...maybe I did do that.  Sorry.  :(

But before the fitness ball incident was our first big ice storm!  School was cancelled last Wednesday in cities throughout the state.  I thought it was nice to have a day off (and I got lots of wedding stuff done) until the power went out at about 4:00.  Since we don't have a generator or a fireplace, that meant reading a book with a flashlight under lots of blankets until Chris got home.  After a nice dinner out and a trip to the bookstore (we didn't need any books, but they had power!) we headed home.  We still didn't have power when we got back, but it came back on around 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning- not too bad.

Check out the ice on the deck railing!
The ice may make a mess, but it's beautiful on the trees.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas 2008 and New Year's 2009

This year I was able to go down to Arkansas for Christmas AND up to New Hampshire for New Year's!  It was so great to see everyone.  Chris and I figured that this was the last Christmas each of us could be with our individual families so that's exactly what we did.  Next year I guess we'll have to flip a coin or something...but don't worry yet Mom there's still a chance we'll be in Arkansas for Christmas!  :)  I can't believe that the holiday season has already come and gone and it is the wedding is really just around the corner! 

A few of my cousins, brother and brothers-in-law, sisters, and one niece
Mom, Grandma, Liz, Aunt Suz, and me
Papa and Grandma!
Chris and I got our first wedding gifts!  THANK YOU Peter and Michele!
We love them and can't wait to use them!
Chris took me cross-county skiing for the first time.  I really enjoyed skiing, and apparently Chris really enjoyed having me take his picture.  Here's the first one...
and another...
and another...
and again...
and one more!  Chris calls this "the Jay"  :)
In front of the Mt. Washington

On Saturday before we left Bretton Woods we went sledding.  Chris is pointing out where we airborn!