we made dinner for new year’s eve

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in lieu of going to a wild party to ring in the new year, we decided to stay at home and cook. for christmas, i got matt a new cookbook so we perused and found an amazing recipe for honey-bourbon marinated pork chops. this was one of our favorite dishes. the flavors were all so beautifully mingled. the pork sat atop parsnips that we first roasted then mashed. and topped everything with arugula tossed with a freshly made ginger-shallot dressing. yes. so so so good. and it paired delightfully well with the sparkling wine we picked up for the occasion.

even though it was a little anticlimactic spending the evening in my leggings and not out with friends dancing 2014 away, it was actually quite lovely to be warm and cozy in my home with my two favorite people in all the world. that’s how you truly want to begin a new year, with the ones you love the most. and it was nice that i got to cheers to my BFF who is out in denver and my sister who lives in oklahoma. so through the wonders of technology and an app called voxer, i really did spend NYE with all my most favorites in the world.

and of course, what brand new year doesn’t get a proper start without black eyed peas? my friend cindy cooked up a big pot of beans and ham hocks and invited us over to toast to health and happiness for 2015. i may have had seconds.

so many thanks

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for thanksgiving we drove over to tahlequah, oklahoma where my dad and his new bride live and run a bed and breakfast. needless to say, the accommodations were quite lovely and the food was abundant and delicious. matt and i began our day with a turkey trot around town to work up an appetite worthy of a feast. then we all gathered around the kitchen island and talked and chopped and baked and roasted and drank copious amounts of coffee. when lunch time rolled around, and all the family and friends arrived, we filled up the table with wine and food and laughter.

this holiday kind of marked the beginning of new traditions for our family. we’ve added new people and places. sometimes it’s really hard to allow for change, especially when it comes to something as sacred as holiday traditions that have been around forever. but as i’m realizing as time goes by and i get older, it’s less about the rituals and what we’ve always done, and more about love. choosing love and happiness and not getting caught up in the past, but being in the present and making way for the future. i’m thankful for how i grew up. i’m thankful for what i have now. i’m thankful for what lies ahead.