Love and Food in the Big D

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast..

Breaking in their new house addition, (complete with new dining area, family room, play room for Addie and a RIDICULOUS new theater room) the Maldonado’s, Salinas’ and Kelley’s (Chad and I) ;) gathered for our annual Thanksgiving feast at my brother’s house. It didn’t take long to cozy up to the normal holiday routine of visiting friends, family, going to a sporting event of some sort, EATING and more EATING!! It was only the third visit for Chad to the valley, but by this time, there was no doubt that he had already become part of the family. It didn’t take long for him to be put to work either. Hahahaha… I guess when you’re a chef, it’s tough to leave “your work at work”.

Prepping for our Thanksgiving lunch!


Mama Maldonado doing her thing..

Tags, being a good big brother.. :)

RARRRRRRGGGGHHHH! Addie, trying to spook Tags.. :)

Sweet baby...

And she's out. lol..

Letting their Thanksgiving Gorgefest settle in, in the new Theater Room

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lazy Sunday evening..

Being utterly and completely POOPED after our glorious mini vacation to Fredricksburg, we used the rest of our Sunday evening to relax with our pup Macie Blue. She’s growing up so FAST!!

Macie and Chad having Daddy/Daughter time... :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fredricksburg Weekend..

In the months leading up to our engagement and in order to throw me off about when Chad's proposal would actually take place, he cleverly led me to believe that he was planning a very "Special Weekend Trip" that would ultimately lead to a very special "gift" of sorts. :) After all, this particular weekend was exactly ONE year to the day we had picked for our upcoming wedding. Lol.. I know, I know... I didn't even have a ring on my finger before this...yet we already had a date set. I think it's safe to say that my relationship with Chad has been a little NON-ordinary since the start... but I'd finally found the love of my life, why on earth would I slow down now??!! :)

After Chad proposed (the weekend before this) he finally told me where we were going. He had lined up a beautiful little cottage in the cute little town of fredricksburg. We headed out of town early Friday and came back to Dtown Sunday. Needless to say it was a relaxing and very memorable getaway celebrating our recent engagement!!

I must say that Chad did a GREAT job picking this place... It was sooooo incredibly quaint and charming!! We are definitely coming back next year. :)

Saturday morning began with the BEST home cooked breakfast you could ever get on a trip. Our inn keepers treated us with a gourmet breakfast each morning of our stay and it was absolutely amazing! Even my future HUSBAND, the CHEF was impressed! :) What a way to start the morning!
Our tour around Fredricksburg included a stop at Becker Vineyards where we fell in love with some of the tastiest Texas wines we've had so far! Chad ended up doing a wine dinner with them a few months after this trip. It was a huge success! :)

Sitting on the Becker Vineyards patio enjoying our yummy wine selections!

The grape vines were kinda sparse at this time.. but they were still beautiful!

Becker Vineyards, Fredricksburg Texas

Lavender fields at the Becker Vineyards..

Not sure which vineyard this is, but they had a funny "Port-a-Potty" exhibit thing where local artists did their thing being creative. It was pretty funny I must say. :)

You can't really see it, but the door of this thing says.. "Sitting Pretty" hehehe..

My love.. being silly..

Yup, thats right.. this is the inside of one of the PortaPotty's... :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008


To be quite honest, I've kinda stalled on writing this particular blog. Not because I didn't want to (quite the contrary actually) but because I couldn't seem to find words fitting for all that I felt about this day. I knew an engagement was coming..heck we even had a wedding DATE picked out by this time... so in reality, I shouldn't have been very surprised about my proposal... but the truth was, it hit me upside the head like nothing ever had before. And I loved every minute of it! :)

It had taken a few weeks of planning (on Chad's part) for this particular day to work itself out. He had gotten a coworker of mine (Gary Morgan) involved by plotting a masquerade of sorts. He told me he wanted us to take pictures together to send to his family back home for Christmas. Sounding like a good idea, I suggested that we get Gary involved to keep from having the extra expense of a "real" photographer. Who knew that this whole time I was aiding in my very own proposal! lol..

Finally finding a day that worked for everyone, we began this particular Sunday morning by meeting up with Gary at the Belmont Hotel. We had heard this was a great place to get pictures of the downtown skyline. :) Starting our whirlwind tour, we made our way to places we had been on our first date, places unique to Dtown and your standard places with picturesque backgrounds. Towards the end of the afternoon, we found our way to the farmers market. We toured the area, and found ourselves amongst rows of beautiful red, pink and white flowers. Squatting down for pictures... I was too involved in trying to keep myself balanced to notice that Chad had begun to reach into his pocket. Turning to Gary he said, "Keep going Gary..." Not really understanding what was going on, it took me a second to realize that Chad had pivoted around and was already on HIS KNEE!! It took a few seconds to realize that his eyes were watering and his hand was clasped around the most BEAUTIFUL diamond solitaire ring I'd ever SEEN!! After a couple of happy "SHUT UP CHAD"s.. he finally asked me to be HIS BRIDE!!!. :)

Belmont Hotel

Downtown Dallas

Farmers Market Sign
He has the ring in his hand!!


I had dreamt of this day my entire life... and right here, kneeling in front of me, was the most perfect man I could've ever hoped to spend the rest of my life with.... I'm in HEAVEN!! Now starts the fun stuff.. :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

10 years and counting..

I really honestly can't believe how fast time flies. One minute I'm nervously awaiting my first day at college, not knowing what the first year will hold away from home, and the next minute I'm buying my first house!! Thank goodness for technology and it's ability to keep people connected. Although it takes away the mystery of your classmates lives when reunion time approaches, it allows friends to remain steadfast in their friendships, and allows strangers to reconnect. When my ten year reunion came knocking at my door, I couldn't wait to see all my classmates again. I had so much to be thankful for, so much to show for myself and luckily, I had a wonderful man on my arms to share in my long lost friendships. :)