A Porter Style Christmas

Our holiday weekend consisted of some pretty basic things which included eating, last minute shopping (for each other) and eating some more. We played games, we opened gifts, talked about “the good ol’ days,” and laughed a lot. Here are some pics and a little loot we came away with.

Kyle’s dad and bro…suave.

All the kids gathered around papa Kyle for story time!

(most of) the Porter/Goodwin fam including the latest addition…and someone in the top right corner who apparently wants to be an addition…

Kevin in his sock monkey onesie.

Jen opening her new pride and joy. Good thing too since Kyle traipsed 8 mile and had to negotiate with some people of questionable morals to snag that bad boy…

It’d be a lot “cooler” if those headphones were actually plugged into something…

All the fun we could handle…

Fritos and Other Life Stories

Dear love-

I know you get really confused when you come home and I’m half soaked in the kitchen, but we’ve got to start doing our dishes one at a time. Bathing myself with the dirties isn’t my idea of fun, though I know it makes you giggle. Cheers to our future dishwasher. Someday.

Thanks for using your college basketball dry erase bracket as our Christmas checklist. I know we’re really behind, but I can sew really fast when I put my mind to it and we have plenty of time to buy scarves for everyone if all else fails. I know I pledged to handcraft all gifts this year, but it’s going to have to wait for 2011.

I’m sorry for all the Fritos and milk I had last night. I don’t know what’s gotten into me. I generally don’t like Fritos and I hope it doesn’t mean we’re having one of these.

Also, I’m not quite sure why I’m getting ESPN emails in my inbox, but I have a feeling you had something to do with it. If you’re into sharing hobbies I can start forwarding the Martha Stewart Craft of the Day emails. Pure joy.

I love being your wife. And fritos. For tonight.


Holiday Gift Guide

(scroll pictures above to see release dates)

I wanted to do something to honor the half-birthday of our blog (and marriage) so I proposed (pun!) a few things to Jen. The following are her answers.

  • Have Jen get a full-time job so we can get some graphic design upgrades: “No”
  • Buy season tickets to OSU football games next year: “We don’t have enough money”
  • Change our URL to “kyle’sbackmustbesorefromcarryingusfor6months.com”: “You’re an idiot”
  • Buy a puppy and train him (or her) to write our posts: “Enticing…but no”
  • Have a kiddie and train him to write our posts: “YES!”…no (that’s me saying “no” for clarification)
  • Have a 6-day Holiday giveaway: “Sure!”

OK, confession time: we have no clue what we’re doing with this. We’ve seen some Christmas giveaways on a few blogs and some Christmas gift guides on a few blogs (notably here and here) so we said, “Hey, why don’t we do a Christmas guide/giveaway?”

We don’t have any cool sponsors for these gifts but we’ve felt especially blessed lately with so many fabulous readers that we wanted to do a little something special for all of you this holiday season.

Obviously more details are forthcoming over the next 3 days but we just wanted to give everyone plenty of time to get fired up for what’s going to be happening over the next 2 weeks.

Spread the word.

Thanks for reading.

See you soon 🙂

A Memory and Peppermint Tea

Perhaps it’s the chill in the air or the fact that it happened almost a year ago to date, but as I was cooking dinner last night (another round of our favorite Corn Chowder) I was overcome with the memory of the first time I knew Kyle had asked my dad to marry me. I’m not talking anything obvious like accidentally finding the ring or an email he’d sent about flying his family down here for the engagement, but something so subtle that no one else would have seen it if it hit them in the face.

We were visiting my family and arrived to an unusual scene in our house: no one had prepared dinner. We rarely ate out when I was growing up, but this night we arrived to find my dad and sister headed out the door to pick up dinner at one of the three main eateries in our small town. Actually we went to two of the three main eateries because my sister chose grilled chicken over rotting her body from the inside out with fried okra and butter. Whatever.

We were in the truck -my sister and I in the back seat, my dad and Kyle in the front- when I heard it. Kyle had said something hilarious to the male species, probably something about Mike Gundy or Gisele Bundchen, and my dad laughed. The laugh wasn’t the abnormal thing- my dad’s generally a jolly fellow- but it was a genuine, relaxed, whole-hearted laugh. Like he actually thought Kyle was funny.

I know my husband and his sense of humor- it’s pretty solid. But I also know the laugh he usually got from my dad; a smile with no teeth and a nose that scrunched a little too much to be genuine. Almost a pity, “I’m being nice to you because you’re with my daughter, but my shotgun is in the next room and I know how to use it.” This night, something was different.

Turns out Kyle had asked him for my hand in marriage a few weeks before. As I sit here and think about all that’s happened in the last year- the engagement, the wedding, the move to Dallas, two new jobs- I can’t believe how blessed we are. But I also sit here next to our Christmas tree sipping peppermint tea and soaking up all the greatness and I know that Kyle doesn’t complete me. That if there hadn’t been the ring or the secret wedding or the telltale laugh, my life would still be full and I would still be joyful and my tree would still be glowing in the corner. It would only be a different corner and might taste of blackberry tea instead of peppermint, but my joy would be ever present. This year, I just get to share in it.


Corn Chowder with a Twist

I declare today Recipe Friday, simply because we have a recipe we can’t help but share. It’s soup season, my friends. Get. Ready.

My family started a tradition about five years ago that became so popular amongst the women that no one dared stop it. Rather than cook a Christmas turkey or massive dinner, we have our own version: the sandwich and soup. We have options for the sandwiches, everyone makes their own, and we usually have three soupies: Grandma’s homemade chicken noodles, some sort of chili, and Mom’s corn chowder. The corn chowder was always a close second (because what beats Grandma’s chicken noodles?) but last week, we topped it. Corn chowder with chilies, via @thepioneerwoman blog. A little spicy, a lot of lovely. Her suggestion? Make it soon. Your happiness depends on it. We were definitely sad when it was over.

Corn Chowder with Chilies
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes Servings 8 Difficulty Easy

2 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces (or Smaller)
2 Tablespoons Butter
1-½ whole Yellow Onion, Diced
5 ears Corn, Shucked (about 4 Cups)
2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Finely Diced
1 whole 4-ounce Can Diced Green Chilies
32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1-½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
3 Tablespoons Corn Meal OR Masa
¼ cups Water
Preparation Instructions
(Carefully) slice the corn kernels off the cob. Set aside.
Add bacon pieces to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes. Throw in diced onion and stir, cooking the onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add corn. Stir and cook for one minute. Add both kinds of chilies and stir.
Pour in chicken broth and cream. Add salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
Combine cornmeal (or masa) with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. Cook for another ten minutes.
Serve with crusty sourdough bread or in a bread bowl. Absolutely yummy!

Happy Friday!

Photo Attribution