Catching Up With the Campbells: Holiday Style 2017

I’m hoping to do more of these “Catching Up with the Campbells” posts now that we have moved… I feel like there are so many friends and family we won’t be seeing as often as we used to, so my thought was to just fill people in here as they stop by with what we have been up to! We’ll see how that goes haha… especially after March comes and goes and we have another little boy keeping me on my toes around here!

We have been so busy this last month but it has been a fun busy for sure! So just thought I would share with you what did to celebrate our Christmas holiday season this year!

We kicked things off with an evening walking through a park here looking at lights and eating crepes! We loved Christmas in the park, the boys thought it was just the coolest thing! Just a note for people local… we parked down the street and walked to the park. So pop out the stroller and bundle up, it was much easier than waiting on the vans they had transferring people or trying to park closer to the park itself!

The next morning, we had breakfast with Santa at Jackson’s school. It was really cute, played a couple of games, ate cookies and brunch and got to see the big guy! We dubbed him cowboy Santa because our oldest child was a little skeptical haha…

We also put up our Christmas tree and made yummy brownies! Of course!

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And then we headed off to Disney World with my parents! We just went a year and a half ago but my parents have been dying to go with us, and we thought it might be a good idea to get that done before Little Campbell Boy #3 hits the scene and rocks our world for  a while! I am hoping to get some posts done for our trip… sooooo many posts rolling around in my head right now haha! We loved going to the parks while they were decorated for Christmas, it was really special!

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I took the boys with me to an ultra sound to check on Baby JJ’s growth since I have gestational diabetes again and my sweet mama met us there! Jude was a little like, “WAT are they doing to you mom?!?!” and sat next to me the whole time, but they both thought it was the best thing ever when he waved at them! So so cute and sweet. Love them and can’t wait to see them all together.

Christmas festivities were in full swing once we got back from our trip, our little elf finally showed up and we went to see Santa! The boys loved it! Jude actually cried when we had to leave haha, he was really set on getting a Christmas present from him at that actual visit! I saw on another blog where a mom had framed each of her kid’s Santa visits from the years and thought I would do the same! Love seeing how things have changed over the years!

Jackson had a super cute Christmas party at his school with a book exchange! We just love his little class and his sweet teacher, Ms. Tiffany has been the best this year!

Baby boy is getting large over here haha, getting into that third trimester! We met Jacob for lunch one day and then stopped by his work for a few minutes to wreak some havoc, the boys always love going there and being cray cray while people are trying to be serious and productive! Also can I just say again… YAY for seeing Daddy in the middle of the day without driving and hour and 20 minutes both ways to do it!

Christmas is approaching! We spent the weekend before making and decorating sugar cookies (awesome recipe here!), wrapping presents and going to look at fun Christmas lights with hot cocoa that evening!

Christmas eve! Tried to get a cute shot of the boys in their little outfits that their Nana made them, but someone was upset I wouldn’t let him take his shoes off so this is what we ended up with. Also might I just add, that Christmas eve should never be on a Sunday haha… worship at church was so calm and the children were so obedient that day… yeah ok hopefully you can sense the sarcasm in my writing there!

That evening, we went over to our sweet friend’s home for soup! We came home, changed into our jammies and then hopped into bed to wait for the man in the big red suit to make his appearance!

We had a sweet Christmas morning in our new home here in College Station, the boys had a blast opening all of their presents!

And then my sweet family drove up that afternoon to have dinner with us and open more presents. We definitely appreciated the opportunity to stay home for a holiday this year! I just wanted to highlight one of the pictures at the bottom… my poor parents got around 6 feet of water in their home during hurricane Harvey this past fall, and one of their only wedding pictures had water damage. Of course they had no back ups or digital copies because 1975, but my super talented sister grabbed that picture from them and sent it over to a photographer friend to have it restored. They were both crying, I think we were all tearing up. It has been such a trying year for them, and this was such a special gift for her to give them.

Then later that week my husband’s sweet parents stopped in on their way back from San Antonio to spend a few days with us. We loved having them, sharing more presents and having a little fun putt putting and playing games! Daddy and PaPa also picked up the swing set from Wal-Mart and started putting that together! They were so excited!

Aaaand we rounded out the year celebrating New Year’s Eve with pizza and popsicles, because Jackson picked up “para influenza” (according to his doctor – like a milder case of the flu with similar symptoms) and then shared it with Jude and his mama, so we have all just been trying to make it over here lately haha! Hoping this isn’t an indication of what our new year will be like!

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed a peek into one of our favorite seasons of the year!

Cozy Pizza Pie Casserole

Most, if not all of the recipes I recommend on my site come from recipe books and Pinterest, or more meaningfully my friends…I’m really not creative when it comes to food, I just make tweaks here and there to things I try and then pass them on to you! I have so many recipes from sweet friends, and every time I make that recipe I think about the person that shared it with me. It makes it so much more special, and just another way I feel like we can make connections with each other in life.

This recipe came from my good friend Erica, she made it for us one of the weekends we were coming up to College Station during our transitional period moving, so when I make this Pizza Pie Casserole, it brings back some of those memories. I passed this one on to some of my other girlfriends and found out that they had already been making this one themselves, so it must be a good one!

You know me, for me to save a recipe on my site and blog about it, it must meet specific requirements. It must be tasty, it must be easy or somewhat uninvolved (haha kids are around people!), and it must be good left over. This recipe fit the bill. We have loved it each time I have made it, so I thought it would be a good one to add to my recipe list!

I have linked it already above, but the original recipe came from this site, and I have made a few additions of my own which I will specify below. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (about 600 grams)
  • 1 pound italian sausage
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (no sugar added if you are doing Whole30) – This can be hard to find! You might be interested in making your own!
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1 can diced tomatoes drained (my addition)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (my addition)
  • (optional: add anything you like with pizza: veggies (maybe bell peppers!), even cheese if you aren’t doing a Whole30!)

What to Do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees to cook your spaghetti squash. Cut the squash in half (this can be tricky, I have to stab mine with the knife and then pick the squash up with the knife inserted and kind of pound it on the cutting board to get it to slice through), pour some olive oil over the insides and place each side face down on a baking sheet.
  2. Cook for 30-35 minutes until the strands are soft (but not mushy) and the sides have some give when you squeeze them. (Recipe called for 400 degrees for 20-25 min. but I preferred it at a lower temperature setting. Some people cook their squashes in a crock pot or microwave so that may be an easier prep solution for you!)
  3. Remove squash and reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  4. Once the squash is done cooking, remove the strands by shredding them with a fork and place them in a greased 9×13 baking dish. (The recipe called for an 8×8 dish but I preferred it to be spread out more and not as thick)
  5. Place a large pan over medium heat and crumble italian sausage with the diced onion. Cook until pink no longer remains in the sausage and it is broken up into pieces.
  6. Add pizza sauce, dried basil, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to the pan and mix well.
  7. Add sausage mixture to the 9X13 baking pan and mix it well with spaghetti squash threads.
  8. Whisk 3 eggs and then add them to the baking dish. Mix everything together well until you can no longer see the eggs.
  9. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top of the mixture forms a slight crust that doesn’t give when you press on it in the middle of the dish.
  10. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Your squash won’t be completely cooked through (might be a tad crunchy) because it will bake longer in the oven once everything is mixed together.
Ready to shred!
Spaghetti squash in the casserole dish ready to go!
Nothing better than a cozy fall evening baking a yummy dish!
I have loved cooking in my new kitchen so far! The pull out spice racks under the stove top are one of my favorite things… that and the deep drawers under the stove to hold my pots and pans!
As you can see, there is some sugar in this pizza sauce, but I snapped a shot of the ingredients in case you wanted to recreate it yourself sans sugar. I think it would be pretty easy to just grab some tomato sauce and add the seasonings to it.
My forever kitchen helper. “Please mom, just drop something. Anything. PLEASE!”
Eggs to whisk!
Yummy sausage mixture! Smells so good!
Sausage mixture combined with the spaghetti squash and the eggs are ready to join!
Ready to pop into the oven!

My other kitchen buddy and sometimes helper. 😉
All baked and done! This smells so good!
The perfect fall casserole!
Who’s ready to eat?!