thanksgiving 2010

What a Thanksgiving this year! Our day started out early… a little too early even for me. Just before 3 a.m. Laura woke up crying. We’d heard her cough strangely, but hoped it wasn’t what we thought it sounded like. Unfortunately, it was exactly that. The poor girl was throwing up every 20-30 minutes. After the second changing of bed linens and pajamas, Drew and I decided to just head downstairs, make a pot of coffee, and start the day. So around 4 he dragged the Christmas tree up from the basement, we put a movie on Netflix Instant, and I rocked Laura who alternated between sleeping and being sick and D. put up the tree. (I sure could have used advise on how to remove dark circles under eyes… it was a looooong day.)

Despite Laura not feeling well, she was a real trooper. She slept on one of us for most of the morning, woke up as our family arrived, and then took a long nap while we ate dinner, so in a strange way it all kind of worked out. My parents, Drew’s mom, his aunt, and his brother all came over and it was a really nice time! The day before I’d made a centerpiece for the table:

thanksgiving 2010

It was pretty cheap to put together, considering how expensive floral arrangements are! The boys painted grocery bags and we cut out the leaves. (This craft was in a recent issue of Family Fun.)

I love any excuse to use our dining room and pull out my good china! I think the table looked really pretty and there was plenty of room for the nine of us. I think this is the first time we ever used both table leaves, but it made a huge difference!

thanksgiving 2010

While I was cooking, Noah took it upon himself to decorate the Christmas tree. Ahem…

thanksgiving 2010

thanksgiving 2010

Finally it was time for dinner. My timeline was off by about 30 minutes, but considering the sick baby girl, I didn’t think that was so bad. We had roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter, green beans, roasted butternut squash and apple with cranberries and pecans, cranberry sauce, cranberry-citrus relish, green salad, corn bread, and wheat rolls. (I think that’s everything.) Dessert was apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake. Everyone was pretty hungry when I made them smile for this photo:

thanksgiving 2010

And finally the princess woke up, feeling a little better, but still not quite herself:

thanksgiving 2010

All in all, it was a pretty stress-free Thanksgiving. I loved hosting it and everyone wants us to do it again next year, so I was thankful for that! I don’t mind the cooking, especially when the kids are much better behaved because they have all their toys. So now it’s time to decorate for Christmas and plan my Christmas Day menu!


I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! (Of course if you’re not the in the U.S., this doesn’t apply). Tomorrow I’ll give a full rundown with photos, but right about now I’m ready to crawl into bed. I might not have Matouk linens, but I have some super cozy fleece sheets that are calling my name. It’s been a long day. Laura was throwing up just around 3, and by 4:30, Drew and I were downstairs with her, drinking coffee, and setting up the Christmas tree. So I hope you understand.

Lots to be thankful for this year, that’s for sure. I will be falling asleep with a smile, thinking about how blessed we are.

thankgiving preparations


Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner for your family this year, or are you spending the day at someone else’s house? For the first time in something like 10 years we are hosting dinner! Usually we head down to Drew’s mom’s house, but for some reason we felt like staying home this year. We extended an open invitation to our families and my parents, Drew’s mom, and his aunt will be joining us. I’m looking forward to a day stuffing myself silly and relaxing at home. That’s right, I said relaxing.

I don’t mind the cooking. It’s only four extra people and we have that many over on a semi-regular basis. I roast a whole chicken every couple of weeks; a turkey is just a little bigger! Granted, spending the day in the kitchen isn’t exactly on par with relaxing in a bed made up in luxury bed linens, but it’s not so bad 🙂 As I mentioned before, the menu is relatively simple. I’m not making too many side dishes and I’ve delegated the appetizers and desserts to our guests. Honestly I think this will be one of the more effortless dinners I’ve pulled together for people in a while!

Tomorrow I’ll do a little prep work so Thanksgiving morning I’m not running myself too ragged. I’d like to take a shower and make myself look somewhat presentable, too! I am taking a couple shortcuts, namely bagged salad and pre-made mashed potatoes. My mashed potatoes don’t usually turn out so well, and I had no real desire to peel a couple pounds of them, so I’m letting Bob Evans do the work for me, heh!

One other thing I’m quite excited about is tasting some of the boozy cherries I made back in July. Those little cherries have been sitting in their jars of brandy and amaretto for four months now (!!!) and they’re finally ready to be cracked open. Well, I have my whiskey and ginger ale and I am very much looking forward to garnishing my highball with a few of these babies! I’ll let you know how they taste!

space derby

Tonight was the Cub Scouts annual Space Derby. You know, kinda like the Pinewood Derby except with balsa wood rockets? Yup. Jake designed his to be a SWAT rocket, though I have no idea where that came from. The shape doesn’t lend itself to too many creative ideas except maybe a fish or a cigar. It was a long night and there was great trouble with some of the rubber bands. They broke while being wound and that obviously caused a lot of stress. Jake’s rocket did pretty well though. He came in 2nd place in his group. The event is just for fun, though — no major awards are given out or anything. Last year one of the rockets went so fast that it hit the wall and shattered. Legendary! Nothing of the sort this year, but a good time anyway.


A couple years ago, when Drew and I started the South Beach Diet, I didn’t think I’d ever, ever wear the size I wore in college again, even after dropping about 20 pounds. I don’t remember ever researching apidexin reviews or anything like that, but I’m sure the thought crossed my mind at one point or another. Nevertheless, I plugged away trying to eat well and get some exercise here and there. Halfway through I found myself pregnant, and then I nursed for 15 months. Oh, and I also found out that I had Hashimoto’s, which meant my thyroid was under-active, which can cause weight gain.

Now, I never really thought my weight was due to anything other than my love for ice cream, but my thyroid issue may well have been keeping those extra pounds on my frame. Since I started taking my medication at the end of August, the remaining pounds that I wanted to lose have slipped away and when I weighed myself this morning, the scale read one pound less than the goal I set for myself originally! I celebrated by purchasing a new sweater and a new pair of jeans. I still can’t believe the size actually fits me. This is what I wore in college!

still can't believe they fit...

It would be nice for a couple more pounds to slip away… you know, to give me a little leeway when I get a craving for M&M’s 😉 Now I really have to work on the exercise part and getting myself into shape.

every little bit…

Last month we refinanced our home mortgage and got a killer rate that is not only saving us money, but cutting down on how long we have to pay. With our old mortgage, the home insurance was paid through escrow, but now it’s not. We’ve been thinking of switching insurance companies anyway, so this might be the kick we need. While we’re at it, we can try to find cheap auto insurance. Why not save as much as you can? (Especially after my visit to the dentist this afternoon — youch! Saving a few hundred just might balance everything out!)

blogging basics

We’re friendly with the guy who owns our local comic shop and he’s in the process of re-doing his website. He wants to have a blog and a basic web shop. I took an HTML class way back in 1997 and I’ve worked with PHP and CSS just through the process of blogging. D. knows a lot more about programming languages than I do because he directly works with programmers. But our friend doesn’t know too much about it, so he’s been looking into some free website builders to get himself started. Building a great website should be fun. It shouldn’t make you crazy, especially when you have a small business to run! It’s helpful to work with a site that helps you along. And when you don’t have to pay for it? Even better!

christmas cookies… with a kick

I know, I know. It’s taboo to mention anything Christmas-related before Thanksgiving, but if you want to be organized, sometimes you gotta think ahead. I don’t usually makes much in the way of Christmas cookies. Honestly, I am a terrible cookie baker. They are either undercooked or burned, and really… cookies are quite a lot of work. I’d rather just bake a cake. But if you enjoy the process and want to do something different with your gingerbread boys and girls this year, here are a couple neat ideas I’ve found while surfing around.

These ABC (Already Been Chewed) gingerbread men distress my 5 year old a little. “They’re all sad,” he said with a sniffle. So sensitive children might not find these amusing. But I think they’re funny in a warped kind of way.

Noah, however, did get a real kick out of these ninjabread men cookie cutters:

I think they’re pretty funny. Both of these sets are available at various online shops.

And finally, these are not cookie cutters, but ready-to-buy cookies. I could not resist including them. Gingerbread Yogis! Totally adorable! You can order them for $35 at Patti Paige Baked Ideas Custom Baking.

Source: Patti Page Baked Ideas

What kind of cookies are your favorite at the holidays?

what a week

Oh man, it’s that time of year when everyone starts getting sick, isn’t it? With all the coughs and sniffles it makes me wish I pursued a healthcare career. Last week Drew was out with an upper respiratory infection. Then Noah started up with a nasty cough. Yesterday morning I took him to the doctor and the good news was that it’s not bronchitis or pneumonia, just a cold. But we also discovered that he has strep throat! I was very surprised because he didn’t have a fever and he hadn’t been complaining about a sore throat. I guess we nipped it in the bud. And today I’m feeling a little under the weather. It never ends! But hopefully once we get through this round of illness, we’ll be good for a few months. I am so sick of doctor’s offices and copayments and prescriptions. Ugh, it’s just depressing!

but zombies can’t climb!

I hate writing posts like this because it once again shows that I am painfully out of touch with popular culture. I just don’t like what most everyone else seems to adore. Current case in point: The Walking Dead. Now, let me preface this by saying that I was immensely looking forward to AMC’s new offering. Earlier this summer I read issues 1-10 of Robert Kirkman’s comic and was intrigued. I loved how he set the story up: the zombies were the backdrop and it was a story about human survival. I wondered how it would translate to a TV show, but I had faith in AMC. Breaking Bad is my favorite show, so they had to know what they were doing, right?

Well, the thing is: Breaking Bad wasn’t a comic. Nor was it a book. And even if it were either of those things, I hadn’t read them so the story was fresh to me. Now, I’d bet that if you didn’t have any exposure to the comic, then TWD probably seems really great. But it’s disappointing to me how it deviates from Kirkman’s original work. I imagine some of the things I question in the first two episodes probably happen later in the comic series and the writers brought them in sooner because it makes for good TV. So maybe if you’re a WD aficionado you like it more than I do, too.

But all that aside, the show moves as a grueling pace. It is painfully slow and they drag out some of the scenes far longer than they should. Just get to the point already! I feel like they are just trying too hard with this show. And the zombies? I’d read about what a big deal the zombies were supposed to be in this series. The actors went through “zombie school” to train. Half of them don’t act like the undead. And there is no consistency. And they’re not scary. I almost fell asleep during Episode 2, which I watched On Demand last night.

I guess I expected too much. And that’s my problem a lot of the time. I need to start lowering my expectations. Will I continue to watch the show? Probably. At least for a few more episodes. At some point my disappointment will get the best of me, I’m sure and I’ll just let it go, but I would at least like to watch until he finally sees his wife and son again. (They’re really dragging this out. My guess is they want to make Rick more of a hero than necessary and make Shane out to be a very obvious “bad guy.”)

To end on a positive note: the casting is great. I don’t think they could have chosen actors that so closely resemble (in both appearance and manner) Kirkman’s comic book characters.

We’ll see where this thing goes.