Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! I love writing posts this time of the year because they are so fun sharing about all things holiday related! Reading about how others spend the holidays, what traditions they have, what they bake, and gift ideas are just so special during the holiday season.

In the spirit of the season, today I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for this month’s Let’s Look.

I haven’t been as consistent with my Let’s Look posts, but this year, I’ve shared:

  • Coffee bars (my favorite coffee mugs) in January
  • Love languages in February
  • The perfect night in for March
  • Outdoor organization (I shared my outdoor space) in May
  • Meal planning in September
  • Thanksgiving menu in November

This month’s topic is favorite traditions.

We have so many traditions, and I always enjoy the extra time with my family during the busy holiday season. I hope my kids look back on their childhood and enjoy the things we did as a family in the spirit of Christmas.

The Christmas tree:

We’ve started going to our favorite nursey to pick out a tree for about six years. We used to always have an artificial tree, but after the last one went kaput, we decided to pick one up every year.

The Christmas Shop is always beautifully decorated and has so many options for great trees.

There’s usually hot apple cider and marshmallows to roast by the fire. The floral arrangements and garland are out of this world. Also, their Santa is the best!

Of course, another tradition is putting the ornaments on the tree. It’s always fun to look back on some of the ones the kids made as well as other sentimental ones. My kids know to look for special ones like our wedding ornament, their first Christmas ornaments, the Santa that my grandpa carved, and my ornament from my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Overby!

It’s always a special few minutes when we hang the ornaments on the tree.

Santa:

We make a point to see Santa every year. This year, I wasn’t sure if we’d see him or not, but there he was right in the middle of Union Station in Kansas City when we were there for Thanksgiving. Start about starting the holiday season off on a good note!

2021

Last year, was the drive by with Santa at our club.

2020

Most years, we see our favorite Santa at the Christmas Shop.

Again, as the kids get older, I guess this is a tradition that may not continue. But, if the opportunity presents itself, I guess you are never too old for a photo with the big guy!

Christmas parties:

Christmas parties are another fun tradition, but they vary year to year. We always try to go to Trav’s work Christmas party. Sometimes we gather with friends or neighbors for get togethers as well. We’ve also done cookie exchanges and favorite things.

We love celebrating with friends and family throughout December.

2021
2017

Baking cookies:

We bake cookies every year. Usually, I just wait until we are out of school, and we bake a few cookies for Santa. We’ll share with neighbors and teachers too.

We typically do a sugar cookie, and then I always make the peanut butter kiss ones, and chocolate peppermint crinkle. Hadley and Hayden both help me, and now can even bake pretty independently on their own.

When we go to KC, we typically bake a few cookies with my mom, Gma, and aunt. Last year, my mom came to visit us, and we baked while she was here.

Holiday Lights:

I’ve shared before about growing up going to lights in the park, and once I moved to Kentucky, Travis and I made it a tradition to go to Southern Lights every year.

We also drive around and check out some of the houses in town that we know are always so festive.

Last year, we went to Mustard Seed Hill, and that was a really great experience too.

Christmas Cards:

We do Christmas cards every year. Hayden’s a big fan of this tradition. #sarcasm

The card is typically just the kids (and Homer!) because no matter how much I try to think we can get a family photo in the fall, it’s very rare to happen.

Thankfully, the kids dressing up and smiling has gotten a little easier through the years. I don’t feel like we get as many cards as we used to, so I know this tradition may be one that doesn’t hold year to year for all, but I truly love checking the mail in December and seeing what family and friends have been up to throughout the year.

2020
2019
2018
2015
2014

A few more traditions:

As far as traditions, we also buy for a couple of Angel tree kids every year. We always try to choose kids who are my kids’ age. You know I love Amazon, but I insist on us going to Target in person to have the kids choose the gifts. It’s such a meaningful experience, and very important to me that my kids understand the true meaning and spirit of Christmas.

I always buy the kids some Christmas pajamas for their birthday, and I love seeing them wear them throughout the winter months.

Another favorite tradition is taking the kids to choose gifts for each other. When they were little, we’d split up in Kid R Us and let them choose. We wouldn’t be in the car for two minutes, and they’d tell each other what they chose.

As the kids have gotten older, we try to find an evening when we can go get the gifts and then go out to dinner. Now, we even split up, and I take Hayden somewhere (like Bath and Body) to get a gift for Hadley while Travis and Hadley go to Dick’s Sporting Goods or a bookstore for Hayden. Then, we’ll meet up for dinner. We usually let the kids exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. It’s so special seeing them enjoy what they chose for each other.

Gift exchange in Christmas pjs

We also love the tradition of Christmas Eve service at church when we are in town to attend.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? I can’t wait to see what others have to share.

See you back here on Friday for this week’s favorites. It will definitely be a festive Friday themed post.

Posted in Holidays, Weekend Top 5

Weekend Top 5

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a really great weekend full of festivities, Christmas traditions, and more!

Today, I’m sharing all about our weekend. It was fun and festive from start to finish.

After school on Friday, I stopped by Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things. I was able to scoop up a few of our holidays favorites. The mini Gingerbread people are so good as are the Candy Cane Joe-Joes. The Step Up to the Bar Snack Mix is one of my absolute favorite items this time of the year. Also, I only recently learned about Trader Joe’s candles. I’d already picked up the cedar balsam scent, but was excited to see this little three pack of mini candles. This set includes: fresh currant, cranberry pine, and nutmeg! Unfortunately, I missed out on Jingle Jangle (again!) this year!

This weekend, we continued with two of my favorite Christmas traditions. On Friday, we picked out our Christmas tree at our favorite place, and then on Saturday we went shopping for our Angel Tree kids.

Friday evening, we went to our favorite Christmas shop to get our tree. The atmosphere is so cozy, and I always love looking at the directions and stopping by the fire place.

The kids borrowed Santa’s sleigh for a few minutes.

Such a sweet little place!

So, while we were there, Travis and I got into a debate about what size tree we usually get. I thought we got the 7-8′ size, and he thought we typically got the 8-9′ tree. Well, they pulled out a really pretty 8-9′ one right while we were having our debate. We went ahead and got it. Once we got it home, I think we know who won the debate! haha

Thankfully, Travis is part lumberjack, and trimmed the top (and few other spots) to make it work!

Typically, we go Angel Tree shopping as a family, but with a hectic weekend, we divided and conquered when we had time. Hadley and I went to Target on Saturday, and Travis and Hayden will shop later this week.

I love watching my kids pick out the gifts for others.

I’ve never put Christmas decorations out so late, but I really didn’t have the opportunity all last week. So, Friday night, after I finished celebrating my “I told you so tree win,” ;), I decided to pull out all the decorations and get started decking the halls.

While up in the attic, Hayden saw the Christmas village that my Gma gave me years ago. I’ve used it a few times, but never found the right spot. Hayden was adamant that we put it up this year, and I realized the buffet would be a perfect spot. We chose a few of the houses and people, and I just love the glow. It’s the first thing I’ve turned on the past two mornings!

My coffee table is another favorite spot to decorate.

Then, I pulled out some of my winter dishes.

I’m sure I will share my other decor in a future post. It’s always so much work, but I’m so glad to be able to enjoy it all for the next few weeks.

Hayden had his first basketball game of the winter season on Saturday. He’s playing with most of his team from last year, and they had a great game. Hayden had a few points and too many rebounds and assists to count. It’s been fun watching him grow as a player so much (literally and figuratively!) over these past few months.

Travis is the assistant coach on the team, and I love watching them together. Hayden does a great job listening to Coach Dad.

low quality photo, but bottom right they look like twins…

Saturday night, we went to Trav’s work Christmas party. We had lots of fun, the food was great, and it was good to catch up with some of Trav’s co-workers.

The kids obliged for a photo.

…and then Hadley suggested we all get our photo taken with Santa. I’m so glad we did!

We won the raffle for the “Movie Night” basket which included a DVD player with streaming capabilities, three movies, Grinch mugs and candy!

Also, our elf arrived this weekend. I wasn’t sure if he’d make an appearance this year, but the kids started to wonder where he was now that it’s December. There’s no mistaking our elf…He’s been Homered two years in a row. Poor guy is on his last leg!

Since our elf is getting older, I’m sure he’s maturing and won’t have too many antics like in the past. Here are some of favorite elf antics:

Sunday was a great day, so it deserves to be a “Bonus”! We started the day with church, then I had a hair appointment (yay!). Later, the kids helped pack food boxes at church, and then we hung out with neighbor friends for an impromptu dinner!

We ended our day putting the ornaments on the tree.I think it turned out so pretty!

Over these next weeks, I hope to try to slow down and enjoy this holiday season. I know we’ll blink, and it will be Christmas Day.

This week is full of link ups! Prime Purchases, Let’s Look, and Friday Favorites.

I hope you have a great week.

Linking up with Heather and others!

Posted in Holidays

Thanksgiving Recap

Hi! I hope your week is off to a great start.

Today, I’m recapping our Thanksgiving break because we had such a good time visiting family in Kansas City.

Typically, if we go to KC for Thanksgiving, we leave Tuesday after school and drive to St. Louis before finishing the drive on Wednesday. Well, this year, we had the whole week off, so we were able to drive the entire way on Tuesday. We arrived early evening, stretched our legs at my dad’s, checked in to our hotel and then had dinner at my mom’s house.

Wednesday

On Wednesday morning, we had a quick bite to eat at the hotel before the kids went for a workout with my mom and her friends. While the kids were with her, Travis and I went for a walk.

such a pretty view from our hotel.

Then, we met my mom, Gma, and my brother’s family for brunch. I got the avocado toast, and it was so good.

Then, we headed to visit with my dad, the kids played outside a bit and then we went back to the hotel to let the kids burn off more energy and swim.

We had pizza for dinner before heading back to the hotel.

It looked so pretty at night with the Christmas decorations.

Then, we hung out at the hotel and enjoyed a drink while the kids played ping pong.

Thursday:

We all slept in a bit before having breakfast. We watched some of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade before packing up.

We hung out at my mom’s house for a few hours. I went to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients for the salad I was making. While I was out, Travis asked for a pop, so I stopped in my favorite convenience stores, Quik Trip, for drinks for us.

*I know it may sound silly, but whenever I see the first QT once we cross into Missouri, I always feel close to home.

I made this salad, and it was so good. (I added goat cheese to it…my fave!)

We snapped a few photos before heading to my cousin’s house in the afternoon for Thanksgiving dinner.

It was nice having my brother and his family in town too.

My cousin always outdoes herself with her tablescape(s).

We always look forward to the chocolate turkeys at our place settings.

We ate so much and had lots of fun catching up with family who we only see once a year, at best!

Friday:

On Friday, we were up rather early because we had tickets to tour the Christmas displays at Union Station. We met my mom, my brother and his family there. We’ve been to Union Station a few times when we visit, but I think this is the first time I’ve been at Thanksgiving/Christmas.

The displays were so pretty.

They had lots of fun photo opportunities.

Hayden always loves the trains! It was sweet to see him so mesmerized just like when he was a little boy.

Santa was even roaming around, so we got to briefly visit with him.

Santa said this photo would be funny, and he was right!

After seeing Santa, we checked out more displays.

Then, the kids obliged for the traditional cousin Christmas photo.

I love this one of my two…

and this one of my mom with her grands.

After the photos, we hit up one of the stores because the kids wanted new KC/Chiefs gear, and that was a perfect Christmas gift for them from my mom.

Then we went and had BBQ. Travis had requested BBQ on this visit, and Gates didn’t disappoint!

My kids love ribs…especially Hadley.

**She split this plate of ribs with Hayden.

That afternoon, the kids played outside a bit. I went for a walk while Hadley and Layla played. Then, we watched some of the MIZZOU football game. (*they lost…insert sad face)

We went to my mom’s for our traditional turkey rice soup for dinner. My Gma and aunt came over too.

Then, we stopped by the Magic Tree before heading back to pack up to head out Saturday morning.

It was a really great visit. We were able to hang out with family, the kids had lots of time to play, we enjoyed great food, and saw some festive displays.

It’s weird when two places feel like home. It means you are always missing something or someone. I always enjoy my time in KC and wish I could get there more often. Thankfully, my family visits us when they can.

I’m so thankful that my kids are growing up with some KC memories which I hold close to my heart too.

See you back here tomorrow. I’m sharing the books I read in November!

Posted in Holidays, Kids

Birthday Recap

Hello! Well, we’ve had a couple of twelve-year-olds in the house for a couple of days now, and not much has changed. When is it that they will start acting like they are 12? #askingforafriend

All kidding aside, they had a wonderful birthday full of fun with friends and lots of cake.

Here’s a recap of how we celebrated Hayden and Hadley turning the big 1-2!

On Friday, after school, I picked up a cookie cake for them from Great American Cookies. Their cookie cakes are the best and never disappoint.

Then, I picked the kids and a few of their friends up from school. We came home for a bit to wait for their other friends to arrive before heading to Sky Zone.

This was such an easy activity for them at this age, and a great way to burn some energy. We bought passes for them to jump for 1 and 1/2 hours which was the perfect amount of time.

While I’m sometimes sad at home quickly time seems to be flying by, I wasn’t sad about the fact that I got to just sit on the Sky Zone couch with Travis while the kids did their thing. I saw a few parents of little ones having to wear the orange Sky Zone socks and jump with their kids, and that’s a “no” for me at this point in my life 😉

Also, this age is so funny. These kids all pretty much know each other, but as soon as we arrived, the boys and girls split up. During the last thirty minutes or so, they started to all hang together. #tweenlife

After Sky Zone, we went to Grimaldis for pizza. This group of ten seemed to have so much fun. They talked, laughed, and acted silly. Hayden and Hadley opened their gifts while we waited on the pizza. Then, these kids crushed two huge pizzas!

Then, we sang Happy Birthday to them (actually, the entire restaurant ended up doing so), and they enjoyed the cookie cake.

Grimaldis is in a neat little shopping area, and even though it was 35 degrees outside, the kids wanted to go see the tree.

Of course, the girls couldn’t resist a good photo op…

or two…

before convincing the boys to join in for a group photo…

…or two!

(I really do love this group photo – great kids and a pretty back drop!)

Then, we divided and conquered with Travis taking the boys home while I dropped the girls off at their houses. We were home around 9:00, and it was a great evening filled with fun and friends!

November 20th:

The thing about having older kids whose birthday is on a Saturday is they sleep in which gave me a bit more time for set up. Travis went and got donuts while I put the finishing touches on their presents.

Then, it was time to celebrate them during breakfast.

They opened gifts and then went outside to see their birthday signs.

This sign gets me every time. This also means I’ve been a mom for 12 years, 144 months, and 4,382 days! Time is certainly flying by.

They obliged (barely) for the birthday balloon photo. They look so grown up!

Later in the evening, my brother and his family came over for cake! Cake with the cousins. What could be better?

One more “Happy Birthday to YOU!”

Then, they stayed for a bit to watch the MIZZOU game while Hayden, Travis, and cousin Wyatt went to Hayden’s basketball game. Hadley had a dear friend spend the night, so I took the girls to Target and then out for a quick dinner.

Mama was tired, and was counting the minutes until bedtime!

On Sunday, we met up with my brother-in-law’s family for hibachi. His son’s birthday was that day, so we had fun celebrating the cousins.

The kids had a great 24(+) hours filled with friends, fun and tons of cake! We’re certainly blessed that so many friends and family took the time to celebrate them with calls, texts, and attending their part(ies).

I have one more post this week, so I will see you back here tomorrow!

Posted in Holidays, Kids

Friday Favorites {#91}: The Twins Turn Twelve

Hello and Happy Friday! How was your week? We had a good, but hectic one. The kids had their activities, but they also had quite a few school assignments to complete like a science project proposal and essay. We just had to use our evening time very wisely to meet these deadlines in between activities.

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites posts.

Well, this post is all about two of my favorites. Today, I’m celebrating them as they turn TWELVE tomorrow. Where has the time gone?

A little stroll down memory lane…

B A B I E S

Tiny but mighty…

March 2010
Summer 2010

O N E

First time at the beach…

T W O

Ready to rock their roles and flower girl and ring bearer…

T H R E E

One of my favorite photos ever…

F O U R

Very patriotic…

F I V E

Hayden has to live his life in the shadow of Hadley 😉

Ahh…toothless smiles. My fave.

S I X

Go CATS!

S E V E N

Sweetness at the beach.

E I G H T

Big kids! One of my most favorite Christmas gifts. This sweet photo.

N I N E

Snow bunnies.

T E N

Easter cuteness.

E L E V E N

Big kids ready to be baptized.

And tomorrow they turn…

T W E L V E !

Hayden…

I’m not sure if it’s the five inches you’ve grown this year or the fact that you now wear contacts, but you’ve grown into quite the young man this year.

I cherish the “love you” text messages.

You are a quiet kid with a kind heart. You’re loyal to the bone whether it’s cheering for UK or being a great friend.

Your determination, competitive spirit, and quiet leadership are qualities that I admire in you.

I pray that you know we’ll always be here for you, and that dad and I are your biggest fans.

This next year I know you’ll continue to grow, challenge yourself, and mature. Maybe you’ll figure out where to put those dirty clothes 😉

I hope you have the best year yet. Can’t wait to celebrate you!

xo xo,

Mom

Hadley…

You are blossoming into a young lady right before our very eyes. Your silly sense of humor and caring heart are such inspiring qualities.

You’ve made the transition to middle school seamlessly. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve made friends while holding on to your elementary friendships as well.

It’s a joy to watch you dance, and your grace is inspiring.

You care for others and have an innate ability to know just the moment that I need a hug.

I pray that you know we’ll always be here for you, and that dad and I are your biggest fans.

This next year, I know you’ll continue to make friends, follow your heart, and have a positive attitude with everything that you do. Maybe you’ll figure out how to cut your morning routine time in half? Hayden would really appreciate it 😉

I hope you have the best year yet. Can’t wait to celebrate you!

xo xo,

Mom

In honor of Friday Favorites, here are…

12 of your favorites:

Hayden:

  • Favorite color: blue or purple
  • Favorite food: bacon burger
  • Favorite place to eat: Drakes
  • Favorite sport/hobby: basketball and cross country
  • Favorite TV show: Goldbergs
  • Favorite animal: dog (Homer)
  • Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
  • Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving
  • Favorite sports team: Chiefs, Royals, Kentucky, Oregon, Dodgers
  • Favorite movie: The Outsiders or Happy Gilmore
  • Favorite class: PE and art
  • Favorite book: The Hatchet

Hadley:

  • Favorite color: light blue
  • Favorite food: pork loin and mashed potatoes
  • Favorite place to eat: Raising Canes
  • Favorite sport/hobby: track and dance
  • Favorite TV show: Fuller House
  • Favorite animal: monkey
  • Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
  • Favorite holiday: Christmas
  • Favorite sports team: Chiefs and UK
  • Favorite movie: Home Alone
  • Favorite class: math
  • Favorite song: Love Story by Taylor Swift

I thought about asking them their favorite thing about each other, but I’m sure I’d be pressing my luck!

Favorite Mom Meme (quote):

Sigh. Babies don’t keep.

Previous Birthday Posts:

Weekly Recap:

I’ve had a few posts this week:

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a great weekend. We’ll be celebrating with a bunch of tweens! Wish us luck!

Posted in Holidays, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello! How’s your week been? I’m so happy that it’s Thursday. We are so close to the weekend!

Since Thanksgiving is next Thursday, Patty and Holly are doing their Monthly Musings link up today, and I’m joining them!

This month’s topic is: Holiday Preview 2021

1. Share your favorite holiday traditions:

We have so many favorite traditions like:

Seeing Santa,

attending Christmas parties,

and baking cookies.

We also go to the Horse Park lights, shop for the Angel Tree, and I hold on to the time honored tradition of mothers making their kids dress up for Christmas cards.

2. Do you see any holiday lights? Driving tour, park, festival?

I’ve shared before that as a kid, most holidays seasons we drove the park lights. Once I moved to Lexington, Travis and I started that tradition as well by going to Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park. The only year we’ve missed since 2004 is 2009 when we had two one month olds!

There’s also a house in Lexington that a must to drive by.

Then, last year we went to Mustard Seed Hill for the first time, and it was a fun experience.

3. Favorite holiday recipe?

We do lots of baking around the holidays, but Shay’s Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake is my fave! I make for dessert for our Christmas dinner at home every year.

4. Must have holiday fashion staples?

I’m not much of a fashionista, but I love a plaid shirt!

2018

5. Any special or extra festive plans this year?

I don’t think we have anything extra planned. We are pretty good about traditions, but we’ll see what pops up in December.

6. Best holiday planning tip?

Make a list and check it twice! As far as gifts are concerned, I started keeping a note on my phone for gift ideas all year long. Also, last year was the first year that I shared an Amazon list with family for ideas for the kids. That worked out nicely because once a gift was purchased, it was taken off the list.

7. Favorite holiday movie?

I love watching Home Alone. I have on my list for us to watch the new Home Alone (Home Sweet Home Alone) at some point in December or even after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

As a tradition, we always watch A Christmas Story on Christmas day. I can’t wait.

8. Die Hard…Christmas movie or not?

I’ve never seen it, so I have no clue! Randomly, when I was watch Love Hard last week, this was a topic in the movie!

9. Tree/decorations up before or after Thanksgiving?

I will let this recent picture speak for my answer!

Really though, last year was the first year I put up the pencil tree in November. This year, I put up two pencil trees, one in the sun room and one in the living room until we get our real tree after Thanksgiving.

I do try to decorate for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving because it takes so much effort. That being said, I’m not sure if I will meet that goal this year as this upcoming weekend is proving to be a busy one.

2020

10. Do you celebrate other holidays in December?

No, but my kids went to a pretty diverse elementary school, and during those years, their teachers would do units of study on other cultures and holidays. I always loved hearing my kids share what they learned during that time.

I love the Monthly Musing link up. I can’t wait to see how others answered too!

See you back here tomorrow for a very special Friday Favorites.

Posted in Holidays, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: This or That Thanksgiving

Shew! That title. Try saying it five times fast 😉

Happy Tuesday! Today, I’m linking up with Erika and Ashley for this month’s Tuesday Talk.

For Tuesday Talk, we can blog about any topic we choose, and today I’m tackling Thanksgiving with a fun This or That edition!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s no stress of gift buying, and the food is the best! I found this graphic on Pinterest, and I’m excited to break down these choices. So, here we go!

  • Turkey or Ham: Turkey all the way. If ham is also being served, I will grab a slice, but the turkey is the Thanksgiving food for me.
  • Lunch or Dinner: Usually somewhere in between. My extended family usually eats around 3:00 or so. Last year, when it was just my brother’s family and mine, we ate later for dinner.
  • Stuffing or Dressing: I’m not really a fan of either, but last year, I made sausage dressing for the first time, and it was really good.
  • Dress Up or Dress Down: Usually we dress up, but it’s not anything too fancy. I ask Hayden to wear something besides Nike shorts, and Hadley will oblige with something besides a sweatshirt. When the kids were little, I definitely had them wear something festive when they’d let me.
2014
  • Mashed Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes: I’m definitely a mashed potatoes kind of girl. But…guess what?! I don’t like gravy.
  • Football or Movies: Parade?! First, I watch the parade in the morning and then football does tend to be on in the background the rest of the day.
  • Black Friday or Cyber Monday: Hands down, my answer would be Cyber Monday. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped on Black Friday, and I don’t think I ever will. I usually take the weekend after Thanksgiving to start making lists of what to buy, and then I do try to shop as many sales as possible on Cyber Monday.
  • Pumpkin Pie or Pecan Pie: Pumpkin pie is my fave.

How would you answer these? I will post the graphic in my Insta Stories, so if you share your answers, feel free to tag me!

Only a little over a week until turkey day!

Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! How’s your week going? I can’t believe it’s already the second Wednesday of the month, so I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for Let’s Look.

I haven’t been as consistent with my Let’s Look posts, but so far this year, I’ve shared:

  • Coffee bars (my favorite coffee mugs) in January
  • Love languages in February
  • The perfect night in for March
  • Outdoor organization (I shared my outdoor space) in May
  • Meal planning in September

This month’s topic is Thanksgiving Menu.

I think I’ve shared in previous posts, but we are typically with family on Thanksgiving which means I’ve rarely had to do much cooking! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because there isn’t the stress of buying presents, the food is delicious, and I love starting my morning with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

For Thanksgiving, besides seeing family and the great food, I love a good table scape.

My cousin always knocks it out of the park with her holiday decor:

2019
Who doesn’t love a personalized chocolate turkey?

With the 2020 restrictions, last year, we celebrated Thanksgiving with only my brother’s family. So, we didn’t see extended family, but at least we were able to get together with nearby relatives.

My sister-in-law outdid herself as well with the dinner table.

I believe she got the place cards off Etsy, and then everyone had a delicious cookie on their place setting.

The only time I eat the school lunch is when they serve the Thanksgiving menu. It’s always a day to look forward to!

Thanksgiving Menu:

On the big day, we are pretty traditional with our Thanksgiving food:

  • Turkey
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Green beans or green bean casserole
  • Hash brown casserole
  • Cornbread casserole
  • Stuffing
  • Mac and cheese
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Rolls
  • Pumpkin and pecan pie

Last year, we had a friend deep fry the turkey. Then, my sister-in-law and I split up some of the side items. I made sausage dressing for the first time ever, and it was delish.

Pumpkin pie is my favorite fall dessert. I actually plan on making one this weekend! Then, we’ll have one again for Thanksgiving. (Fun fact: I like my pumpkin pie served cold.)

So, that’s a look at our Thanksgiving menu!

Next month’s topic is: favorite traditions. Well, we have many! I can’t wait to share.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving menu item? I’ve seen this graphic shared before, and I’m definitely more Missouri than Kentucky! #givemeallthecarbs

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Holidays

Halloween Recap

We had a really great Halloween, and I love that it fell on the weekend because it gave us some extra time to hang with family and have a few extra minutes without being rushed to put on costumes and take photos.

Leading up to Halloween, I wanted to find an evening with no activities to have dinner together and carve pumpkins. On Wednesdays, for now, we don’t have any evening activities. So, last Wednesday, we had our “Spooky” dinner (bloody finger hot dogs, brains (mac and cheese) and eyeballs (green grapes) which is always a fun tradition.

Then, we carved pumpkins…

Actually, for the second year in a row, the kids did this pretty independently, and I love how they turnd out!

Hadley got major use out of her Halloween costume. She wore it to turnk or treat with her friends last week.

She then wore it to an overnight at Great Wolf Lodge last weekend.

Halloween morning started with pumpkin muffins for breakfast. I love the Trader Joe’s mix.

We then had a “Spooky” lunch with my mom, Gma, my brother and his family. At the last minute, I decided to make mummy dogs, and they were so good.

After lunch, Hadley and Travis went to Goodwill to finish getting Hayden’s costume. Travis had the idea of Hayden being Happy Gilmore, and Hayden thought that idea was funny since he loves golf and likes that movie.

A giraffe and Happy Gilmore…

Annual photo with the cousins: Ariel and a ninja!

Then, my mom joined in the fun with her witch costume that she’s had for years!

Then the kids went to trunk or treat at our church. Hadley helped some friends pass out candy to the little ones while Hayden walked around with my niece and nephew.

We changed up our trick-or-treating this year and instead of hosting, we went to a friend’s house so the kids could all T or T together.

Great group of kids ❤️

Hadley and crew who dressed as animals in their onsies.

The kids took off to trick-or-treat, and Travis and I walked home. I’d left out the candy, but was able to pass some out for about 30 minutes when we got home.

I haven’t passed out candy since 2009 when I had a very big pregnant belly. Time flies.

My kids got so much candy it was ridiculous.

This was me:

I’m giving them a few days, but then I’m going to have them pick a few favorite pieces of candy while I take some to school for my students. They love earning a piece or two when they’ve finished an assignment!

We had a great Halloween and the weather was perfect! I’m still struggling with the fact that it’s now November! In a couple of weeks, I will have two 12 years olds! Again, time flies!

I’m not sure if I will have have a post ready for tomorrow, but I will for sure be back on Friday to share my favorites from the week.

See you soon!

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays, Kids

Friday Favorites {#88}

Hello and Happy Friday! I spent all of yesterday thinking it was Friday, so I’m glad that Friday is actually, finally here!

I have so much to share this week! As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Favorite Picture:

I shared in yesterday’s post about our trip to the orchard to get our pumpkins to carve. We were only there for a short period of time, but I’m glad we made it work!

Favorite Moment:

Hadley was an acolyte for the first time last Sunday. It was sweet to see her take on this role.

Favorite Food(s):

Amy shared her Greek bowl recipe, and I had to try it. Y’all, this dish is so good. I’ve had it three times in the past week. When she says not to skip the homemade tzatziki sauce, she’s not kidding. Fun Fact: I hate yogurt, so I was worried that I wouldn’t like the sauce…it’s so good! So good. (I skipped the tomatoes and olives because I don’t like those. I’m kind of picky about some things 😉

And…these: 🤣 {hashtag: balance}

I shared about this Pinterest Pumpkin Sugar Cookie recipe earlier this week. I made these on Sunday, and they didn’t last long at our house!

Other Faves:

Last Friday was so rainy and cool that we had the first fire of the year. Friday night was so nice. I was in my pj’s early (after the pumpkin patch), we had pizza for dinner, and I watched tv while enjoying a glass of wine. I went to bed pretty early too!

We had our “Spooky” dinner and carved pumpkins on Wednesday which are both favorite Halloween traditions.

Another favorite is seeing the kids do what they love…

Hayden has been having a good time with his new basketball team, and is really growing as a player. Also, I think he really is growing! Hadley doesn’t seem to be a head taller than him anymore!

Hadley had her first performance with her school dance team during halftime of the girls basketball game on Monday. Their routine was so fun, and she had a great time!

My favorite front yard trees are starting to show off! We have some rain coming through today, and I hope the leaves don’t all fall off. I want to enjoy this view for as long as possible.

It’s been Red Ribbon (Say No to Drugs) Week. Hadley has fully embraced the dress up days, and Hayden joined her on Tuesday…”I’m too smart for drugs…” Dress up in your favorite college shirt or your favorite career clothes.

Hadley and friends were so cute on Wednesday…”Travel with your pack drug free.” You and your pack of friends dress alike. Doesn’t every tween girl have black leggings, a black t-shirt, and a colorful tutu on hand?!?

It’s been fun seeing her excited about all of these middle school activities.

Also, Hadley and a couple of friends went to the Fall Festival at her friend’s church on Wednesday. They had lots of fun, and she brought home some candy!

giraffe, elephant, and waffle!

Favorite Mom Meme:

I definitely used to be the mom who would bring the cute homemade treat, but I must have outdone myself during the primary years because once the kids hit intermediate grades, this was me:

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

I think I probably share these around Halloween every year, but I always get a kick out of looking back on what the kids were each year.

Seriously, Hayden still doesn’t know what he will be this year because I keep saying no to “killer clown!”

(Batman and Robin in 2013 are my favorite costumes for the kids!)

Weekly Recap:

I had a busy blogging week. Memes, all about my teaching career, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin fun!

I hope you have a great weekend and a very Happy Halloween.