Posted in Holidays

Thanksgiving Break Recap


Thanksgiving break is usually one of my favorite times of the year. Five days off is a good amount of time to travel, if needed. It’s also the right amount of days for laziness mixed with productivity.

This post could be alternatively titled: holiday whiplash

Over our break, we toggled back and forth between fall/Thanksgiving and Christmas.


We had a slow start on Wednesday. Travis worked, I eased into the day, and the kids slept in. They kids played outside a bit, I had a few errands, and we just mostly hung out at home. That night, we watched Uncharted. I hadn’t heard of it, but Hadley picked it out (she’s a big Tom Holland fan) We all enjoyed it, and I’m guessing there will be a sequel.


Again, it was so nice to not set an alarm. I was up around 7:30, had my coffee and watched TV for a bit. Eventually the kids got up, and I turned on the parade. I love this tradition.

We got ready to leave for Trav’s aunt’s house around 11:00. The kids let me snap a pic…

…before we headed to Elizabethtown. The weather was a beautiful on Thursday, so that was good. Trav’s family is big. There were close to 70 people at his aunt’s house! (and, believe me, that’s about half of the family!) We had a good visit with everyone, and the food was delish.

We got a pic before heading home…

…and I was in my Christmas pjs by 5:30.

That night, Travis suggested watching Friday Night Lights. Travis and I watched that entire series together back in the day. We watched the first couple of episodes, and the kids liked it.

Friday after turkey day:

I slept like a rock and was up around 8. Again, it felt so good to sleep in. While drinking my coffee, one of my first thoughts as how glad I was that I’d already decorated for Christmas. I love Thanksgiving, but by the Friday after, I’m ready to soak in Christmastime.

Travis and I both did some online shopping (from Amazon, Kohls, etc. I also shopped Antique Candle Co’s 30% off sale!) The candles arrived the next day. I couldn’t believe it!

Throughout the day, I watched some episodes of Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown and read my first book for December.

Then, Hadley and I went to Michael’s and Kroger. On the years we stay home for Thanksgiving, I usually go to Michael’s to pick up a couple of Christmas decorations since they are on sale that day. At Kroger, I picked up the soup ingredients for our leftover turkey soup. Then, we had lunch at home before the kids went and had fun with friends and family.

Hadley went to the UK volleyball game with a friend for her birthday, and Hayden went to hang with his cousins. Both were gone until later that evening, so I did some things around the house, watched more baking shows as well as the MU football game.

Later, Travis suggested we go to dinner since it was just the two of us. On the way, we stopped at Old Navy before heading to one of our favorite sushi restaurants. It was the place to be…we saw some friends, our neighbor, and then when we went to sit down, guess who was at the table next to us?! My brother and sister-in-law. What a coincidence! The server let us combine tables, so we ate and caught up with them.

Then, it was time to pick up the kids and head home.


Then, on Saturday, I made the soup and a pumpkin pie. Travis pointed out that I usually make one in the fall, and I hadn’t. Also, on Thanksgiving, I enjoyed other desserts because the one pumpkin pie was room temp. I like a chilled pumpkin pie!

Saturday’s temps were pretty good, so it was the perfect time to finish raking leaves and tossing the pumpkins that had been on my porch since mid-September. We also pulled the outside Christmas decorations out from the attic and got them situated. Pumpkins out, Christmas lights on!

Travis and the kids went to the UK football game, and I continued my downtime with episodes of Christmas Cookie Challenge while eating my soup and pie!


We went to church to celebrate the start of Advent season. Then, we picked out a couple of names from the Angel tree.

After church, we decided to stop by our favorite place, and pick out out Christmas tree. This Christmas shop is my fave:

Some of my favorite Santa pics have happened in this sleigh:

…and look at them now!

(I appreciate that they indulged their mother for this photo!)

The kids grabbed some hot apple cider while Travis paid for the tree we picked out.

When we got home, I finished up the Christmas decor by moving the skinny tree that’s been in the living room and adding the bow to the mirror.

…while Hadley helped at the family Advent workshop at church. Santa said she’s been good this year!

Once everyone was home, we watched the Chiefs game, had leftover soup, and prepped for back to school.

We had a really great few days at home. There were times I felt “guilty” for being a bit lazy, but I also know that I needed it…and will need it to get through the month of December!

What was the best part of your Thanksgiving (break?) ?

Posted in Holidays, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Happy Thursday!

It’s the last Thursday of the month, so I’m linking up with Holly and Patty for Monthly Musings.

This month’s topic is:

I always love this link up, but I especially love talking about Thanksgiving! #turkeytalk

1. Do you host Thanksgiving or go elsewhere?

We go elsewhere. I hosted Thanksgiving one time a long time ago, but that was a random occurrence. We usually alternate between Thanksgiving and Christmas in KC. When in KC, we go to my dad’s cousin’s house. When we stay in Kentucky, we go to Trav’s aunt’s house.

Thanksgiving 2020, we stayed closer to home and had Thanksgiving with my brother and his family.

2. What dishes do you make or contribute?

Well…we’re usually off the hook because we travel. Whichever Thanksgiving we go to, there’s always so much food. The year we celebrated with my brother’s family, my sister-in-law and I split up what we made. A quick short cut was Bob Evans mashed potatoes!

Last year, I did contribute this salad to our KC Thanksgiving…

3. What is your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?

I always look forward to green bean casserole for Thanksgiving and Easter. I do feel like that’s more of a Southern staple, so it’s usually only something I get if we go to Trav’s family’s Thanksgiving/Easter or if I make it.

Honestly, I always look forward to using the leftover turkey to make Turkey Rice Soup. We’ve made this the Friday after Thanksgiving since I was in high school.

4. What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

I love watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning.

If we are in KC, I love watching the Plaza lighting ceremony (and we try to drive through that part of town to see the lights on either at Thanksgiving or Christmas)

5. Stuffing or dressing?

Well, I would say “neither,” but Thanksgiving 2020, I did make sausage dressing and really liked it.

6. Pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie?

I always look forward to pumpkin pie. I’m not a big pie person, so pumpkin (cold with Cool Whip) is about the only one I’ll eat. I do like warm apple pie, but that’s not usually served at Thanksgiving.

7. Casual dining or set the table?

My dad’s KC cousin who hosts, always has the cutest table.

We always get a personalized chocolate turkey at our place setting.

That being said, my sister-in-law had a cute tablescape too in 2020!

Trav’s family’s Thanksgiving is a little more casual because there are SO many people.

8. Favorite beverages to serve with Thanksgiving dinner?

Honestly, we don’t make anything special for Thanksgiving, but my brother and sister-in-law had a fun drink prepared: apple cider, pumpkin vodka, soda water, and a cinnamon stick. It was so good. I brought the “flocktails” cups, so that was our fun bevvy that year.

(Hadley just had apple cider 😉

9. Do you Black Friday shop?

Absolutely not. I’m a Cyber Monday girl.

10. Holiday movies or football games?

I feel like football is always on the tv during our Thanksgiving festivities. I enjoy holiday movies, but that’s more for when it’s time to just hang out at home.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (with the 4th of July a close second!) The month of November is always so hectic for us that by the time I make it to Thanksgiving, I’m really ready to relax and eat some good food!

What Thanksgiving traditions do you have?

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.


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.


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!


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 Friday Favorites, Holidays, Traditions

Friday Favorites {#45}: Thanksgiving

Hello and Happy Friday! We made it to the weekend. This week has definitely had its share of ups and downs, so needless to say, I’m ready for the weekend.

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

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It also feels like the most overlooked holiday smooshed right in between Halloween and Christmas. Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things about Thanksgiving from traditions, the food, and more!

My favorite things about Thanksgiving:

The Food:

Thanksgiving food is my favorite food of the entire year. I never really say no to carbs, but definitely not on Thanksgiving. Give me all of the mashed potatoes, rolls, macaroni and cheese and other carbs! I do love the turkey as well. A slice of pumpkin pie topped with a dollop of whipped cream is the perfect way to end the meal.

Fun fact: the only day of the year that I buy the school lunch is the Thursday before Thanksgiving. That’s when our district serves up their version of a Thanksgiving meal. I know the picture isn’t the best, but the food really is good!

The Leftovers, Y’all:

The leftovers are the best part of the meal! I always look forward to the Friday after Thanksgiving lunch when we reheat the turkey, the mashed potatoes, and anything else we have left to eat!

Also, did you see the soup recipe I shared in my Let’s Look post on Wednesday? It’s so good and a great way to use up your leftover turkey!

The Weather and FAll Colors:

The weather and the fall colors of the leaves always make the holiday even better! Whether we are in KC or KY, we tend to luck out with pretty mild weather.


It’s always great to see family around the holidays. It makes that time of the year even more special. Some years, we see my family in KC, and other years we see Trav’s family from various parts of Kentucky. This year, we probably won’t see family like we usually do, but hopefully we can get back on track with that tradition next year.

Thanksgiving through the years…
No stress of Gifts:

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving because of food, family, and….no gift giving! It’s nice just to show up, hang out, eat, and not feel overwhelmed with gift buying lists, wrapping, and hauling gifts from house to house (or state to state!)

The Parade:

I’ve always loved the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I remember watching it as a kid, and I always turn it on for my kids now too. I’m not saying I always watched every second of it, but it’s just nice to even have it on in the background while hanging out or cooking.

The Lights:

The Plaza lights in KC are always a must when we visit. On Thanksgiving evening, there is always a ceremony, a countdown, and then the lights are lit! Whether it’s right after Thanksgiving or when we visit at Christmas, we try to see them as a family.

I remember as a kid going with my family to drive through that part of town and look at the lights…followed by a hamburger and shake at Winsteads (another KC fave!)

Giving Thanks:

Of course, I try to give thanks on other days besides Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving does provide a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the blessings in my life.

One thing my school does is gratitude feathers. Students fill out the feathers for their teachers thanking them, and then they get put in teacher mailboxes for teachers to receive before Thanksgiving break. I never expect to receive a gratitude feather, but I always love when I do. The sweet messages keep me going during this time of the school year.

2019 gratitude feathers
Elementary Art:

Through the years, I’ve loved seeing what the kids bring home in their backpacks from school. Whether it’s a turkey or a cap with feathers, I always love talking with them about their masterpieces.

I’m sad that this year looks so different for Hayden and Hadley, and this is another example of “what would have been” if they were in school for a regular year. I doubt there will be any Thanksgiving artwork in middle school. #sadface

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday: Turkey Day Edition

Here are some kid and family pics through the years. Thankfully, they don’t fight me much when when I ask them to dress up a bit to see family!

Weekly Recap:

Even with this year looking differently, I continue to be thankful for family, friends, and our health.

What blessings are you counting this year?

Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Have a great weekend,

Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look

Today is Let’s Look!

This is a fun link up with Shay and Erika where we take a peek on an assigned topic for the month!

This year we’ve looked at:

  • January: your bedside table
  • February: your winter wardrobe
  • March: what’s inside your purse
  • April: Easter at your house
  • May: your weekend
  • June: what’s in your carry on bag
  • July: your summer wardrobe
  • August: your desk
  • September: your school pics
  • October: how you pumpkin

This month’s topic is holiday menu. Since it’s November, I’m thinking Shay and Erika meant Thanksgiving menu, so that’s my focus for today’s post.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It always has been. I’ve always loved watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade even as a kid. Also, there’s no stress of buying presents, and the Thanksgiving offers the best food you’ll eat all year!

I saw this graphic on Twitter recently, and thought it went perfectly with today’s topic. I’m from Missouri, and yes, I love all the carbs…including rolls. Kentucky’s most popular side is apparently broccoli casserole which would not be my vote for favorite side. #hardpassforme

We usually are in KC with family for Thanksgiving, and my cousin always out does herself with the table scape and decor.

And…there are always sweet little touches like these personalized chocolate turkeys.

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always spent with my dad’s side of the family. Even now, when I go home, we still celebrate with that side of the family.

One Thanksgiving my dad visited us here, and my sister-in-law and I made the turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. It was quite a successful Thanksgiving, but it confirmed what I already knew….hosting a holiday is hard work!

For a couple of Thanksgivings we’ve gone to Trav’s side of the family in Elizabethtown, and the food is great there too.

We are now kind of on an every other year rotation with staying home or going to KC. We’ll be home this year, and I’m not exactly sure what our plans will be.

Thanksgiving Menu:

No matter where we are celebrating, the menu seems to be mostly the same:

  • 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 pie + other pies for dessert

Turkey Soup:

For a tradition with my mom, we typically make a turkey soup with the recipe that I’ve had for years…. We got the recipe from my high school boy friend’s dad probably back in 1998(ish). 😅The relationship didn’t last but the soup tradition continues! 😂

It’s one of the best ways to use the leftover turkey, and I’ve even made it with chicken at other points in the year.

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 4 cans water
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1-2 c. shredded carrots
  • 2 c. uncooked rice + a little bit more
  • leftover shredded turkey
  • Creole spice (I usually have the Tony Chachere brand)
  • Saute the chopped onions in some oil.
  • Add in soups + cans of water and heat for a few minutes.
  • Add in the the turkey and shredded carrots. Stir to combine.
  • Pour in 2 cups of rice, and I add in a little bit more rice.
  • Top the ingredients with Creole spice plus a bit more. Stir.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

I make this soup every year whether I’m in KY or in KC. It’s definitely one of my favorite turkey day traditions.

Next month’s topic is Let’s Look at your Christmas cards!

I can’t believe that next month’s post will be the last Let’s Look for 2020!

As always, thanks so much for reading. I truly do appreciate it!

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts, and I will see you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Take care,

Posted in Family, Holidays, Travel

Thanksgiving in KC

Well, the five day break certainly flew by…& now just three weeks of school until winter break!

We traveled to Kansas City to see my family for Thanksgiving.

We headed out after school on Tuesday, made a pit stop in St. Louis and finished the drive on Wednesday morning.

We decided to bring Homer with us. He was awesome in the car and in the hotel overnight. (I joked with the kids that Homer won “best behaved” between the three of them 😂)

The rest of the fam went to eat breakfast at the hotel. I turned my back for a minute and found Homer living his best life on the hotel bed #baddog

Wednesday, we just hung out with family and had pizza for dinner…followed by early bedtimes for all.

Thanksgiving morning, we slept in and lounged around until Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin’s house.

Snuggles with my mom’s dog, Gus.

I’ve always loved watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning & now my kids do too.

Ready to go — & of course, thankful for these two…

Thanksgiving on my dad’s side of the family is always fun. My cousin’s house is so pretty and the tablescape was beautiful. I loved the chocolate turkeys with our names on them for place settings.

After dinner, we always watch the Plaza Lighting ceremony on tv (& then we recreated it as we flipped my cousin’s outside lights on 😂)…Then, we usually play a game…This year, we played Empire, and had a great time.

Friday consisted of some online shopping , card playing, a nap…or two and turkey soup for dinner. My mom’s been making the turkey soup for years on the Friday after Thanksgiving. My grandma came over to have dinner with us.

I do not Black Friday shop…at ALL. I’m more of a Cyber Monday girl. Fighting the masses for things I can buy online has always sounded like 0 fun. I saw this on Instagram, & my 5w6 ring true!

Uno and coffee. Low key Friday
Hadley and Gma worked on their selfie game!
Both are so cute, right? 🙂

Saturday morning, we packed up, had breakfast at a local place, picked up Homer at my dad’s house and headed home.

Homer was our backseat driver!

I’m always sad to leave after a good visit, but it’s also always good to get home, get situated and ready for the week ahead…plus, we had a Christmas tree to buy and a Santa to see!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you have a great week.

Thanks for reading,


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