Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fall Bucket List 2016 – What We Accomplished

We were very successful this year with our fall bucket list… there were only three things that we didn’t get around to doing, and let’s be honest… two of them were pretty lofty goals!

O N E – Decorate the House for Fall

Check!  This is one that I’m sure we won’t ever have trouble accomplishing.  You can see the full tour here.

T W O – Take Jacob to His First Georgia Football Game

Check!  And what a game it was!!  We took him to the Georgia vs. Tennessee game in Athens back in October and it was such a nail biter.  We ended up losing in the last second, but oh what an impression the excitement of the game made on Jacob.  I think he’ll be following along with Georgia football for a long time after that one!

T H R E E – Install a TV on Our Back Porch and Watch Football Outside

Fail.  And this was one of the ones that I was skeptical about achieving anyway.  B is the one who’s going to have to orchestrate this ordeal, and he didn’t take the reins this year.  Maybe in the spring…

F O U R – Attend Homecoming for My Alma Mater and Jacob’s Current School 

Check!  We attended this back in September and a good time was had by all. 

F I V E – Head to the Mountains for a Fall Weekend Getaway

Check check check and this was such an amazing trip!!!!  We had the very best time, we really did.  I’m ready to go back!  You can see the posts here and here.

S I X – Go Apple Picking

YAAAAS, CHECK!  The highlight of our mountain trip, and yes, it was everything I had ever dreamed of!  

S E V E N – Go Wine-Tasting at a Vineyard

Check!  And boy, was it lovely.  Another highlight of our mountain trip.

E I G H T – Go Gem Grubbing

Check!  And the kids have a case full of gems to prove it!

N I N E – Find a New Pumpkin Patch to Visit

Check!  Well, it wasn’t as much fun as our old place, but it was still a good time.  You can see the post here.

T E N – Carve Pumpkins

Check!  Jacob dreamed it, I designed it, and B brought Jacob’s dream to life.  The post is here  

E L E V E N – Make S’mores

Check!  Even though Olivia wouldn’t touch hers and Jacob only ate the insides.  Lol.

T W E L V E – Trick-or-Treat

Check!  We had our very own Stormtrooper and Belle for the evening and the entire night was perfect.  You can see the recap here.

T H I R T E E N – Watch Our Favorite Halloween Movies

Check!  We watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown several times, including Halloween night – because, tradition – and we also watched Curious George’s Halloween and Toy Story Tower of Terror.

F O U R T E E N – Read Our Favorite Fall Books

Check!  We have a heap of them, and most were read several times.

F I F T E EN – Find Some New Fall Books to Enjoy

Fail.  I just never got around to purchasing anything new… I really, really need to scoop up Room on the Broom for next year!

S I X T E E N – Hire a Professional Photographer for Fall Family Pictures

Check!  And boy, did the pictures turn out great.  I’m staring at one on my desktop as I type this.  I can’t wait to share all of them with you in the next couple of weeks.

S E V E N T E E N – Drink at Least Three Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Check!  Check!  Check!  But I also found the Salted Caramel Mocha thanks to Amy, and I think it now has my heart.  

E I G H T E E N – Play in the Leaves and Enjoy the Fall Foliage

Check!  There was plenty of this on our mountain trip.

N I N E T E E N – Make an Apple Pie from Scratch

Fail.  Saw that one coming.  ;o)

T W E N T Y – Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Check!  Got this one checked off the list this past weekend.

Now bring on Christmas!!!!

*Linking up with Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend despite the fact that Olivia was sick.  She came down with croup on Tuesday – super stuffy/runny nose, nasty cough, and that scary breathing that accompanies croup.  Fortunately we were able to get some medicine in her to keep her comfortable, and she seemed to be just fine for the majority of the weekend despite her symptoms.  Unfortunately I seem to have come down with something this morning, although mine seems to be a much lighter version of hers, but at least it waited until after the holidays so I was able to enjoy my food.  Thanksgiving with no taste buds does not a good time make. 

Anyway, we started the long weekend by doing more decorating around the house Wednesday evening.  We got in our PJs, turned on some Christmas tunes, and got the Christmas tree up in our master bedroom.  We made eggs, grits, bacon, and toast for dinner, and then we all settled in on the couch to watch some old Christmas cartoons (which by the way were very strange… thanks, Amazon Prime.  Won’t be watching those again.  Lol).  Once the kiddos were in bed, B and I mixed up some Moscow Mules and then settled in for Stranger Things and Gilmore Girls.  We finished Stranger Things season one and y'all, was it me or was that whole show completely pointless??  #ImAHater

Thanksgiving morning we got up verrrry early thanks to Olivia’s sickness, B ran out and grabbed a newspaper, I made homemade waffles, and then we all watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while devouring the Black Friday ads.  Our Thanksgiving mornings look much the same each year, but I sure do love our traditions.  

We did have a little mishap Thanksgiving morning when Olivia stumbled and fell into the side of the couch.  Instead of hitting the 90% of it that’s soft, she hit her face on the 10% of it that’s hard and she started screaming.  I jumped up and there was blood pouring from her nose as well as a pool of blood in her mouth.  My heart sank and my first thoughts were that we were going to spend Thanksgiving at the hospital, but fortunately after cleaning her up and rinsing out her mouth, we discovered there was no major damage.  I’m honestly not even sure where all of the blood came from.  She did, however, get a scrape above her lip, so for the rest of the pictures in this post, you’ll see her battle wounds.  Poor thing.

At noon we met my father-in-law at the country club for Thanksgiving lunch.  It is one of the best meals of the entire year and I look forward to it every single year.  We dined on ham and turkey, stuffing, green beans, sweet potato soufflé, fingerling potato salad, fresh fruit, a ton of other things that I didn’t even have room for on my plate, as well as a gazillion different desserts.  I may or may not have had a slice of pumpkin pie, a slice of key lime pie, and two chocolate chip cookies. 

Hey, I had to make up for the fact that I didn’t get to eat at all last Thanksgiving.  ;o)

After lunch, we took a walk along the river, another tradition of ours.  The weather was perfection and it was truly a beautiful day.  Such a picturesque walk through our little town.  

After our walk it was back home for some to rest, and for others (ahem, me) to start preparing for our Thanksgiving dinner later on in the day.  I made my mother-in-law’s hot pineapple casserole (I really need to post this recipe soon… it’s incredible), and while that was baking I finished up our Christmas chalkboard for the kitchen.

We headed to my aunt and uncle’s house at 5:30 for Thanksgiving dinner with my mom’s entire side of the family… all 30-ish of us!  In all my enjoyment, I totally forgot to snap any pictures of the food, but I’m sure you can imagine what we had – ham, turkey, smoked Boston butt, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato soufflé, mac n cheese, green bean casserole, pineapple casserole, more dishes that I’m forgetting, my Aunt Joy’s cinnamon muffins (another recipe that I need to share on here), and numerous desserts.  And an open bar.  We can’t forget about that!  ;o)

We stuffed ourselves until we couldn’t possibly eat any more, and then we all sat around chatting and catching up.  Olivia is completely obsessed with hairstyles so she went from girl to girl (mostly between my cousins) and “styled their hair.”  I wish I had snapped a few pictures because it was just too cute. 

We also Facetimed with my brother and sis-in-law and my nephew and then we took a few family pictures.  Here’s my mom with all of her siblings and their mom (my grandmother). 

And here is my mom with all of her sisters and their mom.  Can you tell that I’m related to all of them?

We stayed way too late and got the kids in bed way too late, and then went home, watched some Gilmore Girls, and called it a night.  It was Thanksgiving perfection and I am oh so thankful for days like those.

Friday morning was spent cleaning the entire house top to bottom – sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning counters and toilets, etc. – in preparation for the Christmas season.  Once the cleaning ended, the decorating continued!  I got some new stuff from Hobby Lobby for our formal dining room and I am head over heels for how it turned out.  I can’t wait to share it with you next Tuesday!

We went out to Five Guys for lunch, and then we went and picked up a Christmas tree.  It was unseasonably hot again, but we made the most of it as we were sweating and whining.  Haha.

Friday afternoon we put Olivia down for her nap and I spent the next two hours putting the lights on the tree so it would be prepped and ready for decorating later that night.  We had Olive Garden for dinner since we were over all of the Thanksgiving food, and then it was time to go home to decorate the tree. 

I shuffled my Christmas mix and we pulled out the ornaments.  The kids took turns hanging them (all in the same place, might I add) and I had the best time reminiscing as I unwrapped each one.  Each ornament on our tree tells a story, and every year it always makes me so happy hanging up the same ornaments that we have been hanging for years… some for 30+ years!  

Once the tree was up in all its glory, our elf, Cheek, made his appearance and we read our Elf on the Shelf book before sending the kiddos to bed.  And since Cheek is back, that also meant that I had to set the ol’ alarm again so we won’t forget to move him every night.  WHY is it so impossible to remember to do that?!

Saturday morning was spent putting up the outdoor Christmas decorations, and then it was off to my mother-in-law’s house for Thanksgiving numero tres.  B’s step-sister and her husband and family were in town, and they had brought their dog along.  Olivia loved him so much.  She chased him all over the yard, threw his ball over and over and over, and kept hugging him every five minutes.  She would have taken him home in a heartbeat if we would have let her.

And on a side note, she requested a ribbon in her hair – not a bow – for Thanksgiving lunch, so I put one of my old ribbons in her hair… so crazy that I used to wear that same ribbon when I was younger!

We stuffed our faces again for meal number three and I may or may not have had a piece of pecan pie, a snickerdoodle, a brownie, and three homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. 

What can I say?  I heart dessert.

The rest of Saturday was spent watching football, working on a new craft (coming to the blog soon), and not eating... Brian and I fed dinner to the kids, but he and I skipped it and just made a cheese plate instead.  I don’t think I could have eaten another bite of ham or turkey if I tried.

Sunday morning we headed back over to my mother-in-law’s house to celebrate my nephew’s birthday.  Since everyone was tired of regular food at that point, they had a brunch instead of lunch – eggs, grits, pancakes, sausage, bacon, hash browns, donut holes, and fresh fruit.  Yes, I ate a ton again, but it was a nice change of pace from all of the other Thanksgiving food.  Did I mention we had birthday cake, too?  <Insert cringey-face emoji here> I think I probably gained five eight pounds this weekend.

After the birthday cake was devoured and the presents were opened, B’s momma and sisters plus all of the cousins went to a new entertainment complex that just opened here.  They have bowling, bumper cars, and an arcade.  Jacob was in heaven.  He had been begging to go there for the last few weeks, so he didn’t even know what to do with himself!  He played game after game, and Olivia even joined in on a couple of them.  There wasn’t much for her to do there, so she and I headed out after about an hour so she could go down for her nap.

Sunday evening was spent at my momma and daddy’s for Sunday dinner.  Yep… more food.  Ranch chicken pasta, honey glazed carrots, and sautéd brussel sprouts with bacon.  I ate it all up… and now I need to go to the gym every day this week. 

Too bad I don’t have time.  ;o)

I hope your weekends were filled with family, fun, and food food food like ours was!  Happy Tuesday!

*Linking up with Our Pretty Little Girls for Tuesday Talk.