thanksgiving 2016

Welp, it's the last day of November so I better post about Thanksgiving. Good grief, you guys. I am so behind on everything... except decorating for Christmas (which we did the day after Thanksgiving cause I couldn't wait any longer) and I am almost completely done with my Christmas shopping so I think I deserve a huge mug of really good hot chocolate. Right? Right.
OK, on to this wonderful holiday. It was really quiet this year since we decided to stay here for the holidays this year. Traveling to California or Arizona with five people is a PRETTY PENNY around the holidays. Hopefully we can see family in February and I can indulge in all the family time, navel oranges and Mexican food my little heart desires! Anyway, we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, football while Fritz and I cooked away in the kitchen (he always wants to help in the kitchen). Then, David helped the boys write down some things they were thankful for before we ate so they had plenty of time to think about it.
I made the whole thing this year by myself which was a LOT of work but also fun because I got to pick what we ate. I made a turkey, of course, and it was perfect. Fritz helped me brine that little guy and named him Mr. Yumm. He was. We talked about being grateful for the turkey a lot that day. I also made mashed potatoes (with a mixture of russet and Yukon gold - a great combo) + Gravy, Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows (the way I like them), Lion House Rolls, Sausage, Cranberry and Caramelized Onion Stuffing, Haricot Verts with Lemon + Pine Nut Gremolata. The only thing I didn't make from scratch was the cranberry sauce because, who really cares? I like a tiny bit on my turkey but not enough to make it a big deal. Canned Trader Joe's cranberry sauce did the trick. I did add a little bit of orange zest when I heated it up in a saucepan, but that took like 10 seconds so I don't count it.
Thanksgiving dessert is one of my favorite things but since there was just the five of us, I settled for two kinds. David wanted my pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and I wanted my Chocolate Cream Pie with Cinnamon Pecan Graham Cracker Crust so I compromised (ha) and made both. It was all delicious and we just finished off all the leftovers.
We actually began eating while Louisa was taking her nap but she woke up right after we took this picture using the tripod. Then we all sat down and the boys read off their lists of ten things they are thankful for. It was really sweet to read their gratitude. I love these babies.

I'm so thankful for all the wonderful things in my life. Health, our home, my children, my husband, cooking, jazz music, good books, a job that I like and all the things I've learned about myself, parenting, the world and how to be a better person.


7 years old: minecraft party

My boy is SEVEN. I can't believe it. William is such a wonderful boy. Before I post about his birthday party, here are SEVEN things I love about him. This gorgeous picture was taken by my talented friend, Kelsey Henry. I love it so much.
1. Creativity: Will has such an active imagination. He's always thinking up stories and creating books with his drawings.

2. He loves to read: I never have to remind him to get his reading in for the day. He will gobble up anything that has words on it. I'm amazed at his comprehension too.

3. Helpful: I usually only have to remind him once to do something. He's not naturally a very neat person but I appreciate that he helps clean things up when asked (and he makes his bed most mornings without a reminder).

4. Sensitive: he can really sense the feelings of those around him. I am terrible at hiding my emotions too so he often is really attuned to my frustrations, sadness and excitement. He's so good at sharing in emotions as well. I'm grateful for his heart in this family.

5. Inventive: Will loves anything that he can build. He loves to make something out of other things and is always wanting to find a new way to do something. I think that quality is really going to help him throughout his life.

6. Kind: Will is a pretty timid creature in public but he is truly kind. He cares about other people and feels very sad when someone is hurt. We've had lot of conversations about social issues and I'm grateful that he is wanting to learn about equality and how he can be a part of making this world better.

7. Laugh: when this kid laughs, oh my. His big brown eyes light up and he has the funniest giggle. All you have to do is tickle him or perform some slap-stick trick and he is in a crumbled giggle fit on the floor. I love this kid!

On to his party! Will loves Minecraft so we had a Minecraft party and the colors were conveniently also Seahawks colors. Will also loves the Seahawks... as does all of Seattle. Boy, do they love their 'hawks! Anyway, I kind of have to laugh when I look at these pictures because the amount of work we put into this party was a little ridiculous for how happy it made Will. Like, did I really need to make Jell-O Jigglers for "water blocks", Red Vine TNT blocks and a punching prize game that David and I spent hours making until 1:30 a.m. the night before and the kids spent 5 minutes destroying? Probably not. I think Will did really love the party though. Haha!
We had to have a Kit Kat cake cause he LOVES Kit Kats. Plus, what better way to use leftover Halloween candy? I topped it some with Minecraft characters and 7 red candles clumped together to make TNT. He thought that was pretty cool.
David helped make this Creeper face out of square paper plates on the wall. It was the only decoration we did but it had a big impact and it was cheap! I also served pulled pork sliders, macaroni salad, chips and drinks. Will was excited about the food menu and then ate exactly none of the food. Sounds about right.
Here's the punch box game that we made using this tutorial. It wasn't necessarily hard but it just took a long time to assemble. We filled it with yo-yos, gum, sticky spiders and other little toys.
I think Will's favorite part of the party was just having his friends there. You can see in his face that he was really happy to be surrounded by his buddies. He has a nice group of friends.
Happy Birthday Wilbur! We love you to the moon!


ten years

Ten years ago today, David and I were married. Ten years. I remember being a teenager and my older siblings having their ten year anniversaries and I thought, "Wow, they are so old!" And trust me - I feel old! I feel like this is such a turning point for us. We've been through a lot together the last couple of years and I'm so grateful for his unconditional love and dedication to this marriage. It hasn't been easy but these growing pains have made us stronger.
Not a day goes by that I'm not glad to be married to this man (yes, even when I'm upset with him). He is patient and kind and positive. He encourages me and makes me feel loved. We've both grown and changed a lot over the years and I'm glad that we've grown together. I know that's not always the case but it's something I'm grateful for. Thank you for these ten years, my love. Here's to many more.


halloween 2016

Halloween was fun... exhausting but fun. I'm so ready to put away the decorations, clean up my house and toss out all the reject candies. You know? But the kids had a great night and we were safe and that's all I can ask for. Anyway, Will was Darth Vader, Fritz dressed up in this amazing red dragon costume (seriously, every kid that we passed thought it was THE ultimate) and Lulu dressed in this adorable kitty costume. She LOVED it and I was surprised that she was up for the whole kit and caboodle (or "kitten caboodle"!)
Totally last minute, I found this ratty black wig in the costume box, and had just bought my first ever slouchy knit hat at Target earlier in the day, so I decided I'd embrace the whole Pacific Northwest life and dress up as one of my favorite characters from Portlandia, Toni of Women and Women First feminist bookstore. "What a journal should be is a document of misery."
That's all she wrote. Hope you all had a great Halloween!


family photos twenty sixteen

We haven't had any family photos taken since Louisa was born and thought it was high time to get some taken for the holidays! I found Kelsey on a community page when someone else posted their pictures and knew she would be awesome. She did NOT disappoint. Not only was she talented with a camera but she is also just an all-around nice, fun person. Portrait photography is not just about how well you can wield a camera. It's about personality and making your subjects feel comfortable. She has both gifts and I am so happy with the way they turned out.

Kelsey found the most PERFECT location after I told her I wanted something that reflects where we live and something with water in the background. Someday, I would love to have a home on the water but until that day, I wanted to at least display some photos in our home with water. These fit the bill! I mean, can you deal with that view? I also chose outfits for our family in colors and patterns that I thought would look good with the way I decorate.
Thanks a million, Kelsey!