Thanksgiving 2017 is on the books. It was a bit of a sad Thanksgiving this year as it was the first Thanksgiving without Grandma W. That first Thanksgiving is always awkward. Awkward and sad. This proved to be no different. And it was strange because my Father-in-laws house is always booming with people. Not this year though. There was still a fair amount of us, but still, it was different. (more…)
I saw a friend posted on Facebook yesterday (I think it was) a question asking if everyone had that perfect, Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner. Then she asked what about those who had no one. I am paraphrasing. I guess I never really thought about it truthfully. We have Thanksgiving whether it’s my extended family or just my close family, either way, we celebrate it. In 2011, hubby and I made our first Thanksgiving meal. Prior to that we just attended Thanksgiving at family’s house.
I always had a goal to make a turkey. In 2012 we made our first Bacon Wrapped turkey. Yum! I think having a turkey is the only “traditional thing” we do. We play with sides. We play with turkey recipes. We’re not traditionalists. I remember one year at my aunt’s house she said we were having a “grown-up” Thanksgiving meal. It was good, but the only traditional part was having a turkey. I wish I was into taking pictures that Thanksgiving (as I am now) so I had a memory of what we actually had… I remember steamed green beans, roasted potato chunks, and that’s about my recollection of that menu.
But… do we have that Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner? Good question. Here’s what Thanksgiving looks like at our house, give or take….
Jump forward 5 years to about the beginning of October…. okay, back up to earlier this year first. When we were working on Abug’s quilt, I took hubby’s army uniforms to my grandma’s and told her we needed to make hubby’s quilt also. We used a couple pieces in Abug’s quilt and then it sat all spring/summer in grandma’s sewing room. So now we’re at the beginning of October and I went to grandma’s to can my fall green beans. I looked at her and said, OH CRAP, we were going to make hubby’s quilt and his birthday is in 4 weeks (or whatever the actual time frame was).
I knew that I was going to be busy the week of October 16th due to the Newton County Christmas for Kids Chili Cookoff and that I would be out of town the week of hubby’s birthday. So I told Grandma, if you can help, we’ll get this done for his birthday. She was ecstatic to help. Grandma’s are cool like that.
Choosing the Quilt Pattern
The first day we went to work, we had to decide what pattern to make. Grandma has a HUGE stack of pattern magazines and books. When I say huge, I’m not exaggerating and imagine HUGE! We debated this one and that one and tossed around ideas. Then I ran across this in the back of one of the magazines. The thing is… it wasn’t a pattern but more of an advertisement.
The more I got to looking at it, the more I realized we had done this type of star in Abug’s quilt, so I pulled that pattern out. I sat there and did calculations (yes, everyone trusted my mathematical skills…. scary I know) and away we went to making this quilt.
Today is my dear darling husband’s birthday. I knew I wasn’t going to have an opportunity to bake his birthday cake with Abug this week, so over the weekend she and I made his cake. I decided on making a chocolate cake topped with a peanut butter butter cream icing and mini reese’s pieces. The chocolate cake I decided to use was my grandma’s recipe. Abug and I made the cake, I put it into the oven, baked it off, and that’s when it all fell apart, literally.
It’s no surprise that I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I do. I can’t hide that fact. Some people ask why I like it so much. This is kind of hard to put into words but I’ll try. There is something so magical around the time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is something in the air. The air is crisp, which it is also known I hate cold weather, but that time of year you know you need snow so that Santa can deliver his presents. Duh!
But there is a spirit among people. Yes, a lot of people are stressed out by Christmas and they say that the suicide rate is up around this time of year, but there are a lot of happy people around this time of year. They are out and about shopping for just the perfect present for their loved ones and friends. There is Christmas lights and Christmas music and little kids getting so excited that Santa will visit.
That is the thing though… Little kids get extremely excited about the thought of Santa visiting. Some little kids though are sad at this time of the year. Their family is going through some struggle and the thought of Christmas is far from their mind. That’s where Santa’s helpers come in to play.
There are organizations that are working year round to make sure that every little kid knows what Christmas is and knows that they aren’t forgotten. Santa’s helpers run fundraisers and ring bells, and everything else to raise money for presents for those deserving little kids.
I’m sure we all know this, right? So why am I discussing this? Well, because the last few years I have been working with one of those organizations. I have been volunteering my time to help raise money. To help raise awareness. All little kids are deserving all year round, but I want them to know my favorite time of year and have fond memories of it just like I have.
Hello. We’ve now been married 7 years. Some days it feels just like yesterday that we were dating and other days it feels like much longer. But the thing is…. we still kind of like each other. (haha)
This year our anniversary fell on Labor Day Monday. It does that from time to time. I guess that’s what happens when you get married Labor Day Weekend. Chances are your anniversary will fall on Labor Day Weekend. Totally cool with that, because that meant we got to spend our Anniversary together. Score.
Our morning started off with breakfast at Jimmy’s Egg. Ever eaten at one of them? You should. They specialize in Breakfast and lunch. This… this is good and totally worth every last calorie laden bite. This is the Carnitas Skillet. I’ve tried and tried to find the description and I’m afraid if I tell you I’ll forget something…. so be prepared…. It’s hash browns, eggs, cheese (Monterey Jack), pulled pork, sausage, bacon (maybe, I can’t remember), topped with tomatoes and onions and just all around YUM!
Here we are, halfway through the next month and I still haven’t recapped/talked about my birthday.
I should tell you I hate birthdays. Not because I don’t like getting older. No, I’m fine with that. That means I’m still alive. I just hate the day. In more recent years I haven’t had good birthdays. It’s been forgotten by family and friends (not all, please don’t take offense if you remembered!!!). It gets treated like another day. It’s just not a big deal. And I guess I feel like it should be a big deal? I don’t know. Maybe I’m full of myself… ha.
When hubby and I got together, it seems like he gets week long birthday’s and I barely get a day. I guess I was a bit jealous of that. The reason he gets that is that if his birthday falls during the week, we’re supposed to get Tbug to celebrate, but that doesn’t always happen. So we celebrate on his birthday. I’ve thrown him surprise birthdays. Plus we’ve celebrated his real birthday on a weekend we had Tbug. Multiple times all of this has happened.
This year, my hubby decided to give me a week long birthday. This morning I saw a quote on Facebook:
I know good men still exist because I am lucky enough to have one.
A friend from college commented that she couldn’t help but think back to our Memoirs class and how much she learned about him. Maybe this is something I should have written about in class… Although I’m not far enough removed from it to use for a memoir.
Anyway, let’s quit procrastinating and let’s discuss
My birthday started out the weekend before my birthday, if you ask hubby. I had been wanting to eat at the Japanese Steakhouse for a while. He decided we were eating there and that was the start of my birthday.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I challenged myself to the “cupcake” challenge this year. You know… the Food Network January/February 2017 cupcake for every month challenge. Then a couple weeks ago I was talking to the hubs and told him that I needed a challenge for next year. He laughed at me saying, “But Nicole, you still have the rest of this year. We’re only at July.” I know, I know, but I’m thinking ahead. My idea was to do a pie for every month. Come on… who doesn’t like pie. And I may still persue that… who knows…
For about a month leading up to Abug’s birthday she begged and pleaded (okay, that’s a bit of an extreme but we are referring to a toddler here….) that she wanted cookies and a cake and cupcakes for her birthday. I promised her I would take care of her. Now, she was back and forth between cupcakes and cake, but the cookies… they were definitely a want.
She chose Princess Elena of Avalor theme for her party so the cookies were Princess Elena’s dress. I was quite pleased with how they turned out. At first, I wasn’t so sure but once they were done, I was pleased. This year I took cookies to the lake for her “lake birthday.”
A couple days before her birthday I decided on cupcakes in the shape of a Princess Elena dress to go along with the theme of the cookies. She prefers chocolate cake over vanilla although she isn’t really picky, so I went with chocolate cake into cupcakes. I made the yellow sash with a piece of ribbon. It was easier than trying to do it with icing and I was afraid a red sash wouldn’t stand out.