Thankfully Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and weekend this past weekend here in ole Memph! We were treated to what I called Jerkinspalooza...all of Jonathan's 3 brothers + their families were in town visiting the homestead, and his grandfather and uncle came in from Houston. (Four boys plus growing families equals a lot of Jerkins running around indeed!)  The food was all delicious as usual, and the company fantastic.

What follows are some non-extraordinary photos I tried to snap during the weekend in between everything. (Thankfully, Uncle Stephen was there to document things properly, though I haven't seen any of his images quite yet.)

Firstly, I guess I could tell you what my culinary contributions consisted of...

- The Annual Tony's Spinach (recipe courtesy of my dad via Granny--have I ever shared this one?), tripled this year for ample leftovers:

- Grandma Nettie's yeast rolls, via my friend Blue Jean Gourmet (delicious!):

- Carrot Cake for Aunt Amanda's birthday (on Thanksgiving Day this year, and my dad's birthday also!), recipe from my friend Kate via her MIL, April.

- Crockpot Pear-Ginger Applesauce, recipe from here. SO delicious! When I came across this recipe, I instantly knew Juliette would love it and she did. I think the rest of us did too.

The weather on Thanksgiving Day was lovely--70 degrees and sunny. We enjoyed lots of time outside...

(p.s. did you know it is hard to get a photo of a toddler?)

Our annual post-Thanksgiving walk:

I just love seeing the two strollers and their passengers here! Reason and Juliette are 9 months apart, and I know this photo will be fun to look back at years down the road.

The Turkey made a reappearance:

 Jules in the new hat that "AJ" knitted her!

Our 3rd annual Jerkins Bros. Wives Club night out! This year at Sweet Grass Next Door.  (man, the iphone flash really stinks.)

And (almost) best of all, Amanda brought me a box of these guys along with a few other things from TJ's...

Little Jules ended up getting the stomach bug the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Daddy was luckily off of school last week and did a fantastic job caring for her. She wasn't quite herself all week (we think she may be cutting a pesky canine tooth), but she still greatly enjoyed being around her family and cousins and playing her little heart out.

Somehow we're almost to December and CHRISTMAS!  As excited as I am about the holidays, this gestational clock is just tick-tick-ticking away. It will really be March in the blink of an eye!

We have so much to be thankful for. Especially in light of last year's scariness, I think this year I am most thankful for Juliette's ongoing good health and wonderful development. We are looking forward to enjoying a peaceful Christmas with her this year, (hopefully) from the comfort of our own home...though we are also hoping to be able to join in the efforts of serving the families who are at LeBonheur on Christmas, too.

Oh, I'd like to send happiest of birthday wishes to my little brother Scottie today, all the way out to sunny CA! Love you, buddy!

Our New Favorite Stew / Butternut Squash Quinoa Chicken Stew

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I've made this twice now this fall (though, in this phase of life, making anything feels impressive in itself). It is so yummy and healthy! My dear friend Erin sent me this link last fall and when I finally made it this year, it was love at first bite. (Juliette loves it too!)

Here is the link for the full recipe, but here are a few of my [short-cut] notes:

- the first time I made this stew, I used frozen chicken breasts and cooked them in the crock pot ahead of time. I know this doesn't yield the same level of chicken broth the recipe calls for, but it saves time.
- I used a bag of frozen butternut squash and it made that part SO easy. (I actually have vowed to never attempt fresh butternut squash ever again, after a traumatic experience trying to make soup late late on a weeknight that went in the garbage.)
- We omitted the olives, and this time, threw in a little spinach at the very end for some green.
- I'm not really sure she specifies about the salt and pepper, but yes it needs salt and pepper.

Yall have any new soup/stew recipes that you are loving? I froze half of this for post-Thanksgiving and am looking forward to pulling it out when we need a shot of warmth and yumminess.

Be back with my Thanksgiving kitchen agenda later! I'm excited about what I'm making this year.

A House with a Yellow Front Door

Monday, November 12, 2012

That's where we live!

I posted this on instagram last night, but after mentioning it a couple of times on this here blog, thought I'd give you a visual here too.

The color is "Yukon Gold" from Olympic at Lowe's. We lucked out and only tried two samples before deciding on this color. (Actually, I'm not sure if that's luck or my propensity to just hurry-up-and-make-a-decision. Probably both.)

The shutters are next--some sort of dark navy/almost black?

It's amazing what a new coat of paint will do to make you love something...I have been convinced that we needed a new front door since we moved in (we removed a matching-to-the-shutters louvered/screen door upon arrival). But this cheery yellow one makes me happy as a clam. That Jonfen did a great job painting it.

You'll notice Juliette's rearrangement of the pumpkins on the front porch. The dead mum is her mummy's fault.

2013 One Page Calendar

Monday, November 05, 2012

Do yall feel like I'm sort of on the ball with this? I mean, it's still 2012 for crying out loud.

Truth be told, I made this calendar almost as soon as I found out we were expecting again, so I could notate how the weeks laid out until D-Day. (Weird or normal?) So yeah, it's been in existence since mid/late July (ha), but here you go.

Here's a visual, but please click the links below and download to get/print the higher-resolution PDF (the colors below are a little off, too):

I stayed true to my original formula with a mere font update (see 2011 and 2012 here, if you'd like).

For the 2013 version, go to these links to download the PDF in either color (shown above) or black/white:

2013 One Page Calendar, color

2013 One Page Calendar, black and white

Update 2/8/13: I've changed hosting sites for the PDF--hopefully this site will work better. As always, email me if you'd like me to directly send you the PDF.

If you have any trouble downloading it, email me directly (email address is on right-hand sidebar), and I will send you the PDF.

Happy November and happy almost-2013 (it's coming)!

Though I love Thanksgiving and have even waxed poetic in the past against pre-Thanksgiving Christmas hoopla, I must confess that this year, I am loving the Christmas paraphernalia that has already made its way into the marketplace. We pretty much missed Christmas last year with Jules' illness, so I am eager to enjoy it this year with my little family and best gal.

We Had Turkey for Halloween

Thursday, November 01, 2012

photo 4

Jonathan puts himself in charge of Baby Halloween Costume Acquisition, and this year hit another grand slam. I think our turkey came out just right.

(top left and bottom right from her school's costume "parade" and top right is Daddy's "Ghost of Elvis" costume. Yeah, I don't know. Bottom left is our trick-or-treat tally about two-thirds of the way through the night. Final count was 129.)

With Aunt Martha the Fox at our church's trunk or treat:

photo 4

First-ever trick-or-treating stop, with neighbor Bo:

photo 2

We are both pretty shocked that we have gotten her to wear this costume 3 TIMES now, head piece included, especially since the try-on sessions were not very successful. And before you ask, yes, we will be considering this outfit for Thanksgiving Day.

And a look back, for posterity's sake:

photo (117)

(Can't wait for our repeat little turtle next year with tiny baby girl #2!)

If one thing's for sure, this is somewhat of a WILD turkey! She wants to run everywhere and gather acorns and rocks to eat. In other words, it is tough getting photographs of this turkey.

I said this on instagram yesterday, but Halloween may be reason enough to become a parent. Seeing your little one in costume (along with her friends) is almost too much goodness and hilarity to handle.

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