Thursday, November 26, 2020
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
A few days ago, a package arrived from my parents. This isn't an unusual occurrence (my mom regularly sends us masks, and she periodically sends the kids the Sunday comics from their newspaper), however it's always appreciated, as receiving and opening "fun" mail always lifts everyone's spirits.This particular package contained - as expected - masks, as well as a postcard with a picture of Disney's EPCOT Center on the front. I assumed the postcard came from our trip to Disney World last January; I thought perhaps my mom had purchased it as a souvenir and then decided she no longer wanted it and sent it to me.
Love, Grandma and Grandpa
My Grandpa Russ died when I was younger than Hallie and my Grandma Hallie died when I was in college, so I checked the postmark.
I was just five years old when this postcard arrived in the mail for me, and as I read through what my grandparents had written, I could see how perfectly it was crafted - all capital letters and simple words - for a five-year-old who would have been learning to read.
Friday, November 20, 2020
As of later this afternoon, all four of us are on a nine-day Thanksgiving break. Hallie has dance on Monday; Will has optional soccer practices on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; and both Tom and I have some work we need to fit in, but other than that, much-needed relaxation lies ahead.
|Hallie had to do a music research project on a favorite band |
of mine. I picked The Chicks, and her project was awesome.
|Having three kittens at once is exactly as |
crazy as you might imagine it to be. Frequently
it feels like there are kittens everywhere.
|It's funny how often they all three |
flock to the same person at the same time.
|My friend Anne dropped off miniature charcuterie "boards" |
and wine bottles ahead of a virtual party she hosted. SUCH a
fun idea, and one I'll remember for future virtual gatherings!
|When you show up at dance wearing the EXACT |
same outfit as your bestie...I guess it makes sense that our
bestie daughters always end up dressed the same as well.
|This toy was for the kittens, but Tux claimed it. He does |
NOT like RBG and does NOT want to share this toy. 😂
|Yep, we finally put a television on our porch! |
I haven't turned it on yet, but it's nice to know
it's there for future football game watching.
|She's teaching Bader (in her lap) and Ginsberg |
how to play Dos. They don't quite get it yet.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
I still can't watch the 2011 version of this video without tearing up. I miss that sweet, spicy, pleasantly precocious two-year-old…
Friday, November 13, 2020
as trick-or-treaters began to arrive.
|He did NOT want to be a dinosaur.|
|He did, however, want to ride in Will's |
pumpkin tote after the candy had been dumped.
So on Sunday, Mandi and her girls, Jenn and her girl, and me and my girl, road tripped to Nonny's house for the best morning of just "being". That time together was so needed and so appreciated.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
- I've followed Kate Bryan of The Small Things Blog (@k8_smallthings) for years - I jumped on her bandwagon back when her online presence included only YouTube hair tutorials shared via Pinterest. She's considered a pretty "high ranking" influencer now, and while I don't particularly like following influencers, I've stuck with her as she grew in popularity because she was/is/has stayed so incredibly nice. She is also honest and real, is from the midwest, loves cats, and has refreshingly down-to-earth approaches to her job as an influencer, to parenting, and to body image, among other things. Oh, and because of her I know how to curl my hair and which jeans to buy to disguise the aftermath of my c-sections. 😉
- I only recently started following Kamri Phillippi (@kamphoxy) She's a mixed race adult woman (her mom is white and her dad is black) who is married to a white man and has one mixed race biological son, one adopted mixed race daughter, and two adopted black daughters. She obviously has an incredibly unique perspective on race in our country, and I love listening to her talk about her experiences growing up, as half of a mixed race couple, and parenting both biological and adopted children. She does a "Teaching Tuesday" segment each week, and while these segments feel informal and comfortable, they're open, honest, and informative about topics I need to learn more about.
- I make a similar version of this Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili, and while delicious, it's missing the corn, cream cheese, and half and half that I think made this recipe even better. I topped my bowl with a little monterey jack cheese, and it was perfection. (Next time I'll serve it with sour cream, avocado slices, and homemade tortilla strips as well, just to raise the recipe from and A to an A+.)
- I honestly thought these Garlic Butter Meatballs and Zoodles were going to crash and burn, but everyone - all FOUR of us - LOVED it. I used ground turkey instead of chicken and made only two zucchinis worth of zoodles because that's what I had on hand, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Next time I'll use four zucchinis, as that's what I need to comfortably feed the four of us, but otherwise I won't change a thing!
- This Beefy Tomato Soup was quick, easy, inexpensive, and perfect for a cool fall evening. I used a little less chicken stock than the recipe called for because I like thick soups, but that was the only change I made. I added a little mozzarella cheese to mine and slices of crusty french bread rounded out the meal.
- Baked chicken can be great, or baked chicken can be dry and dull. This simple Baked Chicken Breast falls into the first category. I didn't have any fresh parsley with which to top my chicken, but I didn't miss it. And we didn't have any leftovers from this meal!
- Last but not least, I made this Zucchini Bread for a friend's birthday, and while I overcooked my loaf by about a minute, the flavor was amazing! I didn't add any of the extras, substituted applesauce for half of the oil, and used 1/3 c. of each of the sugars.
- This ad is amazing. Is civility too much to ask for?
- As if teachers aren't doing enough already, now they're also saving people from strokes over ZOOM.
Friday, November 6, 2020
Catching up on a couple of weeks worth of high fives after last week's High Five for Halloween!
|The last picture I took of Dorothy. I was showing |
Hallie why her name should have been Neopolitan.
|Look at sweet Ruby's face on her first night |
at our house. She was so scared.
|And then look at her face two weeks later.|
|I'm not sure she could feel any |
more at home or at ease in his arms.
Halloween was a (masked, socially-distant) blast!
|We certainly couldn't skip our Halloween cupcake tradition.|
|For the first time ever, this little baker helped.|
|She attempted one cupcake in each design, and |
for her very first time, I think she did a great job!
Last but not least: a bonus handful of Happiness Highlights.
|I don't know what exactly is happening here, but |
it made me smile. Tux enjoyed his two kitten-free
weeks in between the Oz babies and RBG.
|Ice cream for dinner. Sometimes I'm fun.|
|Will's first orchestra "concert" of the 20-21 school |
year. They set up the students - only the students -
in the gym and recorded the performance for
family members and friends to watch later.
|First fire day - these boys were in heaven. (As was Hallie - she |
did three straight hours of school sitting in front of those flames.)
|When Tux pees on Will's bath towel, |
Mama doesn't turn on the fireplace. 😂