November 26, 2011


I am almost done with my holiday shopping and didn't leave my house to fight off crazy people like that pepper spray lady in California. I have been scouring the web and the TGIBF app on my phone to scope out the best deals for the dozen or so on my list.

My sister-in-law was over last weekend and helped me put our tree up ahead of schedule. I even finished our holiday cards. I am setting holiday-to-do-list records all over the place!
I was missing one address- Husband's grandmother, the last one he has left. She moved into assisted living care a few months ago and I didn't have her new address. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving MIL texted it to us. G-ma always looked forward to cards, especially now that we had super cute Baby B photos to send.

Our cards were stuffed, stacked, and stamped ready for deployment around the US and a few across the ocean.
With our final card addressed, I was feeling pretty good about our 2011 holiday preparedness. I went about my sweet potato making and turkey cookie assembling on the eve of Thanksgiving.

We had BIG plans for Turkey Day. Husband's family (myself included) thought starting a new tradition this year involving physical fitness would be a good way to earn the meal that we had worked so hard to prepare. Typically Husband's family went to aee a spy movie. Every. Year.

The local Lion's Club hosts an organized 5k Turkey Trot and entire families participate. We are not those people. As to not embarrass ourselves, we plotted our own route. Or shall I say Husband's Brother-in-Law took the initiative to plot what he called, "a relatively flat" route. It is important to note that of the six of us running our fake five k, he is the only one who didn't grow up within a mile of this route. He happened to include one of the steepest inclines in our entire town. So the moaning and groaning aside, we got moving. I may may have made it five or six blocks before a my pride gave way to something much worse, my asthma plus the last ten lbs of baby weight that I probably can't call baby weight since I have a TODDLER! I digress.

I returned to the starting MIL's house where we'd left Baby B for the run. I was disappointed in my sad performance, but as my MIL pointed out, there's always next year. A new family tradition was born.

After the rest of the family retuned and bonded over aches pains and that stupid hill! We went our separate ways for a few hours of cooking, football and turkey making.

Husband is a tradition junkie. His buddies get together and play football. Apparently there are touchdowns and tantrums. Every. Year.

He retuned home and was busily chattering about the game and mentioned that his sister wanted us to spend family time together before other guests arrived. I was roasting my fifth batch of potatoes, thinking about drying my hair, and dressing Baby B (who had just woken up from a nap with CRAZY hair).

With the potatoes done, cookies packed, hair still wet and baby dressed, we loaded the car and headed to MIL's house. We didn't make it there in time for family time. We were welcomed by the savory smell of turkey and hugs from family. Odd since I'd seen everyone just a few hours before. Then Husband pulled me aside and told me something that made the hugs make sense.

His grandmother had died a few hours ago. While I was potato roasting and Baby was napping and Husband was football playing. And, as it turned out, she was dying. At first I didn't think I heard him correctly. She was in pain and it was her time. I wish it had been more peaceful or that she had been given something for the pain. She was a few days away from hospice care and the pain management meds that come with the end of life. I had only met her a few times. Once while Husband and I were just dating and earlier this year to introduce Baby B.

The next day I was ready to mail out our cards. G-ma's card was on top since her's was the last missing address on our list. I put it on our desk not sure if I should throw it out, recycle it or mail it anyway. It is still sitting there in mourning. Like a little reminder of our relationship with her.

November 23, 2011

Turkey Cookies!

Blind turkeys make for better confectionery treats...
that way they don't have to witness their impending fate.
Recent traditions dictate that my Thanksgiving responsibilities consist of the following:

Purchasing bread rolls and warming them up.

This year, I decided to go all Martha-Stewart-meets-Modern-Girl and add to my list by volunteering to make sweet potatoes, veggie dip and Turkey Cookies (really it's about assembling them). I will say it took the better part of two hours to crank out 13 of these bad boys and I didn't even give them eyes!

I was inspired by this post on Tammy Mitchell Photography via CraftGawker (my latest addiction).

I followed her directions. Mostly.

1 bag of candy corn (after I picked up 3 bags of on super sale after Halloween!)
1 package double stuff Oreos
1 box of Whoppers malted chocolate balls
1 bag of Reese's PB cups
1 package (although you only *need* 6-7 discs) of Wilton's Orange Candy Melts

I melted the discs per package instructions and proceeded to use it like glue...on the back of the PB cup, the bottom and front of Whopper and under the whole contraption to help it stick to the Oreo base. I used my little brush to 'paint' on the feet...most of them were lucky to have two pronged feet.

Since they're for the kids' table, I'm hoping their imperfections will go unnoticed. Although I suppose children are often the harshest critics. Good thing this was just for fun!

UPDATE - They were a hit! Not a single turkey was left on the plate and the sea of peanut butter w/ caramel kiss cookies were all gone, too! I can't say the same about the potatoes.  While they turned out well. I think I'll stick to desserts for next year.

November 15, 2011

Why Does Fall Have to be so Blah?

I get that leaves are falling, my plants are shriveling up, and the sun even sets earlier making way for winter. Fall in Illinois, like Spring, seems to last a even shorter than Kim Kardashian's marriage. A few good weekends to visit a pumpkin farm, tailgate or squeeze in a family photo shoot.

Inevitably it is a time to change up fabrics in my house- throws, blankets, drapes, etc. Then onto the little stuff- candles, scented stuff, flowers and wreaths. I am slowly building a collection of my style on our front door. At Easter I put out a store bought wreath of speckled eggs on some kind of woody twine. I sport an Americana countryish tin star on a tightly woven base for most of the summer. Halloween is time to put out a witches broom hanging from a sign. Now it is November and I had an empty door. It is too soon for winter pomegranate and magnolia leaves, so what's a girl to do?

Make something, of course! I scoured the web for inspiration and came across yarn and felt wreaths. Since I wasn't about to go out in the cold, I worked with what I had left over from baby projects that never came to fruition...the fabric bday banner or mini plush favors, and the Halloween wreath I was going to make until I found the broomstick on on super sale!

I digress. I used one ball of yarn and maybe a foot if felt. I plan to add more flowers, but who knows when that will be. In the meantime, enjoy!
I'm still getting used to the new camera.
Close up of the flower detail.