Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions

Growing up I don't remember really doing anything big on Thanksgiving.  I do remember going to various aunts and uncles houses a few times but Thanksgiving just isn't a holiday that stands out in my mind.  In fact, I distinctly remember missing a few Thanksgivings at home and spending them with other friends when I was in college.  I'm sure that this sounds horrible but I think it is because my parents' parents and all of their siblings have always lived within an hour of us so we all saw each other on a pretty regular basis.  

When I met Scott his family did big Thanksgivings.  I don't know if this has always been the case with his family or if it is because they have lost both parents and so they just want to carry on this tradition.  Either way, I kind of fell in to it.  What makes it really nice is that now that my sister and my parents and I all live in St. Louis, both sides of the family do Thanksgiving together.

I started hosting Thanksgiving during our 2nd year of marriage.  It wasn't really a planned thing.  We were renting a house with a fantastic kitchen and I just kind of threw it out there and I've been doing it ever since.

As far as traditions go, our Thanksgivings kind of go like this:

1. I set up a long table so that we are all at the same table.  When I say "all" . . . this year I have 17 adults and 8 kids.  I have to put 3 tables together.  

2. We eat as close to 12:00 as possible.  We do this mainly because some people split the holidays between both sides of their own families so they will do dinner at one and dessert at the other.  

As far as food, I guess the cranberry glaze that I use has become somewhat of a tradition as this will be the 5th year of me making it.
 3. Because of #2, we have dessert around 4:00.  

4. After dessert, Scott always reads "Elf on the Shelf" and then the next morning, "Chuckie" is hiding somewhere in the house.

 Do you have recipes or traditions that happen every year in your house?  I'd love to hear about them!     

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy 9th Birthday

My baby boy is 9 years old.  Wow, that is hard to believe.  In some ways it seems like such a blur and in other ways, it seems like it was just yesterday.

I remember being scared at the hospital and having a horrible, horrible delivery.  A delivery that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. 

I remember him being so, so tiny.  So tiny that his preemie take-home clothes swallowed him.
I remember coming home and really not knowing what to do.  

I remember hearing so many people say that if you hold the baby all of the time that he would get spoiled and I remember believing them.  My, how I wish I wouldn't have listened to them.  I can't tell you how many times through the years that I have wanted so badly to hold Kanin, like he was a little baby again, and kicking myself for listening to those silly old wives' tales about spoiling a newborn.

Kanin and I are so much alike that we butt heads quite often.  We are both stubborn, strong-willed, smart, Type A personalities and we each want our own way.  This has caused many heartaches (on both sides) and my biggest hope is that one day we will each learn to give a little bit.

Through everything, though, I have always been proud of Kanin.  He surprises me so much in so many different ways.  He is inquisitive and loves history.  He loves sports.  He is sensitive and sweet.   He has a fantastic imagination and surprises me with some of the stories that he comes up with.  He likes to write and is really creative when it comes to rhyming.

When Kanin laughs, a real laugh, it absolutely melts my heart.  
Of course, I love Kanin because he is my son but I especially love Kanin because he is the one that made me a mom.  Kanin is the one who truly taught me what it was like to love somebody more than I love myself.  Kanin made me realize that I could and would do without things for myself just so he could have things that he needed . . . or wanted . . .and I'd be happy about it.  Kanin is the one who taught me that even though I don't believe that things happen for a reason, I believe that a reason, and a lesson, can be found in everything that happens.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Notice Anything Different?

Welcome to my new blog look!  I am over-the-top in love it.  I love the colors, the icons, the buttons, the signature.  Everything.

Chris from Hubby Jack Blog Design, hubby to Holly at Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally,  designed it.  Chris was amazing to work with.  He asked me a few questions and a couple of days later, I had this fantastic new blog.

The one thing you will notice is that my header has changed.  While I loved coming up with a new header each month, it wasn't the easiest thing in the world today.  First of all, there were months where I really struggled to find pics because, let's face it, not every month is exciting.  Plus, sometimes I would just forget to post a new header until way into the next month.

My compromise . . . I still plan on doing a collage and posting the month but instead of it being a header, it will just be a regular post.

If you are in need of a blog makeover, go check Chris out!!   

Monday, November 5, 2012

Show and Tell . . . Careers

Today I am linking up for a new blog hop, Show and Tell Monday, over with Becky at From Mrs. to Mama.

I wanted to participate in today's blog hop because I absolutely love my job.

1. Tell us what you studied in college.  Is your job now related to what you studied?  I received my English Education degree from Southeast Missouri State.  I only taught for 2 years, though.  Currently, and for my entire future, I am a travel agent and I absolutely loved it.

2. Tell us what your everyday job looks like.  Each day is totally different.  I go in to the office 2 days a week and work from my home office the rest of the days.  My days consist of answering phone calls and emails, quoting prices of trips, and trying to find the best vacation spots for my clients' money.

3. Do you have a picture of you at work?  Show us.  I do, in fact, have a picture of myself at work.  Sometimes this job is really tough.
4. In 10 years, what do you see yourself doing?  Same thing?  More?  Tell us.  In 10 years I definitely see myself still in the travel business.  My ultimate goal is to own my own agency.  I'm not sure if that will happen in the next 10 year time frame but it will definitely happen.

5. Tell us what you have learned, and what (if any) recommendations you may have for those looking to go into the field you are in.  The most important thing I can tell anyone interested in going into the travel industry is that you have to have a love for travel, food, culture, and people.  This is definitely not a job in which you are going to make tons and tons of money so you have to do it because you truly love it.  Also, you will have to learn to be patient with people and know that you have to gain their trust before they become life-long and repeat clients.  Finally, you need to learn how to "sell" yourself without coming off as a salesman.  You really have to be able to explain the reasons and benefits of using a travel agent rather than them going out online and booking trips themselves.

I'd love to read about your career.  Link up with Becky and tell us what you do!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Madonna Comes to Town

Last night Madonna made her way back to St. Louis.  This show was announced a few months ago and seeing as how she was such an iconic figure growing up, I definitely wanted to cross this concert off of my list of "have to's".

I had heard rumors that Madonna is always late for her shows.  Apparently, she was on Ellen and even stated that she never goes on stage before 10:00pm.  The tickets said that the show would start at 8:00 but after hearing and reading so much, we decided to risk it and go out to dinner first.  We ended up at the venue right around 9:00 and, sure enough, the show had not started.

We took advantage of the extra time to do some people-watching and to take some pictures.

So, after 2 hours and 40 minutes later, Madonna FINALLY took the stage at 10:40pm.  Yes, you read that right, she was 2 hours and 40 minutes late.  Please take note that this is common with all of her shows so if you have tickets, DON'T show up before 9:30 or so.

I don't want to ruin the show for any of you who haven't seen it but I will just say that it had mixed reviews.  I was disappointed in the show while others in my group thought it was great. So, here is a bullet-point review:
-She only sang 3 or 4 old songs . . . but I expected that.
-The dancers were phenomenal.
-She definitely is showing her age.
-The show was not nearly as controversial or risque as I thought it would have been.
-"Vogue" was the best song of the night.  I loved it.

The one part that we all agreed on, though, was that it was great just to have a Mommy night out. 

Halloween 2012

I cannot believe that I am already writing a post about Halloween!  Where did this year go?  It is crazy to me that I am already collecting Thanksgiving recipes.
My parents and my sister came over again this year for Halloween.  I love that they come every year.  Unfortunately, I forgot to make the fantastic chili that I made last year and just settled for mostaccioli.  

Caleb and Gracie were so excited for Halloween this year.  We have been on a countdown for over a month so when it was finally time to wear their costumes, they were ecstatic.
Grace practiced her witch cackle for weeks.

 Kanin was going to be a baseball player until Daddy dropped by the Halloween store.  I think he chose this commando guy just so he could get the gun.

My Sweet Baby Caleb melted my heart in his Jake (Jake and the Neverland Pirates) costume.  He kept asking me if he looked fancy. 

 My niece and nephew came over to trick or treat with us.  It made me sad because I think this will be Alison's last year to trick or treat.  You could tell at certain houses that she was embarrassed.  I hate that.

Ali was a zombie skateboarder.

Aidan was a hotdog.  He was so proud of this costume.  LOL
 I love all of these monsters so much!

Caleb's expression in this picture is priceless.
Normally, we just walk around our side of the subdivision.  The kids get plenty of candy and we parents don't have to freeze to death.  This year, though, Scott and my sister decided to take all of the bigger kids over across the street to the other side of the subdivision.  Boy, did they rack up!  Grace was excited because she got to go, too.  I brought Caleb back home to hand out candy.  I thought he might be upset about not going with the other kids but he got a kick out of opening the door to hand out candy.  He was excited every time and ooh'ed and aah'ed over every, single kid that came to the door.
Hope you all had as great of a Halloween as we did!

Fab Friday

It has been a long, long time since I did a blog hop.  I saw my friend, Holly, participated this one today so I decided I'd do it, too.

So what's fab in my life right now?

1. We have our new floors in.  I am beyond excited about this and they are beyond fabulous.  No more nasty carpet, woohoo!  They look amazing (there will be a post about this soon!).  

2. It is also fabulous that our new furniture came in yesterday.

3. This week was Kanin's Fall Party and the kids in his class thought these little monsters were pretty fabulous.  You gotta love Pinterest!

4. It is fabulous that Caleb has sat on the potty a couple of times this week.  Now, if he'd only take his diaper off to do it.  LOL  Baby steps, people.  This is a huge improvement over running away screaming.

If you've had a fabulous week, head over to Between the Lines and tell everyone about it. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Patch 2012

We finally had a chance to get to the Pumpkin Patch.  I love going to the Pumpkin Patch.  I think part of my love for the Pumpkin Patch is that it wasn't anything that we did when I was little.  I grew up in a really small town and at the time, these mega Pumpkin Patch farms just didn't exist.

There are a few in town but the last few years we have gone back to the same one.  I think because it is so big and there are a lot of activities for the kids to do.

Caleb loved that he was big enough to do the rope bridge all by himself.

Both of the little kids loved the hay maze.

On a sadder note, Kanin was a little bored at the Pumpkin Patch this year.  In truth, everything is geared toward the smaller kids but it just made me sad that he didn't really enjoy it as much as last year.

I love that the Pumpkin Patch has this ruler that we can take pictures by each year.

Kanin climbed to the top of the hay castle.  It freaks me out because it is completely dark inside and there is no way I could do it.  I am way too claustrophobic.

The one part that Kanin loved was shooting the potato gun.  

King of the World!