Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Week In Pictures

Am I too late??  Thanksgiving came and went in a flash and now we are deep in the hussle and bustle of Christmas.  I am making progress too, most of our inside decorations are up, except for a tree, that comes Saturday.  I still have dead mums in my window boxes, but the outside lights are up (thanks, Jimmy, Andrew, and Charlie.  It was a group effort and it looks like one too. Or rather, one 8 year old's effort, while his Daddy chased around a 2 year old.) BUT...before I start talking about Christmas, I need to recap a bit of last week for the memory book... I'm gonna keep (or at least try to keep) my words to a minimum and let the pictures do the talking...

First up, Grandparents Day at school...

The class presented their Native American projects.
Andrew was part of the Cherokee tribe.
He presented his part so well. 
 He might have been the only child I could hear over the roaring heater
There are benefits (occasionally) to having a loud voice!

I came prepared with a full arsenal of lollipops, mini candy canes and fruit chewies in an attempt to placate my little man.  He whipped through them in less than 10 minutes.

Boys in corduroy pants tucked into rainboots - one of my favorite things, next to little boys in their PJs..  Something about it just does me in everytime.

Next up, these little darlings arrived.

My brother, Kevin, and his family from Chicago.
On Wednesday we took a trip back to the museum.
We had a BLAST.


Then on Thursday, my parents hosted a lovely Thanksgiving.
   We all sat at the same table. Some of us for 5 minutes and others for an entire meal.
We had the traditional turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (new recipe that I made that's better than any other I've tried), green beans, mashed potatoes, lotsa gravy, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, gingerbread cupcakes.
All DELISH. Nobody cooks like my Mum. 
Yet there were some nontraditionalists among us that chose to strip down and eat chocolate chip cookies while playing with beach toys.
At least it was dessert time.  And the shirt removal happened after a lot of this...


I even tried to break up the wrestlemania with a little dancing, ala the old Navy Gobble dance, which apparently, I'm the only one who ever saw the commercials...

Here's what Jimmy thought of all that.
Maybe I should just stick to cuddling babies, cause that dancing picture is UNattractive!!
or cuddling my man, for that matter.... (who was watching our children when this was taken???)
But really what brought me the greatest joy wasn't the wonderful food, the pretty table, or the dancing, or the fact the no antiques or 17th century paintings were harmed during our visit, it was seeing these 4 monkeys in ACTION together.  It was one 3 hour long belly laugh session.

And as far as future get togethers go, might I suggest a gymnasium as a more suitable venue.

And let me not forget one picture of my gorgeous 4 legged sister.
Prayers for your leg surgery on Thursday, Miss Emmies.

Well that about wraps it up. Be back soon with lots of Christmas around our house pictures.
It's December 1st tomorrow.  Elf -On-The-Shelf appears...Advent calendars begin...
Joy to the world!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Traditional Christmas

It's Saturday, I have a cold, and for the first time in my almost 13 years of marriage my house was not decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  I'm cutting myself a little slack though. With the recent loss of my mother in law I think I'm feeling just a wee bit less festive than normal.  The stuffy nose and cough don't help either.  I LOVE Christmas. I love the way our home feels. I love the traditions of trimming the tree, the music, the baking, the gift wrapping (yes, I love wrapping gifts!) but I'm behind this year. I haven't bought a single thing, our dining room is still in an upheaval because the hutch is disassembled in the garage and awaiting its final coat of paint on Monday, while all the hutch contents lay sprawled out over the table.  We always get our tree the first Saturday in December, so I'm giving myself until then to get everything else up.
In the meantime, how about a little more Christmas loveliness from past magazines?

This is another favorite that has been in my files for 9 years.  It's from Traditional Home, which lately I haven't been digging quite as much as I used to.  This home, on the other hand, is everything I like in a home.
Traditional but a little bit country.
Buffalo checks, blue & white transferware, books, antiques

Cozy, comfortable & collected.
I'm feeling the Christmas spirit kicking in, but first I need a good nap, a cup of tea, some Tylenol and maybe a little blog hopping...(although I think all of you are out shopping and decorating because I'm not seeing many new posts.  Hmmm...)

Are you a dress person?

If so, there is a great giveaway happening over at Kayce's blog...
I would rather be in a dress or skirt any day over a pair of jeans.
I've always been that way, even in high school & college.
I have one of Kayce's dresses and I always get so many compliments when I wear it.
Head on over and check it out...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving to all of you!

I am thankful.
For many things.
Big and small.
For many people.
Family and friends.

For my family.

Because you are my favorite people in the world.

For a 2 year old who uses the words "cuddle" and "hug" more often than "no".
It won't always be like that. I know this. and it makes me grateful for this time all the more.


For an 8 year old whose keen observations teach me to look at the world differently.


To have a mother who is a best friend, who is hosting thanksgiving so rather than frantically cleaning my house and spending the day in the kitchen I can leisurely write a blog post while my fire is blazing and I happily stare at baskets of laundry that need to be put away, shoes that need to be picked up, and toys everywhere.


To live in a home that I cherish, though is rarely in order, 
usually very loud and slightly chaotic, but full of life.
And a charming town that at times seems stuck in the 1950's but in all the good ways
(no repressed housewives drinking cocktails at 1:00 in the afternoon and chain smoking. They wait till 5:00 for that.  I kid. I kid. :) Really just a small community with very traditional values)


And to all of you reading.  Because there are plenty of far more fabulous blogs out there.  I'm just a regular Mama, who tries her best to create a warm and loving home and raise happy, kind children, but sometimes runs low on patience and energy and frequently misspells or mistypes words, and has a home that most of the time you wouldn't want to photograph or read about.  
I do appreciate the encouragement, inspiration, and humor I get from all of you. 

Enjoy the time with your families today!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Boys, My Boys, My Boys...

Talkin 'bout my boys. My boys!
(and a couple other things too)

I need to post before too many things slip away...
Here's a snip it of how we've been spending our time.

Breakfasts in the family room. 
I rarely allow this, but when I do it is a BIG DEAL.
Yes, that would be chocolate chip muffins and cheez-its...
and yes, they are watching Scooby-Doo.
(or as Charlie says, "scary, scary monster")
Little Man and I snuck in a morning trip to the museum on a rainy day last week.
We played and played and played.
Grocery store, post office, car repair shop, vet, diner, construction.
I've been to museums in Columbus, OH, Indianapolis, and Chicago with our children, but for me
the Cincinnati Museum Center still takes the cake.
If you are ever close (I mean even within a 2 hour drive) it is absolutely worth a visit.
We spent our time in the Children's Museum last week but there is oh so much more...caves, glaciers, trains, riverboats, an old fashioned downtown Cincinnati...


On Wednesday evening, I had 4 of my oldest friends over for a potluck dinner.
We don't get together as often as we should.
Between our combined 10 children, all ages 9 and under, life gets busy.
It took the one out-of-towner coming in on business to do the trick. 
We've been friends for more that 20 years.
I should have taken a picture.  They are beautiful girls.
We talked over dinner & wine, with the fire going, and many candles lit...
and we stayed up well past our weeknight bedtimes. 
There is nothing like the friends you grew up with.  They will always know you in a way others can't.
Thank you girls. It did my heart good to spend time with you.
(Here's the one and only pic I took.  The doorbell rang as I was taking it.  And I'm sorry, even though these girls know me all too well, there is something really weird about taking a picture of your dining room when no one is at the table. blog or no blog.  It's strange, so I put the camera down.  It was 8:00 on a school night, it was a simple dinner, nothing like my pre-children dinner parties of the past. But it was just right.)

Ok, back to my boys...

Andrew had his first real swim meet of the winter season on Saturday.
I love watching him swim. 
He doesn't have a competitive bone in his body when it comes to sports, but
he has a great attitude (90% of the time) and really tried hard at the meet.
He swam 6 events.  It was the first time he swam 50 meter events in a competition and he held his own.
Lookin' good Foley, lookin' good!


 
The week ended with an evening of assembling Luminaria kits with our local mom's group for the village.
I'll blog more about this event soon.
I was asked to bring an appetizer. 
and I daresay I might have a new go to appetizer recipe.
It is easier and faster than assembling a cheese tray.
It tastes good even after its been sitting out for 2 hours.
I know baked brie was a trendy thing in the nineties.  I'm a little behind, but as one mom so
eloquently said  Tessa's "bringing brie back"  to the tune of the Justin Timberlake song.
Here's the recipe...


It's Grandparent's Day at School tomorrow and Andrew is presenting his Native American Project.
I'm just hoping the Indian village built of sticks, grass,bark and hot glue holds up long enough for them to finish.
My brother and his family are coming in the afternoon from Chicago.
I can almost smell the turkey and stuffing....

Around the House...

Happy Monday, everyone! 
 I was in the midst of attempting to write a quick post about my boys, but it was getting long. 
I'll go back to that one tonight.  In the meantime, here's a peek at what I've been up to around the house...
Remember this post?
Well, I went ahead and made a big long pillow for our family room sofa. 
I love it.  Charlie does not.  He keeps taking it off the couch and then using his pretend leaf blower to move it all around the house.  Must be the fallish colors and the leaf print.  Kinda funny. Very Cute.
I also made a smaller pillow out of a little animal print I found at Hobby Lobby on clearance.

 
And last, here's a sneak peek at our dining room cupboard, which was primed this weekend, and the new hardware I've ordered to complete its transformation. 
I did have a mini crisis over the color. I even went out and bought 5 new paint samples this morning.
Finally I had Jimmy help me bring part of the cupboard back in the house.
Once it was in the dining room, I breathed a sigh of relief.
It looks perfect.  I need to trust my instincts.
The color just looked off in the garage.
OK, I must run.
Sorry, not much of a post, but we are closing in on 2:00
and I must get ready before little man gets up from his nap.
Hope your week is off to a good start!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmases of CL & SA Past

This is not what I planned to blog about today.
But I seem to have misplaced my camera cord, so I can't download the pics I took.
Bummer. On to plan b...
A couple weeks ago I went a little scan happy after flipping through past December issues
of Cottage Living and a couple Southern Accents.
Thought I'd share them in all their Christmas loveliness.
Oh how I love this little Carolina Cottage. 
I have stared at the pics time and time again.
It is one of my all time favorites.
I just wish they showed every room from every angle.  Is that asking too much?

New England perfection...
These next two are stored away for Andrew & Charlie's teen years.  Such a great boy space.
The color of the back of the door - mmmm..
The mix of woods, the light fixtures, the plaid...
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What a perfect spot for breakfast on Christmas morning.  Or any morning for that matter. Or any meal.
I'm still a week away from putting anything Christmassy out in our home.
Thanksgiving comes first.
Ok, off to search for my camera cord some more.
It really drives me bonkers when I misplace something.
And my house is semi tidy since I had friends over last night. 
Charlie?  Have you been up to mischief again? 
If you want more of a Cottage Living fix see Julie's post today.
Cheers!

images 1-2 southern accents, 3-8 cottage living, 9 southern accents

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Better Homes & Gardens December Issue


I have to admit, I've been looking forward to this issue for awhile.
For one, the Christmas edition is hands down my favorite when it comes to all the home & lifestyle magazines. 
But this one is special because it features a fellow blogger's home.
Lauren's blog was the very first blog I ever discovered.
Up till then I knew what blogs were but had only seen the very big, commercialized ones.
I had never seen a regular (albeit a fabulous designer's) blog.
Written by a working mom about her own home, which at the time I started reading Lauren's
was in the basement of her mother's house while she was house hunting for her own. 
She shared images of homes & designers that inspired her,
shared stories about her family and motherhood, and her up and coming business.
 I was hooked and within days was reading a slew of other blogs too.
In the past three years her blog has become one of the most popular,
but I feel like I can say I "knew " her when. 
Congrats to you, Lauren!  You, your home, and your family look gorgeous! 

images from  Better Homes and Gardens scanned by me