Saturday, December 14, 2013


This is the time of year that flies by and makes me panic a little bit. I am a firm believer in waiting until after Thanksgiving before decorating for Christmas but this year there is less than 30 days between the two which adds a bit to my stress.

One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. It is the one time of year that I remember as a child we always tried to get together with both sides of the family. Now that we have a family of our own we still try to do it. The day of we go to my husband's side and the day after "Black Friday" we host our own for my side and anyone that didn't get enough the day before. Most of our family does little Black Friday shopping so it works out well, and if they do want to we live in a large town than where I am originally from.

My husband and I spend the week in the kitchen preparing almost everything from scratch. Over the last 8 years we have experimented and found a pretty good combination for what my family likes. We have something for everyone. The only things we don't make from scratch are the stuffing, gravy and chocolate pie although we tweak those a bit to. This was not the case when we first started very few things were really made by us but Alton Brown started inspiring us year by year.

This year was a bit different and helped show us another reason our new kitchen was worth it. We weren't tripping over each other as much, we stayed on schedule because we had places to prep and not have to wait until counter was cleared for the next thing, and we had plenty of room in the fridge for the things we made ahead of time. I had cleaned and started organizing so it would be easy to decorate once the tree was up, although we haven't decorated as much this year.

My family arrived in the usual fashion of some being really early, others on time, and still others 30 mins late...This truly is my favorite time because we rarely get to see extended family and to have them all in one place sitting in one room getting to visit, well that is what makes it special for me. Most of the food disappeared quickly.

The spread looked something like this:
Pioneer Woman version of a Turkey in brine
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Baked Mac and Cheese
Alton Brown Green Bean Casserole
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Deviled Eggs
Pumpkin, Apple, and Chocolate Pies
Heading out to search
11 Adults 4 children inhaled the food before heading to the tree farm. Actually one of the adults stayed behind, a friend of ours who needed to study for finals this last week. The rest of us loaded up for a somewhat chilly hay ride back to find our tree. This is one of the few times that we have found our tree in the first 30 secs. It was literally the second tree that I said I liked but we looked a little more before deciding it was the one. The guys cut it down and carried it back to the main path where it was shook and netted before we all loaded back up on the trailer and headed back to the main cabin.

 The boys think they own the place

 The kids watching the men cut down the tree

Growing up we only had a real tree once, it was a mess and HUGE. My mom said never again until my sister needed to do a report her senior year in high school about real Christmas trees, by this time I was married and lived near one which is how our tradition began and my mom doesn't have to mess with the clean up.
2011 - We added 2 more kids to the family

We typically don't have enough energy to decorate until Saturday and then our elf begins his visits on Sunday, the day after the tree has been dressed up. Unfortunately this year we have yet to really do much decorating around the house. With the time until Christmas being shorter than normal, having an appraisal, working, school, parties, and birthdays I haven't been in the mood to drag everything out only to feel like I have to put it right back again...lets see if the boys notice...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Supporting our Home Team

It may be a little more obvious after this post that we reside in a college town. I moved here for college and met my husband. We built a life here and while I am a Mizzou Alum had only been to one football game before this year. But this year has been different...knowing several of the athletes in not only football but volleyball as well we wanted to show our support especially since a couple are seniors.

First up was Florida vs Mizzou! Started out as a chilly morning but turned into a beautiful day as we watched the Gators fall at the Zou. This was the boys first college football game so we grabbed a few passes to a tailgate before heading in. We sat on the Hill, for the game we were very happy with our seats.


 Our youngest knows no stranger as you can tell from the picture above. This game was in October which is why everyone is in Pink.

Great game unfortunately we didn't get to watch one of our friends due to him being injured.

 The week of Thanksgiving was huge for games. We started out on Friday Nov 22 with a volleyball game. The boys got to go down and greet the players as they were announced. It has been 8 years since the last time I had been in this building and it was for my college graduation.

 It was a packed house that night, in fact it broke attendance records with almost 8,000 people. It was only one of many things to be recorded into history that night.

 Our oldest was trying to figure out how the game worked. It is not an easy game to explain to a 5 year old besides "don't let the ball hit the ground"

Last Play before Mizzou won!

 So here are a few other moments in history made:
1) Undefeated, I believe it was 31 games at this point (they went on to finish the year 35-1) The last game they played was their only loss for the season.
2) First SEC Championship won for the school (we have only been apart of the SEC for 2 years)
 Found some of our friends who were also at the game only because our two year old wondered off. He was standing by me and as a person passed between us he followed. I thought he ran under the stage and couldn't find him, luckily we ran into one friend who passed word on to the rest of the gang to help search. Well we finally found him...

Must give credit to one of the volleyball player's mothers for taking this picture and sending it to me. He found Truman and was attached for the rest of the night. I would lead him away but the cheerleaders and "bodyguards" were so nice and loved watching him with Truman.

Saying goodbye to Truman one last time.

 Can't forget Molly, the reason we were there, an incredible athlete and person. So happy we were able to celebrate with her.

That following Monday Nov 25 we ended up winning tickets to the Men's basketball game (how did I go 10 years going to only 1 sporting event and then in a month hit 3 (husband went to 2 more) and it would have been 4 if we did get the stomach bug on Halloween.

Sorry not a whole lot for this game, maybe because we didn't know any of the players but we did have a lot of fun.

Last up was Mizzou Football Senior Night! I didn't get to go to this game but my husband did. It was perfect timing since it was cold out a babysitter was needed for the children so we volunteered. Well it was "we" until we were told an extra ticket was available to sit with the Franklin's. It was a bit of a whirlwind day because my parents were still in from Thanksgiving and helping to complete some unfinished projects. As soon as we got the call they were on the way to drop the kids off my parents left and Mark was getting ready to head out as well.

The Hill, where we sat for the first game but it wasn't nearly as packed.

Senior Night the parents line up to greet their player

There are more pictures to this but it is their "handshake" dance
Nail biter of a game but they pulled it off. On the other hand I didn't find any pictures of the actual game... Oh well. I'll post a few more pictures of after the game and the adorable kids I got to spend the evening with tomorrow but for now its off to bed.