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...

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