November 29, 2011

Still Thankful

Our little house had a wonderful Thanksgiving. All four grandparents and one attentive uncle around our table had Mac over the moon on Turkey Day.

Having everyone help wash dishes had me pretty darn grateful, too.

The next day, we all needed a detox - the adults from our holiday feast and Mac from the constant excitement of fawning grandparent attention.

Luckily, the precious Watson family came by for a pick-me-up! Kristen, Charles and Wynn, our favorite Gamecock-loving Floridians, stopped in on their way out of town and I'm so thankful.

We didn't get nearly enough pictures, but Mac was so giddy from their visit (enough to share one of "his" porch pumpkins with little Wynn) that he smiled all afternoon.

Mac's "Aunt Kitten" got a little snuggle from him on the front porch while her handsome boy was asleep in the car.

B managed to snap a few pics of the post-visit excitement:

In an unrelated note, that last sweet shot reminds me so much of this one:

I just blinked and nearly two years passed. How on Earth did that happen?

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well! I'll find out at the doctor this morning just how much that turkey stuck to my ribs - or baby girl's. It was worth every bite!

November 28, 2011

Time to Pick Out Cards!

It's not even December yet but somehow I'm already "behind" when it comes to the pre-Christmas prep craziness. Eep!

From the looks of Twitter and Facebook, I'm the only gal on the block who doesn't have her Christmas cards stuffed, stamped and addressed just days after Thanksgiving. Oh well!

This year I'll be ordering my Christmas cards from Tiny Prints. We've used them several times before for our (inevitably very-close-to-late) Christmas cards, as well as Mac's birth announcements and party invitations.

The trickiest part in picking out a design is the fact that we don't have a photo of our family just yet. Getting shots of the three of us is harder than it sounds, and I'm growing rounder by the moment - so my vanity will likely weed out 99% of the pics taken of us from here on out.

If you get a Christmas card that has a stock photo of a gorgeous, smiling, tanned and distinctly not us family, at least you'll know why.

Here are a few of my top choices:

Do you have a favorite? Am I the only one who's woefully behind on her card-picking? And who wants to come take our picture?

*Tiny Prints is giving me 50 free cards in exchange for this post. I'm excited to order but likely would have purchased my card from their selections anyhow. And I talk about everything anyway, so I'm sure you would have heard about it.

November 23, 2011

Talking Turkey: Thanksgiving Recipes

I decided to kick off my third trimester in a big way - by hosting Thanksgiving!

To be fair, I "hosted" in our old home two years ago. Mac was seven weeks old, though, and I believe my biggest contribution was dairy-free mashed potatoes for myself (we thought Mac was lactose intolerant) and perhaps a steamed veggie.

This year I'm planning to do a bit more. Not a ton more, thankfully, as our sweet parents are each bringing more than an armful of side dishes to load up the table. This holiday we'll have my parents, B's parents and my brother, in addition to our gang of three. I'm so excited!

Here's the rundown of what we'll be gorging ourselves on enjoying tomorrow:

Turkey and gravy
Ham (For someone who evidently doesn't like turkey. Can you imagine?!)
Biscuits and homemade bread
Cranberry sauce
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Fried Creamed Corn
Cornbread Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Fruit Salad
Chocolate Cake
Paula Deen's Creamy Lemon Bars
Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter Brownies

Yes, this is all for seven adults and one toddler.

The best part? Our generous families are bringing more than half of what you see listed. My grandmother, who had hoped to join us but won't be able to, is even sending up a few of her favorites. My aunt offered but I told her I truly don't know how we could manage another morsel!

While Bradley tackles the turkey I'll be making my very favorite carb on Earth (and that's saying something) - mashed potatoes. It's my mom's recipe, but I've become an expert at it over the years. Particularly pregnant years!

In addition, I'll also be making traditional Southern-style green beans, similar to these, and trying out Paula Deen's fried creamed corn.

For dessert, I'm making a tried and true crowd-pleaser: ooey-gooey peanut butter brownies. And they're from Cooking Light! As if you needed another reason to partake.

There were a few more recipes (roasted squash, an autumn soup, a pumpkin bread) I wanted to add to the mix, but our table can only hold so much.

The remainder of our menu, plus a few surprises, is all being delivered when the grandparents arrive. So much fun!

In the meantime, I'll be cleaning, ironing placemats, prepping, organizing and Scotchgarding the chairs and ottoman that were just delivered. (Upholsterers that pick up on Friday and deliver on Thanksgiving Eve? I'm in love!)

This year, it won't be the tryptophan that puts me into a coma post-Turkey Day; it'll be a lot of excitement and a hefty helping of pregnancy tiredness. And, if I'm honest, just a smidge too many mashed potatoes.

Happy, happy Thanksgiving, friends! What will you be eating tomorrow?

November 21, 2011

A Monday Minute

This Monday has been a little manic, but two videos have made my rainy but beautiful day. Hope they do the same for you!

I don't listen to the radio much, as I prefer to pick my own tunes whenever possible (control issues much?), but I haven't been able to stop humming Moves Like Jagger since late August. When I heard Little Big Town's banjo-pickin' cover, it put a new spin on the tune running through my brain for the millionth time....

You know by now that I'm the pastiest girl who ever dreamed of having swagger, so I took great joy in watching Tigger, Eeyore and especially Pooh pull off the cat-daddy, Dougie, shuffle and other general tomfoolery at a theme park.

Not the moves they learned for everyday Hundred Acre Wood hang-outs, but it made me giggle nonetheless. (Especially what kicks off at 0:25 and 1:25.)

Although I just realized I've been out-danced by grown men wearing cartoon character costumes. Could this be a new low for my (lack of) dance skills?

Happy Monday!

November 15, 2011

Need a Laugh?

Is your week moving as slowly as mine? Need a laugh? Enjoy the following giggle on me.

Let me preface things by saying I had my glucose test this morning. While I, a sweets lover to my ever-expanding core, don't loathe the mandatory sugar consumption as most pregnant ladies do, it does make me a bit jittery and queasy.

All that glucose so early in the morning - and consumed so quickly? Even I tend to pause between bites of cake...but I digress. Bottom line: early morning, jittery, typical doctor's office ("prick me, poke me, let a med student observe me") nerves.

I had to stop mid-appointment because it was my "time," the one-hour mark after I consumed my syrupy morning mocktail. Around the corner I went to get my blood drawn and, while I was there, I made a second (this time non-mandatory) pit stop in the ladies' room.

Since it was low on soap, I returned to my exam room and, while chatting in full Anne (read: nonstop) fashion with an OB and his med student du jour, began to wash my hands.

The doctor's office soap dispensers and hand sanitizer bottles look deceptively similar, so when it didn't foam at first, I just kept washing. I'd get clean either way, right?

Alas, it was thicker than sanitizer and still not foaming. Probably because it was the gel they use for ultrasounds and hearing the baby's heartbeat through a Doppler. Thick, gooey, practically un-wipe-off-able gel. And I was "washing" my hands with it. Much to the med student's enjoyment.

The nurse and I enjoyed a laugh about it after my fabulous (kind, poker-faced and unflappable) doctor and his adolescent sidekick skedaddled. But wow - next time I'll read the bottle.

So how was your day?

November 10, 2011

What Matters

Hi, friends! Wow, what a week it has been.

Bradley's sweet grandmother passed away over the weekend at 98 years old, healthy until the week she died and a tremendous blessing to each of us who knew her.

The days that followed put my life and "pressing" tasks into perspective like little else has recently.

Amidst the travel, the arrangements, the sadness, the big family meals, the services and a little more travel, things became very clear - what matters and what doesn't.

The things that matter last a lifetime, even a lifetime that stretches toward the century mark.

The things that don't matter sadly tend to be the things that weigh me down the most, the items on my to do list that cause me the most stress.

I'm thankful, in a sad time, for a godly woman who lived her life as a widow for 63 years, devoting her time to family and serving the Lord. I'm grateful for the people she shaped and the ability to know her briefly. I'm so glad Mac was able to meet her and that we can tell her how she smiled and said, "I knew another Mac Smith a long time ago..."

I appreciate everyone's prayers for Bradley and his family and most especially for the tremendous peace they have felt in the midst of everything.

We're slowly getting back into the swing of things over here, but I hope I don't lose sight, as "real life" picks back up, of what matters.

November 1, 2011

A Chilly, Choo-Choo Halloween

I may be alone in this, but Halloween isn't my favorite holiday. I don't dream up costumes six months in advance, have never dressed up as a "racy" pumpkin/angel/nurse and could live without "spooky" house and yard decorations.

I adore orange and can put away Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with the best of 'em, but otherwise there typically has been little to get me going about the festivities. (I know, I know. Bah humbug, right? I did say I love candy!)

This year, though, our little Thomas the Tank Engine made everything worthwhile. We didn't go door to door, but he was thrilled to see a few friends when we stopped by to show off his "tick or deet" request and excited "choo choo!"

The evening got chilly fast, but Mac was too busy hopping around to care. Watching him enjoy every last second of the night made it SO fun.

If this is what Halloween looks like for us from here on out, sign me up! And I may even browse the Target sale aisle to add a few strictly Halloween pieces to our "fall home decor" lineup. Maybe.


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