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A little call for questions, from Connected Mom. If you have any questions about what AP means, please leave a comment on the original post!
I can't believe it, but I managed not to take one single picture the whole of Thanksgiving. It blows my mind a little. Picture this though: my parents were down, it was a quiet day with the five of us hanging out. Gwen grabbed my mom and didn't let her go the whole time she was here (other then when mean Mommy had to steal her away for help in the kitchen), having her play with puzzles, read books, or play pretend. She was so happy to have her Papa here too. When Nonnie was in the kitchen, Gwenie was with her Papa.
The food turned out so yummy. The turkey was good, the mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, crescent rolls, and cranberry sauces were all delish too. The gravy though, I was extra proud of that. I put the gibblets and some apple cider in the bottom of the pan to "get it going" when I was cooking the turkey, and the gravy turned out so rich and dark because of that. It was great.
My parents spent the night and hung out for a few hours on Friday, but otherwise it was a quiet lazy day. Saturday too. Other then the grocery store, we didn't leave the house, just laid around reading books, doing puzzles, and watching movies. We kicked off our holiday viewing with the Miracle on 34th St, then watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving, and the How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Sunday we actually got moving a bit by heading to Sesame Place. Trav got some tickets through groupon, and we'd just been looking for a free day to take advantage of them. Sunday seemed like a good day for it, as by then we were all antsy to get out of the house for a bit. It was a lot of fun!
|Happy girl after riding the rollercoaster!!|
Sesame Place is perfect for my girl. She loves rides (the faster the better!) and SS characters. The very first ride inside the park was a rollercoaster... so my girl was won over from the start.
|Silly face selfies (and showing off... mommy can't touch her tongue to her nose).|
|Can you see that smile? Because she was seriously beaming!|
After dark things got really pretty. After Thanksgiving Sesame Place started their Furry Christmas stuff, so everything was decorated for Christmas. The lights were gorgeous!
Gwen was passed out in about 5 minutes on our way home (so, about 6:30). Woke only briefly to get into her PJs, then slept until 6:45 this morning! Girl was tired.
What a great weekend! And a great end to November, start to December!
How was yours?
Today marks the second of my three favorite holidays. The food, the family, the complete concentration on appreciating what you have. I love it.
Hopefully you are off enjoying a great meal with your family, but if you are stopping here to relax with a full belly, here's something sweet for dessert... a countdown list I did on facebook with something I was grateful for everyday in November. I'd love to hear what you are grateful for today!
Day 1: I'm thankful for fun work travel!
Day 2: Today I'm grateful for sweet, fun, hardworking coworkers! Makes weekend work a lot more fun.
Day 3: This might seem silly, but bear with me. Today I am thankful for Facebook, Tickld, blogs, and the internet as a whole as a means of connecting and communication. There is plenty of junk out there, but I am also touched daily by the inspirational, sweet, and stirring things that people post. If I need a lift or a "call to arms" I know I can find it here. Plus creating and keeping friends from around the world in a way that wouldn't be possible otherwise. It is pretty amazing, and I am grateful for it today.
Day 4: I'm grateful for my coworker Harry, who we lost on Sunday. He was a wonderful person, kind and generous with all those he cared about. He was smart and kept our organization running like a well oiled machine. He will be missed, but I'm so grateful to have known him these past 9.5 years.
Day 5: It is beautiful day today, so here's a positive. I'm grateful for being able to exercise my right to vote today. My race, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation don't change my vote which counts as much as anyone else's. That's pretty amazing. Go cast your vote!
Day 6: today I am go grateful for my sweet, snugly, silly love of a gorgeous pup, Daisy. She is such a damn good dog and I am thankful she is part of our family. Especially today on her 5th birthday!! Happy Birthday Daisy!
Day 7: I'm grateful for the fact that my family is financially sound. Its easy to forgot what that means when everyday our culture's focus on stuff is telling you to buy more, buy bigger, why can't you get the best/most expensive. Its easy to forget what is truly important. The fact that we not only have enough for what we NEED, but also are lucky enough to have extra to save for a rainy day and carefully splurge on things we WANT, that is something to be hugely grateful for. My daughter doesn't know true hunger, she knows that there will always be clean clothes and a warm house. These are immeasurable blessings.
Day 8: Today I'm thankful for much needed Fridays! Can't wait to relax a little this weekend.
Day 9: So grateful for moments that remind me how fast Gwen is growing. Last time we were here [a play gym], she required a constant escort and now she's running around like crazy. My girl is so big!
Day 10: I'm grateful for extra sleep, and a husband who let's me sleep in on the weekends. As someone who is constantly in need of more sleep, this is a godsend.
Day 11: Today I'm grateful for all the brave individuals who have felt the call to serve. Freedom is not free, and I'm so thankful for those who defend my right to say and believe what I want. Happy Veterans Day, thank you.
Day 12: Today I'm grateful for cozy sweaters, warm mittens, hot chocolate, and heated trains. And the fact that my dog doubles as a pretty good heating blanket. All things to help get me through Philly's first snow!
Day 13: I'm grateful for my amazing extended family. I have such a fun, diverse set of talented cousins, Aunts, and Uncles. They are inspiring, and I'm so glad I can call them my family.
Day 14: Today I'm grateful for my brother, Ethan. Barring a brief period of time when I was a teenager and everyone was annoying I have always considered him one of my favorite people. He is everything I could hope for in a brother and I know he would be there anytime I needed him. For anything. He's smart, funny, occasionally annoying, always eye roll worthy, and I am blessed beyond measure to have him in my life. Love you Epee.
Day 15: Today I'm thankful for my in-laws, and future sister-in-law (Elise). You know those people who win the lottery more then once, well I did that with additions to my extended family. First when I married Travis, and gained an amazing Mother-in-Law (Barbara) and Father-in-law (John); plus two new brothers and their families. Not to mention about a million new cousins!! They are fun and sweet, and I'm so glad they are part of my life. Second, was when my brother brought home his then gf, now fiancee. She is cute and quiet and balances my brother in most perfect ways. She also has one of the best laughs on the face of this planet, and I'm always secretly a little thrilled when I pull one from her. Thank you all for being a part of my life, I am grateful for you!
Day 16: I'm so grateful for the practice of yoga. It has connected me with my body, mind, and helps me to push myself constantly. Today (inversions workshop) was way outside my comfort zone, but I did it and I feel so proud! It keeps me strong and healthy, and I wish I'd found it sooner!
Day 17: today I'm grateful for unseasonable warm weather. Probably the final hurrah, but I'll take it!!
Day 18: Today, on the day of my biggest work event of the year, when I won't be home until he is ready for bed already, I am so grateful for Trav. With the loss of my coworker and this event, I can count on one hand the number of times I've been home on time in the past two weeks. He's taken it all in stride, still happily allowing me to run off to yoga. He's an amazing partner, and a loving father. I might get frustrated with him sometimes, but I am eternally thankful for him and all he does for our family.
Day 19: Today I'm grateful for kind people. Be it the awesome cab driver from last night who waited for me to get in my car and drive before leaving, or just a stranger who holds a door, there is so much anger and hate in this world, so I am grateful for every smidgen of love and kindness that gets put out into the universe.
Day 20: Today I am grateful for all of my amazing friends. I've met you all in different times, places, and circumstances, but you've all played a role in my life. If you are reading this, I am thankful for you. Thank you for your love and support always.
Day 21: Today I am so grateful for my Babwa (Heather). My confidant, sister-from-another- mister, fellow hell raiser for the past 27 years! She was my barbie and video game supplier when we were kids, kept me sane during my teenage years, was my rock and connection to home when I went off to college, stood by my side when I got married, and loves my daughter like her own. She always makes me laugh and I know I can count on her for anything. I don't know where I would be today without her.
Day 22: Today I'm thankful for my strong, healthy, active body. It lets me push it to try new things. It grew, fed, and nourished a baby and carries her still. No one knows what the future holds, but for today, I am so grateful for my health and the strong body I was gifted with.
Day 23: Today I'm grateful for my awesome university. Proud to be a Lehigh alum. (Now step it up Lehigh!!) And thankful for awesome friends to watch the game with. Love you Rochelle and Pat!
Day 24: On this cold, blustery day, I'm grateful for our house. It may not be my dream home, but it is warm, safe, and all ours. It is comfortable and I'm grateful for it. On that note, the colder it gets the harder it is for those without places to call home. So once again, if anyone has warm clothes that they no longer need or want, please consider donating them to local homeless shelters or charities. And if you don't know where to donate them, please feel free to send your sweaters to me, and I will hand them out to the homeless in Philadelphia.
Day 25: Today I'm so grateful for my awesome parents. Since my very first memory, through every single interaction with them since, I have known that I was loved, cared for, and appreciated. They are my confidants and listening ears, they are my most trusted babysitters, my parenting questions go-tos, my hippie inspiration. Its easier to strike out in life knowing that should I fall, I would have people always there to catch me. I hope that when Gwen is a teenager, she can feel as secure in my love for her, and as comfortable coming to me as a friend as I did with my mom. And I can only hope that when Gwen is grown and has a family of her own, that she and I could have the relationship that I have with both of my parents now. I'm so glad that she has them as grandparents. I love you both so much, and am so thankful for you.
Day 26: Today I'm grateful for the blessing that is my daughter, Gwen. Words alone cannot express how I feel about her, but I'll try. Almost 4 years into this parenting thing and it still blows my mind that this amazing little girl is MY daughter. She is sweet, funny, silly, frustrating, feisty, loving, exhausting and exhilarating. She is beautiful inside and out, and every single day I am thankful to have her in my life. She has taught me more about myself and more about love then any other single person on this earth. A hug from her heals my hurts in immeasurable ways. I cannot wait to see who she grows up to be.
Day 27: Today I am grateful for this whole crazy life of mine. It may not be exactly what I pictured, it may be full of twists and turns, it is definitely a little overwhelming at times, and more then a little crazy, but it is mine. And it is wonderful. I could not have imagined all the great things that life had in store. I can't wait to see what's next.
Day 28: Today I am grateful for this holiday, and this countdown to Thanksgiving, which reminds me to be thankful for all that I have. I am truly blessed.
Two years ago for Thanksgiving, I had the idea to do Thankful cards to use on Thanksgiving day. It was a larger gathering as it was my Grandma's last, and we all wanted to be together for it. I though with the larger group it might be fun to do something different then just going around and saying what we are thankful for, hence the cards. We all wrote our thankfuls down on the cards, tossed them into a bowl, then took turns picking. We read off each others notes of gratefulness, and tried to guess to whom each one belonged. It was a different take on a traditional idea, and a lot of fun.
The idea was a sound one, my cards however could have used some upgrading! They were fine, but nothing fancy. Nothing like these gorgeous things:
I've loved the stuff on Minted since I first saw their Christmas cards, so I was pretty excited to find out about their new blog, Julep. It's full of gorgeous free printables (like the thankful cards above!), DIY ideas, and basically everything that is the home decor touches version of their beautiful cards! They have new ideas for every season and I am loving all of the Thanksgiving ideas.
They seem to have something for every taste too, from rustic to glittery, and tons in between. You know I lean (way way over) towards the rustic side, but I'm considering making those gold leaf pumpkins for one my girlfriends! And I've already started designing a 2014 calendar for a Christmas present.
If you enjoy beautiful things, of any variety, then you will find something you like on Minted (and Julep).
Have you checked out Minted when looking for holiday cards? Have you purchased anything else there?
Disclosure: I was contacted by minted with the chance to write a post about their blog Julep for which I was compensated, however all words and opinions expressed here are my own. As always, I only work with companies who's products I truly like and would buy for myself.
In the dark of night when everyone is asleep, or in the still of an empty house, I whisper my secrets out to try to give them flight. I shout them in the quietest voice I have to release them from me, begging them gone. They swirl in the air, and I wonder if anyone else can feel them just hanging there.
I wonder what secrets others call in the night. Do we really actually want someone to hear them? To name them and take them from us?
They find their way back though, they always do. Crawling into my chest, latching onto my heart. "Don't worry we don't take up much room." ... "But you are so heavy." Nibbling here and there at what's inside of me.
Until the night comes again, and release them for a moment or two.
Do you ever find that after doing too much for a few weeks, that your drive just bottoms out? That the relief of having just a normal amount to do fells you into a pit of lazy? No, just me? Ahhh well. That's where I am right now... in the pit of "I'm not doing anything unless its life or death." Pardon me while I work my way back out. I swear soon my posts won't all start with apologies for how there haven't been enough posts.
Anyway, what did I have to tell you?! Right... puppy news!
Remember Mongo? That adorable, tiny, little ball of loving and energy and energy and omg stop jumping on Daisy already energy?
Well the little dude isn't so little anymore!
And clearly has adjusted just fine to his new home and his "big sister" (who is Daisy sized, to give you a little scale).
I love happy endings, and I consider this to be one.
That's about all I have to share right now. Work is just a whole lot of trying to catch up on all the things we threw aside trying to get ready for the Big Event. Life is life, with all its normal day to day things. I'll have more to share next week, promise!
Have a great weekend all.