I had many intentions of writing before Thanksgiving and updating the happenings around here. But…life is busy, time slipped away, I had to finish season two of Downton Abbey…blah, blah, blah.

Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful, for many reasons. Great food, family, laughter, games, Starbucks, and short naps, to name a few. I’ve always loved Christmas and thought of it as my favorite holiday, but as I get older, I just might be making the switch to Thanksgiving as my new favorite.

It’s the kick-off to the holiday season and everyone isn’t all partied out just yet. There’s no racing around for gifts and no “I’m getting sick of Christmas music”. Just a relaxing day of eating, hanging out, and being thankful.

In our family, we switch off holidays between Andy’s and my sides of the family. This year was a bit of a mash-up. Charles and Jo are in Malaysia for the year, but Sarah and Edmund are living in Seattle, which meant they came to our house, along with some of my side of the family. Everyone contributed to the meal and we feasted in a big way. We were able to Skype with Charles and Jo to make the day complete.

A happy-late-Thanksgiving to all, and let the shopping, baking, Christmas music, and bustling begin!

My one fan

When Andy started this blog five years ago, I don’t think I even knew what a blog was. We were in the middle of a major remodel and I was pregnant with our third kid. Unbeknownst to me, he was taking pictures and posting them on this blog. It wasn’t until a couple of years later when Josie was born, that I became interested.

It started with posting a photo here and there. This process would usually take me anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on how many pictures I wanted to post. This gradually turned into writing a few happenings from our lives to accompany the photos. And before I knew it, BAM! I decided I liked writing.

I have always enjoyed telling stories, but it caught me by surprise that I would enjoy writing them all down. What started as jotting down the latest for all our readers/followers (by all, I mean our family) has ended up starting me on a new path of writing. I’ve written a few essays for contests, but mostly short stories and other nonsense.

Nonsense is what is has seemed like, to me, until a couple of months ago when it happened. Winning a contest? No. A book deal? Yeah, right. I met a fan. Yep, I said it. I found a fan of my stories, someone, other than a family member, who has already heard them a million times. 

I ran into her at a party after not seeing her for several years. “I read your blog. I love your stories about your family. They make me laugh and sometimes even want to cry,” she said.

Wait. Stop right there. She is not related to me, hasn’t seen me in five years, and she actually reads my blog? (Notice how I like to call it mine now.) You would have thought I won entertainer of the year.

We had time to catch up and she related some of her favorite stories from this here blog. She actually remembered them! This is a woman who is very funny and was cracking me up with stories of her own family’s adventures. I couldn’t come down off my high. It’s ridiculous, but it’s true.

That was all I needed to keep writing our stories down. They aren’t just mine to tell. There are many characters within each plot. Some are simple, some more complex, but interesting all the same. My grammar isn’t the greatest, I don’t know how to construct a perfect sentence, but I love telling stories.

So many thanks to Andy, who started this whole thing. And I’d like to thank Rachel, my one fan, for making me laugh and encouraging me to keep telling stories. I’d also like to thank the academy?….

A different kind of pumpkin patch

I realize I’m a day late for pumpkin patch season since October is officially over, but it seems that’s how things go for me these days, just a day late.

 I love fall. It’s my favorite season, by far. The leaves, the sweaters and boots, hot cider, the fire, apples, and of course, pumpkins.

I always have high expectations of making beautiful memories with our kids which involve all of the above. Everyone is smiling in these scenarios while laughing, dipping apples in caramel, and carving beautiful artwork into the perfect pumpkins we so carefully picked out at the pumpkin farm.

Truth be told, this was supposed to be my first year at the pumpkin patch. Andy usually goes with the kids on their field trips. In years past, the kids have gone with their grandparents, so there has never been a need for me to step in that muddy old patch. Plans changed this year and the kids were anxious to go. We had a free Saturday with the younger two so it seemed just right.

Unfortunately, we woke up to a downpour, we’re talking sheets of rain. But this is Seattle, after all, so rain doesn’t keep us from making memories. It’s all the other mishaps that came in our way. Josie’s rain boots had holes in them, which I didn’t remember until we were on our way. A quick trip to Walmart would take care of that. Well, not so fast. They were fresh out. We figured we’d pick up an umbrella while we were there.

“I guarantee this umbrella will be broken by the end of the day,” Andy said as he ripped the tags off. Not more than two minutes later, a gust of wind flipped that umbrella inside out, as if on cue.

This was one of many signs that seemed to say, “Today just isn’t your day. Don’t go.” But we had talked up the pumpkin patch and we were going.

We left a second shoe store paying more for a pair of rain boots than I thought reasonable (see previous post for my idea of reasonable). They were the only pair in Josie’s size and happened to be the most expensive. I walked outside, still in a daze at what I had paid for a tiny pair of boots. I was jolted by watching Andy wrestling with our new umbrella which had been turned inside out by the wind, yet again.

After the walk to the car, Andy and I exchanged one of those “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” looks. And with out a word it was decided. There was no way we were going to a pumpkin patch and that’s all there was to it.

Much explanation and reasoning with Judah and Josie followed. But to be honest, it really didn’t take much convincing. There was the promise of lunch out, homemade caramel apples, hot cocoa and pumpkins from a different kind of pumpkin patch called Safeway.

The caramel was another disaster. I should have bought those little Kraft caramels and took the time to unwrap each one, stick them in the microwave and call it good. But no, I tried to get all “Martha Stewart” with the homemade caramel and it just wasn’t my day. We’ll leave it at that.

end of the night left us with beautiful Safeway pumpkins, hot cocoa
with too many marshmallows, and sliced up apples dipped in runny
caramel. The carving was left for another night when the older boys were
with us and we would find ourselves in another debacle because of a
lack of proper tools. Just makin’ more memories!

Popsicle sticks were nowhere to be found. Silly straws seemed like a good idea. In the end, completely unnecessary. Oh the plans I had for those apples…
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