Our Thanksgiving in a (long) nutshell...

We woke up Thanksgiving morning at my parent's house, mostly because I had convinced Shane the night before that I needed to watch the Macy's parade. (We don't get that channel.) Of course, as usual the parade wasn't quite as amazing as I expected, but I still enjoyed having it on in the background while we got ready to leave. Nora helped Nanny get ready all morning, following her around, flossing her teeth, and brushing, as seen here:
Shane made himself useful by going outside to scrape the frost off of the cars. He let his artistic side take over and created a really nice image on my Mom's car,
and a not-so-nice image on Hayley's car. Big surprise, right?
As soon as everyone was ready we hopped in the cars and drove down to Josh's restaurant where he and Tara were hosting the big day. It was already beautifully set up and we relaxed right into the soft leather couch and some delicious appetizers.
Nora and Kalen had plenty of toys to play with, including a few that got away from them; Nora's a good retriever, though.
Shane headed right into the kitchen to give Josh and Tara a hand. They cooked the whole meal with just a little help on the dessert front. We were all very impressed, but mostly thankful at getting to go to such a lovely setting and just relax.
Hayley snapped this shot of me while we were playing around behind the bar. I figured it was about time to post another shot of myself.
Sweet little Wylie was so laid-back the whole day. He was passed from one set of arms to another throughout the evening and didn't seem to care a bit.
Kalen and Nora also had a pretty good day, especially since Nora took one twenty-minute nap the whole day. Yes, you heard right. Twenty minutes. And she didn't even bite anyone (that we know of.)
Apparently kids get a little anxious when they have to wait? For some reason they don't like sitting around with drinks and appetizers and chatting. I don't get it. Good thing Hayley and Shane are inventive and started the box races!
Eventually we were summoned to the table and sat down to enjoy a fantastic meal. I ate a lot. I mean, a lot. I enjoyed every second of it.
Dessert appeared not long after and we all dug in to the pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple cobbler and pumpkin cheesecake. Oh, the deliciousness!
Later we played a bit of bocce on the court Josh built outside and then moved inside for a board game of epic proportions. I'm not kidding- in the history of our family this Thanksgiving will always be remembered as the year Tara, Hayley and Caitlyn dominated. We played Pictionary and were a team against Mom, Josh and Cindy. They really never had a chance. We were on a roll and it lasted the whole (short) length of the game. It was as if we were reading each other's minds. I only wish you all had been there to experience it. Fortunately, Nora and Kalen were there to witness the beating. (Yes, Nora is shirtless. She was hot, okay?)
It really was a wonderful day. There were plenty of friends and family around to enjoy it. Thank you, thank you, thank you Tara and Josh for hosting and everyone else for coming to celebrate such a nice day.


Happy Thanksgiving!

(Sunrise on Thanksgiving, photo by Shane)
Hello everyone, and happy Thanksgiving! We are visiting my parents now and then we're off to the restaurant my brother runs for a big dinner. We'll be spending the day there eating great food, playing bocce and board games and watching 'A Christmas Story', a tradition Shane couldn't live without. We've been trying to get Nora to say 'Thanksgiving', but so far all she has figured out is 'pumpkin pie' and 'apple pie'. Oh well, that will do for now. We have a month to teach her 'Merry Christmas!' Last week we had a bit of a rough night when Nora came down with either the flu or a bout of food poisoning. She woke up around 10:30pm and proceeded to throw up about eighteen times. (No joke.) We finally all fell asleep around 2:30am, after several changes of clothes and used up towels. Thankfully, she was fine the next morning, but Shane just had to snap a shot of how sad and pathetic she looked in the middle of the night. She was squirming around (her stomach must have really hurt) and she wouldn't stay on her bed, poor thing.
Well, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and enjoys themselves. We are lucky enough to get to go to two Thanksgivings this year- one with my family and one with Shane's on Friday. Wahoo! I'll let you know all about it once I roll myself home!


A sneak peek for Emily and an update

Recently Shane and I have started going to the local YMCA to work out. We take turns, with the other staying home with Nora. Right now it's my turn, and I'm going, I swear, but I just had to take a little side trip to the local coffee shop to make a post. Priorities, right?
I've been working on some photos I took of Emily and her family (and plan to have them ready for you at book club, Emily!) and though she might like a little preview:Sorry there aren't any Nora pictures here. She's been getting the shaft lately, photography-wise. With the upcoming holidays I'm sure we'll return to the over-the-top coverage of her daily life. I also wanted to mentioned that I looked into getting wireless internet for our apartment. I'll probably sign us up tomorrow, but we are super cheap, so we'll be going with the $20/month, slow as cold molasses package. Hey, at least it's something, right?


Well, believe it or not I've finally managed to access the internet. It's only taken me two weeks or so, but I've done it. Of course, I only have enough time to do a quick post before I'm off to take some pictures of my family. I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity lately to take pictures of people besides Nora, which is not to say I don't enjoy that, but it can get a bit old.
In any case, here is a quick, dated post. A couple weeks ago we were invited to Camella's house for a potluck and, get this, a goat roast! The girls (and numerous other kids) had a great time running around both outside and inside. We all tried the goat, but I think Shane and I enjoyed it a little more than Nora. It was a great party, though, with lots of friends, good food and live music.

By the time we made it home Nora was completely conked out. She woke up just long enough to get into her pajamas and then went right into her big girl bed and was out like a light.
And of course we had to throw an election day picture in this old post. Nora came with us to vote and we jostled her back and forth while we tried to elect our new president. What a smart young citizen we're raising!


A belated Happy Halloween!

Well, I've finally made it to a location with the internet and Nora isn't tugging at my leg and crying or trying to terrorize the poor fish who live at the library. We had a great time last weekend celebrating Halloween and then traveling south to celebrate the birthday of my cousin's twins, Trinity and Rey, who turned seven.
On Friday we joined Tara, Kalen and Wylie to go on a 'haunted' walk. It wasn't scary at all, but that's because it was designed for little kids. Later that same night was a much scarier walk for the older kids; we made sure to miss that one. We decided to dress Nora up as the Tooth Fairy. One of her favorite things to do is brush her teeth, so it seemed appropriate. Plus, the tutu was free; my Mom made it for Tara when she was a kid! Kalen wasn't sure what he wanted to be for Halloween; he debated between a dog, his aunt Hayley and a dog bone. You can see what he decided.Here's sweet little Wylie. He had a hard time deciding what to be, but finally chose the cow, because of how nicely the hood accentuated his facial features. I think he made the right choice.The next morning we were on the road early for the birthday party. Here are the twins, Rey and Trinity getting ready to blow out their candles.
Here is the absolutely amazing cake. Oh my goodness, look at that attention to detail. It almost looks as though I am in that graveyard. Ooh, that's a spooky house! It's so real! I wonder who made that gorgeous piece of art? (Wink, wink!) We made it back home Sunday afternoon and Monday was a nice, restful day. I spent it in the kitchen, doing what I love to do when I have time- cooking. Or in this case, roasting off sugar pumpkins to puree and freeze. When I peeked in to check on a very quiet Nora, there she was, attending to her studies, the little geek. Gosh, I love her.