Bring on The Christmas Music

Do you ever wake up and just kind of sigh, but loudly and with more gusto than you think you own in the morning and say, "Thank you JESUS for Coffee!!!!"



It's just me?

And mainly it's just this morning. If you don't ever have those mornings, you should still go through the ritual for my sake!! Because trust me, this world is better off when I have coffee.

Especially this morning.

Because. I was out late last night.

Oh yes, Sunday night and all!

Here's a fun fact, there is actually no place to go out on a Sunday night! I'm kind of proud of myself for just learning this little bit of info now, in my late twenties and all. But, I really thought that Sunday was like the rest of the week. In fact, I expected more places with drink specials to draw out the crowd.

But. There are no drink specials on Sunday nights. Because most bars, at least here in Omaha, are not even open on Sunday!!!!

Lets chew on this for a moment. Grocery Stores and Clothing Stores don't observe the Sabbath, but Bars do.... Is anyone else finding this strange?

Anyway, that is really not the point I'm trying to make right now.

Last night, I was out late because I met one of the loveliest people I know for drinks.

My dear Miriah.

And it was spectacular. (That is my newest word. I love it. It's replacing "fantastic" because I think it does a better job of adjective-ing.)

And don't argue with the fact that I just turned adjective into a verb. I'm a pretend writer writer and I can do that kind of stuff....

She is in town for a bit and we had to wait several days to get together thanks to the holiday and family what not, but finally last night we got to see each other and it was wonderful.

We had to meet at Applebees, because what else is open on a Sunday night, let me tell you... Nothing! And then they ran out of Amaretto and we talked for at least an hour after they were closed and they were surely pissed at us, but it didn't matter.

I mean, sure we felt bad.

But even the wait-staff understood you can't interrupt a time like that between old friends.

There is nothing more comfortable in life than sitting down with a dear friend and laying all your crazy out on the table and just talking through it until you are sure the other person understands you completely and at the end of it you feel even, maybe a little, less crazy.

Isn't that the mark of a good friend? That no matter how different you are, you speak the same language of honesty and sincerity.

I think so.

So Miriah, might feel like banging her head against the wall today trying to forget everything I had to say, but I had the best time! And I am so blessed to have had those few hours with her!!!

It happens not nearly enough!!!!!

And that's a fact!

It was actually the perfect end to a phenomenal weekend. I definitely survived Thanksgiving. I can say that now, on Monday, because I'm still alive. Survival happened. I'm still here.

Oh, Thank the Lord!

Thursday was spent at Zach's family's house. And it was a super relaxed, fun day. The children, of course, love it over there, and I do to, because my mother-in-law makes EVERYTHING.

I didn't even bring a pie.

Although, I was supposed to, but somehow I ran out of time and it didn't get done.... So, sorry.

Anyway, it was a fantastic reminder of how thankful I should be for my in-laws. Because they are the most wonderful people you will ever meet.

I am so blessed with having a Mother-In-Law I can trust, and love and ask advice from! She is amazing.

Ok, and then Friday, the whole plan was to do absolutely nothing Friday except finish my cleaning, and bake my pies.

I am not one for Black Friday Shopping AT ALL.... But that's a WHOLE different blog. But the cliff-notes version is that growing up, I didn't even really know about it because my family always celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday, so there was no point to even wondering about it. And the tradition still stands, because that's when my brother gets up here from Kansas.

My family never celebrates Holidays on actual Holidays. And I think the real reason behind it is because somebody always dies on Holidays for us.

It's actually, kind of a tradition.... If you're going to die, make sure it's on a holiday....

We are very practical people. And that is the core truth about us. So when you die on a holiday, it just happens that either everyone is already together and so no one really needs to travel, OR, they have time off in order to travel and stay for a few days without missing work.

You think I'm joking.

Let me just quickly list off the important people in my life that have died.

My Uncle Frank was over Thanksgiving Break of my freshman year of college.

My Uncle John was over Christmas Break during my sixth grade year. Let me tell you, opening presents that year was so less than thrilling.... He was my dad's brother and that was a very hard death.

My Grandmother was over Christmas Break of my freshman year of college.

My Aunt Mid was over Easter, shortly after Scarlett was born.

And my Father was also over Christmas. The day after to be exact.

Anyway, (Man, I am full of tangents today!!!!!!) the point is, we have NEVER taken the day a holiday is on very seriously.

So Friday came and it took me a million times longer to clean my house on Friday, mainly because everything in my life takes me a million times longer than I think it should.

Ask, my first book that I had re-edited and I'm working on updates and have been for a month now. I definitely told Zach it would take me three-days.

Ugh.... I can't even talk about it anymore!

Except to say that three-days is definitely feasible if there were no kids, no dinners to make, no houses to clean, no errands to run, really, no responsibilities whatsoever. But then, that wouldn't keep things very interesting would it!!

So Saturday came. The big day. The Thanksgiving Feast with my family. The day that I was doing the cooking and hosting the meal.

Oh. Boy.

I can't take credit for the entire thing. Because well, Zach did the crowning jewel of the meal, the Turkey. And he is so amazing in the kitchen, I don't even know how he doesn't own at least One Michelin Star!!!

Here is a picture of his Turkey. Isn't it perfect looking???

And he made a Cherry Pie, which I completely forgot to take a picture of. Actually, he made a cherry pie with blueberries and I made a blueberry pie with cherries and we had a Pie-Off.

It was a Tie. Until I tried the two. And I had to grudgingly.... VERY VERY VERY grudgingly..... give it up to him! Because his turned out better!!!!

Even though, mine was made with home-made crust and his was store-bought. And I made a home-made streusel for the top of mine, and his just had more of the same old store-bought crust.

No. I'm not bitter.

Stop judging!!!! :)

He also made the gravy. Whew.

My mom also contributed SO much. Not only by spending the day entertaining the children and quickly doing the dishes every time I got out of the way.... but by bringing the Jello Salad which I can't even think about making for years and years and years to come,, the Cranberry-Orange Relish, the Green Bean Casserole, the stuffing, her Famous Home-Made Caramel Rolls(They might be my sole reason for living....) and the Seven Layer Salad, which is Traditional Left-Over Fair for my Fam.

This year she made us our very own.

In years past, it has literally erupted into a fight between my youngest brother and me. The Seven-Layer-Salad is very important.

That leads me to what I made.

And here is my menu:

Jalapeno Poppers
Deviled Eggs
Baked Brie with Crackers and Apple Slices

Corn Casserole (Actually, I passed this off to Katie, who graciously put it all together for me)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Boursin Mashed Potatoes
And I was supposed to make a complicated Mac and Cheese but I ran out of time. So I made it last time and it was so much darn work that I'm attributing it to my list. The end.

Dutch Apple Pie
Blueberry Muffin Streusel Pie (Which, like I said was inferior to Zach's....)
Both with the easiest homemade crust recipe I have EVER used and if you want it, I would love to share because seriously it makes making a pie crust SOOOO easy and not hard or overwhelming and it's fantastic. I am in love with this recipe. And how my crusts turned out!!!!

Anyway. Here is a picture of all the food and family and fun!

Things that are cut off in that picture because I am short.... are My brother Ron, Katie and the Poor Turkey!!

It was a fantastic day and a spectacular meal. And I just loved being surrounded by my beautiful family and laughing and eating and hosting. Which, turn out to be ALL my favorite things in the world.

Here is Zach mashing the potatoes. This was actually supposed to be my job, but he looked at me and said, "This looks like a Man's Job."

Whatever that means.... Lol

This is my oldest brother Ron and Stella who just loves him to pieces. Both of whom were hating their picture being taken so I had to sneak this one. And I just love it.

This is Katie. My dearest Katie. There is absolutely NO question about it, she is the Baby Whisperer. She just gets them to sleep, like nobodies business. As you can see here with Stryker. Later in the night she was also able to get a very terrifying, very loud, very tired Scarlett down, in the middle of dinner!!!! She's amazing.

I think it's actually a Super Power.

This is my youngest brother. And his serious girlfriend Maggie. Just don't tell him you think he's serious, lest he feel like it's not his own original idea that they're serious and because you are the one telling him they're serious he decide not to be serious just because it was somebody else's idea.

Ugh. The baby's in the family are the WORST. Aren't they?????


As we got closer to dinner, Scarlett got progressively... hungrier and sleepier and crabbier.... In general, she was just turning into quite the little pistol. So I distracted her from the madness by taking a bazillion pictures of the two of us and then showing her. It's one of her fave things to do.

Especially when dinner is running two hours behind.....

Oh my Stryker Man.


He will eat anything. ANYTHING. Except as it turns out: Green Bean Casserole, Corn Casserole, Jello and he still hates Potatoes.

The boy, in essence, hates Thanksgiving!!!! Don't you just feel bad for him?

And this is the destruction of my kitchen.

Unfortunately, that is only a portion of the dishes from the table. Oh, my. There was a war waged that night. Me versus the Kitchen.

I won.

So Suck on That, Thanksgiving!!!! Boom!!

Just kidding.

Actually, in all seriousness. Here's a word of advice. If you are going to cook for a bunch of people and use every single dish and pot and pan in your house in a caked on, you need a jack hammer to scrub everything off, kind of way, do not earn yourself the reputation of being a Dishwasher Nazi, so that all of your family and friends are terrified to even go into your kitchen to help you, prior to the event.

I'm just saying. It's so not wise!!


I hope you all had an even more wonderful celebration and that you are as excited for the upcoming Holidays as I am!!!!!


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