Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Too busy to pull out the black beauty!

That's right, I barely took any pictures this Thanksgiving.

Ever since I got through the biggest meal I've ever prepared (for the most people I've ever fed) I've been kicking myself! For so many Thanksgivings I've been playing around or chatting it up with family while my grandma slaved away in the kitchen. And then the last three Thanksgivings, I've "attempted" helping my mother-in-law, but I really just had no idea what I was doing. Sure, I arranged cheese and crackers on the appetizer trays. Nothin' more. So selfish! (Sorry Grandma R and Mom Dooley, who I know read this, and big hugs to you both!)

My husband was the biggest help. My counselor and I talked about the stress of the meal the week before Thanksgiving, and all the pressure I was feeling. He gave me golden advice that applies to anyone!

Just pick whatever you can't handle out of the situation and give it over to someone else. The task, the details, the pressure, the stress. Just give it to someone who you know will come through for you!

Awesome advice. (I use it all the time for little things, like us backing out of the driveway, serpentine-ing through our neighbors' 3 sloppily-parked cars. Yuck. Now when Mitch is backing out, I just face forward and give all that stress to him. It works wonders!)

So, for Thanksgiving I gave him the turkey. We'd bought it before little Rexburg ran out of turkeys. It was 13.5 lbs of stress!! So, I made a dollar store run and bought all the tools we didn't have for a turkey, plus a tinfoil roasting pan, and that was it! The end of my stress! 

Mitch looked up a recipe, added things to my shopping list, I picked them up with the rest of the (tons of!) food, and we were ready to start baking. 

Luckily, I am so proud to say that, with the help of Mitch and both of our mothers, everything we attempted turned out!! 

Here's a quick list of what we made:
turkey (obviously)
stuffing (we all voted for Stove Top over for me!)
homestyle mashed potatoes & gravy (I love my new mixer!!)
sweet potato casserole (no going back to marshmallows now!)
caramel-bottom rolls (as awesome as they sound!)
cranberry sauce
Ginger Ale + White grape juice

My good friend, Shelby and her husband Thane brought yummy stuff too!
green bean casserole
corn suffle
pumpkin pie
french silk pie

It was all so delicious! I am so glad to have the experience of having our own Thanksgiving, but we missed being with family!

In addition to Mitch, Nathan, myself and our friends Thane and Shelby, we had my sister Camille, her friend Kinsey, and our neighbors Ryan and Juanee (pronounced "Johnny"'s her grandma's name). We were so happy to have so many friends and some family! Camille and Kinsey came from Provo, UT on Tuesday and left on Sunday. It was so fun to have a new place, big enough for two extra people for five days!
Here are some pictures :o)
These rolls are as delicious as they look!
Yummy mashed potatoes! We loved using the serving pieces from our good friend Billie Platt!
I love my china, and I never get to use it!

Happy Thanksgiving, only a week late!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yet another winter!

One day maybe we'll live somewhere where the weather isn't year-round winter...until then, we're just trying to enjoy the snow. We packed Nathan up in his snow suit and boots and took him out for about the third snow of the year. Of course, we were able to add snow to the list of things he's scared of, but the pictures still turned out pretty cute :o) I love his red snowsuit against the bright white snow!

PS--I wish I had time to edit pictures and play with fun effects. Maybe when I'm done with school!?

I tried to get more pictures with Mitch, but he didn't want any more (I tease him that his yellow coat looks like the sun...Modern Family reference, of course!)

We are excited for Thanksgiving! I couldn't handle the stress of traveling this year (and I don't know that our poor car could have, either!), so we're staying here. My sister Camille will be here in just a few hours! I'm so excited and so glad she's coming down from Provo to be with us, even though it's been a lot of effort on her part. We are also inviting our friends Thane and Shelby, our neighbor (whose wife has to work...he was going to make a turkey sandwich and call it good! I don't think so!), and Camille has a friend coming. So we'll have 7 1/2 people! Awesome! (Nathan only eats like half a person...)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nathan's first birthday party: presents and cake!

Woo hoo, the rest of the birthday party!

Only a couple weeks late, right?

Mitch and his friends are having a guys' night in front of the xbox...what else for a girl to do but blog? 

My sweet sister-in-law, Dani, accompanied Nathan and I to Toys R Us during the beginning of their guys' night...yes, it's STILL going on, several hours later, Dani! Thanks for the fun night; Nathan would've been a disaster had I been by myself!

Turns out, when you're a baby scared of everything, Toys R Us isn't that fun...more like petrifying!
But, they were having a great sale, and his Christmas shopping is now done, so woo hoo!

Onto the party!

(Not all the presents; just what I fit in the frame. All of his filled the fireplace!)
Nathan had several presents in attendance, even though all of the givers couldn't be there! He had gifts from both sets of grandparents, his great-grandparents, and all of his aunts and uncles! What a lucky guy. Guess that's what happens when you're the lucky first grandbaby on both sides!

Reading a birthday card with mom

Working so hard to open the paper!

Wow, paper hides fun things!

Look, GG and Papa!

Working so hard to open all the presents...

Awesome :o)
A football!

Opening the "big one"!

A big train! (It's a cool walker and ride-on!)
GG & Papa putting the train together :o)

Yay! So big!

This is how you do it...

I can do it!
Nathan's friends just loved his train! It's a big hit when we get together :o)

Nathan's horsey from his great-grandparents pushed him a bit over the edge that day, excitement-wise!

But his friends sure loved it!

Cowgirl Annelyse :o)
She even had her cowgirl boots on that day to match!
More train fun!

Now for the cake!
And a buncha more pictures! 

...are you ready?

MY FAVORITE! I love his little face when he sees the cake being handed to him by daddy :o)

holding those hands back as he tries to grab the candle

Mommy will blow it out

He SO knew what to do! He picked off a polka dot and into his mouth it went!

Nummies! ("food" in our house)


Love you!

Sitting below his big print...just to show how big it was :o)

clapping with his messy hands

Talking to someone about his mess

Yep, that's frosting in his ear...

That's all I let him eat...when I took it away, he was a bit upset, but then found that he had enough on his tray to keep him happy!

Gross amounts of spillover!

Yumm!! ...You're kinda gross, buddy! 

We love you, buddy! Happy birthday! Thanks to everyone who came and sent gifts!

PS--we just found out that NONE of his first birthday videos actually recorded...HUGE bummer. We have no idea what happened, but I'm taking the video camera and its cord & memory card in to see if the videos can be recovered!