Thursday, November 29, 2012

Breakfast with Santa

Alternate Title: The highest sugar high my kids have ever been on.

For the third year in a row we got ready very early in the morning to dine with Santa and Mrs. Claus for breakfast at Chocolate World. My sister, Sally and her son, Jacob came with us as well as Sally's Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law with Sally's niece, Olivia.

Charlotte was so excited about this event. Grammie helped her to type up her Christmas list the night before and had her menu all planned out. She was going to eat "chocolate chip pancakes with hershey kisses on the side and hot chocolate to drink."

We were greeted by my personal favorite, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.


Max wanted nothing to do with the oversized chocolate bar and Jacob was cowering behind Sally VERY far away. Poor kid was terrified of the characters and Santa. This breakfast was pretty much his nightmare. Good thing Max was there to provide some support.


We were seated at our table and Max consumed 3 or 4 Hershey Kisses before I could put my coat down.


Charlotte immediately started decorating a cookie.


We decided to go visit the big guy first, before we ate. Max handed Santa his list, but refused to sit on the sleigh.


Then I went to the different stations trying to find the chocolate chip pancakes and hot chocolate to accompany Charlotte's Hershey kisses. She ended up not eating much because she was too busy playing bingo. All of the sudden she yelled out "BINGO". I've never seen a child so happy. This was the first year we've won the bingo game that they play while everyone eats. What do you win? A giant chocolate bar of course!


After breakfast we sat at the table talking and packing up our chocolate into to-go containers.


We headed over to the 3D show, which Charlotte and Max loved. We did the tour of Chocolate World after that. Then, it was time to go. Everyone was coming down from their sugar highs and needed to rest a while. It is always a fun time. This year was especially fun because both Charlotte and Max were old enough to really enjoy it.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year for Judd's side of the family. We had about 22 people eating at our house this afternoon and it felt good to be surrounded by family on Thanksgiving. Everyone brought sides, etc, so Judd and I provided the turkey and pulled pork.

Judd has been researching how to do the turkey for weeks. Scanning all of the Big Green Egg forums on the proper way to smoke a turkey. Well, the research paid off - it was an outstanding turkey!

He started his work last night around 5 PM getting the Egg going for the Boston Butt.


He let the smoker do it's thing until he discovered his fire went out sometime during the night. I came down around 5:45 AM this morning to find a slightly nervous guy laying on the couch. He ended up putting foil around it and turning up the heat. It came off sometime around 7. Then, the turkey went on around 8:30 this morning. The whole neighborhood smelled amazing this morning while the turkey was smoking away.

While it was going, family started to gather. Side dishes lined the counter tops, desserts crowding the cleared-off desk in the "play area".

Finally the turkey came off of the smoker and Judd began to dissect it.


After much mouth watering, we all made a plate and ate - and ate - and ate. The food was all so good - but the pork and the turkey were out of this world. The turkey was some of the best I remember eating.

After cleaning up and packing to-go plates and bags we said our good byes. Judd collapsed on the bed and I watched a show with Charlotte. Max woke up from his nap and we have just been relaxing.

I'm thankful for so many things in my life, I have a really good life.

But, I have to say - this guy who can cook the star of the show without blinking an eye and carve it to perfection:


and these two amazingly sweet kids:


are at the top of the list of things I'm thankful for.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Catch Up

I feel like I'm playing catch-up here a lot lately. Things have just been, well, busy. I have to clean the house about 100 times a day because you just never know when someone will call and want to look at the house. We've had some activity, but nothing serious yet. We've watched a couple dream houses go on the market and off within days while we wait for ours to get a bite. I've decided not to look anymore.


Someone doesn't have a pacifier in his crib anymore.


I put him down for a nap the day after he turned 2 and told him that he was a big boy and didn't need them anymore. I collected them all and left a screaming boy standing in a crib. A couple minutes later I went back into his room and rocked him for a while. I put him in his crib and he asked for a couple of trucks. That was it - he didn't ask for the pacifier again. We had a few rough nap times and a week of really early mornings, but overall he handled the transition very smoothly. It helps that he had the support of "white" and "blue" blankie, Mickey Mouse, and some trains and trucks to cuddle.

Charlotte ended her soccer season this past weekend. Judd's parents were able to come up and watch the game with us. She scored a goal. After the game she was awarded a medal. Although, her green cupcake seemed to trump any sort of award she could have received.

We are gearing up to host Judd's family at our house for Thanksgiving. We ordered a turkey and Judd is researching various ways to prepare one on the Egg. It will be our first time to host a Thanksgiving - we are looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to being in Atlanta for some black Friday shopping - the first time in 5 or 6 years!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Running in the house


Today after breakfast the kids are wound up running around the house.

Judd: "Hey, quit running in the house!"
Judd to me: "Wait, is that a rule here?"

HA! How should I's not like we're the parents. Oh wait, we are.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Our house

After much deliberation over the past few weeks - well if I'm honest, years - Judd and I have decided to put our house on the market. We always said that this would be a 5 year house for us. That 5 years has become over 9 years. It is a good house, but we would like just one more bedroom or a basement for our little family. A space for the kids to stretch out, or a space that Judd and I can get away to when the kids are older and have friends over.

It seems like a good time to put it on the market. There isn't a lot on the market right now, so we are hoping that this means ours will sell a little faster.

We will stay in this area. Whether it is in the City of Decatur, or staying in the Oak Grove area, I want to stay put. I have formed so many great friendships around here, and I would like to continue to grow those friendships. I just love this community.

The thoughts of actually packing this house up and seeing it empty forms a lump in my throat every time. I love this house. The house that has become our home. It started out bare with only enough furniture that previously filled an apartment to a house that doesn't have much extra space. The house that we started our lives together and brought our babies home to. I know every creak. I know what the stairs sound like, what each door sounds like when it opens and closes.

But, I'm ready. I'm ready to start the next chapter. I ready to learn new creaks and doors. Let's hope someone else out there is ready to start a new chapter in our house!

Know anyone that's interested in a great house minutes from Decatur in a good school district?? Send them this link, our house.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Last Sunday we brought the pumpkin in to carve. Charlotte was so excited and we looked through pictures online until we found an acceptable carving to replicate. Nothing too fancy.

Then, we got to work scooping out the gunk, which is, by far the best part. Max wasn't so sure, though. He didn't really want anything to do with the gunk. But, he was happy to hang out and be a part of it.



I drew the design and then the master pumpkin carver got to work.


In the meantime, Charlotte sorted the seeds out. We put them in the oven with some butter and salt and they were yummy!


The finished product. (I feel like I can relate to this pumpkin. Doesn't she look like a mom at the end of the day with all her little pumpkins around her? At least I don't have 5!)


Last night we ate some pizza to fuel up for a big night of trick or treating. We went to the neighborhood parade to start our night. After that it was on to the matter at hand - getting that candy. Charlotte was an orphan on a mission going after the stuff. I think she could have walked to 100 houses. Mickey was pretty into it too and walked up to at least 10 houses. At first he had NO idea what was going on, but as soon as he saw his first lollypop, he wanted in on the action too.

We all had a great time and got lots of good loot. I picked out all of the really good stuff - Reeses Peanut Butter Cups - and ate them happily on the couch after they went to bed very late. It was a wonderful Halloween.