Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Countdown Begins!

Today is the Saturday before Thanksgiving and I am getting really excited for the week ahead! This is the last day that Jer has to work, so I feel like the fun is really about to start! I have my shopping list typed up (in categories, no less!) the menu completely planned and the schedule in place. Tomorrow is decorating day, since Jer will be off work and will have no more excuses for helping me get everything down from the attic. :-) Monday is shopping day and my plan is to go bright and early while Jer stays home with Colin so that I can knock it all out with minimal crowd interference. Tuesday is cleaning in preparation for our guests and Wednesday is COOKING! Absolutely all the prep and every bit of cooking possibly done ahead of time is scheduled for Wednesday...including the all-important chocolate pies. I will have the turkey thawed, dressed and ready to go in the fridge on Wednesday night so that it can go into the oven before the sun comes up on Thursday morning. That will keep me from waking Colin up while trying to cook at the crack of dawn and also allow for the turkey to be done nice and early so that I have time to bake everything else in my single oven. I am actually not stressed at all about the turkey, which is what seems to worry everyone else. I roast a lot of chicken, so I am used to the process and it does not frighten me at all. Those may be famous last words, I am well aware. :-) I am more stressed about all my other dishes and making sure that everything is hot and ready to serve at the same time. I keep trying to remember the little things the rolls (which I almost forgot to put on the list) and the iced tea (which my mom had to remind me of!). My other stress is my appearance, silly as it sounds. My mother wants to take a picture with the whole family for her Christmas cards since we have been unable to all be in the same place before this. I really don't see time in my day to primp, so I think I may have to add washing and fixing my hair to my "night before" list. So to those of you who get cards from my parents, I am sorry in advance for looking disheveled. :-)

Despite how stressful the whole thing sounds, I am so excited! I am having a blast putting all of this together and I feel as though I have been working on my "masterpiece". I have dreamed about doing something like this since I was a little girl watching my mom do it and I can't believe that my time has come. It will come as little surprise to those who know me well that we are holiday nuts in my family and I am giddy with the arrival of the season. Christmas decorations are showing up everywhere, the Christmas station is going full blast on the radio, and I am in Chalna heaven! I am all geared up for our classic Thanksgiving morning of watching the Macy's Parade, eating sausage balls and drinking coffee while the men complain that we are forcing them to watch the parade. I am thrilled to have two little boys running around like mad men, far too many people squeezed in my tiny house, my dad doubtlessly complaining about the fat in my menu and the ongoing cholesterol problem in the United States, and just all the fun and excitement. ;-)

We shall see how I feel the morning after. hehehe!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Wedding Weekend!

We had a VERY busy week last week and things are not slowing down a bit! It amazes me how fast the time between Halloween and Christmas goes by...this year seems to be even faster than most! It seems as though we have something planned for every waking moment between now and December 25th! We went to Tyler last weekend for Cam and Lilli's wedding and we had the most wonderful time! The location was a stunning bed and breakfast hidden in the woods of East Texas, complete with outdoor English garden covered in twinkling lights! It was so beautiful, in fact, that I spent the better part of the weekend trying to figure out a reason to throw my own party out there! The wedding did not disappoint as I cried my way through the ceremony for various reasons. :-) My old pastor from childhood officiated the ceremony, which was a beautiful surprise. He is LONG ago retired, so hearing his voice was something special to say the least. I did not even recognize him by was the sound of his voice that caught me up short. Afterwards, there was dinner, drinks and dancing with tons of old was like time had stood still...some folks I had not seen since high school! We laughed and played like we were still 18 years old! That might be a bit of an overstatement considering that we all kept calling home to check on our kids and I stopped drinking after two glasses of wine to avoid a headache. :-) At least we had a great time for a group of 30-somethings. HA! Lilli and Cam also had what I consider one of the BEST ideas ever at the reception...the whole crowd was invited out on the front lawn once it got dark and every couple was given a huge paper lantern and a lighter. Everyone lit the bottom and held them up to gather hot air. As soon as they started to pull away, we all let go and dozens and dozens of these glowing lanterns floated away into the night sky! It was a precious moment and one I will not soon forget...all of the people that I have known for decades standing outside together under the glowing was amazing! Jer took a video of is a bit long, but you can watch it here:

The night was especially wonderful because my parents kept Colin for us. I found out that while we were there, they packed him up and took him shopping for Christmas trees at Hobby Lobby and then for dinner at Chick-Fil-A. Apparently, he was beside himself over the decorations at the store and had the best time helping my parents pick out a new tree. At dinner, he got not only his favorite kids meal, but he also had a brownie AND an ice cream cone! It is little wonder that he keeps asking to "Go Mimi and Duke's house!". :-) It felt so good to be out and about and to find out that Colin had such a special night with his grandparents at the same time made it even better! We are home now and I am officially knee deep in Thanksgiving prep, not to mention working on getting Christmas cards done and decorations up! Whew! Here are some pictures from our weekend:

These two are Colin making a HUGE MESS with blueberries at his grandparents house. He adores eating Duke's blueberries above all things! Look at that face!! :-)

This one is of my sweet friend Nick...I have known him since we were...14? A LONG TIME! I have adored him forever! His son is Colin's age and was the ring cute!

Hugging the beautiful bride, Lilli...she was breathtaking! We lived together in college with Sarah and Megan...four girls in what we called "the big house". It was more than a little crazy. :-)

Sarah and Nathan...two of my oldest friends. It was SO AMAZING to all be together in one place!

hugging the handsome groom, Cameron! Nathan, Cameron, myself and Sarah used to refer to ourselves as "NaChalSaCam". We were BEST FRIENDS and it brought me to tears to see him get married. I have endless of stories about this hilarious man...I am so happy that he found his soul mate!

A shot that Jer snagged during the was stunning. That is Brother Johnny officiating...we have family pictures with him when I was probably 5 years old!

Mom and Dad looking good! :-) All dressed up and ready to go!

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