Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holla!/ Grateful (two for one)

We survived...barely!
I think Thanksgiving is so great, but my stomach cannot bear more than a few days of it.
We had a blast with the NC contingency. Ate, shot guns, broke up a dog fight and hiked. All the things you should do when you go to the back woods of North Carolina.


My hottie husband

Joe College

Paul, the chef

Trash talking and shooting guns go hand in hand. photo of me with the gun...
only girls take pictures, apparently and I was the only girl around.

We came home Friday night. Saturday was a blur of online shopping and relaxing. (I know it was as strenuous as it sounds.) Muppets were seen, dinner was eaten at one of our favorite spots and we came home to weirdly working electrical outlets. Luckily, Dad was here and it was diagnosed and fixed by  noon on Sunday.

It rained and flooded in my neck of the woods, so I have been huddled in front of the computer shopping and avoiding looking around at the pit my house has become. Lovely.

Still have not done much about the pit, but dinners have been planned and I am looking forward to the week. I am GRATEFUL for an awesome family of people who are fun and adventurous.
Love you guys!
Love these guys (and girl)!

Hiking gives me bad bangs!

Casa Swann Meals on Wheels

Spaghetti Squash with garlic shrimp
frozen pizza and birthday cake (swim meet)
Chicken gumbo and Vegetable soup
Grilled fish, roasted brocolli, salad with apples and almonds
Chili pie

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Grace by Eric Enstrom

This painting was in my grandparent's dining room for as long I can remember. I loved a lot of things about it, like the fact he was eating soup. 
As an adult,whenever I see it, I think of my Pepaw saying Grace.
He was awesome at saying a really good (long) Grace.

Here is a really good, long one for today.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Thank you, Lord of the Universe,
      for all the gifts
      you always offer me.
Thank you for all I receive:
      for the water that washes me,
      for the clothes I wear,
      for the bread that sustains me.
For my dwelling and my parents,
      for my sisters and brothers,
      and for my friends.
For the knowledge gained from striving,
      and for the toils of each day.
For the good mornings that have dawned upon me,
      for the light that shines upon me,
      and for the handshakes that link me to others.
For the time you have allotted me,
      for the life you have offered me,
      and for the blessings of each new day.
Thanks you for being with me, Lord,
      for listening to me,
      and for taking me seriously.
Thank you even for receiving today’s thank you.
Thank you, Lord, thank you very much.

 (From the Ithaca College Website)

And  to start you off on the feeding frenzy...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Whatever: Pinterest, my new found love

My husband commented last night on how I spend way more time on my new phone than my last one.
I think it is kinda funny, as he has an ipad that last night, slept in the bed with us.
What he said is true, however. I am "messing" with my iphone more than I ever did my beloved blackberry. I loved that one more for it's texting and actual "phone-ness". This one I love for...Pinterest.
Yes, I am an addict.
It started with my friend Nikki. She is an enabler. Then my girl, Meg, who is all things fun and cool, mentioned it as well. The last straw was Janie, hippest and most studious of all law students. I mean, if she can study for exams and pin, how could I resist with all the cool girls doing it.

So, I started pinning and have not looked back.

I feel so much more stylish and creative because I have a Pinterest account. 
Does that cyber hipness transfer to the real world? Not so much. I still am nerdy and fairly uncool.
But, it is my guilty pleasure. I watch little TV and I have had the same Netflix movies for a month. Pinterest is my time vacuum entertainment.

 On the upside, Pinterest also got me organized to start working on my daughters rooms. I pinned bedding, looks, etc. and then...made it happen. So, my hours of mindless pinning is not for nothing.

Here are a few of my favorite Pins.
Love 'em or not, but I think they are super cool.

Source: via Tanya on Pinterest

Source: via Tanya on Pinterest

Source: via Tanya on Pinterest

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratituesday: Thanksgiving, being grateful

Everyone gets all sentimental this time of year.
Blessings are reflected upon, be they luck of nationality or true ones such as cancer caught early.
I have always loved this time of year. As a kid because it meant family, food and fun...also the last hurdle to be crossed to the final goal that was Christmas. Thanksgiving meant new movies to see and lists to be presented for presents to be anticipated for the next month.

Santa...all I want is...
As I look back to what Thanksgiving really was for me as a kid, it was the 3 Fs, Food, Family, Fun. My parents are divorced and not amicably so.
I never really knew where I would be one holiday to the next.
Whose turn it was to "have the kids" was always a drama.

So, I would hold my breath, hoping it was such and such's house to which we were going for Thanksgiving. Usually it was a grandparent or great aunt's house (step or otherwise). I loved all of them for various reasons, but certain places were less stressful and
certain people played fewer mind games.
My favorite was anywhere lots of people were gathered. The hum of the women in the kitchen, laughing and cooking always gave me a sense of being loved.
The men, either in the garage or outside always made me laugh. The conversations never changed, football or building something, I never could figure out what they actually did, standing around.

Lots of cousins on one side of the marriage divide made for fun and kid drama involving
turf (top of the dog house) that still to this day makes me laugh.

Food, always a huge part of my life, was abundant and amazing. Pies as far as the eye could see, turkey for days and loads of southern sides. Deviled eggs anyone? Macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, ham, corn casserole, corn stuffing, bread stuffing, green beans, broccoli casserole, potato salad, aspic (gross), cranberry sauce, jello salad and rolls filled the table so full, no one could put their plate down to serve themselves. I loved it all.

Card tables for "the kids" which I sat even at my own sister's house a few years ago. Laughter and revelry/rivalry. True thanks being offered for safe travels and long lost children returned home, even just for the day. These memories are very precious to me.

My own children have a different dynamic. We are happily married. My husband is an only child with one step sister. His mother is an only child. There are three cousins, whom we see twice a year.
My family is spread like the stars. We are close, but not physically, so Christmas every other year is our celebration time. And we do it house, 20 people, loads of fun.

Holidays are quiet at Casa Swann.
I am thankful that I have such fond memories of the chaos and laughter of a big family holiday. I wish I could create at least the fun for my own kids, with the noise and the laughter and the food.
Instead, I try to make traditions that we have every year. Thanksgiving means dinner with my husband's family, which now is his mother, brother-in-law and the kids. This is one we keep most years. They think Gigi's pecan pie is a must and movies Thanksgiving night with the cousins is essential to kicking off the holiday season. I love them all dearly and count down the days to seeing them starting November 1st. My kids love these times with them.


I am grateful that I can give them these and the stability of a family that loves them.
Happy Thanksgiving.