Thanksgiving 2011 was a lot of fun and full of family. My side of the family was at our house for Thanksgiving meal. My brother and his family stayed at Embassy Suites so the kids got to go swimming while my mom and I worked on the meal. I've hosted Thanksgiving 3 times since we've been in this house and I absolutely love doing it.
Having the island was incredibly handy. All the big kids sat there for the meal:
And the little girls sat at a little table. I don't think the little girls ate anything, but they were sure having fun together.
I did a horrible job of taking photos, but it was just really, really fun. My family left on Friday and then on Saturday and Sunday we spent time with RJ's side. More cousin time, bowling, eating out, and having fun.
I had won a $25 gift card to spend for Small Business Saturday so we went down to the East Village. It was hard to decide, but I spent my money at Domestica on 2 uber funky oven mits (mine were getting so old) and a little card to frame and put above our coffee station in the kitchen:
How fun, eh?
One of these years I'm going to give a very good try to buy only local. I already blew it this year since our presents for the kids are all bought and are from the big chains. It's so hard to resist Target! And the mall! And the sales! And the mall!!! But let's face it, they don't even hold a candle to the uniqueness and one-of-a-kind-ness you can find at a locally owned store.
Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and enjoy the anticipation of Christmas this week!
Back up a couple of weekends when I went up to Northwest Iowa for my craft show. The night before I painted a mural and delivered a painting for a gal my mom works with who is having her first baby:
I haven't done a mural for a while so it was a lot of fun.
Bright and early the next morning was the craft show. Here is my table that was JAM packed full of stuff. I went a little overboard....couldn't help myself. My mom helped me and we got to play with my nephew David for most of the day. It was great and I sold a ton of stuff!
Then it was time for RJ's birthday and time for my yearly chocolate cake. This year's was a winner. I used my usual chocolate cake recipe. (trust me, it's the best) And my new favorite buttercream frosting. (really trust me on this one, it's the best thing I've ever eaten!)
I made a two layer cake and put chocolate chips in the middle....and then forgot to take a picture of the final product, but just trust me. It's yummy!!!
We had a fun date night on Saturday celebrating RJ's birthday.
He's simply the best.
So you live close to a Dollar Tree? I don't. And I have to say I am kind of glad because I would probably spend all my dollars there all the time. This little project came with paint and 2 Toy Story pictures. A good hour of project time for a buck? You bet!
We are hosting Thanksgiving this year and I can not wait! I think I saw an idea similar to this on Pinterest (of course) but grabbed a few branches from outside and spray painted them white and put them in a vase. Then cut out leaves from construction paper and old book pages to get this cute lil' thing:
Then on the leaves we can write things we are thankful for. Of course this one by Henry is my favorite.
Maybe it's because I adore my friend, Alisa. (the photographer)
And maybe it's because I adore my little family. (love them)
But I'm pretty positive these are the best photos.
I would post all 94 of them just so you could see every single possible face Harper made that day, but I'll hold back a bit. She was kind of a stinker that day, but Alisa still managed to get some beautiful shots of both kids!
This family one is my absolute favorite.
No, this one is my absolute favorite. We probably won't be getting family photos done again for a few years. And we certainly won't be wearing clothes this matchy again for a long time. So I really wanted a family portrait to be more of a piece of art. Something that would last years and not look dated.
Enter: this photo below:
Alisa, you did it perfectly.
This one will make me cry in a few years.
Or maybe it already does.
I love this. I love how Henry has his eyes covered and Harper is all curled up.
I've got a super sweet and content baby hanging out at our house today (he's the best, Julie!) and he's taking a nap right now, so here we go!
So we went out with RJ's parents to see RJ's brother and his cute family. There is a family that offers 2 (of their 3) lake houses for free to the staff at the Moody flight school where his brother works. Pretty sweet.
This was our view every day right off of Lake Coeur d' Alene.
The boys took the kids out on the canoe. It was in the 40s most of the week so kind of chilly, but still nice enough to play outside. The leaves had just started to turn brilliant colors so it was absolutely beautiful!
We didn't have a tv and basically had no Internet connection the whole time so there was tons of game playing and puzzle putting-togtherness going on. We did have a little dvd player so the kids got to watch a cartoon here and there. I didn't miss the tv, but I have to admit I missed the Internet a bit. However, I ended up being so thankful it worked out that way. So refreshing!!
Here's a shot straight from the deck on a beautiful evening.
Here is the adorable cabin the families with kids stayed in.
And the red cabin is where the grandparents got to stay...so they could escape some of the noise and early mornings. :)
Harper and her cousin Simon had so much fun together. They are just a couple of weeks apart.
The caretaker told us they had seen a "baby" moose around and one morning we got to see it! RJ took the camera and got some shots at a safe distance, of course.
Another beautiful morning. Just couldn't get enough of that view!
A shot looking down at our cabin.
We did tons of hiking and walking. The hills were crazy steep.
The 3 little cousins.
Sorry, RJ, but I love this picture...
Such a cute cabin, eh?
(sorry for the random order of these)
Harper with her grandpa looking up at me on the deck.
We (the men) built a few fires down by the water.
And we ate marshmallows.
Since we were there for Halloween, we let the kids dress up and we just did a little trick-or-treating at the cabin.
We just sat in chairs and they went around to each of us. They had a blast.
This little costume is probably the funniest thing I've ever seen. I got it for $2 last year at Target.
I want to frame it.
More time out on the canoe.
Somehow Henry has gone his entire little life without bowling. He had so much fun and it was so cute to watch how animated he was with it.
Henry and Sophia were best buds the whole time.
A little dvd break.
All the kids together. The leaves were amazing!
And that was our trip. It was so much fun. Definitely ranks up there with my favorite vacations.
We flew back to Minneapolis and spent a couple of days with RJ's aunt and uncle. We got to sneak away for a little lunch date and go on a double date with RJ's cousin and girlfriend. Then Saturday was time to see my family. My cousin Elyse got married that night in a beautiful, old church in St. Paul and then the rehearsal was at the Minnesota History Center. I didn't have much space left on my camera for more pictures, but this is the dance floor with the capital in the background.
It was a beauty of a night, for sure.
It was so fun ending the week seeing my mom's lovely family. We rarely get together anymore so there is lots to catch up on when we do.
And that's all. If you made it all the way through, congratulations!
Now it's back to normal life. It feels good to be home. :)