I’m normally what you would call a curmudgeonly hermit antisocial type, but I’m coming out of a particularly wonderful Thanksgiving and anniversary celebration, and it’s the first Sunday of Advent, so I’m feeling uncharacteristically friendly.
Normally, this is where I’d apologize for not posting much lately, moan about being so behind, worry about “schooling” my kids, and, if you could read the blog that lives in my brain, meticulously recount every single macro and micro nutrient that has passed these lips over the last week. But not today. Today my friendliness extends even to myself.
And so, instead of beating myself up about being a writer who doesn’t write, I’ll be nice to both of us and tell you what I have been doing instead.
This time of year, my girls and I need every minute of the sun on our skin we can get. Picnics, playgrounds, nature walks, and the sandbox.
One of Bea’s favorite things lately is the “Driveway date”. Sometimes Leona just can’t stay awake the 5 minutes it takes to get from the gym to the house, so Bea and I go through the Starbucks drive-thru for black coffee and warm milk. We pull into the driveway at our house, get unbuckled, and sing along to the radio, tell imagination stories, or just talk until baby sister wakes up.
I spend a lot of time in the weight room at the Town Lake YMCA. It’s my Cheers. Sometimes you really wanna go where everybody knows your name, but everyone leaves you alone because you’ve got the Rocky IV soundtrack blaring in your headphones and you can squat a Volkswagen.
We spent a LOT of time getting ready for Thanksgiving. My thumbs have yet to recover from the chestnut peeling/shelling/torture. They were delicious, though. Beatrice perfectly, patiently, meticulously seeded a pumpkin. I swear, this took several days. It was absolutely worth it though, because then we made this.
Bea was an excellent sous chef this year. She single handedly prepared my second favorite dish of the entire day, stuffed dates. I swear to you, friends, these things taste EXACTLY like pecan pie. They are like magic!
She also skillfully wrapped our pears with prosciutto and carefully arranged an assortment of olives. On any other day, I would be really irritated that she didn’t actually eat any of this food.
As with pretty much every meal, holiday or otherwise, our feast revolved around one key ingredient. See if you can spot it.
Here’s what that looked like a little earlier in the day.
Yeah, I don’t always get his art, either.
I’m still thinking about this cake, y’all. It was five days ago…but I can still taste it. Pretty impressive for something made of a mash of squash, nuts, and egg! Screw all the Christmas chocolate treats! I am counting the days till I get another pumpkin cake! More exclamation points! For emphasis!!
We also made these cookies. If you like macaroons (as in coconut, not macarons, as in almonds), these are for you. They satisfied everyone’s need for the “alternative to pumpkin”, and were spectacular toasted with a cup of coffee the next morning.
Leading up to Thanksgiving, the girls and I spent our school time memorizing “thankful” scripture and searching for “th” in all our books.My favorite part of this exercise is the fact that Bea can’t actually say “th”, it’s still all “f” when it comes out of her mouth. I love it. It reminds me that she is still such a new little person.
We’re almost as pretty as that turkey!