A Pretty Picture

A Pretty Picture

I hope everyone survived Thanksgiving weekend!

Our Thanksgiving went as planned, dinner at Gramma's on Thursday, Black Friday shopping, and then another dinner at our house on Saturday with friends. 

This is about the time of year that my "pretty picture" visualization kicks into overdrive. This is when I visualize all of these holiday traditions happening perfectly and planned and everyone has a smile on their face. And then it never really happens that way. This past weekend was just a reminder.

We started a tradition last year or the year before, I don't remember, where we have Gabe, the oldest, contribute to Thanksgiving dinner by making a dish all by himself. He has to follow a recipe and complete it with little to no help. Last year he made a recipe called Pumpkin Dump Cake and it was so delicious. We wanted an encore!

Teenager Cooking

So he carefully made the recipe. It turned out just as beautifully as last year, we had a good amount of leftovers...and they went crashing to the ground in our Pyrex dish. All over the driveway. It was definitely not how I pictured things. I pictured me stuffing my face with Pumpkin Dump Cake for breakfast the next morning. Nope!

BUT, we have ingredients for more so I think he'll make some this weekend again.

We were supposed to go see Frozen as a family yesterday. It was going to be Lola and Christian's first movie in an actual movie theater. But Christian wasn't feeling well so it was just Lola and me. Again, not what we had planned for.

BUT, it turned into a mom and Lola date. 

Movie Theater

We got popcorn and licorice and she sat like a big girl in her seat for her very first movie theater movie. She sat through the whole movie but halfway through came to cuddle up on my lap. She did so well! 

We put up the tree yesterday. It's my beloved white Christmas tree and I was so excited to put up our tree in a new space. However, when the tree was up, it was dwarfed by the higher ceilings. We got that white Christmas tree in that size because it fit perfectly in our old house that didn't have much space. Now we live somewhere with a little more space and higher ceilings. And now our tree looks tiny. 

Add to that, I always have a vision of us decorating the tree as a family, drinking hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music. I don't know why I have that vision. That has actually never happened. It's usually me decorating and the boys watching football or TV or something not Christmas related. 

BUT, Lola, my little partner in crime, was more than excited to decorate with me. And she was just as enthusiastic, if not more so, than me. 

Another bonus, Elf on the Shelf came to visit for the first time ever. And Lola loved it! She was totally into it. It's kind of a new phenomenon for me because I didn't grow up with it and had never heard of it until Pinterest came in and put it in everyone's living rooms. Lola is finally at the age where she'd get it so we now have a temporary resident in our home who brought advent calendars and got into the marshmallows last night. Her name is Kara. With a "K," as specified by Lola. 

Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf

It was so much fun to set her up. And Lola's reaction? The best! Although, she did think that Kara would be bringing gifts for under the Christmas tree...every morning. We have a few details to work out.

So I had some pretty pictures in my head that didn't quite turn out how I had planned. BUT, sometimes the end result or the flip side works out even better.

I should probably get used to that. We've got twenty-four more days of pretty pictures to mess up with what's really going on. And what's really going on usually rocks.


  1. This seems like a really cool tradition. I may have to 'borrow' it :)

  2. I don't really understand the elf on the shelf...what is it?

  3. I love how although nothing worked like you wanted it it still all turned out awesome. Life is funny that way huh? I like the tradition of having a child cook one dish. Can't wait till mine is old enough to try it.


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