I believe in miracles.
I try to change the world every day.
I love my husband, my friends, and my family.
I plan my next great adventure constantly.
I think most occasions call for a dress.
I write what I know and believe.
Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday. Blasphemy, I know. I never really thought about why I didn’t like it until more recent years. Yesterday, November 27, would have been my dad’s 64th birthday. Sometimes, his birthday falls on Thanksgiving. As a child, those celebrations were always fun. After we lost him, it never really seemed the same. For the first couple years, my mom and I spent the holiday volunteering at our local food bank. That experience, while extremely special and important to my personal development, further colored Thanksgiving.
So, I go between grief for my dad missing birthdays… and the bitter feelings of being asked to celebrate without him and people needing a day to remember to be thankful for what they have. It’s unfair of me, I know… but it’s one of my shortcomings.
Since losing my dad, Thanksgiving has been replaced by raw, real emotions that leave me wanting to run away, stick my head in the sand, or just being alone with my grief. It’s not fun to grieve silently while everyone around you is being “thankful”… because they need a holiday to remember to do that?
Today, I’ve tried to think about what “real” moments in my life have caused me the greatest amount of thanksgiving…
I think the day Sarah got into Harvard was one. I had bargained with God for months on that one. Praying every.single.night that it would work out. Then it did. And I was grateful.
I think the day I got married and stared up at the cross in our beautiful church was another one. I couldn’t believe that God had created the perfect person just for me to share my life with. And I was grateful that he was standing right beside me.
P I N I T
I think there were a lot of days of gracious thanksgiving when I was at UoR. I was overwhelmed with emotion that I was finally going to be a-okay after all the trauma from my freshman year.
Recently, when I was working our wedding album, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my beautiful friends (and bridesmaids) who loved me enough to come to Texas and stand by my side. I never thought I would have friends who would love me that much. (I’m not sure why, but I did.)
I know there are probably a million others – or may be not quite that many – but I find myself thankful and full of gratitude on many other occasions… but Thanksgiving just isn’t my thing.
A couple weeks ago, I woke up on a Sunday morning with the overwhelming urge to sew… I’ve only made baby blankets recently, and I wanted more of a challenge. I started scouring Pinterest for inspiration… and I found a pattern for a sweet apron for a little girl… and I thought to myself… I know a sweet little girl… and I have some extra material laying around… what harm could it do?
This was a fast and fun project that took me less than three hours to finish, even with a run to the store to get bias tape! That’s the kind of project this girl can get behind!
DIY Toddler Apron Tutorial / Supplies:
Paper for printing the pattern
Material (I had 2 yards, and I bet only used a quarter of a yard for each. YMMV – I used 2/3rds of the pattern instead of the full thing!)
1. Go visit All Our Days and download her sweet pattern. It prints on three pages. I only used the first two sections because the little one I had in mind isn’t yet 2… She’ll be able to wear it for a LONG time! I used plain old tape to tape it together!
2. Match up your material with right sides facing out, wrong sides together. Press material if necessary… I didn’t even know we owned an iron and an ironing board!
3. Fold material over and pin pattern on fold. Cut around pattern. (I’m really bad at cutting – if you can cut without pinning, go you!)
4. Remove pins, pattern, and unfold material. Pin around the edges to ensure material stays together.
5. Stitch around entire apron – I tried to stay at 1/8″ for a seam allowance, but sometimes that didn’t exactly work out for me. Novice problems.
6. Cut two 11.5″ pieces of bias tape, unfold to have half of tape on each side of the apron, pin in place, and stitch around armholes. This is where it becomes more important to really use that 1/8″ seam allowance, so you get both sides secured to the material.
7. Cut a 74″ piece of bias tape and starting at the top of one shoulder, pin bias tape around the entire apron. You will want to stitch the bias tape used at the arm openings so it doesn’t fray. You will stitch all the way around, except around the neck hole.
8. Using a 40″ piece of bias tape, you will want to mark the middle and pin it to the center of the neck hole. Stitch the apron ties the same way you did the arm holes and follow the 1/8″ all the way around. Finish off ties by folding over edges to prevent fraying.
My Hubs loves when I bake cookies… and for the last year and a half or so, I’ve been off my game. I finally just gave up because I didn’t have time and I was tired of making bad cookies.
However, last week, in an attempt to start getting myself in the holiday spirit, I decided to make some Snickerdoodles… it was the perfect time since Target has added all things baking related to the Cartwheel app so I could save some money!
I keep a pretty extensive Baking board on pinterest, so I ran down the board looking for something that would catch my eye. Rachel Schultz’s Rolo Stuffed Snickerdooedles seemed a little too ambitious, so I decided to just try a basic Snickerdoodle recipe. I made sure all my supplies were within date, let my butter and eggs sit out for 30 minutes to get to room temperature.
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used up my clear vanilla that was... woefully out of date...)
2-1/2 cups of flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar (I seriously had to go to three stores to find this! What the heck!?)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Mix eggs, butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla until ingredients are smooth.
Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add slowly to wet ingredients until dough is fully mixed.
Form 1" balls of dough.
Pour cinnamon sugar mixture into bowl. Roll dough balls in mixture, coating evenly.
Bake for 14 minutes.
Lift parchment paper on to cooling rack and allow cookies to set and cool.
Snicker Doodle Recipe – Verdict
The Hubs enjoyed these even though he’s more of a chocolate chip kind of guy. He definitely didn’t complain and said they were cooked perfectly. I thought they came out well, but I think I would use a little less cinnamon-sugar mixture. I think it made them have a little more crunch than I expected. The flavor was perfect though – not too sweet at all.
1. Yesterday, Valentina posted this goodie on her Facebook page… then let me know that our wedding video IS IN THE MAIL. I’m on high-alert mail watch from here on out… and I can’t wait to snuggle up with The Hubs and relive that day in all its glory!
2. Believe it or not, the last of my EA/ED applications went today. I am exhausted…. but see #3.
3. Does anyone have tips for restful sleep?! I NEVER SLEEP WELL. EVER. I feel like a failure with regards to my (in)ability to sleep. It makes me grumpy, tired, and I actually want to fix the problem. I welcome any suggestions.
4. It’s cold. And I need winter clothes. I feel gross (though I’ve only gained 5 pounds from my wedding day weight!) and shopping seems futile. My online shopping skills are OFF. I ran up to NorthPark on Tuesday night to return some things, and I must have tried on 10 things… I hated all but one of them… and it’s a flimsy (yet adorable) shirt. So. I still need winter clothes. Oh wait, I also ordered a pair of gold leather flats… which doesn’t fix my black suede flat issue, but at least I have another pair of flats coming… It also doesn’t fix my cold weather issue.
5. In attempt to get myself in the holiday spirit, I plan to bring these to you sometime next week… because I haven’t baked in at least a year…