{WHW}: Thanksgiving

Hey all--happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you had a nice holiday and weekend with your family and/or friends!

Our Thanksgiving day was pretty low key which was perfect given some things that we had going on. My mom came in the early afternoon and we ate dinner the four of us around 4. It was a smaller spread since MG, Ella and I were heading to PA the next morning for the weekend, but still all the yummies--delicious turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc etc. 

Friday morning we woke up, ate and got out the door by 845 to head to PA and thankfully traffic was light and we made it in 2.5 hours. Ella read her book some of the time, played a little and napped a little too. When we got to Grammy and Poppy's house, she was ecstatic to see them--it was adorable!
We went out for a bit and then my SIL and youngest niece came over to hang out. 
We had pizza for dinner and just relaxed at my in-law's house. My BIL came over later and Ella was ALLLLLL about him (she seriously loves men!)
We had our tradition of watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles together that night as well--that movie never gets old.

Saturday morning I had brunch with my SIL and our friend Dre. We went to a place where we could bring our own champagne and make mimosas which was fabulous! The food was so good that I didn't have lunch that day because there was SO much of it!
My SIL and I went shopping for a bit and then headed back to the house. When Ella went down for a nap, we went to look at some new construction houses nearby that we'd had our eyes on. Not ready to pull the trigger yet, but it is certainly tempting!

That night we went out to dinner for MG's birthday with just the adults while my nieces all babysat Ella. She loves her cousins and it's so cute to see them all together.
We had the most delicious dinner, lots of wine, and a yummy dessert which was a great way to celebrate MG.

Sunday morning we were up and out by 845 again to try and beat any traffic back home which worked in our favor. That afternoon we set up our Christmas tree and decorations around the house, much to Ella's delight. Last year she was only 7 months old and just starting to be more aware of things, but this year seeing her eyes light up when she saw the tree all lit up was so much fun! And she's obsessed with this Melissa and Doug advent calendar that my mom got for her.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend with family, which was what we all needed.

Link up with Jessi and I to share what's been hap-"pinning" with you lately!

When it Hits Close to Home

You see the news stories. Shootings here. Shootings there. Every day it seems like there's another one. Within the last 2 weeks, I can count at least 3.

Two Fridays ago, a man shot up a yoga studio in Florida. And in that studio was my friend's sister who I adore. Who I jokingly dubbed my "spirit animal" at my friend's bachelorette party. She was just up here in Virginia last month with her daughter visiting.
My friend's sister is a mom to a baby girl not much younger than Ella. She was practicing yoga. She's a mom, a wife, a lawyer, a sister, a daughter among many other things. She didn't deserve to get shot.

I typically don't write very political posts here, but when it hits close to home like this, I can't stay quiet.

We need to do more to protect the people we love, and the people we don't even know. Because no one deserves to be shot because they were at a concert. Practicing yoga. Going to school. At work. etc etc etc

No one is trying to take away people's ability to have guns. If you want a gun, good for you. If you want to go hunting, have at it. But you don't need something that will hunt PEOPLE. HUMANS! Mental health is a part of this, but you can't ignore the role that easy access to guns--automatic weapons--plays in this. 

I hear constantly that "it's too soon" to talk about what is happening with the rise up of mass shootings and instead thoughts and prayers are sent. Thoughts and prayers are wonderful, but they didn't stop two more mass shootings from happening within a week of my friend's sister being shot. Thoughts and prayers don't take away the entry and exit scars that my friend's sister will have for life. Thoughts and prayers only go so far. 

The saddest commentary on this is that when we heard about it, MG said "I guess it was only a matter of time before it happened to someone we know." I don't want to live my life like this, and I don't want our kids to live their lives like this. 

{WHW}: Currently in November

Happy WHW, friends! Sorry for being MIA--last week MG had to have surgery on his face to have a melanoma removed (super scary) so I was occupied with that and taking care of him afterwards.
But I'm back and catching up on what's been happening!

Reading: Still reading Beneath a Scarlet Sky. I had my Show Us Your Books post all written and didn't hit publish for yesterday, so maybe I'll get it together for December's! Sorry, Stephanie!
Watching: Married at First Sight Happily Ever After?, my typical Bravo line up (because duh), and MG and I are still watching Suits--up to season 5!

Eating: All the cold weather foods! My crock pot is getting used twice this week to make Crockpot Salsa Chicken, and Meatballs, and we made meatloaf on Monday. Potato Soup coming up tomorrow in the Instant Pot because #ssssouuuuupppp
Drinking: Anything to stay warm. The temps took a nose dive into the 40s and I'm not a fan. Oh, and still trying to be good about my water intake.

Bummed: that our plans to have my mom and my in-laws down for Thanksgiving isn't working out. My MIL is having some complications with a procedure she had done on her leg making traveling painful and not so ideal, so they aren't coming any longer. Instead, we're going to have Thanksgiving at our house with my mom, and then head up to PA to see the fam up there the next morning since it's been a while. 
I'm also bummed about the time change. I HATE getting home and having it basically be dark. No more time to play at the playground after dinner. And Ella WAS waking up at 730 prior to the change and now we are lucky if she makes it to 7. Ugh. Whoever came up with this time change, I'd love to kick them in the nuts.

Loving: hearing stories about Ella at school. When I dropped her off the other morning she saw Miss Sue (who helps her with breakfast) and went running down the hallway to see her. The next morning I walked Ella into the cafeteria and the one teacher said "I'm pretty sure if the teachers weren't here for a day, Ella would be able to run everything" haha. Apparently I've got a little leader on my hands :) Wish I could be a fly on the wall for one day!
Here's a shot from little miss trouble maker this weekend :)
Enjoying: that I already have MG's birthday gift picked out, ordered and delivered (yesterday), and his Christmas gifts picked out, and sitting in an online cart! I'm ahead of the game this year and I love it! Now if only I knew what I wanted, so I could give MG some ideas (because I really have almost no ideas).

Spending: too much money on clothes for Ella. Why can't I resist it??? (Also, she keeps growing!)

What have you been up to? Link up with Jessi and I below and share!  Also, I'm gonna be back tomorrow with a pretty serious post, so stay tuned and come back to read, please!

TBB Asks: Giving Thanks

I'm a day late, but I like the TBB Asks posts, and wanted to participate in this month's questions!
1. Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal? 
Yes--I did in college and then one time since. I've found that it helps me start looking for the positive little things in every day when I'm getting overwhelmed by the hard/heavy things.

2. Hosting Thanksgiving at your house? 
Yes, about 4 or 5 times we've hosted at our place. Some of my favorite memories of MG, myself and our parents.
3. Favorite Food from The Thanksgiving Meal? 
Stuffing and squash casserole that my mom makes. And I love sweet potatoes!

4. What one thing in Nature are you most grateful for? 
Trees. I love all of the different kinds, the shapes of leaves, how they change. And the fact that they give us oxygen to breathe is a pretty great thing too.
5. Pumpkin Pie: Yes or No? 
NO! I'm an apple pie girl. The consistency of pumpkin pie just gets me gaggy.

6. Traditional Cookbook: Yes or No? Sometimes...usually I find my recipes on Pinterest, but I've gotten a few from cookbooks before, like Chrissy Tiegen's Cravings--yum!

7. Oven Baked or Deep-Fried Turkey? 
I've never had a deep fried turkey but I could imagine it tastes wonderful.

8. Thanksgiving Leftovers: Yes or No?  
Duh. Leftovers are the best!

9. What is one household product your most grateful for? 
My Doterra essential oil cleaner that my friend Shay sent me. It's safe, smells good, and gets the job done!

10. Are you most grateful for home cooked meals or restaurant meals? 
Both, depending on the day. I especially love a home cooked meal when someone else is cooking it for me as opposed to me doing the cooking, haha

If you haven't, get out there and VOTE today! Virginia doesn't let us vote ahead of time, so I'll be standing in line, making my voice heard today--make sure you do too!