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Friday, December 2, 2016

5 Things on a Friday: which involves ridiculous amounts of food

It's Friday! 
And it's 23 days until Christmas!
And only one month left in 2016!

I do have to say that although we're all supposed to live in the present and be grateful for just today, I'm guessing there are quite a few of us who are looking forward to the new year and thinking, "Hey, 2016, don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Speaking of, I heard the best description of this jacked-up year the other day when I was listening to Knox and Jamie, the hosts of The Popcast, which I have mentioned is one of my new favorite things to listen to in all the world. Knox said, "I think it was a bad year, man. I think that as a nation this is the year that we look back at pictures and we had braces and a perm and maybe a sweater tied around our neck in the school pictures. It just wasn't good."

Yes, sir. That about sums it up.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that you ate all the things and loved all the people and didn't discuss any depressing or controversial subjects like inflatable Santas in your front yard, the return of high waisted jeans or the Texas Longhorns. 

It's time for 5 Things on a Friday so here are some of my favorite things from the last week (or two).

1. Thanksgiving with My People

I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time in about 15 years here at our new home. We are about 99% done with the kitchen so it was functional. I actually enjoyed cooking this year, especially alongside my mom. It was seven of us for the entire week and we had the greatest time having my parents in town. We spent time watching football which was glorious (Go Cowboys) and maddening (Why do you hate me, Longhorns?). We watched Drew's team play in three basketball games,went to a winery, read some books, watched some movies, hung some pictures, rearranged some furniture and laughed at my daddy's jokes until our tummies hurt. Oh and we ate. A LOT. 

We went straight to Anita's after picking up my parents at the airport. Because it's important to give thanks for breakfast burritos.

Mom and I almost did the superfreak when we realized halfway through the cooking of the turkey that we had my new oven set to "convection" as opposed to "traditional". Neither of us had a clue what that really meant for the state of our bird. Despite the initial panic, cooler heads and a glass of wine or two prevailed and our turkey turned out perfect.

On Saturday, Steve and my mom and dad and I went out to Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg, Virginia. The wine was amazing, the music was great and the view was gorgeous.

After Sunday night service at our church, we went to dinner at Tuscarora Mill, one of my favorite restaurants in the area. Please notice that all three of my boys are wearing collared, button down shirts because as we know 2016 is nothing if not full of shock and awe.

So basically, I guess the number 1 item on my 5 Things list should just be "food". Let's just say that none of us suffered any hunger pains last week.

Also, this is my favorite photo from the whole week. Kids these days. They just cannot be away from their devices.

2. Sponsor a Millennial

Someone posted this a couple of months ago and then a friend mentioned it to me again. This is genius and hilarious. It is well worth your four minutes. I'm just gonna say this "totes lit fam".

3. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Drew and I are reading this book together. (or more accurately, I am reading it aloud to him at night.) I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy reading aloud to the boys and I would argue that a child is never too old for his mama to read to him. I never think we have enough time for this, but we do. It is true that we make time for what's important. Middle school is hard. My youngest is not a baby anymore and he is finding his own voice and his own path. It can be a bit disconcerting for me. Snuggling up next to him, reading and staying connected to him is as important now as it was when I was holding his pudgy little fingers and pointing to each word in Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Mockingbird is a beautiful story with some difficult subject matter and we are sighing and laughing and learning along the way as we read. Drew didn't even flinch when I got choked up and started to cry when I realized why the title was Mockingbird. Reading is good, yes? Reading with them is even better.

4. Greenheart Juices

One of the few smart, responsible choices we made this week was when Nancy and her daughter,  my mom and the lovely and talented Mrs. C. and I hopped in the car to head to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning and I grabbed something that did not contain white flour or sugar. Nancy introduced me to Greenheart Juice Shop a number of months ago. The story behind this company is so touching and the juices that I've had are really good. My favorite so far is Liquid Gold. I've also had the Glorious Greens and the Summer Garden. This was just what the doctor ordered after I had eaten all the carbs in the land last week.

5. Kyle's Kamp's Holiday Shop for Kids with Cancer

Well, this isn't exactly something that happened this week, but it will be happening soon. If you've read here long enough, you know of my involvement with a pediatric cancer fundraising organization called Kyle's Kamp. Each year Kyle's Kamp sets up a Holiday Shop for kids being treated for cancer at Pediatric Specialists of Virginia Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Children can "shop"(for free) for their siblings and parents. Volunteers help the kids wrap the gifts and send the children home with packages for their families. If you or your group would like to donate gifts to the Holiday Shop you can contact me at We need teen gifts, mom and dad gifts and children's gifts. Gift cards are welcome as well. This is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas Season. There is a lot of darkness in that place, but for a moment the patient can focus on giving to the people who have loved her along her journey. For a moment, in the midst of chaos and darkness, all is calm, all is bright.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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