food, NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

2021 Thanksgiving in Photos

Happy turkey day!

This was our Thanksgiving craft this year!

Well, in true KK fashion, things could NOT go smoothly. We started the morning with a non-working oven, but at 11am Mr. KK pulled through and replaced the lighter so we were back in business!

My oven. Taken apart. Just a mere 30 minutes before I had to preheat for the bird.

Did anyone else wake up at 5:13am and plan out the timing of the day? And then follow that up with timers set as reminders? No? Just me?

Welcome to Crazy Town, folks. Population: 1.

So once the oven was fixed we could get this day started! Not pictured below are the 1,000,000 cocktails I had.

Homemade pasta from the chef! We always look forward to the first course!

My dad – MY DAD – made stuffed artichokes this year. They were delicious! He’s hired!

This year we once again decided to fry a turkey. Oh, except the pan we fry in had holes in it (which we discovered once Mr. KK put the oil in it). And we didn’t have another pan big enough to hold the oil and the turkey so we had to improvise. Broken-down fried turkey parts it is! And they were delicious!

Our oven turkey breast – came out perfect!

We added a few new dishes to our repertoire this year:

Ina Garten’s Leek and Mushroom bread pudding replaced our usual stuffing. Highly recommend!

For appetizers, I made hummus that I put out with pita chips and veggies. Creamy and delicious!

I am so thankful that we were able to be together, and that we’re all healthy. 2021 was a weird year, and here’s hoping to be back to “normal” in 2022.

Cheers, y’all!

Christmas, cooking, Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Entertaining, NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

Why Am I So Behind This Year?

Yesterday, a family member asked me what they could bring to Thanksgiving. My first thought was like, ‘I’m not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet,’ and then my second thought was, ‘Wait…Thanksgiving is next week?’

Next week!

Last year at this time, the house was already decorated for Christmas, but last year was “Because, COVID” so pretty much anything was acceptable. This year, Mr. KK has given me the firm “not until after Thanksgiving” rule for Christmas decorating. So I patiently wait until Black Friday to change over our house…

Do I feel so behind this year because last year I was so ahead of the game? Did not leaving the house and having zero social life mean that I was able to kick start the holiday season? I feel like I had more gifts bought, more meals planned, more holly jolly going on.

Next weekend our little elf on a shelf arrives, his annual journey down from the North Pole, the weekend after Thanksgiving, with a box filled with goodies to kick off the holiday season: Christmas jammies, a new Christmas book, and a Christmas ornament. And, of course, the start of Elf Shenanigans for the season.

And don’t get me started on holiday shopping. I have about 3 gifts purchased, and zero ideas for everyone else.

It’s not only the feeling of being behind on the holidays, it’s the feeling of being behind on life in general. Was I always trying to juggle this much? Did I always feel this overwhelmed? Was preparing dinner every night this much of a dreaded task? (Likely, yes.) When did we start wearing all of these clothes that needed washing? How are we dirtying so many dishes? Why is the countertop constantly covered in piles of mail and ‘stuff’? And why can I never find the time to clean up/put away/wash anything?

If I was waking up early to overthink my life before, it’s in overdrive now. Mentally making lists for gifts, recipe planning for holidays, thinking through an email to send for work, remembering to send in Little Mister’s library book on Tuesdays, and his homework on Fridays.

It’s apparently time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, a mere week away; appetizers, side dishes, desserts…holiday cocktail! And right after turkey day, turn around and do it all again for Christmas…and including a mischievous elf, a man in a big red suit, and FINALLY…Christmas music.

NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

Still So Much For Which to Be Thankful

I’m sitting here on Thanksgiving Eve, remembering the old days when at 10pm I’d just be getting dressed to go out on the biggest party night of the year (we’re talking 20 years ago, here). How when tonight I’m using toothpicks to hold open my eyes, back then I’d be applying eye liner. I’d be wondering who I was going to see (vs now when I go out and pray I don’t see anyone!).

But for so many reasons, this year is different. I’m old, for one. Two, I have a kid. And three, I have zero desire to be out past 8pm (pandemic or no pandemic).

2020 was – and will continue to be – a dumpster fire.

But even with all that has happened – losing my grandmother, getting Lyme disease, Mr. KK falling off his parents’ roof (he’s miraculously ok!) – I still have so much to be thankful for this year.

Our health. We’re all healthy. Yes, I was slightly neurotic about it, but it was for good reasons. When the pandemic started it was like herding goats keeping the seniors at home. But, thankfully, they are all healthy, too.

Our time with Little Mister. Was it always perfect? NOPE. Did I want to hide in the bathroom some days? YEP. Are we closer because of it? Absolutely. We’ll never have time like this again. I’ll blink me eyes and he’ll be telling me, “You can leave now, Mom.” Oh, how I wish he could stay small forever.

My time with Mr. KK. In March we found ourselves both working from home. And our work schedules – and responsibilities – couldn’t be more different. My work days consist of back-to-back meetings pretty much the whole day, with me multi-tasking and trying to get work done in small pockets of time between my meetings or when I’m scarfing down lunch. Basically, my entire days are planned out. Mr. KK, on the other hand, rarely has meetings. Instead, he has random coworkers and clients calling him throughout the day to ask him questions. That would drive me bananas! I could never work like that! So we had to coordinate work schedules, Little Mister schedules, and dog schedules. And through it all, we got a better understanding of what each of us did every day. I can’t believe how much he’s responsible for, and he can’t believe how many hats I wear and positions I “cover”. Last weekend, in an effort to get our kitchen back and provide a better workspace or Mr. KK, he moved into the office with me. COZY! It’s nice having a coworker officemate!

I learned to appreciate doing nothing. I don’t know how to relax. It’s a personality flaw that I’m not proud of. I can never just sit down and watch a movie, I need to be doing something else: making a grocery list, folding laundry, going through emails. Because I can’t let myself do nothing. Well, over the last 8 months, I learned how to do nothing. And, not only that, I learned to like it. Having a blank social calendar meant finding myself on a Saturday morning wondering what we were going to do all weekend. Some weekends, it would be 2pm and I would realize that I hadn’t gotten dressed yet (gone were the day of my early morning grocery store and Target runs). One rainy afternoon, Little Mister and I laid on the couch and watched movies all day. And you know what? It was awesome. Things I would obsess over getting done over the weekend no longer mattered. Honestly, if I accomplished one thing on a Saturday, I chalked it up to a good day.

Little Mister is thriving in school. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we chose full remote learning for him because we had the resources to do it successfully. We had no idea what to expect. I had heard horror stories from friends who had kids who moved to remote learning this past March. What would kindergarten be like for him on a computer? But somehow, it’s all working out. He loves school, he’s starting to read, he likes having us next to him when he’s learning. Once we got through the initial Chromebook issues, everything fell into place. Thank goodness!

We’re appreciating the little things. Family dinners each night. Game nights. Impromptu games of hide and seek. Things we didn’t have time for before, are suddenly the most important things we do.

I am thankful for my family. And for my sanity – however much longer I can hang onto it.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving

Besides being the biggest travel day of the year (I’m sure everyone has a story of nightmare traffic…I know I do!), it’s also the biggest going out night of the year. I’m sure there are millennials around the globe putting on makeup and flat ironing their hair, selecting outfits to make ex-boyfriends jealous, and pre-gaming before heading to the town bar.

Ah, the old days.

My current Thanksgiving Eve consists of clipping preschooler fingernails and toe nails and watching Blaze and the Monster Machines. And honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for my past life because in my currently life, I’m able to be in bed by 10pm. (9:30pm if I’m lucky).

These days, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving means the day off from work, prepping all the delicious food for our feast, and doing a little afternoon drinking with Mr. KK.

Today’s prep went rather smoothly, with me sailing into the kitchen at 7:30am, fresh off of my drive home from Boston. I chopped, sliced, diced, sautéed, mixed and blended my way to being ready for guests tomorrow.

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And every year – every. single. year. – when I make my pumpkin cheesecake, I follow the directions religiously (don’t over mix, reduce oven heat, leave in oven for 2 hours when it’s done) to avoid cracks…to no avail. This year’s crack is rather impressive, I sure hope it tastes good!

This year is the second year we’re not going to do our Black Friday tradition of shopping and lunch. I’m not talking 3am wait in line madness; no, we used to head to the mall around 9:30am on Friday. At that time all of the early birds were wrapping up and clearing out; it was like a changing of the shopping guards, so to speak.

So whether you’re heading out to the bar or heading to bed (it’s almost time!), may you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. We all have so much to be thankful for.

(I’m thankful I’ve kept up with my NaBloPoMo without driving Mr. KK crazy (which is what usually happens) when I have writer’s block.)