Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Out Gallivanting

Cora has taken to telling me lately, "My hair isn't red. It is golden brown."

I hope this isn't a sign she is starting to dislike her hair, because its fiery brightness and her matching personality are my absolute favorite things about my favorite middle child.

Also, just to document a few other things she has said lately:

"Mom, where do you think we can buy Frosty's magic hat? I want one!"

"We have to get a new baby because Mira is going to live with Nonnie. He will be in your belly and I will name him Jesus."

Since we last talked I joined my friend Brooke as her +1 for her company's ugly sweater Christmas party because her husband was out of town. They played a fun murder mystery game to start the party off, which I found quite entertaining.

While I was gone Dan and the girls lived their best lives by eating pizza rolls for dinner and watching Robin Hood on Disney+.

Then Saturday was Ina and Cora's (5 hour) Christmas dance recital rehearsal for the real deal on Sunday.

Ina is practically a pro by now and required almost zero help/supervision/make up touch-ups from me after her initial visit to "Momma's Boutique."

They both don't like having their hair done, so I blasted some Christmas music in my bathroom, let them touch all of my make up that is typically off limits, and told them they could pick out their eye shadow color.

Cora did a great job for the first dance and her desire to return on stage drastically declined with each additional four occurrences.

There were minimal tears and candy bribes, which I consider a win compared to last year.

Unfortunately, I did sort of talk back to/argue with another dance mom, but two seconds later ran back to apologize profusely. Over and over again. I might try to call her today just to make sure she believes I am sorry. Who am I?

Ina's class sang and danced to Jingle Bell Rock and then had a short appearance in the closing number.

Cora's class danced to a Mickey Mouse version of Jingle Bells and were the cutest when they each had the own set of bells to shake around.

Ina and Cora were most excited to see all of our friends and family who came to watch them sing and dance. Ten years ago, if you would have told me that my dad, brother, and grandpa would sit through a dance recital, I would have laughed until I cried, but I am so thankful to say they attend multiple of these things a year.

When Ina's kindergarten teacher (from last year!) walked through the door, I ran backstage to tell Ina, who gushed with excitement over and over again. I have always been so thankful for teachers, but I had no idea how much more thankful I would be when I see them loving on my babies like they were their own.

After the first show a few friends and family stopped by the house in between shows for some of Dan's chili and watching thirty minutes of the Chiefs game before it was time to head back and do it all over again.

Once again I am continued to be blown away with gratitude for our village and the love and support that surround our family.

Monday night I went with some friends to a wine dinner, which was more than fabulous.

Each course was paired with delicious wine and my favorite by far was the roasted mushroom lemon couscous salad. I will be trying to recreate that dish ASAP. I also met some new people and enjoyed the adult female conversation.

While I was "out gallivanting" (as Dan likes to say), Cora had her last dance class of the season and Ina started her first ever basketball practice. When my saint of a sister said she was coaching Hallaway's 1st and 2nd grade team, we immediately signed Ina up. Never mind the fact that practice is 40 minutes away from home and we don't really have any free nights on our calendar. Time will be created and dinners will be eaten in the car for the opportunity to see Ina play with her cousin.

I woke up this morning with last night's makeup still on and earrings still in after only a few hours of sleep and slowly made my way through this morning's workout at the gym. Sometimes something is better than nothing.

I have spent a lot of time away from home being out with friends or transporting children and my house is a little worse for the wear. But, I have to get my life together because things are happening this weekend. We have some family coming from out of town this weekend, three Christmas parties to attend, and the little girls sing in church, so lots of things to look forward to. I hope you are enjoying your December!

A recipe to try: Creamy Tortellini Soup - so rich and past-y, but one bowl is all you need to be so happy you made it.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thanksgiving and Beyond

(Warning: this post contains an unusually high number of selfies.)

(Honestly, is there a better day to wear fork earrings?)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! So many things have happened since I last posted.

I took the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off work to clean my house, catch up on life, and make pies (including the crust!) because that is exactly what I wanted to do.

Then I picked up the girls to take them to meet up with my high school friends but had to turn around because Cora was telling the truth when she said she felt like she was going to puke.

All over the van. On the highway. Then Ina almost followed suit because of the smell. (You will notice a consistent trend here).

We went home, put Cora in the bath and Mira in front of the TV with Dan, and then headed back out to see my friends.

(picture by Ina)

Sarah was in town from North Carolina, and just like every other time I see any friends from high school, I was immediately brought back to the amazingness of 2002.

I woke up early on Thanksgiving to start the turkey and then headed to the gym for a fun workout.

I came home to Dan practically wrapping everything else up. He had peeled and boiled the potatoes, chopped the veggies for stuffing, and had a head start on the oyster casserole. He has reminded me several times since that he did all of the cooking for Thanksgiving. I did, however, interfere enough to somehow inadvertently change our meat thermometer to the Centigrade instead of Fahrenheit setting and successfully dried out the turkey before realizing my error. (Some scientist I am...)

(Dan's contraption to keep the lid on the turkey roaster...I have no idea why he is posing like that...)

We had a full house. The first round was my mom and Grandma Beverly, then my sister, brother-in-law and their three kids, then my dad and Grandpa Ed and Grandma June.

Then, when we finished our first plates, my brother's family came from my sister-in-law's family's house for seconds/dessert.

Fun was had by all. My sister's family ended up staying the night and the adults stayed up way too late playing games and the kids stayed up way too late playing with every single toy in our house.

Every single one.

The next morning Jessie and I left the husbands and kids at home to head to the gym for a day after Thanksgiving workout and then came home to blitz clean the house and pack for our little trip to Branson to celebrate Ina's birthday.

Ina chose a family trip instead of a birthday party and I have to say, we were all happy with that decision.

We stayed at Grand Country Inn, where shows,

pizza, mini golf,

and the water park are included in the room price.

The room had a "club house" with bunk bed and a TV, so naturally 2/3 kids ended up in our full bed each morning.

We ate most of our meals from the random food I packed (ramen FTW)

but we did venture out for a really delicious Mexican meal, window shopping, and Christmas light gazing at The Landing.

We swam one last time on Sunday morning before packing up and driving the three hours home. With chlorine still in our hair, we unloaded the van and then loaded it back again with stuff for the girls to stay the night at Grandma Frankie's and stuff for Dan and I to go to a 30 degree Chiefs game.

In the 30 minutes we were home we started our Advent calendar my aunt and cousin sent the girls and talked to Holland and Brooke who brought us coffee AND a Chiefs beanie.

Add that to the Chiefs tickets another cousin gave us and I was a very very spoiled girl.

The Chiefs completed my perfect evening with a great win leaving Dan and I wondering why we didn't have season tickets anymore.

On Monday I woke up and put up all of our Christmas decorations and then drove to Grandma Frankie's to pick up the birthday girl and her sisters.

We celebrated Ina's actual birthday with some ice cream and opening a few presents.

I woke up on Tuesday morning ready to head back to real life and then was hit with a brutal but fleeting GI bug that lasted about 8 horrible hours. Cora took care of me.

So on Wednesday I was back to real life and checked off all of my work boxes, just in time for our small group cookie exchange.

This weekend is the girls' dance recital, so I am typing this post between watching them practice and listening to all of the Christmas songs is getting me in the spirit. This is such a precious time, I hope you are enjoying it!

I will see you next week with lots of tutus and glitter! Have a good end to your week!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Dusty Base Boards and Christmas Lights

I am currently stuck under a sleeping Cora, but luckily my laptop was within arms' reach. I have 20 minutes before we leave to go to dance, so let's get to it.

Last week was another great one, even though we have continued to spread the sickness with Cora having a fever on Wednesday and Dan and Granny both being sick today. In case you are keeping track, I am the only Kendrick who hasn't been sick. Can you see the ticking clock over my head? I am chugging my water, going to sleep early, and crossing my fingers I stay healthy, because no one has time to be sick before hosting Thanksgiving.

Monday through Thursday flew by with dance, swim, and yet another cancelled small group.

Friday we went to the Champs' house to celebrate Kyle's birthday with a delicious assortment of Indian food and leaf blowers.

We just love hanging out with their family, and Dan and I made ourselves right at home in the kitchen.

Saturday morning I woke up dark and early to make cinnamon rolls for Friendsgiving brunch at the Nybergs'.

We ate breakfast casserole, drank bloody Mary's and laughed until our faces hurt while the kids watched Disney movies and played in Silo's fort outside.

We had to leave earlyish to take Ina to dance practice with the the entire team for the closing number practice. I will admit that I am generally a less than enthusiastic dance mom. But when I stood at the door of the classroom to watch the "from the top" last run through, I couldn't help but get chills on my arms and tears in my eyes to see their hard work come together in a 3 minute song.

We came home to finish up some much needed yard work and impatiently watched the minutes until sunset tick by on the clock. While we were gone that morning, our friend/neighbor Logan worked so hard to hang up Christmas lights on our house.

When it was finally dark outside we ran out the front door and the girls didn't stop screaming for a solid minute. Every time we have backed the van out of the garage since, Mira screams, "CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!" and I make a mental note to always put them in my planner for November. (Speaking of planners, the Erin Condren Life Planner I buy ever year is 30% off  with code BLACKFRIDAY19.)

Sunday we went to church and then had the glorious, incredibly rare luxury of zero plans for the rest of the day. Dan napped. Ina and Holland melted crayons in muffin tins to make bigger crayons.

I laid out all of the clothes for the week and addressed most of our Christmas cards.

I walked down to Brooke's house for a glass of wine and we wrapped up the night halfway watching Lady and the Tramp. 

We are hosting Thanksgiving and I have done zero things to prepare other than go grocery shopping and put the frozen turkey in the refrigerator, but I am at peace with my dusty base boards and cluttered cabinets. Here are a few recipes we use:

I hope you have a fantastic week with family and friends.

Some great recipes from this week:

Pumpkin superhero muffins - I don't know why I don't make these (or the original or blueberry beet versions) more often. The girls love them and they are filled with nutrients and staying power for a great breakfast.

Pumpkin turkey chili - Sunday slow cooker dinners are my favorite

Shashuka - so easy and delicious, served with roasted broccoli and toasted sourdough. This exact meal will be happening again soon.

Slow cooker herbed chicken and rice pilaf - another slow cooker winner!

Cinnamon rolls - worth every minute of the almost three hour process

Naan - you know it is a good weekend when you use your stand mixer twice in a 12 hour period.

Crock pot pasta sauce with sausage - such a simple recipe, but so flavorful.
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