I heart christmas time

As my family and I put away the Thanksgiving puzzle and finished the last of the turkey leftovers thanksgiving came to an end, and another holiday began to take over our home. Yesterday was spent packing away the fall decor and retrieving the Christmas decorations from the basement. When my sister walked through the door she exclaimed that it looked like a winter wonderland in our house.

The family {including my cousins} also ventured out to find ourselves a Christmas tree. Putting up the tree + decorating it with lights + hanging up the ornaments + watching a Christmas movie = pure holiday pleasure.


events of thanksgiving

6:54 am
thanksgiving and christmas morning are 2 of the best mornings to awake to. i can never sleep in very late because once i'm up. my mind is busy racing around with anticipation and i always have to check and see if we were blessed with any more snow. every holiday seems to be more different from the last, and this year is no exception. so many things have changed in the past year, and with the trials and hard times there have been abundantly more blessings. blessings for our family and for yours.

9:00 am
for the past 5 years or so my family has participated in the turkey trot on thanksgiving forming. well this year the price has risen exponentially making it not really worth while for our family to participate. the phrase "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" could not be truer in this situation. so we thought of making our own 'turkey trot', and instead calling it the 'cranberry crawl.' {courtesy of my mom & sister} we sent out e-mails to the neighborhood and gathered a small group together to make a 3 mile walk together in the first annual cranberry crawl.
{missing a few cranberry crawlers}

cranberry muffins were made in the morning {by yours truly} to munch on after our "grueling exercise." our thanksgiving morning couldn't have been complete without out the macy's day parade and the traditional thanksgiving episode of gilmore girls!

11:40 am
this year S and my sis took on the job of naming the turkey {Gilbert Norman Rockwell Jr.}, stuffing it, basting it, carving it and tending to it's every need.
with 'while you were sleeping' on in the back round J was busy at work in the kitchen making batches and batches of Lefse {a Norwegian family tradition}.

2:21 pm
by this time, i was busy with the pies {my little tradition}. this year i made a quadruple berry {raspberry, cherry, blackberry, blueberry}
{my precooked berry pie}
a traditional pumpkin, and a new recipe that will be added to my cookbook. i am a devoted fan of the pumpkin spice lattes at starbucks, and when i saw this recipe i knew i had to try it! it was a hit and a new favorite of families.

4:12 pmwe munched on appetizers throughout day {trying to save room for the big meal} and sifted through the piles and piles of ads, seeing which stores had the good deals.

by now Gilbert Norman was done
the table was set and decoratedand we were so ready to eat and give thanks for the abundant blessings that the Lord has blessed us all with!


holiday shopping

on this bright but nippy sunday morning my mother and i ventured out to complete the task of thanksgiving shopping. it was my first venture to the store {formally my place of employment} after they had given it a much needed makeover. as my mom and i strolled up and down each isle, we filled our cart with all sorts of holiday treats, from egg nog and peppermint ice cream, to cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. we also picked out the biggest turkey we could find {23.7 pounds}. it was the perfect start to our cozy sunday.

next on our agenda:
-watch the packer/viking game {i won't share my opinion on who i want to win}
-get the christmas lights up before it gets too cold
-reluctantly finish up a little homework
-put on a holiday movie
-snuggling up to the tv with some home made chicken soup


before and after: magazine organization

over the past few years i have obtained a plethora of magazines. some are real simple, some are scrapbooking ect, some are rachel ray, some are better homes & garden. they needed a better space than in a pile on the bottom shelf of my craft corner.

so on a some what spur of the moment trip to the lovely IKEA yesterday, i stumbled across the answer to my problems. these inexpensive but stylish kassett magazine files helped to transform my messy sheff into a clean-cut and organized shelf with easy access to all my favorite magazines in their respectable places. organization certainly makes my world go round.


1st snow of the season

thoughts about snow:
:the view from my window has dramatically improved
:it returns to us from many months ago
:we never know when it's coming
:it makes us think of Christmas songs
:watching it fall while sitting by the window with a mug of hot coco sounds like the best bliss there can be
:it covers our homes in a blanket of white
:we welcome it with open arms and smiles {well most of us do}
:kids are already making snowmen with it
:we love to curl up by the fire, watching the world turn into a snow globe


Kayla's day

today started off like any other day, but as it went on it got a little crazy, starting with Kayla, my mom and I kidnapping two of Kayla's friends!
without their knowledge we drove them to Chaos water park and after a plethora of questions, finally let them take off their blindfolds, thus revealing the location of out first endeavor! after a few hours there we headed back to the {unknown to Kayla} decorated house and had a fun filled night with Kayla's brothers, her friends, and the rest of our family.
the night also included the toy story movies {including the new 3rd movie}, pizza, goofing off with the wii, homemade ice cream cake + 13 birthday candles, and lots of giggles. the party continued into the night for a sleepover and a run through the slushy {1st of the year} snow on a yummy donut run in the morning!our day has continued by relaxing with a movie or 2, a little basketball and adding some new colors to our toes & finger nails.


ten on ten {november}

ten on ten is a new series that i happened upon a few weeks ago and i have been awaiting the 10th of this month for some time now. here's the 411: every month the blogger {in this case me} will take an assortment of 10 pictures on the 10th of the month. i ran across this wonderful idea here and love the idea of documenting a day in the life of a blogger. please come join along with us on this adventure!

good-morning world
my normal apparel of the daystudy time in between classes
still in my scrub outfit from an exhausting day


it's days like these where we are reminded of the sacrifice that our soldiers make for us.

we can not even begin to thank those enough who have fought for our country.

some made it home safely, while others never did.

it is because of them that we are here today.

soldiers are more than our fighters, they are our heroes.


my bucket list

I have thought about this list for quite a while, jotting random goals on scrap pieces of paper, or corners of school notes. Some of these are more like necessary parts of life {like having your heart broken or breaking a bone} while others are inspiring goals that i've only wished about doing {like traveling to Tahiti}. This is my ever changing bucket list that I've altered and added to from over the years, filled with both aspirations made as a kid and others made in the not too distant past.

attend the Olympics
go sky diving
travel to Italy
see Big Ben & Buckingham Palace in London England
graduate from Immanuel Lutheran College
make a difference in someone's life
join the peace corps
own a horse and know what it's like to be free
travel to Tahiti
fall in love and get my heart broken
be Amish for a day
attend a national gymnastics competition
become a lifeguard
go to all 50 states
ride a gondola in Venice
graduate from Globe University as a Medical Assistant
graduate from college with honors
travel to Germany
become a tutor
participate in the world's biggest water fight in Thailand {new year's festivities}
go bungee jumping
go on a cruise
complete a triathlon
not just learn how to, but become a surfer
make Tour Choir {4 blissful years}
see the wonders of Greece
go to Africa and make a difference
visit all 7 continents
have a blast at Disney World and Disney Land
find the love of my life
plan a splendid wedding
marry the love of my life
go horse back riding on the beach
create an etsy store
pack my bags and set off for a random location with no itinerary planned at all
explore the Louvre in Paris, France
save someone's life
be a bridesmaid
be a bride
break a bone in my body
be able to kick butt at pool
live in a foreign country
take a ride on a hot air balloon
be a vegetarian for a week
donate a body organ
go on a helicopter ride
marvel at the statue of liberty
witness a miracle
become a mom raise a healthy happy family

I can't wait to see this list grow and change over the next few years. I will continue to make updates as certain events in my life unfold and new aspirations arrive!
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