Monday, December 16, 2013

My very first Christmas tree farm experience

The years we had a real tree growing up, we bought it from Lowe's or the grocery store or something a little less romantic than a tree farm. Phil, on the other hand, grew up chopping down his own tree at the tree farm and decorating it with twinkling white lights like they do in movies.

For the past seven years, we've had a fake tree that's a step up from the Charlie Brown tree but leaves something to be desired, as I tried my best to sprawl out the branches enough to cover up the center pole. We were both working and didn't have time to keep a real tree alive, but this year Phil decided it was time to go the tree farm route. I didn't put up a fight.

So, off we went to a little tree farm not far from us. Here's an overview:

Even though it was an overcast day, I'd say everyone had a good time. Phil got his manhood on by chopping down a tree, Moo got to see a real reindeer, I got to experience a tree farm for the first time, and our little Noodle thought being outside was just about the greatest place she could imagine. Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday

So yeah. I'm writing this at 4:25 a.m. because BOTH my children have been awake for the past hour and a half--happy but awake. I *think* they're both asleep now, but my brain's up so this is about as good (and uninterrupted) a time as any to write.

Thing one: flash sale
I'm not into Black Friday. At all. But I've been researching sit and stand strollers for a few weeks now and finally decided on one that would work best for our family. I got on Amazon on Black Friday to look at something on my dad's wish list and decided to check out the stroller situation while I was there. Lo and behold it was on a flash sale for 40% off. They were technically all claimed, but I got on a waiting list and within minutes was "up" for purchase. Thankfully I was still at my computer and had done my homework because I had exactly three minutes to buy before I lost my claim on it. SCORE! Here's the stroller, and if you want to know all the pros and cons, let me know because I'm pretty much in love with it.

Thing two: Iron Bowl
I'm a half-hearted Georgia fan. The Iron Bowl simply means I can go grocery shopping without any lines or traffic, so I kind of can't believe I'm even writing about it right now, but when in Rome…

Moo and I heard a strange sound a few minutes before his bedtime. It was coming from outside and sounded like a bobcat wrestling a house cat. Animalistic. High-pitched. Loud. Siren-like at times. I couldn't place it. For the first time in his life, Moo was legitimately scared of a sound. "What that sound be, Mommy?" he asked over and over. It concerned him that I didn't know and he wrapped his body around mine for a good twenty minutes until I figured it out. A few minutes later, I realized that our house was eerily quiet. Phil had been home most of the day and had had football on in the background, but he'd gone back to work, and at some point I'd turned off the TV and now the silence was deafening. Curious about the outcome of  the game and knowing I'd need to know it in order to have a conversation with anyone in public the following week, I turned on the TV again, only to see post-game coverage of what must have been an incredible victory by somebody--I assumed Auburn since the field had turned into an orange and blue mass of fans. Then it hit me: the animalistic sounds I'd heard minutes before must have been neighborhood fans (or foes) reacting to the end of the game. In the streets. Because that's how we roll here in Alabama. Try explaining that one to your two year old. After that, I had to pull up Google images of fireworks so he would know what the popping sound was because that was happening in my neighborhood too. Keepin' in classy here in Alabama.

Thing three: easy winter soup recipe
Even though it's t-shirt weather over here this week, this easy slow-cooker recipe is one to tuck away for those cold nights or rainy days. Easy and delicious. What I would change:

  • Use onion instead of fennel
  • Use half the chicken called for and add more veggies and beans
  • Use half water and half chicken stock to save on cost if you want