Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Aaaand in my office….whyyyyyy????

Hello friends!
Last weekend was a whole lot, but very very fun! We packed a lot into one weekend, and unfortunately, continuing the trend of 2021, I am not feeling very well after the fact. Spent a good portion of this week just trying to survive my workday so I could go back to bed. Which is less than ideal when I also had a million things that needed to get done.
The parade was incredibly fun! Even though it was absolutely frigid, the turnout was the best I have ever seen it, I think due to it simply not happening last year. They tried, bless their hearts, and we had a Christmas light car cruise, but it simply wasn’t the same as a full-on float filled parade. This year the crowd was in the mood to party and it really lifted the spirits of all involved.
We went with a similar theme from 2019, because we still had most of the setup so it was easy (which is important when half your crew just had kids, or is working long hours, or is sick) and in 2019 our float had a serious technical malfunction and we went dark halfway through the parade. We made judging, which was nice, but we were majorly bummed that our float died, it was super avoidable too, someone’s child wasn’t being supervised and climbed onto the float during judging, refused to get down, smashed up a bunch of our lights, then the movement of the float shorted out what was left. An unfortunate situation, honestly, I’m just glad the kiddo wasn’t hurt. And I guess it worked out because we ran the float again this year to much acclaim. We also threw out 100 pounds of saltwater taffy to the crowds, our float has a reputation for that, and of course, that helps win the crowd over, I’m sure.
My little cousin walked with me the whole time carrying the banner, as has become our tradition. We started when she was three and barely toddling along. She was very brave until the crowds got close and continued to be very brave from behind me after the fact. Totally get it, she has a little broken arm and wrist (fell off the monkey bars at school), so I’d imagine lots of people around as you’re walking seems especially scary. But she was a little trooper.
(I am scrounging for photos of the float but my phone overheated and died and I didn’t get any personally, as soon as someone sends me some of theirs, I’ll share them with you guys!)

In the meantime here’s a sneaky picture of some of the decorations my mom has been working super hard on. She takes it very seriously

My cousins baby shower was a lot of fun too! I held little Kamila for the better part of it, she was napping, and it allowed her mama to eat and socialize. It also gave me an excuse to sit, and people watch (I feel I should point out that at this moment in the weekend I wasn’t feeling sick at all, I wouldn’t have held Kamila or any of the kiddos, and I would have not even gone to the event, if I had been feeling ill. Also, worth pointing out that this is more of a “I need to be kind to my body” sick and less of a “serious flu” kind of thing). We had a lovely dinner and played several games. Some of them I knew, gift bingo and such, but a couple were new, like the game where you had to guess the baby item just by feel. My dad, who is pretty close to the new mama and was enjoying her baby shower and holding his grandniece very much, jokingly guessed all car parts.
In other news, it snowed this week, for quite a bit of the week. Luckily there wasn’t an insane amount of accumulation, but definitely enough to be an inconvenience. I learned recently that meteorological winter and astrological winter are two different things, for tracking purposes, meteorological winter starts December first, and with our early snow, I can see why they do that.
It’s been such a weird year in terms of heavy precipitation, I’m not sure why the snow surprised me, but it did. Caught me very much off guard because last winter we didn’t get snow until February. I mean, it would occasionally flurry, but nothing would stick at all. This year, our first snow was the day before Thanksgiving, which worried me greatly because I didn’t want people to have to drive on dangerous roads for Turkey and fellowship. Luckily that melted off pretty quickly. This week its sticking around a little longer, although it’s still getting warm during the midafternoon, so we end up with a muddy slush that freezes overnight. Not terribly ideal. It especially drives the horses nuts because its slippery either way when walking on your toenails. It’s also significantly less fun to snack out in the pasture, so I’ve been leaving little piles of alfalfa in the run in, so if they give up there’s a little snack inside. Some days they eat it, some days I add to it for dinner when we close the big pasture for the evening.

Joe loves it though, big fan of playing in the snow. But a Joe is just a big fan of life, so this should surprise no one.
Until we chat again my friends.

Giving Thanks

Hello friends!
Happy late Thanksgiving! Oh, my goodness what a day it was. Our extended family growing and growing, and I’ve started to joke that we are going to need to have holidays in shifts if we get much bigger. We’ve debated asking to utilize the church’s event space, but it’s not very cozy so I’m never very keen on that idea. And honestly, its heaps of fun to get everyone together for some food and fun, no matter how squished we all are.
We got to meet our newest little family member this Thanksgiving. Kamila joined us a couple days before Thanksgiving, rather unexpectedly, since she was expected to arrive middle of December. We were all a little on edge, but mama and baby are happy and healthy, Kamila just wanted to join in on the Thanksgiving festivities.
She spent a fair amount of Thanksgiving sleeping happily in various family members arms, happily kicking her little feet while dreaming about who knows what. I think everyone had a different idea about what sport she was dreaming of. I personally think she was riding a barrel horse to a new pattern record, but others thought maybe track, soccer, or gymnastics. All fair guesses, but not as cool as mine (can you feel the bias?).
This was the first year I was not terribly stressed about Thanksgiving, and it was actually a very pleasant, chill holiday. This is my third year hosting so I’d like to think I’m getting better at it, or at least as a family we are finding out collective stride. Got everything done fairly early, took a “whatever happens, happens” approach to the food, and even slept in a little (the joys of everyone only needing to bring a dish or two, no one is up at the crack of dawn heating an oven).

This year we had a turkey, a ham, about 7 pounds of carnitas. It was amazingly delicious, but as a family we devoured that fairly quickly. I think next year we are going to need to add a second Turkey back into the equation (we did so last year and had a few more leftovers). We did however have so many pies that I’m freezing a few and my grandma is freezing a few for our Christmas brunch (don’t worry, that happens usually the first full week of December, the pies will hold over). My mom and I attempted homemade pumpkin pie because we couldn’t make it up to Costco this year. I will usually stand fiercely by my Costco pies and say nothing tops them, but as of this holiday that’s a whole lie. These pies were delicious! Our only concern was the recipe we were working from called for two pies, and we ended up with three, so I had to pull in a prebaked pie crust i had planned for something else. No biggie though, my little pudding pie would not have been nearly as good as the pumpkin ones. I was really concerned about sticking a prebaked crust in the oven, but it worked out pretty well. We got lucky.

The night before Thanksgiving, during all the baking and prep work, our houseguest arrived. He’s a childhood friend of my uncles, basically my grandmas fourth son, and a great help around the farm, so I definitely didn’t mind putting him up for the weekend. He’s also just a lovely human in general so he’s always welcome. I do always feel bad though, when a guest comes around a holiday, because they get a couple days of slightly crazy, anxious Amanda, followed by a couple days of comatose, post craziness Amanda. Neither are my finest look. I always tell people to come back in the dog days of summer, when I’m too busy basking in sunshine and summer activities to be crazy or comatose.
After Thanksgiving I cleaned up my house, made an ill-advised attempt at riding in our soggy arena (which is now frozen, joy of joys), and tried to catch up on some sleep. While I love having Joe around (yep, my houseguest shared a name with my dog, yep, it was as confusing as it sounds) weekend visits are hard because they are long enough you need chill out time, but short enough you feel like you’re wasting time if you sleep in. It’s a little bit of a catch-22, and needless to say I’m running on empty this week. Got a pretty busy weekend though, the light parade (and building the float for that), as well as Kamila’s baby shower, which is now a post baby shower, or something.
Anyways, I have so much to chat with you all about, but starting a new topic here might make this post a mammoth, so I’ve started a list of things and can’t wait to start writing the next post (don’t worry, intermixed with the catch up will be stories from float building, baby showers, and of course, the farm updates, got to keep yall up to date).
Until we chat again my friends!