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Scattered Sundays

After church last Sunday, we did the annual hunt at the Christmas tree farm. This was probably the fastest we have ever agreed on a tree. From arrival to sawing to departure, I think we were in and out in only about 20 minutes.

Of course, we took a minute to do the yearly “Baby Jack” photo. Any guesses as to when he’ll be holding me?

4 photos of a mom holding her son over the years

I had my fourth (?) microchanneling appointment this week to remove acne scars. I honestly don’t know how often this will need to happen until I can walk around without makeup on. I feel like the biggest decrease in scarring happened between the first and second appointments. I wish this process was faster!

My esthetician asked how old I was, and I said “40”. She said “you look so young for 40”, to which I replied, “it’s the acne. Keeps me young”. And then we laughed. But I also wanted to scream because FFS, I want good skin already! Adult acne is the absolute stupidest.

3 side profiles of a woman's face

Left: July, Middle: September Right: December

This week I was finally able to take some food to friends who are home after five weeks of a NICU stay for their baby. I dropped off some Instant Pot Gnocchi Soup, soft chocolate chip cookies, and cheesy garlic bread. All things that can be enjoyed that day or the next. It’s an easy go-to that brings a lot of cozy comfort.

Something as routine as bringing food to friends has become so weird in the time of the ‘rona. I wore a mask, cooed over the baby from afar, and didn’t ask to hold him. It makes me thankful that we had our boys when we did. And also? Just seeing a two-month-old baby made me SO thankful to be past the baby age.

A few weeks ago we were getting ready for church and Troy was at work. I realized that I was able to get myself ready, while only reminding Bennett to wear something church-appropriate (he’s constantly wondering if costumes are allowed at church) and to brush his teeth. I didn’t have to change anyone’s diaper or nurse a single person. Glorious.

Tweens and teens get a bad rap (I’m sure it is mostly earned), but given that Jack was such a hard baby and young kid, I have to say that I’m having a blast at this age.

All those years of just praying he would be good in preschool and kindergarten were worth it when he texts me dog memes and videos of a baby monkey in a diaper holding a bunny. Will parent for memes.

a mom holding her son

My mother-in-law and I were recently chatting about Christmas gifts for each other, and both of us just threw up our hands. We both said we didn’t need or want anything and were blessed beyond belief. My mother-in-law suggested we make a donation to the local foodbank in each other’s names, but I suggested something a bit more targeted.

Jack’s school has a Giving Tree that serves students and their families. There were specific gifts that had been requested by kids, so my MIL and I each “adopted” a kiddo. Giving Tree shopping is my favorite shopping all year. 

I have a firm belief that when it comes to Giving Tree kids, the teens, and tweens always get forgotten, especially the males. So, we signed up for unglamorous requests like hoodies, sweatpants, and winter boots for a 13-year-old boy. They may not be fun items, but we hope that it helps this kiddo have a very Merry Christmas.

a man holding a saw in front of a Christmas tree

A hunter and his prey

Hey, guess what? Soccer in December is freaking cold; holy smokes! Jack started select soccer on Tuesday and even with all the gear I had brought, it was clear that I would need more layers going forward. 

Last week I mentioned that I often lose feeling in my hands for hours if they get too cold. My little soccer team gave me a Target gift card at the end of the season, and it’s just been sitting on my desk for a month. I’m fortunate that there is nothing I need or want, and I couldn’t think of what to do get from Target.

Well, that ended on Tuesday night when I was sitting there freezing my booty off. I had the idea to order some heated gloves from Target.com. If they had a heated whole bodysuit, I would have gladly ordered that as well. I’m looking forward to enjoying feeling in my hands for the next few months.

I’m also going to level up my footwear. I have an old pair of “winter” boots that have been ok for the mild PNW winters. They have worked on days we get snow but they’re not really warm. And just like my weak AF hands, my toes are rocking terrible circulation too. I’m so so awesome like that.

a family in front of a christmas tree

Speaking of footwear, my friend Chelsea, told me about Vessi waterproof shoes earlier in the fall. It’s a Canadian brand and apparently, I am the last person in the PNW to know about them. I snagged a pair during an early black Friday sale and with signing up for the email list, and other coupons I got a decent deal.

And here is my honest review: they’re definitely waterproof. My socks and feet stayed drier than when I wear my Bogs boots on a walk (they’re old and I think they have a tiny crack in the seam). I bought the athletic version (Everyday Move style) and while they’re great for my 4.5 mile walks, I would not run in them.

It seems like a lot of healthcare workers wear Vessis too, and that tracks. The concept of totally waterproof shoes that you can hose off makes a lot of sense when your feet see the nasty things that people in the health field deal with.

There is a breaking-in period that I didn’t love but it is what it is. They felt great on my left foot right away, but my right foot is my “princess foot” (we all have one) that usually takes longer to adjust to new footwear. I did have some initial rubbing on my right heel in my first few walks.

I bought a gender-neutral-looking pair so that Jack and I can share them. His feet are technically bigger than mine, but he can often fit into my shoes and boots. All the cool people share shoes with their 12-year-old sons, right? Right?

a boy standing next to a christmas inflatable

Living his best life

In the Garden This Week

Two words: wood and chips. More woodchips. Always with the woodchips. We had a friend AND my FIL come to get Dodge Ram truckloads of them and we filled up Troy’s truck to drop off at another friend’s house. We barely made a dent.

a boy with a shovel standing on top of a pile of woodchips

This has been a busy work week for me, so I had very limited chipping time. But, I got some more of the main beds covered in chips and continued my journey into the chicken coop to cover their very enormous run/yard.

And the raised beds are getting a cozy blanket of woodchips around the lettuce, parsley, and cilantro. This is good, because our nighttime temps this week were (Seattle) COLD.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

I finished the final episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill this week and this series was SO good. Even if you’ve never stepped foot in a church before and have no idea what “liturgy” means, this series was an absolutely fascinating examination of human psychology.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Kfetch left this five-star review on our Lotion Bars {Pin this tutorial}:

I’ve made these several times. Love them! Gave some to a friend. She calls them body butter! 😁

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken – I usually put a little spiel about the post here but I want to toot the crap out of my own horn because nailing this recipe was HARD. I worked on it for four months. FOUR. Special thanks to my friend Kristina who grew up outside of NOLA and is my expert on all things battered and fried for finally getting me over the finish line on this bish of a dish. {Pin this recipe}

air fryer popcorn chicken on a baking sheet with a bowl of dipping sauce

Homemade Almond Roca – this recipe got one heck of a “glow up” a few weeks ago with all new photos and better, more detailed instructions. This is my nana’s famous recipe that has been in our family for years. {Pin this recipe}

Almond-Roca-10

If you’re not stacking toffee on a plate in your living room to take photos, what are you even doing with your life?

Dehydrating Marshmallows – this recipe was inspired by a super random comment from a reader almost 9 months ago. Just want you all to know that I hear you, I listen, and I love you! PS, they taste like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms. {Pin this recipe}

cropped-Dehydrating-Marshmallows-5-1.jpg

Air Fryer Waffle FriesThese frozen Waffle Fries in the Air Fryer are so deliciously crispy. Baked, not fried, this easy air fryer side dish is simple to make and cooks in only 13 minutes. {Pin this recipe}

a grey dish with air fried waffle fries and a dish of ketchup

Make-Ahead Christmas Morning BreakfastsThe most delicious Make-Ahead Christmas Morning Breakfasts ever! You’ll find lots of easy ideas for overnight breakfast casseroles, healthy dishes, and sweet treats. {Pin this list of breakfasts}

9 photos of breakfast dishes

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

  1. Old-Fashioned Fudge– it is officially fudge season and this post is going bananas! {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! {Pin this recipe}
  3. Canning Apple Butter – this post has both canning and freezing instructions. And it will make your house smell AMAZING. {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Homemade Rice Heating Pads – EASY and fast Christmas/holidays gifts using things you already have around the house. {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – like the ones you ate as a teen, but without the burning lava cheese stuck to the roof of your mouth. {Pin this tutorial}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos, Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice, and salad.

Tuesday:: Troy is making breakfast for dinner.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business and my sanity.

Thursday:: Fried Gnocchi and Veggies, AKA the easiest one-pan dinner ever.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Troy is making homemade pizza on the BBQ along with salad (homegrown!).

Sunday:: Instant Pot Beef Stew (I have the perfect cut from Butcher Box) and stovetop garlic bread.

 

What are you having this week?

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10 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Adult Acne vs. Senior Citizen Acne.  I am now lucky enough o have wrinkles and acne. And you are right people do think you are younger if you have a few pimples! I have waited my whole life to get past ‘this stage of life’ but now the battle is real. Ps. I do see a dermatologist. For the first time ever I need to color my hair because I refuse to have gray hair and acne!!
     

  2. Sharing shoes with my 13 year and very happy that everyone can take care of themselves but still love to snuggle on occasion. I would rather deal with eye rolls than incessant whining/crying.   Love the unglamorous but very worthwhile teen giving tree shopping! Thanks for all of your inspirations and deliciousness always!

  3. Vessi shoes are awesome. I’m in Vancouver, BC and I wear them all winter long through the trails here. They wash well, too.

  4. Sarah—Check out Ororo’s heated jackets. Battery powered with 3 different heat settings. A friend loved hers so I got one for my mom (who is perpetually cold) and she’s loving it.

  5. My 11yr old needed a size 11 in woman’s for winter boots. Thankfully she didn’t care when I told her if her feet keep growing she’d be wearing men’s boots next winter. I’m waiting for her to grow into her feet and be taller than me

    • I feel her pain. I was in women’s sizes for shoes in 2nd grade. It feels like being a walking letter “L”. Tell her women with big feet are AWESOME. 🙂