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Scattered Sundays

I think the internet is funny. Some of my best friends are women I met online over 11 years ago. One, I have never actually met in person. Yet.

And now, the interwebs has brought us a family to join us for turkey day! I met up with Jennie and her husband last spring when they were visiting Washington from the midwest. This time, they’re back with their 11-year-old son who has always reminded me so much of Jack.

Now guess who is coming to Thanksgiving at my house? Yep, one of my blog readers!

When Jennie and I connected about her trip back, we definitely wanted to meet up again with the boys. And then when she said they’d be here the week of Thanksgiving, my brain exploded. You can’t be on the road or in an Airbnb for Thanksgiving! Oh.Hell.No.

So I strong-armed them into joining us for turkey day. Not sure if they know what they’re in for with my loud and hugging-obsessed family. 🙂

Are your retinas burned yet?

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We officially signed Jack up for indoor soccer this week, and I’m already fairly annoyed about it. It will be three days a week at a facility that is ONE HOUR round trip, many of the practices are outdoor (so much for indoor soccer, right?), I had to spend $55 on turf shoes for his giant feet, and it was fairly expensive because we had to pay annual registration fees, etc.

Meanwhile, local basketball is $75 for 10 weeks and at a school literally 1 minute from our house. Freaking Jack and his love of soccer. 

He had a game on Friday and it’s more of just a free for all scrimmage that is kind of insane. The coach for the 4-year-old team invited Bennett to play at the mini-game and well, let’s just say I won’t be spending money on him doing indoor soccer just yet. There was a lot of running around with his arms in the penny (temporary jersey), picking his nose and just giving us a thumbs up.

Not posing at all…

If you’re in last-minute planning mode for the big holiday, don’t forget about my Thanksgiving Checklist! It is THE to do list for Type-A planners. “Make a to-do list” is the first thing on the list and I know that speaks to a lot of my instant gratification readers. 🙂

With the idea that I’d make microwavable rice bags for the daughters of my friend Elaina for Christmas/Hanukkah, I headed to the fabric store this week for the first time in like nine months. I used to have an Etsy shop selling reusable gift bags so I have SO MUCH FABRIC already and just don’t buy new stuff anymore.

But my directive this time was “find sloths” and I think her youngest sloth-loving daughter is going to be happy with this snuggle fleece fabric.

I mentioned last week that Jack and I were going to start running every night we could between now and his 5k in December. We only made it happen three times this week because of previously planned activities. 

The first night we had Bennett in the stroller and it was pouring down rain. Our time was actually slower than when I run by myself. The next night it was just the two of us and we cut 45 seconds off the previous time, so the stroller definitely was a time drag.

When Jack and I go solo, I run my fastest and Jack seems to think he is practically walking. He skips and jumps over storm drains and manholes talks the entire time (about video games. Kill me), and generally seems confused that I am breathing so heavily. “You ok mom? You seem to be out of breath”. Shut up, child.

Since it is dark at 4:45 pm, I’ve been wearing my headlamp that I use for wintertime chicken duties, and Bennett holds a flashlight when he is in the stroller. Part of me is proud that I’m “helping” Jack, and the other part of me thinks I’m actually lowering his normal pace and screwing up his race. 🙂

We live in a very hilly area and because I walk almost every day, I’m not really tired or sore after our run. And I had been dabbling in adding a few 1-mile runs to my recent walks. I had a moment of awareness the other morning that my butthigh (that area where your butt and thigh meet) is looking like it is tightening up a bit. So, running with my kid may kill me, but I’ll make a fit corpse.

This week we hauled 4 truckloads of woodchips and spread them around the garden and chicken coop. It’s something we have been doing for the last few years because it’s like a nice cozy blanket for the soil over the winter. Plus it keeps the weeds down until May at least and nobody can be mad about that!

Left: before Right: after

We get free/unlimited wood chips from our church due to a weird miscommunication a few years ago with the city. Our church has a giant garden and members volunteer to grow an immense amount of fresh produce for our local food bank. 

showed up and offered to help as I was scooping out the last shovelful of three truckloads. Nice.

A few years ago they asked the city for a load of woodchips to be dumped back by the garden for mulch and keeping the paths covered. Apparently what the city heard was “dump your wood chips here every week forever and ever”. So, we have mountains of wood chips in the back acre of our church and we could each take 10 truckloads a month and never use them all.

Soooooo much better!

Thanks all for your kind words about having to rehome our beautiful “chicken” BB-Egg who turned out to be a freaking rooster after SEVEN months! Troy’s coworker is going to take him and add him to their flock.

He is the funniest rooster I have seen. He’s scared of our four old chickens and runs away from them when they get to close. When we have to lock up the flock early for the night because we’re going somewhere, he flees to a nearby tree and spends the night there. 

I have felt horrible for our neighbors listening to this rooster in the morning, and I have apologized to the people whose houses are closest to the coop and told them he will be gone soon. The funny thing, each of them has said they LIKE his crowing. Sure, when it’s still dark at 7:15 am, that’s fine. But come May, sunrise around these parts is 4:45 am and nobody will like that damn bird.

Bennett’s stuffed animals are getting into the holiday spirit. And yes, that is my tshirt from when I was a toddler. It is the only thing I have wanted to save from my childhood.

Do you remember when I accidentally ordered these silicone bowl lids and they turned out to be the best random purchase ever? Well, apparently I was online shopping in my sleep again because somehow I ordered these reusable travel straws this week. Troy of all people is obsessed with them and says they’re like straws for spies.

Troy and I both zeroed in a football player wearing this hoodie last Sunday and I added the tshirt version to my Christmas list. Unless you’re in the online business space, you probably don’t know that Google rolled out a new update the weekend of Veteran’s Day that has devastated smaller blogs by replacing their page 1 rankings with bigger sites that may have less relevant content.

It’s been hard. It happened during Q4 which is the most profitable time for food bloggers. It cut my traffic by 25%, so all the hard work I have put in over the last 18 months has been rolled back a bit. It sucks. But that hoodie was very clarifying for me. Head down. Work harder.

Housekeeping

I’m not sure about you, but I find the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is just a bit bonkers, especially if you have school-aged kids. There is end of terms wrap up, sports/activity parties, work and friends parties, and sooooo much sweet food.

It is also a time that I kind of shut down with meal planning and just get “meh” about it. If you’re in the same place, I’d encourage you to check out the meal plans from Momables. You get a tested meal plan, a shopping list, AND prep list information. It’s nice to just phone it in sometimes and let everyone else do the work.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I got the audiobook of Catch and Kill from our library and holy smokes people, it was GOOD! An amazing story of a multiple-year investigation into the coverup of Harvey Weinstein’s crimes as well as others from NBC (Matt Lauer and more).

It was hard to listen to, but so well done. I thought I knew a lot about coverups and how hard journalists have to work and how dangerous their work is. But apparently, I didn’t know a damn thing.

I highly recommend this book. The audio version is read by the author, Ronan Farrow. The only thing I was meh about was his accents to portray the various people in the book. Like, I get he had to do it to make the reader be able to understand who is who (whom?), but I always dislike when males do female voices in audiobooks. He did is best but it’s my own hang up.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Carolyn left this five-star review on our Whole Beef Stew {Pin this recipe}

Made this the 2nd day of Whole30. Both my husband and I loved it. He kept asking if it was on the diet and I told him it was!  I’m making this again on day 8, it’s snowing here and this is what I want to eat 💁‍♀️  It’s so good that this is now my go-to beef stew recipe, whole30 or not! 

whole30 beef stew in a blue bowl with a spoon and a grey cloth

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Crispy Ranch Air Fryer PotatoesCrispy and perfect, these roasted Ranch Air Fryer Potatoes are a fast and delicious side dish. You’ll love that they’re Whole30 compliant, vegan, and vegetarian and packed with so much flavor! {Pin this recipe}

ranch potatoes with parsley and a fork

Freezing Spinach {How to Freeze Spinach}Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing spinach to save a ton of time and money. Learning how to freeze spinach for smoothies, soups, and sauces is a great way to preserve this healthy staple of so many recipes. {Pin this recipe}

four cubes of frozen spinach stacked on top of a muffin liner

Instant Pot Tortilla SoupHealthy, easy, and delicious Instant Pot Tortilla Soup With Rice is the tastiest comfort food in under 30 minutes. Instant Pot, slow cooker, and stovetop instructions included. {Pin this recipe}

a bowl of tortilla soup on a cutting board with cilantro and limes

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Virgin Mojito Recipe  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Canning Applebutter  {Pin this tutorial}
  3. Whole30 Beef Stew  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs  {Pin this recipe}
  5. Canning Applesauce  {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Whole30 Tomato soup + salad + rolls (biscuits for my US readers). I want leftover soup for the week for fast lunches.

Tuesday:: Crispy Oven-Fried Gnocchi and Veggies. I need something EASY and fast because Jack has OUTDOOR soccer practice for two freaking hours. TWO.

Wednesday:: Take out! The boys are spending the night at my inlaw’s so we can get the house shipshape, and I AM NOT COOKING.

Thursday:: Thanksgiving dinner. ALL.THE.FOOD

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Any remaining Thanksgiving leftovers. If we don’t have a lot, I’ll make soup from Turkey Bone Broth, or Leftover Turkey Casserole With Rice or Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.

Sunday: Family dinner with my side of the family. None of them can come to Thanksgiving, so we’re doing “appsgiving” on Sunday. Everyone brings 2-3 appetizers and that’s dinner!

What are you having this week?

 

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10 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Sarah and family, and friends!

    I rarely listen to anything but audiobooks or podcasts anymore. My preference are romance audiobooks but I will pepper in classic novels and true crime podcasts so I don’t feel too guilty. I have to agree with you, I don’t care for men trying to affect a female voice but oddly enough, the reverse does not bother me at all. I think most of the female readers do a decent male voice. After a while though, if the book is good enough, I don’t notice either. I will say however, that I do have favorite readers- folks that just have a great voice overall.

  2. I mainly read fiction but when I listen to audiobooks, they’re almost always nonfiction.  Because I also do not like a male reader doing female voices.  The only exception was Jim Broadbent reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.  I can’t even remember how or why he was fine but there it is.  Jim Broadbent or nonfiction.

    We have company this week so my main plans (other than Thanksgiving dinner) involve eating out a couple of times and making a giant pot of potato and leek soup.

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one with that issue! I’ll have to check out Jim and his non-annoying voice.

      I like how you think with the take out and soup. That’s my plan too and I’m sticking with it!

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen reusable gift bags before, but the idea is genius!  And yours are so cute!

  4. If you have freezer paper and fabric paint, you can totally make that shirt for yourself. Easily!  I can teach you.
    My sloth-loving 21-year-old would LOVE that fabric and a rice bag.  Shall I send you my address? 😉 
    I am no fitness expert, but I feel like any running is good for Jack’s race.  Even if he goes at a slower pace, he is still running and keeping limber.  I admire the fact that you are doing it with him.  My girls would have been on their OWN!  I always joke that if you see me running, something is chasing me and you should probably run too!
    (side note: I have 3 cups of farro in my instant pot as I type!!)
    I LOVE Bennett’s festive stuffies.

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

    • I was shocked that there was only one sloth option at the store because sloths seem to be having a moment right now!

      Ha at the “something is chasing me”. I used to say “if you see me running, someone is chasing me or the ice cream truck is ahead of me”. Do they have ice cream trucks in Canada?

      Who-hoo on the farro!

      • Of course we have ice cream trucks!!!!!!  One drives by our house almost every day in the summer.  Fortunately, they didn’t do it much when my kids were younger.  And now we have a granddaughter on the way (in 5 weeks!  I’m so excited!) and she will likely be allowed to have ALL the ice cream, all the time.  LOL

        I’m surprised there was only one slothy fabric option as well.  My daughter currently has sloth sheets on her bed.  (she is 21)  They are everywhere.

      • We did NOT have ice cream trucks growing up so I’m never sure if it is a regional thing or not. Eeeeek 5 more weeks!!!