Our Home for the Holidays

We are full in the Christmas spirit over at the Monroe house. I am always determined to do the season up right and this year is no exception, (even if we are still living in a construction zone). We start decorating every year on Black Friday, and this has been the most fun year yet because Cormac has actually helped! He was so into putting all the ornaments on the tree.

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Every year I try to get a new ornament for Cormac, representing something he’s really into, and this year I found him a little school bus that actually looks quite a bit similar to the one he takes to school! He loved it.

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Teddy “helped” by removing every ornament Cormac put on the tree.

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But we got it done and it looks perfect. Although I’m already asking Brent for a bigger tree for next year. The high ceilings demand it.

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And all aglow at night.

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I was a bit sad we have no fireplace at the new house, and thus no mantel for stockings, but the staircase isn’t a bad spot for them.

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And the moulding in our house is perfect for garland, I think.

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I’ve been putting it up everywhere. We also put up some snowflake garland on our big dining room window, which the boys love.

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I’m just loving making the house feel super festive. I even did some outside lights for the first time this year. We never did at our other houses because no one else did and I was lazy, but I went crazy with some net lights on our millions of hedges this year.

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Not too bad for my first year. Luckily I have pretty cute helpers.

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They also helped make a gingerbread house with me this morning. Cormac was super into it.

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In fact he even critiqued exactly where Teddy was putting the sprinkles. Hilarious.

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We have so many fun seasonal things planned, like a pancake breakfast with Santa (Cormac is dying to ask him for a semi-truck), a holiday baking class for Cormac, the Santa train, and our annual cookie decorating party! Seriously my favorite time of the year is a million times more fun with kids.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was great this year. We got to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in awhile, the kids had fun, and the food was delicious. Its probably breaking a few societal norms to claim a meal you cooked yourself was amazing but oh well. I can handle being tacky.

My pictures of the event are pretty few and crappy, but who cares. We started with Clinton Kelly’s Autumnal Cheese Ball because I love a cheese ball.

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Normally we do a vegetarian Thanksgiving but Brent requested a chicken this year, so I slathered one in compound herb butter and roasted it for about 90 minutes at 425, and made a Field Roast Celebration Roast for Michael and Sarah.

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Clearly in a rush to eat, as nearly all my photos are super blurry. Oops. For sides, we had aaaallllll the carbs.

Tyler Florence’s Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing. So easy, so good.

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Michael Symon’s Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes. That man can do no wrong in the kitchen.

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And of course country-ass noodles. Only picture I have is from the drying process the night before. They were pretty epic this year.

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I also decided to make BA’s Best Green Bean Casserole. I’m not usually in green bean casserole and I think I’ve only made it for one other Thanksgiving, but I LOVED this.

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I also made Art Smith’s Swiss Chard Salad with Pine Nuts and Lemon to round out our table with something fresh and green.

Oof. I feasted so hard, guys.

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Seriously, so good. And I had no room for dessert. But I ate it anyway. ¬†Obviously. We had my usual Caramel Apple Pie because Michael might not forgive me if we didn’t.

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And I also made this Cranberry Streusel Cake, which Brent and I loved. Especially Brent.He likes a tart dessert.

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And we managed to have a little bit of adult conversation in between chasing these four crazy dudes all over the house.

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It was a good day. And now we’ve been going all out decorating the house for Christmas. Well, I have. Brent mostly rolls his eyes. I’m even attempting to do outside lights this year!

And because it’s Giving Tuesday, here are a few organizations our family is ¬†proud to support.

Planned Parenthood. Women’s health needs protecting now more than ever.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

350.org. We want our Earth to exist for our children.

Everytown For Gun Safety. End gun violence.

Parent Support of Puget Sound. I don’t know if I could’ve survived the last 2.5 years without them.