I am often asked if the chickens personalities are different. This photo captures the difference better than words.

Lulu in her Cinderella dress and Kat in her jeans.


We have the entire week off this year for Thanksgiving. Much to JT's chagrin we are not spending it on some incredible holiday adventure at the beach or in Italy.

I've spent the last few days driving Rick insane cataloging how we have spent the last 17 Thanksgivings to prove my point that this is in fact the first year we are spending it without company, either friends or family. I have to admit it feels a bit odd but have no fear we still have a few days and Rick is always ready for guests. We've had a lot of turkey together.

We will be picking up some old traditions and starting a new one this year. The most important old tradition to kick-off the holiday is the Macy Day Parade. Zach and I love it the most so he will no doubt be my first choice for the day when I get to see it in person. We will ignore the Black Friday crowd and head to our favorite day after Thanksgiving store - Half Price Books -  followed by some hamburgers at Dan's.  The Mitchell ladies will head over Friday for gingerbread houses. We have inconsistently made gingerbread houses throughout the years. We had such fun doing it as part of Thanksgiving weekend last year at Donna's that it was unanimously voted to add it to our weekend celebrations . On Saturday we plan to see the Chuy's parade downtown, which we have missed the passed few years.Of course there will be lots of catching up on our shows. JT and I are woefully behind on Arrow so we need to get caught up and a Thanksgiving can't pass without Talladega Nights. Rick and I are also negotiating a holiday viewing of the Godfather trilogy although this is probably going to take us through Christmas.

Keeping with tradition, I tortured the kids yesterday with a quick photo shoot for Christmas cards. It ended in a bit of an epic fail because I neglected to notice the giant white railing that separates the cuteness of the moment. I begged them to go out again but without much to offer in the way of bribery, I managed to pull off a card with what I had but here are a few previews of the attempts.

That is KitKat giving shouting out!

The boys started a dance party.


All Was Spooky

After months of spooky talk and visiting spooky stores, Halloween seems like distant memory. And sadly it is only a memory because my phone broke and I lost all photos from Halloween until the day it broke. Everyone misses out on the incredible pumpkin that JT carved and some other cuteness that I took while we were out in the hood but I do have a few shots.

 Lulu helping JT
 The girls with some friends before the big night. Kit Kat is Ariel and Lulu was Cinderella.

Zach was a zombie hunter and JT was a bat with these cool foam wings that you can't really see.


I Did Not Forget

It would be impossible to forget that my baby was turning 12 but I think part of me wanted to pretend like it wasn't happening. I mean we are a year away from the teens, 4 years from driving, 6 years from high school graduation. See, I didn't forget, I just can't think about it.

We celebrated JT's 12th over two weekends. Last weekend he invited a few friends over. They ate, they went to a haunted house, they ate, they watched TV, played video games, ate, played football, and then ate more. All in all, I think it was a good birthday.  His actual birthday fell on the weekend on the school's fall carnival and since we live with the PTO president our lives have been consumed with carnival planning and activities. We did manage to get up early on Friday morning and have brekkie at IHOP where both boys at like men and the girls discovered make-a-face pancakes.

All in all, it was a quiet but nice way to celebrate 12 years of a super awesome kid.


though she be but little, she is fierce

Sheryl Sandburg can get ready to move over because Lulu is going to give her a run for her money. Instead of Leaning In, she will be Leaping In.

This girl has a style all her own, a fierce attitude, a strong opinion, and is very stubborn. She bosses around her brothers, her parents, and the dog. She is fearless.

Here are some shots of her on a walk last week. Kat had fallen asleep so Lu entertained me with her Lu ways.


Chi Town

I don't often travel for work, ok I never travel for work but I've been fortunate enough to be invited to Chicago twice now. I obviously can't provide too many details about the work but I had such a fun 48 hours that I wanted to share.

So quickly this is an overview of things. I flew in Tuesday evening and (with the help of my travel partner) put on my big girl pants and road the train downtown to our hotel. We met up with the team, had a late dinner at an enjoyable North Carolina style BBQ restaurant called Q. Afterwards we hung out at a local bar by the hotel where I got to enjoy Polish beer. My favorite being Zywiec (of course I loved the label artwork):

Wednesday we did all the boring work stuff that I obviously can't talk about but needless to say it went well and I enjoyed being included. Once the work part was over my host took us out for a fun adventure at Girl and the Goat. Of course it was super exciting for me because this is the restaurant owned by Stephanie Izard. The boys and I are addicted to Top Chef and Stephanie was the first female winner of the show. Anywho, call me and I will go in to great detail about how great the meal was. I had a cauliflower dish that may have altered my life. Since I was with work people, I felt weird taking a photo but someone else asked to take one outside the restaurant so I am including that although I cropped out the others because I just didn't know how they'd feel being added to my blog - so enjoy my floating head in front of the Girl and Goat and a photo of Stephanie for reference. My host requested that she sign my menu but she was at her new restaurant across the street.

After dinner my travel companion asked to stopped by the Billy Goat Bar (I guess we had a theme going), we then walked the City a bit and stopped by this great store called Eataly that was so much to take in and I wanted to eat and touch everything. Definitely visit the website. I wish I had taken photos but I was too self conscious; something I will need to get over if I keep traveling. We ended the evening back at the local bar from the night before so I could have another Polish beer.

The trip home was uneventful although we were on a packed plane of northerners heading to Austin for the second weekend of ACL Fest. It was a great trip both work-wise and getting out to see some of the City. Sadly I wasn't able to meet up with Barb like I did on my last trip. Hopefully I will get to do some more travel although just my brief trip makes me have new appreciation for the teams I work with and my dad. It would definitely be hard to travel all the time and I honestly don't know how my dad managed in the age before smart phones and laptops to help navigate locations, keep up with work, and help with travel.

And yes, Rick and the kids survived. JT kept me updated on life via text. Both boys gave up and bought lunch at school so they wouldn't have to make their own lunches.


I am Leaving - A selfie

Occasionally, I want to leave.
Most times it is so I can have a few moments by myself at Target or as it was in this photo, to sit on a Sunday afternoon with friends and drink a glass of wine (or two).
Often this is what happens and usually it is Kit Kat.

It feels good to be loved but sometimes it is overwhelming.