Happy Thursday y’all!

After our very eventful week last week we have had a relatively “normal” week this week.

The big news of the week is…

…the Halloween candy jar is down to the tootsie rolls and almond joys. So, so sad. But it’s for the better. It’s buckeye season for the Seckinger’s so there really isn’t room for Halloween candy temptations any more.

…we are getting excited (when I say “we” I mean me and the boys, and more likely just “I”) to pick out a tree this weekend and get the house nice and festive. I have started messing with the mantel but the chimney is getting doctored again today to replace the smoke chamber or something like that, so all of that will be taken down. This house is cozy and doesn’t have tons of decorating space so it will pretty much be the tree and the mantel that get the sprucing.

…baths with 2 casts are tricky. And frustrating. And not so enjoyable. You get the idea! Counting down to 1 cast! Can’t even fathom life with none so we will anticipate just 1!

…my brother and sister-in-law met the Young House Love bloggers….that is big news! Very cool!

…my parents now have plane tickets so they are for sure coming for Christmas. Makes putting the tree up that much more fun knowing they will be here to celebrate with us!

…I am gearing up for a bake sale next weekend. Most of the work won’t be done until the day before but I am gathering pretty packaging and trying to narrow down the list of what I want to make.

…we kept gifts simple this year as I mentioned previously and I am struggling a bit with it. Gift giving is my love language and when I have to be so careful about it it kind of takes the joy out of it for me. I know that sounds lame and I am working through it but just being honest.  I know that there is so much more to life than giving gifts, and I know that truly no one needs my gifts, but I love giving them. I love surprising a friend with a coffee or a card, dropping  off meals to families going through tough times, surprising Seth with a date night. Maybe some day I will have some great wisdom to share on the topic of frugal giving but today I am still wrestling with it.

…Tomorrow I am taking a day trip to Wilmington, DE to see a dear friend from Bogota! Can’t wait to catch up with her in person.

…basketball practice starts for our 2 cast wonder tomorrow. Will be very interesting.

Hope you have all had a lovely week!

What are you doing to prepare for the holidays?  And what’s at the bottom of your halloween stash?!



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Fondue Night!

Sunday night we hosted my grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousin, and my brother and his family. It was a full table! We got 2 pots of fondue going and just enjoyed a festive evening. I love the holidays. I am trying to make people a priority this holiday…not that this is something new, but I don’t want to miss the times with special people because we are too busy!







the kids made paper ornaments for GiGi to take home with her for her tree







the faithful cheese stirrers









We really enjoy Trader Joe’s boxed fondue, nothing fancy but really yummy! (*TJ’s doesn’t pay me to brag on their products I just like them and want to share it with you!)  We normally dip bread, green apples, mini potatoes (also found at TJ’s) and sometimes other veggies like mushrooms and broccoli.  Pull out that fondue pot that you got for your wedding that you have never used!  And enjoy it with your family!  Thanks for coming up Grandma!! So nice to have you visit.





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Clearing my head

Seth has been working on painting our deck recently, trying to beat the snow. In addition our neighbors trees have dropped a zillion leaves so he has been spending lots of time outside. One day after he had spent a few hours out there (while I was held captive inside by some feisty kids) I asked if he had enjoyed having some time to think. We are in the process of making some big decisions and I thought he probably enjoyed  much needed time to process. He responded that he hadn’t really thought about anything. I think that’s called clearing your head. Unfortunately when I work I tend to process.  Which is good but doesn’t it sound really pleasant to all out clear your head and think about NOTHING. Ladies, can I get an amen. I just don’t know if it’s possible but we can wish. I laughed with my aunt about it this week as we both marveled at the ability of our husbands to think about nothing. It’s a gift of sorts.

This morning I decided to try to chip away at the leaves with Owen while Jackson was at school (another Amen that I got him there and he stayed with those goofy casts) and Seth was back to work.  I had high hopes of clearing my head. I didn’t clear my head but I did have time to think and enjoy the fresh air.  Here are my deep thoughts from the raking and bagging time…

I think it’s a little ironic that we don’t have any trees in the back yard minus two small ones, only one of which drops leaves, and yet we have TONS of leaves. We are daily inheriting our neighbors leaves as the winds blow. My first thought was how annoying that we are spending hours cleaning up after our neighbors trees but then I realized that these trees are trees that provide us much shade and enjoyment. To look out my kitchen window this Fall and see the golden tree out my window and to have a big space in the yard from the hot sun at the end of the summer have been so nice.  I think it’s a little like friendships and community, we benefit from the joys and triumphs in our friends lives but there are also cleanup times and times that friendship can require us to sacrifice time and energy that might seem inconvenient. I hate to ask for help and this morning I had to ask our friend if she could come be with Owen for 30 min while I took Jackson to school.   She didn’t fuss about “raking my leaves” she came on over and was willing to help.  Would I have preferred to have her over for a cup of hot chocolate while the “leaves” were still pretty? yep. Was it much more humbling to have to ask for help when life isn’t looking so dazzling? yep.  Isn’t it funny how we are uncomfortable when our friendships and community work as they should. Asking for help and serving one another!? I want to become more comfortable asking for help and dishing it out when I see others in need.

So thank you 4 bags of leaves for the time to reflect. Even if you didn’t clear my head.  And thank you neighbors for sharing your shade and beautiful Fall colors, even if it means we have lots of work to cleanup the aftermath! It was still worth the enjoyment!


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Feasting updates!

I am not ready to talk about our terrible, no good, very bad day we had on Friday! So in the meantime I will share with you about our thanksgiving. We drove to Maryland to my Aunt Carrol and Uncle Mike’s house. My grandmother came up from Florida and my cousin is living at home currently and her boyfriend came for the weekend too so it was a fun bunch and a very special time. I don’t see my relatives nearly enough but when I do I want to soak up the time.

For the Thanksgiving feast I was in charge of appetizers, drinks and the dessert. For appetizers I made a baked brie in brioche (cheated and got this at costco, and to be honest it wasn’t so amazing!) I also made Southern Living’s Bacon Blue Cheese Dip. Always a hit.  For dessert I made pumpkin pies and cheated again by buying a pecan pie.  My aunt made a wonderful spread with tons of sides and my cousin even made homemade rolls.  We were all stuffed by the end!










Jackson lent Owen his Indian costume he made at school, but clearly forgot to explain that the Pilgrims and Indians were friends at the Thanksgiving feast. This is Owen’s half asleep “smiling” Indian face.







Owen was sabotaging the soccer game outside so got sent in for some reading time.  He enjoyed cuddling up next to my grandmother. Jackson wrote our name cards this year and assigned people to be either pilgrims or indians. My cousin Linnea and her boyfriend Tim were Squanto and Pocohontas.

We cut the top off of our pumpkin and put the flowers in it for my aunt…I had never done this before but it made a great little vase. I put a plastic cup inside because I wasn’t sure how the flowers would like the pumpkin guts!




















And as if we weren’t full enough, yesterday I roasted a turkey while we worked around the house. I wanted to have some turkey for sandwiches and cooking for the next few days. I didn’t mess with lots of sides. We kept it simple with sweet potato casserole and stuffing. We had a very low key dinner, in fact a few bites in I realized we forgot the cranberry sauce so this is how it was served!  From the can. Letting go of perfection around here! And none of my distinguished dinner guests even noticed. Oh and the shirtless kid. The other boy was still in his pj’s at dinner (as promised after his hospital day, I told him he could stay in them ALL day if he wanted…and he wanted) and was relearning how to use his newly casted wrist with ziplock bag combo.







And last but not at all the least of our thanksgiving updates is that Seth requested a hot turkey sandwich today. Open face turkey sandwiches are a Seckinger family tradition and one Seth has been a little scared of in years past. The boy has come around!!

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