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If anyone still reads this,
and is interested to know,
the answer is no: i did not die.
I have just had zero energy 😉
I had forgotten how tiring and nauseous the 1st trimester can be,
but I keep telling myself I’m grateful for it!
It means little baby is getting what he/she needs.

So, here is a quick update of what I’ve managed to get done in between my many, many, many naps.

Monkey on Thanksgiving morning.
That orange ring in her hand…
that thing is gold.
It’s one of her favorite toys right now.
I don’t get it either.

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“Corn Flower” table decorations for Thanksgiving

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Wiggins Tree Farm to get our tree!
We went with Michelle and Alex – it was a lot of fun.
Once we established that pointing out prospective trees by saying
”That one!” really didn’t work.
Oh you mean the tree next to that tree, past all these trees, over yonder in the distance?
Yeah, I know exactly which one you mean.

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Which is why I “tagged” our #1 pick with my sunglasses.

SONY DSC It didn’t occur to me until after I’d left that it was very possible that I could lose both the tree AND my sunglasses.
Preggo brain on display!

Julia even found her own Charlie-Brown-sized tree.
We would have bought it for her room, but it was one price for all trees.
There was no way we were paying the same price for a rinky-dink tree 😉

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Catching a ride back to the car with Uncle Alex.

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Julia is thinking: “Mom, did you even look in the mirror before you walked outside this morning?  That hair is quite special.”

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And that brings us to today.
When I finally had the energy to string the lights on the tree.
Only to open up the box and realize I had bought 700 white wire lights.
White wire.
On a green tree.
So off to Target we went to exchange them.
Julia is fascinated by the lights.

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And, finally, while researching what to make for Christmas morning,
and deciding on Monkey Bread,
I also decided I wanted to make my own Buttermilk Biscuit dough for the bread.
I was shocked at how easy it is!
I also did a fair amount of reading on what constitutes the BEST buttermilk biscuit.  It is fascinating.
No surprise, America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe uses the best method.
(Thank you, Cyndi, for that fabulous cookbook!)
Kneadless (ha) to say, after spending all this time staring at biscuits,
I kneaded one. (ha again)
Badly.
So I whipped up a batch in under half an hour.
I didn’t have cake flour on hand, but I used all-purpose and they turned out wonderfully.  I will definitely be making these again.
Seriously – so simple.

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Buttermilk Biscuits
Source
: America’s Test Kitchen
Makes: 12
Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled cut into cubes
3/4 c. cold buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use soured milk – 1 TBSP lemon juice or white distilled vinegar per 1 cup milk.  Combine and let stand 5 minutes until thickened.)

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Pulse the flours, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a food processor to combine.  Scatter the butter evenly over the top and pulse to combine, about 12 pulses. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a fork or work the butter in with your fingers.)

2.) Transfer mixture to a large bowl.  Stir in the buttermilk with a rubber spatula until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky ball.

3.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and quickly form into a rough ball.  Do not overmix.  Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 12 even pieces.  Quickly and gently shape each piece into a rough ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  (The baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 2 hours.) Bake until the biscuit tops are light brown, 10-12 minutes.

After stopping by the Smiths’ for Julia to meet her great grandparents, we packed up and headed to Maryland to spend some time with my family.  Of particular interest to Julia were Frank and Kat’s two dogs.  I think it means she’s ready to have one of her own around here 😉

DSC08169 DSC08179 DSC08181 DSC08183 DSC08191 DSC08193 DSC08206 DSC08209 DSC08224 We had a great time visiting with everyone.  And Julia finally got to meet her cousins and great aunt and uncle 🙂

Thanksgiving was a busy day for our little monster.
She met her Great Grandparents McNeill from Mike’s side, as well as cousins and aunts and uncles from my side. (Pics from that to come.)  She was a trooper as we were driving for a good chunk of the day.  She slept for all the car rides!!  Such an angel, and for THAT we were especially grateful. 😉

Here she is with Mike’s grandparents.  Keep in mind, Julia is a constantly moving target.  She will probably be blurry for the rest of her life haha.  (I am trying not to think about what this means for me in the very near future…)

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We can’t wait to spend more time with you at Christmas!!!!!

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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