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Thursday, November 29, 2012

I like this day.

I do. I like today. It's happy.

Making fudge for my love (since we had cake on his un-birthday). Freshly vacuumed and mopped floors throughout the house. Clean sheets all around. Laundry put away. Building duplo towers with Little Miss. Checking off everything on my to-do list, plus a few other things that never even made the list.

Today I read on a can of hot cocoa mix, "Chocolate is nature's way of making up for Mondays" ha.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Old Fashioned

During our stay in Georgia this past week, my parents' neighbor,  Ms. Neva, dropped by some leftover desserts from her family's Thanksgiving. Ms. Neva can always be counted on to bring the leftovers from any family gathering because she always goes overboard in how much she buys/makes for the event, which usually consists of six people or less. My parents, on the other hand, have six people in their house everyday, and more at holidays - 18 this week (plus two on the way) - and Ms. Neva knows whatever she may bring will get eaten and will not get thrown away. So, she always comes bearing gifts. :)
In particular, she brought a huge apple cake, the recipe from which is circa 1922 and required cooking the icing on the stove and stirring with a wooden spoon. I'll testify that the cake was indeed delicious. So much so, that there were other apple cakes to be had at the house, but I always opted or the one I knew was excellent (though I didn't doubt the goodness of the others at all).

I like old fashioned recipes. Not the vintage ones that are trendy now because those are usually laden with Jello and Crisco and margarine.....but I like the ones that don't call for any fancy equipment or technique, just pure and honest recipes that may turn out homely but delicious results. Truth is, rarely does anything in the gluten-free category end up stunningly beautiful anyway and the second truth is that my baby is not very trusting of noisy appliances (mixers, choppers, vacuums etc). These truths I'm sure contribute to my liking for non-fancy & simple recipes.
If I can't mix something up by hand in my great-grandmother's green mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, I'd just as soon not have that recipe in my collection, thank you very large.

I also like old fashioned toys and it did my little heart good to watch my nieces and nephew spend the majority of the week playing with wooden trains and blocks (and occasionally Mr. Potato Head). There were a lot of lessons in sharing with the six of them four and under, but they had a fun time together. Hattie hasn't stopped talking about "Eliyot". And when he comes to mind, she can't help but say his name half a dozen times or so. Meagan, we'll have to skype again soon!

In rapid order this past week, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Picked out and cut down a Christmas tree - and that was no easy feat with 18 different opinions on which was the perfect tree. Decorated the house and then had Christmas morning on Saturday. Knocking out both holidays in one fell swoop. We ate too much. Visited a lot. Chased children a good bit. And laughed more than we ate.

And yet, our little Home Sweet Sayre Home still provides the sweetest repose, no matter how enjoyable the time away.
The pilgrims are packed away, replaced by reds and golds and stockings on the mantle. Fake mistletoe hangs on the wall (until we can figure out a method of retrieving the real stuff from our tree out from. The old fashioned way would be to shoot it down, but alas, we live inside the city limits.)

It's been hard to remember that it isn't December yet.

It's chilly and gray today. Perfect for celebrating Emery's unbirthday. That's a surprise though. He's probably expecting cake on his real birthday later this week, but shouldn't be looking for it today. Carrot cake with maple-cream cheese icing. I hope it's delish. I did leave the cinnamon out of the cake altogether (forgetful!), but I threw some in the icing to make up for it and I think that will be extra good.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Pink Cake

Sometime in the last couple of weeks, I turned to Emery and told him how yummy pink cake sounded at the time. Make it strawberry or cherry or imitation berry whatever, it's bound to be delicious, so long as it's pink.

I understand there isn't much good logic in this, but it's kind of like 'irregardless'.

And then yesterday, to my great pleasure, someone brought a pink cake to church. I happily indulged. It tasted nice and pink....and I think that is to say like a yellow box-cake mix plus jello powder.

I think it's a shame you can't make a strawberry cake without jello. I've looked and looked for recipes with just strawberries, and I even tried it. The result was a very flat and somewhat purple-y cake that was extra chewy. (Of course, my version was GF too, so there may have been some major errors apart from the strawberry part, but it turned out awful.)

Speaking of pink cake, we had our real anatomy scan the other day, and Baby Sayre is reaffirmed to be a girly. Her major organs looked fine and dandy too. 18 weeks until we get to meet her!

My odds of doing any more blogging for the rest of the week are pretty slim, so I wish you all the most blessed of Thanksgivings. May you be able to rejoice in what God is doing in your life even if the circumstances aren't what you would have desired. May you remember the things that are truly important in life, AND keep remembering them on Black Friday when you're standing in line at 4am.

We've been talking with Hattie about being thankful and pointing to the Pilgrims on the table (who are holding various food stuffs) and telling her how they're thankful for their turkey, grapes, corn etc. and how she needs to be thankful for whatever we're eating that she might be less than enthused about. Don't ask me how much of this conversation is sinking in, but we've been having it nonetheless, so without further ado, here's some
'Thankful Pilgrim love'
from me to you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Granana, Granola, Banana

We like all of those things around here. Hattie doesn't differentiate much between her Granana and her favorite snack suggestion, banana (which suggestion can only be made when she taps her cheek to think about what she would like)....but we're working on it and are busy looking at pictures of Granana, and hopefully next week when we arrive in Georgia she won't be expecting Grandpa and lots of bananas.

Her other favorite snacks are apples and string cheese. Ap-ple. Cheeese.
I can't help but smile to watch her open her mouth as wide as it will go to get a bite off of that apple.
She's always ready to suggest a walk too. Except she puts some phlegm emphasis between the L and the K. It's kind of like walghk. She probably picked that up during the couple of weeks I battled some sinus congestion/cough. Maybe all my words sounded like that.
She really is a little mirror, sometimes to my dismay. She's taken up groaning when she picks something up or gets up out of the floor, and she's so dramatic about it. Oye. I've tried to decrease my groans, but sometimes by the end of the day, that just isn't possible. Last night, I was stretching my back out, and there's Little Miss right after me, holding her back and bending over. I was actually holding on to the door frame, so she could work on her form a little, but still. I reckon if that's the worst habit she picks up from us, we're doing alright, but I'm certain it won't be.

My missing slipper was found yesterday. I was almost convinced it had been thrown away, and I was almost ready to throw the other one away (there is a small hole in the sole anyway), but Hattie pulled the missing one out of the bottom drawer in the bathroom and seemed to think nothing of it. It was right where she left it, why should she be surprised? I just wish I had remembered where she had left it. I am thankful for toasty toes this morning though! Now if only she'll tell me where she's hidden her pajama shirt.

I love this time of the year. {I love most times of the year, actually, but this one is extra nostalgic.} I love getting the ball rolling towards Christmas. Having our Christmas cards ordered and having the majority of our extended families gifts neatly tucked away. I love the festivities. The celebrations that will commence just after Thanksgiving. I love fresh cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I love wearing leggings most of the time and cozy sweaters. I enjoy dressing Hattie up in tights and boots. The wassail. The family. The gingerbread houses. It all makes me smile. I like smiling.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A few favorites...

Melt my heart

She's going to be such a sweet big sister

:)

Love her faces

Have I mentioned that I love these people?

awww


Many thanks to the much talented Leah Kackley for these sweet photos. They turned out so sweet.


Monday, November 12, 2012

I think I love this day.

Emery's off today for Veteran's Day, and like anyone, we're MORE than happy to take a three-day weekend where we can get it!

The morning started with the steel gray skies of the approaching winter and a pot of oatmeal. The first wintery sky makes me eager for cozy sweaters and the nostalgic comfort foods of the season. Accordingly, we made a pumpkin pie this afternoon. It was thoroughly delectable (especially with ice cream And whipped cream.)

Hattie had the joy and privilege of playing with Dominos, playing cards, and a Jacob's Ladder toy today for the first time. I love to watch her little mind at work while she explores new things. Does a mama's heart good.

A homemade haircut. A trip to Walmart. A sweet day with my sweet family.



PS: We've been singing the scale with Hattie lately. Her favorite note is Sol, though Do and Me come out sometimes too. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Mexican Conundrum

--Let me start by saying that it gives me joy that I was able to spell conundrum without firefox underlining it in red. You know it's the little things.---


 
I've lived a few places and made a few observations (maybe more than a few).
 And I've found some interesting qualities among Mexican restaurants. In Mississippi, there is no shortage of Mexican restaurants. Most of them are separated by only minute details - the heat and freshness of the salsa, etc. But in other parts of the country, this is simply isn't so.
In the months we stayed in New Orleans, we managed to only find one decent Mexican place, and it was so far out we probably couldn't find it again if we tried.

The fact is there are only two kinds of Mexican restaurants: those run by Mexicans (or Latinos) and those who are run by non-Mexicans.
It's the latter you'll want to avoid because I can almost assure you that you'll find across the board higher prices and slower service, and inevitably, less authentic food.

Maybe it's because we have a toddler, and maybe it's because I'm unreasonably frugal at times, but quick service and lower prices rank pretty high on the important list in our family.
Granted, the family-run Mexican locations may not be the trendiest place in town to eat, but if you're willing to sacrifice being 'seen', then you'll probably enjoy the local establishment much more.

I will say that Chipotle restaurants, while not run by Mexicans at all, have delicious food (and are pretty quick and well priced)...and if you've got to eat at a chain, that's the one I'd pick.

So there you have it. If there aren't any Mexicans in sight when you walk in the door, you might want to just leave.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Motherly decisions

This morning, I faced three choices. Sleep. Shower. Or blog. I wanted to do them all, but that felt impossible (especially since naps haven't been Hattie's strong suite the last two days). So, I laid down. Unable to sleep, but thankful for a little rest, I was able to shower and here I am blogging away. Three cheers for....getting it all in!
Six months ago, it would have been solely between sleep and shower, but those were the days when Hattie wasn't sleeping through the night, and I was a little more tired.
**
By now, you all know that Obama won the election. I don't pretend to understand it, but I do feel like the economy will tank and there will be an large increase in job loss and food prices will probably rise considerably too. All that to say, I'm planning to start stocking up....not to the extreme that my parents do, but I have cleaned out some cabinet space to store extra goods. Emery and I have lately decided that our hobby is most accurately moving. Whether we like it or not. And not wanting to move 150lbs of extra food is one reason we're not going bulk storage.
**
I was thinking yesterday about how some people have certain ages/stages that are their favorite in babies and children. I know some who love the newborn phase and some who love 6-9 months etc. I have honestly loved every phase of Hattie's life. But I think 18 months is my favorite so far. I'll probably be saying that I love whatever age she's at the most, but we really do have so much fun together right now. She's saying so many words I can understand, and we dance and laugh. She also stomps her feet when she's mad that something isn't going her way, and some days she whines and whines till I'm almost crazy with it....but largely life is so enjoyable. :)
**
On Monday, we hit our twentieth week of pregnancy! Half way to baby! It's still a little surreal at times. I mean, I look pregnant (and my pastor lovingly pointed out the other Sunday that he would need longer arms to hug me. ...uh. thanks). and I'm feeling the baby move frequently, but the thought of really having a newborn in just 4.5 months is delightfully shocking. And I can't wait.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Politico

Dear Daylight Savings Time,
I could do without you.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth


Switching back to Central Standard time has been lovely. Hattie seems unphased by the clock and got up this morning at her regular 7:15. And yesterday was the most leisurely Sunday morning in the history of Sunday mornings.

There's more good news: tomorrow is election day. I know what you're thinking,"Wow! We get a special day just to celebrate being God's elect! This is GREAT!" And you'd be right, but it happens to coincide with the presidential election and I'm looking forward to having it behind us. God IS still on his throne, regardless of who's in the Oval Office....and both men are sinners anyway and fallible. 'Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God'. I'm not placing my trust in either candidate.
I am, however, enjoying the temporarily low gas prices, and I'll hate to see them go after it's all said and done. Fill up your tanks (and your pantries) before Tuesday night!




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday Rambling

When Emery and I were young (ahem, before we were parents), we enjoyed just riding around together. Seeing what we could see. Picking out the houses we wouldn't mind living in, and occasionally searching out forgotten bridges {mostly for Emery's benefit, of course}.
And then Hattie came along, and she didn't seem to have much patience for the practice, so we mostly stopped exploring. Mostly.

Today was an exception. An exceptional exception.

Fog hung in the air as we left the house this morning. We rode out into the country and hunted up an old bridge across the Pearl River, and then another crossing the same river. A few small towns and a trip to Sonic later, we hit the interstate headed for Vicksburg (which is actually where I thought we were going first).

Vicksburg - our old stomping ground - boasts a new Mississippi River museum, complete with a dry-docked boat for wandering through. To sweeten the deal, it's free! Chasing an 18 month old through a museum can be challenging, but thankfully, this one had enough interactive displays to keep Hattie's attention (somewhat), and I thought they were a lot of fun. My favorite involved basically a faucet and a pan of sand....the idea was to dam up the water and make channels and watch how the water flows through it.
I grew up playing in a little creek in the woods. We were always damming up the stream and breaking the dams, and thought we were big stuff if our man-made 'pond' achieved four inches deep. Playing in the little exhibit at the museum was gloriously satisfying.

We took Hattie to play on the playground at Catfish Row, and then we went to the Outlets Mall.
I have very frugal expectations, and often anything priced outside of my realm of reasonable won't receive a second glance. But y'all Bass shoes for $12 is WELL within my price range (I got two pair), and really under $50 for Bass shoes doesn't hurt my feelings (and Emery got two pair too). Quality goods within my price-range delight me.

With our windows rolled down and the rush of the wind in our ears, we headed home. Tired from shopping and playing and being in the sunshine, but altogether happy because we had the blessing of being together without distraction all day. No phone calls, no TV, no internet. Just beautiful family. My favorite kind of day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Oh November!

October is always a lovely month, at the start, but somehow it dddrrrraaaaaggggsss on and on towards the end (with all the Halloween nonsense especially), and I'm never more ready for a fresh month than I am when November finally arrives.
It's been beautiful so far.

I'm looking forward to seeing family for the first time since July. I found myself a little homesick yesterday. If Hattie hadn't woken and interrupted my homeward leaning, I might have even cried - but I am pregnant. It's been more than four years since I even lived in Georgia, and it pains me a little to see how things have changed since I've been away....but you can't live in two places at once, and you can't maintain relationships the same way when you only see folks thrice a year.
For now, we're the Sayres of Mississippi.
"Wherever you are, be all there."

Tomorrow is the 83rd birthday of my beloved Grandmother. Happy Birthday (tomorrow)!!! In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were instructed to raise up stones of remembrance - Ebeneezer stones - so they would look and remember what the Lord has done for them. My Grandmother is like a living Ebeneezer of the strength the Lord can give to a woman who has endured much, but who has trusted and kept pressing on toward the mark of the high calling of Christ.