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So much has happened in the last month, and when I think about the last six months…I’m stunned. And when I think about the last year…it seems like three years in one. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to us from us.

We haven’t even been in our house for a month…but I love it. I love everything about it, and I feel like an overprotective mother about it. There are several large updates that we plan to make, and some minor tweaks here and there…but we are taking it little by little and prioritizing as needed. But…it feels so good and so foreign and so perfect.

2018 held seriously high highs, like new puppies and visits with family, beautiful peach trees in community gardens, quick trips to nearby favorite places, and celebrating friends left and right. It then brought some of the lowest of lows. But through all of the lowest points, we were shown patience and understanding by our families and we are better because of those low points.

2019 is off to a fine start, and I have big plans for it.

Hilton Head, SC

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This year, our Hilton Head trip held no agendas of any kind. The only expectation we really had was that we expected it to be relaxing and refreshing. We brought books with us (that we never opened) and face masks (that we never did), because we were already relaxed enough. We watched Food Network Christmas specials and took naps when we were inside. We went to the beach and rode bikes when we were outside. It was warmer than we’ve ever experienced it - but that just meant that we spent even more time inside lounging and recharging.

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We drive home tomorrow, and we are scared to look at our work schedules because we are scared that they won’t overlap as much as we’d like for them to. I’m beyond grateful for Trey and for the time together that these trips give us. I love him. I love him. I love him.

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When we get home, it’s time for Christmas. We’ve talked about how if we get a live tree and decorate it, there’s a chance that we might be taking everything down and moving it if we are able to find a house before Christmas. We’ve also talked about how we have no idea what George is going to do when he’s locked in a teensy living room with a bright and shiny Christmas tree all day long. So, this has potential to be an eventful Christmas season, and I’m up for anything and everything. Let’s GET.IT.GOING.

5 Things.

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  1. It’s November and I haven't written in weeks. I’ve been checking things off of that autumn bucket list (three posts back), and I’ve almost knocked it out completely! Trey and I are leaving for vacation tomorrow, and I think that by the time we come back, it will be as complete as its going to be for the 2018 autumn season.

  2. We’ve had a pretty fantastic autumn so far, and while I’m ready to deck the halls for Christmas, I’m choosing to let autumn have its own moment away from the Halloween and Christmas decor. We’ve been exhausted and busy and we’ve accomplished far beyond what’s shown on the list. We saw my step sister get married, which was a fun and tasty weekend event. We went house-hunting and fell in love with one house - only to not end up getting it. Trey and Jon spent the day together while my mom and I went shopping around Birmingham. I planned an elaborate birthday party for my mom, and wow I feel like this list could go on and on. Upcoming events: our vacation (that I don’t want to come back from), My Favorite Murder in Atlanta with Abbey, and continuing on with our search for a house.

  3. I mentioned in past posts that I’d been going to a ceramics class with Abbey on Tuesday nights last month, and I can’t stress enough what this did for my mental state. It was life-giving to HAVE TO spend two hours doing something with my hands at the end of a hectic day. It became something that I looked forward to for the rest of the week, and I’m grateful that she and I got to have this. A MASSIVE THANK YOU to her husband who gifted such a thoughtful gift for two, and a massive thank you to Abbey for taking me.

  4. I haven’t had time to finalize my Christmas playlists this year, but that’s my number one project for my time off. I’ve noticed that more and more people are starting their Christmas decorating earlier than normal this year - and I’m so glad about it.

  5. My mom came to Birmingham for the day so that she and I could go to Christmas Village, and we had so much fun. We bought some small wooden toy cars and trains for future (way way future) bebe, and we just got to catch up on everything. We’ve always loved the movie Chocolat, so I made sure to take her to the new chocolatier in town called Chocolata. We picked out some luxurious looking pieces and sat, shared, and savored them.

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Papa Day

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Today was the first annual Papa Day, a holiday that I created for everyone in my family to devote the day to the memory of my grandfather. What better day to have it than on my grandfather’s birthday, October 10th. 10/10? And that’s such a fitting date for him to be born, because he truly was a 10 out of 10.

The ideal Papa Day: wake up bright and early to have a cup of coffee and have a slow start to the morning. Then, make an elaborate breakfast spread that isn’t complete without Papa’s biscuits. At some point in the day, spend time outside. Any work you do, work harder and give it your all. Spend time with family, and for dinner, have field food (black eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread etc).

This year, Trey and I woke up and with the help of my mom over FaceTime, made my very first attempt at my Papa’s biscuits. Somehow, pretty much only two people in the world know how to make these (and there’s no recipe since he would never measure anything and just go by the feel of it). It turns out that I am just like everyone else and my biscuits were pretty disastrous. Though they were supposed to be fluffy, light, and pillowy…my biscuits were dry, angry, flat and crackly. But, Trey and I listened to Christmas music and had fun nonetheless. Then, we just spent time together. We watched a movie, ventured outside for a bit, and since we were both off work today, we came home and rested some more.

Having an annual Papa Day isn’t going to help any of us miss him any less. I miss his hugs, the smell of his pipe tobacco, and the sound of the tobacco pouch crinkling in his shirt pocket when I hugged him. I miss the sound of his voice and his rich laughter. I miss watching him watch someone as they spoke - really listening to what they were saying. I miss the comfort of just knowing that he was around. I miss him calling me his “Sadie”, I was never “Sarah” to him. I miss the way he combed his hair. I miss every.single.thing. I miss it all. But…very recently I noticed that my mom has his eyes. The shape. The color. I also noticed that my older brother hugs just like him, and I like to watch him while he watches someone speak - because he really listens, too.

I feel that having this day set aside every year is going to be healing for my family. I feel that it will give all of us the opportunity to take a minute to stop and just relish the memory of him. We’ll be able to acknowledge and appreciate all of the ways that we are like him, and we can move forward into the rest of the year, feeling just a little bit lighter.

So, Papa Day was a success. I know that somewhere in AL, my family members are having field food right now. I’m going to go cuddle my husband, have another cup of coffee, and look for a house to buy. Hug tighter, listen harder, and nestle yourself way down deep into the moments that you have with the people around you. XO.

Love, Sadie

5 Things.

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  1. The movie section of my fall bucket list is the only section that’s gotten any action lately, but the rest will come in time. I’ve been wearing sweaters for weeks in hopes that the weather would catch up with me and so far…nil. BUT. I’m not letting the Heat Miser get me down. This weekend, I am going to check things off of this list left and right, and one of those things is…Christmas playlists. I’m going to get to work on them so that they’ll be ready to HO-HO-GO in November.

  2. Other things: my friend Eden ( Hi Eden!) got me the most beautiful fall candle as a “Happy Fall!” present and it’s such a gift to feel understood by friends new and old. She and her husband Ben have merged their creative talents and will be launching an incredible business soon. We are about to embark on a fun journey together! Stay tuuuuned for more on that! AND. It literally, in this moment, just occurred to me that I get to send them Christmas cards this year and GOSH that’s fun.

  3. Other other things: my friend Abbey just invited me to take a ceramics class with her this month and once again, it’s such a gift to be thought of for the exciting, messy, creative moments opportunities in life.

  4. My brain is buzzing with all sorts of things that I hope to accomplish this season that aren’t even on my list. There are people to love on, parties to throw, costumes to make, weddings to attend, pieces to craft, and so much more. I intend to schedule it all out so that nothing falls through the cracks because each and every one of these things are worth doing, and they are all for the greater good.

  5. I’ve missed my chance to visit an apple orchard this year. Apple picking season has ended for the most part, and all of the You-Pick days have come and gone and never ended up aligning with time that I had away from work. But one day, I’ll visit an orchard and I’ll come home with a basket of apples so big that I’ll have to spend the next few days baking caramel apple pies, making caramel apples, brewing fresh apple cider, etc.

Autumn 2018 Bucket List

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All aboard the Autumn Express! Toot toot. This is my first pumpkin of the season. For the last several years, I’ve purchased the first pumpkin that I laid eyes on, and this year is no different. He’s a beaut. Here’s my 2018 Fall Bucket List, and she’s a beaut, too. Feel free to make this list your own, changing bits up however you wish. This will surely be a jam-packed autumn if I can manage to make all of this happen. I wasn't able to knock everything off of last year's list, and was pretty ambitious when I made it. I think I'm even more ambitious this year - BUT, I love a good challenge. I just want to squeeze every bit of cinnamon and clove-scented joy out of this season, and this list will ensure that I do just that.

Follow along with me and let's get cozy.

Go:

  • Visit a pumpkin patch.

  • Visit an apple orchard.

  • Go to an Alabama football game.

  • Go for a drive to see the leaves.

  • Go on a hike and spend the entire day outdoors.

  • Spend an off day in Birmingham - exploring and eating/doing all the things.

  • Take Jon to the Zoo.

Cook/Bake:

  • Bake two pies (not pumpkin).

  • Make Pho. (We had some insanely delicious Pho, so i’m going to count that since we won’t have the chance to boil bone broth for two days ourselves.)

  • Make Halloween themed churros.

  • Bake cookies to take to work.

  • Make S'Mores.

  • Make a "Sarah" soup.*

  • Make Chili.

  • Make Halloween party treats.

  • Make a new Thanksgiving food.**

  • Make mulled wine.

  • Make a festive trail mix.

Watch:

  • You've Got Mail

  • When Harry Met Sally

  • Sleepless in Seattle

  • Julie and Julia

  • Dan in Real Life

  • Garden State

  • Mona Lisa Smile

  • The Dead Poet's Society

  • Good Will Hunting

  • Chocolat with chocolate of course.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas with festive Halloween trail mix because why not?

  • The Corpse Bride

  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox

  • Coraline

  • Hocus Pocus

  • The original Addam's Family

  • The Munsters

  • Harry Potter (any or all of them) with Butterbeer

Do:

  • Sit by the fire with boozy drinks and roast marshmallows.

  • Have a Halloween party.

  • Canoe in Lake Guntersville.

  • See a drive-in-movie.

  • Go home and enjoy mom's beef stew.

  • Carve pumpkins. - Decided to leave my pumpkins in tact this year!

  • Eat a caramel apple.

  • Send five handwritten letters.

  • Go to Christmas Village on Halloween morning.

  • Make new turkey shirts for Thanksgiving. - There was no time for this, but my mom did dig out her very first turkey shirt with all of our baby handprints.

  • Have a Friendsgiving.

  • Take Christmas card picture and work on updating the Holiday playlists.

 

*Trey and I have different taste in soups. He likes his with noodles and I like mine noodle-free but hearty af. 

**This was on my list last year too, and I did it. Except, I made a seven layer salmon dip and it was the smelliest, most extravagant and high maintenance dip in the world. Also, no one ate much of it because it was seriously rank.