Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples

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Mama + Mini Monday: Thanksgiving Style

Happy Thanksgiving week ya’ll! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love getting together with family and friends and eat, eat, eat! πŸ˜‰ Although, this week has been tough. It took me two days to get these photos and they are certainly not our best. Ada was not in the mood for pictures. But here they are in their full glory! πŸ˜‰ #thisisreallife

This cape has to be one of my favorite things in my closet. Orange and blue just go so well together, in both fashion and home decor. I usually steer clear from orange, because it usually washes me out and poor Ada, has her mother’s complexion as well. πŸ™ But having just a little bit of orange works just fine. The cape is another ModCloth purchase and has to be one of the nicest quality jackets I own. It is so soft, warm, and the colors are even better in person. “Don’t think about it, buy it!” (Can anyone name that movie?) πŸ˜‰ And the best thing about wearing this cape during all these holiday dinners, is that it covers a multitude of sins.

My shoes are from, you guessed it, ModCloth. They do not offer the exact same ones I have, but these are very similar. Plus, they are super cute! I think I like them even better than the ones I have.

Ada’s shirt is from a consignment shop but here is a similar one. Her sweet orange bow is from SmallPeanutsShop. Her velvet Christmas bows are to die for! I am not sure which colors I want for Ada – probably all of them. πŸ˜‰

Yesterday, we had our good friends over for a Friendsgiving dinner. We had a blast; laughing together and eating the most delicious food. Not to mention enjoying this new drink, Cranberry Mule.




Well, I hope you are enjoying this Thanksgiving week with family and friends! Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll!

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Ada’s First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over and our house is empty. πŸ™ This year’s Thanksgiving was extra special because it was Ada’s first and we had some dear friends to visit and meet Ada for the first time! We had the best time with our friends and family. I wish they could stay with us forever!





We brined our turkey in maple syrup and sea salt, then cook it in a dutch oven outside using hot coals. The most perfect job for the boys, while the girls take over the kitchen. We have cooked the turkey this way for two years in a row now and it makes the best, most moist turkey.

After dinner we took naps and family photos. And we of course had dessert – pumpkin pie, whipped cream and ginger cookies.

It was awesome to get some photos of our sweet little family too!

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving, especially for Ada’s first! Another holiday come and gone… I can’t wait for Ada’s first Christmas! Happy December First!

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Truly Grateful

This Thanksgiving was quite different than planned. I don’t have photos to share of our beautiful family or of our amazing Thanksgiving dinner or of the beautiful decor that only Thanksgiving can provide. This Thanksgiving was spent in a waiting room at a hospital. Randy’s grandmother was in a house fire last week and was sent to an ICU burn center. She is OK and it seems like she is going to pull through. She is definitely a fighter and her strength is an encouragement for us all. It is a tragedy that she lost her home to the fire, but she is alive and that is all that really matters.

Spending Thanksgiving in a hospital really got me thinking. I don’t ever recall spending any holiday in a hospital. All of my holidays have been spent at the comfort of my home surrounded by my family. Thinking about this made me realized how truly blessed I am. Every Thanksgiving I take time to reflect on my blessings and I am aware how blessed I am. I am thankful for everything that the Lord has blessed me with.

But after this Thanksgiving it had me thinking about all the families around the world who spend their holidays in a hospital. Those who have had an accident within the family or for those who spend every holiday and celebration in the hospital. My heart goes out to the families who spend their holidays in a hospital. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to spend year after year in a hospital. The Lord has certainly blessed me and my family with good health.

Spending days in a waiting room, we joked around how this Thanksgiving was not going to be blog worthy. But why not? I don’t have fun ideas or recipes to share or even pictures of my day. But what I do have, are memories of spending real quality time with my family. And at the end of it all, isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about? Being with your family? Reflecting on what you have and not what you don’t have?

I wish Randy’s grandmother was not in a fire and that she didn’t lose her home. But she is alive, thank the Lord. And we have each other. That is what really matters. Having each other and being there for each other through the good times and through the bad.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! No matter where it was spent, I hope it was spent with the ones that you love.

Count your Blessings 2-01


Thanksgiving Part 1

I am going to take a little break from Italy, mostly because we have not converted our Rome pictures yet! We are working on it though!

We started celebrating Thanksgiving the weekend before – Randy’s dad and girlfriend came up to visit us. We had initially planned to go camping, but a cold front came in, bringing 12 degrees wind chill! No thanks!

So instead, we hung out at our house and enjoyed our fire pit. Randy’s dad brought a turkey breast to be cooked in a dutch oven by the fire coals. It was our first time trying anything like this before.


Cooking the turkey this way was a lot of fun. We placed the turkey in the pot, filled it with chicken broth and all kinds of goodies – seasonings, potatoes, onions, celery and an apple. Then we placed hot coals from the fire on the bottom and the top of the dutch oven.


Then we just waited.





Tesla joined us too, away from the fire. She gets too hot around it.


After about 3 hours of cooking, we finally opened the dutch oven and this is what we found:


A beautiful turkey, that smelled amazing! Randy’s dad was so excited on how well it went. He has been wanting to try this for a long time.


I made some sides to have with the turkey. Made-from-scratch green bean casserole, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and anasazi beans.


Everything was delicious! It was a lot more entertaining cooking the turkey this way. I would love to do it again for Thanksgiving! We planned on s’mores for dessert, but by the time we finished dinner, the wind picked up. We could hear tree branches breaking off and trees hitting the ground. So we stayed inside and enjoyed our Thanksgiving inspired fireplace. πŸ˜‰


I made the “GIVE” banner with my cricut machine, the “M” book came from Altar’d State, the “THANKS” pumpkins came from Wal-mart (I drew the letters on with a sharpie) and the maple leaf garland came from yellowbirdyellowbeard.com.


We had a wonderful weekend with Randy’s family and enjoyed being outdoors for a least a little bit!

Randy and I are so very blessed and have so much to be thankful for. We know all that we have has been given to us by God and I thank Him everyday!

Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of Your wonderful deeds.