The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. Thanksgiving was wonderful. We celebrated at my parent’s new home with everyone bringing a little something to the table. On Friday we went to Chicago where we swam in a hotel pool, ate good food, took a carriage ride, and watched the musical every single one of us love and know by heart. I spent more time watching Violet and Abram as they watched it than the musical itself. They were entranced.

Since we’ve been back, I’ve had my head down working on Christmas presents and getting ready to completely redo our first floor. I know I’ve mentioned it but without much detail and to be honest, I’m so overwhelmed at the thought of all the moving parts that I’m not going to talk much about it now. Suffice it to say, I’ve been picking light fixtures, faucets, sinks, cabinet fronts, flooring, countertops, etc. etc. We’re getting to the part where things are getting really, really real and I’m trying to also finish up the making of Christmas presents and the wrapping of Christmas presents and all the other madness that goes into this time of year and I kind of want to crawl in a hole and hibernate until it’s all over. Except I can’t.

So…Knitflixing: Just finishing up a few Christmas presents while watching some Doctor Who. Matt Smith is growing on me which is good because I also binged the second season of The Crown and he’s in that as well. I’ve also curled up with a few Christmas movies.

Reading: I did finish Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. It was quite interesting and gave me pause. I don’t know that I really found any answers (despite his putting forward some suggestions), but it was definitely worth reading. I also read One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn which was a Violet recommendation. She was up way too late reading it (so she could finish) and it’s really hard to chastise her when I turned around and did the same thing when she gave it to me. When I looked up the author, I got a little chuckle. Around Violet’s age, I spent the night at a house where there was a girl just a few years older than me and being bookish, I raided her bookshelf and found a spooky book that I couldn’t put down. (And that was my introduction to liking spooky books despite having an overactive imagination and no business reading anything even slightly chilling.) Turns out, same author. Now I’m browsing used bookstores (both online and off) because I think I’d like to start collecting some of my favorites – with the covers that originally caught my eye.  In other book news, I currently have Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on my nightstand (thank you for the recommendation, ladies) but I haven’t had a chance to open it yet. I’m hoping this weekend I’ll get a little bit of time to do it.

Listening to: Spotify Christmas playlists. This one and this one but I do skip some of the songs. (I’m looking at you Baby, It’s Cold Outside)

I haven’t been cooking much of anything. I feel like I should be utilizing my kitchen while I still can, but we’ve just been so busy! Sandwiches and grocery store deli meals have been on rotation. Spaghetti is also a pretty regular feature.  For my family’s Christmas potluck we’ll be doing shrimp cocktail and my grandmother’s ramake recipe. For Christmas morning I’m making this casserole.

So that’s wonderful, crazy, overwhelmed, happy me. How is the holiday shaping up for you? I hope it’s fully of very merry and bright!!!


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  • My head is spinning just a bit, what with everything you’ve got going on, Kate! It sounds like you’re managing well though, which is really good to hear 🙂 . That’s SO lovely, that you took the kids to see Hamilton!

    I finished my gift knitting yesterday. Three pairs of mittens and one sweater ornament. I’ve managed to keep the gifts to a minimum this year — knitted items, books, socks/underwear, money-for-things-I-can’t-buy-but-I-know-they-need. My 19-year-old son arrived home on Sunday night and will be helping me with the baking this week. (Which I ENTIRELY put off until now, sigh.) My daughter will be home on Thursday, and then her boyfriend and my son’s girlfriend are arriving Friday. Yikes! I’ve been combing through recipes and MAY convince myself I’m brave enough to try (for the first time) to make a seitan roast on Christmas Day. (Because what could possibly go wrong with that plan?)

    Reading (for the third time) The Handmaid’s Tale. And just started reading A Christmas Carol aloud (to 12-year-old son and husband). Beginning to write up a 2018 TBR list…If I’ve learned anything from 2017 it’s that I need to read more…

    Happy holidays, Kate 🙂 !

    • I’m glad I sound like I’m managing well. I don’t know that I FEEL like I am, but I also think any time we have as much going on as we do, expecting that I’m going to feel calm is probably asking too much. 🙂

      I hope you’ll share your 2018 TBR list. I may steal that idea. I’ve been jotting down things I want to tackle in 2018 – things I’ve been putting off so I can take care of other things/people. I’ve written down so many at this point that I’ve jokingly told my husband it’s going to be “The Year of Kate” so I can get caught up. But I do like to dream big. I can always prune it down as the year goes forward.

      I think your Christmas gift giving sounds exactly perfect and I hope your roast goes splendidly and you have lots and lots of time to enjoy with your family.

  • It makes me so happy to see a post from you! I’ve missed you! I love these photos. Your children are so stunningly beautiful. I love their outfits and the looks on their faces.

    Mary Downing Hahn is a pretty big favorite in many of the libraries in our school district. Now you have me thinking I should check her out. I’ve never actually read one of her books. I did pick up Wolf Hollow just the other day, which I’ve heard nothing but raves about. It was one of last year’s big books, so I’m a bit behind the times. As usual.

    I cannot wait to see/hear more about your renovation. We are still s-l-o-w-l-y plugging away at our kitchen. I have found that life can go on relatively normally, even if your rooms are in some state of deconstruction/construction. At least some part of our house has been in that state most of the time we’ve lived here. This is the last big project, though, and I won’t lie: I’m freaking glad it’s the last one.

    Thank you for skipping “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” I hate that one. As well as “Santa Baby.” Just, ugh.

    And now, I really must figure out what food I’m making for the holidays. I was supposed to be at the grocery story by now, and I haven’t even started the list. I’m like a squirrel with my laptop these days–anything that might distract me, does. I was so happy to see a post from you, though. I had to pop over. 🙂

    • I think I like Mary Downing Hahn because the supernatural isn’t neatly explained away just because it’s a kid book. I used to hate books like that when I was a kid. If it’s going to be a book about ghosts let the ghost be an ACTUAL ghost at the end.

      I’m jealous of your ability to keep life moving along normally despite being in the midst of deconstruction. I know we’ll be out of the house for a portion. We’ve got some walls (and heating and plumbing) moving and I don’t know how to do a February/March with muddy boots and snow pants without any kind of mudroom/laundry. But we’ll bang it through. I hope you’ll share pictures when you’ve finished. I love all that you have managed to do with your house.

      Violet actually got Wolf Hollow last year from my mom and she really enjoyed it. It never made it to my pile, so I’ll be interested to hear more about what you think about it!

      Thank you so much for your sweet comments about my posts and children. They really are sweet (most of the time) and definitely have their own styles and personalities. I miss the days where they were younger and a little more malleable, but I also love how I’m currently typing this out while Abram reads and Violet does math homework. It’s nice to just live side by side someone, especially a someone that I used to take care of completely. (I think you touched on this a little in your post too!) Happy holidays, Rita!

  • Your photos are pretty. I especially like the one of the painted ornament on the tree. It’s very… original.

    I’ve been feeling overwhelmed this holiday season and like you haven’t been cooking as much as I’d like to be. The French Toast casserole recipe looks good. That might be enough to get me back in the kitchen.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • Oh, thank you for the kind comments about my pictures. The one of the…original ornament has a story along with it. I actually painted it when I was very, very young. My mom was in a ceramic painting craft phase and let me paint one. I remember she was painting one too and I was so frustrated that mine wasn’t as pretty as hers. I also remember wanting to use ALL the colors. For the last four years or so it’s been missing and I was terrified that I had lost it when we moved into this house. When we were sorting through decorations to put in the garage sale for next spring, I found a crumpled gold foil bag and I grabbed it to throw it out…only it was kind of heavy. And there it was. I smiled all day long.

      As for your cooking, I feel like there are so many things a person can tackle during the holidays so some things just take a back seat. I hope you get a chance to enjoy some peace and cook if you’d like. Merry Christmas to you as well! 🙂