Thanksgiving recap

You'd be surprised what you can do with a toaster oven and one (one!) stove burner. I am, anyway. I approach these things not knowing how they will work out, but pretty sure that they will. I think I've had enough experiences like this--whether making a birthday cake here in Hong Kong, where I am oven-, refrigerator- and counter-space-challenged, or cooking meals for 50 people for a retreat or baking bread in my own hand-built wood oven--that I'm learning to trust myself. (Or frantically reading Joy of Cooking the night before cooking and serving pot roast as part of my culinary internship, never having cooked it in my life or in culinary school.)  This is, come to think of it, how we felt before the births of both of our kids--not at all sure how we would manage what would be required of us, but sure that we would, one way or the other.

Anyway, our little non-Western-equipped kitchen put out homemade rolls, homemade pie, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli, cranberry sauce, and what was supposed to be roasted sweet potatoes but turned out to be roasted taro--which looks way more interesting (deep purple) than it tastes. Finn was excited to have guests and excited to have pie and Willa slept through the whole thing and it was a successful evening all around.

Except for the picture-taking. I think Willa feels the same way Finn did the first time I put him in his pumpkin hat last year ... ah well, he's grown to love it and how could I not knit a pumpkin hat for this October baby?

The weekend ended with the barest beginnings of decorations, St. Olaf Christmas Fest music, and lighting one candle on the advent wreath. I don't know how much he understands about Christmas and Advent, but Finn gets decorations. He certainly feels it when preparations are underway. And he knows there is something special when babies are born. So we're excited to share this season with him, letting it unfold, telling him stories about St. Nicholas and Jesus' birth.

And this--this is random but I'm so proud and happy to show you another of Willa's first mama-made items, worn a little more peacefully. I didn't know how the wool soaker would go but we're loving it. Easy to wear, not too hard to clean, and completely adorable.

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