Thankful for Thanksgiving

Cody and Ihosted my family for Thanksgiving this year. Last year we did a big Christmas Eve dinner but this year the pressure was on for the Thanksgiving feast. We had a total of 7 plus miss Gwen. My Mom and Sister were a huge help the day of the big turkey entertaining Gwen while at my house with coloring books and Yo Gabba Gabba stuffed animals and helping to cook parts of the meal. I made two pumpkin pies (homemade pie crust) and a pecan pie. My sister-in-law Lindsay was kind enough to make a killer Apple pie so the pies were complete.

Cody manned the grill and grilled a 16 pound Turkey that took about 18 hours of prep with a brine and butter rub and let me tell you…it was perfect.

The dinner table was my masterpiece. Mixing Tulips and cranberries for center pieces and mixing my McKensie Child checked dishes with my grandmothers Pamonia dishes and amazing chargers  (Thanks, Merren) and silver (Thanks, Mimi & Terri) that we received as a wedding gifts along with a simple table cloth borrowed from my Mom the table setting was a hit.

We enjoyed great Italian wine, anti-pasta platter, amazing AZ weather, a perfect Thanksgiving meal ful of emotional Thankful messages amoungst my family and a fantastic after dinner fire in our backyard.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Learning to Speak Gwen


Gwen is a bubbling seven weeks old. She is brilliantly coohing up a storm and smiling to make everyones heart melt. I’m convinced one of her coohs is actually her saying “hi” because after all she is brilliant.

Gwen started to really “play” this week. My dear friend Mikaela bought a wonderful learning toy piano that Gwen kicks to engage the music and lights. Mikaela of course bought this to be the first to lend to Gwen’s future profession in the music industry. I think she might already be a piano savant and will soon have her own recording album.

Along with her kicking, coohing, smiling Gwen’s personality is coming out more and more. All in all Gwen is a happy baby with lots of personality. She loves to look out the window when on her changing table and will let you know when she is hungry. She sleeps in hilarious positions usually with her arms above her head and head tilted back dramatically.

As new parents Cody and I are learning to speak Gwen. We are starting to get the hang of her distinct language and learn that some coohs are actually mini conversations Gwen wants to have with us while others are simple toots of gas.

We had another baby buddy outing with Brooke and August this week. August is getting cuter by the minute and stayed awake most of our visit. Gwen showed her displeasure in our venue location cried the first few moments while we sat at The Good Egg.

Two men in ties were having a meeting in the booth next to us as she fussed. Instead of being annoyed, glaring or making rude remarks one of the business dudes actually turned to interact with Gwen and distracted her from her anger for a moment before we quickly got her a bottle.

After a nice delicious bottle Gwen calmed into a lovely slumber in her buggy. One big learning curve I am happy to announce is that I have learned to NOT leave Gwen in her car seat when out and about. Gwen HATES her car seat. If the car is moving she will remain calm in her locked down seat, because of course she understands safety comes first. If in her stroller or placed in a stationary position in her car seat she will have nothing to do with it and wants out…fast. I guess she just prefers her lovely ‘carry cot’ feature of her bumble ride. I mean really that is why I wanted the damn thing so I should be happy!

Since Gwen was finally calmed down and napping and August as a good little man that he is was happy and content we decided to change our outing plans. Again learning to speak a little Gwen. Instead of pushing our luck and taking the babies to the Phoenix Art Museum (one of my favorite places in Phoenix) Brooke and I strolled to a near by Starbucks and hung out with the babies in the shade. The kids didn’t get their dose of culture we had hoped but Gwen got a great nap, I got to hold August and bond with him and Brooke and I enjoyed one of the last warm but not smoldering hot days in Phoenix.

Ohh I think Gwen also turned the charm on with August and is starting to have her first crush. More August and Gwen pics below! August Gunner on the left and Gwen Ryan on the right! Adorable!


Check out the Daily Cub page for new Gwen photos 😉