Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2019

The holidays are in full-swing over here. We had such a memorable Thanksgiving – our first at The Lodge – and enjoyed kicking off the holiday season in the mountains. We have so much to look forward to this first winter in the mountains.

{Alex’s parents and my mom came for part of our Thanksgiving week.}

{Our first project of our 10-day trip to The Lodge was stock up on firewood! This is what a half a cord of firewood looks like.}

{Needless to say, we had a roaring fire all weekend long and worked very hard to deplete our firewood supply. It felt so, so cozy inside the house!}

{It was rather disappointing to find there was no snow on the ground. We made do and enjoyed the frosty mornings instead. The weather was cold and clear most of the time.}

{We had a few days just the four of us before everyone arrived. It was fun to have some family time and we enjoyed exploring a bit.}

{Whew! Hannah is finally getting to a point where she’s able to go down the stairs safely by herself. We have four flights of hardwood stairs in the house, so it’s a bit nerve wracking with the little ones.}

{Thanksgiving arrived and, per our tradition, we started the day with a Turkey Trot. There was a dusting of fresh snow and it was COLD.}

{The Turkey Trot was unanimously the highlight of the day for the adults who ran it.}

{There’s just something about starting a holiday dedicated to gratitude and eating with a 5K.}

{I had so much fun putting together this charcuterie board. It tasted great and my kids loved it too!}

{We had a pretty traditional Thanksgiving dinner – turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, fruit, pumpkin pie… I love cooking Thanksgiving. I think I may switch up some of the recipes/methods for next year though, just to add a little variety.}

{Friday afternoon we headed to town for Leavenworth’s annual Christmas Market.}

{The highlight of the Christmas Market for me was the mini donuts. Yes, I absolutely had a full dozen all by myself and no, I had no regrets.}

{The Leavenworth Christmas lights are truly magical!}

{Surprisingly one of the highlights for me was our trip to the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm. It was SO neat. I loved being up close to the reindeer and learning more about them. Hannah seemed into it but Ben would have rather watched from afar.}

{The grandparents offered to watch the kids so Alex and I could have some much needed time together on Saturday afternoon. We tried a new restaurant, got more mini donuts and took a stroll down by the river.}

{Our last big activity was a jaunt over to Lake Wenatchee.}

{We built a campfire and roasted s’mores and enjoyed the dreary day amidst nature’s beautiful backdrop.}

{Finally! On our last night we got the teeniest tiniest amount of snow!}

{It was enough for the kids to bring out their sleds and play around.}

{We took a walk through the forest on our property and decided to cut down one of our very own trees to use as our Christmas tree this year. Stay tuned!}

{These two littles adore their grandparents!}

{Our trip ended like this… Jackson got to ride in my new car for the first time. Look at all of the space he has (there is a full-size suitcase behind him!)!!! He’s always sad to leave The Lodge.}

Our first Thanksgiving at The Lodge was a very special one indeed. We’re so, so grateful to have a home in the mountains that allows us a retreat with our family and friends.

Thanksgiving 2017

We certainly have a lot to be grateful for this year – and what a wonderful year it has been. One of the things I’m most thankful for is our family. I’m also so unbelievably grateful that we have had such an incredible nanny raising Ben alongside us for the last 14+ months who has become a part of our little family. I’m so grateful for the time we got to spend last week as a family. To me, the best part of┬áthe holidays is the immense time with family that comes with the season.


Alex and I had quite a bit of time off of work to enjoy the holiday week together with Ben and Edina, as well as my mom, who came out for part of the week from Minnesota. We got to show my mom Ben’s school and one of the community centers he plays at, we all experienced the Seattle Gingerbread Village for the first time and we spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen preparing food for our Thanksgiving feast.


Overall, it was a pretty low-key and relaxing holiday. The food turned out really well – my favorite was the sweet potato casserole, something I had never made before, nor was it a staple in my family’s Thanksgiving. I absolutely loved it. We tried some new recipes but stayed true to our turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing recipe. My mom and Edina were very helpful in the kitchen.


On Saturday, Alex, Ben, Edina and I headed east over the mountains to Yakima to pick up some wine from our wine club before they close their doors for the winter. We bumped into our good friend Carrie and her family, including little Roslyn, at the winery, too!


It felt really early according to the calendar, but after Alex did some major re-organizing, I pulled out my boxes of Christmas decorations and got our house ready for the season! Ben came with me to the garden store near us and helped me pick out a wreath and some pine boughs and I’ll pick up a garland this weekend. I think we’re ready!


We ended the weekend with a really nice dinner over at my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Michael’s home, joined by my cousins and their families. It was so fun watching Ben and Henry {age 2.5} play together and see baby Claire {8 months} crawl around and join everyone at the table. We also walked down to the water to see the Christmas ships – there’s basically a boat parade with ships decked out in lights. We caught the tail end of it!

I was really sad to see all of our family time come to an end when we put Ben to bed on Sunday. I love our family time so much and it was extra special having so many days to spend together. Happy holidays!

Thanksgiving Road Trip to Breckenridge

For the second time in her short life, our dirty, tired Subaru Forester made the 1400 mile drive to the mountains in Colorado last week. We decided to drive to our Thanksgiving celebration with Alex’s family in Breckenridge so that we could bring Jackson with us. Last Christmas was so memorable having Aspen with us in the mountain town, so we figured it would be a delight to have Jackson with us this year.

Jackson is certainly a snow dog.

Jackson is certainly a snow dog.

We hit the road bright and early on Monday morning, the week of Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful day for a drive – bright and sunny with picture-perfect mountain views for much of our drive.

Getting started on the long drive.

Getting started on the long drive.

Since we were driving with Jackson we had to make sure he wasn’t going stir crazy in the back of the car. We stopped at two dog parks along the way to let him run around and get tired out. Something clicked with Jackson at the first dog park and he finally started playing fetch! This made it infinitely easier to wear him out for the rest of the drive.

Crossing the Columbia River from Washington into Oregon.

Crossing the Columbia River from Washington into Oregon.

It was our plan to stay the night in Boise, Idaho as a mid-point, but then I received further confirmation that I tend to be directionally challenged when I realized that Boise is not exactly {read: not even close!} halfway between Seattle and Breckenridge. We scrambled in the car and were able to cancel our hotel reservation and book another room in Salt Lake City instead.

Jackson's first time in snow!

Jackson’s first time in snow!

Jackson did not enjoy the hotel we stayed in. He was awake all night long, pacing and panting, sniffing and whining. Needless to say, no one got much sleep!

Beautiful Utah

Beautiful Utah

Tuesday morning came early and we took Jackson to a park in Salt Lake before grabbing some breakfast and getting back on the road.

Such a trooper!

Such a trooper!

Another gorgeous day – it was especially gorgeous because we got to drive next to the Wasatch Mountains and through central Utah and eastern/central Colorado which is spectacularly gorgeous.

Beautiful landscape along I-70.

Beautiful landscape along I-70.

We made great time on Tuesday and arrived in Breckenridge at 4:00. It was still light out so we were able to check out the neighborhood and walk around with Jackson. It sure was nice to get out of the car!

It turns out Jackson loves rolling around in the snow! He was so happy to get out of the car.

It turns out Jackson loves rolling around in the snow! He was so happy to get out of the car.

After a few days in sunny Colorado, it was time to make our way back to Seattle. We woke up early on Sunday, packed up the car and pointed her west. Since we were so close to Vail we decided to take a pit stop and walk through the village on our way out of town. It was so nostalgic being there – Alex and I hadn’t been back to Vail since our wedding in April of 2012.

The Donovan Pavilion - our wedding venue!

The Donovan Pavilion – our wedding venue!

We spent a little too much time walking down memory lane and ended up getting back to the car later than we had hoped. To add to that, I didn’t really pay too much attention to the directions getting back to Salt Lake, so we missed a shortcut that would have cut a half an hour off of our drive. Oops!

So fun to see Vail again!

So fun to see Vail again!

The drive west was much more exciting than it was going east. We encountered extremely thick fog in Utah and a few snowstorms in Oregon and Washington.

Snowy mountain passes.

Snowy mountain passes.

Our stop at In-N-Out burger was nothing close to “in and out” – more like “in and wait 20 minutes.”

Good burgers, sloooowwwww service.

Good burgers, sloooowwwww service.

The same thing happened on Monday for lunch. We chose to eat at a local sandwich shop instead of going to Jimmy Johns across the street and boy did we pay for that decision. Our sandwiches were flavorless and they had forgotten about our order, thus making us wait, and the lemon bar they gave us as an apology was soooooo tart we couldn’t stand to eat it. Go figure.

Jackson was so ready to get out of the car.

Jackson was so ready to get out of the car.

The moment we crossed over the line from Bellevue to Seattle on Monday afternoon, traffic came to a slow. There was a Seahawks game. To add to that, we hit the city limits at the time that schools were getting out for the day so there were 20 MPH slow zones all through the city streets. Finally, blocks away from our house there was a funeral processional that held up traffic for a few minutes. We diverted and went a round about way back home and finally made it to our house around 3:00 p.m. Oye!

Long drive!

Long drive!

It was so nice to be in the mountains and spend Thanksgiving with Alex’s family. It was well worth the 2800 mile round-trip drive to bring Jackson with us. I don’t think we’ll be taking another long road trip like that for a while, though.