……giving of thanks…..

i thought a lot about tradition and how very much i would love for my family to have some sort of tradition each holiday…….i couldnt think of one, i certainly did not want to force one…….

it hit me…….i think of tradition as being these quirky little things and ideas that “normal” families have…..perhaps writing one thing down each thanksgiving on what we’re thankful for and sharing with one another, maybe gifting a small something to each person, etc.

but, with each holiday that requires an insane amount of cooking, you will find me in the kitchen, probably using profanity under my breath because i have burnt my hand or dropped the entire carton of eggs and broke every.single.one and who wants to go to the store with 4 kids the day before thanksgiving……for eggs?

how about the same people, showing up late for every.single.holiday. i can always count on that.

i can also always count on my oldest praying over our meal and it makes me so proud, nothing rehearsed, nothing forced, au naturel.

i think about all of these things and think that these very things are the start to our traditions. and it is all very much fine with me. its real. its us. and the start of our traditions are focused on us, on my little family.

tomorrow we will enjoy a buttermilk cornbread, infused with thyme and lavender, complete with sage sausage to make a delicate stuffing. accompanied with honeyed butter rolls, served warm with honey infused butter. the infamous bird, the turkey. buttered and spiced with lavender, thyme, marjoram, cloves and peppercorn, with the crispest of skin and juiciest of meat. as our meal lingers, so will our sweets. we shall have double layered spiced pumpkin and mascarpone  cheesecake, spiced with saigon cinnamon, cloves and sweet nutmeg, topped with fresh whipped cream. also a bourbon and dark cocoa bundt will be presented, made with crystallized coffee, tennessee whiskey and raw sugars, topped with a bourbon caramel glaze and sea salt. im currently getting talked into making some capped mushrooms, fried in butter and garlic with a touch of rosemary……probably will……..

i am so thankful for so many things, but what i treasure most in this world are my babes. God blessed me tremendously with these little lovers of mine and i could never imagine a single day without them.

happy thanksgiving……..xoxo


Thoughts Collected :part 2:

a collection of thoughts from my week;


















the older the kids get, the faster life moves. it is times like these that i wish we werent here yet, like maybe sometimes i wish for a do-over. to hold on to memories a bit more, to make more memories than what was made, to not rush things, to let things just “be”.

perhaps this is my chance for a do-over? who says i need to rewind times? there is no perfect time like the present. a lot has been going on for sure, but my main goal is for my babes to know how loved they are, forever and always.

there have been hidden tears, for all reasons. im so tired, so very tired. but i keep going…….and going. because i need to. there is no other choice but to do that, but given another choice would i even accept it? no, probably not.

A trellis of orange blooms, via loveallthingscomfy


i love this image and thought it to be a lovely ode to the closing of fall.

wishing you all a simple and lovely thanksgiving


…..table talk……

i want a table that talks…..i want stories to be shared, to be kept…..i want a gathering of friends and family, to break bread with one another, to be elated with one another’s company. i want to hear goodness in others lives, mine too…..i also want to be the ear to those who may be facing a struggle or 2…..i want tons of laughter……i want realness……raw…….emotions…….truth…….friendship…….lovers…….

i want new memories made, memories to recite for next years gathering. i want to watch my kids grow, my friends and family to  flourish…..

i want food to be amazing…..to create a sort of comfort for all of us…….i want different flavors that unite strikingly…..i want candle light to last a bit longer, to encourage us to linger a bit longer…..

i dont want to be rushed or those to feel rushed……i want us to savor each other, our moments, our memories, our food, our surroundings….

i cant help but think of november as a month to be thankful, for the obvious of course……this month contains a world of heart break for me as well…..but this month i want to be thankful……i need to be thankful….we all do

i want to set a table this thanksgiving that inspires and reassures all of the above…..all that i crave this thanksgiving……

Dark dining space with farm-style wooden dining table.


Thankful Jar


Outdoor Fall Dinner


Industrial Chic by Whitewall Photography for Magnolia Rouge Magazine


Holiday Inspiration | Kara Rosenlund


Thanksgiving Table Settings


dreamy whites - gorgeous table for thanksgiving



all of these tablescapes are lovely and such great inspiration……..what do you want your table to say?

november…….losing a baby…….losing a brother

november……well november has proven to be a little shitty for me. i have lost a lot in the month of november, the month of thanks, the month of gratitude…….

2003 at 19, i was pregnant…..young, scared, nervous, new. i was going to be a mom……a mother….i was going to have a little hand to hold, little rosebud lips to kiss, a little chubby body to keep warm and safe. i fancied what this little boy would look like…….i wondered his personality.

it wasnt just another teenage pregnancy……being a mother was a wonderful dream, a wonderful idea, a wonderful concept……but it wasnt my dream. but there i was, 19, pregnant. suddenly, it became my dream…..it had to. i was going to nurture this baby boy with my whole being, after all, he deserves nothing less

my due date was may 15th, 2004. a late spring baby. a great day to have a child.

halloween arrived with a scheduled appointment. my workday ended and i noticed my fear had turned into something beautiful. ahhhh i was going to be a mother…….words of sweetness. i could not wait to see this sweet baby on the monitor once again, moving about. the day was so gloriously dark, with rain pounding the pavement

i was there….lying down hearing the doctor telling me the heart beat of this sweet baby was no longer……….i was hearing her, but i wasnt listening. i laid there, numb, as she was staring at me to make sure i fully understood what she was saying. “there is no heartbeat”. he lived one day…….and didnt the next. i was nurturing a life. i was going to have a son. i already had his name. i turned my fear into something beautiful. i was going to love him with my entire soul. now what? i sat up, walked out and went to my car. that was it…..nobody was there to hug me, nurture me, tell me it was okay…….i sat next to my boyfriend (my husband now) in the car as he was crying and i was just staring at him……’why are you not comforting me’ i thought…….why do you get to cry…….you werent pregnant, you werent protecting a life inside of you, you didnt have the severe morning sickness, ‘what the hell is wrong with you’ i thought.

and then it happened…..my eyes were burning…….my eyes were welling up to the brims…….my cheeks were completely stained with tears……there was a bit of a permanence upon my face. this is what true heart ache feels like. to know the very feeling of being a mother only to be robbed, like a cruel joke was played and taunt you as if to say “just kidding”…..how dare you take him from me…..whoever “you” are. he was mine and i want him back…..and what about all the people who are going to ask about him and the pregnancy……i lost him……he is no longer mine…..that morning i was happy, i knew i was going to be a mother, i knew i would smell the infamous new baby smell, i knew my heart would be completely full…….and just like that, i am a mother no more. losing my first broke me…..it did something to me. i told my family that night and words of comfort were not found, but i was met with “thank God”…….thank God? im hurting…….im devastated…….there was a heart beat and there isnt anymore……i had a miscarriage you fools, this wasnt by choice, i didnt want this, but the best you can come up with is “thank God”

i chose to have a natural miscarriage, no medication or inducing, but some time had passed so i opted for the meds to induce the loss. this sweet baby that i was picturing in my arms with that sweet new baby smell, my son, would soon be leaving my body. i couldnt help but feel like an absolute failure that i couldnt protect him, that i wasnt nurturing him, that i couldnt keep his hand in mine like i promised i would….but instead i had to let him go, i had to let those thoughts of wonder go, i had to let go what i dreamed up of him…….i was alone every.single.step of the way……..not one person was holding my hand as the medication was working and i was lying there, cramping, breaking out in fevers, in and out of some trippy nightmare, just to get up every few minutes to the bathroom and watch with horror what was happening to me…..what was happening to my son……it was just me, all alone……a promise i made to my unborn son a feeling he would never feel…..alone…….

we officially lost him November 15th

2009 had arrived and i had given birth to my 3rd child, a chubby, perfect, baby girl. i had a perfect baby boy in 2005 and a perfect baby girl in 2007.

i had an older brother, Jonathan, who was 27 at the time. he was different……he was quirky, he was mischievous, he had a certain humor about him. he was special. he didnt know it though. jonny was rough around the edges. he had a drug problem, a drinking problem……a problem with life…..not his though…..a problem that was inflicted on him very young. he was robbed of his childhood to say the least. he grew up too quickly, too fast. i helped when i could, not enough though, nor did anyone else. he was treated like a lost cause, the black sheep, the problem…….he was none of those. he was always kind to the elderly, helped whenever he could, a hard worker,he was ridiculously smart, he was everything a big brother should be, he had a smile so big that his eyes would literally light up along with his smile and his smile was pure truth. he was raw. he was numb. he grew too old for his young age, he had seen too much, he had been subjected to too much. his million dollar smile faded too soon. his light was gone. he was sick. he was succumbed to demons.

my mother arrived at my home on Sunday, November 15th, 2009. i saw her as i looked out the window and her face was so sad. she had been crying i could tell. my grandfather was very ill at the time, so i assumed the expected. but i studied her face a bit more and realized that in fact it wasnt him, it was someone else. it was my brother. she came to my house last, to tell me last……my brother was dead. he died November 15th, the same exact day i officially lost my baby boy a few years prior. my brother was gone. as i was processing this, i quickly handed my mother my 7 month old baby and fell to the floor. my knees completely gave out and a sound of despair loudly left my mouth…..next thing i knew i found myself in the bathroom throwing up…….i was panicking, i lost my breath……..i could only imagine this would be the feeling you get when someone reaches deep in your chest, grabs your beating heart and crumbles it to dust right in front of you, looking in your eyes as you slowly die.

my brother took his own life that day. he couldnt go on, he no longer had the fight, so he thought. he was done. he was tired. he thought very little of himself, not enough to continue on. my heart was broke into a million pieces the day i lost my first child and i was not aware that it could happen again. how many times can one suffer heartache? more than once it would appear. my heart aches everyday, some days it would seem that every minute of my day is consumed with such heart ache and others, just an hour or 2. i pray often to meet my brother in my dreams, to see him, to tell him i miss him, to tell him i thought the world of him, to tell him that he was worth something, more even. i ask the same of my first baby. i bet he is perfect. i bet he is the epitome of “new baby smell”, i bet he has dimples on his knees and thick black hair. i think God is keeping him at the doors of Heaven waiting till i get there, to hold his little hand in mine and to keep him safe for all eternity.

i had a healthy baby boy last year, May 15th……the projected due date of my first baby boy. May 15th……November 15th…..2 days…..heartache and heartfelt.