Some of us are always more excited than others

We have returned safely from our many, many Christmases, laden with new toys and 5-10 extra pounds of body weight. Not sure how that happened, I am almost certain there was a salad in there somewhere.

I mean, a salad with the non-vegetable ingredients in the recipe doubled maybe. But a salad!

That pink stuff is GOOSE. #legit #ogchristmasdinner #fulldickens

Cranberry sauce is also #legit.

We also did some outdoor adventuring. Some of us were more excited than others.

Turns out Anna's combination of tiny and loud makes her the ideal coxswain. 

AND we picked up a couple of new pets. They are much beloved.

Our four-year-old bard has already composed a dozen songs in their honor.

Anyway, there was a lot of great stuff packed in the past week! And we probably still have enough festive spirit left over for New Year's!

New Year's happens at 2:00 pm, right? 2:00 pm today?


Love, joy, peace, and fire safety

Merry Christmas! I can't stay long, my breakfast is waiting for me.

Haha, just kidding, I will probably only eat four or five of these.

I just wanted to assure everyone that Santa did not in fact allow our house to burn down.

Thanks, guy!


We Wish You Three Merry Christmases

My little elves have been hard at work in the orchard:

And on the assembly line:

And focusing on their studies:

And this morning kicks off the first of our three, count 'em, three Christmases. But don't worry. We deserve it.

We promise.


SSFMLA wears Icelandic imports like a boss

Super Social Food and Makeup League of Austin decided to end our 2015 run with both a bang and a whimper and also a slight groan of over-fullness.


My first ever false eyelashes! Dan claimed I looked like a normal human from far away, by which I guess he meant "space."

WHIMPER: Regan claims that these perfectly lovely lashes would not stick to her face, so the world will never know how far away from her you would have had to be standing to mistake her for a normal human. Sorry, world.

SLIGHT GROAN: At any rate, we took my cool face to a cool place and proceeded to eat more or less everything on the menu.

It's hard to say whether this year's SSFMLA experiment has succeeded as social anxiety immersion therapy or succeeded at thoroughly warping my sense of style but I was actually barely-to-not-really-at-all embarrassed about the theatrical lashes with tiny red balls on the end, so. Success either way!

WINTER BREAK WINTER BREAK WINTER BREAK! We are, as ever, cautiously optimistic.


More of a Khaleesi, maybe

I told y'all December Martha was going to bully me into a soufflé and here we are:

Just a note: the estimated "40 minutes active time" barely, barely covered my attempt to tie the parchment onto the dish with twine. Did not account for other prep, gathering ingredients, sitting down for a few minutes to solemnly contemplate how I am using my precious hours on this earth, etc.

As soon as I poured some not-very-mixed-looking soufflé glop into two containers that were not quite large enough to accommodate it I began looking forward to what was certain to be an entertainingly bloggy disaster and also wondering what we were actually going to eat for dinner.


They are BEAUTIFUL AND DELICIOUS just like Her Excellency Martha, First of Her Name.

I also put up my favorite Christmas decoration on the laundry room door and it is adding a lot of holiday cheer to that particular chore lately.

This year's addition is no slouch, by the way, because preschool continues to be the best:

Martha bless them, honestly.

I had a cookie exchange this past weekend, so obviously I turned to the COOKIE ADVENT CALENDAR:


So I drank a lot of coffee and made brickle again instead.


Pre-Teen Threat Level Orange

The other day I told Dan I was "working on giving myself permission to skip Christmas cards this year" and he was amused by the many layers of guilt in my phrasing, to which I can only say ah, to have been born a man. But the fact is, the part-time job that I made up for myself has recently mutated into a full-time job (which is AWESOME and thank you SO MUCH if you helped mutate it) but in the meantime I do not have any extra child care or extra spouses and something had to go and it is cards. Let's all join me in forgiving myself:

Don't tell this blog, but it is also right on the bubble.

I managed to find another Martha December recipe that I was willing to make on a weeknight and more or less willing to eat thereafter: 

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Raisins and Pistachios. The next-easiest thing, I am almost certain, is a soufflé.

Hey one of us is a Girl Scout now! And one of us is...a Girl Scout Treasurer.

Okay, I'm the treasurer, not Ivy, but I was making the same face.

And aaaaaaaaugh stringofindecipherablecussing I just remembered I have to go buy a vest and a bunch of...flair, or whatever. *looks around for more holiday traditions to slash*

How Big Is My Big Kid check in: accepts salsa on her taco, incessantly flashes peace signs at the camera.


Dillin' and waxin'

As amazing as Martha's December issue is, it is more "75 types of cookie" or "let's also throw some pâté on there, why not" amazing as opposed to "useful weeknight dinner recipes" amazing. If one were not properly propped up by the recommended 8.2 cubic tons of refined sugar and were feeling a little grinchy, one might even say that it is "useful weeknight dinner recipes" lacking.

But! There is spaetzle. Chicken Soup with Dill Spaetzle, to be specific. I must say that I have never once been mid-spaetzle-making and thought "This process is going well!" but somehow it always turns out edible anyhow. And this particular dish made me remember that I really love dill. I love dill. There is nothing as nice as being reminded that you love something.

Even if it is dill. Look, I am a woman of simple, pickle-y tastes.

Anyway, it's been almost a full year of candles now and I'm starting to think about retirement, so I'm training the next generation to take over.

The process can be a little arduous.


No one escapes Responsibility Broccoli in this house

Guyssssssssss. I have not been cooking anything other than candles, and even that is going off the rails a little bit.

I am very tired and considering leaving this scene for future archaeologists.

I feel like I should point out that yesterday Ivy took a few hours off of her normal routine of constantly howling "I JUST WANT (THING THAT DEFIES THE LAWS OF PHYSICS/TWO MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE SCENARIOS/YOU TO NOT HAVE DONE THAT THING YOU DID FORTY-FIVE MINUTES AGO)" to be kind of charming, possibly because she noticed that she was causing her mother to lock herself in the bathroom to cry for a couple of minutes periodically throughout the day and she didn't want to risk me escaping through the window as though from a bad date. Nice anticipation there kid, although you did cut it pretty close.

Anyway, she:

Made up a song about the wedding of these two snowpeople,

asked me how to spell the word "love,"

and tried to convince the nutcracker to eat some broccoli.

So she has retained maternal services for at least one more day, through what I am convinced is instinctive self-preservation alone.

Meanwhile, her sister has already barreled past Christmas and is eyeing the bag of New Year's Eve decorations with some nervous-making expressions.


Don't worry, the only thing on Martha's calendar today is promoting a book

Guys! It's December! IT'S DECEMBER TODAY, RIGHT NOW. Do you know what that means? It means that the only cooking I have done for the past several days is to make this ridiculous brickle:

Uh, twice.

It also means I made some (minimal, so very minimal) overtures toward capturing a Christmas card photo of my children. One of my children was overly....dancy:

And the other was, as always, overly four:

This is the only "Please just stand in front of the tree" frame I got her in at all.

It's possible that she's just not ready to let go of the last holiday. Maybe because I haven't told her that we can make brickle for Christmas, too.