Real Life / by Katie Brightbill

Ahh, a Friday has come again. What sweet relief.

Do you ever find that the week before a holiday is one of the hardest? It's like the last hill on a run... you're saying to yourself "ohhh I think I can, I think I can," and you're not quite convinced that you actually can... yes, that's me the week before a holiday. Somehow I mentally go on vacation when I truly have plenty of castles to build, portraits to paint, and dances to dance with two energetic little girls.

All that said, it's FRIDAY. Next week is Thanksgiving and I really cannot express quite how thankful I am. So, so much.

Here are some glimpses into real life:

Sophie got to hang out with the fun crew at Oh Happy Day... for her it meant playing with big fluffy letter pillows, eating apples and jelly beans, and skipping nap time, so it was a win on all counts for her, obviously.

Maggie was there with us too. And in case you wondered, it took her an hour to eat her apple.

Both girls spent a lot of time convincing family members to read a lot of books to them. Big blue eyes and happy smiles make it incredibly difficult to say no to "one more story." Right? Could you refuse this little girl? I want to read a story to her right now because I'm looking at that hopeful little face!

On Saturday when I was prepping for my sister's shower, I chose to take Sophie with me to the store. I thought taking my older child would be the quicker route, but I learned my lesson: I should have taken Maggie. S needed to shop with her own cart, stop for samples- and finish them before moving again, go potty, pass everything to the cashier by herself... it was a blast, don't get me wrong, but it took for-ev-er.

The winning meal of the week for me was this Vietnamese perfection with my friend Nicole. It was so good to get out of the house and hang with someone older than three for an evening, and Vietnamese is my second favorite type of food in the world (the Mexican in me prefers a good Mexican meal to anything else). I got to eat rolls, noodles, and chicken and eat the entire meal without interruption. Yes, life is good.... and it's really funny the things I consider luxury these days! This is a very bad picture of a very beautiful meal.

While I'm at this "getting personal" stuff, I may as well confess that my home was epic messy more than usual this week too. I mean, of course I'm admitting this after the fact because that's what we do as people, right? I cleaned it today, so now I feel that my messy self is behind me, so I am quite comfortable confessing at this point.

In general, when people come to my house, it's pretty darn clean. Not perfect, but definitely not cluttered and freshly vacuumed. BUT if someone were to drop by unexpectedly at - say 11am on a Thursday- they may think a little differently. Especially if we were searching far and wide for a certain ballerina's slippers and decided- while we're at it- to clean not one, but two closets to find them... only to realize they've been in my purse ready to go all the time. My big great idea is that my friends and I all send our husbands to one another's homes at random times mid-week so they can all see a normal day at other homes and don't think everyone has a perfectly picked-up home every day. That's to make me feel better about this terribly untidy home I've been keeping. I think it would be most memorable and effective for them... I'd just hope no one would send anyone to mine. :)

Links for your weekend:

If you're hosting friends and family next week, you may want to consider one of these stylish oven mitts to pull hot food out of the oven. I'm always "considering" new oven mitts because they're such a simple way to spice things up a bit... like "oh, I'm just going to take this dinner out of the oven" in the most stylish way possible. No biggie.

San Francisco rain has gotten me looking at cozy blankets and new hot chocolate recipes. For the most part, I just look at those recipes and hope someone will make them for me, then go grab my hot chocolate from the canister of SwissMiss. I'm only a recently converted domestic who does domestic things for survival, not luxuries. BUT if you're the type that thinks it sounds fantastic to make it homemade, I think it looks amazing.

We've also eaten more soup in the last two weeks than ever- so much that Sophie said to me last night that she just had chicken and soup and would not be convinced when I assured her it actually is a different type with basically the same ingredients. Anyway, the one soup we couldn't get enough of (I'm talking fourths for both girls!) was this one. I pinned it ages ago, and keep going back for more.

Happy weekend to you all!