1. Hello friends! It’s been awhile! I took last week off from Friday Things since we were holiday-ing, so I feel like it’s been an eternity since we chatted. Did you have a nice holiday? I’m dying to hear about the best thing you ate! We hosted our families here as we’ve done for the last six years or so, and everyone had such a wonderful time. We put up our Christmas tree the weekend before Thanksgiving (but no other Christmas decorations until after!) and I might be totally sold on eating Thanksgiving dinner next to the glow of a Christmas tree forever and ever from now on.

2. Back at the end of October, I got a craft idea for a “thankful tree” in one of the parenting emails I subscribe to… I thought the boys would enjoy cutting out branches since they like art projects, but I didn’t really think the whole writing down something that they are thankful for every day would take off. OMG I WAS WRONG. This was easily one of their favorite things we have ever done. They BEGGED me to “do our thankful leaves!” – write things down that made them happy or they were thankful for more than once a day. It made my heart swell with pride, listening to them tell me what to write… and it gave me such perspective. The things that made them the happiest? Reading books together, me making them lunch, Daddy picking them up from school, playing with friends, drawing, walking the dogs. It truly is all of the little moments, the simple things… Once the month was over, Joseph begged me to do something special for Christmas, too, so I replaced the fall tree and leaves with a Christmas tree, which we’ll cover with “thankful ornaments” during December :)

3. Last week, Dominic graduated from his swim level and is now in class with Joseph! He got a special doughnut trip to celebrate, of course. That little fish flew through his first two swim levels taking independent lessons and his big brother could not have been more thrilled to be in the pool together. After their first class together yesterday, while we were in the changing room, Joseph said, “Dominic, you did SO AWESOME today!” Through all the bickering they do, moments like that make me so proud.

4. The week of Thanksgiving, Joseph went on his very first “real” field trip, as in he rode a big school bus INTO THE CITY 😱and went to the symphony. I was supposed to chaperone, but came down with a 24-hour stomach bug early that morning and had to back out. I was so nervous he wouldn’t want to go anymore, but he was still excited and asked me to help him pick out “fancy clothes”. I’m good friends with another mom who went so she was texting me pictures and play-by-play the whole time. He had so much fun!

5. Isabelle turns 20 months today! My goodness, can you believe it?! She is so sweet and has become so much fun. Her new favorite thing is carrying her baby doll around, hugging it and patting its back, then laying it on the coffee table, lifting its dress and saying, “No poop!” 😂

6. Feeling EVERYTHING about this, and my kids are all still four and under! >> I Loved the Season

7. Such a wonderful reminder >> Everyone Around You is Grieving. Go Easy.

8. Let’s talk about insulated reusable grocery bags. Do you have any that you absolutely love and recommend? I’d like to get a couple so that I can run to the grocery store while the boys are at school and then run other errands and not worry about the cold stuff being out for too long before we get home. Give me your recommendations!

9. I am 100% not into Elf on the Shelf; I don’t foresee ever doing it. Please tell me I’m not the only one! I’m hoping this whole thing goes away before Joseph gets a little older and tons of kids at school are talking about their elf friend 😬

10. TGIF! I enjoyed some serious Duke snuggles on Sunday morning!