We took a long weekend to Florida and got to see Dad, Connie, Marion and Ray (Connie's parents - Natty's great-grandparents), Laura and Gary (my stepsister and her husband), the sun and the beach. We had a great time. I succumbed to shell collecting - which I have always resisted - even when I lived in FL. Natty and I brought some home and painted them crazy colors - a good kid project for a project-challenged mother like myself.
Here's the girls, lounging on the semi-warm beach. We went to a Farmer's Market on the way to the beach and a kind vendor gave Natty this fabulous sunflower.
Natty asleep with another beach find.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with the whole Buttner clan in attendance. Tons of good energy and food. We ate and ate. I was the one who did the obligatory cooking fiasco with a pecan pie in the barn oven. I put it in and we went for a walk. I did return in time to take it out but, unfortunately, it had overflowed (which I had thought about as I was putting it in - "I should have something under this in case....." but did nothing about. Shame on me!) and burned. Smoke filled the barn and was migrating through the breezeway into the main kitchen by the time the boys found it! The pie itself was only delectably singed on top - which the Murrays (for whom the pie was intended anyway) loved. The highlight for me was Lindsey's cheesecake with sauted apples and Calvados caramel sauce. Yummm.
We're moving into a larger rental this week. I'm very excited but Murray is already nostalgic for our cozy little cottage. I think 3 bedrooms and a real kitchen (with a dishwasher) makes up for the lovely setting we've been in. And we can still walk to Marmee and Poppa's through the woods. Now we just have to get our stuff moved. (Don't worry, I will let Murray do all the lifting. The baby belly is big enough that putting on my shoes is a procedure so I'm aware of my limitations!) Now I can look forward to visitors after the baby comes with anticipation knowing they'll have someplace to sleep.