Tuesday, November 24, 2009

turkeypalooza and a paperdoll.

Listening To: In These Arms by The Swell Season
Line Obsession: If a sigh had a shape, a taste, a color, it would be a salty yellow triangle. (from A Map of the Known Word by Lisa Ann Sandell)

Before I get to the point of today's post, I have an important question: what happened to all the comments on my old posts?! All the posts I did earlier this year have no comments at all now, which is so strange and sad. I've lost all our awesome conversations to the blogger abyss :( Has this happened to any of you bloggy people? Boo on you, Blogger.

Onto happier thoughts!

The traffic is out of control in my town. The clouds are winter colored, that really gorgeous silvery gray that makes me want to cuddle with my dog and watch a movie.* The lights are twinkling. People are filling up their carts/buggies with cranberry sauce and Oreos (or is that just me?). Turkeypalooza 2009 has begun! :) I'm packing for Georgia. By which I mean: I have pulled my suitcase out into the floor. It is still empty ... and will most likely remain so until an hour before I leave tomorrow.

I am so excited about this Thanksgiving. These past few weeks have been rough. Why is it crazy always comes in the form of a torrential downpour and never just as a dribble? Have you noticed this? My heart is definitely feeling deflated and battered and all that nasty metaphorical stuff, which means this trip couldn't come at a better time. I need my family and I need the farm. I need both things in a bad way. My fam makes me smile and laugh and remember what really matters. And the farm is kind of magical, because it makes me chill out. I go read at the dock. I hang out in the pond house and write. I try to avoid the killer guineas. I drink hot chocolate and watch movies with my niece. I play pirates with my nephew.** This Thanksgiving, I think the day will feel exactly like a holiday is supposed to feel. I think it will turn my heart back around and remind me of the overwhelming amount of good happening all around me, even when certain situations don't work out the way I want.

I've been saving a few copies of Paperdoll to give away once the holidays come. Now that the holidays are here (squee!), I thought this would be a perfect time to send one out :)

If you want to enter your name in the mix for a copy of Paperdoll, leave a comment on today's post telling me your favorite thing about Thanksgiving. Next Thursday, I'll do a random number generator thing and pick a winner. Then you can email me your address and I'll get the book to you pronto. And just think ... if you read it soon enough, you can wrap it and give it to somebody else for Christmas. Regifting rocks. :) If you don't tell me your favorite thing about Thanksgiving, I'll assume you're just dropping by to say hello.

And as a reminder, I made some Paperdoll flair that I'm obnoxiously proud of. I think it turned out so cute! :) Turns out making flair is fairly simple, but I'm still surprised I figured it out. If you want it on your flair board, you should be able to find it by typing "paperdoll" in the search feature on Facebook.

I know this post is kind of short, but fear not. Once I get back from Turkeypalooza, I have several important topics to discuss. Such as:

* An entire post dedicated to The Christmas Honks, pending the date the event actually plays out. It usually occurs more than once. It is worth the wait. Trust.

* More details on our Emma excursion for 2010! Are you getting excited my fellow Austenites? :) We'll plan on having our first discussion, on at least the first few chapters, during the second week of January.

* Any interesting details I can embellish about my Turkeypalooza excursion. I'm traveling through Atlanta tomorrow, on a day the experts predict will be one of the heaviest traveled days in recent memory. My brother, who gets venomous road rage, will be driving. Sweet. For Thanksgiving, I'm making caramel pecan bars from a recipe in Food&Wine. I'm sure my version will taste just like the Food&Wine version.***

* Bookish things. I just got a review/give away copy of A Year of Blind Dates by Megan Carson. I'm already a few chapters in and it is making me laugh so much. And making me wish I was friends with Megan. You're going to love this one.

* I'm going to tell you how I cheated in NaNo. Don't judge me. We've all been tempted.

* I'm going to do a more serious post about Twilight. I saw New Moon this weekend and I thought it was okay. I liked it way better than the first movie. I have more to say though. I'll write about the good, the weird, the FurSplosions, and the lingering questions I have about the series (does Edward get a senior citizens discount when he takes Bella to the movies?). I might even write about sparkleVamps and how they slap. Did you see New Moon? You know in the end, when Edward lifts his arm like he's going to backhand Jacob? Since when do vampires slap?! :) (And does this make Bella the slapbet commissioner?) Seriously though, I sometimes skulk around on the forums over at Susie Mag, and I'm so enjoying reading the discussions about books. Twilight is coming up a lot (is there anywhere on earth Twilight is not coming up?) so I thought I would pitch in my two pence and give you my opinion of the series. (Overall, I think it's fun and I think it's okay to wear your Team Mike Newton t-shirts and have fun with it. There are some truly bizarro parts, but that's true of most fantasy novels. We'll take more when I get back.)

Okay, I really do have to pack now. Before I sign off, give yourself a big hug from me (and Biscuit). Not to go all cornball on you (tis bound to happen more than once this season), but I'm super thankful for the little community we have here on the blog. I'm so glad you guys stop by and say hello (or just stop by to read). Thanks for being so darn classy and fun. I hope your Turkeypalooza is full of so many sweet new memories. I hope you stuff yourselves with caramel pecan smoldering cardboard bars. And I hope you're reminded of how loved you are. Happy Thanksgiving! Wave at me if you're stuck in Atlanta traffic tomorrow.

* Which will not happen. Because once again, instead of doing laundry all along this month, I waited until I ran out of clean clothes. And so laundry is my lot for the next 24 hours.
** Last year, I bought cheap pirate garb at Hobby Lobby - paper hats, treasure maps, fake money, etc. Then I hid trinkets all through the house and made a map so we could find all the stuff. I thought it would go over okay. Andy freaked and now, when I go, he follows me around with his pirate hat ready to sail.
*** Assuming the Food & Wine version tastes like smoldering cardboard.


  1. Natalie, I have not had that problem. Then again I haven't posted very many blogs. Weird though. The farm sounds awesome. :) I love reading outside. There is something magical about it. It makes me feel closer to the story somehow. My favorite thing about Thanksgiving...My boyfriend and I have been dating for well over two years now. So we've spent the last two Thanksgiving Holidays together with our families. I love having evryone around, gathered in his grandparent's house, talking, laughing, watching football, and eating :) My favorite part is the walk Tucker and I take every year. His grandparents live in a gorgeous, spacious neighborhood, with lots of trees and a creek. After the feast, Tucker and I bundle up and head out into the beautiful sunlight to walk around the neighborhood. We always talk about how thankful we are for everything, and what last year's thanksgiving was like. It's my favorite part of the day. :) I saw New Moon. It was better than Twilight, I have to admit. Better than the book too, I think. You're slap comment made me laugh. :) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Natalie! Thanks for always being so kind and creative! I look forward to your blogs everyday! Have fun in Georgia!

  2. My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the food --it makes the house smell so good!!!!!!-- and the chance to spend the day helping my mom cook dinner and then sitting down to eat with my family. The clean-up, however... let's just not think about that disaster yet :)
    I also love remembering all of the things God has done for me, and thanking Him for all of it (although I do that year round)
    Hopefully some of my dad's family will be able to come over for Thanksgiving as well.

  3. I wanted to comment, but you don't have to enter me for a copy of "Paperdoll," because I already have it. My favorite part of Thanksgiving it just the whole feel of it and being with my grandparents. I love playing Christmas songs on my piano while my grandpa whistles along and my bachelor great-uncle tells us all of the random facts he has learned since last holiday season. Yes, I stay away from the kitchen. I don't especially like to cook, except cookies and cakes and other healthy foods, and even those don't always turn out so great.
    I need to hurry up and finish the book I'm reading now so I can be ready for "Emma"! And any cheats for NaNoWriMo would be very informative and helpful.
    It always makes my day to get on and see that you have a new post on your blog. I know I shouldn't show favoritism, but out of all the blogs I read, yours is the funniest and the most interesting. =) I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  4. Awww, thanks for the hug. And I for one am proud to be apart of this. Your posts always make me smile.

  5. My favorite thing about Thanksgiving... probably the preparation for it. I love being in the kitchen and helping my parents cook the food. Mashed potatoes are always my job because my mom thinks it's a pain to make homemade ones but that's how I like them best. We don't have any fun family traditions; our extended family lives scattered about, so we aren't always with them, but if it's just our family we eat and talk about what we are thankful for, then watch the dog show on TV and comment about the different dogs and compare them to my dog.

    Have a safe trip and a wonderful Thanksgiving! I pray that it is refreshing for your heart!

  6. I love love love that you are Team Mike Newton. I think it's the funniest thing!

    I hope you have a lovely holiday with your fam and farm, Natalie, with lots of laughter, food, and heart hugs. (Heart hugs = things that hug your heart and make it happy. I know, so innovative. ;)

    Even though we already had our Thanksgiving, one of my favorite things this week has been reading/hearing what everybody is thankful for right now. It's been a rough year for so many people, and it's awesome to hear everyone pause and reflect on the good.
    I didn't grow up celebrating Thanksgiving (we didn't have it before we moved to Canada), but I love everything about it - the food, the company, the fact that it's a public holiday, and, of course, the Christmas music that follows.

  7. Hey Natalie!
    I love reading your blogs because they're so interesting and I love your sweet, innocent humor. Hanging out with your family sounds so relaxing! I hope you enjoy it, especially as you've talked about struggling lately. My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the homemade apple pie. I help make it the night before and then we're all excited after dinner for it. I hope you have a fabulous holiday season :) Love, Allison

  8. My favorite part of Thanksgiving would have to be all the games we do as a family once all the turkey is gone. Catch phrase with about 20 people is pretty awesome! I can't go without mentioning my favorite Thanksgiving foods though. They would be my mom's mashed potatos and my cousin's pumpkin roll. Delicioso! :D

  9. Steffanie, your walking spot sounds so peaceful (and so super sweet) :) The movie was definitely better than I thought. I'm curious about the third. I have no idea how they'll EVER do a movie of the fourth book ...

    Ashley, loved your thankfuls! :) Sometimes I think food smells better than it tastes. The smells around the holidays are sooo yummy, I agree.

    Kristin, the other healthy foods made me grin! :) I saw a t-shirt the other day that said, "Multi-vitamin + cupcake = perfect breafkast" and I thought ... wow. That is like my life philosophy. I was moved. Thanks for the kind compliment about the blog. Incidentally, I've been scanning your blog like a crazy woman trying to figure out how to make the owl ornament (I have to make an ornament for a party I'm having). :) I should have asked for your crafty input on the project. I'm pretty sure I'll be sewing gnomes or something.

    BB, I'm glad these posts make you smile! :) Sometimes I worry I am the only one who gets my humor ...

    Samantha, I watched the dog show too! :) And I agree with your mashed potatoes conclusion. I think homemade ones taste better than fake, even though some fakes totally suffice. I still haven't found a recipe I'm crazy over though ... I tried one by Contessa this Thanksgiving and it was awesome. But I think there is still something more ...

    Sarah, I like to shift team allegiance in teh Twilight-o-sphere and I prefer picking characters who don't get picked. Mike is kind of boring, but he needs his day, I think. I think I'll go Team Dimitri next year.

    Allison, I'm so glad you like the blog! :) Thanks so much for saying hey. I love food stories with memories attached. I wish I had a traditional something awesome to produce at Thanksgiving, but my family seems to like it best when I stay away from all things edible.

    Jerica, my brother is a pumpkin fiend too. We went to Starbucks the other day and they were out of pumpkin spice lattes. I thought he might cry. I've never considered doing game night on Thanksgiving and I'm not sure why because I am nuts over game nights!

  10. My favorite thing about Thanksgiving, this year anyways, is actually being able to spend it with family. This is the first time in YEARS that we have been home in Georgia and been able to be part of the family-gatherings and festivities. I'm very thankful for that. :)

    Yay for Emma! That reminds me, I need to get that from the library ASAP...

    Teehee I would definitely appreciate any 'cheating' tips for NaNo... (of course, it'll be too late for this year's, but I can just stock them up with all the other writings tips I've collected for next year's. :) )

    And I just have to tell you, Biscuit is the absolute cutest puff-ball I have ever seen! (I'm allowed to say that because although my dog is the cutest in the world, she's not a puff-ball ;)

    I ditto Kristin and Steffanie: this is most definitely my TOP favorite blog; you have such a gift for writing. You take ordinary life and show us the quirkiness, hilarity, and beauty that we might otherwise miss.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
    <3 Tea

  11. When we went to Mt. Airy, NC, there was a vintage tin sign in a candy store that said, "PET Ice Cream: A Health Food." That completely made my day.

    Well, I didn't make those owl ornaments and haven't tried my own yet (I've been franctically trying to complete NaNoWriMo). I do know that felt is the most amazing stuff ever for making easy craft projects. It's stiff and easy to work with, and most importantly, it doesn't fray! I know it's easy to sew or glue. Good luck. =)

    By the way, here are some sort of instructions for making some cute felt ornaments, but sadly I can't seem to find any for owls. The site is: http://saidosdaconcha.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-to-make-christmas-ornaments.html .


  12. I know Thanksgiving is over, but my favorite part was getting to spend time with relatives for the first time in 11 years! (I lived overseas before coming to the States for college.) I had forgotten what big family gatherings were like during the holidays.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Natalie!

  13. I haven't lost any comments (that I'm aware of, anyway). Bummer!

    Speaking of Twilight, have you seen the Edward Barbie doll? HE'S SPARKLY!!


  14. Hey Natalie, I love your blog, I'll admit, I do check every few days to see if you've posted a new entry! :)
    My favorite part about Thanksgiving is a sort of non-turkey related tradition. My sister and I always bake people-shaped sugar cookies and decorate one for each of the five members of our family. We have every cookie we've ever made piled in the back shelf on our freezer! This year, sadly, my sister was so upset with the color of icing I used for her hair (I used red, she claims she's a strawberry blonde) she bit her own sugary head off. I ran out of little people cookies, so I had to use a large blob for my dad (which is about the size of ten little people). He has finally able to laugh at it (almost a week later...).
    Love, Hannah Lane

  15. RT, you should post a pic of your dog on your blog! (Or maybe you did and I missed it ... :). I don't think my writing advice for NaNo is one you'll keep. I didn't so much cheat to get a high word count as I cheated ON it. I like to tell myself that's okay. But I think the NaNo guru's would not approve...

    Kristin, thank you for that link! I am definitely doing felt. Originally, I wanted to make a gnome (out of what ... I don't know) but I think I'll go bird. That will come out looking much less scary. I hope.

    Frannie, that is too sweet that you got to spend time with your family! Eleven years?! I bet there was so much tear spillage and laughter :) Thanks for sharing that.

    Ruth ... are you for real?! It sparkles!! :) I saw an Edward doll in Target that had a mullet. I hope it's the same one. That would make my day.

    Hannah, thanks so much for your comment! Your sugar people make me grin! :) I love that your sister bit her cookie's head off. That is a super cute tradition.

  16. Dear Natalie,

    I feel honored to be commenting on your blog! I’ve loved reading your devotionals in Brio and Susie. They always inspire and encourage me!

    When I first considered what I love most about Thanksgiving, my thoughts immediately centered on my family. Especially this year, Thanksgiving has allowed me to spend time with the people I’ve loved my entire life and even to meet relatives I didn’t know existed prior to that day. I love my family, and it seems that seeing them would be my favorite thing about Thanksgiving. However, as I think more about what really matters most to me about Thanksgiving Day, I remember the distressing fact of my own lack of gratefulness.

    It’s so easy for me to go through Thanksgiving (and every day) enjoying all the blessings God has given me without once acknowledging the fact that He did, in fact, give them to me. With all the rush of food preparation, visiting, and, of course, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I’m unfortunately prone to kneel for a quarter of a minute, mouth a “Thank You” that reaches neither my mind nor my heart, and pay greater attention to the Snoopy balloons and Rockettes parading in the back of my head than to God, who made it all and gave it graciously, lovingly to me. Yet He continues to bless me, despite my complete ingratitude.

    I suppose, then, that my very favorite thing about Thanksgiving must be God’s mercy and faithfulness, for He loves me though I neither acknowledge nor thank Him. I can’t live without Him, and I hope that, in the future, I really worship Him. Fortunately, every Thanksgiving (and every day) offers a new opportunity to do so. Hopefully, I will realize how wonderful He is and take that opportunity every day. And then, every day will be as it should be— Thanksgiving.

    Thank you again for the contest and for taking the time to read my LONG comment! God bless you!


  17. Hey Abigail! Thanks so much for taking the time to say hey! I love this comment. I'm so with you - sometimes I overlook what God is doing in me (and around me) and lose focus. Thanksgiving makes me very aware of the kind of attitude I should have all year long. Thanks for that great reminder!