Happy Thanksgiving - Eat Some Turkey for Me!!

While it's easy sometimes to focus on what we don't have and the things that are not going the way we had hoped (and trust me, this has been an easy year to do that), I'm glad there is at least one day a year when we change our focus to thankfulness. It's something I know I should do much more often and not just wait for the holiday. Even my Thanksgiving this year could leave me wishing for more -- I missed the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in I don't know how long, I don't get any turkey today and I have to go to work.

But pessimism... I'm refusing to give in to you!

I woke up in a warm bed inside a warm house in a safe neighborhood this morning. I walked into the living room to be greeted by a smiling and healthy two year old and a wonderful and loving husband. Even though I didn't get turkey, I DID get a warm lunch at IHOP, more than many will have on this holiday. And even though I do have to go to work today, I have a job to go to, again more than many can say right now (including me a few months ago). And I will get my turkey thanks to my wonderful sister who is helping me do a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.

I AM thankful, I AM thankful, I AM thankful.

I mean, just look at who I have to keep me thankful:

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Oh yeah, HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone!!


My Mom's Boston Cream Pie

My birthday post led to a request for my mom's super awesome Boston Cream Pie recipe. It's my favorite, and I'm telling you, it's the icing that makes this cake... or pie... or cake... It's a dual-personality dessert.

Anyway, here's the recipe - ENJOY!

Kathi's Boston Cream Pie

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 large box of instant vanilla pudding
2 3/4 cup milk
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
hot water

Mix and bake cake according to directions using 8" pans. Cool cake.

Mix pudding according to directions, except use 2 3/4 cups of milk. Refrigerate pudding until cake is cool.

When cake is COMPLETELY cool and pudding is set, slice each cake in half. Divide pudding between both cakes and fill cakes with pudding.

Melt chocolate and butter over LOW heat. When melted, remove from heat and stir in confectioner's sugar and vanilla. Add 1 tsp. of hot water until proper consistency is reached. You want it thin enough to pour/spread over cake, but not too thin that it runs off the top of the cake or soaks into the cake. Divide icing between two cakes and spread on top of each.

***Here's a few of my notes***

- obviously, this makes two cakes. Unless you have a big family, you might not want both at the same time. I usually cut one cake and wrap the other in saran wrap and stick it in the fridge. I put half of the pudding in a container in the fridge as well. And I half the icing recipe. Then we eat one cake over a few days and when it's done, I finish making the other. It equals a week of Boston Cream Pie in my house - heaven!

- I used 9" pans because I don't have 8". It works fine, your layers will just be a little thinner and harder to handle after you cut them in half. At least one of mine normally breaks a little, but I also remember this happening to my mom when she used 8" pans.

- if I'm in a hurry and don't have time for the cake to cool on the rack, I cut it in half and stick it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. You do want the cake completely cool, otherwise the pudding will get runny and the icing will not set.

I hope you enjoy the cake as much as I do. I actually like it better the next day after the icing has hardened a little in the fridge. Now I want to go make another one!


I'm 29... Again.

Wasn't 29 a good year? Why can't I just stay that age (and weight and lack of wrinkles and amount of energy) forever? What's wrong with that?

I had a birthday (again) this weekend.

Wow, to think back to 29 and remember how different my life was. There was no Georgia. My mom was still alive and healthy. My parents' house was still standing with all my childhood memories safely tucked inside - no sign of fire. I wasn't married. I was working a not-so-great job and had not yet moved to Omaha for the job that I would eventually get laid off from. My two dogs were still youthful. I did not have baby fat I fear I'll never lose. I was living on a lake in Georgia.

Life was VERY different.

Not that life at 29 was any better or worse than life is now. It was a year in my life that added to the person I am today at 30... something. It was a year like all the others in that regard - snippets stolen from that year that I still hold onto and live in my present everyday and snippets that I would rather do without and have pushed way back into who I am -- but a bunch of snippets that no matter what esteem I hold them in, all have some impact on the me of today... and tomorrow.

Would I go back in time to 29 if I could? I don't think so... I'm pretty good where I am right now. Although maybe I'd go back for a minute if I could and give my mom the biggest, strongest, longest hug she'd ever had. Yeah, I'd like to do that.

My mom made the BEST Boston Creme Pie - it's my favorite. Moist yellow cake, creamy pudding in the middle and the best darn chocolate icing you've ever had. None of that wussy milk chocolate icing. This stuff has bite and it makes sure you know it's there. She made me that cake for almost every birthday of my adult life.

I pulled out that recipe on my birthday this year, and Georgia, my hubby and I made that cake together.
(excuse the cell phone pic)


Mom, it was really good.

And before the cake, we dined on NY Strips and garlic asparagus. Yum!

Oh, and this will come as a big surprise, we spent the day at the beach. No pictures of me though, just Georgia. Come on, my birthday's not that different! :)
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I think she enjoyed my birthday as much as I did. She was so proud when she and her daddy brought me breakfast in bed and she got to hand me her card. The cutest darn little girl EVER! And she kept telling me "happy berd-day" all day long.

How could I ever want to go back to another age after that?

No thank you... 30ish is just fine.


It's Still Beach Weather Here!

Well, it's still sort of beach weather. This past weekend our beach visit required jeans and jackets... but I was still barefoot! And our old home has already had its first snowfall of the season - so take that! OK, OK, maybe I'm getting a little too excited about all that, but it was a fun day spent at the beach.

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We had another first for Georgia - her first kite.
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After mommy successfully got the kite flying high, Georgia and her daddy took over the controls. I think she had fun, and she's had a pretty strong fascination with kites for a while. She loves seeing them in the air.
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It was a great start to our beachy afternoon. Then we took a walk and discovered for some reason, dozens of jellyfish decided to commit mass suicide... or something like that. They were washed up on the beach everywhere, and Georgia began this weird game of having to step on every one. They were dead already, so no animals were harmed in the making of this blog post.
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I don't know why, but obviously stepping on jellyfish is a fun past time for two year olds. Who knew?

We also stopped a while to play in the sand (the sand that didn't have jellyfish bodies littering it), and Georgia took delight in burying her feet over and over again.
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And we also watched the surfers catch waves by the fishing pier. Georgia kept calling them "Silver Surfers," I'm sure it has something to do with her daddy's thing for comic books.
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And toward the end of our walk, I captured some of my favorite shots in a while of my little one. Pictures that gave me a glimpse into her soul. I love when a photo can do that.
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