Sunday, November 28, 2010

A 'Swankified' Thanksgiving

After watching about eleventybillion Martha Stewart Thanksgiving episodes this month, Ava and I simply had to make personalized place cards for our family Thanksgiving. We used fancy gold leaf, seed pearls, and calligraphy pens from Tiffanys brown, washable fingerpaint, stickers, and construction paper. The only extravagant thing about our place cards was the expensive resume paper we 'borrowed' to stamp our hand trees, don't tell HLS.

I painted Ava's hand brown, and she stamped it onto the resume paper.

Ava painted trunks onto the hand tree branches.

While the hand trees dried, we worked on a Thankful card.

It's a little hard to read, but here was her list: Bunny Pasta, house, kitchen (These were the first three things she listed, in order. Do you think it would be really classless if we asked people to skip toys for her birthday gifts and just send boxes of Annie's Pasta?) , BB (Beene Beene), Mimi, Coach, Jaryn, Dusty, Nate, Hannah, Mom, Dad, Baba, Pops, Sarah, Brandon, Nolan

She had many more things to write, but we ran out of space.

Once the trees were dry, Ava sorted our leaf stickers and placed them on each hand tree.

I cut out the trees, we used double-sided tape to stick them on construction paper, and Ava wrote names on each card.

Our complete forest

Mimi, Coach, and Jaryn arrived late Tuesday night. They are always eager to help out with projects around the house. Before I poured my first cup of coffee this is where I found Ava and Coach:

While Mimi plotted Christmas decorating strategies, Jaryn and I began cooking for Thanksgiving. My favorite Susan Branch cranberry sauce, yum.

Our crazy worker bees did stop long enough to watch the parade. We all stopped to watch Santa ride in, and officially begin the holiday season.

Keeping an eye on the sauce

Remember those 'ginormous' marshmallows from my last post? I used them to top the sweet potato casserole, renamed When Marshmallows Attack.

Josh was on-call for random kitchen emergencies.

Golden delicious

Ms. Priss in her cute new apron

I call these next three shots Evolution of a Pretty Good Picture

First try

Second attempt

Third time's a charm
(Also known as, The One Where Coach Danced Around the Kitchen Like a Madman)

This group is just impossible to mess up

Love this one, thanks Judy.

(Mom - you have a picture of me and Papa that is spookily similar to this one. I think he's wearing a red toboggan, and I'm about Ava's age in a pink coat. Can you scan it and send it to me?)

Thanksgiving table

The 3 Locketts

The spread:
Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, stuffed turkey tenderloin, *rolls, dressing, When Marshmallows Attack, pumpkin pie, and homemade whipped cream

*not pictured

Group shot 1

Group shot 2

Quick story

The other day Ava informed me, between bites of Chick Fil A, that, "It should be a 'u' not an 'a'."

I looked at her, confused, "What?"

"At the end of my name, it says 'uh' like 'u' not 'a'. Is it okay if we spell my name A-V-U from now on?" she sweetly replied.

I thought for a minute and let her know that she can spell her name with a 'u', but I'm going to keep spelling it with an 'a'.

Of course, after telling grandparents about their Granddaughter Formerly Known as Ava, Pops has been referencing her as 'Avu' in his texts. Glad to be raising a girl who isn't afraid to question the world around her, but really? Avu is not nearly as cute as Ava. What's a mom to do?


While the boys watched A&M beat TU (Whoop!), the girls decorated for Christmas. Thank goodness for those nifty 3M removable, no-mess, hooks. More pictures to come when everything is finished, but here is one glimpse. Out with the ornaments, in with the 'Avu'.

A million years ago we bought tickets to take Ava to see Wicked in Tulsa. Finally, the long-awaited Saturday arrived. Originally we planned for Ava to wear her Elphaba costume, but it was way too chilly for tutus. She did wear her sparkly, silver shoes - just like the ones Elphie is after in the play.

Elphaba, the doll, came along too.

Our friend, TC, won the Wicked Lottery and sat in the second row for 1/3 of the price of our ticket.

Notfairnotfairnotfair! We were very happy for her.

Waiting for the show to begin with Mommy,

and Daddy.

Our 'Swankified' crew, Mary and Susie. Also there was TC, but our camera couldn't quite capture her all the way up in the second row.

A little Wicked Sparkle

Ava was amazing during the show. She only sang quietly, and was completely engrossed in the show. Josh and I both saw some of the biggest grins we've ever seen on her sweet face. Her favorite scene was 'Popular', and she kissed us about 37 times during the play. It was a late night, long trip, and an early Sunday morning followed, but it was definitely one of the most fun things we've ever done as a family.

After the show I changed Ava into her fuzzy, pink, footed pajamas, and we ordered a little Happy Donalds midnight snack. Have you ever seen a happier 3-year-old?

Excuse our Wicked puffy, sleepy faces. On Sunday morning we headed to church to celebrate the first Sunday of Advent.

Lighting the Advent Candle of Preparation

We kept Ava in the service with us until after the Children's Sermon. At one point Ava said, "So this is the Mommy and Daddy nursery?" She enjoyed singing some of the Christmas songs with us. Such a special morning.

I've heard many people comment on feeling the 'holiday blues' already. Money is tight, families are busy and far away, random ugly words sting, doubt creeps in, loneliness hovers. I feel it too. But, I've got a 100% surefire way to beat the gloom. Find a tiny somebody, someone who still sees Christmas as magical, someone who is doing the teetee dance of anticipation for Santa, someone who has carried the Toys R Us catalog around until its pages are falling out, someone who sings to the Baby Jesus in your manger scene, someone who ranks hot chocolate as the highlight of their day. Bury your nose in that tiny someone's hair and breathe it in. Hold them tight and squeeze until they squirm away. Catch their Christmas spirit. It's oh so contagious.

And if you don't have a tiny someone, you can definitely borrow mine. She's got Christmas to share.


Hannah said...

I love Christmas :) No matter what.

You all looked like you had incredible amounts of fun!

Lindsay said...

love the aprons! Did you make those?

Adriane said...

Awww, I loved this post. It definitely lightened the "Bah Humbug" I've been plagued with this holiday season. Thanks, Autumn and Avu. ;-)

Locketts said...

Hannah - We love Christmas too. Thanks!

Lindsay - I wish I could say I made the aprons, but no. They were all gifts from Josh's mom.

Adriane - Glad we could help lift your spirits a little. Law finals are such a downer, no matter what the season.

k and c's mom said...

What a perfect post! So much to share! Avu is precious and I love the shot of her shoes. So magical. Way to go, little Lockett family!

The Waggoners said...

Seeing, experiencing Christmas thru the eyes of a child-indeed the best!
So very well written, thank you!!! Think I might come back and reread it in a few weeks :-)

jacksonsmommy said...

I love your blog... I always feel like I was there. Everything is written in a way that captures the readers imagination! <3 Miss Avu is so precious and I am saving a pic of her in that adorable apron so that Mom can make one for Isabella. Cutest thing ever!

Tammy said...

Thanks for continuing to share your sweet family with me because I know that although you let others read it, you really write and post just for me. I know what you mean about children at Christmas. Robert put all the married kids on notice at Thanksgiving that we need a baby by next Christmas. Sparkle on my friend. Love to all, especially Avu.