Thanksgiving at the Todd Nest

JD and I were super excited to host our families for Thanksgiving this year. My parents, his parents and Brandon and Theresa (his sister) all drove up for the weekend. We wish that Chase and Jackie could've joined us from Las Vegas but we can't wait to see them at Christmas! 

Not gonna lie here, I thought it would be a lot more stressful than it was. We woke up around 7 to put the turkey in the oven, hung out for about two hours and then started prepping everything else. I probably had about 10 minutes of stress spark through me, but I was pretty calm (and crazy focused) besides that. 


Mom and dad brought up this amazzzzing butcher block industrial island to fill the massive open space in our kitchen. I've been wanting an island with a butcher block top and this one was beyond perfect. I honestly don't know how we would've made it without this piece at Thanksgiving. We would've had to serve food off the floor. (You think I'm kidding... but I'm not.)


The Menu:
Honeybaked Ham
Cajun Fried Turkey
Cornbread Dressing
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Spicy Mac & Cheese
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pancit (Filipino noodle specialty)
Eggrolls (both of these were kindly provided by Mrs. Josie)
Turkey Gravy
White Gravy
Rolls



JD was the carving master of the day. He cut that cajun turkey up like a champ. 


Of course, we had to set up the perfect table setting. Remember my charming jar with the buckeyes and acorns? Well, apparently you're supposed to let buckeyes dry out before you put them in a contained space. It didn't take long before the mold started to settle into the bottom of the jar. 

#decorfail

So I hand-washed the jar at least three times, threw it into the dishwasher, and headed to Hobby Lobby for a quick solution (thus, the neutral color palette of fun decor balls in the crisp and clean glass jar). 

My Gingin sent up this gorgeous tablecloth she cross-stitched years ago. It was the perfect touch to our table and meant the world to me that she passed it down to us.



Whenever my family comes to town - it never fails - we have a list of projects to do with Handyman Dad. Projects that we have thought up but aren't quite sure how to execute. But it also never fails that Dad knows how to make them happen. Here's a glimpse at one of our special projects from the weekend:


It's not completely finished but one of these days, I will give you a tour of the cool things we've done to the laundry room (after I get those cool things painted). ;) 

Oh, and one last thing before I go....
War Eagle!!


The Todd Nest : Dining Room & Fall Premiere

Welcome to our Dining Room! 

I've spent the last two weeks or so painting the walls and reupholstering our dining room chairs in preparation for a fall dinner and game night with some friends from JD's office.

You really can't tell in these photos but we painted the upper half of the room in the same gray (jogging path gray) as we used for the Jitney's Journeys studio. We painted the lower part a stark white. We considered using beadboard on the bottom half but we would eventually like to cover the old school popcorn ceiling with beadboard... you know, after we tear down two walls and renovate our kitchen in like seven years. ;) It'll all happen someday, right?


{sidenote: we are currently in the process of brainstorming for barnwood picture frames to cover that entire bare wall to the left of the built-in and looking for a super unique, rustic yet charming chandelier. we will update you via blogosphere as soon as we make this stuff happen.}

We've had so much fun (and probably way too much stress) with decorating both sides of the built-in between our dining room and living room. I've got to hand it to Mama E - she pretty much designed this side of the built-in too. Isn't it lovely! I honestly don't know what I would do without her. 

Below you will see the before and after shots of our reupholstered chairs. JD was such a champ for taking 300+ staples out of the six chair cushions. Gosh, I love that man. :)


The gorgeous fabric we used was from Hobby Lobby...

Here's another close-up:


At Shop with a Purpose, a new friend ordered a table runner from us with a monogram like the one above. I fell in love with the design. It just so happened that the table runner I made for the Todd Nest originally fit our old table but wasn't long enough for the new table (above) when it had the leaf insert. Obviously, I had no other choice but to make another table runner for the new table with the same monogram style I had made a few days before for a client, right?


The fall theme in our home this year is pretty simplistic. I bought a bundle of pumpkins from Hobby Lobby at 50% off. Half were the distressed orange and the other half were brown glitter-beaded pumpkins with gold glitter stems. 

But I was really set on having off-white pumpkins this year so I spray painted the orange ones with Valspar (Churchill Hotel Vanilla ) spray paint and covered the stem in a dark bronze glitter. Just what I had envisioned. 


For the centerpiece, I layered buckeyes from our yard on the bottom followed by baby acorns our neighbors helped us pick up and a tiny bronze pumpkin propped on top. 


Come back tomorrow to see the recipe my amazing chef-of-a-friend, Leah, helped me make!


What has been your fall decor inspiration this year?


Thanksgiving Rummaging and Reminiscing

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

Most of you have probably had five blog posts since Thanksgiving Day but we wanted to share our weekend with y'all anyway. :) I cannot wait to spend a couple of hours delving into your blogs, checking out your holiday happenings thus far. 

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. As much as I love giving gifts (and let's be honest... receiving gifts), Thanksgiving is one of the rare holidays that is all about family and friends. No tangible gifts. Just the gift of community. How awesome is that?

We spent the weekend at JD's parents in West Alabama. As some of you may know, JD's dad celebrated his eightieth birthday in October. Yeah - celebrate good times! C'mon!

He kicks it better than any eighty-year-old man we know. He walks about seven miles every day... after breakfast, after dinner (and probably most days after lunch). 

So we joined in, walking sticks and all.


And it was such a blessed time. 

There is just something so special about Thanksgiving walks with the fam. I'll never forget one Thanksgiving Day I spent walking under the amber trees at Lake Oconee (aka The Bungalow) a few years ago with my sweet Gingin. She shared with me how crucial it is to savor every moment, because you really never know when it will be the last. You think you know that until your grandmother reminds you. Then you realize you really don't know much at all so you better soak in every ounce of wisdom she has. JD and I are both thankful for the wisdom and lessons our precious parents and grandparents have taught us.

Back to the weekend....

JD's childhood room is still decked out in baseball posters. Stacks of baseball cards (with chalky gum still in the plastic wrapping of unopened cards) line the walls. Random Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurines can be found in drawers and high school and collegiate awards still hang proudly on the walls. Needless to say, I love sleeping in there. It makes me feel like I can share a special part of him that I never had the chance of knowing. 

We spent the weekend trying to clean it out but had trouble since so much held a special place in JD's memory. Obviously, we had to share a few of our favorite finds with you...


The American Gladiator soup thermos. The black slanted writing is none other than the names of each gladiator. What!?


We rummaged through old papers and sermon notes. The ones above and below were favorites of mine. 

Why?

Because it proves that opposites truly do attract. 

JD's occupations of dissimilar interests include all but one of the things I wanted to do in life. When I was young, I spent every day in the basement teaching an imaginary classroom while writing lessons on several chalkboards for my "third grade students". I started college majoring in Radio, Televison and Film to be a News Anchor / Reporter - and switched halfway to finish my studies in Public Relations instead. And now... I would love to teach an art class. 

My only non-interest was a medical illustrator.

At least we agreed on one area of dissimilar interest.


However, my favorite find was this: JD's written testimony from high school (pictured below). Even though our stories of salvation never change, our testimonies of God's goodness and mercy are ever-changing in such a beautiful way. It was so awesome to read about the place God had JD in that season of life. 


And then we found this... a poem JD wrote in college that made goosebumps pop up on my arms. 

My sweet husband is such a humble man. Reading things like this make me fall even deeper in love with him and Christ. I am thankful for him.


Unbeknownst to me, JD set up my new sewing machine and all of my supplies in front of the TV (so he could watch football while I sewed) while I was sorting through his childhood room.


Thus goes the weekend: Walking, Turkey, Walking, Sewing, Football, Eating, Cleaning, Organizing, Sewing, and Walking. :)


What was your favorite Thanksgiving memory from this year??


Linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMondays! Please go check them out and show some love! :)