Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving for Me

First, I want to thank Lindsey for inviting me over to guest blog for the day. Even though I just spent the last week in Massachusetts, I'm still jealous of her trip there. There's just something about Massachusetts during autumn that I'll always love.

Lindsey asked that I write about Thanksgiving and traditions. Thanksgiving is actually one of my favorite holidays, second only to Independence Day. If you think about it, they are on the short list for holidays that don't require gifts, cards, or money. Thanksgiving is about spending time with the ones you love and being thankful for friends, family and the memories throughout the year. For me, I love the family time.

One year, I decided I wanted to be a world traveler on Thanksgiving. I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home in Ireland. Yes, in a place that doesn't even celebrate Thanksgiving! After a long day of travel and seeing all of Ireland's gems...we were craving a Thanksgiving dinner. We found a pub that was celebrating Thanksgiving. It was so funny to see how Ireland thinks we celebrate....and it involved three different kinds of potatoes (mashed, roasted, baked..!) And no stuffing or cranberry sauce....which I must say, are my favorites! I remember rushing off the plane a few days later...and begging my Mom for leftovers. I don't even like leftovers!

Last year was my first Thanksgiving away, in a different state...and a different family. It was my first time in Ohio, first time meeting Danny's extended family (and son!) first Thanksgiving with them....and telling them we were engaged! So, of course I was nervous...and I planned to stuff my face to hide it. But you can imagine my disappointment when there was (once again) no stuffing or cranberry sauce. Only a few short weeks later we were at my parents house for Christmas...and learning how to make Mom's amazing stuffing!

I've spent twenty-two Thanksgivings with my my parents house. I'll be 25 in one week. I'm married, a puppy mommy, and a step-mom...while we might not have our own family traditions I'm so thankful that we get to be with our families for the holidays, which is the most important tradition of them all.

And just remember, if you're going to invite me over for Thanksgiving...make sure there is stuffing and cranberry sauce on the table! Here's my Mom's famous (well, in my family atleast!) stuffing recipe...I'll be bringing my own this year!

1 lb ground sausage
1 large onion chopped
4 celery stalks chopped
2 cans chicken stock
1 stick butter
1 bag Pepperidge farm stuffing cubes...original (blue bag)
2 teaspoons of Bells seasoning

In large skillet melt butter.
Add celery and onion, cook about 2 minutes.
Add sausage, cook till no longer pink. drain.
Add back to pan.
Add stuffing cubes and stock, mix well.

Visit my blog: Flip Flops and Combat Boots

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gobble Gobble

It's almost Thanksgiving!! One of my favorite celebrations! This will be our first Thanksgiving with our parents/brothers/sisters in almost 7 years!! We are heading to Boston tomorrow morning. What was I thinking taking a 6 am flight with two kids?? Nuts. While I am away I will be having some guest bloggers. Thanks rock! I might post a time or two too.

Today my Zumba gals and I were invited to teach at the Great American Teach In. It's when schools all over the country invite professionals to come speak/teach for the kids. They had tons of different kinds of careers there. Although I heard a few kids saying that we were the best they had all day :-) Who doesnt love to dance???

I hope everyone has a GREAT Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving - Canadian Edition

Before I get started, I would just like to thank Lindsey for inviting me over to share my thoughts on her blog, even though I am a tool and forgot her name! She is an absolute doll, and I adore reading her blog, so I am honored!

This is my second guest blog post, and I've started noticing a bit of a theme.. It ALWAYS has to do with something thats comes back to me being a Canadian!

I know that there are a lot of Americans that don't know that we actually celebrate Thanksgiving in October. This year, it was Monday October 11, 2010. It is always celebrated on the second Monday each October. I can't say I mind! I actually LOVE that it's in October. I've always been used to the Christmas tree being up in early November, and this is pretty much winter for us anyways! We've already had 2 snow falls.. Thanksgiving just belongs in Fall..

This is how most Canadians feel about the American Thanksgiving:
Here is a bit of a history lesson for you:
The Canadian Thanksgiving Day came about because of a combination of traditions. Before the first Europeans arrived in North America, the farmers in Europe held celebrations at harvest. The farm workers filled a curved goat's horn with fruit and grain to give thanks for their harvest having been a good one. This horn was called a Horn of Plenty, or a Cornucopia. The farm workers who started a new life in Canada took this tradition with them.

In Newfoundland in 1578, the English navigator Martin Frobisher held a ceremony to give thanks for surviving the long journey. As other settlers arrived they continued these ceremonies.

In 1621, in what is now the United States of America, the Pilgrims celebrated their harvest in the New World. By the 1750's settlers moving to Canada from America had taken this celebration to Nova Scotia. At the same time, French settlers arriving in Canada with the explorer Samuel de Champlain held thanksgiving feasts and shared their food with their Indian neighbours. After the seven years war ended in 1763 the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.

At the time of the American Revolution, the people who remained loyal to the Government in England moved to Canada and spread the Thanksgiving celebration to other parts of the country. Other English settlers were also used to having a harvest celebration in their churches every Autumn.

In 1879 the Canadian Parliament declared the 6th November as a day of Thanksgiving and a national holiday. Over the years the date has changed with the third Monday in October being the most popular time. Finally on the 31st January 1957 the Canadian Parliament proclaimed that:
'A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God
for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has
been be observed on the second Monday in October.'

I can't lie though.. as I sit here thinking about turkey.. stuffing, and cranberry sauce, I am starting to wish OUR Thanksgiving was in November..


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Check out Expat girl at The Sand is Different Here!

Hi Everyone! I was so excited to be asked by Lindsey to do a guest post on what Thanksgiving means to us and what we do for it : )
I have only been in America for three Thanksgivings in my life and have always been included in a big dinner, twice at Mr Soldier's family house. Obviously, this year I am living alone in GA and anxiously awaiting for my husband to get home so everything is a bit out of sync. Mr Soldier's family are meeting up as usual but I decided that I am not going to make the drive to be a part of it all. Why you ask? Well because I don't want to throw Baby Girl's schedule out of wack just days before I bring an essentially strange man into the house in the form of her Daddy! I will be a ball of nerves by then, I will have nesting syndrome and I just think having not grown up with the holiday it won't bother me that I am not with family. Thankfully I have made really good friends with new neighbours recently and they have invited me over to their house and so I still get to be a part of the yummyyyyyy food!
When it comes to the future, I am totally excited to embrace this holiday. I picture family, with a fire burning and the football on. I picture happiness, warmth and everyone spending a deliberate moment stating what they are thankful for. We actually do this every day when we sit down for dinner as we each talk about the pit of our day and the peak of our day but Thanksgiving is that special family moment and appreciation. After having Baby Girl and surviving this deployment, appreciation is one word that has a whole new meaning to me I cannot wait to have my little family together this time next year.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How The Superman's Eat Their Turkey

Thank you to Lindsey for asking me to be a guest blogger! I adore her blog and was so excited to be given the chance. Be sure to come check me out over at my digs.

<a href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" src=""/></a>

I don't know if you know this or not, but we haven't always been the Superman family. Shocker, I know. Technically, Mr. Superman has always been The Man of Steele, but me? I used to be A freckle faced strawberry with the last name of Organ. People always ask, "Like the piano?" and I always respond, "No, like the heart."

Thanksgiving for me, has always held a very special place in my heart. From a very young age, I looked forward to that extraordinary Thursday, every November. It may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I got to stuff my chubby little freckled face full of incredible food. When I was still very young, it was a time that I got to get together with all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins at the park. There was always tons of food and lots of laughter. My mom's side of the family is BIG and LOUD. Both of those are rather bit of an understatement. We usually would swing around and visit my dad's mother and sister as well and it was my dad's mom who got me hooked on and in love with sweet potatoes.

As I got older, and consequently, the rest of my extended family all began to grow up, get married, and started their own families, the Thanksgiving gatherings grew smaller and smaller to where now, instead of all 10 of my mom's siblings and all of their families coming, its dwindled down to a meager 4 or 5 families who still attend and come to enjoy the food, company, and the annual, sometimes competitive, volleyball game. My grandpa has passed away so its my grandma who we all flock to as the anchor of the family. Even though she has very few lucid moments where she knows who you are and which of her children you belong to, she is still the gentlest, kindest, most maternal person I know.

I also remember looking forward to my special task of making the gravy every year. My parents always get their turkeys smoked in a deep fire pit that is put on every year by the Scouts in my church. Its always the most deliciously moist turkey ever. My task was to take the turkey drippings and with my mom's help, make an incredible gravy to go with the rest of the feast.

Once I got married, I never once thought that my Thanksgiving's would change. Naivete? Maybe. Was I dreaming big? Straight up.

Our first year together as a married couple, we split things between my family (immediate and extended) and his family (immediate). We did lunch with mine, pie and afternoon meal with his family, and then a late dinner again with my family. Mr. Superman knew that Thanksgiving had always been one of the days that means most to me and since he happens to not care for turkey or pie too much, he was all for making me happy.

Our second year together was spent doing just about the complete opposite. We had arrived to Georgia two weeks previous and were over 2,000 miles away from everyone we knew and loved. We were in a brand new house with only an air mattress and our suitcase. We received a call the night before notifying us that the semi truck with all of our possessions would be arriving Thanksgiving morning. We spent the day moving furniture and unpacking. Mr. Superman knew me well enough that he was able to tell I was rather down about not having a normal Thanksgiving. He ran to the store under the pretenses of picking up toilet paper and came back with turkey, gravy, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes and a pumpkin pie. This is why I love that man. We cooked our feast in the microwave and then ate off our our finest china paper goods. We wrapped up the night watching a movie on our mattress in the living room and telling each other what we were most grateful for.

This year, I could have never guessed that I would be spending Thanksgiving back on the Western side of the United States or that my loverface would be over 8,000 miles away from me. It is what it is though and we are determined to make the best and most of everything. I will be spending my Thanksgiving with Mr. Superman's family in Utah, enjoying great food, good company, and amazing, cold weather. I couldn't send a feast to Afghanistan but I did make sure to send my love some of his favorite snacks and a new book to keep him company.

Despite life happening, people growing up, and families and traditions changing, there is a universal truth that has always been and will continue to remain constant. Thanksgiving is a time to recognize the good in everything. Yes, we should always be grateful and thank God for our many blessings but I love that there is a day, specifically dedicated to that purpose. Its also a time to remember why we are all able to be here in this country. Very brave and courageous men and women gave up their lives and homes under threat of death, crossed the ocean, and started anew. People have fought to become and remain free. Hundreds of thousands of people are still fighting for that same purpose, including my husband. This Thanksgiving, I will be thinking and praying constantly for these wonderful souls who are so selfless and giving and thanking my Heavenly Father for all that He has given to me. Even though I know our family may not always be together for normal traditions, I do know that we will always be eating our turkey, wherever we may be, with our hearts full of gratitude and love.

Every OTHER Thanksgiving

Amber from GoodNight Moon is probably my favorite blog. She is SO funny and her posts just make my day. She is also a fellow Marine wife! Here is her Thanksgiving post. Enjoy!!! Be sure to check out her'll love it!

Growing up as a kid

Thanksgiving never was much different then any other day.

Being a Marine brat

we always lived far away from extended family

to be able to enjoy the holidays with them.

We never had a "commercial" Thanksgiving

like you see on tv.

But that never stopped

my mother from




up a storm on Turkey Day.

Now that I am an adult

my Thanksgivings still aren't like a

"commercialized" Thanksgiving.

Being that I was married before to Isabel's father

she has visitation with him every other holiday.

So every even numbered year for Thanksgiving




my other 3 kids

are all stuck traveling in a car

during the Thanksgiving holiday.

We normally spend our Thanksgiving dinner

eating at Cracker Barrel.

{They make the best stuffing and pecan pie.}

I don't feel too bad for our waitress that day


we always give them a huge tip for having

to work on Thanksgiving

so families like us are able to eat

a good homecooked turkey meal.




make a choice to remain together as a family

on even numbered years

even if that means that we are spending the entire

Thanksgiving holiday in our vehicle traveling


being together as a family


spending all the minutes together that we can

is what matters most to us.

On the odd number years that we get Isabel

I go all out


make all the fixings

so we can pig out.

Yes I said pig out because I normally make a



a ham.

Sadly I know alot of families are like mine


aren't able to celebrate a big family Thanksgiving meal.

But celebrating Thanksgiving


any other holiday

is always what you make of it.

You have to make the best of the situation you live


my family does just that.

Turkey Day Traditions

We are having a blast in Boston with our families. Chelsea is a good friend of mine. We met when we were both in Okinawa. Enjoy her post!!!! Be sure to check out her blog and her beautiful baby!!

I am so excited to be a guest blogger for Lindsey and Co. We met in Okinawa a few years back. I am so, so jealous that her and her family will be headed back there soon! Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday, behind Christmas, of course! I love the meaning of Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for and I just love that there is a holiday for thankfulness.

Growing up, Thanksgiving usually consisted of my mom, my dad, my brother, and me until my brother moved out of the house. Our family is scattered around the globe and Thanksgiving is a holiday we just didn't travel for. Some years we would spend it with my aunt and cousins. They lived the shortest distance away. We always woke up to Mom making cinnamon rolls and we would chow down during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Mom would cook traditional turkey day fixings and we would always eat around 3 or 4. Then, we'd spent the rest of the day playing games and eating left overs.

Since my husband and I were married, we have yet to spend a Thanksgiving together. Our first married Thanksgiving, he was away for work in mainland Japan. Last year, he was on the schedule to work, so I jetted off on a cruise down the Danube River through Austria. This year, we will finally be celebrating together. I think it's the perfect time, since we have our bundle of joy with us this year. My cousin and her family will be spending the holiday with us. She's bringing a few friends of hers as well. Then, we will spend the weekend visiting Christkindlmarkts in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nuremberg, and Wuerzburg. And yes, I admit, a favorite part of Thanksgiving for me is as soon as it's over, I'm allowed to put up our Christmas tree! Ha!

For Thanksgiving Day, my cousin and I are planning on fixings we enjoyed growing up. We're making cinnamon rolls for breakfast just like my mom made. My husband's in charge of the turkey and ham. We're also making traditional mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole (aka Apple Yam Delight), cranberries, rolls, and a broccoli and cheese casserole. Applie pie, pumpkin spice rolls, and pecan pie are on the dessert menu.

We're going to finish the night playing board games while stuffing our faces with leftovers like we did when we were younger. Only this time, we'll probably enjoy a little wine, unlike our childhood Thanksgivings ...

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

Thank you for taking the time to read my guest post. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and I hope each and everyone of you has a splendid day giving thanks!

With love,

Monday, November 15, 2010

I love Cannoli's!

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend. Nicole had me as a guest blogger this past week. The top was "Where you see yourself on your 50th wedding anniversary". Head over to Flip Flops and Combat Boots to read my post.

We enjoyed a Peruvian dinner with my Zumba friends and their families on Friday night. I brought some of my Italian-ness and made home made Cannolies. They were a huge hit. Not so much on my waistline though!!

Over the weekend we headed down to see the Manatees. We have a big free viewing center here. Its a great place for a picnic and to let the kiddos run wild.

We are heading out of town for Thanksgiving and Ive asked a few girl to guest blog for me while Im gone. If I did not ask YOU and YOU are interested, please let me know!!! The top is Thanksgiving Day traditions. You can write about anything you did or currently do on Thanksgiving or just why the day is fun/special for you. Or what dish is your favorite to eat? Shoot me a comment or email if you are interested.

Friday, November 12, 2010

ShutterFly Christmas Cards

Do you guys know about the Shutterfly Christmas Card give away?? This is so great for me because I always order about 100 photo Christmas cards. They are SUCH great quality and always ship really fast. The best part of the huge selection to chose from! They even have a special section of cards to benefit charities like LiveStrong. I am pretty picky with my Christmas Cards...and I still can't seem to decide which ones I want. ShutterFly just has SOO many to chose from!!!

Have kiddos? These calendars are so cute. Need a present for the Grandparents? These photo books are so beautiful and personal since you can custom make them. It's like a professional scrap book. If you are looking for a more extravagant gift, try these Canvas art prints. They are a bit more money than your typical mug but they are gorgeous.

This Christmas Card is one of my Favorites from Shutterfly

If you are a Blogger....sign up here! Thanks so much to Shutterfly for helping out bloggers this year. Your generosity is greatly appriciated!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Inspiration

Quite a picture huh? Six men from the U.S. Marines, Royal Marines and U.S. Army crossed the finish line today at the Santa Monica Pier. They completed a 16 state, 3,530 mile journey which was for charity for "The Gumpathon". It's an amazing charity to raise money for injured troops across the United States.

The man on the right...Royal Marine and triple amputee, Mark Ormrod lost his arm and both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2007.

The man on the left, Army Ranger Bill Dunham, was shot 5 times and lost his leg above the knee in Panama in 1989.

If this isn't inspiring on Veterans Day, I dont know what is. I agree with Brianna from Forever Yours, Semper Fi
when she said everyday should be like today. Thank a Vet! I know I always do when I see one whether in the post office of grocery store. Did anyone's Hubby's enjoy their free meal at one of the participating restaurants today?? Mine did! We went to Chili's!

Happy Veterans day to past and present. Your service is greatly appreciated by my family.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday

Did everyone wish their Marines a very Happy Birthday this morning? I know I did! Today the Marine Corps celebrates 235 years. At our ball they did all the traditional events like oldest and youngest Marine, recognized those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with the empty table and lit candle. But this was my first ball where they had Marines from previous wars stand and be recognized. There were Marines (in full dress blues) who had served in WWII, Vietnam, Korea, The Gulf war, and of course OEF/OIF. It was so humbling to see a 90 year old Marine stand and be recognized.

I have been a Marine wife for over 6 years and the amount of pride I have for the Corps is incredible...I cant imagine how Marines must feel today. Happy Birthday to each and every Marine, past and present! Once a Marine, Always a Marine.

Here is us at the 235th Birthday Ball this past Saturday night.

The best part of the Marine Corps Birthday??? All those Marine heading off to work in their dress chucks!!! I know mine looked super sexy :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Birthday Ball

We started our weekend off with our latest Friday tradition of getting all the Zumba Instructors and their families together for some fun and food. Erika made a spanish dinner and it was soooo yummy. Saturday we got all snazzy for the 235th Marine Corps Birthday Ball. I am always amazed at the overwhelming sense of pride at of all the balls we have been to. Ill leave you with some pictures and my favorite USMC quote...

"Some people go their whole life wondering if they ever made a difference. Marines don't have that problem" - Ronald Reagan

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Festivities

Did you all have fun this Halloween? We had a nice weekend. Big Sis had a soccer game on Saturday, and she scored another goal...thats a goal every game so far!! We got some GIANT pumpkins and carved them. I have carved a pumpkin every year since I was about 4. I love it! We went to Hub's work "picnic" on Friday. They had some celebs, free beer, outback steakhouse catering and some kiddo games. We trick or treated last night for a little while. I just have to say that it makes me sick that teenagers walk around (not even dressed up) with pillow cases trick or treating. Im not giving you any candy!!!! And this year....I saw parents driving on the street while their kids trick or treated. I can't believe how freakin lazy some people are!! And Here I am feeling guilty because I skipped the gym in order to get my immunizations today. Ill be going to 2 Zumba classes tonight to work off some snickers!!!! I hope everyone had a great weekend!!
Here is Olivia the of Big Sis favorite books!!

Here is OUR Olivia the pig. Doesn't she look Fab? I made it myself :)

Community Helper day at school....Big Sis was a Marine of course!

I went to a Halloween party and dressed up as a cowgirl. The kid's saw me dressed up and immediately ran for their costumes from last year!

The Mama

My photo
What can I say? I'm fabulous! *kidding* I'm pretty simple...wife and mom who does her best with what she has!