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Holidays, Life

Thanksgiving Snapshots

Thanksgiving was almost a week ago and it feels like the time has passed by in a heartbeat! I love the holidays because of the special family time and I wanted to make soak in all the moments. With that being said, I took very few photos myself and anything I do have is basically a quick snapshot of the moment. These moments are still special and should be documented to look back on so here’s a glimpse of my Thanksgiving weekend.

I have a fairly large extended family and we had over 30 people gathered for our family’s Thanksgiving! I feel so blessed to have an amazing Grandma (who happens to be a fantastic cook) as the matriarch of the family to orchestrate everything. There were no turkeys for this vegetarian family but we served 15 of the best homemade pies. Would you believe I only ended up eating 3 slices myself? I had to have the classic pumpkin pie, my grandmas to-die-for vegan lemon cheesecake pie, and a chocolate-mint pudding pie. You’ll have to believe me when I say they were the best pies ever.

Another joy of this holiday was getting to meet this little fella for the first time. I spent at least a couple hours snuggling with the newest family member and it was baby heaven. 

We didn’t get home from my grandma’s until late Thursday night so we quickly packed our bags for our weekend away and went to bed. First thing Friday morning we were out the door to the airport for Thanksgiving part 2 in Massachusetts. 

 

The Chesapeake Bay from the air

 

Brownie points to the first person to guess where this is.

Our trip was only a quick 36 hours up in Massachusetts to have Thanksgiving with my husband’s extended family. Brady and I shared an Airbnb with the siblings in-law on a lake just over the border into New Hampshire so that we wouldn’t be too far away from the festivities. We never had the time to explore around the lake, but I got to soak in the quiet morning air for two mornings which was still peaceful.

Saturday evening was the big Thanksgiving dinner for Brady’s family and I only have one blurry, awkward shot to share of the experience. In this picture, Brady is doing his annual recitation of the poem he learned back in elementary school: I Ate Too Much by Jack Prelutsky.

I ate too much turkey, 
I ate too much corn, 
I ate too much pudding and pie, 
I’m stuffed up with muffins
And much too much stuffin’,
I’m probably going to die.

I piled up my plate
And I ate and I ate, 
But I wish I had known when to stop, 
For I’m so crammed with yams, 
Sauces, gravies, and jams
That my buttons are starting to pop.

I’m full of tomatoes
And French fried potatoes, 
My stomach is swollen and sore, 
But there’s still some dessert, 
So I guess it won’t hurt
If I eat just a little bit more. 

It was a late night with his family before we had to get up with the sun on Sunday morning to make the drive back to Maryland with all the rest of New England on the roads. We played husbands-versus-wives Rook in the backseat before I watched The Holiday – which I’d downloaded from Amazon Prime before the drive. The Holiday is #11 on my Favorite Christmas Movies List if you want to check out my list.

Sunrise in New Hampshire this morning. ❤ <— Instagram: @mrsmeaganknott

 

That’s all I have to share from my Thanksgiving weekend. I hope you all had a beautiful weekend with your friends and loved ones. Next week we’re headed off on our Disney Christmas getaway so if you want to tag along for our adventure, I’m going to be sharing a bunch on Instagram/Stories. I’m so excited!

 

Where do you celebrate Thanksgiving and how many people do you celebrate Thanksgiving with?

Any special family traditions around Thanksgiving? 

 

 

Linking with Amanda from Running with Spoons for this post.

Christmas, Family Time, Holidays

11 of My Favorite Christmas Movies

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I love the holiday season and spending time with my family. My mom always made the holidays so special for us and I know her love for the season has been passed down to me. We just passed the 6th anniversary of her passing and it’s still so hard to pick up the pieces of a broken heart and celebrate the holidays without her but Mom taught me to love the holidays and appreciate the quality family time so Thanksgiving-Christmas time is my favorite time of year.  I look forward to playing Christmas music, setting up the tree, and snuggling up together to watch Christmas movies.

Shadow at Christmas and Christmas Movies

It may seem early, but I know a lot of people start watching Christmas movies around this time and I wanted to make sure to share my favorites! There are so many great Christmas movies to chose from but I’ve narrowed it down to my top 11 favorites. Any of the Christmas movies in the numbers 1-9 slots put me in an instant happy Christmas mood but I have tried to order them anyways to give you a sense of my favorites. Numbers 10-11 are less “classic” to me but nice Christmas movies with romantic and adult centered themes.  Continue Reading

Biking, Fall, Life, Week in Pictures

A Weekend of Fall Colors in Maryland

This year has been flying by and it’s hard to believe we’re sitting just about 2 months away from Christmas and the beginning of a new year! Brady and I have been trying to soak in all the great weather and fall colors while it lasts. A month ago we hiked the Billy Goat Trail, we were at the beach in Delaware a few weekends ago, then we went backpacking, then hiking with my family, and this past weekend we went out to Western Maryland to ride the rail trail and enjoy some fall colors! 

The specific trail we rode on has 2 parts: the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) that runs from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD and then it continues on to Washington D.C. via the C&O Towpath for a total of 335 miles. We started at the Eastern Continental Divide and rode the last 25 miles of the GAP trail down into Cumberland on Saturday afternoon. The best thing about this section of the trail is that it’s all downhill (1800 ft elevation drop <- I wouldn’t want to be going the other way!) So it’s not like you can just sit there and coast but even with breaks and minimal effort, you can make the trip in 3-4 hours. The only thing that’ll be sore after this trip is your tailbone if you don’t ride often.

It was a 2 hour drive to get out to Western Maryland and the weather Saturday morning was abysmal. Dreary, misty, foggy, damp and overcast yucky weather. As soon as we started driving up the mountain to our start point, we left the clouds hanging on the mountains behind us and we were in instant sunshine! By the time we rode our bikes into Cumberland a few hours later, it was if it had never been overcast at all. The weather for our ride couldn’t have been more perfect. It was 70 degrees with just enough cool in the breeze to keep you from overheating while riding in the sun.  Continue Reading

Fitness, Goals, Happiness, Health, Life, Weight loss

My 4 Steps to a Healthier Life

About a month ago, I had my first surgical procedure and while there’s nothing I could have done to avoid that outcome, it’s still made me seriously consider how I need to improve my health. Improving my overall health has been a goal for a long time, but the last three months have given me extra motivation. This summer took a huge toll on my emotional and physical health so I’ve been brainstorming ideas to rebuild my overall health and I’ve created my own 4 steps to a healthier life.

When you’re trying to overhaul how you live your life, everything can feel overwhelming. To make everything more manageable without losing motivation, I’ve condensed my goals into 4 areas I would like to improve on for overall health.

 

My 4 Steps to a Healthier Life

  1. Minimize harmful chemicals in personal care and home cleaning.
  2. Eat Healthy Portions of Wholesome Home Cooked Food.
  3. Improve Physical Fitness.
  4. Declutter and Organize.

 

Minimize harmful chemicals in personal care and home cleaning.

Reducing harmful chemicals in my home has been on my mind for a long time and I have already begun making adjustments.  I’m very concerned with the amount of chemicals I’m putting on my body and using to clean my home with on a daily basis. The problem is that even “natural products” are full of unhealthy chemicals so it won’t be a quick transition and I know that it will probably take more time to accomplish than anything else on this list. Continue Reading

Backpacking, Hiking, Life

Backpacking to Harpers Ferry on the Appalachian Trail

I told you we are hooked! We sprung for a full weekend backpacking trip instead of just an overnight and we conquered around 17.5 miles mostly on Saturday and Sunday due to a late start on Friday. Ideally we would have hiked from the I-70 AT trailhead but that would have been 7 miles night one and we just didn’t have the daylight to accomplish that. So the plan was to leave at 3:40ish from Brady’s work, drive both cars out to Harpers Ferry, park and then take one car up to Washington Monument State Park and then start the hike from there. That would have gotten us there by at least 5:30 pm and been just under a 4 mile hike to the shelter for our first night. 

That was the plan. 

Hanna, my sister, was going to come with us for her first backpacking adventure and sleep in our tent while Brady and I were going to try hammock camping. We were expecting 2 Amazon packages to arrive that afternoon containing the second hammock, the tarp, and two 64 oz Sawyer squeeze bags for our water filter. Usually it gets delivered between 2:30 and 3:30 but we were still waiting on it to arrive once Brady got off work so we decided to delay for a little while and hope it came before we left. We played a card game and when it still hadn’t come, we decided to just go knowing it would probably get delivered a few minutes after we left. As we were walking to the door with all our stuff, guess what was delivered! 

Finally we were on our way but since we were leaving later, we knew we were going to be dealing with heavier traffic trying to get out there. We arrived in Harpers Ferry around 6:30 but the signage for where to park was very unclear. We ended up parking at the Cavalier Heights Visitor Center but even that was frustrating because signs said we needed to pay and you could only park overnight with a permit… but there was no one there to pay! We ended up finally leaving at 7, without paying, to drive the 30 minutes up to our start point. Since we were only going to have 1 hour til sunset, we parked on Reno Monument Road in a small dirt lot and started the mile hike in towards Rocky Run Shelter.

Continue Reading

Disney World, Vacation

Rope Drop at Animal Kingdom and an evening at Magic Kingdom!

Tuesday at Disney World was full of animals and Disney magic! We were at Animal Kingdom before rope drop which was pretty easy since our hotel was less than a 5 minute drive away! While we were waiting to be let in, I was complimented a few times on my dress and tiara which made me feel pretty princess-like. Pro tip: you can get away with things like tiaras at Disney World so make the most of your princess days!

The only park opening we missed was on Thursday at the Magic Kingdom (stupid monorail) but of all the other parks, the opening at Animal Kingdom was the most spectacular. We were told that the Macaws were going to fly over our heads and not to duck or they’ll just fly lower. It was a really cool thing to see and experience – you can get an idea of what happens here.

 

They allowed us to go free into the parks at the stroke of 9 and we headed directly for Expedition Everest in Asia by going through Discovery Island instead of Dino Land. We were able to walk straight onto the ride twice in a row which was great since it’s one of my top two favorite rides in the park (Pandora wasn’t open yet)! However, since we did it twice in a row, it gave Brady a bit of motion sickness so I did some shopping in Africa while he took a break. We were also trying to kill time before the 10 am train left for Rafiki’s Planet Watch because I was hoping to catch an animal surgery. Continue Reading