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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.

Giving Thanks.

You know what the good thing is about always being a week behind?  You guys thought you had ready every last Thanksgiving recap, but no – there is still one more!  But I can’t just skip it because these are some of my favorite posts to look back on month (and years!) later.  So here we go – our day of thanks!

Have I mentioned here before that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday?  I’m sure I have, but I’m telling you again.  I love Christmas through and through, but it doesn’t get better than Thanksgiving.  The cooking, the National Dog Show, the pumpkin pie, the second serving of pumpkin pie – THE best. 

I did all our shopping and planning early in the week, but I didn’t actually start any cooking or prepping until Thursday morning.  We slept in late and enjoyed a lazy morning in our pajamas. 

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The boys played in the playroom together while Casey and I got started with the cooking.

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Knock on wood, but I’m amazed at how independent Cullen is these days.  He will happily play in his playroom and do puzzles for several hours without much adult interaction. 

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Occasionally, the tickle monster stops by…

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Feeling grateful for ALL the members of our little family. 

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While the boys played, I got to cooking.

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We hosted and cooked Thanksgiving dinner the year that Cullen was born too, and it is one of my favorite holiday memories.  It’s been so long since I spent a whole day cooking, and it was so nice to just be home as a family with no real agenda or schedule.

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Casey is a really good cook, and I love the rare chances for us to spend time cooking together.  We made a KILLER pumpkin pie this year, and I had hoped to post the recipe in time for the holiday, but no dice.  Next year, I promise!

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I had turned the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on for Cullen to watch in his playroom, and at one point I heard him shouting and yelling for me to come in. 

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He had spotted some familiar friends rolling down one of the floats.  So cute. 

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I have such sweet memories of that first Thanksgiving with Cullen, and this year I couldn’t stop thinking about how thankful I am for Graham.  It is so amazing to be blessed with two sweet boys. 

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Someone didn’t want to be put down during naptime, but the cooking needed to continue!  Babywearing for the win. 

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Cullen went down for naptime of his own, and not long after our long-distance guests arrived!  Casey’s parents came to spend the holiday with us and finally meet Graham.  Such a treat!

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They got a chance to get to know Graham while big brother snoozed.

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And once he woke up, it was all smiles. 

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This guy cannot get enough of his grandparents.  Lucky kid. 

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Around 4pm our friends arrived, and Casey and I got to work putting the final touches on our Thanksgiving meal.  Around 5pm, it all hit the table.  Glazed ginger carrots…

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Angela’s Lentil Walnut Mushroom Balls

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Skin-on mashed potatoes…

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Orange-cranberry sauce…

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Sourdough stuffing with fennel and capers (my favorite!)

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And roasted Brussels sprouts – yum.  Sadly, Graham did not appreciate these.  :/

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Table set and ready to go!

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Sadly, Graham had the world’s biggest meltdown the minute the food hit the table, so I spent most of our dinner bouncing and shushing and trying to calm him down.  But I was just happy to have had fun cooking, and to share all our food with people we love. 

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Grandparents who flew a long way to join us, and a family I am so thankful for every day. 

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And Seattle friends who have become a second family to us out here. 

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Finished off our evening with delicious homemade pumpkin pie – gingersnap crust for the win. 

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I shared my slice with a hungry little turkey.

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I ended my day feeling very full of both food and love.  I love Thanksgiving because it is a fun day of cooking and family time, but also because it is a day where I am reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.  And this year, that feels like an awful lot. 

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Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, too!

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69 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Haley S     at 5:50 pm

Emily…that recap is worth it for the last picture alone!! That photo is just the best


Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles     at 5:55 pm

What a beautiful holiday you had and that last picture is the absolute sweetest.


Sarah     at 6:00 pm

so thankful for your blog!! your posts always make my day. and that pic at the end is literally the sweetest thing ever!


Emily     at 6:04 pm

Cullen is looking SO BIG, noticeably older in these photos! Both babes are so cute :)


padma     at 6:04 pm

That last picture is so adorable! He’s going to make a wonderful big brother! Happy Thanksgiving and a very happy holidays to your family! Side note: I love pumpkin pie and this is the first year I didn’t have it. I feel like my thanksgiving meal isn’t quite complete yet!


Andrea     at 6:21 pm

Awww… thank you so much for sharing. You have a beautiful family. Blessings to you.


Katie     at 6:26 pm

Looks like a great holiday. What brand are the puzzles you mentioned? I am looking for some Xmas gifts for my two-year old that will keep her attention.


Erin     at 6:37 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! That last picture is just perfect.


Jaime D     at 6:40 pm

Oh my goodness…that last picture of your boys is sooooo precious!! What an amazing shot!


Sara @ LovingOnTheRun     at 7:04 pm

Aww this is so sweet and I am so glad that you all had such a great Thanksgiving! How great it was that Casey’s parents were able to come visit!

Your boys are so adorable – you are right you are very blessed! :)


Luv What You Do     at 7:27 pm

Time does fly quickly!
I have a picture of that same float however, it’s up close and personal since we were at the parade : )


Alice R.     at 7:30 pm

Awww. Poor little Graham does look unhappy in his swaddling clothes. The photo of the two little guys left me totally charmed. Thank you for sharing your menu.


Erin     at 9:06 pm

My little guy is just a few months younger than Cullen. It’s so fun to look ahead to see what milestones might be coming soon. Those puzzles look great. What brand are they? I’d love to buy a few for my son for Christmas.


Emily C.     at 9:09 pm

Love the last picture!

I’ve got to try your stuffing recipe and wouldn’t mind a late pumpkin pie recipe (pie for Christmas???).


Shel@PeachyPalate     at 12:37 am

Oh my that closing pic is heart warming! Beautiful! Love that you took it easy, no stress, yummy food and a family bonding! And you’re not late at all, most people (bloggers) only put up their recaps yesterday! :)


Brittany     at 12:46 am

Haha I was going to comment about the last picture and realized everyone else beat me to it :) Seriously, that last picture is just too cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving :)


Brittany     at 12:46 am

Haha I was going to comment about the last picture and realized everyone else beat me to it :) Seriously, that last picture is just too cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving :)


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 1:53 am

Thanks for sharing your pics! Isn’t a gingersnap crust the best thing ever? We made a very similar pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap walnut crust. I think I would have been happy just to eat the crust!


Kristi     at 4:21 am

I love your photos!! They are absolutely beautiful of your family, and your boys are so darn cute!


Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers     at 4:32 am

that last picture melted my heart! <3 <3 <3 beautiful recap, emily. the love you have for your sweet boys shines through your writing.


Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life)     at 4:55 am

Oh that last picture melts me!! So sweet! And I’m incredibly impressed with how much delicious food you make with a newborn attached to you. Way to go! :)


lee     at 5:51 am

It looks like you had a Thanksgiving full of love – delightful!

Also delightful? The idea of using gingersnap cookies for a pumpkin pie crust – yum! Look forward to seeing that recipe in the future.


Alex @ Kenzie Life     at 5:56 am

That last picture of Graham and Cullen is too precious. Cullen also seems like a really bright little kid doing all of those puzzles! I’m impressed! I’m glad you had a nice Thanksgiving and got to spend it with family and friends :)


Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 6:04 am

What a beautiful Thanksgiving! All the food looks delicious!


Ashley     at 6:08 am

So so great, Em!! Pass that pie!


Melissa     at 6:13 am

Such a great recap and photos! It looks like a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 6:49 am

Definitely agree with some of the other comments – that final picture should be blown up and framed. What sweethearts!

I can see them getting into lots of mischief together when they get older. :-)

Definitely a huge fan of Thanksgiving too. It’s great to get together with family for good food and there’s none of the presents to buy and cart around like Christmas (although I adore Christmas)


Becky Henderson     at 6:55 am

I look forward to your posts so much. You guys are the sweetest family. The last picture of the boys was so incredibly precious. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!


Cherise     at 6:56 am

It looks like you had a wonderful holiday! I vote for a pumpkin pie recipe for Christmas! ;) Heaven knows we eat it any chance we get! The ginger snap crust sounds lovely!


Keri @ With Love from Colorado     at 7:00 am

Oh my gosh! The last picture of the boys. So adorable!! I hope that after this little guy gets here (I’m due with our first in Jan.!), I’ll be able to baby wear and spend time in the kitchen! And I hope for my cooking inspiration to come back. I’ve been so tired lately. These pictures definitely have me thinking :)


Catherine     at 7:32 am

I found your blog through Kath’s and I’m so thankful I did! You are an amazing writer and I appreciate your openness and honesty about pregnancy and just life in general. I read your post about Graham’s birth and it was beautiful. I am getting married next year and we are hoping for kids soon, and I am very thankful I can turn to your blog for some guidance through the whole process. Thank you for sharing your life with us!


Julie     at 8:41 am

What a beautiful post! Glad you didn’t skip it. The pics of Cullen & Graham and Cullen & the dog are PRECIOUS!!


Ashley N.     at 8:46 am

What a BEAUTIFUL picture of both your sons. I enjoy reading your blog so much and thank you for sharing your stories with all of us!


jesse     at 8:52 am

oh that gingersnap crust sounds like the perfect match for pumpkin filling!



Leah Reply:



joelle (on a pink typewriter)     at 9:48 am

That last picture! Beyond precious. I hope you’re framing that one!


Lisa C.     at 10:09 am

Happy Thanksgiving! As a mom of 4 boys (11, 8, 5, and 2)…..it just keeps getting better. Enjoy those boys!


BrooklynBeet     at 10:45 am

The photo of the pie and the last pic of the two adorable boys sums up all that is good about life :)

Looks perfect!


Janelle     at 11:02 am

Oooh, that last picture is killer… in the best possible way, of course. :)


Malia Austin     at 11:27 am

Great post! The last picture is perfect. Love love love!!


Michelle @ The Fresh Direction     at 11:43 am

Great post Emily, looks like you had a lovely day! That last picture of the two boys is precious!


Amelia @i_heart_kale     at 12:31 pm

It appears, based on the comments, that we all love your posts, even if they are behind. What a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, relaxing, cooking, and enjoying making memories. I think Graham looks more and more like you each day.
Would you consider posting the recipe for pumpkin pie, even if it is just the recipe without step by step pictures, etc? Would love to know what ingredients made it the best to date! :) I made our pumpkin pie this year sans dairy and sugar (subbing in maple syrup for sweetness) and no one knew any differently! (This is huge, since my family is BIG on sweets!)


Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs     at 12:40 pm

That last photo is too darn sweet! What a pair :)


char eats greens     at 12:58 pm

That last picture is so adorable. I’ve never made those lentil walnut mushroom balls by Angela before (but I actually conveniently have a veg burger of my own with that combo..hmmm..), but they sound delicious!! And now I want mashed potatoes!!! Sounds like a great little holiday!


Reenie     at 1:38 pm

Last pic…..adorable.


Emily @ Life on Food     at 1:56 pm

What a great day! The photo of the two boys are precious.


Amber K     at 4:41 pm

That last photo is perfect! So adorable.


anne     at 6:05 pm

seriously?? We have to wait a whole year for the recipe!? Maybe we can make a pumpkin pie for Christmas :)


Alice Reply:

I thought that too. People eat pumpkin pie at more occasions than just Thanksgiving.


Leah Reply:

eh? Not a big deal. Emily is very generous to us all. #GivingThanks


Tiffany     at 8:41 pm

The last photo almost makes me want to have a second baby! So precious! (I absolutely love your blog!!)


Dominique @ Eat, Pray, Lift     at 9:15 pm

Well good grief, that last photo is just about the most precious thing I’ve ever seen. Also, in the photo of Cullen smiling at his grandpa in profile, he looks JUST like you!


Kori     at 3:35 am

Wonderful post! Your meal looks fabulous, and that last photo is so precious!


Sarah     at 6:26 am

So glad you had a wonderful holiday! That last picture totally made me melt :)


Stephanie @ Cat Lady Runs     at 7:08 am

Such sweet pictures of your boys. Its making me want to have one of my own!


Melissa     at 8:13 am

This makes me beyond happy and heartbroken at the same time. I lost my boy at 18 weeks on 09/19. I was looking forward to being healthy and pregnant, stuffing myself at Thanksgiving since I had some major cravings for turkey and dressing, with cranberry sauce. I don’t want to bring the post down by any means, because I am finally at the point where I can let myself be sad, but also remind myself, daily, that I am beyond blessed with a husband who loves me more than words can say and a feisty five year old daughter who my OB told me shouldn’t be here…my sweet miracle. :) I am so happy for you, and that last picture makes me melt. One day, I’ll get to take a picture like that!


Leah Reply:

So sorry for your loss. That takes a lot to share and I know the readers of this blog appreciate you posting and telling your story.


Caitlin     at 8:42 am

I think this is my favorite Thanksgiving recap that I have read! I love the last photo so much and Cullen is just the sweetest little boy, with that precious hair. He would look so cute in a little pair of suspenders, oh man. Great call on the gingerbread crust and the skin-on potatoes. Skin is the best part!


Leah     at 8:54 am

Oh Emily what a wonderful post for me to read before lunch time! Beautiful photos too. :)


elizabeth     at 10:10 am

Can you post the pumpkin pie recipe this year? I’d love to make it soon.


Veronique     at 4:42 pm

I am just dreaming of what that pumpkin pie tastes like – I am anxiously awaiting that recipe! There are soooo many recipes of yours I cook on a daily basis, my spouse just ADORES your blueberry cornbread with real corn kernels each and every morning. YUM!


Emily     at 6:02 pm

Pumpkin pie with gingersnap crust?? Sounds amazing! Can’t wait until you post the recipe!

I love this post – your family is so beautiful!


Maria     at 8:20 pm

Everything looks so good!! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday to host :-)


Greendogwine     at 7:56 am

Random – but I love your table/tv stand (in the background of cullen hugging the dog) – where did you get it from?


Emily Malone Reply:

IKEA Hemnes Sofa Table!


Greendogwine Reply:

THANK YOU! I’m going this weekend to get all our nursery furniture so I might just have to pick it up too! :)


Sephina     at 8:07 am

I am so thankful for you, Emily! Your blog has changed my life (Truly!). As well my family who benefits from your amazing recipes. So excited for the new pumpkin pie recipe to come. Also, any chance you can tell me how to prepare the ginger glazed carrots?


Emily Malone Reply:

Wow, thanks Sephina! I’ll ask Casey about the carrots – he made them!


lisa     at 10:35 am

OMG the last picture. I’m crying my eyes out from the sweetness.


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